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Why there should be funding for bike lanes

Old 09-29-11, 05:04 PM
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Why there should be funding for bike lanes

“Cutting funding for bike lanes because there isn’t enough demand is like cutting literacy funding because not enough people are reading. Bike lanes are not built to satisfy demand. They’re meant to serve as an incentive to encourage more cycling by increasing safety.”

Dave Meslin
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Old 09-29-11, 05:14 PM
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Is there any data to show that bike lanes increase safety? Personally if they want to do something to increase cyclist safety, I'd much rather see them reduce the amount of on street parking that there is, to allow for wider right hand lanes. As someone who rides a bike on city streets every day, I don't see a lot of value in bike lanes, but I do see a lot of infrastructure design which is hostile to cyclists for example:

Having right hand turn 'slip lanes' so that motorists don't have to slow down when turning onto another road, and have poor visibility.
Narrow lanes.
Poor quality of the pavement
Debris on the streets.
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Old 09-29-11, 05:26 PM
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Quite obviously we do need more bike lanes and less auto access to those bike lanes, as well!

We also need more strict law enforcement on the rules on the proper cycling of city streets. Far too many cyclists try to take advantge of being on two wheels. Many think that they are above the law by not stopping at stop signs and redlights. This jeopardizes their own personal safety as well as the safety of auto drivers and pedestrians, alike.

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PS.

This also causes drivers to cultivate deep-seated resentment towards cyclists!
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Old 09-29-11, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
Is there any data to show that bike lanes increase safety?
I believe so. Bike lanes increase ridership, and higher concentrations of cyclists improve safety.
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Old 09-29-11, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
Is there any data to show that bike lanes increase safety? Personally if they want to do something to increase cyclist safety, I'd much rather see them reduce the amount of on street parking that there is, to allow for wider right hand lanes. As someone who rides a bike on city streets every day, I don't see a lot of value in bike lanes, but I do see a lot of infrastructure design which is hostile to cyclists for example:

Having right hand turn 'slip lanes' so that motorists don't have to slow down when turning onto another road, and have poor visibility.
Narrow lanes.
Poor quality of the pavement
Debris on the streets.
Just imagine a busy street in a large industrial downtown city. There are taxi cabs. There are buses. There are motorcycles. There are cars weaving in and out of lanes, all vying for the fastest route out of the mayhem. There are cars being parked. There are parked cars entering the thoroughfare. There are parked cars with doors opening to the left, on your immediate right!

Now, do you see the importance of bicycle lanes?....

- Slim

PS.

Strict auto parking laws should be enforced with respect to bike lanes!

Last edited by SlimRider; 09-29-11 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 09-29-11, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I believe so. Bike lanes increase ridership, and higher concentrations of cyclists improve safety.
Show me the data - is there a reference which shows bike lanes increasing safety - I know that data exists showing increased ridership, but I am not aware of any well designed study which has been able to show an increase in safety.
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Old 09-29-11, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
Show me the data - is there a reference which shows bike lanes increasing safety - I know that data exists showing increased ridership, but I am not aware of any well designed study which has been able to show an increase in safety.
Toss the data.

Haven't you ever been on a really busy street before, that had no bike lanes and then suddenly, bike lanes appeared on another street?

You therefore, opt to take the street that offers the bike lanes and feel a certain level of relief and reduction of stress due to the bike lanes. There's a reason for that sudden feeling of relief...

- Slim
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Old 09-29-11, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
Show me the data - is there a reference which shows bike lanes increasing safety - I know that data exists showing increased ridership, but I am not aware of any well designed study which has been able to show an increase in safety.
Please see section 3 of this document:
https://www.transalt.org/files/newsro...ision_Zero.pdf

"Between 1987 and 2000,
the number of “regular cyclists” increased by 50 percent in the province of Quebec,
while cycling fatalities decreased by 42 percent and serious injuries fell by 56
percent. Throughout much of this period, the provincial government aggressively
increased the prevalence of bicycle lanes and the number of kilometers of bicycle
lanes more than doubled throughout the province. "
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Old 09-29-11, 09:11 PM
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They build bike lanes too so that cars can keep moving at speed in their own lanes. Don't think it's all for the cyclist. But as bike traffic increases, it's difficult to keep them all out in the street without severely hindering car traffic.
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Old 09-30-11, 08:53 AM
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What we really need is wider (6 feet or more) bike lanes such as those in place in certain cities. Then it is really an incentive to use them. Parents riding or towing their kids as well as the result of us feel much safer. However, I'll take what I can get!
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Old 09-30-11, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I believe so. Bike lanes increase ridership, and higher concentrations of cyclists improve safety.
do they? We have high concentrations of cyclists on many MUPs on nice sunny weekends....how safe do you feel riding among them?

A bunch of wobblers riding in a glorified shoulder does not safety make, young peddlepusher.

If you want to improve safety, you best ensure that those new riders are at least minimally competent before sending them out with the delusion that painted lines = safety. Well designed cycling infrastructure that is more than a glorified shoulder would help too.
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Last edited by chipcom; 09-30-11 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 09-30-11, 09:18 AM
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Do you really think drivers will give up street parking that easily? It's tough enough to park in NYC as it is.

There needs to be more segregated bike lanes; ones that have a divider separating them from traffic.
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Old 09-30-11, 09:22 AM
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While I like bike lanes, I do find that cars will give you less room and slow down less as they pass you. That 6 inch wide painted stripe is treated like a magical traffic barrier. Also I hate that bike lanes are often next to a row of parked cars. Would you like a door in your face?
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Old 09-30-11, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
Show me the data
https://www.google.com/

You can search the web as well as I can ... and I'm not the one who's curious to see the data.
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Old 09-30-11, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
do they? We have high concentrations of cyclists on many MUPs on nice sunny weekends....how safe do you feel riding among them?
Plenty safe. But then I expect groups of people walking four abreast, and people with strollers and dogs on retractable leashes, so I do my fast riding on the street, and take it slow on the MUP. I know MUPs terrify A&S ninnies, but, out in the real world on a bike, they're just another place you can ride, with their own characteristic 'mood.'
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Old 09-30-11, 10:34 AM
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I don't need data, I have first hand experience. My commute use to be 100% on open city streets. About 2 years ago the city put a bicycle lane down about 30% of my commute. That part of my commute was unnerving to say the least. So many cars would pass so close I could touch them with an outstretched pinky! Today it is now the safest part of my ride with NO near misses and no drivers riding my rear fender. Even though it is a busier street than most, the lanes keep me safe by showing cars where they should be.

If your interested in data, Google it. There are a plethora of studies that show a marked drop in bicycle accidents after lanes go in.
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Old 09-30-11, 10:58 AM
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I not fully convinced bike lanes improve safety. Generally, I like believe we all live in a euphoria where motorist and cyclist live together in peace and harmony. In other words, the best thing to do to improve safety is to have everyone settle down a bit, BOTH cyclist and motorists.

So, a couple of examples:

1) My commute in my old city resulted in punks throwing crap at me. not that it is the lane's fault, but the lane did attract cyclists and it gave teenagers a place to harass cyclists. sort of like shooting fish in a bucket.
2) I was hit by a vehicle a couple months ago while in one of those lanes designated for both cars and bikes. if I would have been in a bike lane, there is no way I would have been doing PBP 4 weeks later.
3) while in such places as Brugges and Amsterdam last month, it is curious that it is safe for anyone to ride a bike down just about any road. sure, there are some bike lanes, but a lot of riding is done outside of bike lanes. so...what conclusion can you draw? I think it is b/c motorists are patient.
4) In my new city, they are touting all the bike lanes. So, I have been walking to work from my temporary living abode. There are bike lanes all around, and even signs that say, "no riding bikes on sidewalks." Bikes zoom by me all the time on the sidewalk when there is bike lane available. Quite curious. not to mention all the salmoning, debris, doors, manholes, etc.

Just as a decked out madone would be nice, it is expensive and not what 99% of us need. personally, I would rather take the lane, get out of the debris and away from hazards, have a little room to safely manuvre if need be and have motorists politely pass. if only I could make my euphoria a reality.
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Old 09-30-11, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Plenty safe. But then I expect groups of people walking four abreast, and people with strollers and dogs on retractable leashes, so I do my fast riding on the street, and take it slow on the MUP. I know MUPs terrify A&S ninnies, but, out in the real world on a bike, they're just another place you can ride, with their own characteristic 'mood.'
I think you're fibbing. If you thought they were "plenty safe" you wouldn't feel the need to slow down. Indeed, if you actually rode in these kind of conditions (crowded MUP) you'd know that paying attention and planning for Murphy is even more crucial than on the roads because the users are so unpredictable. Don't talk to me about the "real world" on a bike, junior...you ain't been around the block enough and you know it.

Granted, the consequences of a whoopsie on a crowded MUP are usually much less life-threatening than on the roads...which is my point...if you think a bunch of wobblers in close proximity to traffic is "safe", you got a real weird sense of safety. If you want to make things safer for cyclists...spend more time on ensuring they are competent before putting them out on the roads with the delusion that paint somehow makes them safe. If you were the accomplished cyclist you think you are, you'd know this and wouldn't huff and puff and try to play salty old veteran.

I think bike lanes are great if designed and implemented properly....my problem is with alleged advocates who think that paint is some kind of magic safety bullet.
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Last edited by chipcom; 09-30-11 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 09-30-11, 11:44 AM
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I'm on the fence about bike lanes (I think I've stated this before). I like the idea of a city/county trying to improve cycling conditions so that more people would be encouraged to give cycle commuting/errand running a try, but in reality I always get the sense that I'm being marginalized as a cyclist. Cycling lanes are rarely maintained or cleared of debris, at which point I'm forced to either ride through the flotsam risking flats or damaged tires, or I have to ride in the traffic lane at which point motorists wonder "why the hell isn't he using the bike lane that my tax dollars are paying for". If I didn't have the perspective of a cyclist, I'd wonder the same thing. The other issue I have with cycling lanes is the existence of cycling lanes to nowhere. I think it puts novice cyclists in a bad spot to give them the sense of security of a bike lane, and then force them into fray with cars, trucks and buses when the lane mysteriously disappears.

I think Chipcom has the right idea, that maybe some of the money spent on infrastructure should really be directed to education and safe riding programs. Maybe then people who might want to try their hand at reducing car trips by use of a bicycle will have a sense of confidence when heading out, that they have the tools to complete their rides safely. Face it, were a long way from Amsterdam or Denmark.

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Old 09-30-11, 11:45 AM
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Holistic strategies to reduce peak vehicle speeds, reduce the number of travel lanes, and increase the clear manuevering space around bicyclists can reduce crashes and improve safety for all road users, including pedestrians and motorists, not just cyclists. Such efforts often pay for themselves in terms of reduced public costs of emergency services and reduced private costs of injuries and damage. Pragmatic and carefully considered application of such strategies deserve public funding regardless of the overall economy.

On the other hand, merely shoe-horning striped bike lanes into the streetscape isn't likely to improve safety on its own, and can sometimes reduce safety depending on the implementation details.
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Old 09-30-11, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
Toss the data.

Haven't you ever been on a really busy street before, that had no bike lanes and then suddenly, bike lanes appeared on another street?

You therefore, opt to take the street that offers the bike lanes and feel a certain level of relief and reduction of stress due to the bike lanes. There's a reason for that sudden feeling of relief...

- Slim
Slim

I do not own a car, the bicycle is my primary mode of transport, so I have certainly ridden on busy streets before, with and without bike lanes. My personal experience is that with the same roadway design, painting a stripe to designate a bike lane causes most traffic to pass me with LESS clearance - the drivers seem to feel that the strip of paint allows them to ignore anything in the other lane. At the same time, many of the bike lanes in my area are narrow lanes, in the door zone - a part of the road that I am very wary of riding in. The reason that I ride more on roads with bike lanes than without is more because those roads tend to have wider outside lanes, which I do feel are a benefit, but I find the actual bike lane designation to have little or no benefit.
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Old 09-30-11, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
I think you're fibbing. If you thought they were "plenty safe" you wouldn't feel the need to slow down. Indeed, if you actually rode in these kind of conditions (crowded MUP) you'd know that paying attention and planning for Murphy is even more crucial than on the roads because the users are so unpredictable. Don't talk to me about the "real world" on a bike, junior...you ain't been around the block enough and you know it.

Granted, the consequences of a whoopsie on a crowded MUP are usually much less life-threatening than on the roads...which is my point...if you think a bunch of wobblers in close proximity to traffic is "safe", you got a real weird sense of safety. If you want to make things safer for cyclists...spend more time on ensuring they are competent before putting them out on the roads with the delusion that paint somehow makes them safe. If you were the accomplished cyclist you think you are, you'd know this and wouldn't huff and puff and try to play salty old veteran.

I think bike lanes are great if designed and implemented properly....my problem is with alleged advocates who think that paint is some kind of magic safety bullet.
Oh I forgot....does all this H8 make my butt look fat?
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Old 09-30-11, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Kojak View Post
I think Chipcom has the right idea, that maybe some of the money spent on infrastructure should really be directed to education and safe riding programs. Maybe then people who might want to try their hand at reducing car trips by use of a bicycle will have a sense of confidence when heading out, that they have the tools to complete their rides safely. Face it, were a long way from Amsterdam or Denmark.
Slow your roll there, hoss. I got no problem with spending money on infrastructure...but that infrastructure needs to be designed to that it's actually useful and doesn't make things worse, and just as important, we need to be able to fund maintenance of that infrastructure. Spending money on glorified shoulders that just accumulate crap is a waste and can actually make things more dangerous for many who use them because they feel they must or are forced to by law. Of course I'd also like to see money dedicated to help provide LAB Road courses or similar, as well as more education concerning cyclists and our legal rights/obligations in driver education and testing - but that would probably have to come from a different source. We already get resistance to having road funds used for bike infrastructure, if we start adding education as well, some already narrow heads will explode.
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Old 09-30-11, 12:28 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
Slow your roll there, hoss. I got no problem with spending money on infrastructure...but that infrastructure needs to be designed to that it's actually useful and doesn't make things worse, and just as important, we need to be able to fund maintenance of that infrastructure. Spending money on glorified shoulders that just accumulate crap is a waste and can actually make things more dangerous for many who use them because they feel they must or are forced to by law. Of course I'd also like to see money dedicated to help provide LAB Road courses or similar, as well as more education concerning cyclists and our legal rights/obligations in driver education and testing - but that would probably have to come from a different source. We already get resistance to having road funds used for bike infrastructure, if we start adding education as well, some already narrow heads will explode.
Well, that's why I qualified it with "some" of the money. And my reservations about cycling lanes dovetails with assertion that they need to be "designed in a manner that is useful and doesn't make things worse". It seems too many bike lanes have this very problem, they aren't well designed, they aren't maintained, and many times put cyclists (especially novices) in bad situations. Knowing you have to be attentive is better than a false sense of security. North America's reality is our city streets were never designed/constructed with the idea of adding future bike lanes. To really improve the infrastructure for cyclists, there's a certain amount of deconstructing and reconfiguring that needs to be done, which is far too costly given the amount of money that is currently being used for cycing facilities and infrastructure. Narrow heads exploding be damned, educating would be cyclists on how to survive in the current reality is money well spent.
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Old 09-30-11, 12:39 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by ronocnikral View Post
I not fully convinced bike lanes improve safety. Generally, I like believe we all live in a euphoria where motorist and cyclist live together in peace and harmony. In other words, the best thing to do to improve safety is to have everyone settle down a bit, BOTH cyclist and motorists.
Well, the best thing to do is to make humans immortal, so collisions aren't a big deal. But let's stick to the real world.

Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
I think bike lanes are great if designed and implemented properly....my problem is with alleged advocates who think that paint is some kind of magic safety bullet.
Straw men are fun, BVT, but you should join the conversation the rest of us are having.
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