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California fires now added as argument against bike lanes etc.

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California fires now added as argument against bike lanes etc.

Old 11-21-18, 04:17 PM
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Joe Bikerider
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California fires now added as argument against bike lanes etc.

I was just coming home in the car, and on the radio (KGO) the talk host was slamming "road diets" because it made it difficult for people to evacuate in case of a fire. I got the idea this show was from Southern California, BTW it's raining really hard right now in Northern California, but the argument was that people will die because of these changes to major streets. The one lady was outraged because it took longer than her usual few minutes to get out of her hilly neighborhood with only one road for access than it used to after the road was dieted. Also they threw in the 18 business that went broke argument after the diet was imposed. Is there any truth in that? And the other argument that the residents had no say in the matter.

That last "no say" argument is just so wrong. In my area the meetings and public comment opportunities are legion. But people don't come, I went to some and no one was really there except cyclist advocates. I am a cyclist but also a resident. I spoke against one pet project and they didn't know how to react. After that I now pay attention what's going on. And I think they recognize that I might be showing up.

Thank God for the rain, I almost went out for a ride just to enjoy it. My bike is pretty good in the rain, practical fenders and all but it was a bit too hard for me. I find if I'm riding and the rain starts that's one thing, but looking out the door into a heavy storm, well that's another.
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Old 11-21-18, 04:22 PM
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No, they're lying.

Also it occurs to me that when there are traffic jams from evacuations, it would be faster to bike out.
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Old 11-21-18, 06:29 PM
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It is a horrible, tragic and stressful event underway. People handle those factors differently.

Pray all for those who have suffered , for those who have lost and for all those who have been changed forever.

Tolerance and understanding is a gift that should be shared.
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Old 11-21-18, 08:05 PM
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Old 11-21-18, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wingless View Post
It is a horrible, tragic and stressful event underway. People handle those factors differently.

Pray all for those who have suffered , for those who have lost and for all those who have been changed forever.

Tolerance and understanding is a gift that should be shared.
So, do cyclist in the area get to lie and claim more people died because there were not enough bike lanes?
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Old 11-21-18, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wingless View Post
It is a horrible, tragic and stressful event underway. People handle those factors differently.

Pray all for those who have suffered , for those who have lost and for all those who have been changed forever.

Tolerance and understanding is a gift that should be shared.
Well said.

Thank you.
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Old 11-21-18, 11:27 PM
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I always maintain very strict lane discipline in my car when fleeing a fast-moving lethal disaster.
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Old 11-22-18, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Bikerider View Post
Also they threw in the 18 business that went broke argument after the diet was imposed. Is there any truth in that? And the other argument that the residents had no say in the matter.
I don't know about any specific business, but everywhere anyone has ever looked at the impact of road diets and other active-transportation friendly changes to the streetscape the effect is always positive. More sales, more people, more sales per person. Here's one article to start the adventure:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlton.../#418ac2d4641e
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Old 11-22-18, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I always maintain very strict lane discipline in my car when fleeing a fast-moving lethal disaster.
+1

Isn't there a movie quote: "if you've gotta go, you gotta go"?
Don't think any lane marker, designated parking zone etc that's harmless to the car would last long when the smoke is in the air. If there is an escape route, people will take it.

AFAIK, the most limiting factors for large-scale evacuations usually isn't road capacity as such, but stranded vehicles.
There's an initial phase where road capacity is a factor, but pretty soon (in miles and time) what brings traffic to a standstill are cars running out of fuel, overheating, burning out the clutches etc. Collisions - even when the cars remain driveable - that leads to fights. And further obstacles.
As soon as congestion/road discipline gets so bad that abandoned and/or broken down vehicles can no longer get/be pushed off the road easily, it doesn't matter that much how wide the road was to start with. It's all gridlocked anyway.
Saw a study on evacuations once. One suggestion was to use spotters on the ground, and then cargo helicopters to keep the roads clear of abandoned vehicles to keep traffic flowing.
Another, when there's a more defined bottleneck and a route back was to use heavy vehicles as "pace cars" and sweepers. They'd loop around like dividers on a conveyor belt, pushing any stalled vehicle ahead of them and clear the road.
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Old 11-22-18, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I don't know about any specific business, but everywhere anyone has ever looked at the impact of road diets and other active-transportation friendly changes to the streetscape the effect is always positive. More sales, more people, more sales per person. Here's one article to start the adventure:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlton.../#418ac2d4641e
Makes sense. The slower you go, the more things along the road you're able to notice. If it's easier to stop as well, the number of spontaneous visits should pick up. And that more visitors to the store leads to more sales is hardly surprising.
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Old 11-22-18, 06:04 AM
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They wont need cars when the high speed rail way is built ?
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Old 11-22-18, 12:18 PM
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You just need to keep the bike lanes raked.
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Old 11-22-18, 12:47 PM
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Red Herrings?

And if Sparks from the power grid started them,?
Ban Overhead electric power lines?
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Old 11-22-18, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Also it occurs to me that when there are traffic jams from evacuations, it would be faster to bike out.
As I watched the coverage on TV, I kept thinking that bikes were the first thing I would load into my car in anticipation of jam ups.

The reduced lane width argument has no merit. #1 . Wider roads don't guarantee that traffic jams will not occur. #2 . Road diet plans may reduce lane width under normal traffic circumstance; however that does not mean that vehicle use during emergencies would be impeded. A bike lane is plenty wide for a car to use. #3 . These media uses of tragedy to stir things up are a way to deflect attention from other issues, or worse, to promote their own cultural agenda.
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Old 11-22-18, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoopdriver View Post
These media uses of tragedy to stir things up are a way to deflect attention from other issues, or worse, to promote their own cultural agenda.
Get rid of bike lanes and rake those forests! That'll do it.
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Old 11-22-18, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
And if Sparks from the power grid started them,?
Ban Overhead electric power lines?
This is actually the best solution, which is why no one will talk about it.

Bury the cables.

At the very least, replace the un-insulated wires, and get rid of, or turn off, the automatic reclosers that send pulses of high current through open circuits when wires come down.
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Old 11-22-18, 06:30 PM
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The only discussion I've heard along these lines concerned the town of Paradise in NorCal. I've spent a few nights at a campground there while on bike tours and evacuating by bike would certainly be an option for those so inclined. Once you get out of town it's almost a 2000' descent down to the valley so the ride into Chico is very fast. Due to the terrain there are limited routes out of town and the need for evacuation planning has been well known and implemented by the local engineers and officials. Here's the article in the LA Times:
https://www.latimes.com/local/califo...120-story.html

Note that there is disagreement on whether the traffic calming measures had any slowing effect on the evacuation and that reports indicated that it was quicker this time than during a previous fire in 2008.
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Old 11-22-18, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
You just need to keep the bike lanes raked.
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Old 11-23-18, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
No, they're lying.

Also it occurs to me that when there are traffic jams from evacuations, it would be faster to bike out.
THIS! I was also about to comment on a similar note but I see that you already echoed my sentiments.

Bike lanes are needed for traffic jams in case something worse happens. And bike lanes or no bike lanes, there would still be a traffic jam. It's California.
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Old 11-23-18, 03:30 AM
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This is like blaming the long lineups at a major grocery store or Walmart on a Saturday afternoon on the express checkouts where you have to have 12 items or less.
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Old 11-23-18, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
... there is disagreement on whether the traffic calming measures had any slowing effect on the evacuation and that reports indicated that it was quicker this time than during a previous fire in 2008.
I don't remember the details, but I've done the maths on traffic volume vs speed once.
The way it works out is that you need to promote flow rather than speed. Cars-per-second is more important than meters-per-second.
And if you want to keep a reasonable reaction time to be able to deal with what the car ahead might do, the optimum speed isn't that much. Maybe 35 mph ?
Sure, high speed-and-tailgating will create a greater flow than sensible speed-and-gaps - but only until the first accident.
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Old 11-23-18, 04:40 AM
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The problem with traffic jams in panic situations is just the same problem with traffic jams under normal situations, amplified---people behind the wheel can be selfish richards, can feel that they need to advance every possible foot, can lose sight of the fact that a car in traffic cannot go faster than that traffic ....

It is like watching people being unwilling or unable to merge when entering a freeway .... it is a simple concept but almost always leads to tie-ups simply because people cannot see that if they cooperate, Everyone moves right along. Everyone tries to get ahead of everyone else, and traffic stops.

No number of lanes is going to make people stop being idiots. And extra four feet on one side of the road will only mean that cars will try to squeeze in where they don't fit ... in more places.

Anyone who was seen traffic stop on both sides of an 8-lane highway because someone got a flat, .... or has seen cars drive into each other because the drivers briefly forgot they were driving ... understands that adding lanes only adds new places for people to behave badly.
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Old 11-23-18, 11:18 AM
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I'm pretty sure a road diet would help rather than hurt overall traffic flow in this situation. Merges are the biggest traffic slowdowns that I have seen, and if there is only one lane, there are fairly few merges.
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Old 11-23-18, 01:06 PM
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Skyline doesn’t have bike lanes.

-mr. bill
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Old 11-23-18, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
No, they're lying.

Also it occurs to me that when there are traffic jams from evacuations, it would be faster to bike out.
Might seem smart, but often the remote areas where such evacuations occur make it too far for anyone but the hardiest cyclists to "escape" in that manner.

On the flip side, riding a bike was the best way to get around during the great SoCal black out of 2011... motorists just failed miserably when it came to failed traffic lights... they really didn't know who had ROW... it was amazing to watch. Of course, cyclists, being well versed in ROW activities... just zipped around all the halted motor traffic.
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