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'More cyclists are being killed by cars. Advocates say U.S. streets are the pro

Old 06-06-22, 09:50 PM
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Arthur Peabody
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'More cyclists are being killed by cars. Advocates say U.S. streets are the pro

https://www.npr.org/2022/05/25/10995...re-the-problem

audio at https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp...disconnect.mp3

From Monday's All things considered.
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Old 06-07-22, 04:45 AM
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Was there nothing in there worthy of commenting on?
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Old 06-07-22, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Was there nothing in there worthy of commenting on?
But he adds that urban planners have to walk a delicate line in balancing the need to build safe bicycling infrastructure at a time road congestion is getting worse, because cars and trucks are not going away any time soon.
"It's easy to say you need to create car-free zones, draconian policies (that limit or eliminate driving)," Sriraj says. (But) those are never going to happen. Not in this country."
"We just have to figure out a way out of the situation based on some common sensical goals."
Why not complete sections of sidewalks where they often drop-off?
How about putting a commuter path along side the existing road & separate it by a median structure... dont forget to make the path wide enough for a plow to maintain it!
Can't do any of the above? Well, remove a lane meant for automobiles & repurpose it for commuting peds while putting in a motorized vehicle deterrent...

with how poorly kept the local paths are, I don't expect (in my lifetime) a major beneficial change to happen.
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Old 06-07-22, 07:47 AM
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It just goes to show you that you can't discuss bicycle safety or road safety without mentioning the car.

"One good thing that happened during the pandemic is that people got out their old bikes or bought new ones and started riding them.

And across the country, cities are trying to accommodate this boom in cycling by developing more bike lanes and trails.

But amid a sharp increase in fatalities and serious injuries among cyclists hit by cars and trucks,"

In Toronto, overall road fatalities and injuries went down when people hopped on their bikes and lock down occurred and cars were left at home.
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Old 07-18-22, 09:27 AM
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One solution would be for very large cities to have car free streets about every half mile or 6 blocks.
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Old 07-18-22, 12:01 PM
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I'd accept a MPH decrease to urban areas & an MPH increase to Expressways (not highways) .
Basically, if the MPH is currently posted 65 or higher, go up if it warrants it. If the MPH is 55 MPH, drop it down about 20% (round to the nearest logical number) . For all else in between, put it up for vote by the locals.
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Old 07-19-22, 11:23 AM
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This is why I will always ride with a mirror.

I nearly got hit by a car this morning. I was riding down a 2-lane road with no shoulder speed limit 30-mph.

I passed an intersection with no cars behind me and I had to take a left in just under 0.4-mile. About 1/2-way past the intersection I noticed a car turn into my lane, but I knew I had time to make the left turn, so I stayed in the middle of the lane.

I noticed the car gaining on me quickly, more than he should of with a 30-mph speed limit and me going just over 20-mph, but I stayed in the lane as this guy kept gaining ground, since my turn was coming up.

As I put out my left hand, signaling I was taking a left turn, I noticed the driver behind me was pulling into the other lane, as if he was going to pass me. I thought he would immediately comeback to our lane after seeing my arm singling a left turn, but he didn't. (When I first saw him attempting to pass me, I was almost 50-feet from making the turn, so he would have at least come very close to hitting me if I turned as normal, the only other option was to abort the turn.)

This pissed me off, so I aborted the turn and just kept slowly going over to the left to block him from passing me (being ready to get out of the way if necessary) and he had to hit his brakes at which time I yelled back to him, What the F**k!! (I wanted very much to have a conversation with this guy).

He pulled back into the right lane as I was stopped in the left lane, not far from the centerline.

He just drove off. I know I sounded freakin' mad, but I was also kind of scared and my adrenaline was pumping.




.
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Old 07-19-22, 11:50 AM
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Its not about infrastructure being needed for cycling, its about changing the mindset of motorists to have them learn that bikes are allowed and acceptable and to be tolerated. Some countries have very onerous laws should you hit a cyclist with a car, mandatory loss of license for a year, huge increase in insurance costs, major fines. Start that and publicize it and folks will avoid bikes like the plaque.
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Old 07-19-22, 12:52 PM
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I'm not so sure it's that simple. While I agree there is a troubling mindset, I've seen plenty of evidence that it isn't so easily changed. What you're proposing is more likely to increase the resentment and contempt for cyclists. No doubt it is righteous to impose severe consequences upon motorists who disregard the sanctity of cyclists' lives. Even so, I am afraid many US motorists would regard laws onerous to their habits as cause to move against cyclists to have them banned from more roads. Don't underestimate the motivation of motorists to make it easy for themselves, nor their overwhelming majority.
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Old 07-19-22, 01:44 PM
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I would like to see more high-school cycling. People in high-school can be taught that cycling is not just the childish activity that they left behind as they graduate to motoring. They can be introduced to adult cycling as sport, recreation and transportation. They can be inspired by cycling as a sport as much as by any of the other alternatives to the top three, like golf, tennis, swimming, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, gymnastics, track and field, volleyball... Many of these activities can be engaged in recreationally as well as competitively, and recreation and fitness are certainly worthy of our attention for their benefits to our mental well-being and physical health. Cycling, however, has significance beyond all these other things as a legitimate means of transportation. I don't need to extoll all the virtues of cycling for transportation here. It suffices that it is not merely another game.

If our society sees cycling, whether for competition, recreation, commuting, or getting around, as a valuable part of the transportation infrastructure with its often enumerated benefits to our cities and towns, our environment, our people's health, and much more, then it ought to be better promoted where our society's people are forming their impressions and opinions about transportation, at the high-school level.
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Old 07-19-22, 01:45 PM
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I home school, so this is absolutely happening for my own high-school age kids. They don't necessarily believe or agree with everything I teach them though. I've got one boy that's like Alex Keaton and he's put me in the role of Steven. The other day he called me an "activist." Not surprisingly, he has an urge to "fit in," and I do not. He's not irrational though. He was protesting that I had him ride with me to the 4-H apiary on this county road with gravel shoulders that are impossibly soft. We had to ride in the lane for about a mile and it crosses a narrow two-lane bridge lined with k-wall and no bike lane or shoulder at all. Traffic goes through there at up to 50mph. He said I was insane. Traffic on that country road was unusually heavy that day. Ironically, it was because traffic was diverted due to closed highways in the next county over for a big cycling event with 3000 entrants. On our way home, we ride through this intersection where the painted bike lane jogs to the center of the road to prevent cyclists from getting right-hooked by cars in the right-turn lane. One motorist didn't understand why cyclists were in the middle of the road and he hollered some insults at us.

My hope is to teach my children to see the virtues of cycling, to cycle themselves, and to identify with cyclists as fellow humans enjoying their God-given freedom to cycle. My concern is that they're learning that cycling is done by radical, insane activists, that it's impractical and dangerous, and that they conclude it is ultimately a lost cause. One son says he's only interested in riding on the MUP now. He wasn't the son that was hollered at with me. This one didn't join me in the bike lane, but stayed on the sidewalk and crossed in the cross walk, so it wasn't the bully that intimidated him but the danger of the motor traffic. I am grateful that he is careful to regard his safety. I'm teaching him to ride motorcycles too, off-road for now. I will be totally content if he decides to never ride them on the street like his radical, freedom activist dad.
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Old 07-19-22, 04:54 PM
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Its not about infrastructure being needed for cycling, its about changing the mindset of motorists to have them learn that bikes are allowed and acceptable and to be tolerated. Some countries have very onerous laws should you hit a cyclist with a car, mandatory loss of license for a year, huge increase in insurance costs, major fines. Start that and publicize it and folks will avoid bikes like the plaque.
You are mostly correct. In those countries were there is respect for bicyclists there is also respect for the motorists and there are appropriate fines for miscreant bicyclists. My last year in the Army I was in Germany. I really enjoyed pedaling on German roads. I didn't see the feral bicycle riders and auto morons near as much as we have here in the USA. When I moved to Florida it was like a war zone. The attitude that bicycles didn't belong on the rode was very prevalent.
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Old 07-19-22, 06:15 PM
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I watched a YT series of a couple crossing the country on touring bikes, Washington to Maine. They had stopped at the Adventure Cycling HQ in Missoula, who gave them a recommended route to Great Falls. Their experience was 2 lane roads with no or minimal shoulders and traffic passing by at 70 mph and giving no clearance. Even when there was no traffic oncoming, they spent a few days getting repeatedly buzzed by cars and trucks for no reason. When they asked about this at a restaurant, a local stated "Oh, folks from Montana HATE cyclists, is why". The couple promptly got on a plane to Kansas City to ride the Katy Trail, abandoning that part of their cross country. Their trip thru Indiana and Illinois was as expected, many back roads with no traffic and polite motorists,
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Old 07-19-22, 09:36 PM
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How about elevated bike lanes?? High enough to clear trucks. I suppose that will make everyone happy and solve congestion at the same time.

Elevated bike lanes can have tiny ground footprint since it only has to support a much smaller weight. Steel construction with thin layer of asphalt for good all-weather traction and comfort.
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Old 07-19-22, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
How about elevated bike lanes?? High enough to clear trucks. I suppose that will make everyone happy and solve congestion at the same time.

Elevated bike lanes can have tiny ground footprint since it only has to support a much smaller weight. Steel construction with thin layer of asphalt for good all-weather traction and comfort.
A pedestrian bridge costs $150-250/sq ft. Even assuming you’re on the lower end of that for efficiency, that’s $1800/linear foot of 12’ wide 2-way bike path, before you factor in ramps at every on/off point, AND you’ve now got this bike path in the sky in everyone’s view AND you’ve got every pickup and white van driver in the county now pointing at the lane in the sky shouting “you should be on the GD bike path my taxes built for you” every time we deign to cross an at-grade street.

It’s a good thought but impractical for a million and one reasons.
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Old 07-19-22, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
A pedestrian bridge costs $150-250/sq ft. Even assuming you’re on the lower end of that for efficiency, that’s $1800/linear foot of 12’ wide 2-way bike path, before you factor in ramps at every on/off point, AND you’ve now got this bike path in the sky in everyone’s view AND you’ve got every pickup and white van driver in the county now pointing at the lane in the sky shouting “you should be on the GD bike path my taxes built for you” every time we deign to cross an at-grade street.

It’s a good thought but impractical for a million and one reasons.

We blew $10 billion on an elevated rail that doesn't work, would make a nice bike path.

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Old 07-20-22, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
We blew $10 billion on an elevated rail that doesn't work, would make a nice bike path.

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I’m never not a fan of rails to trails. Unless the rail still works.
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Old 07-20-22, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
I’m never not a fan of rails to trails. Unless the rail still works.

I was getting all geared up for an argument until I figured out the double negative.

Me too, some of those routes are completely fantastic.
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Old 07-20-22, 12:29 PM
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It's very apparent in the US that cost is the #1 driver in decision making with infrastructure, not the value of lives. Be it pedestrians, cyclists, otherwise.

You see all these new suburbs pop up without sidewalks and people cramming cars on street parking to clog it more..........because right sized lots and driveways and sidewalks cost more.

AKA..........we're stupid and selfish.
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Old 07-20-22, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
It's very apparent in the US that cost is the #1 driver in decision making with infrastructure, not the value of lives. Be it pedestrians, cyclists, otherwise.

You see all these new suburbs pop up without sidewalks and people cramming cars on street parking to clog it more..........because right sized lots and driveways and sidewalks cost more.

AKA..........we're stupid and selfish.
They'd rather "spend" (literally waste) money in extremely bloated military budgets.
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Old 07-20-22, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
I’m never not a fan of rails to trails. Unless the rail still works.
There was a huge argument (somewhat ongoing) about a rail conversion to MUT in the Adirondacks of upstate NY. The Remsen - Lake Placid rail line had run scenic passenger trains for a while, the state had maintained the rail bed, the line ran at a loss, the state got tired of fixing and opted to partially convert to rail trail. Its likely the rail trail will bring in significantly more tourists than the scenic rail line brought in, but many rail enthusiasts debate that. A 34 mile trail is being converted as we speak, beds and rails already removed. I think the southern segment, about 60 miles, will get fixed up and stay as a rail line. I am really looking forward to the opening, even though I do on occasion, find some rail trails a bit boring to ride. I do appreciate though being able to get in long scenic rides that are car free. Note that its been decades since AMTRAK ran passenger service or that any freight ran on this line, economically unviable, which is usually the single reason for abandonment and conversion.
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Old 07-20-22, 09:10 PM
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Why remove the infrastructure? I'd pave right over it. Detroit did that in the high traffic areas & its held up to cars. Paving over it should last a long time for cycling & runners.
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Old 07-20-22, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Why remove the infrastructure? I'd pave right over it. Detroit did that in the high traffic areas & its held up to cars. Paving over it should last a long time for cycling & runners.
Very expensive to lay a gravel bed and asphalt over 34 miles of rail bed, problematic over numerous stream crossings. I think the thought is the right of way still exists, so if needed its easy to lay new bed on top of a gravel rail trail. The Maybrook trail in Duchess County, NY is 22 miles or so, had side by side rails, they kept one set, put a paved trail where the other rail existed, retaining the ability to reopen the rail line if needed in the future.
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Old 07-20-22, 09:33 PM
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not much substance in the article, IMO, other than to point out an obvious problem.

where it gets murkier is that local governments generally make decisions about infrastructure based on their perception of the constituents' priorities and desires, as best balanced with cost and safety. in most parts of the country, most people drive, most people view bikes with distrust or disdain, and most people complain about traffic. so those places use their rights-of-way mostly for cars, with some bike lanes thrown in here and there, often poorly designed, rarely forming a complete network.

personally, i would not choose to live in such a place. but everyone votes with their own feet and bank accounts, and most choose to live in places which do not have pro-bicycle or pro-pedestrian or even pro-transit policies. so to some extent, we sleep in the beds we've made.
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Old 07-21-22, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Very expensive to lay a gravel bed and asphalt over 34 miles of rail bed, problematic over numerous stream crossings. I think the thought is the right of way still exists, so if needed its easy to lay new bed on top of a gravel rail trail. The Maybrook trail in Duchess County, NY is 22 miles or so, had side by side rails, they kept one set, put a paved trail where the other rail existed, retaining the ability to reopen the rail line if needed in the future.
Interesting. We'll never start chipping away at the lethal problem of cyclists vs motorized transit if we keep letting cost be the main driver.

That sorta job might be a great summer gig for HS students, while being sponsored by the government. I swear, as times progresses, the U.S. Government excludes giving opportunity to the people for building skillsets, enhancing others abilities, & bringing a community closer together. Instead, the gov. becomes more & more reliant on contractors & the tax dollars.
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