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M II A II R II K Feb 22, 2010 10:50 PM

Urban Cycling Developments
 
When a Bicycle Isn't a Transportation Device


Feb 22, 2010

By TENEILLE GIBSON

http://media.nbcwashington.com/desig...go_peacock.gif

Read More: http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/lo...-84959792.html

Quote:

So… it’s all play and no work for bike riders.

“I don’t believe a bicycle is a transportation device,” Fairfax County Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock District) said during a transportation committee meeting. “I think it’s a recreation device. The big problem is people don’t want to ride their bike in the rain or get sweaty before work.”

Cook's comments clash with Reston’s plan to add new bike trails. The Examiner reported that transportation officials have identified pedestrian and bicycle projects to improve bike accessibility to the planned Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway Metro stations. It’s all part of the transit extension to Washington Dulles International Airport.

“I don’t agree with him,” said Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) to the Examiner. “People don’t do it now -- not because they don’t want to -- but because they can’t. It’s not safe.”

Bike enthusiasts are not feeling the love at all.

BTinSF Feb 22, 2010 10:58 PM

For a majority of the population--most of those over 50, those who are disabled, those who live too far from work, those who don't have changing facilities at work and need to wear bike-inapproriate clothing at work and those who just don't want to ride a bike--it is NOT a transportation device that is relevant to their lives. That's why I object to cities like my own reducing lanes and road capacity for what remains by far the primary personal transportation device, the motor vehicle, in favor of bikes. A few streets in San Francisco like Valencia (in the Mission District) have become almost impassable to cars with the reduction in lanes needed to create bike lanes and lack of enforcement against double parking and parking in the center (turn) lane.

As far as whether the bike riders feel any love, IMHO they stopped deserving love when they started intentionally blocking streets and disrupting the commutes of the rest of us once a month. Why should anybody love a group that resorts to such selfish, hostile tactics?

fflint Feb 22, 2010 11:01 PM

The bicycle is obviously a transportation device, and one that was on our streets before cars were even invented.

Steely Dan Feb 22, 2010 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BTinSF (Post 4712926)
most of those over 50, those who are disabled, those who live too far from work, those who don't have changing facilities at work and need to wear bike-inapproriate clothing at work and those who just don't want to ride a bike--it is NOT a transportation device that is relevant to their lives.

yeah, but those people are all stupid and lame, and their opinions should never matter. remember, cars are stupid, but bicycles completely rule the universe. these are facts.

here's to san francisco's continuing efforts to promote the bicycle revolution :cheers:

SpawnOfVulcan Feb 22, 2010 11:13 PM

What type of device it is obviously depends on the purpose it's being used for. Obviously, if you're riding it to work, or class like I do, it's a transportation device. The guy has a point though, it's not exactly a great choice if you're wearing a suit or dress.

village person Feb 22, 2010 11:17 PM

Some percentage of the populous can't or choose not to bike and the rest can't bike in some smal percentage of inclement weather, therefor no safe network should exist in which to bike. Nice logic.

It's all about..... options.

Nobody is advocating biking as the only form of transportation available. Making it viable and safe is nonetheless important.

fflint Feb 22, 2010 11:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 4712934)
here's to san francisco's continuing efforts to promote the bicycle revolution :cheers:

Haha, SF is a total, unreconstructed laggard when it comes to advancing bicycle infastructure, due to NIMBYs who think like BTinSF. Our local manifestation of the ongoing bicycle revolution has been a strictly DIY affair. We're up to 6% of all daily trips in the city now.

urbanlife Feb 22, 2010 11:24 PM

Well John Cook might need to spend some time in Portland, we are proof that weather doesnt matter when it comes to bike commuting...as for the over 50 comment, that is a generalized load of crap, I have seen plenty of people above 50 that bike to work and have legs that could easily kick the crap out of anyone.

What annoys me the most is when car drivers like Cook think that the car is the only form of transportation and expect there to be a parking spot in front of their house and in front of their work for them everyday...they are the same morons that think it is okay to drive in the bike lanes too, we dont drive on the sidewalk and we dont drive in the bike lanes.

Ugh, it is people like this that has made me lose interesting in the Republican Party every year. I am getting to the point that I dont even care what they think anymore because many of them are sounding like they are still stuck in 1950.

M II A II R II K Feb 22, 2010 11:37 PM

Where I'm at bike lanes can appear on just about any of the wider roads by the sidewalk, as for the narrower main roads only on the more residential or less trafficked roads would have them.

Would never see them on the older narrower main routes that are heavily trafficked. There have been movements to get that changed on some of those routes but they never get anywhere.

SpawnOfVulcan Feb 22, 2010 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanlife (Post 4712979)
Well John Cook might need to spend some time in Portland, we are proof that weather doesnt matter when it comes to bike commuting...as for the over 50 comment, that is a generalized load of crap, I have seen plenty of people above 50 that bike to work and have legs that could easily kick the crap out of anyone.

What annoys me the most is when car drivers like Cook think that the car is the only form of transportation and expect there to be a parking spot in front of their house and in front of their work for them everyday...they are the same morons that think it is okay to drive in the bike lanes too, we dont drive on the sidewalk and we dont drive in the bike lanes.

Ugh, it is people like this that has made me lose interesting in the Republican Party every year. I am getting to the point that I dont even care what they think anymore because many of them are sounding like they are still stuck in 1950.

Well, biking may be a great and comfortable thing to do in Portland, but in cities in the Southeast, Mid Atlantic, basically just the East, the heat and humidity from Spring to Fall can be quite unbearable.

That being said, there should still be some more support of biking. Even if you're not gonna have people in business suits and stuff riding them to work, there's not doubt that it will take pressure of roadways, removing people from them that are just on their way to class, more casual jobs, etc...

Nowhereman1280 Feb 23, 2010 12:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BTinSF (Post 4712926)
For a majority of the population--

One might argue the same for the car. Large sections of the population are under 16, too old or too disabled to drive, or, more importantly, unable to afford a vehicle. This is especially true when it comes to cities, cars are wildly expensive to keep in a city and frankly take up too much space. What about the poor who can't drop a few grand on an old beater? What about people who can't afford parking in their building and there is no room on the street.

A bike is a transportation device and an extremely effective one at that when it comes to dense, urban cities. And for that small section of the population that is too old or disabled to ride a bike around there is this little thing called Mass Transit (GASP!) that they can use if they are too uncomfortable driving down roads that are choked with bikes.

Mad_Nick Feb 23, 2010 2:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tredici (Post 4712950)
What type of device it is obviously depends on the purpose it's being used for. Obviously, if you're riding it to work, or class like I do, it's a transportation device. The guy has a point though, it's not exactly a great choice if you're wearing a suit or dress.

Have you ever been to Amsterdam? Wearing a suit or a dress isn't much of a problem.

Cirrus Feb 23, 2010 2:54 AM

This article is actually great news. First of all the article borders on mocking Mr. Cook because even the mainstream media recognizes a fool when they see one, but more importantly, to get this kind of sentiment the news has had to resort to quoting a nobody local politician from the outer suburbs. It wasn't that long ago the US Secretary of Transportation held similar views, but we've come a long way since 2007.

JordanL Feb 23, 2010 3:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BTinSF (Post 4712926)
For a majority of the population--most of those over 50, those who are disabled, those who live too far from work, those who don't have changing facilities at work and need to wear bike-inapproriate clothing at work and those who just don't want to ride a bike--it is NOT a transportation device that is relevant to their lives. That's why I object to cities like my own reducing lanes and road capacity for what remains by far the primary personal transportation device, the motor vehicle, in favor of bikes. A few streets in San Francisco like Valencia (in the Mission District) have become almost impassable to cars with the reduction in lanes needed to create bike lanes and lack of enforcement against double parking and parking in the center (turn) lane.

As far as whether the bike riders feel any love, IMHO they stopped deserving love when they started intentionally blocking streets and disrupting the commutes of the rest of us once a month. Why should anybody love a group that resorts to such selfish, hostile tactics?

The Portland 2030 Bicycle Master Plan (which was just finalized two weeks ago) found via survey that only 30% of Portland residents would NEVER consider a bike for transportation. 50% Would like to bike but feel that it isn't safe enough (even though we have a ludicrously low bicycle fatality rate per trip).

What this tells me is that either Portland citizens are radically different inherently than other people, or viewing a bicycle as a transportation device can be learned and taught.

Portland is a fairly rainy place, and we manage.

In short, this politician is full of it.

Jon Dalton Feb 23, 2010 5:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BTinSF (Post 4712926)
For a majority of the population--most of those over 50, those who are disabled, those who live too far from work, those who don't have changing facilities at work and need to wear bike-inapproriate clothing at work

That's a majority of the population - really? Of course of you include 'just don't want to ride a bike' as a qualifier your subset of people could be anything. Of course less people will want to ride a bike if we make it harder. More people will want to ride a bike if it's safer, if more people are doing it, and if the alternatives become more expensive which is inevitable.

I could just as easily say a 'majority' don't consider cars to be relevant because they are too young or old, can't afford them, don't have a licence, or don't want to deal with ever increasing congestion and operation costs.

Quote:

That's why I object to cities like my own reducing lanes and road capacity for what remains by far the primary personal transportation device, the motor vehicle, in favor of bikes
What you propose is to keep roadspace for the most inefficient, most wasteful and socially detrimental form of transportation, to avoid giving a small fraction to the most efficient transportation ever known. I'm sorry but that's just ass-backwards.

Quote:

As far as whether the bike riders feel any love, IMHO they stopped deserving love when they started intentionally blocking streets and disrupting the commutes of the rest of us once a month. Why should anybody love a group that resorts to such selfish, hostile tactics?
Cars do this to other cars every day.

Cirrus Feb 23, 2010 6:09 PM

I agree that Critical Mass is not doing cycling advocacy any favors, as San Francisco's moratorium on funding cycling infrastructure attests.

However, because cyclists are occasionally obnoxious it does not logically follow that cities should become anti-cycling. If it did, asshole drivers would have required us to outlaw cars long ago.

urbanlife Feb 23, 2010 6:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BTinSF (Post 4712926)
As far as whether the bike riders feel any love, IMHO they stopped deserving love when they started intentionally blocking streets and disrupting the commutes of the rest of us once a month. Why should anybody love a group that resorts to such selfish, hostile tactics?

seriously?? Well then cars stopped deserving any love when I see people in cars not break for pedestrians crossing the street or they dont pay attention to the signs and the paint on the road. The car is not the only thing on the road. I once had some ass complain to me that my city was backwards because we gave two entire roads their own bus lanes because he felt buses were inferior to cars. Car drivers tend to be the most selfish ( a generalization of course) but when you consider how many cars out there commuting only have one person in them, that is kind of a selfish act to produce that much pollution and consume that much energy for one person.

Of course I am not saying all bike riders are saints, I have seen plenty of them over the years that have disobeyed the laws of the road and it doesnt bother me one bit to see them being pulled over by the police (which does happen in Portland), and I have no sympathy for the bike rider that gets hit when they blow through a light. But I do expect those in cars to still pay attention to their surroundings instead of acting like they are the only ones on the road and it is their kingdom and domain.

Steely Dan Feb 23, 2010 6:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanlife (Post 4714230)
I have seen plenty of them over the years that have disobeyed the laws of the road and it doesnt bother me one bit to see them being pulled over by the police (which does happen in Portland),

:laugh:

seriously? the police in portland actually pull over cyclists who break traffic laws? i've never experienced nor witnessed such a thing in chicago, and i've rolled through stop signs directly in front of squad cars before and they just look on or give a wave. bikes are invisible to the CPD, i guess they're just too busy contending with real crime to be bothered with writing up traffic tickets to cyclists.


but i will agree that the critical mass goofballs do FAR more harm than good for advancing the cause of cycling with their boorish, selfish, antagonistic behavior. it's the reason why i don't participate in their rides.

M II A II R II K Feb 23, 2010 6:22 PM

And if they gave them a ticket are they going to force them to show them their ID to be able to ensure they get payment.

Cirrus Feb 23, 2010 6:31 PM

^
Good question. You don't need a license to ride a bike, nor must bikes be registered.

The police in DC don't generally ticket anybody for anything, neither cars nor cyclists. The suburbs are different, but in the city it's pretty much a free-for-all.

urbanlife Feb 23, 2010 6:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 4714253)
And if they gave them a ticket are they going to force them to show them their ID to be able to ensure they get payment.

I would assume they would if they are taking the time to give someone on a bike a ticket, but honestly I cannot answer this question because I tend to obey the laws whenever I am riding my bike.

240glt Feb 23, 2010 6:42 PM

I’ve been a cyclist and advocate of commuter cycling for over a decade now, in fact I just quit a lucrative job that involved tones of car travel in favor of a job downtown and one of the reasons I chose this is so that I can ride my bike to work.

My city has a bit of a dysfunctional cycling network and is arguably one of the most car-centric large cities in Canada, and for some reason people seem to think that for this reason cyclists should not be given the any respect on city streets.

People love to trot out the claim that cyclist should be licenced and insured the same as automobiles are. Cars cause billions of dollars in property damage and kill thousands every year. Cars destroy infrastructure and pollute the environment. Bicycles do none of these things.

As for cyclists breaking traffic laws, well some of those breakages are well justified IMO, mainly for safety reasons as traffic laws are almost uniformly written for cars and are in fact dangerous for cyclists. Just like good drivers, good cyclists always know what's going on around them, not just in front of them. Becuase bikes take up such little room, inattentive drivers often don't see bikes, and cyclists need to take precautions to be visible to drivers. This sometimes involves breaking the law.

One of the best ways for cars and bikes to co-exist is with dedicated bike lanes. Unfortunately in places where there is no room to add infrastructure this means that the cars are going to have to give up a little space. Yes this makes people like BTinSF whine & cry, but the results of such changes are usually less bike-car confrontations, less cyclists getting run down and increased bike use, which ultimately helps drivers as it relieves congestion. Unfortunately drivers are like crack addicts... they won't look at the long term gain and accept some short term pain.

I chalk most of the anger and frustration directed towards cyclists up to simple jealousy and the typical belief that if one person is able to bend a rule because they are riding a 35 lb bicycle and a person driving a 3000lb car cannot, the person driving will feel disadvantaged somehow, causing vitriolic anger to be directed towards cyclists.

To these folks, I get your fat lazy ass out of your car and try being a cyclist among arrogant, aggressive and rude drivers. You’ll change your perspective mighty quick.

niwell Feb 23, 2010 6:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 4714249)
:laugh:

seriously? the police in portland actually pull over cyclists who break traffic laws? i've never experienced nor witnessed such a thing in chicago, and i've rolled through stop signs directly in front of squad cars before and they just look on or give a wave. bikes are invisible to the CPD, i guess they're just too busy contending with real crime to be bothered with writing up traffic tickets to cyclists.


Once a year the police here go on a blitz and ticket almost any bike infraction. This includes tactics like waiting at minor intersections that happen to have a stop sign and nailing people for not having a bell. The rest of the year they don't seem to care at all. The whole process seems to be to placate the "OMG, BIKE LANES ARE A WAR ON THE CAR" crowd.

mwadswor Feb 23, 2010 8:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanlife (Post 4714230)
Of course I am not saying all bike riders are saints, I have seen plenty of them over the years that have disobeyed the laws of the road and it doesnt bother me one bit to see them being pulled over by the police (which does happen in Portland).

IMO, getting police to pay more attention to cyclists would be one of the best things for cycling in this country. Some car driver are just asses, many more view bikes as unsafe or bike riders as asses because bike riders don't feel like the rules of the road apply to them for some reason. I have literally been driving through a green light and had a bike rider cut in front of me (against a red light) and flip me off when my tires squealed because I had to slam on the brakes so hard to avoid hitting him. Sure that was one biker, but that type of thing sticks with you. It was a particularly egregious act, but bike riders ignoring stop signs, traffic lights, going the wrong direction, and generally ignoring the rules of the road in an unsafe way are not uncommon and they do a vast amount of harm to the image of bikes as safe, efficient, and a "real" transportation device. If the police paid more attention to those types of infractions and enforced the rules of the road, bike riders would be safer, their image would improve, and they'd get more respect.

Btw, I have used a bike as my sole means of transportation in the past, I will be biking exclusively next year when I start school again, and I currently ride a motorcycle... I am not coming at this from an exclusively car drivers point of view.

urbanlife Feb 23, 2010 8:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mwadswor (Post 4714456)
IMO, getting police to pay more attention to cyclists would be one of the best things for cycling in this country. Some car driver are just asses, many more view bikes as unsafe or bike riders as asses because bike riders don't feel like the rules of the road apply to them for some reason. I have literally been driving through a green light and had a bike rider cut in front of me (against a red light) and flip me off when my tires squealed because I had to slam on the brakes so hard to avoid hitting him. Sure that was one biker, but that type of thing sticks with you. It was a particularly egregious act, but bike riders ignoring stop signs, traffic lights, going the wrong direction, and generally ignoring the rules of the road in an unsafe way are not uncommon and they do a vast amount of harm to the image of bikes as safe, efficient, and a "real" transportation device. If the police paid more attention to those types of infractions and enforced the rules of the road, bike riders would be safer, their image would improve, and they'd get more respect.

Btw, I have used a bike as my sole means of transportation in the past, I will be biking exclusively next year when I start school again, and I currently ride a motorcycle... I am not coming at this from an exclusively car drivers point of view.

You could replace bike with car in that first paragraph and that would describe what I see people in cars do in Portland each week. I work on one of the few two way streets in downtown Portland and see people not paying attention to the paint on the road and treating it like it is another one way road when they go to pass another car.

I would also assume that you have had cars run red lights and cut you off, does that stick with you too about your opinions towards cars? I simply ask because that is just another way of looking at the same argument. I definitely do not question your intent or history behind such a topic because you do sound like you are someone who does understand both sides of the coin with this.

Actually I should point out that I am more of a casual bike rider and car driver because I live in walking distance to my work and I enjoy listening to my music on my walk, something I couldnt do on bike (though it bothers me when I see people wearing headphones or earbuds while riding a bike or driving a car. :koko: )

mwadswor Feb 23, 2010 8:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanlife (Post 4714474)
You could replace bike with car in that first paragraph and that would describe what I see people in cars do in Portland each week. I work on one of the few two way streets in downtown Portland and see people not paying attention to the paint on the road and treating it like it is another one way road when they go to pass another car.

True, but people have some faith that if someone drives like an ass for long enough they'll get caught. Few cyclists and car drivers think that a cop is going to stop the cyclist, they think the laws just don't apply to them. It makes them unsafe in the eyes of car drivers, which makes them disrespect cyclists and worry about switching even if they could because of the unsafe image. If cops actually regularly policed bike riders riding like morons the way they police car drivers driving like morons, I think they'd have some affect on that image.

Quote:

I would also assume that you have had cars run red lights and cut you off, does that stick with you too about your opinions towards cars?
It didn't stick with me because the guy was an ass, it stuck with me because if I'd been a little bit slower I could have seriously hurt him because of his stupidity. Maybe it's just me, but people messing with me doesn't bother me nearly so much as the idea that I might hurt someone else. Cars cut me off all the time, especially when I'm on my motorcycle, but no I don't see them just blow through clearly red lights or stop signs the way I see many bike riders do.

Cirrus Feb 23, 2010 8:31 PM

Quote:

, getting police to pay more attention to cyclists would be one of the best things for cycling in this country.
A better thing would be to adopt rules that makes sense from the cycling perspective, then pay attention to them.

I agree that cyclists shouldn't be going against red lights to jut in front of cars moving legally through a green, but cyclists might feel less entitled to do that if the law didn't say they have to come to a complete stop at every stop sign. When you're starting and stopping under your own power, that's hard to do - and unnecessary in lightly traveled areas.

So I'm with you, let's enforce the law, but first let's enact laws that make sense. Right now too many of our laws are written with cars in mind, to the exclusion of anything else.

mwadswor Feb 23, 2010 9:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 4714511)
A better thing would be to adopt rules that makes sense from the cycling perspective, then pay attention to them.

I agree that cyclists shouldn't be going against red lights to jut in front of cars moving legally through a green, but cyclists might feel less entitled to do that if the law didn't say they have to come to a complete stop at every stop sign. When you're starting and stopping under your own power, that's hard to do - and unnecessary in lightly traveled areas.

So I'm with you, let's enforce the law, but first let's enact laws that make sense. Right now too many of our laws are written with cars in mind, to the exclusion of anything else.

Agreed.

niwell Feb 24, 2010 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 4714511)
A better thing would be to adopt rules that makes sense from the cycling perspective, then pay attention to them.

I agree that cyclists shouldn't be going against red lights to jut in front of cars moving legally through a green, but cyclists might feel less entitled to do that if the law didn't say they have to come to a complete stop at every stop sign. When you're starting and stopping under your own power, that's hard to do - and unnecessary in lightly traveled areas.

So I'm with you, let's enforce the law, but first let's enact laws that make sense. Right now too many of our laws are written with cars in mind, to the exclusion of anything else.

Idaho (IIRC) has legalized rolling stops for cyclists at stop signs, providing there's no oncoming traffic. They become yield signs, more or less. It makes a ton of sense, particularly in residential areas.

M II A II R II K Feb 24, 2010 12:41 AM

There is also such a thing as riding on parallel more accommodating streets including sidestreets to get where you're going.

mwadswor Feb 24, 2010 12:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by niwell (Post 4715044)
Idaho (IIRC) has legalized rolling stops for cyclists at stop signs, providing there's no oncoming traffic. They become yield signs, more or less. It makes a ton of sense, particularly in residential areas.

Do bicycles have the right of way, or do bicycles still follow the same rules as other vehicles when cars are present?

niwell Feb 24, 2010 1:01 AM

^They follow the same rules when cars are present. It's basically like replacing the stop sign with a yield, so if someone's there already you have to give way.

Nowhereman1280 Feb 24, 2010 4:56 AM

^^^ It should be noted that bikes do have a slightly different status than the car as they are generally allowed to ride between lanes of traffic and parked cars which motorized vehicles are not.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 4714249)
bikes are invisible to the CPD, i guess they're just too busy contending with real crime to be bothered with writing up traffic tickets to cyclists.

I've actually seen a bike get pulled over before, but it was a stupid hipster who almost hit a car cause he was riding on the sidewalk and ignored the orange hand symbol. It was a bike cop that pulled him over. In general it is the bike cops who will enforce on your ass if you are on a bike, I am sure to follow all traffic laws when I see them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 4714277)
^
Good question. You don't need a license to ride a bike, nor must bikes be registered.

In Chicago its actually law that you must have identification on you when riding a bike on city streets. So you kinda have to have an ID or a Drivers License here in Chicago.

niwell Feb 24, 2010 5:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 4715515)
In Chicago its actually law that you must have identification on you when riding a bike on city streets. So you kinda have to have an ID or a Drivers License here in Chicago.

When you're stopped here you're supposed to provided ID but as far as I know there's no law saying so. Some bike advocates have suggested not providing your drivers license as ID since the occasional overzealous cop will try and charge you under the traffic act with demerits(they can't do that legally, only fine you). Sometimes when I go out for a ride around the neighbourhood I don't even think about bringing ID or money so it would suck if I got stopped. But then again I actually follow all traffic rules except for rolling stops at stop signs if there's no traffic.

miketoronto Feb 24, 2010 3:11 PM

Provide the spaces and make it easy and it is amazing how some people will choose to bike for their commute.
I am amazed for example that even now in the winter, how many bikes are parked at my local commuter rail station. Since they put in the bike parking, a number of people now bike to the rail station.

As a bike rider, I have to say that I do not commute to work by bike(although that could change as I am now a 15 min bike ride from work, and I do not have to wear a suit). However I do use my bike sometimes for small errands, such as going to the bank, or going to a friends house who lives like a 10 min bike ride away. Or I even will bike ride up to the restaurant, to have a drink with friends.

So biking is not all about commuting to the office. Over half of our daily trips are not work related, and for many a bike could work, as our non-work trips tend to be very very close to home.

tallboy66 Feb 24, 2010 9:54 PM

I'm working on 5 years without a car, I borrowed my dads for one year because the job was 28 miles one way and a 45 minute drive in good weather.

I've used my bike to get to work in 3 cities over the past 4 years, it doesn't rain all the time and we have raincoats.
It's not sweaty hot all the time.
There were times when I drove that the walk across the parking lot or to the garage on a hot summer day would make me just as sweaty as riding, not including the time it took to get the air conditioning to cool off or the wind to circulate through the windows in rush hour traffic.

As far as critical mass I have not seen or participated in any violence or obnoxious behavior, it's the a-holes in the S-class, Hummer, Range Rover... that are hyper aggressive and NEEDS to get to the burb's an hour and half away that gets pissed because 300 bikes making them wait an extra 5 minutes once a month :rolleyes: wahhh!

When riding a bike YOU make a mistake I'm hurt or dead. I make a mistake I'm hurt or dead.

Steely Dan Feb 24, 2010 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tallboy66 (Post 4716584)
As far as critical mass I have not seen or participated in any violence or obnoxious behavior, it's the a-holes in the S-class, Hummer, Range Rover... that are hyper aggressive and NEEDS to get to the burb's an hour and half away that gets pissed because 300 bikes making them wait an extra 5 minutes once a month :rolleyes: wahhh!

for chicago, critcal mass rides are more on the order of 5,000 riders and block all traffic for up to 15 minutes and leave ungodly gridlock in their wake.

to me, that just doesn't seem like a sensible way to build bridges between the motoring and cycling communities. (and realize that i say this as an avid cyclist and daily bike commuter who hasn't owned a car in a decade).

urbanlife Feb 24, 2010 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 4716595)
for chicago, critcal mass rides are more on the order of 5,000 riders and block all traffic for up to 15 minutes and leave ungodly gridlock in their wake.

to me, that just doesn't seem like a sensible way to build bridges between the motoring and cycling communities. (and realize that i say this as an avid cyclist and daily bike commuter who hasn't owned a car in a decade).

solution, get rid of cars in urban areas. :notacrook:

lawfin Feb 24, 2010 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 4715515)
^^^ It should be noted that bikes do have a slightly different status than the car as they are generally allowed to ride between lanes of traffic and parked cars which motorized vehicles are not.



I've actually seen a bike get pulled over before, but it was a stupid hipster who almost hit a car cause he was riding on the sidewalk and ignored the orange hand symbol. It was a bike cop that pulled him over. In general it is the bike cops who will enforce on your ass if you are on a bike, I am sure to follow all traffic laws when I see them.



In Chicago its actually law that you must have identification on you when riding a bike on city streets. So you kinda have to have an ID or a Drivers License here in Chicago.

Leave the lawyerin' to the lawyers

From Chicago Municipal Code

9-52-010 Rights and duties.

(a) Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by the laws of this state declaring rules of the road applicable to vehicles or by the traffic ordinances of this city applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as to those provisions of laws and ordinances which by their nature can have no application.

(b) The regulations in the traffic code applicable to bicycles shall apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any roadway or public sidewalk or upon any public path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, subject to those exceptions stated herein.

(c) Whenever authorized signs are erected indicating that no right or left turn or turn in the opposite direction is permitted, no person operating a bicycle shall disobey the direction of any such sign unless he dismounts from the bicycle to make the turn, in which event he shall then obey the regulations applicable to pedestrians.

(d) Every person who violates any provision of this chapter regulating bicycles shall be fined $25.00.

(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 11-5-08, p. 43682, § 1)
9-52-020 Riding bicycles on sidewalks and certain roadways.

(a) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district.

(b) No person 12 or more years of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district, unless such sidewalk has been officially designated and marked as a bicycle route.

(c) Bicycles shall not be operated on Lake Shore Drive or on any roadway where the operation of bicycles has been prohibited and signs have been erected indicating such prohibition.

(d) Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-52-021 Riding bicycles on sidewalks – Penalty.

(a) The penalty for any person age 18 and older who rides a bicycle on the sidewalk adjacent to North Sheridan Road, between West Ardmore Avenue and West Sheridan Road (6400 north) shall be as follows:

(1) the bicycle shall be temporarily disabled without permanent damage; and

(2) the violator shall be subject to a fine of $50.00.

(b) Following passage and approval, this section shall be in force and effect upon posting of signage notifying bicyclists of the penalty for violation of this section.

(Added Coun. J. 2-6-02, p. 79154, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 6-4-03, p. 2538, § 1)
9-52-030 Speed of bicycles.

No person shall operate a bicycle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.

(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-52-040 Yielding right-of-way.

(a) The operator of a bicycle emerging from an alley, driveway or building shall, upon approaching a sidewalk or the sidewalk area extending across any alleyway, yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians approaching on the sidewalk or sidewalk area and, upon entering the roadway, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway.

(b) Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.

(c) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right- hand side of the roadway, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction and at all times giving the right-of-way to other moving vehicles.

(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-52-050 Riding in single file required – Exceptions.

Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride other than single file except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-52-060 Carrying articles on bicycles.

No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the rider from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.

(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-52-070 Parking.

No person shall park a bicycle upon a street other than upon the roadway against the curb or upon the sidewalk against a rack, parking meter or sign pole to support the bicycle or against a building or at the curb in such manner as to afford the least obstruction to pedestrian traffic.

(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 7-21-04, p. 28659, § 1)
9-52-071 Abandoned bicycles.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon any bicycle on any public way within the city. A bicycle shall be deemed abandoned if it: (1) is in such a state of disrepair as to be incapable of being operated in its present condition, or (2) has not been moved or used in more than seven days and bears physical indicia of having been deserted.

(b) Any bicycle deemed abandoned pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may have a notice affixed to it which informs the bicycle's owner that the bicycle appears to be abandoned. The commissioner of transportation or his designee is authorized to affix such notices upon bicycles. This notice shall indicate:

(1) a telephone number for the owner to call to inform the department of transportation that the bicycle is not abandoned; and

(2) the date after which the bicycle may be removed if it is not claimed by its owner.

A bicycle shall not be deemed to be abandoned if the owner of the bicycle, within seven days of the affixing of a notice of abandonment, notifies the department of transportation that the bicycle is not abandoned.

(c) If a bicycle is not relocated or claimed by its owner within seven days of the affixing of a notice of abandonment, that bicycle may be removed and disposed of by the commissioner of transportation or his designee.

(Added Coun. J. 7-21-04, p. 28659, § 1)
9-52-080 Headlamps, reflectors and brakes.

(a) Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a head lamp which shall emit a white light visible from a minimum distance of 500 feet from the front and with a rear red reflector capable of reflecting the head lamp beams of an approaching motor vehicle back to the operator of such vehicle at distances up to 200 feet or a rear lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of at least 200 feet from the rear.

(b) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake that will enable the operator to make the braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-52-090 Riding regulations.

(a) A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.

(b) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.

(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-52-100 Parents or legal guardians responsibility.

No parent or legal guardian of any child shall authorize or knowingly permit the child to violate any of the provisions of this chapter applicable to bicycles.

9-120-010 Definition.

The word “bicycle” as used in this chapter means every vehicle propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, having at least two tandem wheels either of which is 20 inches or over in diameter.

(Prior code § 29.1-1; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-120-020 Registration.

It is hereby made the duty of the owner of every bicycle, before operating or permitting the operation of the same upon any public way within the city, to register said vehicle with the commissioner of police on a form provided for such purpose.

Registration may be accomplished by filing the registration record or form, duly filled out, in the office of the commander of the police district in which the bicycle owner resides, or by mailing said form, duly filled out, postage prepaid, to the commissioner of police.


(Prior code § 29.1-2; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-120-030 Registration record.

The registration record shall be in size and style as prescribed by the commissioner of police and shall contain the date of registration, the make, serial number, model and description of the bicycle registered, the name and residence address of the owner, the signature of the owner, the owner's age, and if such owner is under 21 years of age, the name and address of his or her parent or guardian, the name and address of the person from whom purchased, the date of purchase, and such additional information as the commissioner of police may require.

(Prior code § 29.1-3; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-120-040 Sale or transfer.

Upon the sale or transfer of any bicycle registered hereunder, it shall be the duty of the purchaser, within ten days of the date of such sale or transfer, to register such bicycle in his name in manner provided for in the case of an original registrant.

(Prior code § 29.1-4; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-120-050 Alteration of serial number prohibited.

It shall be unlawful to destroy, remove, alter, cover or deface the manufacturer's serial number on any bicycle. It shall be unlawful for any person to own or have custody of a bicycle, the original manufacturer's serial number of which has been destroyed, removed, altered, covered or defaced. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall be fined not more than $200.00 for each offense.

(Prior code § 29.1-5; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-120-060 Traffic regulations to apply.

No person shall operate any bicycle upon the public ways or other places in this city in violation of any of the applicable provisions of Title 9 of this Code.

(Prior code § 29.1-6; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-120-070 Rental agencies.

A rental agency shall not rent or offer any bicycle for rent unless the bicycle is registered in accordance with the requirements of this chapter providing therefor.

(Prior code § 29.1-7; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-120-080 Bicycle dealers.

Every person engaged in the business of buying or selling new or second hand bicycles shall make a report to the commissioner of police of every bicycle purchased or sold by such dealer, giving the name and address of the person from whom purchased or to whom sold, a description of such bicycle by name or make, the frame number thereof, and the registration number, if any, found thereon.

mwadswor Feb 24, 2010 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lawfin (Post 4716631)
(Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634)
9-52-021 Riding bicycles on sidewalks – Penalty.

(a) The penalty for any person age 18 and older who rides a bicycle on the sidewalk adjacent to North Sheridan Road, between West Ardmore Avenue and West Sheridan Road (6400 north) shall be as follows:

(1) the bicycle shall be temporarily disabled without permanent damage; and

That seems a little harsh. What moving violation in a car carries a penalty of having the car disabled? Towed away maybe.

hammersklavier Feb 25, 2010 2:12 AM

Well, when you think about it, isn't being towed away a form of temporary disablement?

lawfin Feb 25, 2010 4:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mwadswor (Post 4716673)
That seems a little harsh. What moving violation in a car carries a penalty of having the car disabled? Towed away maybe.

This is a direct result of the peculiar urban form of this area and its demographics (largely elderly at least of time of this passage)

There were collisions with bicyclists and elderly....of course in such a collision which could involve broken bones could be life threatening. Additionally the sidewalks offered a straight shot to the Lake Path...hence they drew heavy traffic


It is a pretty steep penalty....but it did not arise ex nihilo

Cirrus Feb 25, 2010 7:46 PM

Quote:

The penalty for any person age 18 and older who rides a bicycle on the sidewalk adjacent to North Sheridan Road, between West Ardmore Avenue and West Sheridan Road (6400 north) shall be as follows:
I assume the street on North Sheridan Road, between West Ardmore Avenue and West Sheridan Road is a safe one to cycle on. It had better be.

Steely Dan Feb 25, 2010 7:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cirrus (Post 4718335)
I assume the street on North Sheridan Road, between West Ardmore Avenue and West Sheridan Road is a safe one to cycle on. It had better be.

no, that stretch of sheridan is wickedly dangerous for bikes. it's extremely busy because it's right where LSD ends and it has two narrow lanes in each direction, and cars doing 45mph. because it's so dangerous, and because it's right at the end of the lakefront bike trail, lots of cyclists were using the sidewalks along sheridan instead, this in an area FILLED with elderly people out walking around and it was just a recipe for disaster. so instead the city has made it so cyclists must use the much calmer side streets immediately to the west of sheridan that have dedicated bike lanes.

it's a solution that makes a lot of sense, and it is even well marked with signs, but some cyclists still don't seem to get it (or don't want to get it) and insist on riding on sheridan or the sidewalks along it, hence the seemingly draconian punishment.

fflint Feb 25, 2010 8:19 PM

I'm generally laissez-faire about urban cycling practices--I average about 15 miles per day, all of it in central SF--but I absolutely detest sidewalk cycling. I never do it, and I refuse to tolerate it in others. Maybe in a city where nobody walks it might--might--be defensible, but not in a city like San Francisco or Chicago.

240glt Feb 25, 2010 8:25 PM

^^ I am not familiar with that area, but I've seen similar situations here in Edmonton Alberta and the primary reason cyclists won't use the side streets is because it usually involves stopping every block or two for a stop sign, being re-routed to pedestrian crossings at major intersections with major roads and being forced to switch roles between cyclist and pedestrian to get across major streets.

Cities figure they'll just run a bike route down a quiet side street without thinking about the implications to someone trying to actually get anywhere on a bike. ROutes like this may be fine for my folks who toodle along on their city cruisers at a liesurely pace, but when I ride my road bike I put on anywhere between 50 & 100k's in a session. Hard to do when you're stopping every 30 seconds, & it sounds like that's what may be happenning in your case

I certainly don't believe that bikes should be on sidewalks, but it can take some balls to ride on street in heavy traffic. I'm confident enough in my cycling abilities that I bike on street pretty mcuh everywhere, but for those who are not as brave, options need to exist.

Steely Dan Feb 25, 2010 8:33 PM

^ for the specific case of that stretch of sheridan road in chicago's edgewater neighborhood, the side street bypass is really quite easy, and even though it has stop signs at every intersection, i roll right through them unless there's opposing traffic (all side street intersections in chicago are 4 way stops, so rolling through them without traffic is easily and safely done). besides, if you're on sheridan, you'd just have to contend with stop lights at every intersection anyway, so you're not gonna get through that stretch any faster, unless you run the red lights.

i bike that stretch everyday as it's part of my commute, and the bypass bike lanes on the side streets to the immediate west work very well and are a shit-ton safer than trying to fight the traffic zoo on sheridan road. at rush hour it's just too busy and crazy for bikes, all the cars are just immediately getting off of an expressway or fighting with each other to get on the expressway (LSD). it's nuts. though i do occasionally see some goofball attempt to bike it. i too am comfortable riding with traffic on busy streets, but that particular stretch of sheridan seems like it has "death wish" written all over it.

KevinFromTexas Feb 25, 2010 9:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 4712932)
The bicycle is obviously a transportation device, and one that was on our streets before cars were even invented.

Or motorcycles, or buses, or street cars, or of course airplanes. I think the only two forms of transportation that are older than bicycles are boats and trains.

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint
I'm generally laissez-faire about urban cycling practices--I average about 15 miles per day, all of it in central SF--but I absolutely detest sidewalk cycling. I never do it, and I refuse to tolerate it in others. Maybe in a city where nobody walks it might--might--be defensible, but not in a city like San Francisco or Chicago.

I have to admit that I used to when I first got back into bike riding, but have since quit. Once I started riding in the street, I never looked back to riding on the sidewalks. It's safer for many, many reasons, and faster. Of course my reason for riding on sidewalks back then in the first place was a habit I formed while I was a teen riding my bike all over the place, even on busy streets, so I just always took to the sidewalk whenever there was one. Ironically, my street doesn't have them, and they're fairly rare on the smaller residential streets in this area. It's funny, but it's actually most of the suburban subdivisions now that have sidewalks everywhere. Of course no one uses them. :laugh:

Quote:

Originally Posted by tredici
The guy has a point though, it's not exactly a great choice if you're wearing a suit or dress.

I disagree. I saw a cute girl riding a bike last summer in a sun dress. It was awesome. :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan
bikes are invisible to the CPD, i guess they're just too busy contending with real crime to be bothered with writing up traffic tickets to cyclists.

I rode up to the convenience store in my neighborhood last week, and I saw this middle aged guy who looked like Neil Young pushing a beach cruiser with a gasoline engine on it up to the gas pumps. After I came out of the store I rode over to him to ask him about his bike. He said he loves it, it gets 100 miles to a tank, goes 35 mph, and he never gets bugged by the cops. I actually asked him if the police ever give him trouble. He said no, never, and that it was part of the point of having it. All you have to have on your bikes here are lights. And yes, the police do apparently enforce that. They don't bug you about anything else though.

By the way, Austin is in the process of designing a few "bike boulevards" in downtown. They're really just wider bike lanes coupled with some other traffic slowing measures.

If you're interested in reading up on it, here are some articles.

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/conte...eces_bicy.html

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/...et-183748.html

http://www.austin360.com/blogs/conte...logs_road_rash

niwell Feb 25, 2010 9:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 4718389)
I'm generally laissez-faire about urban cycling practices--I average about 15 miles per day, all of it in central SF--but I absolutely detest sidewalk cycling. I never do it, and I refuse to tolerate it in others. Maybe in a city where nobody walks it might--might--be defensible, but not in a city like San Francisco or Chicago.

I can tolerate it in some cases in the suburbs such as northern Keele St in Toronto. It's fairly narrow, has a high volume of truck traffic and next to nobody on the sidewalks. Also with the proviso that anyone doing this ride much more slowly than usual. Even a hardcore bike activist friend of mine rode on the sidewalk for a short stretch of this roadway to get to our suburban University (this is a person who taught cycling safety classes and is usually vehemently opposed to sidewalk riding).

But anywhere in the central city? No freaking way. I'm always tempted to push people over when they bike past me on sidewalks near my place. I ride on the streets all the time and it's both faster and safer than the sidewalk despite the lack of a bike lane. Although the media in this city often portrays cyclists as young people with complete disregard for the law the average sidewalk cyclist I see is over 50.


Quote:

Originally Posted by 240glt (Post 4718402)
Cities figure they'll just run a bike route down a quiet side street without thinking about the implications to someone trying to actually get anywhere on a bike. ROutes like this may be fine for my folks who toodle along on their city cruisers at a liesurely pace, but when I ride my road bike I put on anywhere between 50 & 100k's in a session. Hard to do when you're stopping every 30 seconds, & it sounds like that's what may be happenning in your case

Yep. People who don't commute by bike tend to think that bike lanes on side streets are an excellent idea. One of Toronto's mayoral candidates seems to be basing his entire platform on this. The reality of course is that it's far faster to use major streets - for the same reason it's faster to drive places on them. Even in older areas with grid patterns you have to contend with frequents stops. What's even worse is having to cross a major street from a minor one since usually there aren't any lights and you have to wait for the gap. On a major road any dangerous crossing has lights.

I feel the same way about recreational bike paths as well. Some cities love to brag about what great cycling infrastructure they have due to extensive pathway networks (Calgary and Ottawa come to mind). Pathways are great for weekend rides, but often don't follow the fastest way to get anywhere when it comes to commuting. For example in Ottawa it took me around 20 minutes to get downtown on-street but over 30 by taking the river pathway.

Not saying that pathway systems or side-street lanes shouldn't exist (they should), just that cities can't rely on them as primary cycling infrastructure.

Steely Dan Feb 25, 2010 9:40 PM

^ your post makes me smile because i commute 30 miles everyday using chicago's lakefront bike path and side street bike lane systems, though once i'm in evanston i stick to the major streets. people think side streets are slow to ride on because you have to stop at every block, but in chicago i only stop if there are other cars at the intersection, but if there are no cars, then i roll right through because all chicago side street intersections are all way stops. my one way ride is 15 miles and i can do it anywhere from 50-65 minutes depending on a few major traffic lights and, most importantly, wind. so that's still a 14-18 mph overall average, which is good for urban bike commuting.

and if anyone wants to bring their bike to chicago and attempt to bike the stretch of sheridan road in question, you'll quickly see that it's a bit of a special case and that it is not just any old ordinary busy street. it's a freaking zoo at rush hours because of the overwhelming crush of cars trying to get on and off LSD right there at hollywood.


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