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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2010, 10:50 PM
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Urban Cycling Developments

When a Bicycle Isn't a Transportation Device


Feb 22, 2010

By TENEILLE GIBSON



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.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2010, 10:58 PM
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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?
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2010, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
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
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Old Posted Feb 22, 2010, 11:17 PM
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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.
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Old Posted Feb 22, 2010, 11:23 PM
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here's to san francisco's continuing efforts to promote the bicycle revolution
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.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2010, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
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.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2010, 3:13 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
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.
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2010, 5:55 PM
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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.
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2010, 6:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
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.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2010, 6:20 PM
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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),


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.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2010, 6:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post


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.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2010, 8:00 PM
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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.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2010, 8:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mwadswor View Post
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. )
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2010, 8:23 PM
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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.
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Old Posted Feb 22, 2010, 11:01 PM
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The bicycle is obviously a transportation device, and one that was on our streets before cars were even invented.
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Old Posted Feb 25, 2010, 9:28 PM
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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.

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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.

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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
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Old Posted Apr 16, 2010, 1:54 AM
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The bicycle is obviously a transportation device, and one that was on our streets before cars were even invented.
So is the horse. So what?
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  #18  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2010, 4:17 AM
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So is the horse. So what?
I think... that... was kind of his point.

New inventions don't retroactively invalidate the classification of their predecessors. A transportation device that is used less or ceases to be used is nevertheless... a transportation device!
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Old Posted Apr 16, 2010, 5:12 AM
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So is the horse. So what?
So...everything I wrote. Is it your contention there's no controversy about the lack of sufficient bike infrastructure on American streets? Or that bikes and horses are equally used in American cities for transportation? What point are you trying to make?
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Old Posted Aug 10, 2018, 5:53 AM
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The bicycle is obviously a transportation device, and one that was on our streets before cars were even invented.
Yes, you are right!!
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