Author Topic: Bike Lanes  (Read 5754 times)

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Offline Toaster

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Bike Lanes
« on: November 22, 2010, 06:54:13 pm »
A NY Times article about protests against bike lanes in NY

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/nyregion/23bicycle.html?src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB

"The Republican nominee for governor of Colorado, Dan Maes, wondered during the primary whether bicycles were part of a plot to ruin the nationís cities. "

What?
Just try and step to UND Cycling if you wanna test your luck.

Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2010, 08:14:41 pm »
wawaaggffgfaeaeafgaeaeaahahahahahahahahahahhaha

Make bike lanes political and you will be destroyed.  With u-locks.
JUST EXTRA POLISH. I DO SOME WORK WITH EXCELL SO I KEEP THE CAPS LOCK ON :-P

Offline Toaster

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2010, 08:32:39 pm »

Make bike lanes political and you (emphasis added) will be destroyed.  With u-locks.

Who? me or the guy from Colorado?
Just try and step to UND Cycling if you wanna test your luck.

Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2010, 08:52:44 pm »
The guy from Colorado, obviously.

Unless it's DC.  He dislikes bike lanes heartily.
JUST EXTRA POLISH. I DO SOME WORK WITH EXCELL SO I KEEP THE CAPS LOCK ON :-P

Offline Plantains

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2010, 10:15:34 pm »
Hey don't make me into a villain! I think bike lanes are a solution to a problem that shouldn't exist. Don't be naive, cycling advocacy has always been political, that's why people advocate. But the sad reality of it all is that not enough "cycling aged people" vote in this country for it to make a difference.

Re: Bike lanes though. This article highlights many of my concerns.
1. People should be sharing the road.
This starts with both motorist AND cyclist education of how the traffic system works. Frankly, there is none of that and it would solve SO many more problems than just how a bicycle and a motor vehicle should or COULD coexist.

2. Bike lanes do NOT promote bicycle safety.
They instead promote a false sense of security and in fact generally create a greater divide between the motoring and cycling community. You see many small businesses complaining that parking had to be removed to place a bike lane on one road (in that article) as well as the difficulty of deliveries. In a city, people should recognize that delivery trucks don't just park in a parking lot, they "parallel park" to drop off their goods. A bike lane restricts this by offering the motorist the option of blocking the bike lane (and getting a hefty fine) whether its in use or not, or blocking the road and pissing off tens of dozens of people?

If instead they left the road as is and both cyclists and motorists were properly educated, they could simply conduct "business as usual" and a cyclist would meander along on their merry way. No motorists would be cursing the lack of parking, no business owners would be cursing the fact that they had to have their customers park 2 blocks away so that 1 cyclist could go by every 20 minutes, etc. etc. etc.

Furthermore, since bicycle lanes are often simply added without any form of instruction or understanding, motorists have no idea how to operate with them. This CREATES the situation for one of the most dangerous crashes between a motorist and a cyclist, the right cross. If there were no bike lane, the motorist would operate the same as they were taught (after all, why would someone be passing on the right ::) ) and the cyclist (who accepts much greater risk) would operate as they should, cautious of a large piece of machinery.

My point all around is that while there are many good reasons for a bike lane, many of them are a reactive afterthought. If someone simply took the time to educate themselves on how to safely and legally operate both a motor vehicle and a bicycle people would understand exactly what was happening and many fewer people would be enraged by a spot on the road (that oh by the way, every cyclist wants to tout at every moment they possibly can that we should be "sharing") that is "only for cars" and "only for bicycles".

I'm not "against" a bike lane for any other reason than I think I have good, logical reasons why they don't help out and may in fact hinder what we're all trying to accomplish.

We're trying to have a society here people!
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Offline Plantains

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2010, 10:16:56 pm »
That all said, I don't feel anyone has really presented a good argument for why a bike lane "helps" in any way? And those reasons only scratch the surface, I could get into the enforcement issues, the costs, etc. etc. etc.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2010, 10:19:44 pm »
I like bananas.
JUST EXTRA POLISH. I DO SOME WORK WITH EXCELL SO I KEEP THE CAPS LOCK ON :-P

Offline sanders

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2010, 10:37:21 pm »
The only problem i do see a problem with bikes on roads without a shoulder or bike lane is that you have cars going 35+ mi's per hour and bikes going when commuting 15mph to 25mph. That creates a huge difference in speed and makes a dangerous scenario with the driver behind the cyclist to slightly move over in the other lane to potentially meet with another oncoming car, or slow down quickly and possibly get rearended by the car behind him (who does not know there is a biker on the road).

Im not trying to hate on bikes on the road, they have a right to be there. I personally think adding bike lanes create a better more inviting cycling community than one without bike lanes. Though I see your point dave with them interfering with parking because it happens here all the time. though i think if the bike lanes were properly designed this could be work around.
Alone you are an athlete but on a bike you are a rocket

Offline Plantains

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2010, 10:55:46 pm »
The only problem i do see a problem with bikes on roads without a shoulder or bike lane is that you have cars going 35+ mi's per hour and bikes going when commuting 15mph to 25mph. That creates a huge difference in speed and makes a dangerous scenario with the driver behind the cyclist to slightly move over in the other lane to potentially meet with another oncoming car, or slow down quickly and possibly get rearended by the car behind him (who does not know there is a biker on the road).

Im not trying to hate on bikes on the road, they have a right to be there. I personally think adding bike lanes create a better more inviting cycling community than one without bike lanes. Though I see your point dave with them interfering with parking because it happens here all the time. though i think if the bike lanes were properly designed this could be work around.

Well, yes. Your point on giving cyclists room on the shoulder. Many roads that have bike lanes installed are installing them for awareness and safety. There is often plenty of room for cyclists to ride, since there is room for a motorist to open their doors to exit their parked vehicle. This certainly isn't "safe" because cyclists need to dodge car doors etc. but by the same accord, installing a bike lane by removing parking makes deliveries and handicapped drop offs less safe, so who is worth more as a citizen? A delivery man making an honest living? A disabled person? Or a cyclist? (Don't answer that btw)

On the other hand, if the road can be widened, then it's a slightly different story. This comes with no inconvenience to many people because they can park and drive, and we can ride without conflict (generally) however there's still the issue of the false sense of security, which brings me to your second point. Getting more people out riding.

By bringing more people out to ride in a case like this, you aren't getting hardcore traffic savvy cyclists out on the road, you're getting the casual cyclists popping out. These are the "we don't need helmets or lights because we only ride at 5mph" types of people. These however, are the people that are the MOST susceptible to the right cross and other traffic accidents because of 1. their lack of riding skills, and 2. their lack of knowledge of the cyclist/motorist relationship.

So by installing a bicycle lane we've invited more people out onto the road that otherwise wouldn't be there. Fine, but there are more UNeducated people out now which creates a safety concern rather than promoting safe riding, for both a motorist and an avid cyclist (cite: how many times have you seen people riding the wrong way in a bike lane?)

This is where the bike path (greenway) enters. THIS is the solution to the problems that the bike lane is trying to solve. It gets more people out riding, it gets people that have poor handling skills/no idea what they're doing at all off of the street, and provides a "sheltered" environment for them to do whatever it is that people do on bike paths?

Again I'll bring in the point of education. Bike path's are not for people "like us", or I should say, they aren't designed for people like us. A cyclist on a purpose built bicycle belongs on the road. Your casual rider (say 90% of the cycling community) belongs on a bike path (I shouldn't say belongs... I mean a bike path is designed for them to use).

I'm not sure if it's the same here, but as I've mentioned many times... in NY, roadies are discouraged from using bike paths (there is a posted 15mph speed limit) because of the same reasons you mentioned earlier... that is the speed of a car vs a cyclist. In this case the cyclist vs. a pedestrian or dog. In Grand Forks, I see this abused moreso than in NY, and part of that is the way that a "bike path" is advertised. I commend gfk in the way they've named the path system "the greenway" as it doesn't provide that false advertising that suggests that cyclists should use it as a race track. If you're one of these people though, don't worry... in my younger days I often used our bike paths in NY as a race track. Looking back... not one of my finer moments.
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Offline Plantains

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2010, 11:04:55 pm »
If you follow this link: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Mckinley+Parkway&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wl

You can see an example of the bike lane with parked vehicles on Mckinley Parkway (which for those of you keeping score is part of the Olmsted parks system) You'll probably need to turn labels off. This runs from uptown (Elmwood village) to midtown (Allentown) with lanes like this. (and yes, it's named after the President that was assassinated there.)

I've ridden it many times, and it's quite heavily trafficked. It's FANTASTIC for cycling though because it uses roundabouts (which are tricky if you're tired) so there are no signals! Heading back uptown it's slightly downhill too which is baller. You can easily pace traffic! Oh god. so good.
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Offline sanders

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2010, 11:17:18 pm »
so where does the Commuter fit in if you bike to work or to the grocery store, etc.  if the bike path doesn't lead the right direction and riding in the middle of traffic would not be the best decision.
Alone you are an athlete but on a bike you are a rocket

Offline Plantains

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2010, 12:11:40 am »
Well why would you be riding in the middle of traffic? The commuter fits in exactly where they were designed to fit in... on the road. Roads weren't built for cars, they were built for bicycles and modified for cars. This is why its important to educate both cyclists and motorists alike. The #1 reason people aren't going to ride on the road is because they're afraid. Generally people fear what they don't understand and as such if a commuter became aware of how to utilize their bicycle in a safe manner, and knew that other motorists had also learned how to cope with cyclists, the problem solves itself.

You have to understand that the percentage of people that are commuting from say Grand Forks to Merrifield type of commutes is probably less than a tenth of a percent nation wide. The commuters are inner city where there is plenty of room to ride. In fact, I'm more comfortable riding my bicycle in the city than in the suburbs, because city drivers are generally more savvy to such objects as bicycles.

Good examples. From my house in the suburbs if I wanted to ride my road bike. I can take all sorts of roads, all types (with and without shoulders, with and without parked cars) straight out to the "country" and be on county roads in maybe 20 minutes ride time. Conversly, I could also be downtown in maybe 30 minutes ride time using the same types of roads. No bike paths, no bike lanes. Its just more about choosing your route wisely than anything else.

The reason you drive down a major thoroughfare is because its faster or more efficient. But on a bicycle, it's more efficient to take a less traveled road that parallels this thoroughfare. An example here would be riding along side streets on the way to the bike shop instead of on columbia and 17th. We can get there just as fast, and much safer via those side streets. But those same side streets are useless to a car. That's how I (and probably Yost (when he did)) and anyone else gets around on a bicycle. And it's largely the same the world over where cycling is very popular.

And even if there were bike lanes, they would be on a major thoroughfare (like University) and what would they accomplish? Removing a lane to make it less convenient for motorists and as such giving motorists reason more to dislike cyclists, or creating a false sense of security by assuming that a painted white line between you and a car is some sort of force field that stops a 2 ton vehicle from killing you and makes little baby bunny rabbits run along side your bicycle shooting rainbows out of their butts and making the world a happy place.

A bike lane isn't sharing the road, it's dividing it into my half and your half.
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Offline Plantains

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2010, 12:15:32 am »
And also, then you'd be suggesting that we should route a bike path or bike lane (don't mix the two up because they're very different) to every single popular business?

Then people would complain that there's no grass, or too many bushes for rapists to hide behind or something. Just nip it all in the butt and teach people how to work things. Road tests in this country last like 10 minutes. If both my grandmother and my father have drivers licenses, i'm convinced that I could teach an intelligent dog how to drive. Maybe we could take our driving a little more seriously (like every other country on the planet) and maybe, oh I don't know, TEACH SOMETHING USEFUL?!?!! lol... how many people even got ASKED what to do if there was a cyclist coming the other way at any point on a road test or driving class? Exactly.
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Offline Plantains

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2010, 12:16:28 am »
I like bananas.

I'm still mad at you for painting me as the bad guy. I'm going to start telling people you voted for Bush. Twice!  ;D
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 12:17:09 am by Plantains »
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2010, 07:58:49 am »
:)

Glad to see you're a lot more relaxed now that you're done flying.
JUST EXTRA POLISH. I DO SOME WORK WITH EXCELL SO I KEEP THE CAPS LOCK ON :-P

Offline redtailin

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2010, 09:35:24 am »
3 gears of single speed....sit, stand, walk.

Offline Plantains

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2010, 09:37:40 am »
Please stop reading everything I say as yelling. I was not yelling. I'm not mad. I have points and arguments and I made them.

And to clarify, flying doesn't make me mad, UNDs ridiculousness makes me mad.
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Offline Bedwyr

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2010, 09:48:57 am »
Please stop reading everything I say as yelling. I was not yelling. I'm not mad. I have points and arguments and I made them.

And to clarify, flying doesn't make me mad, UNDs ridiculousness makes me mad.


UND's silliness?  Pfft.  Child's play.  So two friends at Pinnacle, one at Great Lakes, and one at American Eagle tell me. 

Offline sanders

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2010, 10:06:39 am »
Roads weren't built for cars, they were built for bicycles and modified for cars.

I beg to differ, I took a transportation engineering course and guess how much we talked about bikes and designing roads for cars and bicycles?  yep you guessed it never...

Now just cause im on the messageboard and things get taken out of context....don't take this as i don't think bikes should be on the road because they should,  just stating a point about design process of roads and what they are teaching students   

Alone you are an athlete but on a bike you are a rocket

Offline redtailin

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Re: Bike Lanes
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2010, 10:13:10 am »
DC you know i love you and like to ruffle your feathers.
3 gears of single speed....sit, stand, walk.

 

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