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    Its not obvious that what the cycling instructor did stopped the motorist from plowing into them. What’s obvious is that the motorist stopped their car from hitting the cycling instructor by pressing on the brake pedal. There should be no question that if the motorist did not react in time he/she would have smashed their car into the cyclist. A person cycling in front of motor vehicles has very little control over the reaction time and judgement that motorists make.

    How do you know for sure whether the motorist was calmly passing the cyclist? A motorist frequently uses their horn to indicate their displeasure at something. There was no sound from the street in that video. The motorist could have been thinking that they almost hit the cyclist and that the cyclist was foolish and an idiot for riding like that. All we get to see is the cycling instructor waving at the motorist. That’s not indicative of how the motorist may be feeling about what occurred.

    “I understand you’d be afraid of making that move.” Your obviously not understanding much of anything about me. Although you do have a habit of jumping to conclusions.

    I usually wouldn’t do that maneuver because in almost all circumstances it would be unnecessary to expose myself to the movement of high speed motor vehicles like that. I avoid that situation by choice. There is almost always a alternative that I would choose over that.

    “How would you redesign that intersection to allow cyclists with absolutely no training, age 8 to 80, to make a left turn there?” To get ages 8 to 80 to ride alongside a busy street there would have to be a barrier separating them from fast moving vehicles. Everything else that has been tried has not been successful in attracting the demographics of ages 8 to 80 to ride along busy corridors. That would include sharrows, striped bike lanes and vehicular cycling.

    The majority of the population has shown an unwillingness to ride a bicycle where fast moving motor vehicles can easily invade the cyclists space. Those cities with the greatest amount of cycle tracks tend to have the largest amount of the population bicycling on a daily basis. Its pretty clear what it would take to get more than 7-8% of the population riding daily and that’s start building cycle tracks. To keep the commuting rate for cycling below 1%, don’t install separation for bicyclists on major streets where most people need to go to get somewhere.

    There were 14 U.S. cities in 2006 that had cycle tracks. By 2014, the number of cities with cycle tracks had grown to 61. The first parking protected bike lane was installed in New York City in 2007. Most of those cycle tracks in the U.S. installed since then have been parking protected.

    Up until about four years ago the California Highway Design Manual prohibited putting a bike lane between the curb and parked vehicles.

    The FHWA just recently approved the use of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Manual.

    Its a pretty simple principle. Those cities that do not install very many crosswalks or sidewalks along busy streets will have very few pedestrians.

    Its very similar for bicycling. Those cities that install more miles of bike lanes, paths and cycle tracks per square mile tend to have more bicycling than cities that have less of these facilities per square mile.

    New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago are all cash strapped cities. Yet all are putting in cycle tracks. Los Angeles will have its first on-street cycle track this month. The LA council member for that area was willing to take away parking from one side of the street to install the cycle tracks. He’s doing that because he sees it as a way to improve the area by creating a more attractive place to walk, ride a bike and shop.

    Cycle tracks and bike lanes not only attract more bicyclists, its also been shown to be good for business. Cycle tracks next to the curb tends to create a more open and inviting place for pedestrians. A place more people want to visit and shop.

    Cars don’t go window shopping. Cars don’t go to pick up a sandwich. People do. In fact, cars are lousy customers except for places that sell cars or service them.

    Its usually much easier to stop and visit most stores along a busy street if you are walking by or riding a bicycle compared to trying to find a parking space on the street for your car.

    Indianapolis didn’t emphasis that building their Cultural Trail was also a way to improve the pedestrian and cycling conditions for transportation. The city built it to spur development in a rundown section of downtown. There wasn’t the money for that in the city finances. Still, they got it built through federal money and private donations.

    I’ve had five collisions with motor vehicles while riding a bicycle.

    One was when I was in grade school. I was daydreaming while riding my bike on a residential street and rode into the back of parked car.

    Two were from getting hit from behind while riding in the middle of a motor vehicle lane.

    One was from a car making a right turn into a driveway while I was riding in a bike lane. I ran into the car’s rear quarter panel. I could have prevented that by paying more attention to my surroundings and slowing down as I approached the shopping mall driveway.

    Could a similar collision have taken place if I was reaching the far side of a intersection while riding in the middle of a motor vehicle lane? Yes, a motorist could pull out in front of me while they are making a right turn from a cross street.

    The last collision occurred when a parked car door clipped the front edge of my rear pannier. I did not fall over. What happened was that I pulled closer to the parked vehicles than I usually do when I heard a motorist screeching their tires loudly while accelerating very fast. I’d rather take my chances with the parked car doors opening up than get in the way of someone that wants to go as quickly as they can down the street in their car.

    Per mile bicycled, by far the greatest rate of motor vehicle collisions for me was while riding in the middle of a motor vehicle lane. Your recommendation will no doubt be to ride more in the middle of motor vehicle lanes to reduce the possibility of right turn collisions and running into parked vehicle doors. That would be ignoring that much higher rate of collisions per mile while riding in the middle of motor vehicle lanes.

    Once, while I was walking down a winding street at night on a hill in Los Angeles, I could hear someone quickly approaching who was racing his car down the street I was on. I quickly jump behind the curb to try and keep out of the way. Your recommendation would probably be to get into the middle of the narrow lane and wave my arms. That would be a sure fire way to stop the motorist from hitting me.

    If vehicular cycling is not a cult, please name several disadvantages to riding in the middle of motor vehicle lanes on busy streets.


    Ian Turner

    This was a tough one.


    Jeffrey Baker

    At least in Oakland the PEOs have a handheld computer that’s integrated with parkmobile. I believe they get a list of vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers that are currently paid. The zones are only a block long so it’s not that many cars.


    Jeffrey Baker

    We have this exact system in Oakland and it’s brilliant. Certainly a huge improvement over Oakland’s chronically broken coin meters.


    Mr. Lazarus

    the beard is substantial enough to get its own parking spot! Nice!!



    How are the pay-by-phone spaces enforced? There’s no visual cue (like a flashing green light) for parking enforcement officers, right?



    only at my house John :)


    John Greenfield

    Nice beard! Is Gabe moonlighting as a craft cocktail bartender nowadays?


    Frank Krygowski

    “Vehicular cycling is not scalable. Three surveys that consisted of adult
    participants had less than 1% of respondents indicating that they would
    be willing to ride on a busy street in mixed traffic.”

    I don’t know what surveys you’re referring to, but I do know that survey responses are very heavily influenced by the phrasing of questions. For example, you repeatedly use the phrase “in front of high speed motor vehicles,” as if the sole environment for vehicular cycling is on a crowded urban freeway. I’m sure a segregation fan can construct a scary sounding question using that phrase and get precisely the answers desired.

    In real life, cyclists who learn how to ride as legal vehicle operators often begin with quieter roads, increasing their range of choices as they realize their former fears are overblown. It’s the same process that happens with beginning car drivers. By contrast, those cyclists who haul their bikes to back-and-forth bike paths never do progress. They never use their bikes for anything practical, because they remain addicted to segregation. They experience a very limited version of cycling.

    But speaking of “scalable”: What percentage of American streets and highways do you expect to have cycle tracks in ten years, to allow those timid souls to get around town? How about in 40 years? Care to give us your estimate?

    Feel free to give the same estimates for just LA, if you like. I keep wondering how soon your miracle transformation of America will take place.


    Frank Krygowski

    Regarding the video: So you’re talking about the car that was shown from 6:40, when it approached, to 6:54, after the motorist had slowed down, stayed behind the rider, then passed calmly as the cyclist completed her move to the left on that one-way street, which (although not shown) was probably for a left turn.

    Obviously, what she did worked. I understand you’d be afraid of making that move. Fine. Since I’ve taken that class and others, I know those classes always give you alternatives – probably to ride on the right, then stop at the curb and wait until it’s completely clear before crossing to the left. That alternative is a standard part of vehicular cycling education.

    Now tell us: What would the cycletrack solution be? How would you redesign that intersection to allow cyclists with absolutely no training, age 8 to 80, to make a left turn there? What would that cycletrack installation – along with (I assume) traffic lights for phase separation – cost? And how would you sell it to cash-strapped road departments and taxpayers?

    Then what about adding cycle tracks at the locations shown at 6:13, and 9:26, and 9:46, and 10:00, and 10:26, and 20:57, and 21:10, and 21:30? How soon do you think you’ll be able to get all those installed? And what should cyclists do in the mean time? Wait for a bus?

    What the class did was teach those cyclists to ride in those locations (and countless others ) _right now_. And contrary to your paranoia, it’s not a fearsome thing. The techniques work, and one obviously doesn’t have to be a macho bike racer to employ them. Watch the videos of the participants to see who they were and their reactions.

    Of course, those who were taking and teaching that class would think you’re extremely foolish to actually be advocating riding in door zones. And they’d be surprised at your claim “Two of the biggest collisions that I’ve ever had were when motorists hit
    me from behind while I was riding in the middle of a through motor
    vehicle lane.”

    So tell us: those were two of exactly how many collisions with motor vehicles? Can you give us details on those, plus the rest of your bike-car crashes? I’m curious about all of them.

    We can trade details of our car-bike crashes, if you’ll go first. But don’t omit any, please.



    Had to vote for my neighbor here, and was stunned to see that Camden leads by three votes as of 11 AM Eastern time! I thought this would be another landslide win by Fort Worth, on its way to plaster Parkersburg in the final.

    Outside of Newark and Jersey City, this has to be one of, if not the, most transit-friendly locations in the entire state of New Jersey, no?

    There’s Walter Rand Transportation Center, with something like 26 bus lines (though some are only seasonal to Great Adventure and the like, I believe at least half of them are regular, permanent NJTransit bus routes) and the RiverLine light rail to Trenton, which connects with the heavy rail Atlantic City Line in Pennsauken and the Northeast Corridor in Trenton, with NJT rail to NYC and multiple Amtrak connections. There’s PATCO subway service into Center City, which is one of the nation’s only 24-hour rapid transit lines. There’s also the seasonal ferry to Penn’s Landing, and not to mention being walking / biking distance over the Ben Franklin right into the heart of Philadelphia.


    Andy B from Jersey

    Don’t forget, Fort Worth is in Texas. All that state is good for is parking. Oh yeah, that’s right! Camden is in Jersey and I’m currently trying my damnedest to get out of here too!



    Dreams do come true. Thank you Billy!


    Ian Turner

    Bloomberg just published a feature article on Seattle’s tunnel woes.



    Vehicular cycling is not scalable. Three surveys that consisted of adult participants had less than 1% of respondents indicating that they would be willing to ride on a busy street in mixed traffic. Few of them would ride in front of fast moving traffic. A small portion of those would ever be willing to ride in front of motor vehicles on a busy street.

    There’s zero possibility that vehicular cycling will be taught in public schools on a large scale. Administrators are not going to allow their students to learn to ride in front of motor vehicles on a busy streets.

    Your beating a dead horse on this, its not going anywhere after 40 years of trying. The horse is still dead. Over ninety-nine percent of adults surveyed would not be willing to ride a bicycle in mixed traffic on a busy street because they consider that too stressful and most of all dangerous. They would much rather sit encased in the safety cell and comfort of a motor vehicle than ride a bicycle in mixed traffic on a busy street.

    Your trying to convince these less than 1% that its riding to the right of motor vehicles that produces those problems, that riding directly in front of fast moving motor vehicles is the safest way to travel on these streets. This has met with only a tiny minuscule of those people becoming believers in that philosophy. Its an idea that has almost no appeal to a mainstream audience.

    The vehicular cycling devotees want to go beyond that by trying to be the gate keepers of who gets to ride on busy streets. They are trying to block the installation of most separate bicycling facilities on these streets and therefore limiting who would be willing to ride a bicycle there. VC advocates go around to blogs slamming separation on busy streets as dangerous. Those that are willing to ride with no separation on busy streets who don’t follow the vehicular cycling methods are attacked as incompetent, frightened worriers, and not very bright cyclists.


    Harry Kyriakodis

    The worst part of Camden’s lots is that fences separate each and every one, so you can’t cut diagonally through them. These fences make the situation worse, like adding insult to injury…



    Its an old pier converted to parking. San Francisco has one of those too:,-122.3869263,548m/data=!3m1!1e3



    Is that a parking lot that extends INTO the river in Camden??



    That’s what does it for me, too. The huge lost potential. And Camden sits across from Center City Philadelphia, which is seeing a HUGE renaissance while Camden just sits there.


    David Marcus

    To me, Camden’s squandering of riverfront puts it over the top.



    Don’t forget, Camden feels not only that they need more parking, but they’re using eminent domain and wanted the former property owner to pay up for the privilege!


    Billy Gray

    Come on Camden, let’s do this!!!!!11



    It’s all in The High Cost of Free Parking, which should be required reading for anyone even considering entering the field of planning.



    Eagerly awaiting the next podcast, I am always curious as to what projects Houston is working on and if it will ever get its act together on Public transportation the way its rival brother Dallas has.



    The motor vehicle I mentioned was not the jeep which passed on the right of the bicycling instructor, it was the black car which came up directly behind the bike rider at a high rate of speed just after the jeep passed. The motorist slowed down with barely enough time before it would have hit the bicyclist. This can be seen at 6:40 minutes into the video. The motion in the video is stopped to perhaps gloss over the situation to the viewer.

    Your probably thinking, oh, that didn’t just happen, the bicycle rider was in complete control by simply raising a arm to slow down the driver. The motorist wasn’t actually the person controlling the steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals. Nope, it was the bicycle rider. Your never going to convince many people that a 3000 pound motor vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed has no possibility of hitting you when your directly in front of its line of travel. Most people have more common sense than that and would try to avoid putting themselves in situations where that could occur.

    Those videos are providing loads of scenarios where most people would never ride a bicycle. That course is trying to convince people to ride where the traffic would create the most stress for them. Which would be a very unpleasant experience for the vast majority of people. These are not attractive places to ride a bicycle. Most people would rather be in a car than put themselves in stressful situations riding a bicycle. Your beating a dead horse on that. Most people have choices for the types of transportation that they can use. If its not fast, convenient and comfortable to bicycle to a place they need to get to, then they will choose another form of transportation.

    I don’t have a phobia, nor am I fearful or under a lot of stress riding anywhere near cars. I do this on a regular basis. Most of my trips are done by riding a bicycle at least part of the way. I also mainly ride on busy arterial streets day and night. Depending on the situation I might ride on a sidewalk part of the way. move next to the curb and proceed through the intersection after exiting a right turn only lane. I might also take the lane. I ride in bike lanes that are in the so-called door zone. I also ride in about the same position where there are no bike lanes and I ride a lot on mixed use paths. Pedestrians on the path, not a problem. I’ve come across horses on the mixed use paths. That also was not a big problem. Motor vehicles making right turns. I deal with that situation every day and it works smoothly.

    I look around me when passing driveways or going through intersections. I don’t assume motorists will not make mistakes. Your way over-blowing the risk of riding a bicycle.

    Its a multitude of possibilities, but I will try to stay away from motor vehicles due to the mass and speed differential. I don’t have a safety cell to protect me on a bicycle in a fender bender like car occupants do. I’ve done this for tens of thousands of miles and avoided incidents by paying attention. I don’t assume that the motorist will not hit me because of some rule of the road.

    I don’t put myself in front of fast moving motor vehicles unnecessarily. That’s more likely to agitate them and perhaps provoke aggressive behavior towards me. The most serious injuries and most fatalities for cycling come from collisions with motor vehicles. Higher speed collisions are more likely to cause serious injury or death for a cyclist. I try to avoid the situations where that may occur. I don’t just focus on what might occur riding to the right of motor vehicles, I also evaluate what could occur by getting in front of them. Your focused almost entirely on what might occur riding to the right of motor vehicles and you overlook what could happen when riding in front of motor vehicles. That’s a very distorted and lopsided way of looking at safety.

    On what page of a NACTO guide does it state to not ride in the so called door-zone?

    Its a waste of time to advocate for people to ride in the so called door-zone because that’s where most of them will ride anyway. With or without bike lanes the great majority of people that ride will do so in the door zone area. Installing bike lanes is not convincing people to ride where they don’t want to ride. Its giving people a sense of separation from moving motor vehicles on busy streets that is enough for about 7% of the adult population to ride.

    Want more people to ride? Then provide a greater sense of separation by providing some sort of physical barrier between them and the moving motor vehicles.

    Also move them further away from the parked vehicles by providing more separation between the moving vehicles and the parked vehicles.

    Telling people to position themselves in front of fast moving vehicles is going nowhere in terms of convincing many of them to do that. Its literally keeping the volume of bicycling down by fighting the installation of separated bicycling facilities.

    There is never going to be a bicycle training course taught in public schools where they teach kids that the proper way to ride is directly in front of fast moving motor vehicles. That’s never going to happen.

    I’m not having frequent incidents of crashes riding my bicycle to the right of motorists as you keep claiming will almost certainly occur. Two of the biggest collisions that I’ve ever had were when motorists hit me from behind while I was riding in the middle of a through motor vehicle lane. I try to use defense riding where the odds of that happening is lessened by not putting myself in the position where that could possibly occur.

    Homogeneity of mass, speed and direction is common sense for safety and one of the five safety principles that the Dutch engineers use in designing roadways. Its also important to have forgiveness of the environment for both physical and social safety. Putting people in stressful traffic is not a physical safety improvement, nor a social safety improvement.


    Stewart Clamen

    One or two more multi-level parking lots would remove the need for most of those Camden riverfront lots. I’m surprised Google found them that full.

    As a gauge of parking demand, I’ll mention that Cirque du Soleil was able to take over some of the lots near the top of that photo for a couple of months for their show two years back.



    Why would it struggle at first if it were to meet a real consumer demand. This is, simply, political corruption on full display, not economics


    Andy B from Jersey

    Funny! No one said anything about John Pucher retiring from Rutgers. For nearly two decades he was the leading scholar on all things related to biking and walking. I was lucky to study under him for 2 years and compose my capstone report on how to make NJ TRANSIT more accessible for those that bike. Despite that report citing strong economic and ridership gains that could be had if NJ TRANSIT followed my recommendations, no one there offered me a job. ;)


    Frank Krygowski

    I’m astonished that you thought the passing maneuver at 6:37 in that video was a “close encounter”! The clearance between car and bike was probably eight feet! It’s more than a cyclist would get in many of the cycle tracks you espouse, even on straight stretches.

    Clearly, you’ve got a serious phobia about riding anywhere near cars. To avoid ever inconveniencing motorists, you’re even advocating riding in door zones – something even NACTO warns against! – and you’re attacking any other advice on competent cycling as fear mongering.

    Are you also against driving school instruction before kids get driver’s licenses? After all, those instructors also teach about roadway positioning, hazards of crossing traffic, causes of crashes and so forth. Should they, too, be labeled fear mongers, and should teenagers be just figuring out how to drive all on their own?

    Dennis, you’re obviously so fearful about riding a bike that for you, it _may_ be dangerous. I’m not talking so much about crashes, although I wouldn’t be surprised if you do crash often based on your statements – assuming you actually ride a bike. No, I’m talking about stress. For someone as fearful as you, heart attacks and strokes are real possibilities.

    Heck, I doubt you handle the stress of driving very well. Better stick to a nice, safe bus ride – while wearing a crash helmet!



    It’s a dumb analogy that reinforces the pompous prof stereotype



    I can’t use Streetsblog for my job, lol

    The problem with Shoup’s message is that there are a lot more planners enforcing parking requirements than there are people calibrating meters



    Does anyone know the history of Parkersburg? I’m pretty familiar with Amarillo. It’s surrounded by millions of acres of empty, dirt cheap land without natural boundaries to growth and what has been (until recently) a pretty reliable groundwater supply so it’s pretty easy to understand why it would have expanded outward. Parkersburg, on the other hand, seems pretty hemmed in by geography…



    What about Lower Manhattan’s Canal Street? It has the freeway levels of traffic, though without the freeway. Why not instead build a freeway TUNNEL with exhaust gas FILTRATION? Its already a major traffic desire line.



    Now THAT is what I would call a “complete street”- totally urban with that lower level.



    “So there’s no reason to scare people into thinking that a cycle track is the only safe place to ride!”

    The only people that I’m aware of who are responding on this thread that there is only one place to safely ride along a major corridor is the vehicular cycling advocates. Who has stated that cycle tracks are the only safe places to ride? The scare tactics all seem to be coming from the vehicular cycling followers.

    “And riding on the right is very safe, too, _under the proper conditions_.”

    You clearly stated in previous posts that cycling fatalities are minuscule per miles ridden, that research shows the risk of cycling are far outweighed by the health benefits and that bicycling is “three times as safe, per mile, as walking, and that cyclists have NEVER been even 1% of head injury fatalities”

    Since the vast majority of people ride to the right of motor vehicles, your statements make it quite clear that riding in that manner is extremely safe.

    Then you have the audacity and duplicity to state:

    “riding on the right is very safe, too, under the proper conditions”

    Then you go on to describe how most people ride is very dangerous–the complete opposite of your statements that cycling is extremely safe.

    Fear mongering statements such as:

    “The danger rises significantly when one rides in the door zone.”

    “One can seldom stop in time if a motorist pops a door open”

    “if the door edge hits the right handlebar, the bike steers suddenly right and throws the rider left into traffic.”

    “Dooring comprises up to 25% of the car-bike crashes in some cities”

    I must also add that up to 100% of passengers in airplane crashes die. Think about that if you dare get on a airplane. It’s that good enough fear mongering? Perhaps not, you seem to be better at this than I am.

    You have more fear mongering to add:

    “So when there’s a parked car, it’s not smart to ride within reach of the door”

    Now you’ve attacked the intelligence of most people who ride a bicycle on a street since that is where they ride. Only the smart people ride in front of high speed motor vehicles evidently.

    “Are you really trying to tell people it’s just fine to ride within reach of car doors?”

    Actually I’ve spent years directly people to ride that way by waving flags used on aircraft carriers during the day and flashlights at night. I believe this has met with quite a lot of success as the vast majority of people ride in this position across this country. Or perhaps that was all a waste since most people tend to ride in that manner anyway.

    Wait, you’ve got some more fear mongering to share.

    “Riding to the far right also makes trouble if a motorist is intent on turning right from behind you or left from in front of you”

    “You’re far less conspicuous, and subject to right hooks and left crosses”

    “You’re also less conspicuous to motorists trying to pull out from your right”

    “My close calls absolutely ended when I started to ride more conspicuously, and many others report the same experience.”

    Is that right…

    At 6:37 in this video of a Cycling Savvy course there is a car which is moving around a curve and closing in on a Cycling Savvy instructor at a high rate of speed from behind.

    The video is stopped and no mention is made that this was a close encounter.

    Most people would almost certainly say that was a close call and a very stressful place to ride a bike.

    To a vehicular cycling devotee it would probably be a great example of the bicyclist using their magic arm to control the situation.

    “absent parked cars, intersections and driveways and motorists that want to enter or leave them, riding on the right in a wide lane is fine.”

    How omnipotent of you to decide that its alright to ride to the right of traffic if there is absolutely no cross traffic. After you have declared that bicycling is extremely safe.

    “America is not going to magically become Amsterdam any time soon. In fact, that’s never going to happen at all.”

    I’m sure glad you made that insightful observation. The U.S. was also not going to become Japan in the 1970’s and so the U.S. car manufacturers should have stopped trying to improve the quality of their cars and just stuck with that 1970’s quality they had. After all, Japan had a different culture and work ethic. The types of quality improvements that they obtained could never be employed in the U.S.

    The first pedestrian street in Copenhagen was built in 1962. It was one of the first pedestrian schemes in Europe. This caused a furious public debate. Comments that it wouldn’t work in Denmark. We are Danes, we’re not Italians. We will not come out. We will not walk. We have no tradition for urban life and all the businesses will go broke. There was enormous resistance from the shops.

    In the early 1970’s, the city of Groningen in the Netherlands decided to remove parking on a street. The businesses said that they would have to immediately leave, it would never work. They didn’t leave, the businesses did much better after the parking was removed.

    Then New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told Mayor Bloomberg that she wanted to close Times Square to cars and make a pedestrian plaza. He thought it was the most idiotic idea that he had ever heard. After she talked to him for ten minutes, he decided to let her go ahead on a temporary experimental basis. If it didn’t work it would be removed. Its still there. In fact there are 70 plazas in NYC now and 35 miles of cycle tracks.

    Los Angeles is making a cycle track next month on Reseda Blvd. To do this they will have to remove parking on one side of the street. Hey, that won’t work, we’re not Amsterdam or Copenhagen!


    Marven Norman

    That Ohio cycletrack is atrocious. I hope no suburbs actually think that it’s a model to copy, it needs way too much work.



    Yes, I suppose the spelling gives it away. I live in Kitchener, which is a fairly car centric midsized (for Canada) city in Ontario. Its currently undergoing a moderately aggressive densification, with substantial infill development targets, along with implementation of a new LRT system. Although, the city is still quite sprawling, there is a fairly dense and walkable core, which is seeing a large number of highrise developments, but there are a few area’s which have more midrise, and dense single family/duplex housing, which is where I live. However at least my area, has rather limited access to important services like grocery and shops, although I’m hoping that the transit expansion will improve this somewhat.

    You’re definitely right, the streetcar suburbs are classic examples of medium density walkable neighbourhoods, the kind of which weren’t really haven’t been built for a long time in North America.



    I get your point–for a period in my life, I lived in Alhambra, a “streetcar suburb” northeast of downtown Los Angeles. My abode was a ten-minute walk from work, and it was also within walking distance of the grocery store, the post office, and the camera shop. By the time I moved there, my daughters were out of college, so schools weren’t a concern, but the large percentage of Asian residents is usually an indication of good schools. May I ask what town you live in? (judging from the way “neighbourhoods” is spelled, it’s in Canada)


    Kevin Miller

    First one I’ve voted on, because it’s the first one with such an obvious winner. Parkersburg looks like some kind of joke Photoshop exaggeration. So sad.



    Looks like Donald Shoup can count himself as one of the many influenced by Jane Jacobs!


    Frank Krygowski

    Dennis, will you _please_ try to learn something about vehicular cycling, so you’ll at least understand the basic concepts? You’re engaging in trivial wordplay, asking me waste time typing things that are well explained in print, or covered in about the first hour of any decent cycling class!

    Yes, cycling is very safe. Americans do at least 10 million miles between fatalities, even though half of all car-bike crashes are caused by incompetence of the bicyclists. So there’s no reason to scare people into thinking that a cycle track is the only safe place to ride!

    And riding on the right is very safe, too, _under the proper conditions_.

    The danger rises significantly when one rides in the door zone. One can seldom stop in time if a motorist pops a door open; and if the door edge hits the right handlebar, the bike steers suddenly right and throws the rider left into traffic. See
    So when there’s a parked car, it’s _not_ smart to ride within reach of the door. Dooring comprises up to 25% of the car-bike crashes in some cities. Are you really trying to tell people it’s just fine to ride within reach of car doors?

    It’s fine to ride to the right in a wide enough lane. (14 feet is often given as a minimum, although some riders accept less.) But in a 10 foot lane, it’s foolish for a two-foot-wide cyclist to share that lane with a 6.5 foot wide car, let alone an 8 foot wide SUV. That leaves only inches of passing clearance, and gives the cyclist nowhere to go if a pothole appears.

    Riding to the far right also makes trouble if a motorist is intent on turning right from behind you or left from in front of you. You’re far less conspicuous, and subject to right hooks and left crosses. You’re also less conspicuous to motorists trying to pull out from your right. (My close calls absolutely ended when I started to ride more conspicuously, and many others report the same experience. I’ve absolutely stopped potential right hooks by being lane centered.)

    Most bicyclists don’t know these facts, because like you, they’ve never taken the trouble to learn. Like you, they think they already know all about riding a bike. And like you, they think that if there’s information on a better way than what they “know,” that information must absolutely be wrong.

    Still, absent parked cars, intersections and driveways and motorists that want to enter or leave them, riding on the right in a wide lane is fine. Why? Because in that situation, there are no hazards from crossing conflicts, and there’s no visual clutter from parked cars. The cyclist is visible and given attention by the driver.

    But you want to put the cyclist out of sight, behind parked cars. You want him to be entering intersections at places where vehicles do not normally appear. You pretend that because zero-speed pedestrians cross there, that it’s fine for a 20 mph cyclist.

    It’s not! It’s a recipe for surprising motorists, which is never a good idea. Traffic engineers don’t want to design in surprises (like straight-ahead vehicles appearing in the path of right-turning vehicles). Really, how does this make sense to you?
    Why is it never done for motor vehicles?

    It’s not even done in the best Dutch designs. Instead, they prefer conflict-free intersections, where phase separation and lots of extra room enable cars to wait while bikes get their own green, etc. Some European designers say that’s the only way to make a cycletrack intersection safe. But of course, you’re not lobbying for those designs, are you?

    America is not going to magically become Amsterdam any time soon. In fact, that’s never going to happen at all.

    So why not spend some time at
    and see if you can learn something? Even if you never use these techniques at all (because you “know better”), you’ll at least understand what you’re arguing against.


    Asher Of LA

    Shoup is in good company in ‘drawing’ the bloodletting-urban planning analogy:

    Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities: “As in the pseudoscience of bloodletting, just so in the pseudoscience of city rebuilding and planning, years of learning and a plethora of subtle and complicated dogma have arisen on a foundation of nonsense.”


    Eric W

    Dennis – You musta missed all those Metro buss with “Every Lane is a Bike Lane!” taking up the entire back end. I haven’t been shouted at in LA since they appeared. Think about it – that ad campaign was the end of the “get out of my way, I’m in a car and you’re not” car driver attitude on all streets of the city.

    BTW- I ride in on the right 1/3 margin in most streets – no issues with traffic, dooring, or right hooks (I have enough space & time to stop). Seems like the sweet spot for my line of travel in Los Angles traffic. You mileage and success may vary in other places.

    PPS: Gotta post on this giant thread somewhere – looks like a colossal battle!



    Its well established that the vast majority of people cycling on streets are doing so by riding to the right of motor vehicles. If bike lanes are installed, then more people will likely cycle in the same position on the street as was the case before the bike lanes.

    Frank wrote:

    “Over ten million miles are bicycled in the U.S. for every fatality, so a typical user would expect to ride for thousands of years (were that possible) before death
    on a bike. That risk is minuscule. Yet Americans are told that since the risk is even lower in other places, “minuscule” equals “dangerous.”

    You are in essence stating that riding to the right of moving motor vehicles is extremely safe since that is where the vast majority of cyclists now ride. In fact you state that the risk of a fatality is “minuscule.” Yet you keep stating that minuscule equals dangerous for those cycling to the right of motorists.

    Here’s another gem that you wrote, Frank

    “There have been numerous studies addressing the benefit-to-risk ratio of cycling. Some expressed those as years of life gained vs. lost, some as medical costs saved vs. lost, etc. In every case, the researchers determined that the benefits of cycling FAR outweighed its tiny risks. The lowest estimate was 7 to 1 in favor
    of bicycling, but other estimates ranged to over 75 to 1 in favor. If an activity gives even 20 times the benefit, how can it be termed “dangerous”?”

    The vast majority of people who are riding on the streets are doing so by riding to the right of motorists and your again emphasizing how studies have shown that it is far safer to do this than to not ride at all. Yet, you continue to claim that cycling to the right of motor vehicles is full of perilous dangers.

    You also stated:

    “bicycling is three times as safe, per mile, as walking, and that cyclists have NEVER been even 1% of head injury fatalities”

    You are again stating that riding to the right of motorists–where the vast majority of cyclists ride–is extremely safe.

    Frank, you also stated:

    “It’s perfectly predictable that parked car doors will open in front of far-right cyclists, and resulting deaths and serious injuries are common”

    You stated that the risk of a fatality for bicycling is minuscule and yet you also state that deaths and serious injuries for bicyclists hitting parked car doors are common. The percentage of police reports for cycling injuries from hitting parked car doors is about 8-11% of the reported total cycling collisions and the resulting fatalities are a fraction of the overall “minuscule” cycling fatalities.

    Again, according to the 2013 Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalitions bicycle count report results from over 50 intersections, bicyclists tend to prefer riding on dedicated facilities compared to streets with no bicycle facilities. Sharrows are correlated with 22% more ridership, bike lanes 86% more ridership and bike paths 391% more ridership. Signed bike routes with no painted markings are not correlated with increased bicycling.

    Make more attractive places to bicycle away from the stress imposed by motor vehicles that are a fast, direct way to go somewhere and more people will bicycle. What streets are most transit users, motorists, pedestrians and cyclists traveling on? The answer is simple, arterial streets and not residential streets.



    Gotta go for the appropriately-named “Parkersburg” here. At least Amarillo isn’t a city with 90%-ish of its waterfront dedicated to auto parking, as Parkersburg appears to be.


    Kenny Easwaran

    I think here perhaps a relevant analogy would be that modern phlebotomy is evidence-based, and depends on a doctor’s recommendation in a particular case, rather than being applied by formula to all patients.
    Similarly, the bank financing a loan for a new building project will want to do some research and figure out what the actual economic benefit to the project will be of having different amounts of parking, and will condition the loan on the provision of sufficient parking for the purpose required. (Imagine a new grocery store in a food desert in a moderately densifying inner-ring suburb – the store will get some customers whether it provides parking or not, but will probably have better sales if it provides a decent amount of parking, perhaps at cost, even though it wouldn’t benefit from being isolated in the sea required by traditional zoning codes.)


    Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Well Streetsblog certainly is carrying on the banner of taking on minimum parking requirements. Non-stop.


    Ian Turner

    The bloodletting analogy is also interesting because bloodletting has actually found a residual medical use in modern medicine, in the form of theraputic phlebotomy. Could there be some residual use of parking minimums in modern planning? And what would it be?


    We are not very familiar with bikeshare programs and not necessarily against the idea. We are in support of having the choice of riding your own bicycle throughout the city — unless that is not an option. There are some concerns that hopefully the readers might help shed light on:

    1) How often are the bicycles at the bike hubs checked to fix broken bicycles?

    2) In the event that a person rents a bicycle and gets a ‘mile out’ of range and gets a flat tire or a part on the bicycle breaks, how does that bicycle get repaired? Does the user just return the bicycle to the nearest hub? How does he/she report that the bicycle needs repair?

    We are interested to hear the answers to these questions from people who are experienced users of ‘bikeshare’ programs. Thank you in advance for entertaining our questions.



    Heard Shoup speak this past fall and was disappointed he didn’t address zoning or residential parking, at least 2/3 of the issue of parking. He’s mastered direct-pay parking policy, but no one is carrying the banner of eliminating minimum parking requirements. This is a huge loss but enjoy retirement.