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  1.  

    lop

    The point isn’t that you need car congestion to be a healthy city, but that in a healthy city roads made available to cars are well used i.e. there is congestion.

  2.  

    EastBayer

    I think I get the point, thanks to the writing in the article and my general knowledge of transportation, but this infographic is…terrible.

    I read his explanation and follow it, more or less, but it is a very confusing chart.

  3.  

    Karen Lynn Allen

    I completely agree that car congestion can be a sign of a healthy city.

    However, I’d like to point out that the center of Vienna has very little car congestion because 1) blocks and blocks and blocks of it are pedestrian only (no cars at all! so no congestion!) Inside the entire inner ring there is very little congestion because it’s been divided into 5 pie shaped wedges, and cars cannot go directly from one wedge to another. (They must go out of the ring and then enter the pie wedge they want to.) This results in minimal car traffic, making it very pleasant for walking and bicycling (and even horse-drawn carriages.)

    The inner ring of Amsterdam is also uncongested, with few cars on the roads. Walking and biking paradise. Many neighborhoods outside the inner ring in Amsterdam are also nearly car-free because imposed dead-ends allow no through traffic for cars, only access for those who live/work/shop there. (Bikes and pedestrians can travel directly through, of course.) The result is remarkably dense, calm, quiet, livable neighborhoods.

    Prague has a great deal of car-free space in its historic area and is on its way to expanding it. (Outside the car-free area, the cars can be intense.)

    Berlin is fairly uncongested in terms of cars, but this is due largely to quite low levels of car ownership in that city (and the fact it is still not at its WWII peak population levels.) It is an easy place to bike and walk, and of course has excellent transit.

    Venice is completely uncongested with cars. (Now tourists, that’s another matter.)

    So it is possible to achieve very dynamic, livable, dense, active cities with both little traffic and little car congestion.

  4.  

    Alex B.

    “If the Houston housing market is no freer than San Francisco’s….”

    This is the conclusion based on the simple fact that Houston has some regulation? I’m afraid this is not supported by the evidence at all.

    I understand the point you’re trying to make about the quality of life in places like San Francisco, but the logic you use to get there makes little sense. For example:

    “For another, these cities haven’t built enough apartments to soak up the demand for single-family houses. If they had, Houston and Phoenix would be denser than Boston and San Francisco.”

    No. Houston is indeed growing denser; the measure there is in how Houston has changed, not an arbitrary comparison to existing housing in Boston.

  5.  

    Ben Ross

    My point is that you need to distinguish between single-family and multi-family housing, and between new and old houses.

    It’s geometry, not regulation, that puts an upper limit on the number of single-family houses that can fit in an acre. (Yes, minimum lot sizes sometimes prevent splitting lots in half, but this is a minor source of supply in areas that are already built up.) If anything, zoning increases the supply of close-in single-family houses by preventing their replacement with denser multi-family housing.

    To be sure, the model I’m proposing doesn’t apply at all in cities where inner neighborhoods are dying. There the marginal unit of supply is an old house that isn’t torn down rather than a new house that gets built.

  6.  

    valar84

    I understand the point but I’m not sure it supports the argument. Pointing out that houses on the fringe aren’t really much more expensive is a valid point, and that in sprawling cities where inner neighborhoods are no more desirable than the fringe, the value of housing closer to downtown is likely to not be significantly higher than that on the fringe as both compete against each other (and in some cases like Kansas City, MO, you have entire inner neighborhoods dying because people prefer buying new houses on the fringe than old houses near downtown).

    However, I don’t think it follows that regulation isn’t the important factor. Regulation is extremely important in that it restricts new housing starts in the central, desirable neighborhoods. It also results in much higher costs of construction for new units there. The cost of new constructions is what creates a ceiling to the price of current housing, if new constructions are impossible or very expensive, then the sky is the limit, housing is in a shortage situation.

    So tightly regulated housing in highly desirable locations is probably responsible for high housing prices.

  7.  

    keetz44 .

    In some cities, the Millennials are not leaving the city even after they have kids. In Seattle and Portland, school populations are growing again and schools are getting reopened. By 2017, at current growth trends, Seattle’s school population is expected to be the largest in its history.

  8.  

    lop

    Not overnight, and probably some good projects will still get turned down but there will be support for further cycling facilities. My point is if all you care about is that the city build cycling facilities fast enough for you to enjoy them you are likely to be disappointed. A better system twenty or thirty years out is much more feasible.

  9.  

    Gezellig

    “With large numbers of motor vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians you’re faced with two choices. Time separation via signals might work OK for safety but it introduces delay.”

    That kind of delay can be significantly reduced through smart timing such as Green Waves. If you’ve biked in the Netherlands on cycletracks along busy arterials you’ll notice, too, that delays tend to be minimal due to smart timing even when going through many signalized intersections.

    Even here in SF I definitely notice how pleasant it is biking down Green Waves as everyone gets to sail through green after green. Friends I’ve introduced biking to here have consistently mentioned experiences like that as pleasant surprises. I’m sure we’re not the only ones.

    Btw the biggest issue the Interested But Concerned routinely mention is safety, not concern for delays at lights–they’re already used to that as a given when they’re drivers, pedestrians, bus-takers, etc.. Add in a Green Wave and you’re already pleasantly exceeding expectations and getting people places faster.

    When space and resources allow, occasional grade separation can indeed be great, I’m not discounting that. But on a pervasive basis it’s not the low-hanging fruit of getting lots more people to bike.

  10.  

    Joe R.

    Yes, but will 2% to 5% be sufficient to garner enough political support to build bike infrastructure which could get mode shares to 25% and up? I don’t have an answer but I’m a little skeptical it would.

    I seriously feel mode shares can exceed 50%, particularly in car dependent parts of the city with no real public transit options.

  11.  

    tooter turtle

    It would be great to be rid of box stores, their huge parking lots and car traffic snarls!

  12.  

    Joe R.

    I’m thinking not just in terms of safety but also time. There are obvious benefits to grade separation in terms of time when you have large numbers of users. I would look at the cost of an overpass or underpass, and then the cumulative time savings of all the expected users over the useful lifetime. If the time savings exceeds the cost, then build it. If it’s close, build it. If on the other hand very few users are involved, then look at other solutions. One thing the Dutch do which I like is to give bikes signal priority, often via sensors which detect them far enough in advance so the signal is green by the time the bike arrives at the junction. Functionally, this is as good as grade separation. The issue is it only works if there are a small to medium number of cyclists. With a continuous stream of cyclists, as in cities, motor vehicles would be waiting indefinitely.

    With large numbers of motor vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians you’re faced with two choices. Time separation via signals might work OK for safety but it introduces delay. This isn’t a problem if a cycle route only hits a few such intersections. If it hits many then grade separation should be studied. Remember time is money. If used mainly in busy locations, overpasses or underpasses pay for themselves.

    Some Asian cities already do what LA started. They have large sections of pedestrian skywalks, often complete with shopping and other things. In crowded cities this is really the best solution. NYC for example would be much more pleasant if people could walk or bike on their own level without needing to cross streets with heavy motor traffic every 250 feet. That introduces unnecessary danger and delay.

  13.  

    lop

    They do get riders. Just on one road doesn’t get many though. 2-5% trip share depending on other factors is doable. Probably ten times the trip share you have now. How do you ignore that?

  14.  

    C Monroe

    Strong Town has an whole 58 minute podcast about how Amazon Prime could destroy the big box store. http://shoutengine.com/StrongTownsPodcast/amazon-prime-4387

  15.  

    C Monroe

    Uh one word….Detroit.

  16.  

    The Overhead Wire

    Tell us your thoughts on the video store. I’d like to hear other reactions to their disappearance.

  17.  

    Gezellig

    “The so-called protected intersection as shown above really isn’t. If a vehicle runs a red light, nothing is protecting the cyclist with the green.”

    By that logic we shouldn’t ever have any intersections ever for any mode, period. Brasília actually tried that for cars:

    http://www.cimexchange.com/uploads/monthly_07_2013/blogentry-611-0-13742000-1373841983.jpg

    Los Angeles briefly started doing it for pedestrians:

    http://libraryarchives.metro.net/DPGTL/chartsillustrationsimages/20110810_sidewalks1.JPG

    A few of those got built:

    http://cdn.theatlantic.com/newsroom/img/posts/2014/05/3882852351_e9c2350142_z/77f0ab7eb.jpg

    (http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/05/in-the-pedways-of-los-angeles-past-a-vision-of-a-pedestrian-friendly-future/371220/)

    You can’t remove absolutely all risk from life. Nothing is absolutely foolproof. Indeed, even in the Netherlands drivers do stupid things such as end up on subterranean bike undercrossings:

    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/WQpgD3fj-mM/0.jpg

    http://www.zideo.nl/playzideo/6c6f6d5a6f6c3578

    Biking already is pretty safe, but of the incidents that do occur about 80% are at intersections. At-grade protected intersections designed to best practices have a fantastic track record and are a great, and practicable solution to many current 4-way at-grade intersections.

    Where space and resources allow, a well-designed undercrossing can be great. But it’s telling that even in the NL, with all their willingness to spend on infrastructure, these come nowhere near close to being the majority of intersections. Protected at-grade intersections are a huge boon for both perceptive and objective safety for most cases.

  18.  

    Greg Terry

    The yellow line is the new, existing, wider Interstate 40. The proposed Crosstown boulevard would run just north of SW 3rd street. You can see the bare area on the map as it runs up northwest to meet Sheridan Ave.

  19.  

    jimmymartin

    Hey- there was one liquor store too! LOL

  20.  

    jimmymartin

    I beg to differ with you. When the southern half oc Birmingham’s bypass was completed in 1985 or ’86, there was nothing south of Birmingham except a liquor store on Hwy 280 and Lloyd’s Restaurant. There was no Galleria, no ball park, no new schools, and no subdivisions anywhere. You must not have been here then or you would know how much growth I-459 brought to the area. This same growth will occur in north Jefferson County when the northern half of a long-planned Interstate is completed.

  21.  

    Joe R.

    What I’m saying here is most of the “easy” stuff politically which you advocate would be no more than painted door zone bike lanes or sharrows. Those things demonstrably don’t get people riding who weren’t already. What does are protected lanes, and especially totally separate stuff like the VMP. However, in both those cases you either need to spend a good amount of money, or remove parking/traffic lanes, or both. The bottom line is a good case needs to be made to convince the majority why we need to move forward in a big way. Remember there’s that 60% “interested but concerned” number who conceivably would support big bike projects which would make them feel safe riding. I suspect a lot of the lukewarm support from this group has to do not with the fact that they wouldn’t want us to build a lot more, but with the glacial pace we’re moving at. A small minority in NYC has succeeded in sabotaging bike projects. This has put a damper on the enthusiasm of everyone else, to the point they might well be saying “why bother building anything because at the current rate I won’t be around when we have something resembling a semi-complete network”. Put forth a major ten year plan, then stick to it. That will get the support of the 60% “interested but concerned” group.

    It’s much the same thing with the subways. I’ll bet in principal a majority would support and be willing to pay for major subway expansion in the outer boroughs. In practice they see the glacial pace of just building a few miles of the 2nd Avenue subway, so they figure why support further expansion as I won’t live to see it finished.

  22.  

    lop

    Useful or needed for you? No. But for every VC like you that doesn’t need it there are a dozen who won’t go out without them. Especially during the day.

  23.  

    Joe R.

    The question is how many of these “easy” projects are even needed? From where I stand quite of few of the streets we’ve installed bike lanes on don’t even really need them. Yes, it was very low cost, and it also adds to the route miles of bike lanes the city can brag about, but from a strictly utilitarian standpoint these things didn’t make cycling any better than before.

    The projects which could make cycling a lot more useful mainly involve making things safer along major arterials. You mentioned Francis Lewis, for example. Most people don’t consider that safe enough to bike on now. I certainly wouldn’t advocate tunneling under Union Turnpike to avoid a traffic signal without first making the rest of it more bike friendly. And I can say the same thing about Union Turnpike. It’s fine for an experienced cyclist, but I don’t see a whole lot of people riding there. There must be a reason why. However, making it more bike friendly would most likely mean protected lanes. That in turn means losing either a traffic lane or a parking lane. Either way, that’s a huge hurdle to overcome. Comparatively speaking, if you pull that off, then adding underpasses at major road crosses is the easy part, at least politically. It’s probably not all that expensive from a monetary standpoint, either.

    That’s the issue as I see it. Most of the projects which will make cycling really useful come at high political or monetary costs. Those that don’t frequently add marginal utility. We got bike lanes here on 164th Street and Jewel Avenue. Nice to have, but in truth I doubt they got large numbers of people riding on these streets who weren’t already.

  24.  

    RoyTT

    Yet another study specifically concocted to show some random correlation between X and race is really not what this nation needs right now.

  25.  

    lop

    Probably 10% or more of NYC’s budget is waste or fraud. Get that under control and there’s your money for a grandiose bike system.

    No there’s the money for the thousand other priorities people have.

    You can either scheme to get an otherwise tolerable mayor elected who will force bike infrastructure on a city that doesn’t want it, which might work, or move slowly taking the easy projects first and build political support. Major expenditures in political or financial capital shouldn’t be wasted on tunneling under union turnpike so people biking on Francis lewis don’t have to stop for a light, it should be saved for the larger obstacles. The occasionsl highway overpass for example. Or to close gaps in the network built out of easy projects.

  26.  

    Matt Logan

    While it is true that the language of Wisconsin’s amendment is mode-neutral,GOP Leadership in Wisconsin have questioned the use of gas tax revenue for purposes other than roads. Assembly Leader Robin Vos has floated the idea of moving transit and the state patrol out of the transportation fund and into the general fund. Vos has also stated that he views transit as more of a social program and doesn’t understand why a law enforcement agency (whose primary function is to enforce highway-related regulations) would be funded with gas tax money.

    It is also important to note that the net 12-year transfer between Wisconsin’s General Fund and the Transportation Fund is $314 million FROM General to Transpo – thanks to $1 b in general-bonding and another $700mil of direct transfers that more than made up for the transfers out of the fund.

    I fear that Leaders Like Vos are going to enter the next legislative session claiming a mandate to make sure gas taxes are spent only on highways and roads. Governor Scott Walker has basically directed WISDOT to move toward that already, and their budget request demonstrates those priorities by focusing on “efficiency” for transit, and “reliability and congestion relief” for highways.

    Also worth mentioning, the Counties Association has been pushing to have transit stripped from the transportation fund. So while the press has neglected to cover these stories (not without a fight from me!), it would be wrong to take the press coverage at face value with so many other agendas at play.

  27.  

    Joe R.

    Probably 10% or more of NYC’s budget is waste or fraud. Get that under control and there’s your money for a grandiose bike system.

    Anyway, you’re basically saying do very little because few people use bikes? If we do what you say, which is just fit in bike infrastructure where it can piggyback on other things, by definition we’ll end up with a nearly useless, piecemeal network. And yet the very reason more people won’t use bikes is because bike infrastructure is largely inadequate. This is like saying NYC never should have built the subway because nobody was using the subway before it was built. It’s amazing how today’s populace is totally bereft of any imagination. Something has to be right in front of them before they might realize the worth.

    At some point government has to just jump start things which are arguably beneficial to the public, even if most of that public must be dragged kicking and screaming into the future. In fact, that should be the primary function of government-do things which are needed but which most people are too short sighting to consider doing. If we had real leaders then that’s what would happen.

    Might as well start making plans to live past 1,000 then. I can see not much of any value is going to get done in a normal human lifetime unless we get the equivalent of Robert Moses for bike infrastructure.

    Maybe a wide boardwalk to replace the messy willow lake trail could get support from non cyclists, and give cyclists a way to cross the grand central and van wyck that’s better than union or jewel.

    This is just a microcosm of a major issue traveling by bike in the city-you have certain areas which are difficult to impossible to cross by bike, and will remain so without a significant investment. Remember while it might be nice to say we can aim for short trips in the beginning, quite often even these short trips aren’t feasible because they involve crossing some major barrier on streets which are inhospitable to biking.

    Really, the ultimate solution is drastic reductions in motor traffic. At that point we can do things like take a lane on highways for bikes, stick bike lanes on all major local streets, get rid of many traffic signals and stop signs, etc. Maybe we should be aiming for that instead. Next time the terrorists hit NYC, I’ll specifically ask for banning private cars from entering Manhattan permanently on the pretense they may be carrying car bombs. That line of thought seems to be more effective on our paranoid populace than just giving more rational reasons why a drastic reduction in private auto use would help most people in the city.

    An alternate way to frame this might be in terms of public transit. Right now NYC needs about 100 route miles of subway but it can’t afford it. We can argue that a comprehensive bike network might be nearly as useful for a fraction of the cost. If we allow e-bikes, then this network is useful even to those whom aren’t in great physical shape.

  28.  

    lop

    Seriously, why is money here even an issue?

    Because there are a thousand other priorities and minimal support for bike projects for the simple reason that few people bike or even see it as feasible. You have to change that before the money you want is available. There are roads that are overbuilt in that they have more capacity than they need. Some should lose a lane for buses. Some for bikes. Sometimes narrowing lanes makes room for bikes. That should happen not because the bike infrastructure will serve so many, but because it will make the road safer. At the end of blocks, or near mid block crosswalks, or sometimes driveways you should get rid of a parking space to improve safety. You’ll sometimes want a curb to block wide car turns. It’s a ‘free’ place to put a bike rack in that the fight to get rid of the parking space should take place anyway. Start with the places where bike infrastructure will have negligible impact on drivers, piggy back on other causes too. Maybe a wide boardwalk to replace the messy willow lake trail could get support from non cyclists, and give cyclists a way to cross the grand central and van wyck that’s better than union or jewel. I don’t think most people willing to support motor parkway east see themselves as ever being regular cyclists. I’m sure many would fight tooth and nail if the project was for anyone else but wasn’t as cheap as this can be since all of the land needed can be acquired from other govenment agencies.

    Enough people think of bikes as nice to have that you can tack cycling facilities on to other projects. Focus on where they might be useful. If they are used and generate new bike trips then it’s easier to argue for more cycling facilities since you have more cyclists, even if they directly take something away from motorists, or are just very expensive.

  29.  

    Joe R.

    Maybe the issue here is “limited bike dollars” more than anything else. Everything I said is feasible to do in a decade in a system with rational funding. We get a few crumbs thrown from the king’s table now and then instead of serious, long term commitment. How about throwing at least 1% of NYC’s budget for the next decade towards bike infrastructure? That’s the kind of commitment we need given that we’re starting off with practically nothing. Or maybe nobody is at all serious about this, which is frankly the impression I get listening to public officials. It’s sort of like, yes, it’s nice to have bikes and all. We’ll do what we can when the stars are aligned, the moon is blue, and all the community boards are having a good day, provided it hardly costs us any money or doesn’t take away any parking.

    Sure, there’s gaps galore. That’s even taking into account streets which don’t really need bike infrastructure. It shouldn’t be either/or. Just build it all out everywhere, to the highest standards. In the end it’ll cost less than a dozen miles of subway if we do that, but would be far more useful to more people. Seriously, why is money here even an issue? $10 billion over a decade is fine by me. That cost is split among 8.5 million people. My annual contribution of $118 is on the way as soon as the city says go. I’m 51 years old now. I’d like to be alive when the city has some sort of really great bike network. At the rate we’re going I’d better plan on living past 1,000 because that’s how long it’ll take.

  30.  

    lop

    How’s the cost of building tunnels along 73rd under Francis lewis, 188, utopia, 164, kissena, parsons, main or whichever lights you want to replace compare with the cost of putting in bike lanes on some of 188, utopia, kissena, 150, main, and parsons and installing bike corrals at each commercial strip? Cost measured both in terms of political and financial capital. Which would be used more?

    Or to rebuilding willow lake trail as a boardwalk or something similar that’s bikeable, giving an alternative crossing to the mess on union and jewel?

    With all the massive gaps in the area’s bike network you would need a massive increase in funding for the best use of those limited bike dollars to be tunneling don’t you think?

  31.  

    Kenny Easwaran

    More likely it’s because the majority of governors like to position themselves in opposition to the largest cities in their state, rather than in alignment with them.

  32.  

    Joe R.

    So we basically are trying to make it into something resembling what it was 80 years ago? Two lessons to be learned from this:

    1) “New” doesn’t always mean better. America’s cultural automobile fetish starting in the 1950s didn’t replace something bad with something better. It just replaced old with new for the sake of doing so, with no rational analysis given to what was being done.

    2) If you want to level a city, automobiles are far more effective than atom bombs. The picture on the right eerily resembles post-atom bomb Hiroshima:

    http://www.anglonautes.com/history/hist_usa/hist_usa_20_ww2/hist_us_20_ww2_hiroshima/hist_us_20_ww2_hiroshima_aerial_buildings_river.jpg

  33.  

    Joe R.

    Even if it’s ten feet, I’m not seeing that as a big issue. Obviously this idea isn’t feasible if there’s a subway under the street. It’s probably not feasible if you have intersections every 250 feet as in Manhattan, either. It might be suited more for outer borough arterials with major intersections every 1/4 mile or so. In that case, we’re not looking at a huge cost. Remember you can put in the protected lane first to get ridership up. Once it’s up enough then you can justify excavating for the underpasses. Once you have a good amount of this “local” type of infrastructure in place to feed into an express network which might include viaducts, you can get started on that. Any large city that wanted to could probably do all this within a decade if the money and political support were there.

  34.  

    lop

    Sewers and utilities under major roads mean you might go more than seven feet down, closer to ten?. The problem is the price. Some places have bike paths diving under roads the way you want. Such as boulder and reno. Because they built the bike paths along streams and already needed to bridge the roadway over. Bike infrastructure has to be cheap because few use it. Few use it because there’s no infrastructure to support cycling. Build the cheap infrastructure, like bike lanes that don’t require expensive grade separation. Not perfect, but can be widely built getting the user base to support more expensive projects, and expanding the reach of those projects – one of your viaducts a mile or more away from your origin and destination is useless if the ride to and from it is too uninviting.

  35.  

    Gezellig

    Yup, something that’s not touted often enough is the fact that full-on protected cycletracks (including at intersections) aren’t just better for people who bike, but for people of all abilities:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSGx3HSjKDo

    Btw I noticed while living in the Netherlands that some of the more recent beg buttons were buttonless. Though I still saw plenty of this guy:

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uXPqXGkyk0o/TzVeJOe5DnI/AAAAAAAAAR8/G701_XxNU3U/Photo%2525206%252520May%2525202011%25252011%25253A33.jpg

    Anyway, like you say, I see no reason why protected cycletrack intersections can’t happen here–though, yeah, don’t expect too much logic to seep into planning for awhile indeed. That SF intersection at Masonic/Fulton looks promising, though. It’s set for construction next year so it’ll be cool to see how it turns out.

  36.  

    Joe R.

    Any reason they can’t just have the bike lanes go through the intersection via underpasses? You only need to go down maybe 7 feet. Gradients aren’t an issue because the momentum you build going down will carry you back up, unlike the opposite situation with overpasses where you have to limit gradients. Underpasses aren’t visually obtrusive, either, as overpasses are. The so-called protected intersection as shown above really isn’t. If a vehicle runs a red light, nothing is protecting the cyclist with the green. With underpasses there are no bicycle/motor vehicle conflicts.

    For some idea of how to do this, visualize what you have in your picture. You still have the same thing at the corners for right-turning cyclists. For through cyclists, the lane splits maybe 50 feet before the intersection. The portion on the right is pretty much like what you have there. The portion on the left starts dropping underground (you obviously need short lengths of fence on either side to keep cyclists or pedestrians from accidentally falling. By the time the left portion of the bike lan gets to where the crosswalk is, it’s about 6 or 7 feet underground. That’s where it stays until it comes up on the other side. On the opposite side, it rises, then rejoins the protected lane.

    The only complication in this scheme is what to do when you have two perpendicular bike paths. Two answers to that. One can just dip down about 14 or 15 feet so it goes underneath the one which is ~7 feet down. This might require a longer approach ramp. Or it can remain at street level, subject to traffic signals. This approach might be fine if the cross street bike lane is on a minor street intersecting a major street. In that case, most cyclists would get the “free” right turn onto the major street anyway. The ones going straight through may need to wait, but they would be a minority.

    The basic idea here though is to create a non-stop protected space for cyclists totally free of motor vehicles, even on major arterial streets running through urban centers. Obviously my idea of viaducts can also work here, but I think what I described here is far less costly and obtrusive, hence it might actually have a chance of being implemented. It preserves the beneficial features for pedestrians, such as the islands and reduced crossing time. It also neatly avoids the conflict between right-turning vehicles and bicycles proceeding through the intersection.

  37.  

    Marven Norman

    No problem. The use of bike signals will definitely help and I doubt that there are any significant ADA compliance issues with using cycletracks and full protected intersections. They are of course used extensively in The Netherlands and as far as I could tell, cause no detriment to access by those with disabilities. If anything, they actually increase their mobility.

    At intersections, the treatments that the Dutch use are substantially similar to those that are on that picture from SF. The tactile bumps are included at the edge of the roadway and roadway side of the cycletrack. The SF design actually goes one step further by also placing another tactile strip on the sidewalk before the cycletrack, so they’ve actually improved things ever so slightly. However, the placement of the ‘beg button’ will probably be a headache. The Dutch application generally places it on the tiny island between the cycletrack and the roadway. ADA standards might require it to be on the sidewalk itself, though. Picture related. Also note the equestrian ‘beg buttons’ in the cycletrack!

    The other issue would be inept curb cuts. The standard, large-radius corner design as of late usually results in a curb cut that most favorably launches someone on a path straight toward the center of the intersection, not along the lines of the sidewalk they were on. If that same curb cut is used with a cycletrack, it would definitely “cause problems” if people had to enter the cycletrack then go back over to the ped crossing. The obvious solution is really just to build two curb cuts that follow the lines of the sidewalk, but don’t expect much reason to make its way into the planning for awhile.

  38.  

    Marven Norman

    So we should make all streets one-way facilities.

  39.  

    Angie Schmitt

    OMG I love that picture. They look so passionate.

  40.  

    Rascal_Face

    Even in cases of deaths to cyclists the drivers are frequently not cited. the city was also caught gaming the stats for injuries caused by bus drivers a while back.

    All I’m saying is that from my own perspective the added bike lanes, bike turn lights, etc have made a big improvement. Anyone who had to cross Masonic St through the panhandle ten years ago knows what I’m talking about.

  41.  

    SFnative74

    From their website:

    “Vision: Through GHSA leadership, partnerships and advocacy,
    States and Territories move toward zero deaths on the nation’s
    roadways.”

    Zero deaths is exactly in line with Vision Zero policies, but for some reason, GHSA seems to think a human life lost on a bike is not as important as a human life lost in an automobile?

  42.  

    Erik Griswold

  43.  

    Rob Anderson

    The issue in San Francisco is not deaths but injury accidents and cycling. A UC study found that the city has a radically flawed method of counting accidents on city streets that missed more than 1,300 injury accidents to cyclists. One wonders how many other cities have this problem: relying on police reports and ignoring many accidents treated in emergency rooms:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Using+trauma+center+data+to+identify+missed+bicycle+injuries+and+their+associated+costs

  44.  

    Wash Cycle

    The “rise” is likely just reversion to the mean. 2010 had the fewest number of cyclist deaths on record. Of course it would go up in subsequent years. Same thing happened in 2002-2004. Three data points, with the first being an outlier, does not a trend make.

  45.  

    ralph

    Wow, bicycling is really dangerous! ~150 fatalities per billion trips, that means 1 fatality per 7 million trips, so if you take 2 bike trips per day, 365 days/year, and the fatality rate doesn’t get any better, you’ll likely be killed on your bike by the time you’re 10,000 years old!

    Unless maybe you do bike share. These helmetless riders have done something like 30 million trips in the US, with zero fatalities. So if you’re not wearing a helmet, you might not live to see your 40,000th birthday. Scary!

  46.  

    Sean Hughes

    Misleading headlines are so annoying. A better headline would be “More people on bikes leads to an increase in biker deaths.” Then in the article one could go into how percents are different than amounts.

  47.  

    Rascal_Face

    Good infrastructure and Rude Drivers is an apt description of San Francisco. In the 10 years I’ve been riding here we’ve seen the infrastructure improve a lot and the drivers stay just as aggro as always.

  48.  

    BBnet3000

    Yeah but even people who drive everywhere can have a basic understanding of how to correctly interpret statistics.

  49.  

    Shane Phillips

    Does anyone know who actually runs/staffs GHSA? I’m wondering if this actually has any connection to state governors, in which case I’d want to know to what degree this report seems so dismissive of bikes because the majority of governors are Republicans.

  50.  

    Dennis_Hindman

    Using the percentages of commuters who stated they bicycled to work in the U.S. from 2010 to 2012, which were compiled by the League of American Bicyclists from Census Bureau American Community Survey results, there was an increase of 18% more people stating that they used a bicycle as their primary method of traveling to work in that time frame. If the fatalities for bicycle commuters went up 16%, then the risk of getting killed while riding to work went down.