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    Dave Holland

    I’m not an engineer.



    On average, when bike lanes, cycle tracks or bike paths are installed the rate of bicycle commuting goes up. That is not a reduction in cycling. Large cities in the U.S. with the least amount of infrastructure dedicated to cycling per square mile or 100,000 population tend to be at the bottom rung of the 70 largest cities in terms of percentage of commuters who bicycle to work. Those cities with the highest rates of bicycle commuting tend to be among the cities with the largest of amount of bicycling infrastructure per square mile or 100,000 population.


    Dave Holland

    Was that a presumption? I thought it was mockery based on fact.
    You listed one relevant study from a facilities advocate at UNC voicing his opinion on “available” data. What parts of the way that study was conducted convince you that he is correct?


    Maggie the Avid Cyclist

    I feel like I’m arguing with pre-title 9 opponents of parity for spending on college sports. There isn’t room for support for anything but the men’s teams, eh? We can’t weaken them. They’re important.

    There are a ZILLION things that you and your government spend money on that aren’t strict necessities. Guard rails on roads. Roads in general. Scientific research into climate change. Retrofitting your state for the potential impact of climate change. The military. The mortgage interest deduction. Farm subsidies. Sugar subsidies. And on and on and on.

    But it sounds like you’re a city or state transportation engineer who’s singled out cycling infrastructure as your area to draw the line. That’s so disappointing.


    Brad Aaron

    Kudos to Jon Cox for being candid about the AASHTO mindset.

    Secretary Foxx just announced that AASHTO has “partnered” with US DOT on the “Toward Zero Deaths” program, which aims to educate the public on dangerous behaviors like distracted walking and drunk cycling.

    Best to know where everyone stands.


    Dave Holland

    I refer to it as a luxury because it isn’t a necessity, and it takes away resources that could be used for necessities. Boondoggle is also a fitting term.



    First you stated: “I don’t make presumptions about crash statistics”. Then you state: “You’re pretty safe with massive fast moving motor vehicles zipping by a few inches away.” That is stating a presumption about the level of safety riding among large mass vehicles that are traveling at a high rate of speed which are passing by a few inches away.

    Name any data, study or research that indicates this is true. Your making a claim that needs to be backed up by evidence. So far on this thread no vehicular cyclist has been able to produce any evidence that their way of cycling is safer than any other method.

    The countries of German, Denmark and the Netherlands have an extensive network of cycle tracks and paths. They have a fatality rate for cycling that is a third or less of what it is in the U.S.

    The International Transport Forum, the Danish Road Administration, the Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research and the Transport Research Laboratory in the UK all concluded that cycle tracks improved safety on links but increased crash rates at junctions. The overall effect on safety was concluded to be neutral.

    In the U.S., Carl Sundstrom from the UNC Highway Safety Research Center stated that before-and-after data they have is convincing enough to say protected bike lanes improve safety. In Sundstrom’s study of protected bike lanes, total cyclist injuries did go up, but since more people were biking, the crash rate went down on eight out of nine streets.

    A recent report by New York City on 7 miles of cycle tracks that have been in use for 3 years or more have results for crashes with injuries that were reduced by 17%. Cyclist injuries show a minor improvement even though bicyclist volumes had a dramatic increase. Total injuries dropped by 20%.


    Doug G.

    No need for airbags, crumple zones, or seat belts in cars, I suppose. After all, it’s not the design of the cars that kills people, it’s their behavior behind the wheel. Why should we do anything that might lessen the consequences of bad choices?


    Dave Holland

    California CVC 21208.
    Start here for studies: .

    Infrastructure cycling is much smaller than vehicular cycling in miles available to travel. Your infrastructure reduces cycling.
    Los Angeles is not a typical city. I don’t care what you do in Los Angeles, I would never live there. All of the USA is not Disney Land. I just attended an open house for future transportation plans in my metropolitan area. I was told all of the concerns I had over consultants not knowing the laws and bad infrastructure design didn’t matter because there are no funds for the projects.


    David Goldberg

    If this is true, why is it that collision, injury and fatality rates are plummeting on complete streets retrofits (see a report coming next week)? Sure, motorists and bicyclists make mistakes, but they needn’t be fatal — unless the mistakes of the engineers make them so.


    Michael Andersen

    “When we analyzed the cause of why all the cars were stolen from the front of our auto dealership, we found that behavior was really 100 percent the issue, not the fact that our standard practice is to leave the doors to all our cars unlocked with the keys in the ignition.”


    Dave Holland

    No, there is no asinine law in physics, physics is actual science.
    What you describe belongs in the realm of studies and surveys designed to influence your thought, social engineering – not real science. Don’t presume
    that you could know what I expect. You have a demonstrated inability to understand what I know, and a penchant for exaggeration.

    I don’t make presumptions about crash statistics, if I did I would believe that it would be safer to slow cars down before they hit you even though you would do so by increasing the number of times you get hit. I would also believe it’s okay to get doored and knocked under a truck, because that is getting hit by a stationary motor vehicle. You didn’t mention curb hugging, but let’s throw that out there too. After all, curb hugging is just bike lane behavior without the paint. You’re pretty safe with massive fast moving motor vehicles zipping by a few inches away. Compile your crash data for interacting with traffic in your manner and compare it to my way of interacting. And, don’t do it by eliminating intersections or anything else you don’t care to label as part of the special bike infrastructure. Or, save yourself some time and tell
    me how many vehicular cyclists have been killed in rear-end collisions?

    “Its not at all difficult to find studies or data of bicycling
    infrastructure that show positive results.“
    You left out a key element of the studies, “valid”.



    You don’t seem to realize that commuting is only about 15% of the trips that people do in the U.S.

    In a 2009 National Household Travel Survey conducted by the federal government, Los Angeles County survey results show 23.2 percent of trips are less than 1 mile in length and 12.4 percent are 1-2 miles in length–together well over one third of trips originating in Los Angeles County are less than 2 miles in length.

    Nationwide 40 percent of all trips are 2 miles or less in length or less. Which is a distance that is easily doable in most circumstances on a bicycle.

    The countries of German, Denmark and the Netherlands have an extensive network of cycle tracks and paths. They have a fatality rate for cycling that is a third or less of what it is in the U.S.

    The International Transport Forum, the Danish Road Administration, the Dutch Institute for Road Safety Research and the Transport Research Laboratory in the UK all concluded that all concluded that cycle tracks improved safety on links but increased crash rates at junctions. The overall effect on safety was concluded to be neutral.

    In the U.S., Carl Sundstrom from the UNC Highway Safety Research Center that before-and-after data they have is convincing enough to say protected bike
    lanes improve safety. In Sundstrom’s study of protected bike lanes, total
    cyclist injuries did go up, but since more people were biking, the crash rate
    went down on eight out of nine streets.

    A recent report by New York City on 7 miles of cycle tracks that have been in use for 3 years or more show that crashes with injuries were reduced by 17%. Cyclist injuries show a minor improvement even though bicyclist volumes had a dramatic increase. Total injuries dropped by 20%.


    Frank Krygowski

    Sorry, but Jensen’s response – and most of those below – does NOT address the fact that the 10% increase in crashes was NOT the figure for bicyclists. It was the overall figure, including cars, trucks, buses etc. The crash increase for bikes was 30%, as shown in detailed examination of the data to which I linked.

    Jensen did NOT retract his paper’s statement that “_Bicyclists’_ safety has worsened due to these facilities.” [Emphasis mine.] He claims that overall safety (including other road users) has increased; but are we really supposed to put cyclists in more danger so the motorists and others can be more safe?

    Jensen seems to remain committed to promoting cycle tracks; but he’s doing it because of reduced air pollution, etc., even if it endangers cyclists.


    Maggie the Avid Cyclist

    There’s a lot of hostility towards allocating or designating space towards cycling here. What really strikes me is your term ‘luxury infrastructure.’ What do you mean by that? What’s your cost basis? What makes you call something a luxury, vs a boondoggle, an infrastructure project for our shared future, or a bedrock part of American life?



    Dude, you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s the 2-dimensional grids that are causing the problem because of intersections. If all roads were parallel and didn’t intersect, people would spend a lot less time in traffic, whether they live in the city or suburbs. If you draw it out on a piece of paper, you can see how it works. Use a ruler to make the lines straight.


    Frank Krygowski

    “A major to cycling and a extremely low utilitarian cycling rate in the U.S. is the lack of low stress routes to bicycle on.” [sic]

    There are MANY reasons for America’s low utilitarian cycling rate. I’ve listed many of them before. The primary one, I believe, is that the great bulk of residential construction since the 1950s has been outward into low density suburbs. As a result, travel distances are much longer than in bike-heavy countries. From

    “For better or worse, America is a nation on wheels. To get where they
    need to go, 90 percent of Americans say they usually drive, reporting an
    average of 87 minutes a day behind the wheel. For car commuters, it’s
    an average of 100 minutes; for parents with children at home, an average
    of 104 minutes (compared with 77 minutes for people without kids at
    home). The average household owns two cars, trucks or sport utility
    vehicles — and one in four owns three or more.”

    Within 50 years, you can’t get people who drive 100 minutes per day to get to most places by bicycle. You can’t re-build the suburbs to put work, shops, offices etc. within easy biking distance. You can’t invert the infrastructure to dissuade motoring (as in Netherlands) and promote bicycling as much as they do. You can’t impose their tax system, liability system, parking fees, license regulations, fuel costs, etc. You can’t provide the massive public transport they do. You certainly can’t revise the climate (at least, not on purpose) to get rid of harsh winters or tropical humidity that they seldom deal with.

    You can put in some cute demonstration projects. Again, Columbus Ohio did a segregated cycle track in the 1970s, I believe, adjacent to the OSU campus. It was heavily used. “Yay!” And it was removed in about two years because of the huge increase in crashes.

    Then the 1970s passed, most people hung up their ten speeds, and the experiment was forgotten. And Columbus residents – like almost all other Americans – rely almost entirely on their cars to get around. The social changes promised by the 1970s bike boom never appeared.

    Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it.



    Your misinterpreting Soren Jensen’s report as other vehicular cyclist adhererants keep doing. Mr. Jensen clearly states in the link that I’ve copied and pasted below that there was a net increase in safety. He also states that the reason for the increases in collisions was that parking was removed some streets where cycle tracks were installed. This led to an increase at the intersections due to cars turning to find parking. If parking on the street where cycle tracks were installed was not removed, then his conclusion was that there would be no increase in collisions.



    I don’t see much difference between these two cities, so I think I’ll sit out this round.


    Frank Krygowski

    “You’re not reading the comments. No one has ever said PBLs should be on every street ever.”

    False. Or at least, plenty of people have said that _some_ bike facility needs to be on every street. People are lobbying hard for bike lanes on every street in one city I know of, specifically saying to put them in the door zone if that’s the only choice. I recounted the story of the nurse who wouldn’t ride on her quiet residential street because it has no bike lanes. And we have a poster who’s said more than once that people never want to ride in front of cars; that implies separation on _all_ streets.

    Perhaps you could restrain the more radical of your supporters as a start?


    Frank Krygowski

    First, yes, I was referring to the Jensen studies. (I have two studies by Jensen in hard copy.) Contrary to your assertion about _only_ 10% increase in bike crashes, it seems the 10% crash increase is for _all_ crashes, including motor vehicle crashes that don’t involve bikes. But we’re talking about safety effects on cyclists; and as shown here
    bicycle crashes actually increased over 30%, not 10%. Consequently, you’re talking about 30% more crashes with only 20% more cyclists. That’s an rather large increase in danger to each cyclist.

    While Jensen’s papers aren’t the easiest read (it’s easy to mistake that 10% as just bike crashes), he was clear in his conclusions that “Bicyclists’ safety has worsened due to these facilities.” (I don’t see why cycletrack proponents ignore that statement.) However, since Jensen himself is a proponent, he goes on to say that there were probably benefits from less air pollution, oil consumption and traffic noise, Does that mean cyclists should give blood to reduce oil consumption?

    About your other point: Yes, I understand that many people like the feel of cycle tracks. Jensen’s subjects thought they felt safer as well, even though they were significantly more dangerous. I’ve seen the same on a cycling facility here that has caused many crashes and one death. People haven’t heard about the death and injuries, and they don’t recognize the hazards. As I said, there are MANY cyclists who feel “Any bike facility is a good bike facility.” This is why traffic facility engineers should not rely on mere advocacy campaigns or even preference polls asking “do you _feel_ safer?”

    It’s not ethical to deliberately install a facility that makes people _think_ they’re safer, but actually increases risk. That’s particularly true if the mechanisms for increased risk should be obvious to any competent observer.


    Reality Broker

    BTW, for you Californians – this is a great example of Northwestern cities successfully building that fairy tale future that Frank deems impossible and unworthy of the effort expenditure.

    (Luckily, for us there are lots of people who feel otherwise!)

    It’s written by a mom who was able to enjoy riding a bike with her family all over Vancouver.


    Alex Brideau III

    To their credit, that actually makes sense for hospitals, where on occasion people need to be transported between buildings while remaining in their hospital beds. Other patients may not be in hospital beds but require a considerable amount of time to walk from building to building (more than would be tolerated by today’s aggressive drivers) and in some of Nashville’s more uncomfortable months, being able to travel slowly between buildings in a tranquil and climate-controlled environment can limit additional discomfort for patients.


    Maggie the Avid Cyclist

    I’m half waiting to learn that someone here was one of the authors of the Port Huron statement. The original version, not the compromised second draft.


    Philly native

    The saddest thing about Camden is that it has two really very nice transit lines–the PATCO into Philadelphia and some of the Camden County suburbs, and the River Line to Trenton–and both are surrounded by this parking. The Bike Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is working to better the connections over the Ben Franklin Bridge by bike, but in general people in Philadelphia just don’t go to Camden if they can help it. And the suburbs near it, though of a somewhat pre-war style for the most part, are probably not drawing anyone in either. People mostly drive to Philadelphia coming from S. Jersey.

    Housing prices in Philly are pretty moderate, too, so there’s no reason for anyone to spill over and develop into Camden as a way of accessing Center City Philadelphia.

    My partner and I used to take “SEPTA weekend adventures” where we would just take an unknown line to wherever it went, and one of the weirdest of those days off was going to Camden and seeing what’s beyond the Aquarium.

    :-/ Good luck, Camden! We’re pulling for you!



    Downtown Nashville is not a real city, no meters in the center but plenty of pay lots all around. Someone must be tight with city hall.



    Ugh, yes. I’m from Nashville–born in the hospital pictured above. My dad is constantly complaining about the traffic and how Nashville is turning into Atlanta and yet was VEHEMENTLY opposed to the BRT plan because of all the old (wrong) reasons about transit being subsidized and cars being independent, etc. Not coincidentally, this was the last time I forgot my rule about it never being worth it to argue with my dad and engaged…to no avail.

    Transit will need a major image overhaul if it’s going to succeed there. And if the growth continues as it has, it needs to. Lack of transit isn’t the only reason I’d never consider returning to live in my hometown, but they’re certainly never going to convince me to return without it.



    I’m failing to understand here. Is there a person with a gun threatening you, forcing you to live in a suburb of Houston? Otherwise, its perfectly permissible to move somewhere else.



    Where is there forced segregation for cycling in the U.S.?

    How about pointing out specifically any of the false surveys and studies that you claim are out there. There are repeated claims about this from VC advocates but I have yet to see much evidence to support it.

    Vehicular Cycling is being a smaller portion of bicycling in the U.S. Its not growing nearly as much as the increased bicycling that has occurred as a result of installing bicycle specific infrastructure.

    As I wrote before, cities are adapting to cutbacks in federal funding for transportation. For example, Los Angeles county passed a half cent sales tax for highway and transit improvements in 2008 when the economy was declining. Part of the local funds given to the city of Los Angeles is dedicated to on-street bikeways. There has never been a dedicated source of funding for bicycling in Los Angeles previous to that. I see evidence that more and more large cities across the country are increasing their investment in bicycling infrastructure. It shows no sign of abating.


    Ian Turner

    The Bing Maps link for Amarillo points to Nashville.



    There is no law in physics where drivers of motor vehicles have to hit their brakes or slow down. You are not actually in control of driver behavior by getting in front of them.

    You and other vehicular cycling advocates are presuming that drivers will play by the rules. If drivers do make mistakes, are distracted, intoxicated, driving in a excessive speed or are using drugs you are more likely to have a serious injury or be killed if they hit you while they are traveling at higher rates of speed. There are less odds that a vehicle will be traveling at a high rate of speed when the driver makes a right turn, enters/exits driveways or freeway on/off ramps than there is if the vehicle is turning left at an intersection or proceeding straight. The VC presumption is that a high speed collision will not happen to them because, well, their riding a bicycle and following the rules.

    Presuming that it is safer to be riding a bicycle in front of fast moving motor vehicles than to ride to the side of them is not evidence to conclude that this is true. Pointing out statistics or scenarios where collisions do or could occur while riding to the right is also not evidence that cycling in front of motor vehicles on a busy street is therefore safer.

    Most of the vehicular cycling advocates that respond to posts like this seem to be getting their information from the same sources as they repeat the same errors. For instance the study by Jensen of cycle tracks in Copenhagen did not show a decrease in the safety for cycling after the installation of cycle tracks, there was a decrease in the rate of collisions and injuries for cycling which improved the safety.

    Its not at all difficult to find studies or data of bicycling infrastructure that show positive results. What’s difficult is getting vehicular cycling advocates to accept any information that does not conform to their beliefs. That’s not what I would call being open minded. Its more a rigid ideology that cannot accept any study, data or research that gives any information that runs counter to it.



    group 4: we do not own cars because we actually care about the environment. we make up the “other 1 percent”


    Dave Holland

    I don’t see people hiding the facts about vehicular cycling, the facts are why it is adopted by reasonable people. It’s obvious cars are larger than bicycles, and they can go faster. It’s also obvious that they have to slow down when traffic slows down. People are actually trying to avoid hitting other people. They aren’t always good at it, but the odds are better when everyone knows how it works and what to expect.
    It’s actually quite comical to accuse vehicular cyclists of something the special infrastructure advocates have mastered. It’s difficult to find a study or survey that supports special infrastructure that doesn’t skew the findings.



    I always chuckle when someone cites Jensen’s study as a supposed cycletrack killer when even in the very first words of Jensen’s abstract he notes that cycletracks in Copenhagen yielded a:

    –> 20% increase in modeshare


    –> only a 10% increase in injuries (that’s a reduction in injury likelihood!)

    In his abstract he also points out how cycletracks in Copenhagen yielded reduced car mileage 10% and even concludes that–as if the positive numbers weren’t enough–“the positive benefits may well be much higher than the negative consequences caused by new safety problems.”

    Also, for all the “that’ll-never-work-here” American Exceptionalism the VC-only crowd usually espouses it’s an odd reliance on a study in Denmark that actually comes to pretty positive conclusions about cycletracks there. Aren’t things in Denmark supposedly irrelevant to the US, according to that crowd?

    Is this really the best the VC-only crowd has got?!

    I guess the overwhelmingly positive before/after studies coming out of American cities–some of which have been cited multiple times on this thread and many more of which are easily Googleable–are an inconvenient truth to a semi-religious dogma that requires unbending grasping-at-straws adherence no matter what the studies show.

    It’s really quite bizarre.


    Dave Holland

    Bicycling is different when it comes to funding. Maintaining the roads is a priority and sidewalk construction takes priority over cycling. Bicycling has enjoyed riding on the coattails of pedestrian statistics in the past. That allows cycling advocates to quote statistics that are mostly pedestrian as bike/ped statistics. When it comes down to funding, pedestrians will take priority and bicycles will be vehicles.
    The cities you are talking about are the ones I pointed out, large tax base. In smaller cities, they have already cut back on luxury infrastructure – even bike lane paint.
    The thing is, no one is force feeding vehicular cycling. You can take it or leave it, it’s your life. I don’t need to worry about putting more people on bikes, you are doing that. Unlike forced segregation, vehicular cycling will continue regardless of funding. Once you lose federal funding and cities cut back, you lose funding from the companies that drive your advocacy. All the people you put on bikes with false surveys and studies will learn to drive their bike on the road, be stuck in existing bike lanes or resort to other forms of transportation. In the end you get to be the latest bike-boom and it’s over.



    I’m not out to scare anyone. It’s the vehicular cycling advocates that try to hide the fact that on major streets motor vehicles that have much greater mass than bicyclists and are traveling at a much greater speed than bicycle riders are more likely to cause serious injuries or fatalities for the cyclist in a collision.



    You seem to simply repeat misinformation that is widely disseminated by vehicular cycling. The Jensen report that you seem to refer to about cycle tracks in Copenhagen did not show that these were way more dangerous than streets that had no bikeways.

    In this link below the author of that study, Mr Jensen, is stating that the cycle tracks that were part of his research increased cycling by 18-20% and increased both accidents and injuries by 9-10%. The greater increase in the volume of cycling compared to the volume of increase in accidents and injuries produced a lower risk of collisions and injuries for cycling after the installation of the cycle tracks.

    Again, this is an example of vehicular cycling advocates not understanding what research results actually show.



    i can match you point after point in pointing out the hazards of riding in the middle of motor vehicle lanes compared to riding to the side of them. Pointing only the hazards of riding to the side of motor vehicles and ignoring the risks involved with riding in front vehicles on busy streets is a biased and distorted way of looking at it. Your trying to promote your product by just pointing out potential conflicts that can happen using another method of riding. There are potential conflicts wherever motor vehicles move. You don’t eliminate potential conflicts with motor vehicles by riding among them. The risk of obtaining a serious injury or being killed rises in a collision as the mass and speed differential between the cyclist and motorist rises. That is indisputable Frank.



    Cities are finding ways to get money for transportation infrastructure at the local level as the feds reduce the level of funding. Bicycling is not different in that regard. Cities are continuing to install more and more cycling infrastructure. There was a doubling of the total amount of protected bike lane projects installed last year compared to all previous years combined. The rate of commuting by bicycle is still going up and the rate of those choosing to commute to work by driving is going down.

    Trying to force feed vehicular cycling onto people like they are foie gras ducks has not met with much success. Unlike captive animals, most people have the freedom to make choices in how they move about.

    If bicycling on busy streets seems uncomfortable then they will choose some other type of transportation to get where they need to go. An insignificant amount of people will seek out classes that try to convince them to ride in a position that they feel would endanger them.

    About half of the adult population in one recent survey stated that they would ride if there was a barrier separating them from motor vehicles. Vehicular cycling classes or paint stripes is not going to convince that high a proportion of the population to ride for their daily needs. Although bike lanes have been shown to attract about 7% of commuters to ride a bicycle on busy streets. That’s a percent far in excess of what can be expected by trying to convince people to ride on busy streets that don’t any form of separation from motor vehicles.

    Vehicular cyclists point out the possibility of hitting a parked car door when riding in a bike lane. Yet that’s where most people would tend to ride whether or not there is a bike lane there. The bike lane gets more people to ride.

    It doesn’t cost a lot of money to install bike lanes. Los Angeles has spent about $20 million dollars using today’s costs to install 391 miles of bike lanes. More and more cities are realizing that there is no better bang for the buck in transportation than bikeways.


    Alex Brideau III

    Isn’t that an oxymoron? :-)

    (…this coming from an Angeleno)



    If there is not a low-stress residential street, bike path or cycle track available to get people where they want to go then they will not use a bicycle for those trips. They will choose another less stressful way to get there. The reason that there is an extremely low utilitarian cycling rate in the U.S. is the lack of low stress routes to bicycle on. Believing that trying to force feed people vehicular cycling techniques like their foie gras ducks is not meeting with any significant effect. That’s because its not something people want to do. Give them what they want to enable them to bicycle more and that is separation from motor vehicles on major streets in order for them to get where they want to go. Stop being a hindrance to that.

    This isn’t a all or nothing scenario. The more sidepaths that are installed in a city, the more people will tend to bicycle on a daily basis. Its that simple. If that isn’t available they will choose another way to move around.

    I’m not proposing to put sidepaths on every street. Residential streets do not need separation of motor vehicles and bicyclists due to the much lower volume and speed of motor vehicles. There are 7,500 miles of streets in Los Angeles. Of that, 3,000 miles are arterial/collector streets which would need some sort of separation in order to get beyond a less than one percent cycling rate. Los Angeles has already installed 391 miles of bike lanes and its commuting bicycle rate has reached 1.2%. It only took $20 thousand at today’s costs to install that amount of bike lanes. There simply isn’t any better bang for the buck in transportation than bikeways.

    I’m not encouraging people to ride where most of them would never want to ride such as in the gutter. What I am proposing is to have more major streets with separation so that more people will choose to bicycle. I’m very pragmatic about this. Why keep insisting on trying to get people to do something that they have no interest in participating in? Your beating a dead horse on that. There simply won’t ever be a significant number of people who would follow those recommendations. They are not interested, period.

    Research showed that riding counter to the flow of traffic on a sidewalk was more dangerous. If you ride in the same direction of traffic it was shown to be less dangerous than riding in the street. People’s natural instinct for survival is what convinces them to ride on a sidewalk. They are not going to ride where much larger and faster potential predators can easily reach them.

    People are not willing to ride a bicycle on a route where any link within it exceeds their tolerance for traffic stress. Yes people do ride on sidewalk to get to and from the low-stress bike paths. I’ve had ample observations and talks with people who ride on the Orange Line bike path in Los Angeles and that’s what many of them do, they ride on sidewalks to get to and from that bike path. The traffic on major streets is too stressful for them to ride on. To get more people to ride, create more low-stress routes for them to ride on.

    In the city of Los Angeles its legal to ride a bicycle on sidewalks except for Hollywood Blvd and the boardwalk in Venice Beach. This makes it easy to judge how effective a treatment on a major street is for making bicycling more comfortable. You simply count the number of people riding a bicycle on the sidewalk before and after the installation.

    Vehicular cycling adherents keep repeating the same mistake of not understanding studies or research data. Your supposed to have been a educated traffic engineer and you can’t seem to understand that there was a major difference in the collision rate for bicycling on sidewalks according to which direction that the cyclist was riding in relation to the motor vehicle traffic.

    The often referred to Jensen study in Copenhagen is another example of VC advocates not understanding the results. I commonly see VC advocates not understanding the difference between the volume of collisions and the rate of collisions per cyclist.

    I’ve never met a advocate of separate bicycling infrastructure who goes around fear mongering about the dangers of of riding a bicycle to people who don’t normally ride. That seems to be the common technique of vehicular cycling advocates to try and convince people to ride in front of motor vehicles by telling them horror stories and misinterpretation of data concerning riding to the side of motor vehicles.

    Its a waste of time going around telling people how dangerous it is to ride in the streets. Most of them have already come to that conclusion without being influenced by other people.

    Very few people will ride a bicycle on a major street where there is no way to separate themselves from moving motor vehicles. It doesn’t matter if someone suggests that they ride there. They just won’t do it. The bicycle counts conducted in Los Angeles indicate that. If you want more people to ride on busy streets then provide some sort of separation for them to ride on and people will start showing up on bicycles.

    You keep claiming that motorists play by the rules. Again I have to point out that there were 32,000 motor vehicle collisions in Los Angeles and about 2/3 of those involved injuries. That did not occur because all motorists were playing by the rules. If bicyclists involved in those collisions would tend to have much more serious injuries due to not having the safety features that motor vehicle occupants do.

    You don’t have to tell adults to not get in front of motor vehicles while riding a bicycle in order to get them to not do that. The vast majority of them wouldn’t it whether or not anyone tells them not to or if they tell them to do it.

    Why should people sit back and accept bicycling conditions where there is a lack of, or very weak designs of bicycling infrastructure. That doesn’t encourage more people to bicycle on a daily basis. Spending time trying to convince people to overcome their natural instinct for survival by encouraging them to ride where there is no separation for them on busy streets has been proven fruitless.

    Advocating for higher quality designs like there is in Amsterdam or Copenhagen is not asking that U.S. cities become another Amsterdam anymore than asking for higher quality cars was asking Americans to be more Japanese. Incidentally, the major influences for quality control that Japanese car manufacturers used came from American occupiers immediately following WWII. They listened, embraced the ideas and became much more successful in attracting more customers than their U.S. counterparts by offering a higher quality product. Your strategy is to stick to promoting what is perceived by most people as a much lower quality product than what the Dutch or Danes have for bicycling.



    If they don’t ever want to ride except where they can be on some sidepath or bike path, then how _do_ they get anywhere?

    You’re not reading the comments. No one has ever said PBLs should be on every street ever. It’s about smartly connecting low-stress networks.

    Even in the Netherlands cycletracks are only in a numerical minority of streets–yet they form smartly spaced regular intervals that provide a crucial backbone to a low-stress bike network. Bike network from Houten, below (darkest lines = cycletrack routes):

    Low-stress networks entail only a numerical minority of streets that require cycletracks that connect. Other shared-space implementations occur on the majority of other (i.e. low-traffic/low-speed) streets.

    After evaluating the before/after of DC’s cycletracks DC’s Director of Infrastructure came to this conclusion:

    Jones said she thinks the protected lanes create a “trickle-out effect” on riders around the city, too.

    “Their confidence has been boosted by being in traffic on a bicycle in a highly trafficked area,” Jones said. “That has to carry through for folks, I think, when they’re in different environments. … Maybe all they really needed all along was just a little more confidence about what they needed to take the road.”

    Any ignoring of the positive benefits of smartly spaced cycletracks at this point is either willful ignorance or rigid dogmatic ideology.

    Yet those challenging me here see only one idealistic solution, and discount as impossible any other tactic. They insist on starting only with the most difficult and expensive, and stopping there!

    That’s pretty projection-y. No one has said that’s the only solution. But protected stretches *are* a key component of low-stress networks.

    But definitely not mutually exclusive with other strategies. Bikeshare is a big modeshare booster, as well. Better education is super important. Etc.



    It’s been shown that at least some of the increase in cycling on “protected stretches” (bike lanes, cycle tracks and the like) is merely transfer from parallel routes. IOW, the increase is at least partly due to decreases nearby.

    First of all:

    You keep failing to cite any sources.

    In any case, let’s say for a second that all of the growth is due to current people diverting to protected routes. To the extent that that’s true, that’s even more an indictment of the current status quo when people who already bike go out of their way to use a protected stretch.

    Since 2010, Goodno’s bike counts are up by an average of 54 percent citywide.

    But that increase is dwarfed by the 371 percent growth in biking observed on both 15th and Pennsylvania.

    Even if somehow all of that 371% gain were just from current bikers diverting to protected routes, that’s a crazy-positive ringing endorsement of a facility people clearly prefer. However, an increase of 371% is unlikely those are all just people diverting from other routes. Sure enough:

    “We’ve had a lot of requests from people who said they’re not biking until we get M Street,” Goodno said.

    And BTW, this does not prove that 10th street is safer!

    You keep on raising concern-troll doubts about facts and studies that are easily Googleable.

    The 2 cycletracks increased cycling on their streets enor­mous­ly, and took cycling off the sidewalk. Crashes increased, but not as much as volume, meaning that each individual cyclist became statistically safer.

    Same as has been seen in NYC. And Long Beach. And Copenhagen.

    Does it mean it’s time for DC/NYC/Long Beach/Copenhagen/etc. to rest on their laurels and avoid further improvements? No. But it’s a great start.

    So were the cyclists who liked the Copanhagen cycle tracks that were later shown by careful crash counts to be way more dangerous than the plain roads they replaced.

    Are you referring to the Jensen study?

    Remember, in that study he concluded cycletracks in Copenhagen:

    –> increased modeshare about 20%

    –> increased injuries about 10%

    this is a decrease in injuries per capita per distance traveled

    Also, remember that Danish intersections are unprotected and generally statistically less safe than their Dutch counterparts.



    The motive of the ruling class in these cases may be unspoken, but it’s political. Old, decaying downtowns left undisturbed often will house a variety of quirky retail that could never meet the high rents of malls or even strip malls along the traffic sewers. Ethnic restaurants, used book stores, model railroad and toy stores, frame shops, florists, comic shops, even perhaps a record store — remember them? Or heaven forfend, a porn shop/peep show or a gay bar. On my pass thru Amarillo I felt like the conformity police had responded to the threat of personalized and off-beat retail by demolishing every old building that could have been usable with cheap rent. Better to have ever more parking lots than to let people get out of line.


    Dave Holland

    What do you hope to accomplish by putting ignorant people on limited special infrastructure? They will find they can’t get anywhere without leaving the safety of the segregated infrastructure. Their lives will be at risk due to the false sense of security and limited knowledge. It won’t take them long to figure that out, they will quit riding because the only thing they learned was it isn’t safe without the special infrastructure.
    You aren’t going to get a lot of new infrastructure, the Federal money is running out. Only the largest densely populated cities will continue with segregation. You’re running into a dead end without vehicular cycling.



    You must be talking about a protected bike lane. The MUTCD does not allow unprotected bike lanes to the right of right turn only motor vehicle lane. The vehicular cycling advocates have a overblown irrational fear of motor vehicle right turns and a complete lack of common sense about the inherent danger of exposing themselves to high speed traffic.






    If “everyone loves” “finely textured urbanism”, why does it seem so hard to find? Have most Americans sold their souls to “motordom”?



    If they don’t ever want to ride except where they can be on some sidepath or bike path, then how _do_ they get anywhere?

    I’m remembering the old slogan for the newspaper I grew up with: if you don’t get it, you don’t get it. How is this even a question? If people don’t feel safe and comfortable cycling on a certain journey, they go by some other mode of transportation. If they try it and conclude that car or bus or walking or not going at all is more enjoyable, that’s how they’ll go, instead of by bike.



    I don’t mean to put words in your mouth, but is this your ideology? I can’t even say how grotesque this is to me: