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    Jack Hughes

    Good point, Michael! We should always be looking not only at the behavior of motorists and cyclists but also at how the infrastructure in place influences cyclist and motorist behavior. For instance, an installation like this one really encourages people to ride their bikes without and drive their cars without examining whether they might collide! That street was safer for cyclists, easier to navigate for cyclists, faster for cyclists, and more convenient for cyclists before the installation was done.



    Also, let’s keep in mind that San Francisco mode share jumped notably during a time when _no_ bike facilities were being built.

    No one’s disputing that. Obviously there are many factors influencing ridership. Actually, biking has slightly edged up increased in general in the US in recent years. However:

    –> said increases–while better than nothing–could be so much more, especially given cities’ stated bike modeshare goals and also many people’s stated desires to actually bike more if it were under low-stress conditions.

    –> one of the biggest modeshare boosters has been smart low-stress networks, including protected infra (of course there are others, too, such as widespread bikeshare, bike parking facilities, etc.).

    –> as I mentioned before the way you can isolate out the influence of cycletracks is by comparing growth on those stretches compared to the background rate. In SF, as in other cities, the growth rate on protected stretches has been notably higher than the background rate.

    –> even *if* the above growth is *only* coming from people diverting to protected stretches (this is unlikely for various reasons and evidence that have cited before), that’s all the more a ringing endorsement of those treatments as people vote with their pedals. Especially since injuries tend to decrease on these stretches the more people ride (also c.f. the many studies that have been cited on this thread).

    and to _use a different route_ if you want to get anywhere quickly!

    That’s fine! Remember, infrastructure is about giving people options and encouraging new ridership. Nothing wrong with taking an alt route if you wish to avoid a particular section for whatever reason.


    Jack Hughes

    The safety of cyclists should not be sacrificed to the idea that setting up “comfortable” facilities that increase conflicts with motorists for those cyclists most poorly aware of and equipped to contend with those increased conflicts will increase the “modal share” composed of cyclists. Instead, I propose slowing down motorists a little bit and decreasing delays for all users that would occur from multiple signal phases occurring frequently at intersections. Part of why I choose to cycle a given route instead another or to cycle instead of drive is based on the travel time necessary to reach a destination. I’m OK with delaying motorists a bit to achieve a safer system. I am not OK with having the cyclist wait unnecessarily and motorists wait unnecessarily. As I suggested earlier, the delays built into the intersection to help reduce the increased conflicts the infrastructure unnecessarily creates would make any rational cyclist comfortable with street transportation (not a difficult state to achieve) would choose a parallel route without the delays.



    Safety of pedestrians and cyclists should not be sacrificed because of the possibility of slowing down motor vehicles a little bit.

    Getting motorists to stick to a maximum speed of 20 mph on arterial streets is never going to happen without spending a lot of money on re-engineering the street to force that to happen. What major cities in the world have their major streets posted with maximum speed limits of 20 mph or 18 mph? Don’t tell me cities in Germany, Denmark or the Netherlands where a lot of residential streets have posted speed limits of 18 mph or less.


    Matt BK

    Excellent point. The short answer is that I agree with one and not the other ;-)



    If anything, its capitulation to motorists to not take any space away from motor vehicles in order to put in bike lanes or cycle tracks.

    Education and enforcement are part of what’s needed for more and safer cycling. However, its not a replacement for the need to segregate cycling from the much larger mass and speed of motor vehicle on major roads. If there is no place to ride a bicycle, then few people will ride daily. Advising people to ride in mixed traffic is not a proven technique to getting more people bicycling daily, in fact its almost a complete failure post WWII.

    Law enforcement has a limited ability to control the behavior of drivers. An example of that is the posted speed limits in California which are mainly set by the drivers. Parts of Chandler Blvd in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angles has a posted speed limit of 35 mph. There was a request by the LAPD to increase that to 45 mph in order to give speeding tickets. The request by bicycle advocates at the City Council Transportation Committee was to keep it at 35 mph and use enforcement to keep the average speeds down. A police officer in attendance stated that they would have to be out there 24-hrs a day to make people adhere to that speed limit and that there was not enough officers to do that.

    What is needed along that street is for it to be re-engineered to bring the average speeds down. One way to do that is to install cycle tracks. That would make it safer for all transportation modes by bringing the average speed of motorist down.

    The sharrows pilot test involved riding at a steady 12-mph while hitting the center of orange dots spray painted 12-ft from the curb. There was no riding further right option, that would have make those rides useless for what was being tested.

    Most of the people who have responded on this thread take the lane in situations where the lanes are very narrow, I being one of those people. That does not mean that this is comfortable or something that I or other people would habitually do in most situation where there is more room on the road. Three different surveys had had less than 1% of the respondents indicating that they would be willing to ride on a major road without any separation from motor vehicles. Your beating a dead horse on that. The masses are not going to move in the direction you want them to on this issue. They have shown a almost complete unwillingness to ride a bicycle on a busy street that does not have any separating for cyclists.

    There is a strong correlation between the amount of bike lane and path miles per square mile of a city and its bicycle commuting share. Portland Oregon has 1.88 miles of bike lanes and paths per square mile. The city of Los Angeles has 0.96 miles of bike lanes and paths per square miles. Los Angeles is heading in the direction of more mile of bike lanes and paths. That in turn is likely to increase the amount of people bicycling. The bicycle commuting share in Los Angeles has already increased 20% two years after installing a lot more bike lanes. That should increase by about another 20% in the next two results based on the amount of bike lanes already installed.


    Jym Dyer

    @Matt BK – This is confusing. One cyclist states an opinion and when someone disagrees, you write, “Even if cyclists tell you ….” Another cyclist also disagrees and you respond with, “Just because you ….” So it would seem that one cyclist gets to be an exemplar but the other needs to be lectured that cyclists differ?


    Jym Dyer

    This is, unfortunately, a typical treatment for BART stations: add more parking, aboveground and underground, and call it a “transit village.” They’ve even used the new urbanist term Transit-Oriented Development for this.


    Larry Littlefield

    For those who don’t know it, an artist’s response to sprawl as it happened.

    She’s older than I am. The deed was done by the the of the 1970s, when I was 18.


    Jack Hughes

    Non sequitur, again. I was referring to the image given. More signals reduce average speeds more than slower upper speed limits. Do your reading. What is the average speed on a street such as depicted already (sans extra signal phases for motorists/cyclists/pedestrians)? Usually slightly more than 20 mph. Slowing the maximum speed to 20 mph and reducing the signals makes for more traffic flowing by per unit of time, not less.



    I’m not willing to risk getting hit by motor vehicles traveling at a high of speed by habitually riding more directly in their path. My method is to decrease the situations where that could happen while at the same time being cautious about getting too close to parked vehicles. This has worked very well for me.

    Riding directly in front of motor vehicles has not turned out well for me. In fact getting hit by the driver that stopped directly behind me was one of the few times I placed myself directly in the path of motorist at that intersection. I did it because I thought that was the place I should be according to the rules of the road. Before that and since I have placed myself to the side with a much better advantage point of being able to see where the cars are that are further back and which direction they are headed. That’s using my brain much more than depending on drivers to follow the rules. I’m acting defensively. I don’t have the power to stop a 200-hp 3,000 pound vehicle. But I do have the power and ability to avoid a lot of those situations where they would have the opportunity to hit me.

    No one is going to get me to follow a dogmatic ideology. Its my responsibility to protect my health and well being.

    There were 32,000 traffic collisions reported by the LAPD in 2013. Two thirds of them involved injuries. Traffic collisions involving injuries have been going down for motor vehicle occupants due to more safety features in automobiles such as extensive use of air bags, seat belts and crush zones. Unfortunately, I don’t have those features on my bicycle and my body is not built to withstand the impact of a 3,000 pound hard object hitting me at 40 mph. Its not a fender bender for me at those speeds. There is a great possibility that I would be killed or seriously injured in a collision with a motor vehicle traveling at 40 mph. That’s not a risk I’m willing to increase the likelihood of happening by putting myself more frequently in the line of fire of the motorist that is traveling at that speed.



    I’m putting less dependence on drivers playing by the rules. Your sticking to a ideology, I’m putting myself in situations where drivers are less likely to be. Parked vehicles are frequently not noticed by drivers and yet the bulk of the traffic collisions do not involve motorists smashing into parked vehicles.

    When your riding a bicycle directly in the line of travel of motorists, you are depending upon them to use good timing judgement. Motorists are nearly as likely to hit objects that are traveling to the right of them compared to what is in front of them. The reason is that the cars are moving forward and drivers habitually keep most of their driving between the lines in through lanes. Drivers are mainly aiming their vehicle to go straight at high speeds, keeping it between the lines. Where do you profess the safety place to be? Why…directly in the line of fire of the motorist of course.


    Frank Krygowski

    First, harassment of cyclists is an education and enforcement issue. Instead of total capitulation to all motorists (i.e. hoping to build enough separate infrastructure so no bicyclist ever delays any motorist), why not work on a campaign to teach motorists that cyclists _do_ have a legal right to the road? If cops are really hassling you, why not a campaign to educate police? Education and publicity are far less expensive than cycletracks. Why are you putting all your energy into an impossible, decades-long “sidepaths everywhere” battle?

    Second, if (when the cop complained) you were riding far left when there was room to ride safely to the right, you were riding in a way that most vehicular cyclists would not. Again, when there’s room to share the lane safely, I move right and share the lane. You certainly shouldn’t zig-zag in and out of empty parking spaces, and if the cop expected that he needs education (as I said above); but if there were no cars parked, perhaps you should have been further right.

    Third, you doubt my remark about seeing cyclists endanger themselves. Let me give some incidents:

    1) My wife and I were driving to a distant small town. We were on a narrow country road, precisely two cars wide, with no shoulder. A lone cyclist was coming toward us, in full roadie clothing, riding the drops. But also approaching was a pickup truck. It was obvious that if none of us changed our speed, we’d all pass the same spot simultaneously, so I mentioned to my wife that the cyclists sure had better take the lane, i.e. get away from the edge he was riding. But he didn’t. He actually rode off the road, at speed, into deep grass to avoid slowing the pickup truck – the absolute opposite of what we’ve done hundreds of times. Had there been a rock or a hole hidden in that grass, he could have ended up falling under that pickup.

    2) One friend of mine was a locally noted racer and endurance rider, a very dedicated cyclist. But like most racers, he had things to learn about handling traffic. On one ride, I got a quarter mile ahead of him due to a dropped chain, so I waited in a church parking lot around the corner from the stop sign at two narrow country roads. I soon saw him descending the hill I’d come down, in a 9 foot lane with an 8.5 foot dump truck behind him. The asphalt featured a 6″ drop at its edge, and he was skimming that edge with a worried look on his face, trying to let the truck get past instead of riding lane center. Fortunately, the trucker didn’t try to pass, because any twitch by either the cyclist or the trucker would have sent my friend off the asphalt and down an embankment.

    I can give more examples, if you like. But it should be obvious that in a lane too narrow to safely share, a cyclist should not try to let motor vehicles squeeze by at all costs. You have the legal right to your safety; you don’t have to risk your life to save a motorist ten seconds.



    When you’re edge riding, the only way to avoid the right hook is to ride slow when approaching any place where a right turn is allowed and look back/use a mirror to make sure nothing’s coming up behind you that could right hook you. If you ride fast, you’re going to have issues.



    Riding in big gaps is a strategy I use when pulling onto a roadway. Sometimes if there’s an adequate gap to get in I may wait for an even bigger gap behind it, just so I don’t have to deal with anyone coming up behind me for a while. I particularly like to use this method if I have to cross multiple lanes soon after for a left turn.

    I’m not running red lights though. I’ve decided to not let red lights stress me out anymore. Change of attitude is needed.

    Using the full lane is safe. It does make them see me.


    Reality Broker

    Straw man. Nobody thinks that, or is asserting that here. I’d respond in more detail, but there are approximately 200 comments to that effect in this thread alone, which you are welcome to go read. ;-)


    Reality Broker

    Thanks Joe!

    Just to be sure, I don’t mean to knock the ideas behind VC (or VC).

    Personally, when I ride my bike (typically on traffic-calmed 20 mph neighborhood greenways in Portland), I still think about what I learned in taking the 2-day League of American Bicyclist training built around Vehicular Cycling.

    Even in the Netherlands, kids get seriously trained on how to ride safely when interacting with traffic. Here’s a great little Android app that goes through the training — it’s Dutch, but there’s lots of visuals: VVN examen.

    When I DO mean to knock is the zealotry I’ve personally observed on the VC evangelism side, which was shown in full force in this thread. We’re luckily long past it in most progressive cities. But if you go to bike conferences like Velo-City and meet with city bike coordinators, you’ll hear story after story of any attempt at creating separated infrastructure being shouted down by rabid VCers with the same tact and interest in compromise as the worst of our Tea Party zealots, or even the Westborough Baptist Church. I’m sure I can find many examples on the Internet from the 1990s if I looked — or just read John Forester’s own comments here in this thread berating Kevin because his “incompetent” 74 year old mom feels unsafe riding a bike in freeway traffic.

    And it’s absolutely the case that VCers have worked to prevent modern bike infrastructure. Dr. Anne Lusk would be a great starting point if you’d like to hear that history. Because it became impossible to do any modern infrastructure with any public meetings being shouted down by Foresterites, she ultimately left bike planning and got her PhD to do public health researcher in transportation.



    You’re putting far more trust in motorists than I am. You’re depending upon them to see you when you’re in the margins where they tend not to look. You’re depending upon them to use good timing judgement, which a lot of them are not good at.

    I’m only depending upon them to see me when I’m in the exact spot that they look the most often. I take most judgment calls away from them.

    Doors can open very fast. I’ve had some extremely close calls due to this. You can’t have enough time unless you’re riding very slow. I typically ride at 15-22mph on a level road depending upon wind direction and speed and how I feel that day.



    The first time I was hit by a car, a driver pulled out of a parallel parking space as I was riding by. I now maintain at least 5 feet from parked cars, making me easier to see and giving me more room to evade sudden movements.

    The second time, I was making a left turn, with a green left arrow, and a driver making right on red looked right at me. We seemed to have eye contact and she lurched forward as I went by as I was trying to get into the bike lane as quickly as possible. I now leave a lot more room when going by cars.

    The third time, I ran a stop sign. I don’t run stop signs anymore.

    The fourth, I was edge riding and got screened by a van next to me and got left crossed at a driveway going into a parking structure.

    The fifth, I hit a car that pulled out of a driveway right in front of me as I was going almost 20mph in a bike lane. Now, I use the full lane when going past driveways and keep aware of possible screening issues, moving even further left when behind a taller vehicle to make sure I’m seen by potential left turners.

    I’ve had more scary right hook close calls than I care to remember and hundreds, probably thousands of passes within less than a foot. I’ve never had a right hook close call when controlling the lane and I’ve had very very few close passes while controlling the lane. I usually ride roughly between the left tire track and center.

    The offramp one is easy to avoid. Ride closer to the left edge when dealing with ramps. It makes you a bit more visible and it gives you more room.

    The take off from a stop one is bizarre. That’s just a freak occurrence.

    You don’t understand how rear end collisions typically happen.

    Motorists typically don’t hit slow traffic in front of them in the slow lane. They hit traffic that unexpectedly slows in front of them or unexpectedly moves in front of them while going slow. If your hypothesis were correct then buses, garbage trucks, loaded 18 wheelers and all other manner of slow vehicles would be getting rear ended all the time. They don’t though.

    When I was young, I drove too fast most of the time. I got rear ended several times. It was because I was often braking late and the tailgater behind me didn’t react in time. When I stopped driving fast, that stopped happening. Visibility and predictability are key here.


    Reality Broker

    Straw man. Nobody thinks that, or is asserting that here. I’d respond in more detail, but there are approximately 200 comments to that effect in this thread alone, which you are welcome to go read. ;-)



    Its much easier to make an assessment of what’s happening with motor vehicles in the direction of travel that you are going if you ride to the right of them. I also frequently move into the right turn only lane that is next to the curb because vehicles move slowly there and I can evaluate what the situation is with traffic before proceeding straight through the intersection.



    As I’ve said before, I and dozens of other volunteers rode our bicycles in a very constant speed and distance from the curb on six streets in Los Angeles that varied from residential to busy arterial streets during sharrows pilot tests with the LADOT. We did not grow comfortable in riding directly in front of fast moving motor vehicles on major streets.

    Videos of some of these rides that were made by the LADOT were shown to the Los Angeles City Council Transportation Committee. There were loud gasps of horror, oh’s and ah’s from the audience and council members as the drivers passed close by us.

    There were also incidents of drivers honking, accelerating at a high rate of speed past us and yelling at us. I had one driver on a major street get very close to me and the passenger screamed at me to get the f*ck off the road! That behavior exhibited by drivers in the sharrows testing hasn’t happened to me in 10’s of thousands of miles riding to the right of traffic. I’m more out of their way and therefore less annoying to them. They don’t want to see what they perceive to be a arrogant a-hole riding at a slow speed directly in their way. The expectations of drivers on major streets is that traffic will move as quickly as allowed by law and congestion.

    I also had one police car get behind me on a major street and he told me through his intercom to get in the bike lane. There was no bike lane, the lack of room for readily space for bike lanes is the point of installing sharrows. This officer was annoyed that I was riding at a slow pace out in the motor vehicle lane when there was room to the side where there were no parked vehicles. We had started the tests where there were parked vehicles, but as the tests continued much of the parked vehicles disappeared.

    Separate on-street bikeways are not untested. There have been before and after data collected, studies and research conducted. Millions of people ride on cycle tracks in Northern European cities every day.

    You claim that you see cyclists putting themselves at great risk. But your risk assessment seems to be based on preconceived ideas based on dogmatic ideology and not data, studies or research. You also overlook that millions of people ride on cycle tracks everyday in cities that have a much lower fatality and injury rate for cycling than the U.S. or the UK. They do this while riding with no bike helmets, with their babies just behind the handlebars, and preschoolers riding beside them or on their parents bike. They also have training in cycle safety training early in their school years, yet as adults they much prefer to ride on separated cycle tracks along corridors that have lots of motor vehicles moving at high rates of speed. Training does not overcome their preference for traveling on cycle tracks versus streets along busy streets.


    Joe R.

    You’re right about the doors. It’s been literally decades since I hit a door even though I often ride to the right of motor traffic. Keeping aware of what’s in front of you is all that is needed. Same thing with right hooks. I think the danger of right hooks is exaggerated. You just have to be aware of what’s next to you or behind you, then take corrective action. I may have been right hooked once or twice when I first started riding but I quickly figured out how to avoid it.


    C Monroe

    Actually it was the giant silos that were just east(you still see the footprints) and the railyard located here. Cost the city millions


    C Monroe

    So did I.


    C Monroe

    It looks identical.


    Joe R.

    Yes, driveways can be a problem but most often drivers are going slowly entering or exiting a driveway. That means I have time to react. I have many choices of someone suddenly pulls into or out of a driveway. If the traffic lane is clear, I can swing there to avoid a driver pulling out. It it isn’t, I can hit my brake hard, and if need be just turn onto the driveway myself to avoid a collision. In some cases I can even accelerate rapidly so I’m clear of the driveway before the vehicle is right in front of me.

    Situational awareness helps a lot. I never get right hooked but then again I keep keenly aware of everything around me. If I filter forward and hit an intersection right when the light goes green, I’m aware the first vehicle or two in the right lane may turn right, so I keep behind them, perhaps even briefly take the lane if traffic is barely moving.

    Another good strategy to avoid collisions is to avoid being on the road at the same time cars are. This isn’t as hard as it sounds. Yes, I know the concept of passing red lights rubs VCs the wrong way but that’s a great way to avoid problems. You won’t get right hooked because all the vehicles still have a red (no rights on red in NYC). Once you go through the light, you might have 10, 20, even 30 seconds before the vehicles get a green. By that time you’re a few blocks ahead. When the pack of cars eventually catches up to you, it’s usually on a portion of the road with no intersections, and they’ve already sorted out all the jockeying around they do at intersections, which incidentally is another thing which places cyclists in danger.



    I forgot to mention that Census Bureau household survey results for workers that are residents in Portland Oregon in the years 2000 and 2013 have increases in volume of commuters of 3,753 or transit, 5,097 for driving and 13,506 for bicycling. The increased number of bicycle commuters is that time period is more than double the increase of transit and driving combined.


    skelter weeks

    Enough with the parables and silly stories. Stick to the facts.
    The fact is that proponents of protected bike lanes are just as much a ‘religion’ as vehicular cyclists. They think raised pavement or markings (not to mention magical plastic hats) will keep them safe, when the ONLY way to be safe is pay attention/be aware of your surroundings. The fact is, accidents happen when people don’t watch where they’re going, or go too fast to react to danger. Slow down. Look around you. Stay safe. It’s that simple.
    Riding on a road, or on a protected bike path, will not keep you safe. Riding in a safe manner will. And that’s a fact.



    Your not actually controlling the steering wheel or pedals of motor vehicles by riding a bicycle in front of them. I’m not willing to routinely put my health and safety in the hands of drivers who are traveling 2-3 times the speed that I’m moving at on a bicycle. I’ll do that occasionally when the lane is not wide enough for a motor vehicle to pass me or I can tell that motorists use the right lane or turn lane to get the jump on other vehicles or to pass motorists at a high rate of speed. Its very risky to do this on a street where motorists are traveling at 40+ mph. I’ve done this in a cold sweat worrying if motorists that are going to make a high speed pass in the right lane will see me in time. It does take a high amount of traffic tolerance and nerves of steel to routinely ride like that. Its one of the most uncomfortable ways to ride.

    Depending on drivers to not make mistakes, be paying attention or hitting their brakes in time is not a risk I’m willing to take. There are other options for riding a bicycle that involve risks where motorists are moving at a much lower rate of speed. This includes riding to the right of motorists on major streets where there are potential collisions with motorists moving at much slower speeds while turning right, entering/exiting driveways or freeway on/off ramps and also parked vehicle doors.

    That’s right, running into opened parked vehicle doors can be greatly reduced by just riding a little further away from the vehicle without resorting to riding far out into the middle of the motor vehicle through lane. Parked vehicle doors don’t open as fast as a switch blade. If you pay attention to the parked vehicles you can have time to react if a door opens. That’s been the case with me when dozens of doors have moved open in front of me. I haven’t hit them.



    I’ve been hit from behind twice by cars while riding in the middle of the motor vehicle lane. Once while pulling away from a driver that had been stopped behind me for about a minute. She ran over my wheel. The other time was when a motorist was trying to merge into the next lane after she had transitioned from a freeway off ramp that doesn’t have a stop sign or traffic signal. This driver was looking to her left to see if any motorists were coming in order to make the lane change. She knocked me off my bike, I slide on my back with my head just below the car front bumper.

    I have had no other occurrences of getting hit by motor vehicles after riding for tens of thousands of miles to the right of moving motor vehicles.

    Drifting into bike lanes and onto shoulders, hitting parked vehicles and driving onto sidewalks at a fast speed occurs much less frequently than motorists hitting what’s directly in front of them in a through lane.

    Making errors, being distracted, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving at unsafe speed, motorists changing lanes, head-on collisions, left turn collisions and rear end collisions do occur. I for one do not want to routinely put myself in situations where drivers have a better shot at hitting me at high speeds. Placing myself in the middle of through motor vehicle lanes increases the odds of those events occurring. Drivers tend to turn to the right and exit/enter driveways at much lower speeds. Its the higher velocity of motor vehicles that has a greater potential of serious injuries or a fatality for a unprotected bicycle rider.

    Your chances of getting hit by a motor vehicle that is traveling 2-3 times the speed you are moving at while riding your bicycle is much greater if you ride in the middle of a motor vehicle through lane where motorists travel most often at high speeds.



    You’re also being disingenuous. All the parking lots to the northeast of your pic are currently under development. The BCEC is itself slated for a controversial upgrade and they’re land-banking because of it. There’s land being held for the new USPS facility and there’s still and active container port that is actually being expanded. Is there too much parking, yes. Wasted opportunity, yes. But not because of the parking, because of the poor job we did in redesigning the area for humans (we didn’t really, at all). If you’re going to use the Seaport, and I think you should, then you should also submit an updated picture, which this one is certainly not.



    Well, they haven’t done them yet. I agree that this “match-up” is a little disingenuous – the picture that they are running is a few years old and many of those parcels have either been developed or are in the process of it. But the Fairmount isn’t ready yet, the BRT has a some major issues with it’s layout (the D Street Light and poor concrete used in the transitway), South Station has not been expanded and can’t until the USPS sells the mail sorting facility, and even then planners missed a huge opportunity to cut many of those superblocks down to a good size – both from a pedestrian’s standpoint and from a road engineer, as the blocks are too big to disperse traffic leading to those heavy delays we all hate so much. I mean, drastically better than what was there, but I wouldn’t call it a success as of yet.



    I think you two are saying the same thing, just that the area you’re describing isn’t really considered Cambridgeport, that ends at Sidney so I think that’s where the confusion was, at least for me. Vassar, Albany, really all of Kendall was a massive hole – old decaying industry that hadn’t given way to anything yet by the 80s – it certainly would’ve have been a top-seeded contender in parking madness. But Cambridgeport, the Port, Hampshire Street, etc… have always been pretty densely packed – with the exception of those remaining parking lots on the Port side of Central.


    Calvin Mitchell

    Yes it should be discuss inequality should be warranted any and every where it is found.



    Not sure what you’re referring to there, the link doesn’t work right for me. I can zoom into a Google Street View of the center but I don’t see anything I don’t remember: it’s possible to traipse across the lawn after taking stairs down all the way to a raised grassy area but there’s no street access to the stop, you have to go inside the building first. The waste to which I referred was the people-mover stop itself, actually, not the bailout.



    Do you consider this street level access to their People Mover stop “unreal”? By the way, GM added it.

    You also forgot to mention GM spending $25 million to build a portion of the RiverWalk and Wintergarden along the River. Those developments replaced a parking lot.

    All of this was done long before GM’s financial struggles and tax-payer assistance.

    Who deserves to be smacked?



    Don’t forget sidewalks.



    You know what happens when people do those things? They drift, especially if they don’t have something forcing them to look at the road. They drift into bike lanes and onto shoulders and sometimes even onto sidewalks.

    One of the things that studies of distracted driving has shown is that distracted drivers develop tunnel vision. That is, they are even more oblivious to stuff off to the side than normal but they still have some attention on the center of the road in front of them. That’s why that’s still the safest place to be, even with distracted drivers.

    And yes, nothing is 100%, but my chances are better in the middle of the lane than in a bike lane or on a shoulder and I don’t have to worry as much about crossing conflicts.

    The time I’m most nervous is when I’m riding in a bike lane past a driveway. I’ve had countless close calls and one minor collision and one bad collision because of driveway conflicts. Drivers pull up to driveways from parking lots and pull a couple of feet into the road before they even look. They also try to right hook cyclists there. Left cross risk is also increased, especially since edge riding increases the likelihood that you’ll be screened by another vehicle.



    That’s not correct. The proposed casino land was east of this location. These parking lots are on top of a former rail yard.


    Joe R.

    I’ve seen people do all of the following while driving:

    1) talk on their phone

    2) yell at their kids

    3) put on makeup

    4) read the paper

    5) give or receive a BJ from their partner

    6) open the door and urinate

    7) look down at their GPS/laptop/whatever

    The bottom line is people can’t be depended upon 100% of the time to see what’s in front of them. What you say might work — until it doesn’t. The problem is when is doesn’t, the end result is a cyclist becoming someone’s bumper ornament.

    And of course motorists love to throw all sorts of things at cyclists who block their way. Doing what you do is at best highly stressful, at worst it can be dangerous.

    I’ve been doing this for many years — even on roads with speed limits as high as 55mph.

    What happens when the 55 mph driver doesn’t see you and doesn’t slow down? Unless you heard them approaching from way back, and already moved out of their way, there’s little chance a cyclist to take evasive action when a 55 mph approaches them.

    I’ll grant the calculus may change a bit with velomobiles. I have zero problems taking the lane on a 50 mph road, provided I can maintain 50 mph.


    Christopher Berggren

    With the freeways, Syracuse is a “lost cause” until they re-route the freeways away from town. I voted for Asheville because they have no excuse. Transit Center should be surrounded by thriving environment, not parking lots.


    Frank Krygowski

    “If want to continue to be a devote follower of the vehicular cycling beliefs then go ahead.”

    Thanks, I will. I used to ride the other way – always keeping as far to the right as I could, and dreaming of a world full of bike lanes, bike paths and cycletracks. It caused very close calls from motorist mistakes. I had old ladies pass me so closely that I was able to slap their car’s fender. I had trucks pass me so close I was terrified that one false move could smash me under their wheels. I had a very near head-on crash, a left cross incident.

    I took an Effective Cycling course many, many years ago. At the very end, I asked the instructor for more detail on what I could do to be the very best I could be. He told me I was very skilled on the bike, but I was still riding too far right.

    And I took it to heart. And even if you refuse to believe it, it worked! My riding is SO much more relaxed and safe. I hear complaints from other cyclists about near misses, and I watch other cyclists put themselves at great risk to avoid ever delaying a motorist, and I feel sorry for them. If only they would try what I learned.

    The trouble with bicycling is that almost everybody feels they automatically know all they’d ever need to know about how to do it. They can’t conceive that their own ideas are not the best in the world. And actually taking a class? Testing some of these concepts? Listening to those who have tried both tactics and learned? For them, that just sounds crazy!

    I wonder – is that how they think people should approach things like arithmetic, medicine, house carpentry, driving, etc? A combination of trial and error (with emphasis on error) and “Let me alone! I know how to do it. And when it doesn’t work right, it’s not _my_ fault! It’s because of society!”

    Seems weird to me.



    Odd. I never feel like I’ve cheated death due to controlling the lane. That’s where I always feel safest. It’s the place that needs the least amount of courage to ride.



    How do you suppose it is that they don’t see you in the center of the lane in front of them? Even on a high speed street, that’s where you’re pretty much guaranteed to be seen.

    I control the lane on a 4 lane 40mph road quite frequently. Cars go around me and it works quite well. Occasionally someone decides that changing lanes to pass is something that they have a god given right to not do and they will slow down behind me and honk. I usually wobble a bit but don’t move over and they pretty much always give in and change lanes. Either way I’m safe. I’ve been doing this for many years — even on roads with speed limits as high as 55mph.



    I wouldn’t say that the US is lower than any of the other nations when you account for fatalities per mile traveled, but the numbers are a whole lot closer when you take into consideration the miles travelled. We are no longer 4x of any country in Europe considering only population, rather we are barely 2x when you consider miles traveled.

    As people like to cite the Netherlands, they currently sit at 4.9 traffic deaths per 1B KM traveled, while the US weights in at 7.6 deaths per 1B KM traveled. So, sure, we got room for improvement.


    Joe R.

    You sound like me. From reading your posts I’ve noted you can and do practice vehicular cycling on lousy roads where you really have no choice. And like me, every time you do this, you end up feeling like you just cheated death. The fact that I can mix it up with heavy motor traffic doesn’t mean I enjoy it, or wouldn’t prefer something a lot less stressful. Sure, there are absolutely problems with a lot of bike infrastructure in the US. That should mean we try to do better, not stop building it altogether because some minority of cyclists might get an adrenaline rush on places like Hylan Boulevard while most of the rest who ride there just do it out of necessity, but will just as soon ride on decent bike infrastructure.


    Joe R.

    I think it’s a little more nuanced than that. Vehicular cycling works quite well — in some situations. Basically, on low volume and/or low speed streets it works fine. On low speed streets a cyclist can keep pace with motor traffic, so there’s far less chance of angering motorists, or having a motorist rear end you because they came up on you very fast without seeing you. On low volume streets, a cyclist can hear approaching traffic and if need be move out of the way, even if it’s fast moving traffic. The idea here is it’s relatively safe to take the lane, even on high-speed roads, if traffic is so infrequent you can avoid having motor vehicles within a block of you. When they come, you move to the shoulder to let them by. This isn’t burdensome since passing vehicles would be very infrequent.

    Where vehicular cycling doesn’t work all that well is on high-speed/high traffic streets. Motorists don’t like being slowed by cyclists any more than fast cyclists like being slowed by slower cyclists. Assuming they even see you, they will be fuming behind you for as long as you remain in front. If they don’t see you, well, we all know how that ends. Unfortunately for cyclists, in many cases these high-speed arterials are really the only efficient way to get from point A to point B. In some cases they’re the only way, period. The bottom line is vehicular cycling isn’t a universal answer any more than various types of bike infrastructure are.

    Yes, the VCs have a point about protected lanes creating hazards at intersections. However, to me that doesn’t mean we don’t have them at all on roads with heavy, fast traffic because they’re not safe at intersections. Rather, it means we find ways to totally separate them at intersections. By that I mean spatial separation, not time separation via traffic signals. Road users can’t be depended upon to comply with traffic signals. Therefore, using them isn’t the answer. They also unnecessarily delay cyclists. That’s why we need totally separate paths along busy roads. How we arrive at that goal will depend upon the situation but it’s clear to me that both vehicular cycling and protected lanes in their current form aren’t answers for busy streets.

    While I wouldn’t go so far as to portray VCers as similar to the anti-gay religious zealots you mention I think there is one commonality. Both come from a different time. Vehicular cycling may have worked quite well in many places before the sheer volume of automobiles came. The world changed but many VCers didn’t allow for that change. Sure, if we could magically wish away 90% of auto traffic hardly any place would need bike specific infrastructure. That’s wishful thinking t best. A realist deals with what is, not what could be or should be.



    Voted for Asheville because of the “Transit center” location among those craters.

    Syracuse definitely worse.



    There’s zero possibility that motor vehicle traffic on arterial streets will be slowed to a maximum speed of 20 mph. What you are describing is what occurs on residential streets in European cities. Additionally, if the top speed is 20 mph that slows down the average speed of motorists probably more than installing additional signalization at the major intersections.

    To improve the safety of vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians on major streets they need to be separated by time and space from motor vehicles. Giving drivers the option to hit them is not acceptable. Its a major reason why there are so many collisions, injuries and fatalities for vulnerable road users in the U.S.