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  1.  

    Opafiets

    We have extremely long signal cycles that present reds when there is no cross traffic. They have much shorter cycles and give greens for bicycles and pedestrians much more quickly. This all results in a more efficient and less frustrating system for all users including cars and significantly decreases the benefits or desire to run red lights.

    More here: http://streets.mn/2014/09/10/17-minutes-one-red-light-second-at-a-time/

  2.  

    G1991

    $2.5 billion would be a pretty good start.

  3.  

    Angie Schmitt

    Just because congestion exists somewhere at some time doesn’t justify unlimited expense to widen roads. Congestion is a fact of life, particularly in economically healthy cities. The entitlement car commuters feel. That “right” to zero delay on a car commute supersedes people’s property rights. It’s hard to separate it from class privilege. Certainly transit riders can expect no similar right to lack of delay.

    Regardless, this is a boneheaded way to address congestion. The absolute most costly in terms of money and social costs. We should be promoting transit, living close to work, alternatives to driving, adding a few bike lanes for pocket change. These are the kind of investments that create healthy urban environments. They can be instituted for a fraction of the price and provide actual direct benefits to the people this project is supposedly about.

  4.  

    Bob

    Its the Atlanta beltline, the trail area was never a road (it was a rail corridor) so you are (technically) looking at the backside of the buildings.

  5.  

    Chris

    It actually works fine now. The disaster in Britain was their attempt to privatize the infrastructure, which led to insane cost cutting. Now that they renationalized the infrastructure they actually have a very sound operation.

    Separation of infrastructure and operation is actually implemented EU-wide, although the details differ. Most countries implement a scheme where the infrastructure is owned by the government, and operations are private in principle, although at least for commuter operations usually tendered out by the government to private operators.

  6.  

    Phineas_Baxandall

    Exactly! Many highway expansion boondoggles have some better explanation for some part of the construction, and that then becomes a pretense for a lot of other expansion that isn’t as deserving of being a priority. The question here is whether this deserves to be pushing out $2.5 billion worth of other priorities.

  7.  

    Gezellig

    “And that is living their lives in a very small geographical radius within a huge country.”

    20% modeshare doesn’t mean never leaving your small corner. Even Dutch people overwhelmingly prefer other modes above a few miles. Add in their rich-nation factor and lots of car ownership and you still get plenty of driving (note that they’re a great example of how pro-bike =/= necessarily anti-car…their free freeways, parking minimums, etc. being evidence of this).

    But the thing is even in the US a huge percentage of daily trips are under a mile or two. Sure, you may have an aunt that lives 60 or 600 miles away. But far more often than visiting her you go to the ATM, go to get a coffee, pick up toothpaste, etc.

    But when going to Walgreens looks like this, of course most people drive:

    http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/intersection-before.png

    But it could look like this:

    http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/intersection-after.png

    Notice how it doesn’t take any car lanes away, yet makes a big difference for people on foot and bike. In fact, to the extent this design converts trips from car trips to bike/ped, that leaves more room on the road for other cars. Hardly anti-car.

    “There’s nothing 1% about vehicular bicycling”

    It’s 1% because given the current status quo that’s about all that’ll do it.

    “So, if you know how to get US bureaucrats to copy dutch standards”

    The bike signals and transit-protected lanes I showed are virtual copy-pastes from the Netherlands. Yes, examples such as those are recent developments, but evidence at least someone figured out how to do it.

  8.  

    oooBooo

    Except you’ve told me I am full of crap with regards to education and driving cultures being different in different places. That it’s theoretical. It’s not. it’s very real.

    There is an impact of infrastructure. For good and for bad. The very fact I object to a fair amount of this ‘feels good’ nonsense that’s being deployed in the US shows I believe it has an effect. I’ve argued it does for longer than this site has existed.

    20% modeshare in the USA is not about infrastructure. It requires a massive cultural shift to getting americans to accept what they rejected a century ago. And that is living their lives in a very small geographical radius within a huge country. The best way to do this is make driving impossible for them. Which is why bicycling infrastructure in this country is on the course its on. A pro bicycling movement would look very different from what we are getting. We are getting an anti-driving movement using bicycling as a vehicle. Whatever harms driving the most gets the support, not what is best for bicycling.

    There’s nothing 1% about vehicular bicycling, so drop it. I’m tired of going around in circles. 99% of not doing vehicular bicycling is false perception. Anyone can do it if they can rewrite their perceptions. Once the perceptions change it’s easy. There’s nothing hard about it. The PA bike manual has everything one really needs to know.

    So, if you know how to get US bureaucrats to copy dutch standards, I want to know so they’ll copy German ones for interstates.

  9.  

    Gezellig

    Defeatist jadedness on the state of things is somewhat understandable, but people really are starting to re-evaluate what the spatial layouts of our cities can/should/could look like.

    “You’re telling me that adding a cycletrack will cause behavior like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

    to vanish. I doubt it.”

    Nah. That’s why I even cited many examples of bad Dutch drivers, too. In fact, if they hadn’t been so bad they wouldn’t have needed to improve their bike/ped infra in the first place. Humans do stupid things at times.

    Sure, there are some cultural/regional differences as to how these specifically manifest themselves, but good infrastructure plays a very important role in minimizing the potential consequences of poor behavior.

    The fact that the Dutch had dismal (worse than the US) rates in the 70s, despite stricter (than the US) driver education requirements is a great example of the power of infrastructure change. Of course it’s not everything, but no one said it was.

  10.  

    oooBooo

    Except ‘will never work’ isn’t what I argued. In fact for the sake of argument I’ve just been working under the premise it works for the Dutch.

    I argued that american governments do not copy foreign engineering standards faithfully. I argued there are cultural differences in driving, bicycling, etc. I’ve seen them first hand in my travels. Even in different states I see different driving habits. Usually the infrastructure is damn near identical across the US, but the driving changes. That’s very different than what you’re arguing against.

    You’re telling me with the same infrastructure you’ll get the same behaviors. I know that’s false. I’ve seen it first hand. In WV drivers accelerate swiftly to stay out of other drivers’ way. In Illinois they drag ass and don’t care if they delay others. In rural California drivers come down on-ramps slowly and force their way into traffic worse than anywhere else I’ve ever been. WI drivers like to sit in the passing lane of interstates. I could go on and on with observations. Cultural differences in driving very well do exist and exist independently of infrastructure. Proper engineering is a lot, but it’s not everything and it doesn’t magically fix educational issues.

    You’re telling me that adding a cycletrack will cause behavior like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wyxmnZOPzc

    to vanish. I doubt it.

    To make that go away requires a number of changes in bureaucracy, a number changes in attitude amongst politically loud people and the politicians. That’s just to fix the infrastructure. Stuff that should have been done decades ago bike lanes or no that still hasn’t been done. Just not fixing this turns the cycletrack intersection animation into some FUBAR thing.

    That’s a relatively simple problem. We’re still arguing about yellow signal timing in this country and you think that some Dutch total system layout with cycle tracks will be faithfully copied? Really? then why hasn’t it been yet? Why all these abortive monstrosities so far? Because of how things work here. That’s how this system works.

    http://img.pandawhale.com/52252-George-Carlin–This-Is-Why-We-t9bE.jpeg

  11.  

    Gezellig

    No one ever said it’s not a multi-pronged approach. Of course better education/awareness are also important.

    But there’s no denying the impact of infrastructure. And that’s what this article happened to be about, so that’s what people are mentioning.

    Besides, infrastructure that encourages modeshare gains broadens the activity to begin with, leading to greater receptivity and push for more and better infrastructure/policy/awareness improvements.

    You don’t get there by keeping biking for just the 1%, though.

  12.  

    oooBooo

    So all we need to do is get the interstates up to Autobahn standards and there won’t be a need for speed limits on rural interstates any longer?

    Works fine in Germany. We can just put up the proper signs, get the guard rails and road surface up to snuff and the off we go? Americans will magically become the fine drivers with wonderful lane discipline as seen in Germany? 100mph cruising speeds and everything else just because we changed the infrastructure. No education. No cultural changes. Just have good infrastructure and the drivers will respond to it and behave just like the Germans do?

    That’s what you’re telling me.

    Also since you know the magic to get the american bureaucrats and politicians to faithfully copy foreign engineering standards, care to share it? I’ve wanted proper civilized limited access highways here in the USA for a long time.

    And as the data shows, the Autobahn is safer than the US interstate system.
    If that’s the way things are, I’ll trade you cycletracks for autobahns. Deal?

  13.  

    Gezellig

    Bad design is bad. Saying we shouldn’t ever build cycletracks because I saw a bad one once is like saying we shouldn’t build any more aircraft because…Hindenburg.

    Again, the successful implementation of hitherto-foreign concepts such as transit-protected lanes, bike signalization, etc. show that it can be done.

  14.  

    Gezellig

    Bike signals are just really starting to get off the ground (as it were) here, but on key routes you’ll definitely encounter them:

    http://flyingpigeon-la.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/SF_panhandlepark_bikesignal_sm.jpg

    Golden Gate Park Panhandle, SF

    http://www.sfcta.org/sites/default/files/content/Programming/propk/ProjDeliv_animation/Marina1.jpg

    Marina, SF

    http://www.peopleforbikes.org/page/-/mkt_val1.jpg

    Market and Valencia, SF

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/t1.0-9/10325139_659374040778550_464692031692370909_n.jpg

    Polk St, SF

    A few other places such as Long Beach have also started them:

    https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7073/7311619212_4ee5cb25db_z.jpg

  15.  

    oooBooo

    So you’ll back the American Autobahn idea? After all it works in Germany. Just a bunch of naysayers in the way. We can count on US government bodies to faithfully copy the German standards and implement them, right?

  16.  

    Gezellig

    Many of the people commenting on this particular thread have specifically mentioned in the past having been to the NL, so the comments here are often experiential.

    There’s evidence that the Dutch naysayers also scared of new things in the 70s said the same stuff you are. “That’ll never work.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY6PQAI4TZE

    What’s funny is exactly the kind of arguments “that’ll never work here” are often heard in the UK today, and even in Belgium. Next-door Belgium! Which in global terms is an incredibly similar country to the Netherlands (Belgium’s tastier fries, chocolate and beer notwithstanding). Yet they still find excuses as to why That Will Never Work Here.

    Here’s a sensationalist clip by Flemish media about the supposed horrors of all the bikes across the border in the NL. It’s practically Fox News-levels of nonsense:

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

    It seems no matter how close you are people always come up with endless excuses as to why They’re So Different and That Will Never Work Here.

  17.  

    oooBooo

    No bike lights here. I didn’t see any bike lights on my recent trip to CA either. I did see a wonderful six inch wide bike lane though.

  18.  

    oooBooo

    And why should I suspect this will be implemented well in the USA ?

  19.  

    oooBooo

    I highly doubt most people commenting on this site haven’t lived in the Netherlands.

    Road/traffic engineering wrt the US of A has been a hobby of mine for about 20 years. The idea that tossing out engineering standards in the USA and then thinking that will magically bring about a perfect implementation of something designed for and by the Dutch to the USA intact and unaltered is beyond wishful thinking. But that’s not where you end, you think americans will simply suddenly start behaving the same way when they experience it.

    The standards that exist in the USA are tossed aside to make profitable red light camera and speed camera programs. The standards are tossed aside to create all sorts of feel good abominations. I’ve seen it. I’ve argued the standards in court when they weren’t followed and the system didn’t care. Yet you think a country which likes to ignore anything ‘not invented here’ without any sort of standards will faithfully adopt designs from a foreign country?

    USDOT can’t even accept sensible glare reducing ECE headlamp aim because it wasn’t invented here. It won’t eliminate shared red turn/brake/running lamps because that’s how it’s been here in the USA since the 1930s even though amber turn signals have been proven to be better and would merely have the USA match the rest of the world. (amber signals are allowed though). But you’re telling me that somehow for bicycling, they’ll just see the light and do it right?

    Come on. I’ve -never- seen an engineering standard faithfully copied from europe and implemented in the USA were the government was involved. Ever. At the very best some politician or bureaucrat gets into it and screws it up. For instance, a intersection I used bicycle through often got a roundabout. It’s got yield signs, other confusing signage and a decorative center section that blocks sight lines. There’s an older traffic circle thing in Berwyn… thankfully I’ve only driven through it late at night. And there’s suicide circle… the name should tell you how screwed up that is. Now look at the bike lane designs in the article above. See how faithfully the design was copied? Yeah. So why should I believe that without a rulebook it will be any better than the way the rules and established standards are ignored?

    And then I am supposed to believe that for the sake of ‘cycletracks’ american drivers will also change observed behaviors even though these same behaviors will continue to serve them just as they do today. You also expect me to believe the same of american bicyclists. No reason they’ll just magically do it because the infrastructure will be copied faithfully and people are people.

    And just because it’s never happened before is no reason for not to believe this time it will be different. It’s like the stock market. BTFAH, this time it won’t crash. This time is different.

    Sorry. Experience says this won’t happen.

    And the 8mph signs? I’ve seen them in IL and vaguely recall seeing one in WI

  20.  

    Gezellig

    “In the USA, it’s monkey-see-monkey-do. Once someone does something and it works and they don’t get caught and punished, watch ten more drivers do it. “

    That’s true in the Netherlands, too. There are whole channels devoted to dumb drivers:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqHrVsrLPOc&index=130&list=UUwMqjdXKamQ39eBfC53WtiQ

    Experienced it a few times myself, too. People anywhere will do what they see others doing and what they think they can get away with. This very much includes the NL, as well:

    http://www.cmsfabriek.nl/user_files/raadhuis_cms/parkeren2.jpg

    http://www.landsmeer.nl/afbeelding/parkerenraadhuisplein_247502

    And sometimes, people are just…unaware:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ4d-0jKkYc

    Good infrastructure discourages it far more often in the NL, though (and the vast improvement of their stats from the 70s backs this up). And the same could happen in the US.

    “So I have little faith that american bicyclists will start obeying red signals if there were special bicycling signals for ‘cycletracks’.”

    You don’t need to have faith in it or not. The data show that compliance goes up when they’re implemented. Imagine if it were pervasive. Your comments seem to think that Americans are singularly unique in their human desire to get from A-to-B fast and that the dimwitted selfish ones amongst us are also unique to this continent. Human nature is selfish. Everywhere. We all want to get to places conveniently. In cities where there are many stakeholders and potential conflict points that’s where good infrastructure comes in to help smooth things out. Social contract and all that.

  21.  

    Gezellig

    Yeah, what’s funny is no one who’s actually been to the Netherlands ever seems to say these things.

    Cuz, ya know, it actually…works.

    All these theoretical objections that spring eternal from the VC-über-alles crowd are pretty hilarious (what if an ANVIL falls from the sky on the cycletrack? They surely don’t have ANVILS in the Netherlands like we do in the US!) and seem to assume that the laws of physics and human nature are somehow vastly different in the Netherlands. They also ignore the NL’s own dismal state of things in the 70s, before they changed.

    Having been fortunate enough to have lived on three continents and traveled to five I can verify human nature and even the laws of physics are usually mostly pretty constant. With the exception of some occasional timey-wimey spacetime glitches, but that is exceedingly rare. ;)

  22.  

    oooBooo

    No, that’s not what I am saying. You seem to be fond of telling me what I am arguing.

    People adjust over time to where they live so foreign born is meaningless. But I’ll guess they don’t obey so good right off the bat.

    Let me get your argument straight per your cite. Instead of the traffic light going from red to green it went from red to bicycle scramble and then to green. But magically suddenly bicyclists who ran the red now waited to when the green used to be because now it was a bicycle scramble? It’s the same wait. If anything it’s just a psychological trick. If I were one to blow through red signals, I’d see through the trick and keep doing it.

    Obedience often comes from culture and conditioning. While I agree good engineering leads to following the rules, the actual duration of the wait wouldn’t change. In Germany right-on-red is not legal. People don’t do it. I was doing it and then realized nobody else was, so I asked if it was legal. It wasn’t and that’s why people didn’t do it. Not because it didn’t work. It worked just fine. It’s nonsensical not to allow it but I saw nobody disobey. I did it and got away with it and nobody followed suit.

    In the USA, it’s monkey-see-monkey-do. Once someone does something and it works and they don’t get caught and punished, watch ten more drivers do it. I’ve seen it with things like turning around and driving up an on-ramp. Or reversing up an onramp. There’s really not much I haven’t seen this with.

    So I have little faith that american bicyclists will start obeying red signals if there were special bicycling signals for ‘cycletracks’. Why would they suddenly wait if there wasn’t cross traffic to cream them? Just because? The extra bicycle phase might even mean a longer wait if they arrive at the worst portion of the cycle. A psychological trick at best that might work on some, but anyone who sees through will still run it.

  23.  

    Gezellig

    “In the Netherlands it might work ok. In the USA in a big city like chicago it would be a disaster. You’re applying it to the US is theoretical. “

    Again, you’re assuming people in the NL to be some angelic class of people. Remember that in the 70s the NL had a bike/ped fatality rate more than 2.5x that of the US. It’s now many times lower. What changed? Not human nature. Infrastructure.

    My point in showing the transit-protected lane was that in instances when Dutch solutions have pretty much been exactly copied by Americans they’ve been successful.

    “And why are we discussing the Netherlands on an article about the USA?”

    Because they’re the world leaders in this stuff and we don’t have many of the exemplars here yet.

    “Furthermore the article is advocating throwing away engineering standards. Do you think the Dutch have engineering standards or do they create these models of yours by the seat of the pants?”

    US engineering standards are by and large archaic. We would do well to throw out/revise many parts.

    “Traffic lights timed so people get a red every block”

    You’re talking about the current predominant status quo like it will never change. And it’s already started to! Witness the spread of Green Waves in SF.

    “And I don’t want anything that makes me unseen ‘protecting’ me. I don’t want anything pedestrians have to cross my path to get to ‘protecting’ me. That’s a good way to get killed.”

    Nonsense. The Netherlands has this stuff all over and has one of the lowest injury/death rates in the world. And *before* they implemented all this separated infrastructure they had a rate 2.5x WORSE than the US. Again, the Dutch didn’t become angels over 3-4 decades. They improved their infrastructure.

    “8mph comes from a speed limit sign I have seen multiple times US biking infrastructure.”

    I’ve never seen such a thing, and I’ve biked in many an American city. Most bike facilities don’t post speed limits to begin with, and the rare ones I’ve seen in CA say 15.

    “Have you seen the american version of a traffic circle or roundabout? They often get stop signs.”

    Yup. Dumb. Bad infra is bad. So let’s not copy that.

    “Which is a strawman.”

    Hardly. It was in direct reply to your comment.

    “But it’s Stockholm Syndrome to have beginner bicyclists on side streets? But you have to separate? Do you realize you’re running over your own arguments?”

    I don’t think you really get what I and the others are pointing out. Also, it’s probably worth noting that most of the others here commenting have actually experienced this stuff in real life.

    “because I drive and don’t want to punish driving over the years.”

    That’s cool. I don’t care if you drive or don’t. I care about balanced infrastructure that takes all modes into account.

    “No, that’s not VC. Read up on it. Start with Forrester. Works very well on high volume roads. I do it frequently.”

    Forrester-style advocacy is not 8-to-80, 20% modeshare, Vision Zero stuff. Lots of Anglosphere engineers bought into his Kool-Aid because it neatly justifies the current status quo and makes it easy so they don’t have to consider another mode. There’s nothing wrong with using VC techniques when you have to–we all do it–but an infrastructure strategy based off the assumption everyone will VC everywhere is not a serious strategy.

  24.  

    Kevin Love

    It looks like you really need to go to The Netherlands and experience proper implementation of the Dutch CROW standard for yourself.

    There are even study tours that explain why the infra works so well. See:

    http://www.hembrow.eu/studytour/

  25.  

    oooBooo

    (video) What a mess of signals and confusion. In the USA this would be a disaster and would make left turns a chore. (see previous posts)

    “Your objections are theoretical, not experiential.”
    In the Netherlands it might work ok. In the USA in a big city like chicago it would be a disaster. You’re applying it to the US is theoretical. And why are we discussing the Netherlands on an article about the USA? See that bike lane in Chicago called a ‘model’? That’s what we get here. But that’s the nature of the beast here. I object to A, people rebut with B which isn’t remotely close to what I objected to. Pointing to something entirely different in the Netherlands is just argumentative distraction, and purely theoretical to an application in a big US city. I can however look at how people behave at present intersections and know that the “cycletrack” would be blocked by motor vehicles squeezing through to the far side of the intersection.

    Furthermore the article is advocating throwing away engineering standards. Do you think the Dutch have engineering standards or do they create these models of yours by the seat of the pants?

    “As a rule American cities didn’t do lots of things–such as the
    transit-protected lane–until recently. That doesn’t mean they
    can’t/won’t!”

    Again the article is about throwing away the standards and replacing it with “feels good” notions from politics. This will not make things better. In the USA people with political influence in power have very interesting ideas that feel good to them. Like stop signs on the cross of a T intersection. Traffic lights timed so people get a red every block. intersections with yield on all approaches. The MUTCD was created specially to try and counter this nonsense and the author of the article says throw it away because it’s outdated and stodgy. It’s an article about tossing way any mechanism of good engineering for this political feels good model.

    And I don’t want anything that makes me unseen ‘protecting’ me. I don’t want anything pedestrians have to cross my path to get to ‘protecting’ me. That’s a good way to get killed.

    “Again, the imagination in your arguments is perhaps lacking. Look, US
    streets are *already* going on road diets. Yet they’re often not being
    done in ways that encourage much new ridership. ”

    That’s what I argued, they are being road dieted to discourage driving, not to encourage bicycling. Bicycling is the excuse for other goals.

    “On good infrastructure you can go way faster. I’m not sure where you’re getting 8mph from.”

    The examples in the article are not “good infrastructure”. American implementations of “feels good” ideas assume bicyclists don’t go more than a slow ploding pace. American bicycling infrastructure does not consider bicyclists who move at vehicular speeds. See the “model” Dearborn bi-directional bike lane in the article? Is that good? I don’t think so.

    8mph comes from a speed limit sign I have seen multiple times US biking infrastructure. I use it because of it’s absurdity. It’s how those in charge view things. How they design.

    “Your arguments are pretty much “I got mine, now get out of the way!” And
    you’re then attacking something you haven’t actually experienced.”

    No, it’s I don’t want to have to plod along because people have political agendas to achieve and/or want to cater to slow moving beginners. And again, you’re introducing things not in the article. Things I wasn’t discussing in my initial comment. The article is talking about allowing even more “feels good” engineering. Not something the Dutch engineers found that worked well in their culture. “feels good” engineering is what has fucked up most of the american road system over the decades. It’s what results in these bike lane abominations. That’s what I objected to. You and others then said but it could be these things the dutch do… as if one it would work here, and two as if it wouldn’t get fucked up in translation. Have you seen the american version of a traffic circle or roundabout? They often get stop signs.

    “No no no. I find a strategy which *only* focuses on backstreets networks is insufficient.”

    Which is a strawman.

    “Again, you’re showing your lack of experiential awareness of how these
    things work in real life. Bikes and cars and pedestrians are *not* the
    same. Especially on high-volume stretches each should have a channel
    catered to its own mode. When done well, it works swimmingly. Really!”

    But it’s Stockholm Syndrome to have beginner bicyclists on side streets? But you have to separate? Do you realize you’re running over your own arguments?

    “Guess I’ll have to burn my driver’s license then? I didn’t realize being pro-bike meant I had to be anti-something-else.”

    Have you been reading the articles here or just the comments? I’ve sparked the ire of many self styled bicycling advocates because I drive and don’t want to punish driving over the years. Because I argue for sound engineering practices over what feels good.

    “Pretty much all of our cities–to the extent they ever even thought
    about bikes–just shoehorned them into having to behave like cars.
    That’s VC. It can work ok on low-volume stretches, but is not suitable
    for high-volume stretches.”

    No, that’s not VC. Read up on it. Start with Forrester. Works very well on high volume roads. I do it frequently.

  26.  

    Kevin Love

  27.  

    Gezellig

    So would a raised cycletrack in Illinois be subject to different rules than one at street level?

    At least in California cycletracks are now officially given their own special designation by Caltrans:

    http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/09/22/governor-brown-signs-protected-bike-lane-bill-car-fee-for-bike-paths/

    Thus as I understand it here cycletracks are not considered sidewalks even when raised, though I’d have to look into it.

    “Signal timing is rare in the USA.”

    Currently! But then again bike lights were also rare before a few years ago.

    “Per my earlier comment, it will stay in the single digits until americans are suitably impoverished.”

    Davis, CA is an example of a rare American city with longstanding separated infrastructure (including along key arterials) with bike modeshare well into the teens.

    It’s an interesting comparison point to Berkeley, which is in the same state, also a university town, but has relied almost exclusively on a backstreets strategy.

    It’s also an interesting comparison point to many other American university towns of the same size (many also with plenty of conventional bike lanes) with modeshare in the low single-digits.

  28.  

    oooBooo

    This word “cycletrack” is practically meaningless to me. There are bike paths which are not part of the “roadway” and there are bike lanes which are part of the “roadway”.

    (625 ILCS 5/1-179) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1-179) Sec. 1-179. Roadway.
    That portion of a highway improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways the term “roadway” as used herein shall refer to any such roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively. (Source: P.A. 76-1586.)

    (625 ILCS 5/1-126) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1-126) Sec. 1-126. Highway.
    The entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel or located on public school property. (Source: P.A. 92-780, eff. 8-6-02.)

    This is very important distinction in the vehicle code when it comes to right of way etc. A bicyclist off the roadway must follow pedestrian laws. A bicyclist on the roadway follows vehicle laws.

    (625 ILCS 5/11-1502) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1502)
    Sec. 11-1502. Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles. Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this Code, except as to special regulations in this Article XV and except as to those provisions of this Code which by their nature can have no application.

    (Source: P.A. 82-132.)

    (625 ILCS 5/11-1512) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1512) Sec. 11-1512. Bicycles on sidewalks.
    (a) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.
    (b) A person shall not ride a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, where such use of bicycles is prohibited by official traffic-control devices.
    (c) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances. (Source: P.A. 82-132.)

    “Timed signals mean this rarely happen in practice.”

    Signal timing is rare in the USA.

    “Cities with a long history of bicycle boulevards have shown this just
    doesn’t work. Modeshare in Berkeley and Portland is still in the single
    digits, despite some of the best (by North American standards) and
    longest-running backstreets strategies.”

    Per my earlier comment, it will stay in the single digits until americans are suitably impoverished.

  29.  

    Gezellig

    If that intersection design actually existed there would be video of it.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBwMRGxtZ9k

    “Your video is a ‘transit protected bike lane’. More of introducing subject B as a rebuttal to, or rather distraction from A.”

    See video above. And no, the whole point was that it’s a perfect example of infrastructure pretty much copy-and-paste from the Netherlands. Naysayers had previously claimed Americans would never figure out because…Reasons. Yet it works just fine.

    “No, they aren’t. That’s what the narrative says, but they are not.”

    That’s what the narrative says because it’s true. Have you actually experienced this kind of infra in real life?

    Your objections are theoretical, not experiential.

    “Sidewalk riding is dangerous, especially at any sort of speed significantly greater than walking. This intersection simulates sidewalk riding and will have similar issues if any bicyclist tries to use it to get from a to b quickly. The crash mode that is being introduced is what is called a ‘ride-out’. The bicyclist is now forced to do what amounts to a ‘ride-out’. He’s just doing it from one part of the roadway to another rather than from the sidewalk to the roadway. From the driver’s POV it’s pretty much the same.”

    Your objections are theoretical. Again, in practice this stuff works. The Netherlands has these types of intersections all. over. the. place. And the lowest bike-injury rate per km in the world.

    “I’ve seen signalized sidewalk riding in Germany.”

    Actually, Germany in general has deplorable cycletracks not up the best practices. Bad cycletracks are bad. We should not emulate bad designs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGI-tSBItiw

    “And the video clearly shows box left turning. There’s nothing theoretical about that. How would people in the Netherlands react if I biked 17+mph on that infrastructure of theirs?”

    People do it all the time! Try it. It works.

    “Also american governments don’t as a rule sync traffic signals.”

    As a rule American cities didn’t do lots of things–such as the transit-protected lane–until recently. That doesn’t mean they can’t/won’t!

    “But cutting the speed of fast bicyclists by half or more is very significant.”

    No one said that. Good cycletrack design allows for a pretty broad range of biking speeds. I got some great speed on Dutch cycletracks (not really on German ones, though. Again, see previous point).

    “You will never get out of the single digits for bicycling in the USA without impoverishing the people and/or making driving prohibitively expensive or removing the roadway space until it just can’t be done any longer.”

    Again, the imagination in your arguments is perhaps lacking. Look, US streets are *already* going on road diets. Yet they’re often not being done in ways that encourage much new ridership. There’s totally room for a parking-protected cycletrack instead of a so-called “buffered” lane in many instances:

    http://streetsblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/BnDCapMIcAAVro3.jpg

    That’s the low-hanging fruit.

    “You’d have us punted over to the edges plodding along at 8mph like some timid beginner.”

    On good infrastructure you can go way faster. I’m not sure where you’re getting 8mph from.

    “You and others keep going on and on about vehicular bicycling being fine for people like me, but not beginners and children.”

    Yup, cuz it’s effectively how it works. Your arguments are pretty much “I got mine, now get out of the way!” And you’re then attacking something you haven’t actually experienced.

    “I offered a perfectly reasonable alternative for beginners and children to learn and build confidence so they can go out on to the arterial roads and know what to do. You find using calmer roads insulting”

    No no no. I find a strategy which *only* focuses on backstreets networks is insufficient.

    “but it’s not insulting to ride on what are effectively sidewalks per Netherlands examples? At least I still have bicyclists using roadways as equals and not being punted from them like your Netherlands examples. Not confined off to the side like your “cycletracks”.”

    Again, you’re showing your lack of experiential awareness of how these things work in real life. Bikes and cars and pedestrians are *not* the same. Especially on high-volume stretches each should have a channel catered to its own mode. When done well, it works swimmingly. Really!

    “This isn’t some cramped european country where to get more land it had to be claimed from the sea.”

    SF is pretty cramped! 7×7 miles. Also lots of reclaimed land.

    “The political rhetoric plus the actions is undeniably anti-car.”

    Guess I’ll have to burn my driver’s license then? I didn’t realize being pro-bike meant I had to be anti-something-else.

    “There’s never been a “VC-as-status-quo”. “

    Pretty much all of our cities–to the extent they ever even thought about bikes–just shoehorned them into having to behave like cars. That’s VC. It can work ok on low-volume stretches, but is not suitable for high-volume stretches.

    “Because you took away 50+% of the roadway width!”

    Who said that? Often if you just flip the bike lane and the parking lane you’re good:

    http://humofthecity.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/205.jpg

  30.  

    oooBooo

    Must be some sup’ed up mobility scooters. Here they don’t go faster than I can walk.
    Any sort of bike path in the USA gets pedestrian traffic.

  31.  

    oooBooo

    Again, you’re rebutting my view on subject A by using subject B. I discuss bike lanes in the USA you say I’m wrong and show me bike paths in the Netherlands. Now you say I’m wrong because the USA is behind and I shouldn’t judge the infrastructure by what I will actually have to deal with, like the ‘model’ Chicago bike lane pictured in the article, but instead should judge it by something an ocean away in a very different bicycling culture, of which we’ll get something that looks nothing like it? Come on. I have to deal with the shit and I am calling it shit because it is shit.

    Again, figures don’t lie, but liars figure. I addressed this already. The US does everything by politics. “feels good” trumps engineering. Per my first post here. US road design is done by what “feels good”, not good engineering. That’s why stop signs are used for speed control and other nonsense.

  32.  

    Gezellig

    They don’t. Practically no one runs reds in the Netherlands, even in Amsterdam (which has a huge percentage of foreign-born people–often from places more loose with traffic laws than the US).

    You’re ascribing far too much angelicness to people who live in the NL and far too much incorrigible doltishness to people who live in the US. The truth is, compliance goes up when you have a system that’s designed for your mode. That’s been found time and again…yes, even in the US:

    http://streets.mn/2014/05/19/chart-of-the-day-bike-compliance-and-traffic-signal-design/

    Basically what you’re saying is “why bother giving the idiots nice things when they won’t behave” when it’s *precisely* the nice things that *make* the idiots behave!

  33.  

    oooBooo

    So there’s no red signal running because there are no red signals. Except the examples show signalized systems so they are at least partially signalized. I’ll bet americans riding there run those signals. Why? Because I’ve seen it on bike paths here in the US.

  34.  

    Opafiets

    Exactly! You see those things (wrong-way, running red lights, etc.) here because we do not provide good alternatives for bicycle riders. You don’t see them (nearly as much) in The Netherlands because doing so is not necessary. The road network in The Netherlands works very well for people driving cars, people riding bicycles, and disabled.

    People obey the laws there because there is not much incentive not to. On the other hand we provide many incentives. For instants, they know that it’s stupid to stop at completely empty intersections so they use sharks teeth (yield) or roundabouts. They know that they’ll never prevent people from smoking pot so they don’t try and the result is that less than half as many of their teens do drugs as ours.

    One of the great things about their bicycle network is that bicycles (and disabled) don’t need to stop at junctions. Masses of them can negotiate their way through each other. This can’t be done so well with cars where you need much greater control at junctions and thus results in much lower efficiency.

  35.  

    oooBooo

    If that intersection design actually existed there would be video of it. Your video is a ‘transit protected bike lane’. More of introducing subject B as a rebuttal to, or rather distraction from A. Ever ride the Chicago lakefront bike path at speed? I started doing so in 1992. Pedestrian behavior has not changed for the better. It might be worse or I am more scared of injury due to it, in either case, I’ll never ride it the way I did in the good old days again.

    “Bicyclists are totally separated from vehicular traffic in this equation.”

    No, they aren’t. That’s what the narrative says, but they are not. They are made into pseudo-pedestrians. Sidewalk riding is dangerous, especially at any sort of speed significantly greater than walking. This intersection simulates sidewalk riding and will have similar issues if any bicyclist tries to use it to get from a to b quickly. The crash mode that is being introduced is what is called a ‘ride-out’. The bicyclist is now forced to do what amounts to a ‘ride-out’. He’s just doing it from one part of the roadway to another rather than from the sidewalk to the roadway. From the driver’s POV it’s pretty much the same.

    “Your objections sound very theoretical and not based on actual real-life
    experience with high-quality pervasive separated infrastructure. I
    realize the Netherlands isn’t exactly next door, but experiencing this
    stuff in practice shows how most or all of these theoretical objections
    are just that–theoretical. And don’t pan out in practice.”

    I’ve seen signalized sidewalk riding in Germany. It’s ok if you’re using a bicycle as a walking substitute. I use a bicycle for a driving substitute. And the video clearly shows box left turning. There’s nothing theoretical about that. How would people in the Netherlands react if I biked 17+mph on that infrastructure of theirs? My guess is they would find it downright rude or worse, am I right? How about a 28mph sprint?

    Here’s what will happen. Americans accelerate from a green signal poorly. Not like in Germany. This reduces the throughput of intersections. One intersection ends up backing up into the next in peak hours. Drivers at the tail end try to squeeze into any available space on the far side of the intersection. Right where your animation puts the ‘cycletrack’ crossing. And that’s if they don’t outright grid lock it. Also american governments don’t as a rule sync traffic signals. Often because traffic control devices are misused they may even be intentionally out of sync for speed control. Hence compounding the problem. There is nothing theoretical about my assessment. I’ll see tomorrow morning on the first traffic light of my commute. It’s that way 9 mornings out of 10.

    “–> for all your ire against physical separation the suggestion that
    people should just stick to the backstreets is the ultimate irony as
    isn’t that the ultimate segregated second-class treatment?”

    Nice strawman. I stated nothing of the sort. I stated that beginners, the timid, children, and those seeking a pleasant ride, would be better off using side streets and cycling routes carved from them rather than arterial roads. Why? Because those are often much more pleasant streets, are slower, have less traffic, etc. Arterial roads are not for beginners and complexity doesn’t change that. Arterial roads are not pleasant tree-lined environments, a “cycletrack” does not change that. Arterial roads are for getting from A to B quickly.

    You complain that the side streets would be too slow, yet chide me for wanting to preserve the fast nature of arterial bicycling because it’s not good for slow beginners. If you’re moving slow the slight penalties in a gridded street system aren’t of any significance. They would also be largely removed by putting beginner encouraging infrastructure there. But cutting the speed of fast bicyclists by half or more is very significant. If I am tired and riding slow I generally get my ass off the arterial road if I know or can guess another route. Even if that route is a block or five longer.

    “Besides all that, it’s often just simply not convenient. When
    infrastructure makes it screamingly obvious to bike, people will. When
    it’s inconvenient or unpleasant, it doesn’t matter if someone could
    theoretically find ways around it. Most people won’t. Your words are the
    talk of 1% modeshare.”

    It has nothing to do with increasing bicycling, it’s about decreasing driving. The usage rates, the optimistic ones published here and plain observation show it. The side streets are intentionally made unpassable so people can’t drive them from a to b to force drivers on to arterial roads. Then the arterial roads are road dieted, have protected bike lanes carved out of them, etc reducing the lane space until they can’t pass much more motorized traffic than a side street that goes through. It’s all so very transparent.

    You will never get out of the single digits for bicycling in the USA without impoverishing the people and/or making driving prohibitively expensive or removing the roadway space until it just can’t be done any longer.

    “This backstreets stuff is Stockholm Syndrome VC-über-alles nonsense.”

    Then what is a “cycletrack”? Vehicular bicycling is about taking one’s place on the road as any other vehicle user. You’d have us punted over to the edges plodding along at 8mph like some timid beginner. Stockholm Syndrome is a good description of this protected bike lane stuff. It’s exactly what bicycle hating motorists want (except for the loss of lane space). You’ve done what they want in some regard, you’ve punted bicycles off into a ghetto or off the roadway entirely. If it didn’t hurt their lane space or their wallet there wouldn’t be any complaint from them .

    You and others keep going on and on about vehicular bicycling being fine for people like me, but not beginners and children. I offered a perfectly reasonable alternative for beginners and children to learn and build confidence so they can go out on to the arterial roads and know what to do. You find using calmer roads insulting but it’s not insulting to ride on what are effectively sidewalks per Netherlands examples? At least I still have bicyclists using roadways as equals and not being punted from them like your Netherlands examples. Not confined off to the side like your “cycletracks”.

    “Who said anything about anti-car?! Good bike and good car infrastructure are not mutually exclusive. “

    They aren’t but this isn’t good infrastructure. This isn’t some cramped european country where to get more land it had to be claimed from the sea. And the motivation here in the US is transparent. The political rhetoric plus the actions is undeniably anti-car. It is cutting down road capacity for motorized vehicles using bicycling as the excuse when convenient to do so.

    “Btw, since separated infra encourages so many new people to bike (in a way VC-as-status-quo has never done)”

    There’s never been a “VC-as-status-quo”. And there is nothing more separated than another road. The only place that even attempted the education needed for vehicluar bicycling was PA. It resulted in this publication: http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Internet/Bureaus/pdBikePed.nsf/BikePedHomepage?openframeset&Frame=main&src=InfoBikeManual?readform The ‘cycletracks’ and other such things work in tandem with other agendas so they get political support. VC never did and never will.

    And that’s the reason VC and wide curb lanes didn’t go very far. They don’t fit into any greater agendas other than being pro-bicycling. Don’t you ever ask yourself why politicians suddenly give a shit about something that only a tiny percentage of the population care about?

    “it ends up clearing up space by taking more cars off the road. ”

    Because you took away 50+% of the roadway width! That was the point, to make the driving experience worse so people wouldn’t do it. You could accomplish that by simply ripping up the road instead. No bike infrastructure required. But that’s politically more difficult than having bicycling as vehicle to the same end.

  36.  

    Opafiets

    It’s like you’re saying that we shouldn’t use 8086 based PC’s running DOS instead of a darkroom for photo editing. You’re completely ignoring state-of-the-art or best-in-class bicycling facilities (EG, The Netherlands).

    Painted bike lanes are quite awful. Even worse if they’re in the door zone. Most U.S. cycletracks are not much better because the junction designs are still stuck in the 70′s along with DOS.

    What traffic engineers in The Netherlands have done works though. Their road system is quite comfortable and inviting for all users, including those in cars. They have about 1/3 the motor vehicle fatalities as we do and 1/8 the bicycle fatalities. Why can’t U.S. engineers accomplish the same thing?

  37.  

    Opafiets

    I’m a former Cat 1 road racer, I have a very good grasp of various speeds. I’ve often ridden over 20 mph on cycleways in The Netherlands and routinely average 15 mph around Amsterdam and Utrecht (though not advisable when it’s congested).

    Most mobility scooters top out at about 10 mph though 15 mph is far from uncommon and models that can go 20 are available (I’ve been passed by them). Mobility scooters are far more compatible with bicycle riders than pedestrians and that is why you’ll most often see them on cycleways rather than sidewalks.

    More: http://streets.mn/2014/08/27/cycleway-fundamentals-safety-momentum-comfort/

  38.  

    Gezellig

    “Those are along and off the roadway not _on_ it. It’s sidewalk riding, it’s forest preserve path riding. We were discussing bike lanes, not bike paths.”

    So you consider a raised cycletrack off-road and an un-raised one on-road? I mean, that’s interesting that you’d care to draw such a fine-grained semantic distinction, but the most important part here is the physical separation from the cars, not whether it’s raised or not.

    The video mostly shows bike facilities immediately adjacent to roads, many clearly arterials. They’re effectively part of the arterial, whether raised or un-raised or whatever. Just like there’s quite a difference between a running path in a park and a raised sidewalk alongside an arterial.

    Analogously, it’s odd to brand a cycletrack immediately adjacent to car lanes as a supposed “off-street path” just because it’s raised a few inches. It’s functioning as a part of the arterial, just designed for the mode in question.

    ” I don’t consider waiting for two red signals to do a box turn an ‘easy left turn’. I call it annoying delay.”

    Timed signals mean this rarely happen in practice.

    “You want 20% modeshare? then follow my advice and carve the bicycling network out of side streets.”

    Cities with a long history of bicycle boulevards have shown this just doesn’t work. Modeshare in Berkeley and Portland is still in the single digits, despite some of the best (by North American standards) and longest-running backstreets strategies.

  39.  

    Gezellig

    “It’s incredible complexity.”

    It’s really not. Having lived in the Netherlands I experienced those every day. Nothing complex or confusing about it, even to a first-time user. And before you say “oh, that’s because the Dutch are used to it,” note that 1) the Dutch didn’t always have this stuff either and 2) when Dutch-style implementations have been done in the US, people catch on quickly:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0qdq36hwSs

    It’s really not that hard to figure out.

    “It does not have a realistic view of how americans actually use roads. It puts bicyclists far off the turns where they won’t be seen until a driver is accelerating out of the turn.”

    Bicyclists are totally separated from vehicular traffic in this equation. Besides that, sightlines between cars and bikes are very generous. The video explains all this.

    “Bicyclists have to make inefficient box left turns. Drivers and bicyclists can very easily become trapped in various parts of the intersection. All the curbing is a hazard to snow removal, large trucks, and emergency evasive maneuvers when someone does something wrong.”

    Your objections sound very theoretical and not based on actual real-life experience with high-quality pervasive separated infrastructure. I realize the Netherlands isn’t exactly next door, but experiencing this stuff in practice shows how most or all of these theoretical objections are just that–theoretical. And don’t pan out in practice.

    “Is that horribly difficult for the timid to walk a bicycle a half a block?”

    That may be possible sometimes, but there are a few problems with that as the only strategy:

    –> urban street layout is not always so simple. Arterials may often be more direct routes (and here in the Bay Area they often have developed naturally from earlier footpaths which offered the most direct and *flat* routes whereas side streets even a block away often have far steeper grades).

    Check out diagonal arterials such as Sandy in Portland, for example. It’s a much more direct route than the backstreets network. There are some pretty convoluted, zig-zaggy and counterintuitive backstreets itineraries that would totally avoided if Sandy simply had a cycletrack.

    –> for all your ire against physical separation the suggestion that people should just stick to the backstreets is the ultimate irony as isn’t that the ultimate segregated second-class treatment?

    –> Besides all that, it’s often just simply not convenient. When infrastructure makes it screamingly obvious to bike, people will. When it’s inconvenient or unpleasant, it doesn’t matter if someone could theoretically find ways around it. Most people won’t. Your words are the talk of 1% modeshare.

    “And the idea of looking for a pleasant bicycling experience on an arterial is simply absurd. It’s a road from getting from a to b fast.”

    You seem to have a pretty unfortunate view of what biking can be! It really can be pleasant even when utilitarian. Not to mention convenient for errands…or if, ya know, you happen to live alongside an arterial.

    This backstreets stuff is Stockholm Syndrome VC-über-alles nonsense.

    “No, my view of bicycling is for bicycling, not a vehicle for an anti-car agenda.”

    Who said anything about anti-car?! Good bike and good car infrastructure are not mutually exclusive.
    Again, the Netherlands is a great example of this. Living there I saw how lots of people still drive lots of places, and that’s fine. They just smartly create the optimal infrastructure setups for each mode.

    Btw, since separated infra encourages so many new people to bike (in a way VC-as-status-quo has never done) it ends up clearing up space by taking more cars off the road. Your worst competition as a driver is all the other cars getting in your way. Get rid of 10-20% of them and driving is already far more pleasant for those who choose/need to still drive.

  40.  

    oooBooo

    Those are along and off the roadway not _on_ it. It’s sidewalk riding, it’s forest preserve path riding. We were discussing bike lanes, not bike paths. Please keep my statements in context of the discussion. I used the word -on- for a reason. Lanes are on the roadway, paths are off the roadway. Children go on sidewalks, not on arterial roads. Why is it when I write something about A someone chimes up about B? It’s as if there is no good counter argument so changing the nature of discussion is the only way out. Would you put a ten year old on the bi-directional downtown Chicago bike lane shown in the article as a ‘model’?

    “Maintenance needs for cycletracks can actually be much less in the long run.”

    I used to use 31st street in Chicago. Then they put a stick protected bike lane on it. Useless debris strewn disaster now. And it’s trucks that do the vast majority of pavement wear and tear.

    “Except for things like right hooks, lack of easy left turns, etc.. Sure,
    there are ways around (literally) this problem, but that’s not
    something that large percentages of people like to do. Even those of us
    who already bike often find it tedious and un-fun. There are lots of
    smarter solutions, such as this:”

    Left turns are easy. Preventing right hooks takes a little knowledge and experience.

    I’ve dealt with that video twice on this site, I did a repeat in this greater discussion a few minutes ago. I don’t consider waiting for two red signals to do a box turn an ‘easy left turn’. I call it annoying delay.

    “It works in an entirely mediocre fashion. Some of the time. For the very
    small percentages of us who’ve already decided to bike and who are
    able-bodied and brave enough to put up with all the crap. The North
    American infrastructure status quo is not the stuff of 20% modeshare.”

    Wide curb lanes to my knowledge have never been widely established as bicycling infrastructure. They are largely accidents of road design and I’ve found they work quite well when intersections are frequent. The problem is they are accidents of infrastructure so they rarely endure for more than a few miles. Typically hundreds of feet. That’s the problem, lack of implementation, not a failure of design. You want 20% modeshare? then follow my advice and carve the bicycling network out of side streets. If you want to hurt driving, carve it out of the arterial roadways.

  41.  

    oooBooo

    Mobility scooters are incapable of 20mph travel. I don’t thing you grasp how fast 20mph bicycling is compared to the average speeds on sidewalk bike paths. Anyway, sidewalk facilities are out of context and not part of the roadway.

  42.  

    oooBooo

    Why do so many here want to pretend bicycling is dangerous? It’s not. Even your site tries to deal with the inherent problems distorting the plots and tables so why do you insist upon the distortion the cite tries to deal with?

    The Netherlands is a very different place than the USA. How many wrong way bicycle riders do you see in the Netherlands? How many people blow red signals on bicycles there? I could go on. I’ll wager from what I saw elsewhere in europe, these common american behaviors are practically non-existent in the Netherlands. Also cities in the USA are not going to pay for the additional traffic signals, and other infrastructure expenses that make parallel and unequal semi-functional. Furthermore, it’s the sort of slow 8mph sidewalk bicycling I detest being forced into.

  43.  

    oooBooo

    “That’s why we must implement better intersections.”
    Needless, annoying, and deadly complexity. That isn’t fixing it, it’s breaking it. I dealt with this when it appeared here prior as I recall. It’s incredible complexity. It forces bicyclists to behave as pedestrians, not vehicles. It does not have a realistic view of how americans actually use roads. It puts bicyclists far off the turns where they won’t be seen until a driver is accelerating out of the turn. It requires expensive and complex signaling to even sort of function. Bicyclists have to make inefficient box left turns. Drivers and bicyclists can very easily become trapped in various parts of the intersection. All the curbing is a hazard to snow removal, large trucks, and emergency evasive maneuvers when someone does something wrong.

    “And too bad if you happen to live/work/shop on an arterial?”

    Is that horribly difficult for the timid to walk a bicycle a half a block? That’s the furthest pretty much everyone is going to be from a side street in a gridded city like Chicago. I’ll tell you what, the protected bike lanes, the ordinary bike lanes, etc are much more widely spaced from each other than the side streets are from anyone living/working on an arterial road.

    “Your view of biking is pretty ableist and exclusivist”

    No, my view of bicycling is for bicycling, not a vehicle for an anti-car agenda. I don’t automatically support whatever takes away the most space from driving. That’s something I’ve noticed, the support for bicycling infrastructure is now proportional to how much it hurts driving, not how it benefits bicycling. And yes, I believe arterial roads are no place for beginning bicyclists. Period. They also are the places you take your kid to drive the first time either. And the idea of looking for a pleasant bicycling experience on an arterial is simply absurd. It’s a road from getting from a to b fast. The side street a block over is always far more pleasant regardless if there is a bike lane of any sort on the arterial or not.

  44.  

    M.

    It also reflects the number of job losses and mortgage defaults in suburbs.

  45.  

    Gezellig

    The “but they’re different drivers” also ignore the very real fact that as recently as the 70s Dutch drivers maimed 2.5x more people on foot and bike than did drivers in the US. Pretty dismal.

    And they’ve actually always had pretty strict driving regulations. What’s changed since the 70s? Their infrastructure.

  46.  

    Gezellig

    “Using arterial road bike lanes also requires knowledge and experience. Otherwise it’s just a false sense of security. The intersection complexity and understanding the dangers of it isn’t going to be found in beginners. “

    Yup. That’s why we must implement better intersections.

    http://vimeo.com/86721046

    “There is already a network of roads for beginners. For the timid. They are called side streets, residential streets, etc.”

    And too bad if you happen to live/work/shop on an arterial?

    Your view of biking is pretty ableist and exclusivist.

  47.  

    Opafiets

    The majority of kids throughout The Netherlands ride their bicycles to school every day, most without parents along, and many along major arterials. And they are quite safe doing so.

    At the same time and on the same paths you have people riding to work, people riding 20 mph, people on mobility scooters, and people with cargo bikes. It works quite well so long as the facilities are designed correctly.

  48.  

    Gezellig

    “I wouldn’t have a 10 year old kid riding on any sort of arterial road regardless of what sort of bicycling facility you put on it.”

    That’s too bad. There are facilities to support that:

    http://youtu.be/xSGx3HSjKDo

    “Furthermore dedicating road space to only bicycling is wasteful. Not only does it limit the utility of large portions of roadway it increases maintenance needs because bicycles are not sufficient to ‘sweep’ the debris to the gutter.”

    Maintenance needs for cycletracks can actually be much less in the long run. Much less must be spent on wear-and-tear fixes. Why? Cars aren’t constantly encroaching upon them, wearing out the asphalt as they do conventional lanes.

    “Then of course they have to be plowed of snow separately with special equipment.”

    Road-clearing equipment can’t be used on sidewalks, either, yet cities manage.

    “No intersection conflicts”

    Except for things like right hooks, lack of easy left turns, etc.. Sure, there are ways around (literally) this problem, but that’s not something that large percentages of people like to do. Even those of us who already bike often find it tedious and un-fun. There are lots of smarter solutions, such as this:

    http://vimeo.com/86721046

    “It works wonderfully.”

    It works in an entirely mediocre fashion. Some of the time. For the very small percentages of us who’ve already decided to bike and who are able-bodied and brave enough to put up with all the crap. The North American infrastructure status quo is not the stuff of 20% modeshare.

  49.  

    oooBooo

    When bike lanes are created on a road, when bike paths are created along a road, where that facility does not allow for at least 20mph safe travel, I have to discard that road for bicycling except when I am so tired that I can’t manage anything but a slow speed. As I stated earlier, using the general travel lanes on a road with a biking facility brings out hostility from drivers. The nastiest confrontations I’ve had with drivers almost all occurred on roads with bicycling facilities I refused to use.

    There is already a network of roads for beginners. For the timid. They are called side streets, residential streets, etc. I biked a good 20 years before I started vehicularly riding arterial roads. My entire childhood from time I learned to ride a bike through my early 20s. I networked side streets, used trails, etc. Want to make effective, calm bicycling routes? Use those. Connect them where they aren’t connected. Sometimes all that means is reversing one way signs or restoring two way travel. Or adding a short (10s of feet) bike path to connect. If that was the program, I could get behind it.

    Arterial roads are not generally pleasant bicycling routes, but they are -fast-. Because bicycles have limited braking ability (contact patch), even though 25mph is the speed limit, many, most when there are parked cars, residential streets aren’t good for be going that fast.

    Using arterial road bike lanes also requires knowledge and experience. Otherwise it’s just a false sense of security. The intersection complexity and understanding the dangers of it isn’t going to be found in beginners. There’s much to be learned about handling normal intersections, but these complex ones are another step up. Quite honestly, many bicycling facilities frighten me to use, especially ones that put bi-directional bicycling traffic on one side of the road. To put a beginner on them that doesn’t even understand the traffic conflicts and issues of such things… it’s like someone wants them to get hit.

  50.  

    Opafiets