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-   -   Do bicycles and cars mix? (http://www.cyclebanter.com/showthread.php?t=12727)

Dr Engelbert Buxbaum July 21st 03 12:39 PM

Do bicycles and cars mix?
 
Pete wrote:


The German Autobahn system works...in Germany. Transplant that system here,
and the crash and fatality rate would, IMO, skyrocket. Why? Training, road
smoothness, attitude for a start. For instance...very, very rare are the
German drivers going 60 in the fast lane. Here, it is a common occurance.
Mix 85mph and 60 mph traffic in the same lane, and guess what...more
crashes.


Thats just a question of training and enforcement of the law, not of
nationality. Whenever things change, it takes time for people to get
used to the new rules. That, in itself, is no reason not to change the
rules, if there are benefits to be had.


The bike lane system in Holland works..in Holland.


And in many other places.

Transplant that system
here, and you'd end up with unusable bike lanes, crowded with all sorts of
other users (runners, bladers, parked cars), and many, many restrictions and
compromises...rendering it useless for bike transportation. And that is just
one of the myriad cultural and attitudinal differences between here and
there.


A lot of bike lanes are also used by roller bladers, dog walkers and the
like in Europe. With a little bit of common courtesy, thats no issue.
Cars parked on the bike lane are simply towed at the owners expense
(about US$ 300, all included). Usually that prevents repetition.

Lived and rode in Holland for two years. Also Germany, Spain, England.
Look at that lane construct closely. Now go look at a local road. Where
would that 8' wide space (16' if you count both sides) come from? Either
take out a car lane, or take out some of the sidewalk, or move the buildings
back.


What would be so bad about having narrower or fewer lanes for cars?
After all, more people using bikes means fewer cars.

Also, that picture does not show an intersection. What happens there? How
does that cyclist make a left turn?


Depends on the situation. On small roads with little traffic, simply
filter into car traffic and make a normal left turn, similar to a car on
a multi-lane road. On major crossings, use the traffic lights for
pedestrian/cycle traffic. Since the cyclist can cross a road together
with pedestrians, no additional waiting times are necessary.

The real problem are cars making a short (that is right, in most places)
turn across a cycle path. Again, the legal situation is absolutely
clear, a vehicle turning across another lane has to give way to traffic
on that lane. But it takes some education of car drivers to point that
fact out to them, including legal pressure applied over a number of
years. I had some "close encounters" 20 years back, now this is much
better. By the way, the same problem also exists on roads without bike
lanes.

How does a car exiting a parking lot
negotiate this? Stop before the lane? Stop on the lane? Where?


A car exiting from a parking space has to give way to traffic moving on
the road, so he waits in the parking space until the road is free.
Nothing new here, the bike lane is just an additional lane on the road,
all traffic laws apply.

And the monetary costs to retrofit existing roads would be huge. Is the
political will there to expend billions on a small minority? Evidently not,
as evidenced by a routine rejection of light rail and other alternative
transport solutions.



This reminds me of the situation in England, where I used to work for a
couple of years. They had an extensive system of tram ways, which was
disassembled in the late '60s because everybody had a car and the costs
of public transport seemd unnecessary. They actually had a royal
commision, headed by some lord or such thing which determined this.

As a result, people drove their cars more, and traffic in the cities
collapsed, with concomittant environmental problems. Now they are
placing the rails back in to make traffic more manageble (Manchester
beeing but one example), of course at huge expense. That's what happens
if myopic fools disregard the question of sustainability.

John David Galt July 21st 03 10:05 PM

Do bicycles and cars mix?
 
Dr Engelbert Buxbaum wrote:
What would be so bad about having narrower or fewer lanes for cars?
After all, more people using bikes means fewer cars.


Only it doesn't. The tiny trickle of people using bikes could increase
by a factor of 100 and they'd still be less than 1% of traffic, hardly
enough to justify robbing the majority of even a single lane.

Depends on the situation. On small roads with little traffic, simply
filter into car traffic and make a normal left turn, similar to a car on
a multi-lane road. On major crossings, use the traffic lights for
pedestrian/cycle traffic. Since the cyclist can cross a road together
with pedestrians, no additional waiting times are necessary.


So cyclists are allowed to ride in crosswalks in Europe? In the US this
is illegal (unless they dismount first) but commonly done anyway, often
by pulling out in front of cars as if the biker had the legal status of
a pedestrian (which he does not).

The real problem are cars making a short (that is right, in most places)
turn across a cycle path. Again, the legal situation is absolutely
clear, a vehicle turning across another lane has to give way to traffic
on that lane. But it takes some education of car drivers to point that
fact out to them, including legal pressure applied over a number of
years. I had some "close encounters" 20 years back, now this is much
better. By the way, the same problem also exists on roads without bike
lanes.


I take it that Europe does not allow the car driver to take the bike
lane a few metres before the intersection, thus preventing this
conflict? (In California this is not only allowed, it is compulsory.)

This reminds me of the situation in England, where I used to work for a
couple of years. They had an extensive system of tram ways, which was
disassembled in the late '60s because everybody had a car and the costs
of public transport seemd unnecessary. They actually had a royal
commision, headed by some lord or such thing which determined this.

As a result, people drove their cars more, and traffic in the cities
collapsed, with concomittant environmental problems. Now they are
placing the rails back in to make traffic more manageble (Manchester
beeing but one example), of course at huge expense. That's what happens
if myopic fools disregard the question of sustainability.


Sustainability my ass. That's what happens when NIMBYs stop the process
of expanding the road system (which of course needs to go on permanently
as long as population is growing) and then blame drivers for the resulting
congestion.

Marc July 22nd 03 09:16 AM

Do bicycles and cars mix?
 
John David Galt wrote:

I take it that Europe does not allow the car driver to take the bike
lane a few metres before the intersection, thus preventing this
conflict? (In California this is not only allowed, it is compulsory.)


Why bother to call it a bike lane if cars are required to drive in it?

Marc
For email, remove the first "y" of "whineryy"

John David Galt July 23rd 03 02:01 AM

Do bicycles and cars mix?
 
John David Galt wrote:
I take it that Europe does not allow the car driver to take the bike
lane a few metres before the intersection, thus preventing this
conflict? (In California this is not only allowed, it is compulsory.)


Marc wrote:
Why bother to call it a bike lane if cars are required to drive in it?


The same reason the smoking section of a restaurant (in places that still
allow such a thing) is open to nonsmokers. The point of a bike lane is
to improve traffic flow by keeping bikes in, not cars out.

Dr Engelbert Buxbaum July 26th 03 02:51 PM

Do bicycles and cars mix?
 
John David Galt wrote:

The tiny trickle of people using bikes could increase
by a factor of 100 and they'd still be less than 1% of traffic, hardly
enough to justify robbing the majority of even a single lane.


That is your claim, but observation, at least here in Europe, shows
otherwise. Number of people riding to work, school or shopping is high,
up to 2/3 of all travels in some regions.

So cyclists are allowed to ride in crosswalks in Europe? In the US this
is illegal (unless they dismount first) but commonly done anyway, often
by pulling out in front of cars as if the biker had the legal status of
a pedestrian (which he does not).


This would happen on crossings with traffic lights. These have symbols
for pedestrians, cycles and "other traffic", and you do what the lights
tell you. Within cities bike paths are more often than not segregated
parts of the sidewalk, thus the cyclist quite naturally behaves a little
like a pedestrian.

I take it that Europe does not allow the car driver to take the bike
lane a few metres before the intersection, thus preventing this
conflict? (In California this is not only allowed, it is compulsory.)


No, cars have nothing to do on a cycle path over here. In many cases,
construction of cycle paths make such behaviour impossible, too.

That's what happens
if myopic fools disregard the question of sustainability.


Sustainability my ass. That's what happens when NIMBYs stop the process
of expanding the road system (which of course needs to go on permanently
as long as population is growing) and then blame drivers for the resulting
congestion.


This sort of red neck car driver attitude does not get you anywhere.
First of all, population is shrinking, not growing in most western
societies, only the number of cars is growing.

Second, experience shows that building new roads does not solve the
problem of congestion, because as soon as a new road opens, it gets
clogged by additional traffic. Streets claimed in the '60s and '70s to
solve traffic problems "until the turn of the century" were clogged 2
days later (London being one example, the "Ruhrstauweg" another).

Thirdly, appart from financial considerations there are other limits on
road building. Pollution levels and land use for roads can not be
increased indefinetly, in particular in the densely populated areas of
Europe.


Mitch Haley July 26th 03 04:00 PM

Do bicycles and cars mix?
 
Dr Engelbert Buxbaum wrote:

...experience shows that building new roads does not solve the
problem of congestion, because as soon as a new road opens, it gets
clogged by additional traffic. Streets claimed in the '60s and '70s to
solve traffic problems "until the turn of the century" were clogged 2
days later (London being one example, the "Ruhrstauweg" another).


I've heard it said that building roads to relieve congestion is like
buying looser clothes to cure obesity.

John David Galt July 26th 03 08:20 PM

Do bicycles and cars mix?
 
That's what happens
if myopic fools disregard the question of sustainability.


Sustainability my ass. That's what happens when NIMBYs stop the process
of expanding the road system (which of course needs to go on permanently
as long as population is growing) and then blame drivers for the resulting
congestion.


This sort of red neck car driver attitude does not get you anywhere.
First of all, population is shrinking, not growing in most western
societies, only the number of cars is growing.


Not true in "most western societies", just backward old Europe.

I laugh as the EU tries to federalize more and more functions in a
pathetic attempt to imitate the economic success of the USA, when it
can never work as long as the residents of Europe insist on clinging
to its two biggest trade impediments: its high degree of socialism
and its multiple languages. But I digress.

Second, experience shows that building new roads does not solve the
problem of congestion, because as soon as a new road opens, it gets
clogged by additional traffic.


This only shows that the roads built were too few and too late. You
need to build enough to catch up with all the pent-up demand. So do
we, lately; the Greens are starting to ruin the US as they have
already ruined Europe.

Thirdly, appart from financial considerations there are other limits on
road building. Pollution levels and land use for roads can not be
increased indefinetly, in particular in the densely populated areas of
Europe.


Road space can be increased indefinitely without expanding land use
simply by stacking them up several levels high, as in Chicago's Loop
district. Or all of your obsolete, pre-automotive cities can start
making room for needed roads by taking a good dose of wrecking-ball
therapy (which should happen naturally, as a result of downtown
businesses closing for want of customers in places where driving and
parking there is too difficult).

As for pollution, the bureaucrats who plan land use should figure out
that causing congestion by not building enough roads only worsens
pollution. If I can drive straight to my destination and park, I
pollute a lot less than if I have to sit in traffic with my engine
idling for an extra hour.

It simply isn't reasonable to insist that people walk or bike. It's
needless work, and anyone with a brain will move, or break the law,
rather than comply.

DTJ July 27th 03 03:43 AM

Do bicycles and cars mix?
 
On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 11:00:41 -0400, Mitch Haley
wrote:

I've heard it said that building roads to relieve congestion is like
buying looser clothes to cure obesity.


Well if you listen to environmentalists without using any critical
thinking skills, I could see that.

Environmentalidiots say this all the time. What they ignore is the
growth of the population. Our roads do not get busier simply because
we build more roads. They get busier because more people are driving
as more people get their licenses. This is due to growth from births
and from immigration.

It amazes me how stupid their argument is, yet people tend to believe
most things the media tells us without thinking about it. How could
more cars appear simply by building a road? Uh, aren't there people
in those cars? They can't drive on two roads at once...

George Conklin July 27th 03 01:39 PM

Do bicycles and cars mix?
 

"DTJ" wrote in message
...
On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 11:00:41 -0400, Mitch Haley
wrote:

I've heard it said that building roads to relieve congestion is like
buying looser clothes to cure obesity.


Well if you listen to environmentalists without using any critical
thinking skills, I could see that.

Environmentalidiots say this all the time. What they ignore is the
growth of the population. Our roads do not get busier simply because
we build more roads. They get busier because more people are driving
as more people get their licenses. This is due to growth from births
and from immigration.

It amazes me how stupid their argument is, yet people tend to believe
most things the media tells us without thinking about it. How could
more cars appear simply by building a road? Uh, aren't there people
in those cars? They can't drive on two roads at once...

Traffic volume does increase faster than population, which is what
environmentalists say. But that is because people like to travel, and use
their income for that purpose. The more radical environmentalists have
published letters in our local newspaper saying that the goal of the
enviromental movement is to STOP TRAVEL or at least make it expensive and to
minimize all travel. This is no different from the old British nobles who
were against railroads because it would encourage the peasants to move
around too much. No difference today. Environmentalists are white elitists.



Rick July 27th 03 04:46 PM

Do bicycles and cars mix?
 

"DTJ" wrote in message
...
On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 11:00:41 -0400, Mitch Haley
wrote:

I've heard it said that building roads to relieve congestion is like
buying looser clothes to cure obesity.


Well if you listen to environmentalists without using any critical
thinking skills, I could see that.

Environmentalidiots say this all the time. What they ignore is the
growth of the population. Our roads do not get busier simply because
we build more roads. They get busier because more people are driving
as more people get their licenses. This is due to growth from births
and from immigration.


Right, the population keeps increasing. Does expanding the roads improve
congestion? Experiments in cities have proven that they don't. LA, San Jose,
San Diego, and other large cities in California are the prototypical cities
where such exapnsion has failed to keep pace with demand. There is no reason
to believe that it will work anywhere else, either.

The analogy does have some real life examples that support it.

It amazes me how stupid their argument is, yet people tend to believe
most things the media tells us without thinking about it. How could
more cars appear simply by building a road? Uh, aren't there people
in those cars? They can't drive on two roads at once...


It happens for all of the following reasons:

- some folks who were using alternative transportation opt to drive
- folks give up alternative routes and use the major arterials (not a bad
thing, but...)
- city planners close previously used routes or add "traffic calming" (speed
bumps being the prime example) on surface streets which makes them
unattractive for commuting
- folks move to the area now that one of their primary complaints, urban
congestion on the roads, has been addressed
- folks give up the inconveniences associated with carpooling and ride
sharing because they perceive that conditions have improved
- city workers must return to the previously used roads and perform long
delayed maintenance, hence rendering these roads useless for 1 to 2 years
- the new roads (supposedly maintained by those same workers) are ignored
during this period because they are fixing the old ones. They deteriorate
rapidly and what happens becomes a series of alternating road/lane closures
that reduce the effective width of the new roads back to what they were
prior to expansion

Hence, when I-280 was expanded through San Jose, things were nice for a
couple of months. Then they added Rte. 85 and things improved again, for a
short time. Before 6 months passed, however, it was again faster to cycle to
work than it was to drive (most days, though there were some rare exceptions
when I could drive and beat my cycle/shower time).

It amazes me who stupid their argument is, yet people tend to believe most
things the media tells us without thinking about it. How could traffic
improve just because a road was built? Uh, aren't there people who make new
choices when alternatives are offered? Doesn't this add to the road/traffic
burden in an urban area?

Rick




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