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An update: building awareness of cycling issues



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 15th 03, 03:43 AM
Jem Berkes
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Default An update: building awareness of cycling issues

An update with regards to an effort started in the fall to build awareness
of cyclists needs and desires in my city (Winnipeg, pop 600K)
http://www.pc9.org/bicycle/

The primary idea was to provide a postcard that concerned cyclists could
print out and mail to city hall in order to voice their opinion on what
cyclists demand as far investments and considerations by the city. The idea
seems to have really caught on and I thought I would share this in case
anyone else is planning something similar where they live...

Although this is NOT a huge biking city there are still plenty of people
willing to go out of their way to support cycling issues. Talking to random
people on university campus I got several hundred signatures no problem.
That was just in a few hours.

Then we started printing out these postcards of ours and supplying them to
local biking shops (including an enthusiastic Mountain Equipment Co-Op).
The shops say people are very eager to voice their opinions on biking and
so far we have distributed around 2000 postcards, though I have no idea how
many have reached city hall.

The message seems to be: with a bit of encouragement you can get a huge
number of people to vocalize their needs to their city representatives.

Our efforts appear to be stirring some notice... the mayor has commented on
the initiative. I anticipate that in the spring we can increase the
pressure on the city and get them to actually commit to some type of
funding for at the very least, bicycle lanes and such.

But I guess that's more for spring/summer, since at the moment only a few
lone nutcases biking outside at -20 C.
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  #2  
Old December 15th 03, 06:41 AM
Ryan Cousineau
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Default An update: building awareness of cycling issues

In article ,
Jem Berkes wrote:

An update with regards to an effort started in the fall to build awareness
of cyclists needs and desires in my city (Winnipeg, pop 600K)
http://www.pc9.org/bicycle/

The primary idea was to provide a postcard that concerned cyclists could
print out and mail to city hall in order to voice their opinion on what
cyclists demand as far investments and considerations by the city. The idea
seems to have really caught on and I thought I would share this in case
anyone else is planning something similar where they live...

[...]
Our efforts appear to be stirring some notice... the mayor has commented on
the initiative. I anticipate that in the spring we can increase the
pressure on the city and get them to actually commit to some type of
funding for at the very least, bicycle lanes and such.


Now is the time to get in touch with other bike-commute-oriented groups
in other cities (locally, BEST and the Vancouver Area Cycling
Coalition). One thing that concerns me is you seem to think that
sidewalks might ever be an option. The vast majority of sidewalks are
slow and dangerous bike routes, since a bike is an unexpected object
moving way faster than pedestrians, and you're prey for every car that
noses out of a driveway or turns right from a paralleling roadway.

Now that you have the attention of council with your postcards, that
tactic is essentially done: they're not getting individual comments on
those cards, so there's not much point in paying attention to them. What
would be supremely useful to council would be some practical proposals
for improving bike safety in your city. Find out what other cities have
done, how it has improved safety (or almost as important, the perception
of safety; a lot of cyclists seem reluctant to ride simply because there
is no reserved spot for them on the road. This isn't completely crazy,
because the 10-30 km/h speed range of most cyclists puts them into a
grey area where they are clearly slower than cars but faster than
pedestrians).

But I guess that's more for spring/summer, since at the moment only a few
lone nutcases biking outside at -20 C.


Yep, but start planning now.

--
Ryan Cousineau, http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine
President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
  #3  
Old December 15th 03, 07:45 AM
Tom Keats
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Default An update: building awareness of cycling issues

In article ,
Ryan Cousineau writes:

Now is the time to get in touch with other bike-commute-oriented groups
in other cities


After a cursory Google search, it appears Winnipeg doesn't yet
have a Bicyle Advisory Committee. I nominate Jem :-)

a lot of cyclists seem reluctant to ride simply because there
is no reserved spot for them on the road. This isn't completely crazy,
because the 10-30 km/h speed range of most cyclists puts them into a
grey area where they are clearly slower than cars but faster than
pedestrians).


If anyone out there would like some insight -- not so much into bike
lanes themselves, but the controversy that surrounds them -- I
recommend first reading:

Listening to Bike Lanes: Moving Beyond the Feud, by Jeffrey A. Hiles
http://www.wright.edu/~jeffrey.hiles...ning/home.html

.... and then read John Forester's rebuttal to the above:
http://www.johnforester.com/Articles...ies/Hiles3.htm

Maybe the biggest problem with bike lanes is that the
subject incites too many exasperating arguments.


cheers,
Tom

--
-- Powered by FreeBSD
Above address is just a spam midden.
I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
  #4  
Old December 15th 03, 10:43 AM
Lars Lehtonen
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Default An update: building awareness of cycling issues

According to Jem Berkes :
An update with regards to an effort started in the fall to build awareness
of cyclists needs and desires in my city (Winnipeg, pop 600K)
http://www.pc9.org/bicycle/


Your webpage states that cycling on busy streets is inherently unsafe.
I invite you to find some statistics to support that.

The primary idea was to provide a postcard that concerned cyclists could
print out and mail to city hall in order to voice their opinion on what
cyclists demand as far investments and considerations by the city. The idea
seems to have really caught on and I thought I would share this in case
anyone else is planning something similar where they live...


Cool idea.

petition-gathering part snipped


Then we started printing out these postcards of ours and supplying them to
local biking shops (including an enthusiastic Mountain Equipment Co-Op).
The shops say people are very eager to voice their opinions on biking and
so far we have distributed around 2000 postcards, though I have no idea how
many have reached city hall.


Be very careful about getting into bed with the bike industry. Much of
what passes as advocacy from the bike companies is all about driving
sales and not encouraging actual riding.

Our efforts appear to be stirring some notice... the mayor has commented on
the initiative. I anticipate that in the spring we can increase the
pressure on the city and get them to actually commit to some type of
funding for at the very least, bicycle lanes and such.


Be careful what you wish for? Bike lanes that are too close to parked
cars are more dangerous than unstriped streets. They cause nothing but
confusion at intersections. They appear and disappear capriciously.
Folks like to park trash cans in them. Car tires sweep debris into
them.

It seems to me that cycle advocacy should be for the people that are
already riding, not the potential masses of humans itching to turn off
their televisions and push their SUVs off a bridge. I'm really
suspicious of efforts to "pull" people into cycling, especially ones
that involve partnering with government or industry. It's a good cause,
but shouldn't we be pushing for advances for extant cyclists? Prodding
the cops to nail people that harass roadway cyclists seems like a worthy
and attainable goal, as does proper calibration of traffic light sensors
for people on bikes.

The postcards are a good idea, though.

---
Lars Lehtonen
  #5  
Old December 15th 03, 12:59 PM
Peter Cole
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Posts: n/a
Default An update: building awareness of cycling issues

"Jem Berkes" wrote in message
.. .
An update with regards to an effort started in the fall to build awareness
of cyclists needs and desires in my city (Winnipeg, pop 600K)
http://www.pc9.org/bicycle/

Our efforts appear to be stirring some notice... the mayor has commented on
the initiative. I anticipate that in the spring we can increase the
pressure on the city and get them to actually commit to some type of
funding for at the very least, bicycle lanes and such.


Not all cyclists consider bike lanes progress. Many of us abhor them.

But I guess that's more for spring/summer, since at the moment only a few
lone nutcases biking outside at -20 C.


The average person thinks all transportational cyclists are nutcases, you seem
to reserve that judgment for only winter cyclists.


  #6  
Old December 15th 03, 02:56 PM
Matthew
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Default An update: building awareness of cycling issues


"Lars Lehtonen" wrote in message
. ..

It seems to me that cycle advocacy should be for the people that are
already riding, not the potential masses of humans itching to turn off
their televisions and push their SUVs off a bridge. I'm really


Are you saying you can't ride a bike and watch television? Or you can't ride
a bike and own and SUV?


  #7  
Old December 15th 03, 03:53 PM
Jem Berkes
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Posts: n/a
Default An update: building awareness of cycling issues

Now is the time to get in touch with other bike-commute-oriented
groups in other cities


After a cursory Google search, it appears Winnipeg doesn't yet
have a Bicyle Advisory Committee. I nominate Jem :-)


Actually, I'm working with the Manitoba Cycling Association (MCA)'s
Recreation and Transport Committee. The group is quite organized and is
becoming more active recently. This is just one of the more recent
projects, so yes we definitely are in touch with the biking community in
the city, and some of our members have a dialogue with politicians.

http://www.cycling.mb.ca/recreation_transportation.htm

I'm definitely not spearheading this effort, I'm just a member of R&T who
happens to like posting to USENET

a lot of cyclists seem reluctant to ride simply because there
is no reserved spot for them on the road. This isn't completely crazy,
because the 10-30 km/h speed range of most cyclists puts them into a
grey area where they are clearly slower than cars but faster than
pedestrians).


Every city has its own quirks. In our city, motorists don't use their turn
signals (think I'm kidding right?).

--
Jem Berkes
http://www.sysdesign.ca/
  #8  
Old December 15th 03, 03:55 PM
Jem Berkes
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Posts: n/a
Default An update: building awareness of cycling issues

But I guess that's more for spring/summer, since at the moment only a
few lone nutcases biking outside at -20 C.


The average person thinks all transportational cyclists are nutcases,
you seem to reserve that judgment for only winter cyclists.


I'm just being sarcastic. I've been biking to school (45 mins each way) in
the snow since October.
  #9  
Old December 15th 03, 04:27 PM
David L. Johnson
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Default An update: building awareness of cycling issues

On Mon, 15 Dec 2003 10:43:48 +0000, Lars Lehtonen wrote:


Be careful what you wish for? Bike lanes that are too close to parked
cars are more dangerous than unstriped streets. They cause nothing but
confusion at intersections. They appear and disappear capriciously. Folks
like to park trash cans in them. Car tires sweep debris into them.

My experience agrees with this.

It seems to me that cycle advocacy should be for the people that are
already riding, not the potential masses of humans itching to turn off
their televisions and push their SUVs off a bridge. I'm really suspicious
of efforts to "pull" people into cycling, especially ones that involve
partnering with government or industry. It's a good cause, but shouldn't
we be pushing for advances for extant cyclists? Prodding the cops to nail
people that harass roadway cyclists seems like a worthy and attainable
goal, as does proper calibration of traffic light sensors for people on
bikes.


Excellent observation. Hey, can I put this into my club's newsletter?

--

David L. Johnson

__o | Accept risk. Accept responsibility. Put a lawyer out of
_`\(,_ | business.
(_)/ (_) |


  #10  
Old December 15th 03, 05:08 PM
Peter Cole
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Posts: n/a
Default An update: building awareness of cycling issues

"Lars Lehtonen" wrote in message
. ..

It seems to me that cycle advocacy should be for the people that are
already riding, not the potential masses of humans itching to turn off
their televisions and push their SUVs off a bridge. I'm really
suspicious of efforts to "pull" people into cycling, especially ones
that involve partnering with government or industry. It's a good cause,
but shouldn't we be pushing for advances for extant cyclists? Prodding
the cops to nail people that harass roadway cyclists seems like a worthy
and attainable goal, as does proper calibration of traffic light sensors
for people on bikes.


This pretty much agrees with my thinking, too. When I first started cycling,
several years ago, I couldn't understand opposition to bike lanes by cyclists.
I don't think anyone could have changed my mind back then, the issue seemed so
obvious. I don't try to change other's thinking, and tolerate lanes where I'm
forced to. It does put me way off most well-intentioned advocacy groups
though. Another divisive issue is whether driving behavior or cycling behavior
is the greater problem. My kind of advocacy group would forget about bike
lanes and press for better enforcement of driving laws. Unfortunately, I
haven't found an advocacy group that shares my priorities.


 




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