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Old 03-19-2011, 09:42 AM
 
2,332 posts, read 3,093,946 times
Reputation: 1224

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Quote:
Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
So if someone's car breaks down on 2222 or they run out of gas are they automatically fodder for autos as they walk down this road with limited shoulders? No I would not ride there but I think speed limits should be set and roadways should be designed for worst case scenarios not just for maximum throughput.
Most people I know don't consciously choose to have their car break down in the middle of the road. Cyclists CHOOSE to ride on these streets. And yes, it's just as unsafe for people to walk on them as well. But again, given the choice, most people wouldn't put themselves in that kind of danger. Or they could always walk in the grass and off the road if they find themselves in a dangerous situation. It's like the people who try to walk across I-35 at night and get hit (which actually happens a lot). Just not a smart thing to do. Even if a car sees you, they will not be able o stop in time.
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:44 PM
 
709 posts, read 790,882 times
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So if we all rode bicycles, would everyone be civil towards each other?
I think our discontent with cars and bicyle behavior has to do more with experiencing humans devoid of consideration for others than what type of transportation we are using. You either care or you don't.
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
2,659 posts, read 2,950,395 times
Reputation: 1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm57553 View Post
Most people I know don't consciously choose to have their car break down in the middle of the road. Cyclists CHOOSE to ride on these streets. And yes, it's just as unsafe for people to walk on them as well. But again, given the choice, most people wouldn't put themselves in that kind of danger. Or they could always walk in the grass and off the road if they find themselves in a dangerous situation. It's like the people who try to walk across I-35 at night and get hit (which actually happens a lot). Just not a smart thing to do. Even if a car sees you, they will not be able o stop in time.
See that begets a whole round of other questions. what if that cyclists has to take a particular road to get to work? These guys you see on old bikes riding to get to their dishwashing job at your favorite restaurant are not on a bicycle as a political or social statement, they are just trying to make a living.

And then should we compile a list of no bike roads and another list of bike approved roads?

And what about road design? Is the real issue that there are no shoulders on some roads along with very narrow lanes?

Should we raise the sale tax to provide more transit to all parts of Austin and surrounding cities so there is a choice between having a car or just not going to work if you live in certain areas?

As it stands now Texas law allows cyclists on any road unless the are explicitly prohibited, e.g. the main lanes of IH-35 and Mopac. That is the law of this state and if you don't like it don't complain here but rather take it up with your legislator. I'll be supporting organizations like Texas Bicycle Coalition that are fighting for the rights of cyclists and for education in public schools for cycling safety. And as far as safety goes the best tact to take is to make roads better suited to all modes of transportation, the complete streets idea, and expect road users of all modes to follow the rules or face punishment.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:02 PM
 
579 posts, read 348,470 times
Reputation: 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious1111 View Post
I SOOOO much agree with the OP. I would go a little further. The culture around cycling in Austin, and the apparent approach that "anything goes" is going to get people killed. I have never seen anything like it. And I gotta tell you, if it comes down to me (and most importantly, my kids) vs. you on the bike, sorry, not going to kill my family to avoid you.

My favorite are the cyclists riding in the street, adjacent to a specific bike lane/path, which they arent using...
I use bike lanes a lot. But sometimes there are serious problems with bike lanes. For example: Stephen F. Austin Drive has a bike lane that puts you adjacent to a solid wall of parked cars that belong to all the joggers that get on the trail there. Riding in the bike lane makes it inevitable that eventually someone will open their driver's door on you -- with very bad results.
Other problems are broken bottles and debris in a bike lane. That doesn't bother me too much because of the nature of my bikes and tires, but it renders the bike lane unusable for some.

Yes, the "anything goes" mentality is unfortunate, anunfortunate mentality shared by all too many cyclists and all to many motorists.

Don
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:11 PM
 
579 posts, read 348,470 times
Reputation: 940
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnHenrySDM View Post
A question I've been wondering about is this: Are cyclists allowed to ride on sidewalks if there is no bicycle lane?

It seems many do, and when they do, they seem to think they get to choose which rules to adhere to, vehicular and/or pedestrian.

This comes up often, for example: I'm in the right hand lane and ready to take a right turn in my car. The pedestrians crossing there have the red light, cars have the green. Now a cyclist comes down the sidewalk, sees the red light for the crosswalk, and just keeps going through, because in their mind they're not a pedestrian; they're a vehicle that just happens to be farthest to the right. This is dangerous to the right-turning car, as they're usually just looking for pedestrians over there, not faster moving cyclists.
In most of Austin riding on the sidewalk IS legal. Not legal on Congress downtown and a couple blocks to either side of Congress. Likewise not legal on the "drag" and immediate vicinity.

For a cyclist to fly through a crosswalk on the "don't walk" without even turning his head and scanning for cars turning right is indeed foolhardy.

Sidewalk bicycling can be made safe -- at least on some sidewalks -- but it requires covering the brake handles and constant attention to the possibility of cars coming in and out entrances/exits and turning at intersections.

Don
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:56 PM
 
75 posts, read 81,146 times
Reputation: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious1111 View Post
My favorite are the cyclists riding in the street, adjacent to a specific bike lane/path, which they arent using...
When you drive around, do you make a point of noticing the broken glass and discarded vehicle scraps in the bicycle lanes next to you? Well, I do, because the streets in Austin are notoriously strewn with litter by the curb, and things of that nature will kill me.

The other week, I had to move into a car's lane. The woman in the car next to me honked and flipped me the bird right before she noticed the disabled man in the wheelchair riding up the bicycle lane because the city hadn't built any sidewalks on the road.

Cyclists love bike lanes. It's much, much easier for us to ride in them when they are safe and free of debris. It would be insane for any of us not to use a bicycle lane unless there was good reason not to - which there often is, which you don't notice because you're in a car.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
16,423 posts, read 22,700,939 times
Reputation: 12634
Quote:
Originally Posted by verybadgnome View Post
See that begets a whole round of other questions. what if that cyclists has to take a particular road to get to work? These guys you see on old bikes riding to get to their dishwashing job at your favorite restaurant are not on a bicycle as a political or social statement, they are just trying to make a living.

And then should we compile a list of no bike roads and another list of bike approved roads?

And what about road design? Is the real issue that there are no shoulders on some roads along with very narrow lanes?

Should we raise the sale tax to provide more transit to all parts of Austin and surrounding cities so there is a choice between having a car or just not going to work if you live in certain areas?

As it stands now Texas law allows cyclists on any road unless the are explicitly prohibited, e.g. the main lanes of IH-35 and Mopac. That is the law of this state and if you don't like it don't complain here but rather take it up with your legislator. I'll be supporting organizations like Texas Bicycle Coalition that are fighting for the rights of cyclists and for education in public schools for cycling safety. And as far as safety goes the best tact to take is to make roads better suited to all modes of transportation, the complete streets idea, and expect road users of all modes to follow the rules or face punishment.
So, it's legal, but is it smart? Should we point out the choices that bicyclists sometimes make, even if it's their right to make them, that are more than likely to end up with them seriously injured or dead? Or should we simply assume that if someone rejects all attempts to point out such foolishness as being an assault on their "rights", that it's Darwin in action?

Because that's what it is, if someone is more interested in their "rights" than in making wise decisions based in reality.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:51 PM
 
75 posts, read 81,146 times
Reputation: 77
Look, people, there's a spectrum of irresponsible behavior that people can engage in, and there's a spectrum of safety precautions that people can take ranging from reasonable to ridiculous. Some people may think it's irresponsible to drive or bicycle on certain roads or transverse certain unsafe neighborhoods. Some people may think it's unreasonable to considerably alter your commute or avoid areas with people of a different socioeconomic class just to feel more comfortable. Most of us probably fall in the middle.

The point is, to a cyclist, hearing "the guy in the hospital shouldn't have been riding on that road to begin with" is akin to hearing "that girl who was assaulted shouldn't have been walking in that neighborhood to begin with." It's insensitive. All of us are free to ride and walk wherever we want. (Excepting freeways.) So let's all be safe out there, and not extrapolate our experiences with a few bad cyclists or drivers to the general population, okay? Have a nice day!
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Cedar Park
171 posts, read 201,964 times
Reputation: 103
"But I have the right of way!" holds a high position on the long list of famous last words.

Nobody is suggesting that bicycling on certain roads be made illegal, only that it isn't the wisest choice. For the poor old dishwasher working down Lime Creek, I don't think anyone is complaining. For the eight spandex-clad, carbon-fiber-mounted, red-light-running roadies on Parmer that I had to avoid the other day, I'll complain.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:43 AM
 
958 posts, read 1,173,827 times
Reputation: 552
Quote:
Originally Posted by ammonman View Post
The point is, to a cyclist, hearing "the guy in the hospital shouldn't have been riding on that road to begin with" is akin to hearing "that girl who was assaulted shouldn't have been walking in that neighborhood to begin with." It's insensitive. All of us are free to ride and walk wherever we want. (Excepting freeways.) So let's all be safe out there, and not extrapolate our experiences with a few bad cyclists or drivers to the general population, okay? Have a nice day!
I disagree (and I'm a cyclist). Your analogy assumes that cyclists on those roads are all being intentionally hit. The point about roads like Lime Creek is that the makeup of the road makes it dangerous to bicyclists even if motorists are driving "reasonably". True, bottom line is that there is no signage on those roads that expressly forbids bicyclists so from a legal standpoint they have as much right to be there as anyone else. As the saying goes, just because it can be done doesn't mean that it's a good thing to do.

BTW, I see folks walking in places they really shouldn't from a safety perspective all the time as well. So this isn't just a bicyclist issue. One thing I've learned from a lifetime of being a bicyclist/motorcyclist is that the minute you pin your safety on everyone else doing the right thing at all times is when you'll be that big stain on the road.
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