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Old 02-24-2014, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
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Oddly enough, there didn't appear to be a thread about biking. It comes up a lot in the forum, so maybe we should have a consolidated thread on research, interesting projects and other info.

I am an accidental bike advocate. I have been volunteering with a non-profit focused on transit and affordable housing, but I wouldn't say I paid much attention to the plight of the bicyclists. I thought they were annoying. Where I live, we've got a lot of racers and aspiring Lance Armstrongs. And hipsters on bikes. I belong to neither group. But I was noticing more bike lanes, more normal people, and more bike parking over the past couple of years. And then I magically won a bike. So now I am a lot more aware, and it fits in with my volunteer work.

So with that subtext, I have been paying attention to infrastructure trends, bike sharing, biking mode share, and the "economics" of biking. In addition to "pedestrian infrastructure" and transit.

Here are some reports and stuff I have found interesting:

Economic benefits of protected bike lanes: http://b.3cdn.net/bikes/123e6305136c..._0tm6vjeuo.pdf
Inventory of protected bike lanes: Inventory of Protected Bike Lanes | PeopleForBikes
Why americans want danish like bike infrastructure: Four reasons US business leaders want to import Danish-style cycling | Guardian Sustainable Business | theguardian.com

Share your own info on biking (as a form of transportation, not in the hobby sense) and plans in your own city, or things of note.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:50 PM
 
Location: USA
3,966 posts, read 9,420,954 times
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downtown phoenix for the most part has avoided anything bicycle. When its 115 it's hard to want to bicycle anyway.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiphead View Post
downtown phoenix for the most part has avoided anything bicycle. When its 115 it's hard to want to bicycle anyway.
Haha, but Phoenix does have decent biking weather for most of the year. Gosh I just saw an article about a hot city in China, where their bike boulevards were super well designed, so you were biking in the shade and the buildings helped block the wind and encourage a breeze. It sounded amazing!
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,053 posts, read 29,550,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Haha, but Phoenix does have decent biking weather for most of the year. Gosh I just saw an article about a hot city in China, where their bike boulevards were super well designed, so you were biking in the shade and the buildings helped block the wind and encourage a breeze. It sounded amazing!
That is the thing when people try to say where they live isn't a good place to bike because of weather, that usually means no one has shown them what good design looks like. For every problem there is always a good design solution. Biking is an easy infrastructure to build in a city and relatively cheap to build. Most cities could build a world class bike infrastructure for about $250 million total, one time cost, not yearly and in the billions like roads for cars is.

I have also noticed that when things like biking lanes are provided and proper signage on slower traffic streets are put up to show that these roads are major bike roads, people feel more comfortable to bike in their areas. These are the things that help to encourage more people to bike and take more cars off the road, which helps everyone.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:10 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,991 posts, read 42,018,377 times
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not sure if this belongs here but found this:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...ough-the-snow/

some people were still using NYC bikeshare bicycles during a snowstorm.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,975 posts, read 4,083,989 times
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One issue with expanding the biking infrastructure is educating people--drivers and bikers as well--about the proper use of these facilities. It is a bit disheartening to be in a new bike lane and encounter a dozen other bikers on the way who are either on the sidewalk or in the bike lane going against traffic. Many people would see this as a waste and would oppose expanding the bike lanes, because nobody uses them. Sharrows are another animal entirely--they're meant to encourage bikers to ride further to the left, and to alert drivers to expect this (generally together with a "bicycles may use full lane" sign), but in practice we get lots of bikers dangerously hugging the curb.

One issue is many people have gotten so accustomed to biking on sidewalks and are not used to being on the road, and it goes hand-in-hand that drivers in the area are not used to having bikes in the bike lane or sharrows, because it's hard to get that initial critical mass of (brave) riders. We have a 3 ft. for passing law in FL, which applies even for situations with bike lanes, but many drivers are not used to passing with enough space, or they simply aren't aware of the law, or at least that it applies for bikes in bike lanes too. Better signage is a part of the equation for example, not just a yellow "hazard" sign with a logo of a bike, but a white "road rules" sign with the bike logo and "State Law: Leave 3 ft when passing." Making interacting with cyclists part of driver's ed and part of the written and road test for a driver's license would also be helpful.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricaneMan1992 View Post
One issue with expanding the biking infrastructure is educating people--drivers and bikers as well--about the proper use of these facilities. It is a bit disheartening to be in a new bike lane and encounter a dozen other bikers on the way who are either on the sidewalk or in the bike lane going against traffic. Many people would see this as a waste and would oppose expanding the bike lanes, because nobody uses them. Sharrows are another animal entirely--they're meant to encourage bikers to ride further to the left, and to alert drivers to expect this (generally together with a "bicycles may use full lane" sign), but in practice we get lots of bikers dangerously hugging the curb.

One issue is many people have gotten so accustomed to biking on sidewalks and are not used to being on the road, and it goes hand-in-hand that drivers in the area are not used to having bikes in the bike lane or sharrows, because it's hard to get that initial critical mass of (brave) riders. We have a 3 ft. for passing law in FL, which applies even for situations with bike lanes, but many drivers are not used to passing with enough space, or they simply aren't aware of the law, or at least that it applies for bikes in bike lanes too. Better signage is a part of the equation for example, not just a yellow "hazard" sign with a logo of a bike, but a white "road rules" sign with the bike logo and "State Law: Leave 3 ft when passing." Making interacting with cyclists part of driver's ed and part of the written and road test for a driver's license would also be helpful.
These are good points.

My city has quite a few bikers, and a good number of lanes and "bicycle boulevards" so drivers are pretty aware. Parents with kids in tow via a trailer are a common site.

Where I work on the other hand is a disaster for cycling. Not many lanes, busy streets. Cyclists have to be more than brave to travel the main thoroughfares with average speeds of 42 mph. So many people just cycle on the sidewalk, running over pedestrians along the way (I am exaggerating a bit but not by much, several days a week I have to play dodge the biker as I walk through downtown on the sidewalk. Nary a bel or verbal warning as they speed through on the sidewalk).
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,698,541 times
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Good comments from the transportation secretary, about how better bike infrastructure can help people improve their personal economies.

Summed up by streetsblog: Sec. Foxx: Bicycle Infrastructure Can Be a
Source: Bicycling to opportunity...in safety | Department of Transportation

Quote:
This is about transportation--about people using their bikes to get where they need to go.

In fact, the League of American Bicyclists released a report in 2013 showing that about 1/3 of bike trips are taken by people who make less than $30,000 per year. In many communities, people are riding bikes because that’s how they get to work. So this isn’t just an issue of recreation; it’s an issue of equality, bringing people together, expanding the middle class, and helping people who are trying to get into the middle class. It's an issue of making sure, when someone’s only or best option to get to work is a bike, that they have an option to ride it, and ride it in safety.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,072 posts, read 16,102,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
not sure if this belongs here but found this:

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...ough-the-snow/

some people were still using NYC bikeshare bicycles during a snowstorm.
Actually not that bad. I road around in Seattle during one of its freak snow storms. Aside from having to dodge cars sliding down hills there wasn't anything bad about it. Get some decent tires and bikes do pretty well as long as there's not a lot of standing snow or too much ice.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,394 posts, read 59,890,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanlife78 View Post
That is the thing when people try to say where they live isn't a good place to bike because of weather, that usually means no one has shown them what good design looks like. For every problem there is always a good design solution.
Good design can lower or raise the ambient temperature, or prevent a foot of snow from falling?

Golly!
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