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Old 03-08-2014, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,166 posts, read 29,665,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Sidewalks provide a walking path separated from street traffic. There is usually some type of light and/or crosswalk at intersections. As jade408 says, in California every intersection is an implied crosswalk, and I believe that is the law in Colorado and some other states as well.

If one is walking from "Point A" to "Point B", and the quickest way to get there is through "Commercial Area C", what difference does it make if Area C is mostly car dealerships and fast food restaurants and doesn't have coffee shops, street musicians, buskers, bars, movie theaters, etc, along the way? Isn't safe passage the objective?
There is a difference between being walkable in paper vs walkable in practice.

So with your hypothetical example of the sidewalk on the road with car dealerships and fast food places, that sidewalk has a lot of curb cuts for parking lots and the similar. Which introduces a lot more conflict points than just the intersections and crosswalks.

If the places adjacent to the sidewalk do not have many curb cuts, it is a lot safer for the pedestrians to cross. (I had a near miss in a bike lane at one of those curb cuts from a parking lot.). A car sped out of the lot without looking out for people in the bike lane. I slammed on my brakes, and me and my bike hit the car at a low speed. It could have been a lot worse. I left with a couple of cuts, bruises, and dirty clothing, with the rapid deceleration, I fell over and my bike hit me.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:26 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,858,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
There is a difference between being walkable in paper vs walkable in practice.

So with your hypothetical example of the sidewalk on the road with car dealerships and fast food places, that sidewalk has a lot of curb cuts for parking lots and the similar. Which introduces a lot more conflict points than just the intersections and crosswalks.

If the places adjacent to the sidewalk do not have many curb cuts, it is a lot safer for the pedestrians to cross. (I had a near miss in a bike lane at one of those curb cuts from a parking lot.). A car sped out of the lot without looking out for people in the bike lane. I slammed on my brakes, and me and my bike hit the car at a low speed. It could have been a lot worse. I left with a couple of cuts, bruises, and dirty clothing, with the rapid deceleration, I fell over and my bike hit me.
My experience has been curb cuts not a problem for either pedestrian or cars. pedestrian sees car and slows down/stops or car sees pedestrian long before he is near the exit.

Bikes however have a tendency to get into blind spots, move rapidly, and often drivers are not looking in the right spot to see the biker(the driver is looking at the sidewalk which is clear and looking further out for approaching cars while the bicyclist clings to the curb and the view of them is blocked by parked cars. ). IMHO if I had my way I would limit bike use to parks.

I once saw an accident like that. Driver did look out into the street, but in the wrong spot to see the biker rushing along side. She hit him at a slow speed and lucky he was uninjured.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:34 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,561,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
IMHO if I had my way I would limit bike use to parks.
Which is kind of like saying "If I had my way I would limit automobile use to racetracks." Bicycles have the same right to the public street as automobiles.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,166 posts, read 29,665,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
My experience has been curb cuts not a problem for either pedestrian or cars. Bikes however have a tendency to get into blind spots, move rapidly vs. pedestrian, and often drivers are not looking in the right spot to see the biker(the driver is looking at the sidewalk which is clear and looking further out for approaching cars while the bicyclist clings to the curb. ). IMHO if I had my way I would limit bike use to parks.
I've nearly been hit quite often with the curb cuts. They aren't safe.

Down the block from me is a gas station with a huge driveway. Since my street is one way and the street at the other end is one way, cars freequently back out into the street so they don't need to make the loop around the block. Even though I have the right of way, I stop and wait every time I pass the driveway. It is at a busy intersection with a bus stop and a decent amount of foot traffic but cars drive recklessly trying to hit the light.

The same thing is true on the blocks adjacent to my office, cars speed out often without looking for pedestrians in the sidewalk. Cars also block the sidewalk at the driveways, leaving pedestrians with no safe pathway. This happens in my own driveway, I need to block the sidewalk to back out into the street. Sometimes it takes several minutes, since cars refuse to leave me space to back out, especially since they are sledding down the road to catch the light.

I stop at nearly every driveway to be safe.

You do realize, lots of people don't just bike for exercise, they bike to get around as a form of transportation and also have every right to access the city streets to get to their destinations. All road users need to be considerate of the other users.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:39 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,858,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Which is kind of like saying "If I had my way I would limit automobile use to racetracks." Bicycles have the same right to the public street as automobiles.
True enough, but they don't allow me to drive my street legal car during an normal race. They may have the same right but the biker does not have near the same amount of crash protection I have. An impact of 20MPH in an car and I will walk way unharmed. A 1,000 pound vehicle bumping me at 5MPH isn't likely to send me to the hospital if I am in an car, but a biker has no bumpers, seat belts, air bags, body of vehicle to absorb the force of an impact. They may have the same right to the street but shall we say should someone get their right of way mixed up, the biker is going to be the loser.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:48 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,858,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I've nearly been hit quite often with the curb cuts. They aren't safe.

Down the block from me is a gas station with a huge driveway. Since my street is one way and the street at the other end is one way, cars freequently back out into the street so they don't need to make the loop around the block. Even though I have the right of way, I stop and wait every time I pass the driveway. It is at a busy intersection with a bus stop and a decent amount of foot traffic but cars drive recklessly trying to hit the light.

The same thing is true on the blocks adjacent to my office, cars speed out often without looking for pedestrians in the sidewalk. Cars also block the sidewalk at the driveways, leaving pedestrians with no safe pathway. This happens in my own driveway, I need to block the sidewalk to back out into the street. Sometimes it takes several minutes, since cars refuse to leave me space to back out, especially since they are sledding down the road to catch the light.

I stop at nearly every driveway to be safe.

You do realize, lots of people don't just bike for exercise, they bike to get around as a form of transportation and also have every right to access the city streets to get to their destinations. All road users need to be considerate of the other users.
I have almost never had that problem. I can get caught in between a large street if the light changes before I make it across but most lots just are not busy enough to pose a problem for a pedestrian. As for stopping when you have the right of way, every sane person does that no matter if on foot on by car.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:50 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,999 posts, read 102,581,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post

You do realize, lots of people don't just bike for exercise, they bike to get around as a form of transportation and also have every right to access the city streets to get to their destinations. All road users need to be considerate of the other users.
No! Wouldn't have guessed!

I should probably stop, I'm getting really annoyed at people saying those who disagree with them have no common sense (not you), that we don't know that people ride bikes for transportation (though frankly I don't know too many who actually do that), etc.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:54 PM
 
2,941 posts, read 3,858,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
No! Wouldn't have guessed!
There are a few people that bike to work, but the problems of looking presentable at work, not arriving all sweaty and the weather(getting rained on) really limit that. You can put on a suit and hop a bus and look nice. Hate to see a person arrive at work on bike and the workplace has no shower and you still need to carry a change of clothes.

Also a bike by itself as a means of transport is limited. It might beat a bus over an short distance but over longer distances not. It won't beat a train. It could be useful to ride to the bus or train, but often there are rules against transporting bikes during rush hour(Metra--commuter rail forbids it, CTA EL likewise(but does have bike racks at some stations, and busses allow at all times(busses are equipped with an rack)).

Last edited by chirack; 03-09-2014 at 12:20 AM..
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:25 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,166 posts, read 29,665,044 times
Reputation: 26651
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
No! Wouldn't have guessed!

I should probably stop, I'm getting really annoyed at people saying those who disagree with them have no common sense (not you), that we don't know that people ride bikes for transportation (though frankly I don't know too many who actually do that), etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
There are a few people that bike to work, but the problems of looking presentable at work, not arriving all sweaty and the weather(getting rained on) really limit that. You can put on a suit and hop a bus and look nice. Hate to see a person arrive at work on bike and the workplace has no shower and you still need to carry a change of clothes.
I've met a range of types that bike for transportation. Just the other day I met a new neighbor who just got a bike and started biking to work. I didn't chat with her long, but she was wearing work clothing on her bike. Think nice pants and a button down! I don't bike to work, but I do bike in normal stuff. Today in wore a dress. There is a secret to not getting too sweaty ...biking slower. I found that it works out pretty well but it is a little hilly were I live so it can be a bit hot. But not unreasonably so. 5 minutes and a comb and I am back to normal. I did uncover some coats I have are just too hot to wear on a bike.

I know I live in a weird place, but I regularly meet people who mostly bike every where. They seem to have a range of jobs, but lots are hipster types. Probably 75% of the restaurant and cafe users are cyclists around here. I chatted with a restaurant owner not long ago, and the reason he chose his location for his restaurant was because it was a quick bike ride away.

But the first bike commuter I met shocked me completely. He was a racer type and biked 40-45 miles each way about 3-4 days a week. I was shocked because that route did not have bike lanes and was with high speed traffic most of the time. (He worked in a white collar job, director level so he was pretty senior...he was doing it for fun).

A couple of jobs ago, 25% of my coworkers biked to work (consulting job). It was faster than transit for most of them. At that job, 50% of my coworkers didn't have cars (lifestyle choice, not a budget choice).

As for the not work trips? I find biking is really popular. My boss bikes with her kids to lunch, the park and softball games and practice. She isn't a biker but she has 2 bikes, one for exercise (when she was doin triathlons), and the same one I have for when she wants to wear her "cute" clothes.

Personally I just ride my bike for errands mostly on the weekend since most stuff I do is within about 3 miles/20 minute bike ride. You probably wouldn't peg me as a biker by any means. I tend to be more "girly girl" than athlete. I didn't realize I'd find it easy and convenient to bike for transportation. Now, I bike to the train station instead of taking the bus or driving. You can connect you bike to other transit modes. Our commuter rail just started allowing bikes in the train during commute ours last fall, but we have about 150 bike parking spaces at my closest station. They fill up pretty fast.

These days the infrastructure is much better and it feels "safe" and "normal." I see all types of people out and about in their bikes in my neighborhood and beyond. Kids, parents with trolleys, 50+ people...... Some people have no access to a car and other people who switch between. (Biking is really popular in our Chinatown which is low-income with a lot of recent immigrants. I see people out with their baskets of groceries attached on their way to somewhere).

I now realize there are a lot of undercover cyclists.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:30 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,166 posts, read 29,665,044 times
Reputation: 26651
Back to biking for transportation? I didn't realize this until recently, but it is very very common for the recent immigrants from central America and Mexico who come here for work to bike as their sole mode of transportation. Cars are too expensive or they do not have a US license or insurance. And in many case transit is too expensive, or not available when they need. So biking is the mode of transit, not by choice like it is for someone like me.

So we are probably not traveling in the circles where biking for sole transportation is most common.
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