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Old 03-09-2014, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,170 posts, read 29,814,382 times
Reputation: 26692

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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
The urban planning forum is filled with anti-car posts. There are plenty of posts on closing streets to cars, making streets smaller to increase congestion for cars, increasing gas taxes with the goal of decreasing car traffic, eliminating parking lots under the pre-text of "urban fabric" in order to make areas less accessible to cars. Not sure that the responses are "angry" just that they see through the chaff.
I think we need to make some areas more friendly for non-drivers. Narrower lanes, lower speed limits and bike lanes improve the safety for all users by most stats. But rearranging a couple of roads in a city for bikes and pedestrians represents a tiny percentage of the total space on the roads.

I drive, and I am not anti-car. I am an against only car development. And too many places have made cars the only way to get around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orlando-calrissian View Post
IMO, there needs to be some kind of bike school, just like drivers ed, if the bikes are going to be riding alongside cars. Too many times I have seen bicyclists doing absolutely insane things, getting into accidents with cars, and the motorists ending up paying for the bicyclist's injuries. If the bikes are going to be in the road with cars, then they should follow the same rules as the cars; for example, stopping at red lights (even to make a right turn), waiting for green lights/arrows before going/turning, signalling before changing lanes/turning onto a different roads, stopping for pedestrians/school buses, etc. Now before you say "well that's obvious", I see these simple obvious rules broken almost every single time I see a bicyclist on the road (maybe it's just Florida, IDK). But I think that there should be 1) bicyclist's ed, and 2) more ticketing for bicyclists that break these rules.
There are rules for bicyclists, but many people don't learn them because they are used to the rules from when they were kids biking around the neighborhood. Our local bike coalition does have city driving classes that go over these things, teach you to ride in traffic etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
shop every day.
if I had a shorter commute I would shop daily. I am indecisive, so going to the store more often works for me. I still go pretty often..

Quote:
The best thing to do is to limit the number of curb cuts on any length of the block, but that would require cooperation between land owners and developers ... and that might be too much to ask when $$$ comes in to play.
About 2 years ago our mcdonalds remodeled/rebuilt. It is in the middle of a fairly walkable commercial district. They had to redo their plans several,times due to the curb cuts and placement. Happily, it got reduced from the original 4 to 2. The same thing happened to Safeway. The original store had in think 10 curb cuts. Not sure what the final count will be, but it is much improved.

Quote:
I used to bike to work in a suit and heels. That was before it was hip to bike to work, and before it was hip to wear sneakers with your stockings and suit.
Love it! Have you seen the Hollywood rides a bike book. Those 50s starlets looked so glam on their bikes. I have managed to bike in heels. I was shocked, it wasn't any different that wearing my flats. .

Quote:
I walk daily, mostly for exercise but also for transportation to the convenience store, the dry cleaner, the produce store, etc., thankyouverymuch. Yet I am still capable of crossing a six-lane street, crossing a sea of asphalt from the sidewalk to the store, or walking alongside 45 mph traffic. The aforementioned curb cuts can be a concern (and me with my old knees, the elevation changes are a problem!), but awareness of your surroundings - and a mean stare at the driver - help.
Six lane streets aren't very pleasant to cross. I have one to cross to get to work, but the feeling can be improved with street design. Add a median where pedestrians can wait safely in the middle, and change the signal timing so slower people have enough time to cross. The street my office is on has a poorly timed signal. I need to make sure I am walking with purpose in order to make it across the street during the signal timing. Forgot
Pet about someone who walks slowly or has a cane, you can't make it. It is stuff like that that makes the street unfriendly to other users. The fixes aren't necessarily hard or expensive, but it has to be prioritized.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:34 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,993 posts, read 42,220,191 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I'm go

You think you can get a Google shot of some totally unwalkable scene and use that as some sort of "proof" when for all we know, there's a crosswalk with a nice pedestrian bridge just outside of the picture. Not going to work, for me anyway.

I don't know why I would be in that neighborhood in Pittsburgh walking alone in the dark of night, but I did do plenty of walking at night in that city.
you can scroll around google streetview to see the surrounding area if you're worried it's unrepresentative. To have a real discussion, it's hard without any examples, google streetview is the best available.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
5,312 posts, read 5,363,077 times
Reputation: 3568
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I'm going to address the rest of this post now.

First, you are doubting my veracity. Well, tough.

You think you can get a Google shot of some totally unwalkable scene and use that as some sort of "proof" when for all we know, there's a crosswalk with a nice pedestrian bridge just outside of the picture. Not going to work, for me anyway.

I don't know why I would be in that neighborhood in Pittsburgh walking alone in the dark of night, but I did do plenty of walking at night in that city.
It's not about you (or your veracity). They were examples of places that someone could walk. And none of those examples have hidden amenities to support some conspiracy of the poor walkability in the US.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,170 posts, read 29,814,382 times
Reputation: 26692
Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
See, that's it--very often, the motorists don't end up paying for the cyclists' injuries. Often they aren't even charged with any crime for maiming or killing a cyclist or pedestrian--it is seen as an unavoidable tragedy, not an act of criminal negligence. Part of the shaming of cyclists is this assumption that all cyclists are to be lumped in with the irresponsible ones who don't follow the law, make motorists upset with their presence, or so casually allow themselves to be maimed or killed by automobiles. But if someone characterized all drivers as drunk driving, inattentive sociopaths, just because drunk drivers kill about 10,000 people a year, that would be perceived as an unfair stereotype of all drivers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Re: bold-total BS! I'm not at the right computer right now to look up some links, but I can tell you that is absolute horse-s***. (Again, if anyone does not like my language they can go post on the religion forum.)
Drivers are not penalized often for these incidents. The stories you are thinking of in the news are the exception not the rule.

The other issue is that, for example in CA, the minimum insurance required for injuries is $15k. And the injuries to the pedestrian or cyclist can easily exceed that quickly and they are stuck footing the bill. They could hypothetically file a civil suit against the driver but that only works if the driver has significant assets.

Here is a local story on this issue: http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancis...nt?oid=2692708

A woman was crossing the street legally and got hit by an inattentive driver. She has lost her sense if hearing and taste and is undergoing physical,therapy. Her hospital,bills are $140k and counting, but the insurance only covers $15k. She was uninsured at the time of the accident, and she doesn't have the resource or income to pay the bill. Not of course many of you might say,she should have had insurance. But she was you. And healthy and in a low wage job. She couldn't afford insurance like many 20-something's and did without. This is really common considering the price of healthcare these days. But it is totally unfair that by no fault of her own, she has hospital bills equivalent to about 8 years of income for her.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:50 PM
 
2,830 posts, read 3,369,016 times
Reputation: 3037
Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
See, that's it--very often, the motorists don't end up paying for the cyclists' injuries. Often they aren't even charged with any crime for maiming or killing a cyclist or pedestrian--it is seen as an unavoidable tragedy, not an act of criminal negligence. Part of the shaming of cyclists is this assumption that all cyclists are to be lumped in with the irresponsible ones who don't follow the law, make motorists upset with their presence, or so casually allow themselves to be maimed or killed by automobiles. But if someone characterized all drivers as drunk driving, inattentive sociopaths, just because drunk drivers kill about 10,000 people a year, that would be perceived as an unfair stereotype of all drivers.
Why should the motorist be charged with a crime if none was committed?
How many of these "accidents" are due to pedestrians jaywalking, obstructing a highway, walking/bicycling contrary to signals, etc.? How often are pedestrians charged with jaywalking, obstructing a highway, walking/bicycling contrary to signals, etc.?

Not sure where support for your claim about payment for injury comes from, but drivers usually are required by law to have insurance. If you are going to promote requiring drivers to be insured, shouldn't you likewise insist bicyclists be required to purchase insurance for potential damage to themselves and others? Much like auto insurance rating, the bicyclists could pay for each bike based upon number of weekly trips and mileage and who's riding it and pay annual registration and inspection fees to boot.

Quote:
Do schools still teach driver's education? I was under the impression that driver's ed was no longer part of school curriculum. When I was in school, I learned both bike safety rules and then later driver safety as part of driver's ed classes. That's part of why I try to be aware of cyclists and pedestrians when I drive, and of automobiles when I bike or walk. So the idea of cyclist/driver education has merits--as well as pedestrian safety--and are critical, since we all have the right to share the road, and the responsibility to not hit anyone else if we can possibly avoid it.
Not sure when driver's ed was actually taught in school. It's long been privatized although there is often an affinity between the providers and the schools that will make rooms available or rent them to the providers for the classes. Of course the bicyclists aren't required to take any class at all. Maybe they should be licensed, too. Licenses, permits, fees, and fines are consistent with urban living.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:58 PM
 
2,830 posts, read 3,369,016 times
Reputation: 3037
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I think we need to make some areas more friendly for non-drivers. Narrower lanes, lower speed limits and bike lanes improve the safety for all users by most stats. But rearranging a couple of roads in a city for bikes and pedestrians represents a tiny percentage of the total space on the roads.
...and there will always be a "you" such that it won't ever be the roads you want. All the folks like you expect all the roads nearest to them to be restricted in such fashion. It's never just a "couple of roads". No doubt there are already roads in Oakland that meet your requirements but the fact that such exist isn't good enough - you expect them to be the rule near you.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,138 posts, read 102,962,171 times
Reputation: 33178
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Drivers are not penalized often for these incidents. The stories you are thinking of in the news are the exception not the rule.

The other issue is that, for example in CA, the minimum insurance required for injuries is $15k. And the injuries to the pedestrian or cyclist can easily exceed that quickly and they are stuck footing the bill. They could hypothetically file a civil suit against the driver but that only works if the driver has significant assets.

Here is a local story on this issue: http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancis...nt?oid=2692708

A woman was crossing the street legally and got hit by an inattentive driver. She has lost her sense if hearing and taste and is undergoing physical,therapy. Her hospital,bills are $140k and counting, but the insurance only covers $15k. She was uninsured at the time of the accident, and she doesn't have the resource or income to pay the bill. Not of course many of you might say,she should have had insurance. But she was you. And healthy and in a low wage job. She couldn't afford insurance like many 20-something's and did without. This is really common considering the price of healthcare these days. But it is totally unfair that by no fault of her own, she has hospital bills equivalent to about 8 years of income for her.
Of course, anything I would post to the contrary would be the "exception".

That story from the Examiner was a pitch for donations. In reality, the hospital will help the patient get on Medicaid, for their own enlightened self-interest, they want to get paid.

I am not an apologist for our present health care system, but it is irresponsible not to carry health insurance. And before you say, "she couldn't have afforded it", my kids have had individual private insurance and it's not *that* expensive, say $200/mo for a 25 yo.

And look at this, an "exception" right out your way in SF.
Police: Big-rig driver at fault in fatal SOMA bicycle collision | www.ktvu.com
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,170 posts, read 29,814,382 times
Reputation: 26692
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Of course, anything I would post to the contrary would be the "exception".

That story from the Examiner was a pitch for donations. In reality, the hospital will help the patient get on Medicaid, for their own enlightened self-interest, they want to get paid.

I am not an apologist for our present health care system, but it is irresponsible not to carry health insurance. And before you say, "she couldn't have afforded it", my kids have had individual private insurance and it's not *that* expensive, say $200/mo for a 25 yo.
When I was 25 and looking for insurance, my cobra was $600 and private insurance was $400. Luckily I started a new job before I signed up for those options. I didn't have other options. Although $200 sounds cheap to you, in SF renting a room in a house/apartment is $800-$1000 and that womn was a hair stylist. No clue what her take home pay was, but she was likely barely making ends meet as is.

Quote:
And look at this, an "exception" right out your way in SF.
Police: Big-rig driver at fault in fatal SOMA bicycle collision | www.ktvu.com
Oh that is really rare, if i recall only a handful of drivers have been charged in SF over the past couple years. Let me tell you the back story in this particular incident, the bicyclist was blamed for the accident initially and the police were not investigating. One of the bike coalitions started asking the nearby stores if anyone had security camera footage, and there was footage available. The footage showed the driver at fault and then the police reversed course and charged the driver with the evidence. But they did not plan to investigate and made disparaging comments about they cyclist to the media during their "investigation." SFPD had been criticized for not investigating most collisions with cyclists. If the activist guy hadn't asked around for footage, no investigation would have occurred, and the driver would have got off scot free.

This week's controversy was about the rising pedestrian deaths in SF over the past year or so, and the local news lead with pedestrians breaking the rules. But the stats they quoted said that 64% of all of the collisions with pedestrians were the drivers fault (running lights, not yielding during a turn, not stopping at crosswalks...). But the story blamed pedestrians.

I-Team investigates what is causing pedestrian deaths in San Francisco | abc7news.com

There is blame to go around for everyone. But the idea pedestrians are always running around in the street not looking is false. Most of the incidents occur when cars are turning into a crosswalk.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,170 posts, read 29,814,382 times
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I've altered my driving habits recently, and try not to turn into a crosswalk until all the pedestrians are done. But while waiting I have had cars go around me and nearly hit a pedestrian in their mad rush. *smack my head*
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,498 posts, read 60,100,322 times
Reputation: 54191
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Six lane streets aren't very pleasant to cross.
No, a wide street isn't always pleasant to cross, but it's not inherently unpleasant, either.

Quote:
the feeling can be improved with street design. Add a median where pedestrians can wait safely in the middle, and change the signal timing so slower people have enough time to cross.
Agreed. The streets need to strike a balance for all users. One easy start would be longer pedestrian signals - I really like the signals that count down the seconds until the light changes - coupled with traffic light delays and longer yellow lights to reduce the number of cars trying to beat the lights. Pedestrian safety would be increased, without hindering auto traffic.

I also like crosswalks that are made of different materials and color than the street - in my town, there are brick and dyed cement crosswalks that really stand out.
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