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Old 08-15-2014, 08:47 PM
 
2,825 posts, read 3,359,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post
Cool story, one anecdote.

I've got one: where I live (Western New York), bike infrastructure is almost exclusively the road diet perscription. The cities here are too poor to rebuild roads, so they just restripe them. Problem solved.
So you live in the highest tax-burden state in the nation and yet you still can't take care of roads and want people to pay even more in taxes? What kind of model is that to export to other states?

 
Old 08-16-2014, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,093 posts, read 16,130,435 times
Reputation: 12695
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opin_Yunated View Post
Let's call a spade a spade:

Motorists get defensive about road funding because they don't want the government car subsidies to go away. We like our car culture. It has been (mistakenly) drilled into our American Dream for years now. We are slowly feeling the consequences of it. They don't care about cars nearly as much in other countries. They are slimmer and happier because of it.
Lower my taxes used for a bunch of stuff I don't care about and I'm more than happy for the fairly minimal car subsidies to go away. Raising gas taxes by 50 cents or so wouldn't really impact me that much anyway, and I drive a lot. We're talking about $300 or so a year, no biggie. In comparison, the average cost per boarding subsidy of transit in my area is $3.16. I'm pretty sure the average frequent transit user gets transit more than once every four days. And remember, that's just the cost to operate the transit, which here means buses. Buses drive on roads. Road wear is exponentially related to axle weight, and buses weighs about 30,000 pounds.

So, yes, call a spade a spade. Motorists really get defensive about road funding all that often. Often we explain the facts to transit zealots. The facts are that transit, which in most places means buses which run on roads, is more subsidized than roads are. Nobody wants THEIR subsidy taken away for their special interest. Roads and cars aren't my special interest. I'd be far happier to see gas taxes increased to at least cover more road costs in a revenue neutral fashion (generate $5 billion in additional gas taxes, cut $5 billion in other revenue). That's independent of transit, which should receive a similar treatment imo although I see more benefit to transit subsidies than road subsidies.
 
Old 08-16-2014, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,093 posts, read 16,130,435 times
Reputation: 12695
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Thank you for the link.

Have you read the attached PDF report?

It's quite interesting (emphasis mine):



The median cost for a mile of bicycle lane, given on page 13 in table 2, is $89k. And this includes shoulder lanes and lanes between a parking lane and a traffic lane. And, as we can see from the table on the linked page, as a result, costs vary widely.

Whereas, the cost of a mile of road, as given here by the ARTBA, is



Let's talk about a normal 4-lane road, so let's assume we can double the 2-lane cost. If the cost of a mile of four lane road is $6 million, and the cost of a bike lane is $89k, then the cost of a bike lane as a percentage of total cost of new infrastructure is 1.46%.

That is so cheap! And that's new construction costs. It only gets cheaper as time goes on, as the new cost becomes sunk and the cost of maintaining the bike lane as a percentage of a cost of maintaining the roadway quickly falls toward zero--bikes do almost no damage, and maintenance becomes of function of car use- and weather-related damage.

The question becomes, then, are we concerned enough about something so cost-efficient that we should specifically and additionally charge a targeted group for it?
Again, you just have to look at it per capita and whether the $90k per mile is really necessary. If you get five bikes a day on a road that doesn't get much traffic... it's a waste of money. On the other hand, take a look at Market Street in downtown San Francisco... While I agree, it's slightly with all the transit platforms and bicycles (blocked by transit in the left lane, slowed down by bicycles in the right lane), it's overall a smart design. Market Street averages 3,000 + bicycles (one-way) per day in downtown. Considering traffic congestion and transit being overloaded, anything that doesn't cost a ton of money and shifts people off roads and transit is good. Bikes do that.
 
Old 08-16-2014, 01:27 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,009,570 times
Reputation: 1349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Again, you just have to look at it per capita and whether the $90k per mile is really necessary. If you get five bikes a day on a road that doesn't get much traffic... it's a waste of money. On the other hand, take a look at Market Street in downtown San Francisco... While I agree, it's slightly with all the transit platforms and bicycles (blocked by transit in the left lane, slowed down by bicycles in the right lane), it's overall a smart design. Market Street averages 3,000 + bicycles (one-way) per day in downtown. Considering traffic congestion and transit being overloaded, anything that doesn't cost a ton of money and shifts people off roads and transit is good. Bikes do that.
Given the lifetime cost, though, I believe it's worth having a shoulder bike lane at least almost everywhere it doesn't impact vehicle traffic. It's a fraction of the cost of the new road, and the cost collapses toward zero thereafter for upkeep. The lifetime cost of that shoulder lane is as close to 0%--free--as a percentage of the cost of the road it's on as is possible.

Ironically, road diets which include so-called "complete streets" can be harder to justify because they can cost so much more. Protected bike lanes, bike boxes, curb bulb-outs, lost parking or car through-capacity, etc. It's just a lot more costs to calculate and balance (many of these costs are listed in the aforementioned PDF report, BTW).
 
Old 08-17-2014, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,738,725 times
Reputation: 26676
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkeconomist View Post
Given the lifetime cost, though, I believe it's worth having a shoulder bike lane at least almost everywhere it doesn't impact vehicle traffic. It's a fraction of the cost of the new road, and the cost collapses toward zero thereafter for upkeep. The lifetime cost of that shoulder lane is as close to 0%--free--as a percentage of the cost of the road it's on as is possible.

Ironically, road diets which include so-called "complete streets" can be harder to justify because they can cost so much more. Protected bike lanes, bike boxes, curb bulb-outs, lost parking or car through-capacity, etc. It's just a lot more costs to calculate and balance (many of these costs are listed in the aforementioned PDF report, BTW).
Bike lanes on the shoulder of a high speed road to not attract bicyclists to use it. Nicer bike lane, more people take up biking it is really simple. If it isn't comfortable, your don't want to do it.
 
Old 08-17-2014, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,056 posts, read 102,770,515 times
Reputation: 33109
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Bike lanes on the shoulder of a high speed road to not attract bicyclists to use it. Nicer bike lane, more people take up biking it is really simple. If it isn't comfortable, your don't want to do it.
I agree with this. And if anyone were to actually read the road diet link, they'd see that it works best on low-volume streets/roads. The project in Boulder I referred to was done on a very busy roadway. It cost a lot more than $0.
 
Old 08-17-2014, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,738,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I agree with this. And if anyone were to actually read the road diet link, they'd see that it works best on low-volume streets/roads. The project in Boulder I referred to was done on a very busy roadway. It cost a lot more than $0.
Exactly! Road diets go on roads with excess car capacity (the best choice).

Although we are working in a road diet on a bust thoroughfare. The problem is that it is the most heavily trafficked bicycle route in the county. Even though it only has a few blocks of lanes. A few sharrows and mostly nothing. The road is in ill repair. The city did a survey about how to redesign the road and 60-65% of people voted yes on a better bike lane. And 50% of the respondents mostly drive in the road. But if it has protected bikeways, way more people would bike as it is the most logical north / south thoroughfare through Oakland and Berkeley. It is a really busy street for buses and pedestrians, and the aim is to make it safer for everyone.

We have 2 other road diets on the table. These roads have way too much capacity. You could weave across all three lanes just about any time of day with no issues.
 
Old 08-17-2014, 10:01 PM
 
9,522 posts, read 14,877,980 times
Reputation: 9769
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Exactly! Road diets go on roads with excess car capacity (the best choice).
Maybe it's different out west, but in my area the only roads with excess car capacity don't go anywhere useful.
 
Old 08-17-2014, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,171 posts, read 29,738,725 times
Reputation: 26676
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
Maybe it's different out west, but in my area the only roads with excess car capacity don't go anywhere useful.
There was some ambitious planners in Oakland in the 50s. There is one street where they wanted to put a double decker road near downtown. The car traffic has decreased by a few points every year for the past decade. Even though development has increased.

But with the demographic changes and other things, we have lots of roads that have excess capacity. Even in the center of town. They want to reallocate roads to match the usage. Oakland has a lot of 6 or 8 lane streets that were built for a capacity they have never approached. Even in rush hour. Many of these road diet streets run parallel to a freeway and they have almost as many lanes.

The busy thoroughfare I mentioned earlier with the bike traffic? There is a connector freeway that runs parallel to it. No need to take the surface street for that distance. When the traffic is backed up it only covers the few blocks near the on ramp.

I think the 50s planners though Oakland would get like 700k people, but it is has been hovering near 400k for a long time (350k in the 40s) It peaked at about 400k in 2000 and is now at 390k give or take. That's why we have the excess road space.

Last edited by jade408; 08-17-2014 at 11:11 PM.. Reason: Verified census stats
 
Old 08-18-2014, 08:04 AM
 
7,846 posts, read 5,302,345 times
Reputation: 4025
Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
So you live in the highest tax-burden state in the nation and yet you still can't take care of roads and want people to pay even more in taxes? What kind of model is that to export to other states?
What does that have to do with this conversation? Save your liberal-bashing politics for another thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Lower my taxes used for a bunch of stuff I don't care about and I'm more than happy for the fairly minimal car subsidies to go away. Raising gas taxes by 50 cents or so wouldn't really impact me that much anyway, and I drive a lot. We're talking about $300 or so a year, no biggie. In comparison, the average cost per boarding subsidy of transit in my area is $3.16. I'm pretty sure the average frequent transit user gets transit more than once every four days. And remember, that's just the cost to operate the transit, which here means buses. Buses drive on roads. Road wear is exponentially related to axle weight, and buses weighs about 30,000 pounds.
..........the car subsidies are not minimal. Cars are funding only 50% of their infrastructure. They are also a huge long term burden to our country's health, physically and fiscally.

I actually perfer the gas tax as well. It should be higher and the additional funding should go towards all forms of infrastructure. Cars are not an economic asset; they are a liability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
So, yes, call a spade a spade. Motorists really get defensive about road funding all that often. Often we explain the facts to transit zealots. The facts are that transit, which in most places means buses which run on roads, is more subsidized than roads are. Nobody wants THEIR subsidy taken away for their special interest. Roads and cars aren't my special interest. I'd be far happier to see gas taxes increased to at least cover more road costs in a revenue neutral fashion (generate $5 billion in additional gas taxes, cut $5 billion in other revenue). That's independent of transit, which should receive a similar treatment imo although I see more benefit to transit subsidies than road subsidies.
Transit should be subsidized. Transit reduces congestion. Transit gets people off the roads, frees up parking, and is more efficient in MPPGe (miles per-passenger gallon) than personal vehicles. The transit zealots get a pass. The modes are not equal.
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