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Re: [carfree_cities] Fw: Bicycles are not a form of transportation

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  • doug@sfbackstory.com
    I know saying this, again, is unlikely to do any good, and is quite likely to stir up the hornets, but I feel compelled to keep trying (now and then). In North
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 17, 2007
      I know saying this, again, is unlikely to do any good, and is quite likely to stir up the hornets, but I feel compelled to keep trying (now and then).

      In North America, bike and pedestrian paths serve the interests of *motorists* much more effectively than they serve cyclists/pedestrians. They do so in two ways: First (but of lesser importance), these facilities move some non-motorized traffic "out of the way" of the cagers. Secondly (and of critical importance), the presence of separate paths reinforces the ideas (widely held by drivers, planners, peds, cyclists and your mothers) that streets are for cars and that non-motorized users must be shunted into separate spaces, for their own safety and to prevent obstruction of "traffic" (motorized, of course).

      We will never take back the streets if we persist in collaborating in our own oppression by eagerly, even desperately, scrambling out of the way so that the cars can cruise unchallenged.

      -Doug

      =---=---=---=---=
      Doug Salzmann
      P.O. Box 378
      Tiburon, CA 94920
    • Joel Siegel
      The msnbc link above the article actually links to a story about Hillary Clinton s health care plan (otherwise known as the Health Insurance Company Profit
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 17, 2007
        The msnbc link above the article actually links to a story about Hillary Clinton's health care plan (otherwise known as the Health Insurance Company Profit Security Plan, but I digress). It's possible that MSNBC moved the link.

        Here's a link to the original article at Salon.com, which should remain stable:

        http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/09/14/bike_paths/

        Cheers,

        Joel Siegel

        -----Original Message-----
        >From: Lloyd Wright <lwright@...>
        >Sent: Sep 17, 2007 2:39 PM
        >To: Carfree Cities <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>, Sustran <sustran-discuss@...>
        >Subject: [carfree_cities] Fw: Bicycles are not a form of transportation
        >
        >
        >Interesting article on how the Bush administration does not consider the
        >bicycle to be a form of transporation...
        >
        >
        >http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20819827
        >
        >
        >The bicycle thief
        >
      • Elliot Schwartz
        ... I haven t found in North America that there are sufficient paths that people believe that bicycles should get off the streets and use them. More often
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 17, 2007
          On 9/17/07, doug@... <doug@...> wrote:
          > Secondly (and of critical importance), the presence of separate paths reinforces the ideas
          > (widely held by drivers, planners, peds, cyclists and your mothers) that streets are for
          > cars and that non-motorized users must be shunted into separate spaces, for their own
          > safety and to prevent obstruction of "traffic" (motorized, of course).

          I haven't found in North America that there are sufficient paths that
          people believe that bicycles should get off the streets and use them.
          More often people believe cyclists should be on the sidewalk, or in
          the bike lane. Perhaps if paths became as ubiquitous sidewalks or bike
          lanes that would be the case.

          In any case, I don't see why bicycles shouldn't have full access to
          shared infrastructure AND their own special purpose infrastructure.

          There are multiple classes of roads tailored to the needs of cars:
          divided highways to avoid cross traffic; local streets to drive to
          your final destination. It'd be great if multiple classes of roads
          designed for bicycles were more wide spread, some of which could be
          tailored to particular desires: bike paths to avoid auto collisions,
          noise & pollution, and form cross-town routes; bicycle boulevards to
          socially meander down local streets; highway overpasses to avoid long
          detours.

          elliot
        • Erik Sandblom
          ... *motorists* much more effectively than they serve cyclists/ pedestrians. They do so in two ways: First (but of lesser importance), these facilities move
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 17, 2007
            --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, <doug@...> wrote:
            >
            > In North America, bike and pedestrian paths serve the interests of
            *motorists* much more effectively than they serve cyclists/
            pedestrians. They do so in two ways: First (but of lesser
            importance), these facilities move some non-motorized traffic "out
            of
            the way" of the cagers. Secondly (and of critical importance), the
            presence of separate paths reinforces the ideas (widely held by
            drivers, planners, peds, cyclists and your mothers) that streets are
            for cars and that non-motorized users must be shunted into separate
            spaces, for their own safety and to prevent obstruction of
            "traffic" (motorized, of course).


            Separate bicycle paths can make sense along roads with fast traffic,
            faster than say 30-40 km/h, because it encourages people to cycle
            where they would otherwise wouldn't dare to. Where traffic moves
            slower than that, mixed use is a good idea. I believe that painting
            bicycle lanes right on the street can have a good effect by making
            bicycles legitimate in the eyes of motorists. I think bike lanes can
            slow down the pace of traffic from, say, 40km/h to 35km/h or so.

            Bike paths can also be functional if they provide shortcuts for
            cyclists, such as a bridge or tunnel, or a path through a park which
            makes journeys by bicycle faster.

            I think the main function of bike paths is that they encourage
            people to cycle. In so doing, they make cycling legitimate
            transportation and also safer, since bicycling becomes safer the
            more people do it.

            They don't work by themselves though, they need to be part of a
            larger package such as congestion charges, pedestrianised zones,
            favourable legislation around accidents, etc.

            Erik Sandblom
          • Jym Dyer
            http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/09/14/bike_paths/ =v= This is the DOT s official spin in the wake of the collapsed bridge in Minnesota: Bicyclists are
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 17, 2007
              http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/09/14/bike_paths/

              =v= This is the DOT's official spin in the wake of the collapsed
              bridge in Minnesota: Bicyclists are to blame! Zap them with
              your Tasers! (Just imagine if FEMA had this excuse handy two
              years ago: Why, the levees in New Orleans would have been
              well-maintained if only we weren't spending all that money to
              accommodate rowboats and kayaks.)

              =v= Seriously, though, this is unsurprising, coming from the
              G.W. Shrub Administration, which lets various lobbies decide
              national policy. This particular line of argument -- that
              every transportation penny must go towards cars, cars, and
              more cars, in the name of safety -- comes from the American
              Automobile Association.

              =v= The real issue is, of course, that America has far too
              much highway infrastructure and can ill-afford to maintain it.
              <_Jym_>

              Jym Dyer ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: __Q :::
              jym@... ::::::::::::::::: "My other car is :: ==`\(s_ ::
              http://www.things.org/~jym/ :::: also a bicycle." :: (_)/ (_) ::

              The only way to solve the traffic problems of the country is
              to pass a law that only paid-for cars are allowed to use the
              highways. That would make traffic so scarce we could use the
              boulevards for children's playgrounds.
              -- Will Rogers
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