Re: [carfree_cities] Fw: Bicycles are not a form of transportation
- 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:
>From: Lloyd Wright <lwright@...>
>Sent: Sep 17, 2007 2:39 PM
>To: Carfree Cities <firstname.lastname@example.org>, 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...
>The bicycle thief
- On 9/17/07, doug@... <doug@...> wrote:
> Secondly (and of critical importance), the presence of separate paths reinforces the ideasI haven't found in North America that there are sufficient paths that
> (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).
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
- --- In email@example.com, <doug@...> wrote:
>*motorists* much more effectively than they serve cyclists/
> In North America, bike and pedestrian paths serve the interests of
pedestrians. They do so in two ways: First (but of lesser
importance), these facilities move some non-motorized traffic "out
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.
=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
=v= The real issue is, of course, that America has far too
much highway infrastructure and can ill-afford to maintain it.
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