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Bikes and Streetcars

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  • Wong, Tim
    How do bikes and streetcar tracks get along in cities that have a lot of tracks in the streets? Although most bicyclists like train travel, passenger as well
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 3, 2000
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      How do bikes and streetcar tracks get along in cities that have a lot of
      tracks in the streets? Although most bicyclists like train travel,
      passenger as well as a freight as a envrionment-friendly mode, the RR tracks
      can be a problem, especially when they're not 90-degree angle crossings and
      especially when wet. Any thoughts/experiences?

      > Trams/Streetcars work so well because they mesh with the existing
      > fabric of the city, ensuring a lively buzz at street level. San
      > Francisco has a fleet of streetcars that must give and take with
      > other street traffic. They are slow but always packed and as such
      > they enrich the city, rather than subtract from it.
      >
      > Mike
      >
      > --- In carfree_cities@egroups.com, "Ronald Dawson" <rdadddmd@t...>
      >
    • Mike Lacey
      Yes SF is riddled with cable car, surface metro and pcc tracks and they get very slippery when wet. You just learn to take them at 90- degrees. (Except at some
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 3, 2000
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        Yes SF is riddled with cable car, surface metro and pcc tracks and
        they get very slippery when wet. You just learn to take them at 90-
        degrees. (Except at some intersections such as Market and Castro
        there are tracks converging from all directions)

        I've seen a number of cyclists slide, and motorcyclists tell me they
        hate worry about them too.

        But I'm quit happy to live with them its as mall price to pay for
        good urban rail, and in a car free world the consequences of sliding
        are much fewer.

        Mike

        --- In carfree_cities@egroups.com, "Wong, Tim" <WONGTI@d...> wrote:
        > How do bikes and streetcar tracks get along in cities that have a
        lot of
        > tracks in the streets? Although most bicyclists like train travel,
        > passenger as well as a freight as a envrionment-friendly mode, the
        RR tracks
        > can be a problem, especially when they're not 90-degree angle
        crossings and
        > especially when wet. Any thoughts/experiences?
        >
        > > Trams/Streetcars work so well because they mesh with the existing
        > > fabric of the city, ensuring a lively buzz at street level. San
        > > Francisco has a fleet of streetcars that must give and take with
        > > other street traffic. They are slow but always packed and as such
        > > they enrich the city, rather than subtract from it.
        > >
        > > Mike
        > >
        > > --- In carfree_cities@egroups.com, "Ronald Dawson"
        <rdadddmd@t...>
        > >
      • Simon Baddeley
        ... As a cyclist I concur. S
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 4, 2000
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          > But I'm quit happy to live with them its a small price to pay for
          > good urban rail, and in a car free world the consequences of sliding
          > are much fewer.
          >
          As a cyclist I concur.
          S
        • J.H. Crawford
          ... Here in Amsterdam there are tram track throughout the city. People are aware of the danger and know how to deal with it. I ve had trouble only once myself,
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 4, 2000
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            Tim Wong asked:

            >How do bikes and streetcar tracks get along in cities that have a lot of
            >tracks in the streets? Although most bicyclists like train travel,
            >passenger as well as a freight as a envrionment-friendly mode, the RR tracks
            >can be a problem, especially when they're not 90-degree angle crossings and
            >especially when wet. Any thoughts/experiences?

            Here in Amsterdam there are tram track throughout the city.
            People are aware of the danger and know how to deal with it.
            I've had trouble only once myself, saw it coming, and slowed
            down enough that I didn't actually fall, although I lost
            control of the bike. The biggest problem is at intersections
            where several lines come together. You get a confusion of rails
            at these points, and it's a challenge to pick your way across it.
            However, if there are no cars (unfortunately not the case here),
            you can concentrate principally on taking the rails at approximately
            a 90 degree angle (actually, 45 degrees seems plenty good enough).
            I have heard that it's possible to pack the wheel groove with a
            soft rubber that compresses under the tram wheels but provides
            a relatively flat surface for bikes. Anyone know for sure?


            ###

            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            postmaster@... Carfree.com
          • Richard Risemberg
            ... A simple solution is to jerk up on the handlebars as you cross the tracks, lifting the front wheel and inch or so. The rear wheel almost always tracks
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 4, 2000
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              "J.H. Crawford" wrote:
              >
              > Tim Wong asked:
              >
              > >How do bikes and streetcar tracks get along

              > Here in Amsterdam there are tram track throughout the city.
              > People are aware of the danger and know how to deal with it.
              > I've had trouble only once myself, saw it coming, and slowed
              > down enough that I didn't actually fall, although I lost
              > control of the bike.
              A simple solution is to jerk up on the handlebars as you cross the
              tracks, lifting the front wheel and inch or so. The rear wheel almost
              always tracks over the rails without trouble.
              > I have heard that it's possible to pack the wheel groove with a
              > soft rubber that compresses under the tram wheels but provides
              > a relatively flat surface for bikes. Anyone know for sure?
              >
              I've seen that in California but I haven't been impressed with how it
              works.

              Richard

              --
              Richard Risemberg
              rickrise@...
              Living Room Urban Ecology webzine: http://www.living-room.org
              "There is more to life than increasing its speed." (Gandhi)
            • J.H. Crawford
              ... I still believe that the real solution for passenger transport in larger cities is underground, not at grade, and certainly not in the air. The tram brings
              Message 6 of 6 , Nov 4, 2000
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                Richard Risemberg replied to:

                >> I have heard that it's possible to pack the wheel groove with a
                >> soft rubber that compresses under the tram wheels but provides
                >> a relatively flat surface for bikes. Anyone know for sure?

                >I've seen that in California but I haven't been impressed with how it
                >works.

                I still believe that the real solution for passenger transport in larger
                cities is underground, not at grade, and certainly not in the air. The
                tram brings with it a number of problems with it that don't affect metros,
                such as the caught-bike-wheel problem. The surface tram can be a pleasant
                alternative in some circumstances.

                The metro is less pleasant for riders (although safer, faster, and
                more comforatble). Doesn't this encourage people to walk or to bike,
                especially if the streets are free of all medium- and high-speed vehicles,
                including trams? And wouldn't that be a fine thing--to encourage people
                to get a little more exercize?

                It's a money thing, to some degree--you do what you can. Curitiba dit it
                using buses.


                ###

                J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                postmaster@... Carfree.com
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