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Re: [carfree_cities] Bikes and Streetcars

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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