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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Should bike racks be placed on public transit vehicles?

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  • Mike Harrington
    Dallas Area Rapid Transit s light rail cars can handle customers with disabilities, as well as DART s buses. Dallas stations below ground have elevators. In
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 4, 2003
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      Dallas Area Rapid Transit's light rail cars can handle customers with
      disabilities, as well as DART's buses. Dallas' stations below ground have
      elevators. In Houston, Metro's buses are, as well as the privately-owned
      Woodlands Express buses. All the new streetcars for New Orleans are
      wheelchair-capable. There is opposition to making NOLA's 1923 streetcars
      wheelchair-accessible on the grounds that altering cars in service for
      eighty years would be defacing history. The new cars that will be used on
      the new Canal Street streetcar line are being made in Czechoslovakia by
      Skoda and will otherwise be built to the same pre-art deco specs as New
      Orleans' historic fleet.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <esdol@...>
      To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 3:07 PM
      Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Should bike racks be placed on public transit
      vehicles?


      > Hi Mike,
      >
      > Few things come to mind. Are the buses and trains accessible for
      > persons with disabilities especially for those using wheelchairs and
      > scooters? I use a wheelchair, that's why I'm asking.
      >
      > The other thing is the racks. If I'm correct, there are racks only on
      > certain main routes. People use them in the Spring, Summer and early
      > Fall.
      >
      > Steve
      >
      >
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      >
      >
    • Mike Harrington
      Pushed send too soon. Bike storage can either be exterior or interior. On DFW commuter trains, a section without seats is available for bicycles. In the
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 4, 2003
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        Pushed "send" too soon. Bike storage can either be exterior or interior.
        On DFW commuter trains, a section without seats is available for bicycles.

        In the southern US, you see cyclists everywhere year-round, so I don't think
        restrictions on winter bike travel with mass transit would be applicable for
        places like Houston where you might get snow every fifteen years.


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <esdol@...>
        To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2003 3:07 PM
        Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Should bike racks be placed on public transit
        vehicles?


        > Hi Mike,
        >
        > Few things come to mind. Are the buses and trains accessible for
        > persons with disabilities especially for those using wheelchairs and
        > scooters? I use a wheelchair, that's why I'm asking.
        >
        > The other thing is the racks. If I'm correct, there are racks only on
        > certain main routes. People use them in the Spring, Summer and early
        > Fall.
        >
        > Steve
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
        > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
      • Steve <esdol@sprint.ca>
        Hi, Yes, I would be opposed to mudifying historic objects as well, Mike. It s like renovating cathedrals in such manner that it defaces the value of history
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 4, 2003
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          Hi,

          Yes, I would be opposed to mudifying historic objects as well, Mike.
          It's like renovating cathedrals in such manner that it "defaces" the
          value of history on such buildings. There are always ways of
          rendering historical buildings and transit vehicles (streetcars and
          others) accessible, but it's not always possible and persons with
          disabilities must recognise this.

          Steve
        • Richard Risemberg
          ... Few things come to mind. Are the buses and trains accessible for persons with disabilities especially for those using wheelchairs and scooters? I use a
          Message 4 of 17 , Feb 4, 2003
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            ------
            Few things come to mind. Are the buses and trains accessible for
            persons with disabilities especially for those using wheelchairs and
            scooters? I use a wheelchair, that's why I'm asking.
            ------

            In Los Angeles, all buses are wheelchair-compatible. And of course the trains are roll-on/roll-off. (Except when the elevator's broken.)

            There's heavy use of both wheelcharis and bicycles on LA MTA buses & trains.

            Richard


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            >
          • paulparma <info@venetianpassage.com>
            The bring it on board accomodations, more easily provided by rolling stock than buses can be a good system. The limited rack system can t be successful I
            Message 5 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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              The bring it on board accomodations, more easily provided by rolling
              stock than buses can be a good system. The limited rack system can't
              be successful I think and here's why.

              first stateing, or rather restateing, the obvious. Buses have to run
              long routes in order to pickup sufficient number of riders in our
              cities' low density. also, the distance between the routes except
              near large transfer centers is usually further than most would care to
              or have time to walk and this distance is due to limitted money to
              subsidize the system with more money losing routes. Alos the headway
              between buses on a single route is very long also due to the low
              density need for ridership per bus.

              All this just highlights the reasons that buses in combo with bikes is
              better than just using the bus, at least it could be better.
              Unfortunately, several times in the last two weeks, I was left at a
              stop though I had intended to board, because there were allready two
              bikes on the rack. In Austin, the racks only hold two bikes. So I
              had to decide wheter I would postpone my plans or ride to another
              route, head on to my finall very far flung destination on my bike and
              arrive late or wait another 35 minutes and take my chances with the
              next bus on that routes and be late or a no show. Is this the way to
              run a railroad? Am I not worhty as a citizen to be on time to my
              appointments due to my not choosing or being able to afford a car?

              How could a system where the saturation point of a particular
              otherwise more practical transmodal ridership group is limited to two
              (or threee or even four) of the 32 to 60 seats on the bus?

              Paul Parma
              www.venetianpassage.com/private.html
            • J.H. Crawford
              Hi All, There s another, much simpler appoach to this problem, which is the use of white bikes, loaner bikes that you drag and drop. You d ride your own
              Message 6 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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                Hi All,

                There's another, much simpler appoach to this problem,
                which is the use of "white bikes," loaner bikes that you
                "drag and drop." You'd ride your own bike to the transit
                halt, lock up your bike, ride to close to your destination,
                grab a white bike, and pedal there. These systems have
                been tried, successfully, in Copenhagen and unsuccessfully
                in Amsterdam (theft problems in the first attempt 35 years
                ago, equipment troubles with a recent revival).

                IMHO, it doesn't make a lot of sense to try to accommodate
                bikes on buses. It's an operational problem (delays while
                people mount and remove their bikes) and there's no reasonable
                solution to the problem of inadequate space for bikes if more
                than two people want to use them. We can't have city buses
                delayed for several minutes while bikes are being handled.
                With metros (and possibly trams), it would be possible to
                dedicate one car of the train to wheeled vehicles generally,
                arranged for direct roll-on, roll-off loading/unloading.
                I just don't think it works very well with buses, and the
                systems I've seen rarely appear to be used.

                Regards,





                -- ### --

                J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                mailbox@... Carfree.com
              • Jason Davies
                ... they were also stolen within hours in Cambridge (UK) a few years ago. All of them..:-) but I don t see that this solves too many problems. Most of the
                Message 7 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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                  >There's another, much simpler appoach to this problem, which is the
                  >use of "white bikes," loaner bikes that you "drag and drop."


                  they were also stolen within hours in Cambridge (UK) a few years ago. All
                  of them..:-)

                  but I don't see that this solves too many problems. Most of the time if you
                  ride somewhere you need to get back. And you need kit you can trust, not
                  something with a slow puncture and damaged lights, bad brakes etc. Loan
                  bikes can be murderous.
                • Patrick McDonough
                  We have racks on buses in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC, and generally it works quite well. Despite the high number of those who bike in the area, the policy is if
                  Message 8 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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                    We have racks on buses in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC, and generally it works
                    quite well. Despite the high number of those who bike in the area, the
                    policy is if the rack is full, the cyclist either waits for another bus or
                    boards without the bike. I have yet to take my bike onto a bus, but I am
                    fond of finding safe places to lock my bike and then trip chaining using the
                    bus for long hauls, walking on the far end, and biking back in my
                    neighborhood.

                    I think cyclists overall appreciate the added utility of the transit system
                    than they bristle at the possibility of having only 2 slots on each bus.

                    Patrick McDOnough

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: J.H. Crawford [mailto:mailbox@...]
                    Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 9:44 AM
                    To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Should bike racks be placed on public
                    transit vehicles?



                    Hi All,

                    There's another, much simpler appoach to this problem,
                    which is the use of "white bikes," loaner bikes that you
                    "drag and drop." You'd ride your own bike to the transit
                    halt, lock up your bike, ride to close to your destination,
                    grab a white bike, and pedal there. These systems have
                    been tried, successfully, in Copenhagen and unsuccessfully
                    in Amsterdam (theft problems in the first attempt 35 years
                    ago, equipment troubles with a recent revival).

                    IMHO, it doesn't make a lot of sense to try to accommodate
                    bikes on buses. It's an operational problem (delays while
                    people mount and remove their bikes) and there's no reasonable
                    solution to the problem of inadequate space for bikes if more
                    than two people want to use them. We can't have city buses
                    delayed for several minutes while bikes are being handled.
                    With metros (and possibly trams), it would be possible to
                    dedicate one car of the train to wheeled vehicles generally,
                    arranged for direct roll-on, roll-off loading/unloading.
                    I just don't think it works very well with buses, and the
                    systems I've seen rarely appear to be used.

                    Regards,





                    -- ### --

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


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                  • J.H. Crawford
                    ... I think you can hang on to the bike until you re done. ... Some of these bikes are designed to be bullteproof--solid tires, that sort of thing. It hasn t
                    Message 9 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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                      >but I don't see that this solves too many problems. Most of the time if you
                      >ride somewhere you need to get back.

                      I think you can hang on to the bike until you're done.

                      >And you need kit you can trust, not
                      >something with a slow puncture and damaged lights, bad brakes etc. Loan
                      >bikes can be murderous.

                      Some of these bikes are designed to be bullteproof--solid tires, that
                      sort of thing. It hasn't apparently been an unmanagable problem in
                      Copenhagen, and they recently increased their fleet size. The
                      Amsterdam bikes are unique, so if you show up with one somewhere it's
                      not supposed to be, then it's pretty clear that you've stolen it.








                      -- ### --

                      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                      mailbox@... Carfree.com
                    • Pedaldancer@webtv.net
                      Correct me if I am wrong. I believe it was part of the deal, in order for L.A., to receive monies, for their subway system, from the goverment, they had to
                      Message 10 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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                        Correct me if I am wrong.
                        I believe it was part of the deal, in order for L.A., to receive monies,
                        for their subway system, from the goverment, they had to install racks
                        on all the buses. Since the subway, and the bus system, is all the same
                        company.
                        Also, I believe every new place of business is required to put a bike
                        rack in front of their business. This was all part of that deal.
                        PaulE
                      • tomvolckhausen <tom.w.volckhausen@seagat
                        In the Denver metro area, bikes on buses works very well. The regional transit buses allow bikes in the underseat luggage bins. That s how I got to work
                        Message 11 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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                          In the Denver metro area, bikes on buses works very well. The
                          regional transit buses allow bikes in the underseat luggage bins.
                          That's how I got to work today, since the nearest bus stop is about 5
                          miles from my job, and the roads were too snowy/icy to feel safe on
                          the shoulder of a 65 mph 4 lane. I have seen as many as 20 bikes on a
                          bus, although they were recreational mtn bikers catching a ride up
                          the
                          canyon.
                          Although I occasionally use the front mounted racks on the local
                          buses, they do fill up. Allowing overflow bikes inside the bus in
                          the
                          rarely used wheel chair area would fix this (wheelchairs would still
                          have priority of course). In a true carfree city, heavy transit use
                          might make bikes and buses harder, tho as a mechanical engineer I
                          could design much higher capacity external racks. In real-life
                          sprawling US cities, the bike/bus combo extends coverage area greatly
                          and I see people using it everyday.

                          On another note, although I personally expect and hope for increased
                          gas prices, I agree with JH that car-dependency could continue for a
                          long time despite them. Many people still choose to drive in Europe,
                          with gas prices 3-4X US. 80 Mpg hybrids are feasible today, so if gas
                          prices increase 4X, a 4X increase in Mpg from the ~20 Mpg fleet
                          average currently would leave motorist cost unchanged.

                          OTOH, the shocks to the insanely oil-dependent US economy resulting
                          from increased prices might eventually leave many unable to afford
                          driving. Not the happiest way to the carfree city.
                        • paulparma <info@venetianpassage.com>
                          ... Since Tom touched on both issues and most relavently to JH s response to both, I ll respond to both as well in one message. Regarding the bike rack thing,
                          Message 12 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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                            --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "tomvolckhausen
                            <tom.w.volckhausen@s...>" <tom.w.volckhausen@s...> wrote:
                            >

                            Since Tom touched on both issues and most relavently to JH's response
                            to both, I'll respond to both as well in one message.

                            Regarding the bike rack thing, in my opinion for what its worth, both
                            the bus systems Tom and JH have reported seem way more satisfactory
                            than what myself and others have been reporting in this thread. I
                            would feel more rosey about the 'white bike' system though if I hear
                            that you have a right to leave it at a destination; specifically
                            which, without or with a lock on it, until you head back to the
                            transit station?

                            Regarding the sobering summation that Mr. Crawford put forth regarding
                            the need to be independent of the dependence of Oil, I must say, I've
                            been in the other camp since before I joined this group; but a recent
                            personnel history of discussions with several flavors of mainstreamers
                            and a bit of reflection leaves me to concur with everything JH said on
                            the matter. Again, for what my opinion matters.

                            Though it tests my confidence as it might others in admitting it,
                            people will drive in spite of increased cost or lower (in some
                            respects literally lower than a high clearance SUV) power and smaller
                            size cars. But if we take the tack of providing substantial carfree
                            areas as an option, then it is not pressuring people to get out of
                            their cars, which they will succesfully resist, it is however allowing
                            them get out of their cars. It is also providing increased
                            independence on unsustainable fuel sources and decreases in auto
                            related pollution even further than fuel efficiency improvements on
                            cars and hydrogen-fueled cars for the population that chooses the
                            carfree mode.

                            So carfree is still a high road compared regarding stewarding
                            nonrenwable resources its just lower in that regard than some folks
                            like myself had once thought. Life value improvements and
                            environmental -- air, water and space effects -- are just higher in
                            relationship to that positive aspect.

                            But we need to get it done; build a substantial carfree area, not just
                            talk about itÂ….. And there I go, just talking about it again.

                            Build it and they will come....... Better yet, build it and they will
                            see, and once built, they can't tear it down. Its right there, where
                            the lies and misunderstandings will be harder and harder to keep
                            credible.


                            Paul Parma
                            www.venetianpassage.com/private.html
                          • J.H. Crawford
                            ... I m not sure. I think different implementations are different. I know that the current Amsterdam trial involved unlocking a bike by inserting a smart-card
                            Message 13 of 17 , Feb 5, 2003
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                              >I would feel more rosey about the 'white bike' system though if I hear
                              >that you have a right to leave it at a destination; specifically
                              >which, without or with a lock on it, until you head back to the
                              >transit station?

                              I'm not sure. I think different implementations are different. I
                              know that the current Amsterdam trial involved unlocking a bike
                              by inserting a smart-card in a slot. You have to re-lock the bike
                              upon arrival. It all sounds like a nuisance to me, and some people
                              will resist allowing their movements to be traced by their smart-card
                              activity. I have the idea that the Copenhagen system is much simpler;
                              find a bike, use it, walk away. I suppose some effort will be required
                              to make sure that bikes are located where they're needed. Copenhagen
                              is financed by advertising, so there may be some money to do this.

                              Is there anybody who would like to research this and write something
                              for Carfree Times?

                              Regards,




                              -- ### --

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