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

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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 1 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
      >
      >
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      >
      >
      >
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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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