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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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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