I've read and well-understood your points. I precisely understand what you're saying here. It's entirely correct.But likewise, we have to recognize reality. Your view (the biker should occupy the "leftish" part of the middle to keep from being hooked) just isn't reality except among the elite riders.Every casual rider stays as far to the right as possible. So lane, or no-lane, traffic may cross their path. And the casual rider is oblivious to that fact. So the question is whether "most" riders are less likely to get "hooked" with a bike lane or not. And I think the answer is that they are less likely to get hooked with a bike lane.
"And I think the answer is that they are less likely to get hooked with a bike lane."Why, Bob? Explain how that works?I'm not an elite cyclist. I'm a barely competent cyclist. It works for me (lane control). Lane Control works for my eldest daughter, who is just getting into cycling after several years of not. It works for every timid cyclist I have shown it to, to their utter amazement. If the primary reason timid cyclists ride in the gutter is fear, the truth will set them free (and protect them). If the primary reason timid cyclists ride in the gutter is because they think the back of the bus is where the Law (or perhaps, LAB) tells them to, the Truth will set them free (and protect them).Accepting ignorant behavior as "reality" serves only to perpetuate ignorance (I'm not picking on you).So, tell me, how does that simple, basic right-of-way-ignoring, diagram work? How does it provide any of the benefits its supporters claim (beyong luring the ignorant into a false sense of safety)?I want to know, Bob, because I live in the real world, and "reality" is something of an obsession of mine.
Bob, E-mail me off list and I'll gladly take the time to show you proper lane control and vehicular cycling behavior. I AM an elite rider, but my current passion is riding my Gary Fisher Simple City all over the place. All it takes is education, lane control, visibility, broadcasting your intentions with hand signals, and knowing how to ride defensively. But 90% of all bike/motorist incidents can be prevented or mitigated through proper cyclist education and behavior, thus negating the need for bike lanes. That's what we're here for - to learn, educate, and practice. As an industry, cycling has long focused on marketing, and not on education. This punt has put the burden on others, and myself and others are stepping up to offer our skills, as long as students are willing to listen, learn, and practice.
Bob makes a good point. I was thinking about this the other day after reading an article on that other blog.The main problem with VC-mode is that it doesn't work if you don't do it. And more importantly, most people don't do it. If bike lanes are indeed safer, it has nothing to do with the intrinsic safety of their design. Instead, bike lanes (perhaps) create a safer bicycling community as a whole by encouraging people away from unsafe activities like riding in the wrong direction, in the gutter, or on the sidewalk.
It doesn't work like that; it works like this.Which isn't to say that the lane at my link isn't problematic, but I've very rarely seen what you pictured; bike lanes approaching intersections in my experience actually end before the right turn lane begins, and it's up to the cyclist to control their lane as they enter the intersection (whether it's the right turn lane or the through lane), and it's up to right-turning cars to safely merge into the bike lane traffic.We know how well that works, don't we?If I have a bike lane, I use it. If there is a car parked in it, I merge into the regular traffic lane. If I come up to an intersection, I get into the proper lane for my direction (i.e. if I'm going straight I take the lane that goes straight).In the end we all do what we feel most confident doing. There is a balance to be attained between being a "big boy" vehicle like cars, and recognizing that while a bike is a vehicle, it is a lesser among equals in that it affords less protection than a car does, does not accelerate or achieve the speeds a car can, and does not stop as quickly.Yes, a bike is a vehicle. But a bike is not a car, and to expect other vehicles to treat it like a car when it clearly isn't as large or capable as a car is just folly.Take what you can get when it comes to road space and lane position, but understand that your vehicle has limited compared to most other vehicles with respect to basic capabilities. And try to do so without the Napoleon Complex.Sheesh.
Said Doohickie: "Yes, a bike is a vehicle. But a bike is not a car, and to expect other vehicles to treat it like a car when it clearly isn't as large or capable as a car is just folly."Doohickie, following your logic, then you'd agree with this?You have avoided my question, because you know it doesn't work (sorry, a pictograph doesn't change the basically ill-conceived logic of the design. That's simply paint-sniffing.) You have presented as "evidence" the classic Cycling Inferiority Complex position that bicycles can not share the roadway in an equitable manner, based not upon facts, but upon fear.
Doohickie, let's talk some more about your graphic. It shows a forced-right turn bike lane inside of a straight through travel lane (which a cyclist can not use due to the presence of the bike lane, per the TVC). Your proposal (tongue in cheek, perhaps) prevents cyclists from being able to go anywhere other than around in circles. While many recreational cyclists seem to enjoy going around in endless circles, it hardly seems suitable for transportation/utility cycling.
The presumed inability for casual or slow cyclists to ride vehicularly is a mental problem, not a physical one. It's very easy to learn and can be done at slow speed.It's not that they can't do it, or can't learn to do it. It's that they don't know they can learn, or maybe don't want to learn.Would someone like to offer why they think we should alter the built environment at taxpayer expense for people who DON'T WANT TO LEARN something?Those who think bike lanes makes inccorect behavior safer, don't have much experience with bike lanes.I began my advocacy journey looking for a solution to make motorists more aware of bike lanes, because they kept nearly hitting me in the bike lane I used every day on the road outside my office.I've also seen the results of coddling stupid cycling. It produces an abundance of stupid cyclists. The aforementioned bike lane has a relatively high volume of bike riders and the vast majority are riding like idiots—facing traffic, weaving in and out of parked cars, hugging the doors of parked cars, running red lights, riding on the sidewalk anyway, they haven't a clue how to merge when the bike lane ends...Oh and, the bike lane has a lot of bike riders in it because the have simply been drawn off the grid of other, quieter streets, mainly because those other streets are brick.
I think the situation of a right turn is problematic with or without a bike lane. A car can try to pass you then cut across into the right turn lane even if you control your lane. For discussion sake I'll say we have two lanes going north and a right turn lane added 1000ft before the intersection. This should be a great road for riding in the right lane. Ideally a car that wants to turn left will get in the right lane, then change lanes into the right turn lane when it becomes available. This will probably work the vast majority of the time, but there is still that motor vehicle that will be in a hurry and try to pass you then cut right. This creates the problem and this should amount to a the driver losing their license. Even without the right turn lane this situation is possible. If the right lane you are riding in is straight or right a car can cut across your lane to turn. Sorry I have no solution other than to ENFORCE THE LAW we currently have. I think the concept of the bike lane going straight and a car being required to yield for them isn't that bad, the problem is the car thinks a bike is slower than it really is. Personally I like the idea of bike lanes, because I don't have to wait behind a long line of cars at an intersection, but that is just because I like cutting in line. But I also like cars to be able to pass me at an intersection instead of piling up behind me and having to wait for the cars to spread out a bit before they can change lanes to pass. I have even pulled off the road just so the traffic will thin to be courteous to the faster cars. If only more people rode bikes then the traffic wouldn't be an issue. I just hate the idea of causing more traffic. We don't have bike lanes, so I just ride in the road which works great. It is simply at intersections that I feel things could flow better.
Apparently my six year old son is an elite rider...Last Saturday, my three sons (ages 12, 9 & 6) and I rode to McDonalds for lunch and then to the nearby mall to look around. For the most part, we took residential streets, but we did have to cross over 190 on a 35mph 4-lane road. After some brief instructions, we were on our way and the boys did great, staying in our lane, using the proper signals and just being predictable.While at the mall, we ended up buying a new bike for my oldest son, so I was faced with the dilemma of somehow getting an extra bike home. In hindsight, I should have left it chained up and picked it up later, but I decided instead to try rolling it along beside me.Sure enough, as I'm rolling through the busiest intersection at 190, the extra bike gets up under my wheels and I go down. I quickly intructed my oldest son to lead his brothers on through the intersection. After dragging the two bikes to the side of the road and straightening up one of the handlebars, I look up to see my boys riding off down the road. In a slight panic, I followed as fast as I could and finally caught them about 1/2 mile later. As I approach them, I see them still staying in a line, taking their lane, using hand signals and being predictable. I was so proud!
I feel pretty confident in saying that I have learned how to ride vehicularly in traffic and that I gave it an honest try. I was surprised to find that I DID NOT LIKE IT. I wasn't scared, I wasn't unable to do it, I just didn't like it.Sure, I've never ridden in a city with bike lanes. My earlier comment was based on statistics I linked to, not personal experience. But I am not advocating bike lanes as the ideal solution. I'm simply sick and tired of hearing about fear, CIC and the suggestion that facilities advocates are mentally deficient. What I am advocating is a more rational, reasonable debate based not only sound engineering principles but most importantly PEOPLE and the way the two work together in the REAL WORLD.
Risan said: "A car can try to pass you then cut across into the right turn lane even if you control your lane."But the further left you are, the harder it is for anybody to right-hook you. It make the turn sharper, which means they have to slow down.
Stuart said: "What I am advocating is a more rational, reasonable debate based not only sound engineering principles but most importantly PEOPLE and the way the two work together in the REAL WORLD."-I don't believe I've called facilities advocates mentally deficient. Character assassination seems to be their game, not mine. The statistics they are currently touting about "cyclists up, accidents down" is based upon a very poor reading of injury data. Injuries are down primarily because the number one category of injury-prone cyclists (children and teenagers) has dropped dramatically in recent years(just look at the empty bike-racks at the vast majority of elementary and middle-schools), even during a "bike boom".Now, back to reality. Please explain how that diagram works, because THAT is the reality of the design that facilities advocates espouse. You can avoid explaining it all you want, but you can not avoid its physical reality.
THAT is the reality of the design that facilities advocates espouse.No, it isn't.This is.You present the argument by setting up a straw man bike lane that does not conform to Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. You purposely present a flawed case and say that advocates espouse it in order to point out how wrong they are. Sorry, but you just don't see advocates proposing bike lanes like the one you pictured at the top fo the post.
I note with interest that Bob offers, "Your view (the biker should occupy the 'leftish' part of the middle to keep from being hooked) just isn't reality except among the elite riders" without any evidence to justify that statement. What, precisely, defines an elite cyclist? Is this an individual who competes in cycling contests and holds a category rating with the USCF? Certainly, you do not intend to suggest that one who rides a bicycle in a lawful, competent manner is elitist. Correct? Ambiguous ascriptions like this are ridiculous without defining justification.PM's request for an explanation as to why bike lanes mitigate right hook incidents also remains unanswered. Bandying about specious proclamations without justification does little more than identify one as suffering from CIC or, worse yet, a troll.Stuart offers, "The main problem with VC-mode is that it doesn't work if you don't do it. And more importantly, most people don't do it."The reason people do not operate as vehicular cyclists is due primarily to ignorance and fear, plain and simple.Ignorance derives from perception that no special training is required to ride a bicycle in a vehicular manner in traffic. While it is true that special training is not required, basic driver training and an appreciation of vehicular principles are prerequisites. Without a basic understanding of traffic rules, one does not now how to operate in a lawful, predictable manner. That lack of understanding results in conflict and chaos.Fear is manifest in many of the responses posted to or referenced by this thread. Doohickie whines, "There is a balance to be attained between being a 'big boy' vehicle like cars, and recognizing that while a bike is a vehicle, it is a lesser among equals in that it affords less protection than a car does, does not accelerate or achieve the speeds a car can, and does not stop as quickly."The inability to accelerate as quickly as a motor vehicle has no bearing upon safety or recognition. In actuality, a bicycle can stop measurably faster than a car. (compare the results from this calculator with the information in this table)Stuart then returns to say, "I feel pretty confident in saying that I have learned how to ride vehicularly in traffic and that I gave it an honest try. I was surprised to find that I DID NOT LIKE IT. I wasn't scared, I wasn't unable to do it, I just didn't like it.".You profess that you were not scared and yet did not "like it." In what way were you unsatisfied by the experience? Better yet, in the absence of bike lanes in Dallas, to what are you comparing the exposure? Are you advocating the expenditure of millions of dollars building separated facilities to satisfy your curiosity? Do you not agree such funding would be better invested in teaching you (and many others) how to properly and confidently operate as a vehicle upon the existing infrastructure?Stuart, you reference a post by Jason Roberts over at BFOC and cite its content as thought provoking. For the record, roughly half of that information has been plagiarized from the Cambridge Department of Community Development.
Doohickie said..."No, it isn't."-Sorry, yes it is. The illustrations you are linking to all involve right-turn pockets. With right-turn pockets, you still have cars crossing the bike lanes (that's why Portland and Austin both use "coffin corner, or suicide slot" designs to prohibit the very behavior you link to... cars merging through bike lanes). Right-turn pockets are EXTREMELY rare in bike lane configurations, so rare as to be almost non-existent. Why? Partly because of the $500,000 to $1,000,000 per intersection it costs to build them. Roadway reconstruction, signal, utilities, and storm drain relocation, plus right of way acquisition costs, add up pretty quick. Good luck on that $500,000,000 bike plan.
Doohickie,The bike lane advocates in Portland specifically want the solid stripe all the way to the intersection. They changed the traffic laws to codify this design, forcing motorists to wait to the intersection and turn across the bike lane... and yield to cyclists the may not be able to see.That's where this road leads. When you coddle people who don't want to operate according to best practices, and you create more of them, they try to change the system to accommodate their unwillingness to integrate properly and easily. They create more problems with their "solutions" and clamor for still more solutions. In the process, to get their special laws, they bargain away the right to the road of lawful, competent cyclists. Portland has a mandatory bike lane and sidepath law.But, what do they care? They weren't using their right to the road anyway.
Well, if you insist that everyone use VC techniques and get rid of bike lanes, etc., altogether, that will discourage beginning cyclists from riding on the streets at all, resulting in fewer people cycling....Kind of sounds like the argument against helmet use, doesn't it?
Well, if you insist that everyone use VC techniques and get rid of bike lanes, etc., altogether, that will discourage beginning cyclists from riding on the streets at all, resulting in fewer people cycling....If you think that's the only alternative.But that's really thinking small.Dallas has excellent connectivity. If people follow bike route signs they don't have to ride on scary roads to learn.There were no bike lanes in Orlando when I started riding. We don't have nearly the connectivity Dallas does. We didn't have bike route signs or a bike route map like Dallas does. But I learned to ride by connecting quiet streets wherever I could. As I got more confident, I ventured to bigger roads.You have all the assets there in Dallas. Good roads. Courteous drivers. If you want to promote cycling, do a social marketing campaign to promote those assets and dispel the myths that only the elite can ride on the road without special facilities. It would be a hell of a lot cheaper than bike lanes and the result would be a healthier cycling community and a more cooperative traffic culture. Don't F_ up a good thing because you think it will get more people to ride. THINK BIGGER! Think empowerment.All bike lanes do is convince people they need more bike lanes.
You profess that you were not scared and yet did not "like it." In what way were you unsatisfied by the experience? An analogy perhaps? I do not like flying in commercial aircraft. I know that the chance of the plan crashing is very, very small. However, when the plane rattles and shakes or drops with turbulence, I still feel "uncomfortable". Perhaps you would still call that "fear" but the point is that it is not unlearnable.Better yet, in the absence of bike lanes in Dallas, to what are you comparing the exposure?Compared to say, a typical MUP. (Although they certainly have their share of problems.)Are you advocating the expenditure of millions of dollars building separated facilities to satisfy your curiosity?No, absolutely not.Do you not agree such funding would be better invested in teaching you (and many others) how to properly and confidently operate as a vehicle upon the existing infrastructure?Well, that is exactly what I am not sure about. Does education actually work on a large scale? Has any city actually tried?BTW, I am increasingly less interested in the potential bicyclists and more concerned about those who currently depend on bicycles for their transportation and livelihood because their life-circumstances limit their choices. (In case that makes a difference.)
Herman: Do you not agree such funding would be better invested in teaching you (and many others) how to properly and confidently operate as a vehicle upon the existing infrastructure?Stuart: Well, that is exactly what I am not sure about. Does education actually work on a large scale? Has any city actually tried?No, they haven't. Portland has spent a ton of money on promotion, but very little (to none) on real education.Dallas would have been the first city in the US to implement a serious adults and children bicycle-drivers education program, but the City Council returned the $800K in Federal funding I secured, because they didn't want to be committed to cover the salary and materials expenses for seven years after the three year salary expense expired ($100K a year).Stuart: BTW, I am increasingly less interested in the potential bicyclists and more concerned about those who currently depend on bicycles for their transportation and livelihood because their life-circumstances limit their choices. (In case that makes a difference.)That's VERY important, at least it is to me. That's why a bicycle plan has to be a comprehensive document covering an entire city, not just a plan to connect the cool kids and their playgrounds.
Doohickie said... "Well, if you insist that everyone use VC techniques and get rid of bike lanes, etc., altogether, that will discourage beginning cyclists from riding on the streets at all"My kids started learning VC techniques around age 5. You just have to start with the right streets. If a city is built right, you can cover a LOT of ground on residential streets.VC is basically the same thing every 16-year-old learns to do, minus the motor.
@Stuart"Perhaps you would still call that 'fear' but the point is that it is not unlearnable."Of course it is. The easiest and most empowering means to that end is to seek to be educated, confront the fear on a regular basis and learn to overcome it. The less empowering, but more contemporary way is to seek psychological counseling. Either way, irrational fear is very much "unlearnable".
Once again, this discussion and some of the comments about education of cyclists makes me wonder if the bike shops are somewhat negligent (hey, we just sell 'em, we don't teach you what to do with 'em once you've got 'em. That's your business).It also makes me wonder just where the HELL the money that I spend on my "Lance" plate every year goes. It was supposed to go to a separate fund for education, but I'm eerily suspicious about it's use in the political process. Robyn, tell me where the money is, or do we need to call the auditors?
If you want to get to the bike shops, you have to get to the industry. Right now they're getting a steady diet of Koolaid from Bikes Belong. The thinking is, if people think they have to learn something they won't buy our toys!OTOH, look what the motorcycle industry does:http://www.msf-usa.org/
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