Detroit sucks for bikes! Any Detroit riders out there?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Matt O'Toole, Mar 22, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    I was talking to a friend in Detroit this evening about how un- bike friendly a city it is. She went
    out for the day on her bike, and stayed out later than planned. She assumed she could take her bike
    on a bus if she got caught out -- after all, LA buses have bike racks on the front, and many cities
    not so equipped will let you bring a bike on a bus if it's not too crowded. Anyway, she would up
    leaving the bike with someone 'til she could return the next day and pick it up, rather than ride
    home at night through a bad neighborhood.

    So, is Detroit really that bad for bikes? Any ideas? Advocacy groups? Any Detroit bike resources I
    can point her to?

    Matt O.
     
    Tags:


  2. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

  3. Karen M.

    Karen M. Guest

    Matt wrote:
    > I was talking to a friend in Detroit this evening about how un- bike friendly a city it is. She
    > went out for the day on her bike, and stayed out later than planned. She assumed she could take
    > her bike on a bus if she got caught out -- after all, LA buses have bike racks on the front, and
    > many cities not so equipped will let you bring a bike on a bus if it's not too crowded. Anyway,
    > she would up leaving the bike with someone 'til she could return the next day and pick it up,
    > rather than ride home at night through a bad neighborhood.
    >
    > So, is Detroit really that bad for bikes? Any ideas? Advocacy groups? Any Detroit bike resources I
    > can point her to?

    Sorry for the short notice on this event. I have a buddy who works for SMART (the suburban bus
    system) and he says they intend to get bike racks, but are waiting until the transit bill that
    will combine SMART and DOT (the Detroit city system) goes through. They want racks on all the
    buses, not just a few. HTH --Karen M.

    Bike Feast on Sunday March 23, 2003

    Hostelling International-Michigan Council is pleased to host this year's bike feast at the Gerry
    Kulick Community Center in Ferndale from
    3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Call the Hostelling International Office at 248-545-0511 for more details or
    check the website at www.HI-Michigan.org. Join bike riders from other Metro Detroit bike-riding
    clubs for this annual potluck dinner. Guests should wear their club shirts, bring a side dish or
    dessert to pass with utensil, and a non-alcoholic beverage. Tickets are $5, which includes games,
    and other bike related festivities. There will be an optional fund raising bike ride ($5 Day of
    Event), weather permitting (no precipitation, a minimum 35 degrees, and no high winds) at 12:30
    p.m.
     
  4. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

  5. Zoot Katz <[email protected]> wrote:
    : Windsor, eh.

    yea, sure, lucky detroit. but there's no canadian city near denver (and especially aurora)! what the
    hell am i to do? they've never heard of shoulders here (in aurora it's common to see sidewalks
    directly next to a shoulderless road, cars go by at 45mph less than a few feet off the sidewalk).
    they keep building these frou-frou urban trails -- i've never seen another city so intent on
    segregating cars and cyclists.

    rant off .. thank you kindly.
    --
    david reuteler [email protected]
     
  6. Rattrigg

    Rattrigg Guest

    Detroit is bad for bikes? I wouldnt feel to comfortable on the busses either.
     
  7. > what the hell am i to do? they've never heard of shoulders here (in aurora it's common to see
    > sidewalks directly next to a shoulderless road, cars go by at 45mph less than a few feet off the
    > sidewalk). they keep building these frou-frou urban trails -- i've never seen another city so
    > intent on segregating cars and cyclists.

    I don't need no stinkin' shoulder. Smooth, paved, sealed roads? I'll take that. Unless I'm expressly
    prohibited from riding on the road--tunnels, some bridges, limited-access highways--I'm mixing it up
    in traffic.

    London isn't cycling paradise by a long stretch, but it offers many lessons in how to behave in
    dense urban traffic.

    My favourite road-users are the mounted policemen. The horses clop nicely along in the bus lane--but
    should they need to make a right turn, the horses clop obediently into the right-turning lane, yield
    to oncoming traffic, and then make a by-the-book right turn. Automobiles are obliged to respect them
    as traffic. (the downside to sharing the road with them are the road apples, but that's what God in
    His wisdom gave us full mudguards for)

    If you want to get anywhere, you've got to get on the road. You don't see the Hells' Angels
    campaigning for separate harley lanes, do you?

    -Luigi London (england, not ontario)

    "Over the mountain of the moon Down the valley of the shadow-- Ride, boldly ride," the Shade
    replied, "if you seek for Eldorado"
     
  8. Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> wrote:
    : I don't need no stinkin' shoulder. Smooth, paved, sealed roads? I'll take that. Unless I'm
    : expressly prohibited from riding on the road--tunnels, some bridges, limited-access highways--I'm
    : mixing it up in traffic.

    hey luigi. well, it's manageable but it's the classic problem of ride too far right and the cars try
    and pass too close w/o changing lanes, ride a decent amount out and they queue up behind you unable
    to pass honking and swearing and of course, telling you to get on the trail. unnecessary animosity.
    i can't figure out why no shoulders? there is literally nothing to the right of the traffic lane
    'cept the gutter. increases the thickness of your skin, tho.

    : London isn't cycling paradise by a long stretch, but it offers many lessons in how to behave in
    : dense urban traffic.

    london is legendary. your skin must already be thick.

    : If you want to get anywhere, you've got to get on the road. You don't see the Hells' Angels
    : campaigning for separate harley lanes, do you?

    yep. i'm not asking for bike lanes. i found los angeles to have more bike friendly streets.
    --
    david reuteler [email protected]
     
  9. David Reuteler <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> wrote:
    > : I don't need no stinkin' shoulder. Smooth, paved, sealed roads? I'll take that. Unless I'm
    > : expressly prohibited from riding on the road--tunnels, some bridges, limited-access
    > : highways--I'm mixing it up in traffic.
    >
    > hey luigi. well, it's manageable but it's the classic problem of ride too far right and the cars
    > try and pass too close w/o changing lanes, ride a decent amount out and they queue up behind you
    > unable to pass honking and swearing and of course, telling you to get on the trail. unnecessary
    > animosity.

    The well-worn rule of thumb is to ride in the right tire track (left tyre track for UK, etc), hold
    your line, and be predictable. You cannot let yourself be scared.

    >i can't figure out why no shoulders? there is literally nothing to the right of the traffic lane
    >'cept the gutter. increases the thickness of your skin, tho.
    >

    We had a pet traffic engineer from Arizona who posted on this n/g some time ago, and he could get
    technical (Richard C. Moeur, are you out there??). My layman's understanding is this: hard shoulders
    (and broad, hard shoulders at that) are a luxury. I have seen them most often on fast roads with few
    branching intersections and open countryside--in this capacity they serve as an emergency pull-out
    for cars. In the city, I see no argument for installing shoulders. Space constraints in a big city
    (and again, London has taught me a great deal about *that*) make shoulders uneconomical at best. You
    are dealing with a zero-sum game: more asphalted surface means less pedestrian space...

    Here in London, there are now a series of bicycle lanes marked on the street; they are a handlebar's
    width and no more...but they also happen to be in the parking lane,and when cars are parked on the
    street, you're compelled to ride out with the cars. In any event, on the narrowest streets in the,
    there aren't any marked cycle lanes, but the streets are narrow enough that it doesn't
    matter--nobody would be fool enough to overtake. (I'm thinking here particularly of
    Bloomsbury/Soho/Covent Garden...)

    > : London isn't cycling paradise by a long stretch, but it offers many lessons in how to behave in
    > : dense urban traffic.
    >
    > london is legendary. your skin must already be thick.

    I guess. All it takes is a reason to get from point A to point B, and to do it on a bicycle. Mix it
    up with the peds, and you never get there, and you'll be better off walking--at least you don't have
    to lug the bike around. Mix it up with the buses, and you get there faster.

    I learnt to ride in traffic in Cambridge, but I really thickened my skin in Northern Virginia. Try
    running a conversation at 20-odd mph with the redneck in an F150 with ladder racks on a four-lane
    crowded rush hour highway (Rte. 50, in Fairfax, for the curious). That toughens your skin a hell of
    a lot more.

    -Luigi

    PS: this argument was dealt with at considerable length on the thread in which this post appears

    <http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&threadm=X0sJ8.42716%246v2.1730400%40t-
    wister.southeast.rr.com&rnum=1&prev=/groups%3Fq%3DUniform%2BVehicle%2BCode%2BInternationale%26hl%3-
    Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3Dutf-8%26selm%3DX0sJ8.42716%25246v2.1730400%2540twister.southeast.r-
    r.com%26rnum%3D1
     
  10. Luigi de Guzman <[email protected]> wrote:
    : The well-worn rule of thumb is to ride in the right tire track (left tyre track for UK, etc), hold
    : your line, and be predictable. You cannot let yourself be scared.

    yes, luigi, i know that. i was bitching not looking for advice. i've been riding in this style for
    most of my life. i wouldn't even want to be a pedestrian on some of those streets as it's possible
    for someone in a car to reach out their window and hit someone walking on the sidewalk. the average
    traffic speed is around 45mph. the cars queue up behind you and honk and swear at an amazing
    frequency .. i've biked 8,900 miles in the last year and been yelled at maybe 3 times. here i get
    yelled at 2 or 3 times for every 50 mile ride. i haven't been hit by a car since 1992 and i put that
    to vehicular cycling but i am sick of being yelled at.

    i take it as obvious that you get yelled at more when roads create tension between cars and cyclists
    by severely limiting their ability to pass (esp on higher speed roads). yea, it may be a luxury.
    sure. so are paved streets.
    --
    david reuteler [email protected]
     
  11. my apologies if you've been offended at all by the tone of my previous posting.

    The only way to change things is to ride your bicycle. And get more people to ride theirs.

    Courage and solidarity,

    -Luigi
     
  12. John Foltz

    John Foltz Guest

    Can't help you with Detroit, but a few miles up the road in Lansing, ALL the busses have racks. Our
    bike club donated a chunk of money & worked a deal to get matching monies from the feds (ISETEA, I
    think)to get the project started. It was so popular that CATA (Capitol Area Transit Authority) found
    other sources of matching funds and finished it off.
    --

    John Foltz --- O _ Baron --- _O _ V-Rex 24/63 --- _\\/\-%)
    _________(_)`=()___________________(_)= (_)_____
     
  13. Eldredp

    Eldredp Guest

    >I was talking to a friend in Detroit this evening about how un- bike friendly a city it is. She
    >went out for the day on her bike, and stayed out later than planned. She assumed she could take her
    >bike on a bus if she got caught out -- after all, LA buses have bike racks on the front, and many
    >cities not so equipped will let you bring a bike on a bus if it's not too crowded. Anyway, she
    >would up leaving the bike with someone 'til she could return the next day and pick it up, rather
    >than ride home at night through a bad neighborhood.
    >
    >So, is Detroit really that bad for bikes? Any ideas? Advocacy groups? Any Detroit bike resources I
    >can point her to?

    I have not seen bike racks on ANY Detroit, or even Oakland County busses. The Ann arbor busses have
    racks. In Detroit, your main problem would be the condition of the streets. Potholes, broken glass,
    etc. As far as bad neighborhoods, there are several of those in any large city. It's simple
    statistics. Doesn't make the city good or bad - just normal...

    Eldred
    --
    Homepage - http://www.umich.edu/~epickett GPLRank:-1.680 MonsterRank: +334.169 N2002 Rank:+17.59

    Never argue with an idiot. He brings you down to his level, then beats you with experience... Remove
    SPAM-OFF to reply.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...