Traffic Calming vs Bicycles

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Eric Vey, May 31, 2003.

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  1. Eric Vey

    Eric Vey Guest

    A few months ago I moved to a small city of 25,000 people. A few days after I arrived and was still
    moving in, a new street project was begun on a busy 2 lane street. The city began taking up the
    asphalt surface and replaced it with brick. The neighbors said it was an attempt to change a street
    that had become a minor artery into a lesser used road for local traffic.

    Bricking streets in this city has become a major effort. Looking over the city commission minutes
    from the last few months, it appears that everyone in town wants brick streets to slow down traffic.
    Indeed, when I saw all the bricked streets, many of them in disrepair, I purchased a MTB rather than
    a street bike. The brick streets don't bother me too much.

    But I was not happy when I saw what took shape as work continued over the last few months. The
    street was dramatically narrowed as well as bricked. A sidewalk was added, so that there are now
    sidewalks on both sides of the street, but the new sidewalk is almost 6' wide. This looked odd to
    me, so I asked one of the workers why the sidewalk was so wide.

    He said that the wider sidewalk was to give room to the bicycles since the street had been narrowed.
    It is not illegal to ride on the sidewalks in Florida.

    I am not too concerned about this particular stretch, since I have found side streets to get around
    it, but I am concerned that the traffic engineer may be on the wrong track and already they are
    talking about bricking a section where there is no way to get around it. I am also concerned that
    the city got a federal grant to brick this street and I wonder if the state and fed engineers think
    this wide sidewalk business is a good idea or if they even looked at the plans at all.

    I am new here and don't know anyone. There is an advocacy club for the area, but not in the city. I
    will join it this month. I am new to this whole idea of traffic planning for bicycles, but there is
    a lot of info on the web and I haven't seen any of it advocating wide sidewalks for bicycles.

    Am I off base to ask the city traffic engineer where he got this idea knowing that he will probably
    take offense to the question?
     
    Tags:


  2. On Sat, 31 May 2003 08:38:05 -0700, Eric Vey wrote: ...
    > Bricking streets in this city has become a major effort. Looking over the city commission minutes
    > from the last few months, it appears that everyone in town wants brick streets to slow down
    > traffic. Indeed, when I saw all the bricked streets, many of them in disrepair, I purchased a MTB
    > rather than a street bike. The brick streets don't bother me too much.
    ...
    > But I was not happy when I saw what took shape as work continued over the last few months. The
    > street was dramatically narrowed as well as bricked. A sidewalk was added, so that there are now
    > sidewalks on both sides of the street, but the new sidewalk is almost 6' wide. This looked odd to
    > me, so I asked one of the workers why the sidewalk was so wide.
    >
    > He said that the wider sidewalk was to give room to the bicycles since the street had been
    > narrowed. It is not illegal to ride on the sidewalks in Florida.

    Riding on a sidewalk, expecially in a residential area, is unsafe, don't do it. You have the
    bike, ride the street. The lanes are probably too narrow so you will need to take the lane.
    Consider yourself a critical mass of one (except that you can control your actions and ride in a
    legal manner).

    > I am not too concerned about this particular stretch, since I have found side streets to get
    > around it, but I am concerned that the traffic engineer may be on the wrong track and already they
    > are talking about bricking a section where there is no way to get around it. I am also concerned
    > that the city got a federal grant to brick this street and I wonder if the state and fed engineers
    > think this wide sidewalk business is a good idea or if they even looked at the plans at all.

    Enlist other cyclists to ride the street too. You may want to review your state's vehicle/traffic
    code. There should be a bikes are vehicles or bikes have the same rights and responsibilities as
    vehicles clause. This means you cannot be forced of the road by threats or by law. Your idea is to
    make the city aware of the bad effects of narrow roads. Knowing the law ahead of time will keep the
    backlash focused on the roads as the problem and not cyclists.

    > I am new here and don't know anyone. There is an advocacy club for the area, but not in the city.
    > I will join it this month. I am new to this whole idea of traffic planning for bicycles, but there
    > is a lot of info on the web and I haven't seen any of it advocating wide sidewalks for bicycles.

    Join ASAP. Get a copy of John Forester's Bicycle Transportation and JF's Effective Cycling if you do
    not have a copy. Other good references are AASHTO's Guide to Bicycle Facilities (may not be the
    exact title). If you are not familiar with the methods of Effective Cycling then find a League
    Cycling Class. Read JF's five rules, they are available on his web site at
    http://www.johnforester.com.

    > Am I off base to ask the city traffic engineer where he got this idea knowing that he will
    > probably take offense to the question?

    Propose that bicycle lanes be put in to narrow the lanes for traffic calming. While actually
    detrimental to cyclists, they do seem better than what is being done. Make sure the bike lanes end
    before each intersection. Where I live the bike lane lines turn to dashed lines and drivers still do
    not merge to the right before turning right.

    Someone better informed about federal programs may be able to help as these "improvements" are
    removing bicycle facilities and may not conform to federal guidelines.

    Richard "I have stuff to do in Huntington Beach too" Kaiser
     
  3. Mark Weaver

    Mark Weaver Guest

    "Richard Kaiser" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > On Sat, 31 May 2003 08:38:05 -0700, Eric Vey wrote: ...
    > > Bricking streets in this city has become a major effort. Looking over the city commission
    > > minutes from the last few months, it appears that everyone in town wants brick streets to slow
    > > down traffic. Indeed, when I saw all the bricked streets, many of them in disrepair, I purchased
    > > a MTB rather than a street bike. The brick streets don't bother me too much.
    > ...
    > > But I was not happy when I saw what took shape as work continued over the last few months. The
    > > street was dramatically narrowed as well as bricked. A sidewalk was added, so that there are now
    > > sidewalks on both sides of the street, but the new sidewalk is almost 6' wide. This looked odd
    > > to me, so I asked one of the workers why the sidewalk was so wide.
    > >
    > > He said that the wider sidewalk was to give room to the bicycles since the street had been
    > > narrowed. It is not illegal to ride on the sidewalks in Florida.
    >
    > Riding on a sidewalk, expecially in a residential area, is unsafe, don't do it. You have the bike,
    > ride the street. The lanes are probably too narrow so you will need to take the lane. Consider
    > yourself a critical mass of one (except that you can control your actions and ride in a legal
    > manner).
    >

    Right, but this *should* be a net positive for bikes. The idea is to slow traffic to such an extent
    that riding with the cars should be safer than before (and the through traffic will seek other
    routes). We've got some of those changes coming here, too -- mostly in the form of one way streets
    being converted back to 2-way.
     
  4. "Eric Vey" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > Am I off base to ask the city traffic engineer where he got this idea knowing that he will
    > probably take offense to the question?

    Perhaps its time to form a Bike Advisory group that would sit down with the traffic engineers and
    planners on a quarterly basis to review changes that would affect bicycles.

    At our last Bike/Ped Advisory meeting, we worked with a city engineer who was trying to figure out
    how far to extend a speed hump on a street that needs traffic calming that the city has designated
    as a bicycle route. He knew that they didn't want it to only go as far as the fog line, because
    drivers would dip over to the right side past the fog line to avoid half of the hump. He thought the
    best thing to do would be to have the hump go half way between the space between the fog line and
    the curb pan. After much discussion, the cyclists on the committee said the best plan of action
    would be to have the hump go all the way to the curb pan. Our concern was that a cyclist riding at
    night to the right of the fog line could easily hit the sloping edge of the hump unexpectedly and
    fall. If the hump went the whole distance to the curb pan and then was marked with reflective
    chevrons, a cyclist would at least see the hump clearly, anticipate its existence, and hit it
    straight on. Since the road is a back way in to Microsoft (accessible by bike but not by car) the
    idea that there is a fair bit of regular bike commuter traffic in the dark on that street is not
    that far fetched.

    A part of the conversation I thought was revealing. I asked the engineer if the intent was to slow
    the bicycle traffic to the same 15 mph as the cars. He looked dumbfounded and asked, "you mean, you
    can go that fast?" As it turned out, the next weekend I happened to be riding on that street and
    took a glance at my cyclocomputer. The road has a minor slope, and I was cruising at 24 mph with
    little effort.

    OK, it's a long story, but it goes to show -- most of the people designing these facilities are not
    cyclists, and perhaps the majority of their life bike experience is going 5 mph on a sidewalk when
    they were 10 years old. They aren't necessarily thinking about regular bicyclists when they design
    traffic facilities, and perhaps they might appreciate your input.

    Warm Regards,

    Claire Petersky ([email protected]) Home of the meditative cyclist:
    http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm

    Singing with you at: http://www.tiferet.net/

    Books just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at: http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky
     
  5. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Claire Petersky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > "Eric Vey" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > > Am I off base to ask the city traffic engineer where he
    got this idea
    > > knowing that he will probably take offense to the
    question?

    > Perhaps its time to form a Bike Advisory group that would
    sit down
    > with the traffic engineers and planners on a quarterly
    basis to review
    > changes that would affect bicycles.

    <snip>

    > OK, it's a long story, but it goes to show -- most of the
    people
    > designing these facilities are not cyclists, and perhaps
    the majority
    > of their life bike experience is going 5 mph on a sidewalk
    when they
    > were 10 years old. They aren't necessarily thinking about
    regular
    > bicyclists when they design traffic facilities, and
    perhaps they might
    > appreciate your input.

    I think you're right on all counts.

    What do you think the best resource is that we could point traffic engineers to? What would a
    cycling-savvy traffic engineer use as a reference for best practices?

    Matt O.
     
  6. Rainman

    Rainman Guest

    In our city of about 25,000 there's an effort to speed traffic up, not slow it down. Consider
    youself lucky. Traffic planners insist on keep traiffic moving as quickly as possible, safe or not.

    Regards,

    "Eric Vey" <[email protected]> wrote
    > Bricking streets in this city has become a major effort. Looking over the city commission minutes
    > from the last few months, it appears that everyone in town wants brick streets to slow down
    > traffic.
     
  7. Goimir

    Goimir Guest

    Rainman wrote:
    >
    > In our city of about 25,000 there's an effort to speed traffic up, not slow it down.
    > Consider youself lucky. Traffic planners insist on keep traiffic moving as quickly as
    > possible, safe or not.
    >

    Well, if they accomplish this by creating roads with multiple lanes, it's good. I'd rather ride on a
    road with 2 lanes going in my direction because I can just take the lane whenever I want. Those
    sections that have had "traffic calming"(which I call driver enraging, because that's all it does),
    and are reduced to one lane and instead have a quite useless left turn lane are rather difficult to
    navigate. People trying to pass in all sorts of unsafe ways.
     
  8. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    Goimir wrote:

    > I'd rather ride on a road with 2 lanes going in my direction because I can just take the lane
    > whenever I want.

    One wide lane is better than two narrow ones, IMO. Motorists seem comfortable with sharing one wide
    lane with a bicycle, but they tend to get testy when the see you taking up one of "their" lanes.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
  9. Goimir

    Goimir Guest

    Terry Morse wrote:

    > One wide lane is better than two narrow ones, IMO. Motorists seem comfortable with sharing
    > one wide lane with a bicycle, but they tend to get testy when the see you taking up one of
    > "their" lanes.

    I've had more obscenities yelled at me, by far, when cycling on a street with one lane in the
    direction that I'm traveling in. If your experience is different, let me know, I've really only
    cycled in the Scranton PA area.
     
  10. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    Goimir wrote:

    > Terry Morse wrote:
    >
    > > One wide lane is better than two narrow ones, IMO. Motorists seem comfortable with sharing one
    > > wide lane with a bicycle, but they tend to get testy when the see you taking up one of "their"
    > > lanes.
    >
    > I've had more obscenities yelled at me, by far, when cycling on a street with one lane in the
    > direction that I'm traveling in. If your experience is different, let me know, I've really only
    > cycled in the Scranton PA area.

    No such problem around here when the lane is wide enough. Maybe the lanes in Scranton don't have a
    wide curb. When there's plenty of width, cars don't seem to have any problem sharing the lane around
    here. I suspect bikes on the street are more common in this area, also.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
  11. George Peavy

    George Peavy Guest

    Claire Petersky wrote:

    [ ... ]

    > A part of the conversation I thought was revealing. I asked the engineer if the intent was to slow
    > the bicycle traffic to the same 15 mph as the cars. He looked dumbfounded and asked, "you mean,
    > you can go that fast?" As it turned out, the next weekend I happened to be riding on that street
    > and took a glance at my cyclocomputer. The road has a minor slope, and I was cruising at 24 mph
    > with little effort.
    >
    > OK, it's a long story, but it goes to show -- most of the people designing these facilities are
    > not cyclists, and perhaps the majority of their life bike experience is going 5 mph on a sidewalk
    > when they were 10 years old. They aren't necessarily thinking about regular bicyclists when they
    > design traffic facilities, and perhaps they might appreciate your input.

    This is one of the most important things to keep in mind when the issue of bicycle/motorist
    interaction is at issue -- both from the standpoint of the planners and traffic engineers, as well
    as individual motorists. For the majority of the non-cycling public, a cyclist is essentially a
    glorified pedestrian, not a vehicle that participates in traffic as another vehicle with the same
    rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle.

    To the majority of non-cyclists, the term "biker" (which, from that perspective, is interchangeable
    with "cyclist") tends to conjure a number of stereotypes:

    - A child that rides a bicycle to school;
    - A casual adult who rides a low-end bike purchased at *-Mart, in mostly residential neighborhoods;
    - The person who rides an ill-repaired beater bike, with little regard for any kind of traffic
    rules, including (frequently) riding against traffic.

    These are all casual riders with frequently junk equipment, and minimal enough bike handling skills,
    that are ill-prepared to ride in real traffic. The number of people who actually ride regularly and
    whose cumulative weekly mileage is measured in tens, if not hundreds of miles
    (e.g., commuters, fast fitness or competitive riders) is small enough as to be frequently invisible
    to the planners.

    For me personally, I find that the most frequent source of run-ins that I have with motorists is not
    understanding how fast I'm going; even on a busy road that has traffic going in excess of 50 mph
    (e.g., Hayden Road in Scottsdale, AZ), the 15 to 20 mph I'm going is far more compatible with the
    motor vehicle traffic on the road, than the collection of miscellaneous runners, joggers, walkers,
    roller bladers, etc.) on the nearby "bicycle path".

    To this end, there are a handful of places where I ride, where I may stay well to the center of the
    lane, because of the relative speed factor (motor vehicle traffic in these places is not especially
    fast), I want to make sure that if a motorist overtakes and passes, he/she does so by having to move
    into the left lane (on a 4-lane road) to deliberately pass me as a vehicle, rather than trying to
    squeeze past me, and pass too closely.

    When I lived in Pasadena, CA, there's a place near the Rose Bowl, where there's a 4-lane road that
    goes about 1/8 of a mile between a major boulevard and a freeway crossing. In that place, the
    majority of vehicles comes up the boulevard, makes a left turn onto the crossroad, and the moves
    over into the right lane to make a right turn (normally on a red light) on to the freeway onramp.
    When I rode there, I had numerous problems with impatient drivers that would cut me off, mostly
    because they didn't realize that I was going a lot faster than they realized. On that particular
    place, when I started riding the center of the lane, I had a lot less problem with being cut off.

    Anyway, my .02

    George Peavy
     
  12. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "George Peavy" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Claire Petersky wrote:
    >
    > [ ... ]
    >
    > > A part of the conversation I thought was revealing. I
    asked the
    > > engineer if the intent was to slow the bicycle traffic
    to the same 15
    > > mph as the cars. He looked dumbfounded and asked, "you
    mean, you can
    > > go that fast?" As it turned out, the next weekend I
    happened to be
    > > riding on that street and took a glance at my
    cyclocomputer. The road
    > > has a minor slope, and I was cruising at 24 mph with
    little effort.
    > >
    > > OK, it's a long story, but it goes to show -- most of
    the people
    > > designing these facilities are not cyclists, and perhaps
    the majority
    > > of their life bike experience is going 5 mph on a
    sidewalk when they
    > > were 10 years old. They aren't necessarily thinking
    about regular
    > > bicyclists when they design traffic facilities, and
    perhaps they might
    > > appreciate your input.
    >
    >
    > This is one of the most important things to keep in mind
    when the issue
    > of bicycle/motorist interaction is at issue -- both from
    the standpoint
    > of the planners and traffic engineers, as well as
    individual motorists.
    > For the majority of the non-cycling public, a cyclist is
    essentially a
    > glorified pedestrian, not a vehicle that participates in
    traffic as
    > another vehicle with the same rights and responsibilities
    as a motor
    > vehicle.
    >
    > To the majority of non-cyclists, the term "biker" (which,
    from that
    > perspective, is interchangeable with "cyclist") tends to
    conjure a
    > number of stereotypes:
    >
    > - A child that rides a bicycle to school;
    > - A casual adult who rides a low-end bike purchased at
    *-Mart, in mostly
    > residential neighborhoods;
    > - The person who rides an ill-repaired beater bike, with
    little regard
    > for any kind of traffic rules, including (frequently)
    riding against
    > traffic.

    I think these stereotypes are held more by people who consider themselves serious cyclists than the
    public at large -- who probably lump the last 3 together.

    > These are all casual riders with frequently junk
    equipment, and minimal
    > enough bike handling skills, that are ill-prepared to ride
    in real
    > traffic. The number of people who actually ride regularly
    and whose
    > cumulative weekly mileage is measured in tens, if not
    hundreds of miles
    > (e.g., commuters, fast fitness or competitive riders) is
    small enough as
    > to be frequently invisible to the planners.

    I bet there are more people riding this "junk equipment", often reasonably long distances to work,
    than "serious" cyclists on "good' bikes. I used to live in one of the most outdoor sports oriented,
    toy obsessed, yuppie neighborhoods in the entire US. Still, there were many more restaurant and
    warehouse workers riding Walgooses to and from work than all the yuppies on their "good" bikes. And
    for every Walgoose rider going the wrong way or riding with no lights at night (while dressed in
    black), theres probably a yuppie on a Merlin who's too important to obey red lights or stop signs.

    In summary, I don't think these stereotypes are appropriate at all.

    > For me personally, I find that the most frequent source of
    run-ins that
    > I have with motorists is not understanding how fast I'm
    going; even on a
    > busy road that has traffic going in excess of 50 mph
    (e.g., Hayden Road
    > in Scottsdale, AZ), the 15 to 20 mph I'm going is far more
    compatible
    > with the motor vehicle traffic on the road, than the
    collection of
    > miscellaneous runners, joggers, walkers, roller bladers,
    etc.) on the
    > nearby "bicycle path".

    I agree, and this is what caught my eye about your post. This is the #1 danger while riding in
    traffic, and the #1 thing I've had to learn through all my years riding. I notice others with less
    experience in traffic than I tend to have close calls related to this issue -- whether it's getting
    right-hooked, people making left turns in front of them, or people pulling out right in front of or
    on top of them, it's all drivers not judging cyclists' speed accurately.

    > To this end, there are a handful of places where I ride,
    where I may
    > stay well to the center of the lane, because of the
    relative speed
    > factor (motor vehicle traffic in these places is not
    especially fast), I
    > want to make sure that if a motorist overtakes and passes,
    he/she does
    > so by having to move into the left lane (on a 4-lane road)
    to
    > deliberately pass me as a vehicle, rather than trying to
    squeeze past
    > me, and pass too closely.

    The law in most states usually says something about riding as far to the right as is practicable.
    This means staying to the right in general, but allows you to make whatever adjustment is necessary
    to avoid hazards, while still making reasonable progress. These hazards can be potholes, the threat
    of car doors opening, or being squeezed off the road by an impatient driver. You are required to
    stay to the right, but you are not required to yield right of way.

    > When I lived in Pasadena, CA, there's a place near the
    Rose Bowl, where
    > there's a 4-lane road that goes about 1/8 of a mile
    between a major
    > boulevard and a freeway crossing. In that place, the
    majority of
    > vehicles comes up the boulevard, makes a left turn onto
    the crossroad,
    > and the moves over into the right lane to make a right
    turn (normally on
    > a red light) on to the freeway onramp. When I rode there,
    I had
    > numerous problems with impatient drivers that would cut me
    off, mostly
    > because they didn't realize that I was going a lot faster
    than they
    > realized. On that particular place, when I started riding
    the center of
    > the lane, I had a lot less problem with being cut off.

    I am familiar with that spot, and I have done the same thing.

    Matt O.
     
  13. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    >Am I off base to ask the city traffic engineer where he got this idea knowing that he will probably
    >take offense to the question?

    No. Ask them.
    -----------------
    Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
     
  14. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    >OK, it's a long story, but it goes to show -- most of the people designing these facilities are not
    >cyclists, and perhaps the majority of their life bike experience is going 5 mph on a sidewalk when
    >they were 10 years old. They aren't necessarily thinking about regular bicyclists when they design
    >traffic facilities, and perhaps they might appreciate your input.

    I have doubts about any traffic engineer who thinks adding a a bump, or hump to a roadway is a good
    idea. It is stupid and at best a band aid solution to the real problem.
    -----------------
    Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
     
  15. Goimir

    Goimir Guest

    Terry Morse wrote:

    > No such problem around here when the lane is wide enough. Maybe the lanes in Scranton don't have a
    > wide curb. When there's plenty of width, cars don't seem to have any problem sharing the lane
    > around here. I suspect bikes on the street are more common in this area, also.

    It would seem that I'm a problem to them when there isn't a line (solid or dotted) in between us.
    Either in another lane, or in the shoulder(there's one shoulder that I ride in on my commute, up
    what all you guys would consider a small 200' climb. I manage about 6 mph up it, and that's huffing
    and puffing).

    But there are some sections where it's a fairly wide single lane, and cagers still can't seem to
    deal, at least not all of them.
     
  16. Robin Hubert

    Robin Hubert Guest

    "Alex Rodriguez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > >OK, it's a long story, but it goes to show -- most of the people designing these facilities are
    > >not cyclists, and perhaps the majority of their life bike experience is going 5 mph on a sidewalk
    > >when they were 10 years old. They aren't necessarily thinking about regular bicyclists when they
    > >design traffic facilities, and perhaps they might appreciate your input.
    >
    > I have doubts about any traffic engineer who thinks adding a a bump, or hump to a roadway is a
    > good idea. It is stupid and at best a band aid solution to the real problem.
    > -----------------

    If you don't mind me asking, what is your solution to the larger problem? I like minimizing access
    to residential areas and 20mph (strongly enforced - ha-ha!) speed limit.

    --
    Robin Hubert <[email protected]
     
  17. In article <[email protected]>, Alex Rodriguez <[email protected]> wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > >OK, it's a long story, but it goes to show -- most of the people designing these facilities are
    > >not cyclists, and perhaps the majority of their life bike experience is going 5 mph on a sidewalk
    > >when they were 10 years old. They aren't necessarily thinking about regular bicyclists when they
    > >design traffic facilities, and perhaps they might appreciate your input.
    >
    > I have doubts about any traffic engineer who thinks adding a a bump, or hump to a roadway is a
    > good idea. It is stupid and at best a band aid solution to the real problem.

    I'm pretty happy about the humps they put on my street. It's a narrow residential street but it
    lines up with a freeway exit, so a lot of cars were going 50 MPH or thereabouts down the block. No
    more. I guess handling the real problem would be getting rid of the freeway...
     
  18. "Eric Vey" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > .
    > > Am I off base to ask the city traffic engineer where he got this idea
    > knowing that he will probably take offense to the question?

    As long as you're tactful, why would they be offended?

    "Are you a clueless idiot, or did you intentionally set out to endanger cyclists" is always a
    good ice-breaker.

    I've seen all kinds of "clever" ideas for traffic calming. I'd say the "engineers" are even more
    out of touch than usual. Creates hazards for vehicles and I doubt it makes it safer for
    pedestrians.

    "Best" are the streets where the sidewalk bulges 4 or 5 feet into the road every so often, to force
    vehicles to swerve into oncoming traffic, or smash into the curb. Naturally, these are invisible at
    night. So they added a small post with one reflective stripe on it. Enough people smashed into the
    almost invisible post (after jumping the curb) that they put an orange safety pylon over it. Need I
    continue ? My tax dollars at work.:-(

    On other streets, they dropped large concrete planters here and there in the road. Again, lots of
    crashes and damage. Oh, did I mention that we get snow? Did I mention that snowplows have a
    slight problems running an obstacle course?

    We also have some speed humps. We had speed bumps, but they did so much damage to cars and
    snowplows that they were removed.

    One reasonable idea is a 1 foot wide slot in some barriers, just enough for a bike to pass
    through. Not everywhere. For example - they created a dead-end street by extending the sidewalk
    to block most traffic, but left the one foot wide slot for bicycles to ride through.

    We also have the mazes of one-way streets which reverse direction every block. This drives people
    crazy. Wrong-way cyclists who ignore the law love them.

    Speaking of slaloms, some of our bike paths have staggered gates intended to force cyclists to
    dismount and walk. As one little girl put it as she slalommed (?word) through with a HUGE grin on
    her face, "I ****LOVE**** these things !!!!"

    (of course, the gates which are painted black are invisible at night. Don't ask me how I
    know :-( )

    You might suggest that the engineers actually ride along with some experienced cyclists and
    solicit opinions on their hare-brained schemes to squander taxpayers' money.

    hth
     
  19. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    >
    >"Alex Rodriguez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >> In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >>
    >> >OK, it's a long story, but it goes to show -- most of the people designing these facilities are
    >> >not cyclists, and perhaps the majority of their life bike experience is going 5 mph on a
    >> >sidewalk when they were 10 years old. They aren't necessarily thinking about regular bicyclists
    >> >when they design traffic facilities, and perhaps they might appreciate your input.
    >>
    >> I have doubts about any traffic engineer who thinks adding a a bump, or hump to a roadway is a
    >> good idea. It is stupid and at best a band aid solution to the real problem.
    >> -----------------
    >
    >If you don't mind me asking, what is your solution to the larger problem? I like minimizing access
    >to residential areas and 20mph (strongly enforced - ha-ha!) speed limit.

    Depends on the problem. Roads are meant to allow fast and efficient flow of traffic, otherwise why
    bother building a road. When you add a speed bump, you have just taken a step backwards. You analyze
    the problem. See what is causing the problem, and then formulate solution. Many times the people
    deciding on the solution, speed bump, have no formal training in traffic enginerring.
    -----------------
    Alex __O _-\<,_ (_)/ (_)
     
  20. Bob

    Bob Guest

    "Alex Rodriguez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > >
    > >
    > >"Alex Rodriguez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > >news:[email protected]...
    > >> In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > >>
    > >> >OK, it's a long story, but it goes to show -- most of the people designing these facilities
    > >> >are not cyclists, and perhaps the majority of their life bike experience is going 5 mph on a
    > >> >sidewalk when they were 10 years old. They aren't necessarily thinking about regular
    > >> >bicyclists when they design traffic facilities, and perhaps they might appreciate your input.
    > >>
    > >> I have doubts about any traffic engineer who thinks adding a a bump, or hump to a roadway is a
    > >> good idea. It is stupid and at best a band aid solution to the real problem.
    > >> -----------------
    > >
    > >If you don't mind me asking, what is your solution to the larger problem?
    I
    > >like minimizing access to residential areas and 20mph (strongly
    enforced -
    > >ha-ha!) speed limit.
    >
    > Depends on the problem. Roads are meant to allow fast and efficient flow
    of
    > traffic, otherwise why bother building a road. When you add a speed bump, you have just taken a
    > step backwards. You analyze the problem. See what
    is
    > causing the problem, and then formulate solution. Many times the people deciding on the solution,
    > speed bump, have no formal training in traffic enginerring.
    > -----------------
    > Alex __O

    I'm not sure what you're saying. I live in CT. Let me explain two problems to you. On the street
    where I live, there's an intersection with a 4-way stop (via signs). This street is in a "city" and
    people tend to use the street as a thoroughfare. People generally blow through the stop, or barely
    stop, then barrel down my street. By the time they're at my house, they're doing a good double the
    speed limit. I used to live in a different area. There, the homes were on one-acre lots. My mailbox
    was across the street that passed in front of my house. People regularly double the speed limit,
    which is quite dangerous for a pedestrian, especially when you're standing basically in the weeds
    trying to get your mail.

    Basically, you can get as many engineers on this problem as you want to. There's no way that the
    cities involved are going to change the structure of the roads, and they probably can't do it even
    if they wanted to. There aren't many solutions other than adding a speed bump.

    --
    Bob ctviggen at rcn dot com
     
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