Vote for Peace: Ride a Bicycle!!!

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Don Quijote, Mar 20, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Don Quijote

    Don Quijote Guest

    (the emphasis in capital letters and quotes is mine)

    Source: "Green Urbanism: Learning from European Cities," by Timothy Beatley.

    Bicycles as a legitimate form of mobility.

    There are few mobility options more environmentally-friendly than bicycles. They are zero emissions,
    take up relatively little space, are inexpensive, are available to the young and old alike, and
    provide their users with important physical exercise. In the United States and many other developed
    countries, we have ignored or "forgotten" this relatively low-tech mobility option. Yet, in many
    northern European cities, bicycles are a significant and legitimate mobility option and an
    increasingly important part of the transportation mix there.

    Bicycle use as a percentage of the modal split is consistently much higher in most of the cities
    examined in this study and vigorously promoted as a more environmentally friendly mode, which
    provides greater mobility than the automobile (specially for shorter distances). Most of the cities
    studied here have developed, and continue to develop, extensive and impressive bicycle networks.
    Berlin has 800 kilometers of bike lanes and Frieburg has 410 kilometers. Vienna has more than
    doubled its bicycle network since the late 1980s and now has more than 500 kilometers. Copenhagen
    has about 300 kilometers of bike lanes and now has a policy of INSTALLING BIKE LANES ALONG ALL
    MAJOR STREETS. Bicycle use there has gone up 65 per cent since 1970. These cities show commitment
    to making bicycle use easy and safe, and they reveal the key ingredients to building
    bicycle-friendly cities.

    Bicycle use in these exemplary cities is year-round proposition. Summer use of bicycles is usually
    higher in northern cities such as Copenhagen, where 40 per cent of work-commutes are by bicycle
    during these months. Nevertheless, in Copenhagen some 70 per cent of those normally bicycling also
    bicycle to work during the winter months. Similar experience can be found in Finnish cities,
    suggesting that the notion that bicycling is feasible or acceptable only in ideal weather is untrue.
    That such high rates of usage can be achieved in northern European cities suggests GREAT PROMISE FOR
    AMERICAN CITIES. And, while bicycles are specially promising for shorter trips, it is clear that
    many people are prepared to ride their bicycles considerable distances. It has been estimated that
    in Copenhagen, an average bicycle commute is 7 kilometer, or about 20 minutes --many commutes are
    longer, which indicates that many residential areas will, given facilities and safe routes, be
    within a reasonable bicycle commuting range.

    A ROAD TO FREEDOM (UNLIKE RUSSIA'S)

    Why not build a new system? That offers PROSPERITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE and FREEDOM; that discards the
    defects of both Communism and Capitalism; and that places the system at the service of the human
    being, and not the other way around. Why not HUMANISM?

    Naturally, education and health care should be the maximum priorities; they should be free -or
    affordable, in the case of higher education- and accessible to all. Education should emphasize the
    learning of English -or Esperanto, if we all ever on it- and literacy... in computers. Likewise,
    culture and sports should receive special attention (for example, adopting the affordable child-care
    centers; in general, we would have much to learn from the Scandinavian model). A MIXED MODEL, that
    includes competition and cooperation, would create a healthy competition, and it would allow to
    satisfy the material and human needs of all. (In this way, the cooperative enterprises would be
    forced to become more efficient, while capitalist enterprises would be forced to become more humane;
    we would have much to learn from the Israeli kibbutz [non-profit cooperatives]; and from the
    industrial cooperatives of Mondragon, in the Basque Country [a "workers capitalism"].) We should
    seek full employment (for instance, by creating jobs in the construction of the transportation
    infrastructure; but, if unemployment persists, the work time could be reduced). Public
    transportation should be A1. (The city of Curitiba, in Brazil, offers us a functional model of
    transportation; BICYCLE LANES SHOULD BE IMPLEMEMTED ALONG ALL MAJOR STREETS.) The homeless, who now
    occupy our better parks, should be incorporated into light but necessary duties, like picking up
    litter, in exchange for a decent wage; there should be no homeless. (Again, Curitiba is a model on
    this.) Junk food should have a warning label (just like cigarettes), particularly the one destined
    to children, and also be taxed to subsidize healthy alternatives. Housing should be available at
    popular prices. (Prefabricated multifamily units can help accomplish this; the movement of "new
    urbanism" can provide them with a sense of community and quality of life, say by having abundant
    green areas.) Public corruption should be treated as "public enemy No.1." TV and radio should be
    independent of Big Business and the State. (This is due to two reasons: culturally, because the
    ratings make bad programs become "good"... for business; and, politically, because whoever has power
    over the media... will be in power; however, people should be able to watch anything on video and
    cable; the BBC offers us and example of an independent media.) The "Free Press" should be
    democratized, so that, among other things, the censorship of the opinions of the public is
    eradicated. Politics should become cheaper to avoid its control by powerful groups (for example,
    offering free time on TV to the candidates; we would have much to learn from the political model of
    Switzerland [in particular, its political decentralization and its system of referendums]).
    Nevertheless, we should never follow neither anything nor anyone -including myself- blindly. And, of
    course, everything can be improved. Something to think about: While the prohibition of drugs has
    been largely ineffective, different studies show us alternative methods to face that problem -and
    the crime associated with them... The final form of this system would be determined by the
    acceptance of the people themselves: Each and everyone of these proposals should be submitted to
    referendum. And, the basis of everything else: We should learn to live, not FROM, but WITH Nature.

    "What worries me is not the violence of the few, but the indifference of the many"

    "Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time; the need for man
    to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence"

    -M.L. King

    A COMMENT FROM A FRIEND:

    The system you describe sounds awfully good. I'd say no country is on the road you suggest, but it
    might be a good thing for world leaders to read your article, since it could give them some goals.
    What a wonder it'd be, for example, if George Bush announced some actual long-term goals for the
    country, instead of reacting to events in a knee-jerk fashion. I'm picking on George, but much the
    same can be said of most any world leader I know of.

    -Charles

    http://webspawner.com/users/donquijote
     
    Tags:


  2. Brent P

    Brent P Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Don Quijote wrote:

    > kilometers of bike lanes and now has a policy of INSTALLING BIKE LANES ALONG ALL MAJOR
    > STREETS. Bicycle use there has gone up 65 per cent since 1970. These cities show commitment to
    > making bicycle use easy and safe, and they reveal the key ingredients to building
    > bicycle-friendly cities.

    Bikelanes are preception only. They give the preception of doing something. They calm the irrational
    fear of being hit from behind, a low frequency occurance of car-bicycle collision. In trade for this
    they make intersections far more complicated, this is not good as the most common form of
    car-bicycle collision is related to intersections.

    In reality, bike lanes exist for the convience of drivers who are lazy and bicyclists with an
    irrational fear of hit-from behind. They serve no useful traffic and add complexity to the roadway.
    Also, often bicycle lanes are poorly designed and get filled with debris.

    The proper way to calm hit-from-behind fears and not complicate the road system is to use the wide
    curb lane. This means making the rightmost lane about a lane-and-half wide and no special paint
    stripe. This allows debris to be swept to the curb while cyclists are present and drivers to pass
    easily when they are present.

    In chicago I have had the experience of riding wide curb lane roads and roads where the wide
    curb lane was then striped with a bike lane. In each case the bike lane striped configuration
    was inferior.

    > Bicycle use in these exemplary cities is year-round proposition. Summer use of bicycles is
    > usually higher in northern cities such as Copenhagen, where 40 per cent of work-commutes are by
    > bicycle during these months. Nevertheless, in Copenhagen some 70 per cent of those normally
    > bicycling also bicycle to work during the winter months. Similar experience can be found in
    > Finnish cities, suggesting that the notion that bicycling is feasible or acceptable only in ideal
    > weather is untrue.

    Come to chicago with the winter wind chill and go for a ride in the snow and freezing rain. You'll
    change your tune on that. I've done it, other than in gentle snow falls it's miserable. People do
    it, but it's not something the general population is going to be up for.
     
  3. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >Bikelanes are preception only. They give the preception of doing something. They calm the
    >irrational fear of being hit from behind, a low frequency occurance of car-bicycle collision. In
    >trade for this they make intersections far more complicated, this is not good as the most common
    >form of car-bicycle collision is related to intersections.>

    >The proper way to calm hit-from-behind fears and not complicate the road system is to use the wide
    >curb lane. This means making the rightmost lane about a lane-and-half wide and no special paint
    >stripe. This allows debris to be swept to the curb while cyclists are present and drivers to pass
    >easily when they are present.

    >In chicago I have had the experience of riding wide curb lane roads and roads where the wide curb
    >lane was then striped with a bike lane. In each case the bike lane striped configuration was
    >inferior.
    >

    Come to San Diego where there is a nice system of Bicycle Lanes that do work.

    Bike Lanes are especially nice when climbing long hills. They keep the motorists and the bicyclist
    apart so when traffic is stopped, a cyclist can keep plugging away and when the traffic is moving,
    the cars can move.

    The primary advantage of bicycle lanes are that they allow cyclists to ride unhindered while
    motorists are stopped, mired in their own excess.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  4. In article <[email protected]>, Don Quijote
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >(the emphasis in capital letters and quotes is mine)
    >
    >There are few mobility options more environmentally-friendly than bicycles.

    It's pouring outside right now. Sure am glad I have my car.

    --
    Matthew T. Russotto [email protected] "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and
    moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue." But extreme restriction of liberty in pursuit of a
    modicum of security is a very expensive vice.
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>, Brent P
    <[email protected]o.com> wrote:
    >
    >Come to chicago with the winter wind chill and go for a ride in the snow and freezing rain. You'll
    >change your tune on that. I've done it, other than in gentle snow falls it's miserable. People do
    >it, but it's not something the general population is going to be up for.

    Yeah. I rode twice in freezing rain. Not for long in either time, as it simply didn't work; the
    traction wasn't there and the ice made the bike fail. In the worse case (where we ended up with 1/4"
    of ice on the ground) the bicycle was completely coated in a sheet of ice before I got back home.
    --
    Matthew T. Russotto [email protected] "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and
    moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue." But extreme restriction of liberty in pursuit of a
    modicum of security is a very expensive vice.
     
  6. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Matthew Russotto" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, Brent P
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > >Come to chicago with the winter wind chill and go for a ride in the snow and freezing rain.
    > >You'll change your tune on that. I've done it, other than in gentle snow falls it's miserable.
    > >People do it, but it's not something the general population is going to be up for.
    >
    > Yeah. I rode twice in freezing rain. Not for long in either time, as it simply didn't work; the
    > traction wasn't there and the ice made the bike fail. In the worse case (where we ended up with
    > 1/4" of ice on the ground) the bicycle was completely coated in a sheet of ice before I got
    > back home.

    Fixed gear bike with studded tires, no worries.
     
  7. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    [email protected] (Jon Isaacs) wrote:

    >Come to San Diego where there is a nice system of Bicycle Lanes that do work.
    >
    >Bike Lanes are especially nice when climbing long hills. They keep the motorists and the bicyclist
    >apart so when traffic is stopped, a cyclist can keep plugging away and when the traffic is moving,
    >the cars can move.
    >
    >The primary advantage of bicycle lanes are that they allow cyclists to ride unhindered while
    >motorists are stopped, mired in their own excess.

    What Jon says applies to the Phoenix, Arizona east valley as well. The lanes here do work, and
    work well.

    That's not to say that there are lanes elsewhere that don't, but don't throw the baby out with the
    bathwater.

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  8. In article <[email protected]>, Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote:
    >What Jon says applies to the Phoenix, Arizona east valley as well. The lanes here do work, and
    >work well.
    >
    >That's not to say that there are lanes elsewhere that don't, but don't throw the baby out with the
    >bathwater.

    On recent trips to Tempe and surroundings I've noticed that a fair number of the bike lanes are
    mostly within the door zone of parked cars; what's up with that?

    --Bruce F.
     
  9. Pete

    Pete Guest

    "Mark Hickey" <[email protected]> wrote

    > What Jon says applies to the Phoenix, Arizona east valley as well. The lanes here do work, and
    > work well.
    >
    > That's not to say that there are lanes elsewhere that don't, but don't throw the baby out with the
    > bathwater.

    It's hard to campaign for good bike lanes when all you've seen is horribly bad ones.

    Pete
     
  10. Cory Dunkle

    Cory Dunkle Guest

    Peter Cole wrote:
    > "Matthew Russotto" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:p[email protected]...
    >> In article <[email protected]>, Brent P
    >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>
    >>> Come to chicago with the winter wind chill and go for a ride in the snow and freezing rain.
    >>> You'll change your tune on that. I've done it, other than in gentle snow falls it's miserable.
    >>> People do it, but it's not something the general population is going to be up for.
    >>
    >> Yeah. I rode twice in freezing rain. Not for long in either time, as it simply didn't work; the
    >> traction wasn't there and the ice made the bike fail. In the worse case (where we ended up with
    >> 1/4" of ice on the ground) the bicycle was completely coated in a sheet of ice before I got
    >> back home.
    >
    > Fixed gear bike with studded tires, no worries.

    Who wants to ride a bike with only 1 gear for 7 kilometers or more? In the freezing rain and snow on
    ice no less.
     
  11. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    [email protected] (J. Bruce Fields) wrote:

    >In article <[email protected]>, Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>What Jon says applies to the Phoenix, Arizona east valley as well. The lanes here do work, and
    >>work well.
    >>
    >>That's not to say that there are lanes elsewhere that don't, but don't throw the baby out with the
    >>bathwater.
    >
    >On recent trips to Tempe and surroundings I've noticed that a fair number of the bike lanes are
    >mostly within the door zone of parked cars; what's up with that?

    The Tempe bike lanes I ride aren't on roads that allow parking, so that's not an issue. The
    residential bike lanes in my neighborhood are plenty wide enough to park a large SUV and still leave
    room to ride by out of the door zone. I'm sure there are exceptions, but the ones I use all the time
    are fantastic.

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  12. Cory Dunkle wrote:

    >
    >
    > Who wants to ride a bike with only 1 gear for 7 kilometers or more?

    Me. My commute is 32km roundtrip. I have seven gears on my commuter bike but most days I use only
    one. If I'm worn out or have to deal with gusty winds, I'll use two sometimes.

    > In the freezing rain and snow on ice no less.

    Don't have to deal with this since it's too rare for my climate. I'm sure I could adapt if I
    needed to.
     
  13. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Pete" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Mark Hickey" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > > What Jon says applies to the Phoenix, Arizona east valley as well. The lanes here do work, and
    > > work well.
    > >
    > > That's not to say that there are lanes elsewhere that don't, but don't throw the baby out with
    > > the bathwater.
    >
    > It's hard to campaign for good bike lanes when all you've seen is horribly bad ones.

    From what I've read, the research various people have done on bike lanes and safety more or less
    concludes there's no such thing as a good bike lane.
     
  14. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Cory Dunkle" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Peter Cole wrote:
    > > "Matthew Russotto" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:p[email protected]...
    > >>
    > >> Yeah. I rode twice in freezing rain. Not for long in either time, as it simply didn't work; the
    > >> traction wasn't there and the ice made the bike fail. In the worse case (where we ended up with
    > >> 1/4" of ice on the ground) the bicycle was completely coated in a sheet of ice before I got
    > >> back home.
    > >
    > > Fixed gear bike with studded tires, no worries.
    >
    > Who wants to ride a bike with only 1 gear for 7 kilometers or more? In the freezing rain and snow
    > on ice no less.

    Have you ever tried it? Winter riding is like any other outdoor winter activity, it's just a matter
    of having the right clothing and equipment. Fixed gear bikes are used enthusiastically by many
    cyclists (including myself) for distances a lot greater than 7 km (is that a magic number?). In the
    winter, derailers/shifters are just a complication to freeze up or corrode from road salts. Tires
    with carbide studs are very effective at dealing with ice. It's a matter of personal preference, but
    many people reject the idea of winter cycling just on the basis of practicality, without
    appreciating the ways of dealing with the weather. Winter rides in my bike club (Boston) have been
    growing attendence levels over the last several years as more people get over the idea that cycling
    is seasonal in northern regions. We have one weekly ride that's run over 6 years without a
    cancellation.
     
  15. In article <[email protected]>, Mark Hickey <[email protected]> wrote:
    >[email protected] (J. Bruce Fields) wrote:
    >>On recent trips to Tempe and surroundings I've noticed that a fair number of the bike lanes are
    >>mostly within the door zone of parked cars; what's up with that?
    >
    >The Tempe bike lanes I ride aren't on roads that allow parking, so that's not an issue.

    I seem to remember that Mill Avenue, for example, has bike lanes next to street parking. I saw some
    streets in Mesa (Main, maybe?) with the same design, though there were also a lot of lanes on
    streets without parking.

    > The residential bike lanes in my neighborhood are plenty wide enough to park a large SUV and still
    > leave room to ride by out of the door zone. I'm sure there are exceptions, but the ones I use all
    > the time are fantastic.

    The lanes I saw may have been similar to those you describe. I think they were wide enough to allow
    a person to keep a good distance from parked cars without leaving the bike lane, as long as that
    person knew to keep towards the left half of the lane. On the other hand, I suspect that a large
    portion of the lane's width was still within the door zone and wonder whether on average they they
    make bicyclists more or less likely to ride in the right place.

    But I didn't have the chance to get out there with a tape measure or anything.

    --Bruce F.
     
  16. Mark Hickey wrote:
    >
    > [email protected] (J. Bruce Fields) wrote:
    > >
    > >On recent trips to Tempe and surroundings I've noticed that a fair number of the bike lanes are
    > >mostly within the door zone of parked cars; what's up with that?
    >
    > The Tempe bike lanes I ride aren't on roads that allow parking, so that's not an issue.

    Strictly speaking, it's "not an issue" on _your_ favorite bike lanes. Obviously, it's a serious
    issue on others.

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  17. In article <[email protected]>, Peter Cole <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >> Yeah. I rode twice in freezing rain. Not for long in either time, as it simply didn't work; the
    >> traction wasn't there and the ice made the bike fail. In the worse case (where we ended up with
    >> 1/4" of ice on the ground) the bicycle was completely coated in a sheet of ice before I got
    >> back home.
    >
    >Fixed gear bike with studded tires, no worries.

    Well, except braking. But the brakes didn't work on my bike (a "go ahead and steal me" special)
    anyway, so I guess that's really not a major concern. And you wouldn't want to use studded tires in
    decent weather, due to the high rolling resistance.

    And then there's the matter of having yourself coated in ice.

    --
    Matthew T. Russotto [email protected] "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and
    moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue." But extreme restriction of liberty in pursuit of a
    modicum of security is a very expensive vice.
     
  18. "Cory Dunkle" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    | Peter Cole wrote:
    | > "Matthew Russotto" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    | > news:p[email protected]...
    | >> In article <[email protected]>, Brent P
    | >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    | >>>
    | >>> Come to chicago with the winter wind chill and go for a ride in the snow and freezing rain.
    | >>> You'll change your tune on that. I've done it, other than in gentle snow falls it's miserable.
    | >>> People do it, but it's not something the general population is going to be up for.
    | >>
    | >> Yeah. I rode twice in freezing rain. Not for long in either time, as it simply didn't work; the
    | >> traction wasn't there and the ice made the bike fail. In the worse case (where we ended up with
    | >> 1/4" of ice on the ground) the bicycle was completely coated in a sheet of ice before I got
    | >> back home.
    | >
    | > Fixed gear bike with studded tires, no worries.
    |
    | Who wants to ride a bike with only 1 gear for 7 kilometers or more? In the freezing rain and snow
    | on ice no less.

    less?

    Fixies are great fun.
     
  19. "Matthew Russotto" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    | In article <[email protected]>, Peter Cole <[email protected]> wrote:
    | >>
    | >> Yeah. I rode twice in freezing rain. Not for long in either time, as it simply didn't work; the
    | >> traction wasn't there and the ice made the bike fail. In the worse case (where we ended up with
    | >> 1/4" of ice on the ground) the bicycle was completely coated in a sheet of ice before I got
    | >> back home.
    | >
    | >Fixed gear bike with studded tires, no worries.
    |
    | Well, except braking.

    Just stop pedaling.
     
  20. P e t e F a g e r l i n wrote:

    >

    > less?
    >

    Who wants to drive a brand spanking new, marvel of modern automotive design, sports car when it will
    just be crawling in rush hour traffic and won't get you there much faster than a bicycle?
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...