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Old Feb 3, 2013, 04:44 PM   #126
Eraserhead
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Cars crossing left* across a flow of traffic can also be dangerous to be honest. I think on balance that there is room for some learning for car drivers when turning.

* I mean right, as we drive on the correct side of the road, but I don't want to confuse matters by switching sides of the road in the middle of the discussion .
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 05:30 PM   #127
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On the subject of dedicated bike lanes, many cities in the US (Chicago, New York, Portland) are putting in protected bike lanes. Typically this means placing the bike lane between the sidewalk and parked cars.
Bicycle lanes are definitely evolving in the US and I think the type of lane you mention has great promise.
I would vehemently disagree with you on that. Any lane that puts bicycle traffic in the "door zone" is a really bad idea. Bicyclists get killed or seriously injured by car door opening unexpectedly in front of them, and if it is on the passenger side, that much worse, passengers are even less likely to check if it is safe to open the door. The door zone is three feet wide at a minimum, so to position the lanes safely, you would have to add twelve feet to the width of the road (six for each direction). And, beyond that, hiding bikes behind parked cars is even worse for accidents at intersections and driveways.

Sometimes, things that make you feel safer are actually putting you in more danger, especially if the feeling of safety encourages you to be less attentive.
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Old Feb 3, 2013, 11:38 PM   #128
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I live in Houston. I could see bicycles for in my neighborhood which has a town center, but nothing outside of the neighborhood. I live 29 miles from Houston downtown.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 12:02 AM   #129
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I would vehemently disagree with you on that. Any lane that puts bicycle traffic in the "door zone" is a really bad idea. Bicyclists get killed or seriously injured by car door opening unexpectedly in front of them, and if it is on the passenger side, that much worse, passengers are even less likely to check if it is safe to open the door. The door zone is three feet wide at a minimum, so to position the lanes safely, you would have to add twelve feet to the width of the road (six for each direction). And, beyond that, hiding bikes behind parked cars is even worse for accidents at intersections and driveways.

Sometimes, things that make you feel safer are actually putting you in more danger, especially if the feeling of safety encourages you to be less attentive.
The best ones have either a buffer zone or a physical separation of some sort. Like I said, standards are evolving. Just like a lot of bad highways were built in the 50s and 60s mistakes will be made with bike infrastructure now. Fortunately the evolutionary period will be shorter for bike lanes. We have Denmark , The Netherlands , and Portland to thank.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 08:41 AM   #130
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I am charged £180 per year for Tax to manage the roads (allegedly); Cyclists usually don't adhere to Traffic Signals, they creep forward in box junctions, they ride the pavements when it's illegal and they hide in your blind spot.

Education on both sides is needed: License to ride a bike on the public highway and tax the buggers so they can install more cycle lanes + cycle specific traffic signals (like in Manchester). Also teach car drivers about what rules the cyclists follow .. at the moment it's a free-for-all.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 10:29 AM   #131
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I think requiring cyclists to have a license and liability insurance is a great idea. Let's register and plate the bikes while we're at it.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 10:39 AM   #132
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I think requiring cyclists to have a license and liability insurance is a great idea. Let's register and plate the bikes while we're at it.
It has been tried before.

Despite having the most cyclists in Europe, neither the Netherlands nor Denmark have bicycle licensing schemes.

“There’s no licensing here. I’ve heard from city officials in a number of cities that they have worked out the cost of a bike licensing scheme and none of them have found it cost efficient. Toronto was one of the cities.”

Marc van Woudenberg of Amsterdamize.com said:

“No licensing scheme here. I did a bit of research with cycle organisations Fietsberaad and Fietsersbond on whether it has ever been suggested in the past, but couldn’t find any reference.”

The argument “they do it in other countries” doesn’t hold water: other countries in Europe have ‘strict liability’, the insurance concept that, in a small way, helps to protect cyclists and pedestrians, but the UK has chosen not to opt in to this (and the mainstream press can be whipped up into a frenzy of hate when the idea is broached).

You know who really liked bicycle registration schemes? The Nazis during World War Two.

http://ipayroadtax.com/licensed-to-c...nsed-to-cycle/
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 12:27 PM   #133
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“There’s no licensing here. I’ve heard from city officials in a number of cities that they have worked out the cost of a bike licensing scheme and none of them have found it cost efficient. Toronto was one of the cities.”
Not cost efficient? Works well enough for cars and motorcycles. Clearly they were not charging enough.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 12:31 PM   #134
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Not cost efficient? Works well enough for cars and motorcycles. Clearly they were not charging enough.
I think a dollar a year would about equal what auto drivers pay in relation to size of roads needed and wear and tear. Obviously, $1 isn't going to do much other than create a huge bureaucracy and satisfy auto drivers but hey, if it makes you happy...
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 12:37 PM   #135
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I am charged £180 per year for Tax to manage the roads (allegedly)
I pay more road tax than you for my Porsche. But I often choose to cycle to work instead. Does this mean I am allowed to use the roads in your eyes? Or do I have more of a right as I've paid more than you? I also obey all traffic signals and don't cycle on pavements. I am, however, frequently nearly run over by cars running through red lights. Anecdotal evidence proves nothing yet can be used by both sides of any argument...
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 12:53 PM   #136
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they creep forward in box junctions
While I agree with your other criticisms - so do car drivers.

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I think a dollar a year would about equal what auto drivers pay in relation to size of roads needed and wear and tear. Obviously, $1 isn't going to do much other than create a huge bureaucracy and satisfy auto drivers but hey, if it makes you happy...
Well $1/year would make sure the cyclists have taken a driving theory test, and would allow them to be easily ticketed for breaking the law.

So I think it would be worth it - even though it wouldn't raise any revenue.

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I am, however, frequently nearly run over by cars running through red lights.
To be fair drivers in London are generally the most aggressive in the UK.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 12:55 PM   #137
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To be fair drivers in London are generally the most aggressive in the UK.
The pedestrians can be quite feisty too! I have been known to aim kicks at said cars. I am yet to actually connect with one though.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 01:06 PM   #138
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I am charged £180 per year for Tax to manage the roads (allegedly); Cyclists usually don't adhere to Traffic Signals, they creep forward in box junctions, they ride the pavements when it's illegal and they hide in your blind spot.

Education on both sides is needed: License to ride a bike on the public highway and tax the buggers so they can install more cycle lanes + cycle specific traffic signals (like in Manchester). Also teach car drivers about what rules the cyclists follow .. at the moment it's a free-for-all.
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I think requiring cyclists to have a license and liability insurance is a great idea. Let's register and plate the bikes while we're at it.
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Not cost efficient? Works well enough for cars and motorcycles. Clearly they were not charging enough.

I have two cars which I also don't pay road tax for; Fiat 500 because of it's low CO2 emission, and my AC Cobra because it's over 25 years old and counted as a classic.

http://www.autozonderwegenbelasting....stingvrij.html

Plus here in the Netherlands:
"Strict liability", supported in law in the Netherlands, leads to driver's insurance being deemed to be responsible in a collision between a car and a cyclist. Dutch drivers are trained for the interaction with cyclists, for example by checking and re-checking their right-hand side before making a turn to the right.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_the_Netherlands
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 01:32 PM   #139
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I have two cars which I also don't pay road tax for; Fiat 500 because of it's low CO2 emission, and my AC Cobra because it's over 25 years old and counted as a classic.

http://www.autozonderwegenbelasting....stingvrij.html

Plus here in the Netherlands:
"Strict liability", supported in law in the Netherlands, leads to driver's insurance being deemed to be responsible in a collision between a car and a cyclist. Dutch drivers are trained for the interaction with cyclists, for example by checking and re-checking their right-hand side before making a turn to the right.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_the_Netherlands
If cyclists never take liability doesn't this just lead to appalling quality cycling?
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 01:37 PM   #140
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Well $1/year would make sure the cyclists have taken a driving theory test, and would allow them to be easily ticketed for breaking the law.

So I think it would be worth it - even though it wouldn't raise any revenue.
I have no problem with cyclists being required to take a driving test. As I mentioned previously, I think all drivers should be required to take a bicycle training course before they get their actual drivers license. Awareness of what it's like for a bicycle might reduce some of the animosity.

As HB mentions below, low emissions vehicles are exempt from tax in the Netherlands. Here, high mileage vehicles with only a driver often get to use High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes, most often reserved for buses or multi-passenger vehicles. It seems incredibly backwards to tax bicycles or require outrageous registration fees for something that is reducing traffic, maintenance costs and pollution.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 01:45 PM   #141
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I have no problem with cyclists being required to take a driving test. As I mentioned previously, I think all drivers should be required to take a bicycle training course before they get their actual drivers license. Awareness of what it's like for a bicycle might reduce some of the animosity.
Either that or drivers should have to do a motorbike training course, but I do agree.

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It seems incredibly backwards to tax bicycles or require outrageous registration fees for something that is reducing traffic, maintenance costs and pollution.
I don't really see how a fee that merely covers the cost of licensing is an "outrageous fee".
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:01 PM   #142
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If cyclists never take liability doesn't this just lead to appalling quality cycling?
Not really and the reason is quite simple.

We have 16,000,000 population and 18,000,000 cycles.
With those numbers you must see that everybody at least some of the time is also a cyclist. Cycling is such a part of living in the Netherlands that there is very little confrontation between auto and bike.

The Netherlands employs a standards-based approach to road design, where conflicts between different modes of transport are eliminated wherever possible and reduced in severity as much as possible where elimination is not possible. The result of this is that cycling is made both objectively and subjectively safe.

Nearly a third of all journeys made in the Netherlands are made by bicycle. Even the over 65 age group make nearly a quarter of their journeys by bicycle. Within some cities, over half of all journeys are made by bicycle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycling_in_the_Netherlands



This ia normal street in the city where I live.



I did post all this information in post #20 Read the link I posted and you will see all this info.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:14 PM   #143
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Riding around northwest Oregon this weekend, encountered some bike trails in astoria that weren't there the last time I was. Love seeing new infrastructure, love the waterfront trolley, not crazy about criscrossing tracks on a drizzly day!













Trolley track pier riding with great views encourages a slower pace. Good vacation trail, though how good for commuting on I cannot say.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:20 PM   #144
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+1 to more non-auto transportation improvements in US.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:50 PM   #145
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Fascinating information about The Netherlands, but almost none of it applicable to the USA. You've got the population of Florida crammed into an area about 1/5th the size. I'm sure it's lovely, but that kind of crowding is not for me.

We need better, faster roads that efficiently handle varying traffic loads. The more we do to keep bicycles out of the way, the better off we'll be.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 03:08 PM   #146
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We need better, faster roads that efficiently handle varying traffic loads.
Given the US already has a lot of freeways, how do you manage that? Aside from the Germans no-one allows cars to go at more than 70-80mph that you can already do on a US freeway.

If you want to go significantly faster than that you use high-speed rail.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 03:15 PM   #147
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If you want to go significantly faster than that you use high-speed rail.
I'll remember that the next time I'm in Japan. There is no high speed rail here, we don't even have low speed rail. What's more, very few people want rail. Who wants to be stuck at the other end without on-demand transportation? Not me.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 03:22 PM   #148
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Given the US already has a lot of freeways, how do you manage that? Aside from the Germans no-one allows cars to go at more than 70-80mph that you can already do on a US freeway.

If you want to go significantly faster than that you use high-speed rail.
This is demonstrably not true. The Isle of Mann for example.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 03:28 PM   #149
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I'll remember that the next time I'm in Japan.
Or Europe or China.

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There is no high speed rail here, we don't even have low speed rail. What's more, very few people want rail. Who wants to be stuck at the other end without on-demand transportation? Not me.
People don't want rail in the US because it isn't faster than cars, if you had a 200 mph line (as well as decent local transport from the far end) then people would start thinking it was a good idea.

If you want to go significantly faster than 70-80mph in a car then you'll probably have to computer control it, and you'll have to figure out a way to make the engines vaguely efficient at that speed without them being inefficient at the lower speeds that you normally drive at.

It's a totally non-trivial problem.

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This is demonstrably not true. The Isle of Mann for example.
Fair enough, but AFAIK they don't have any roads were you'd go significantly faster than 70-80mph anyway.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 03:31 PM   #150
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People don't want rail in the US because it isn't faster than cars, if you had a 200 mph line (as well as decent local transport from the far end) then people would start thinking it was a good idea.

If you want to go significantly faster than 70-80mph in a car then you'll probably have to computer control it, and you'll have to figure out a way to make the engines vaguely efficient at that speed without them being inefficient at the lower speeds that you normally drive at.

It's a totally non-trivial problem.
Engines are efficient at well above that speed if the gearing is correct and they are tuned for the engine speed in use. Modern cars are coming with 8 gears or more which makes flexibility a non-issue. Wind resistance is more of an issue but again modern car design makes this much less of an issue that you might think. Compared with non-full trains a car can be surprisingly efficient in terms of fuel burnt.

It should be noted that no-where in the world does high-speed rail survive without massive government subsidies. It is simply too expensive for individuals to actually pay for otherwise.
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