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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:35 PM   #151
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So just this afternoon I watched a cyclist blow through a red light and a van have to slam on his brakes to avoid running over the cyclist. Despite me and others being a witness to this being 100% the cyclists fault, I have a feeling that if the van hit the cyclist, the driver of the van would have been considered at fault and in a world of hurt legally. Especially with our sue happy culture.

I'm all in favor of requiring cyclists to carry liability insurance. If the cyclist caused damage to the van, why should the driver of the van or his insurance company be on the hook for repairs?
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:37 PM   #152
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I'm all in favor of requiring cyclists to carry liability insurance. If the cyclist caused damage to the van, why should the driver of the van or his insurance company be on the hook for repairs?
Me too. In fact I have third party cycling insurance. It's very cheap. Basiclaly just join the London Cycling Campaign for a year (£34) and that's it
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:37 PM   #153
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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.
Maybe Sarasota is much different from the rest of the country, but travel by rail is common in most of the USA, especially in the northeast and most of the west coast, and I have never been to a train station that wasn't served by mass transit and an army of private taxis. Most people prefer rail over interstate highway travel as well. Just because you prefer your auto isn't reflective of the reality of transit.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:38 PM   #154
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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.
If you're counting the capital construction costs, then I agree, but that applies to roads as well. Otherwise I think they are all/mostly profitable on an operating basis - e.g Taiwan's and other systems.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:43 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
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.
I am very doubtful. Florida is a large place, there's just no way local transport on the far end is going to be satisfactory.

Instead of a 200 MPH train, give me a 100 MPH lane on the highway. I would be quite willing to submit my car to inspection and special permitting to drive at a reasonable speed.

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Fair enough, but AFAIK they don't have any roads were you'd go significantly faster than 70-80mph anyway.
I would.

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Originally Posted by Orange Crane View Post
Maybe Sarasota is much different from the rest of the country, but travel by rail is common in most of the USA, especially in the northeast and most of the west coast, and I have never been to a train station that wasn't served by mass transit and an army of private taxis. Most people prefer rail over interstate highway travel as well. Just because you prefer your auto isn't reflective of the reality of transit.
Where do you live? Outside of insanely dense areas on the eastern seaboard almost no one travels by train. In a very large majority of the USA, it's not even a realistic option and aside from commuters, no one would ever prefer to travel that way.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:45 PM   #156
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I am very doubtful. Florida is a large place, there's just no way local transport on the far end is going to be satisfactory.
Sure they could. The US is an urban country.

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Originally Posted by macquariumguy View Post
Instead of a 200 MPH train, give me a 100 MPH lane on the highway. I would be quite willing to submit my car to inspection and special permitting to drive at a reasonable speed.
If you had barrier separation from the other traffic that would be very expensive.

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I would.
What, on country lanes? They don't have motorways/freeways there.

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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.
Good point.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:45 PM   #157
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If you're counting the capital construction costs, then I agree, but that applies to roads as well. Otherwise I think they are all/mostly profitable on an operating basis - e.g Taiwan's and other systems.
Hmm, those articles have no figures or proof that I can see. This presents the other side. The two oldest systems which are not paying for huge amounts of new lines are getting massive subsidies. The TGV for example may appear profitable at first glance but only because the treat the subsidy as commercial revenue (it isn't clearly). Remove that and they are losing money...
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:45 PM   #158
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What, on country lanes? They don't have motorways/freeways there.
I have seen the races there on television. I would pay big money to take my car around that circuit.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:48 PM   #159
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I have seen the races there on television. I would pay big money to take my car around that circuit.
And I'm sure you could, but not safely with other cars on the road.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 02:53 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by macquariumguy View Post
[/COLOR]

Where do you live? Outside of insanely dense areas on the eastern seaboard almost no one travels by train. In a very large majority of the USA, it's not even a realistic option and aside from commuters, no one would ever prefer to travel that way.
To say that no one would prefer a train to a car is kind of a ridiculous statement - and obvioiusly one based on your personal feeling about it.

Ever been to Alaska? I might wager that more people travel by rail than by car. And there are Amtrak routes all over the country. There are plenty who choose rail over car when travelling great distances - especially if you'd like a scenic view of the country. There are many pretty cool routes in California and up and down the coast.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 03:10 PM   #161
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Hmm, those articles have no figures or proof that I can see. This presents the other side.
From your source:

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Apparently four of the seven operators [in Japan] are still government owned,
The three which own Shinkansen lines are all privately owned.

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In addition, the three private operators receive another $2 billion annually from the government.
After reading JR East's 2012 annual report they do receive some construction grants. But at the end of the day their operating income from railway operations is significantly larger than the amount they get from these construction grants - and the construction grants are for capital expenditure.

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The Chinese Railways Ministry is required to pay interest of up to 120 billion yuan (US$ 18.26 billion) each year. Apparently the railway system is currently only able to pay interest on the debt, and is unable to repay any of debt itself.
If they can pay the interest on their debt then they are clearly making an operating profit.

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However, HS1 is currently being subsidised by Kent County Council. It may be a small amount and of a temporary nature, but it does cover just 5 trains per day and it is still a subsidy.
So basically Kent County Council is subsidising a few late night trains - and some of that is down to the fact that the tickets never get checked on late night trains so people will ride for free.

That also means that the rest of the trains make an operating profit.

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Further afield in Taiwan, it became necessary for the Taiwanese government to take over the running of the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation in 2009 as it was almost bankrupt, two years after it first started running its high speed trains. It had lost more than $2.1 billion.
Because they'd borrowed lots of private money to build it as pointed out in my source. Wikipedia has more financial data, and it is clearly making an operating profit now.
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Last edited by Eraserhead; Feb 4, 2013 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Clarity
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 06:15 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by Moyank24 View Post
And there are Amtrak routes all over the country. There are plenty who choose rail over car when travelling great distances - especially if you'd like a scenic view of the country. There are many pretty cool routes in California and up and down the coast.
Amtrak's busiest corridor is in the NE, the 2nd and 3rd busiest are in California.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 06:32 PM   #163
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So just this afternoon I watched a cyclist blow through a red light and a van have to slam on his brakes to avoid running over the cyclist. Despite me and others being a witness to this being 100% the cyclists fault, I have a feeling that if the van hit the cyclist, the driver of the van would have been considered at fault and in a world of hurt legally. Especially with our sue happy culture.

I'm all in favor of requiring cyclists to carry liability insurance. If the cyclist caused damage to the van, why should the driver of the van or his insurance company be on the hook for repairs?

See this all the time in NYC. It's like cyclists refise to use their brakes. I can understand wanting to keep your momentum but it's still a public road with rules and hazards. Some cyclists don't even respect pedestrians.

As someone who cycles, rides a motorbike, drives a car and walks around...... I can tell you that many people of all categories are either clueless or just selfish and have no reguard for their surroundings until they end up injured.

IMO, Insurance should be available only as optional. But I definitely think bicycles should have plates since it's the law for cyclists to ride on the road.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 06:53 PM   #164
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See this all the time in NYC. It's like cyclists refise to use their brakes. I can understand wanting to keep your momentum but it's still a public road with rules and hazards. Some cyclists don't even respect pedestrians.

As someone who cycles, rides a motorbike, drives a car and walks around...... I can tell you that many people of all categories are either clueless or just selfish and have no reguard for their surroundings until they end up injured.

IMO, Insurance should be available only as optional. But I definitely think bicycles should have plates since it's the law for cyclists to ride on the road.
One of the reasons that cyclists behave this way is that it is only recently that bikes have been seen as a "real" mode of transportation. Prior to that they were only for kids or those effete, frenchified road cyclists.

Here, the city has made a serious effort to create a citywide cycle network. The routes I use the most are the ones with the fewest number of stops, even when they are a few blocks longer to my destination. IMO, dedicated and separated bike paths are the way forward. However, until bicycles are taken seriously and cycling infrastructure has a dedicated funding source, riders will continue to flaunt the laws. It's a two way street in more ways than one.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 07:59 PM   #165
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See this all the time in NYC. It's like cyclists refise to use their brakes. I can understand wanting to keep your momentum but it's still a public road with rules and hazards. Some cyclists don't even respect pedestrians.
There was a case recently of a cyclist who blew through a pedestrian crossing, knocked over (fatally) a person crossing in the crowd, then went online bad bragged about it. That guy is/was a [string of vulgar epithets]. Most cyclists are not [vulgar epithets], but those are the ones who get noticed.

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... Some cyclists ...
Which I imagine you could say about motorists, and pedestrians, and those [vulgar epithets] pushing shopping carts. I see kids riding against traffic and it pisses me off. I also see motorists blowing stop signs all the [crude participle] time. And people just sauntering across the road where ever they feel like it.

The jerks are the people we notice, the well-behaved people are just part of the scenery.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 11:27 PM   #166
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one thing you are all ignoring is inclement weather...

explain to me what your plans are for riding in snow, sleet, sub-zero temps, excessive heat and excessive humidity.
Well, I ride here where summer temps are up to 110 degrees and I think riding a bike is actually more comfortable, especially on short hops than a car. A car sitting in the sun is easily 120 degrees, so now I have to get the A/C running to try to push that temperature down 10 degrees just to get to the outside temperature and that takes time, sometimes more time than the actual commute.

On those days, I throw clothes in my bag and ride in shorts or light pants. When I get to the office, I shower. When I ride to an interview, I just wear light, breathable fabrics.

And, really here in the middle of summer, everyone's sweaty.


But, this is also how we see how cultural changes can make something like bike commuting better. Offices could install showers and bike lockers (or just allow you to store yours in an office) for their employees. Bike lockers could become widely available, a money-maker akin to the parking meter, but denser and therefore more profitable. We also need to rethink city planning and density.

Remember that the average commute is 16 miles, so some people are within that threshold and thus could have an easier commute especially if there's the infrastructure to do it.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 12:27 AM   #167
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Well, I ride here where summer temps are up to 110 degrees and I think riding a bike is actually more comfortable, especially on short hops than a car. A car sitting in the sun is easily 120 degrees, so now I have to get the A/C running to try to push that temperature down 10 degrees just to get to the outside temperature and that takes time, sometimes more time than the actual commute.

On those days, I throw clothes in my bag and ride in shorts or light pants. When I get to the office, I shower. When I ride to an interview, I just wear light, breathable fabrics.

And, really here in the middle of summer, everyone's sweaty.


But, this is also how we see how cultural changes can make something like bike commuting better. Offices could install showers and bike lockers (or just allow you to store yours in an office) for their employees. Bike lockers could become widely available, a money-maker akin to the parking meter, but denser and therefore more profitable. We also need to rethink city planning and density.

Remember that the average commute is 16 miles, so some people are within that threshold and thus could have an easier commute especially if there's the infrastructure to do it.
It's very hot where I live too and like you say, it's really not a problem. Also, Minneapolis is at the top of the list when it comes to cycling cities in the US. It's not exactly known for its mild winter weather, yet cyclists are still out there when the weather is bad. People seem to forget that our forebears didn't have central ac or heating yet survived just fine. I think in some ways, Americans have become a bunch of whiny, spoiled brats. If all mod cons are not immediately available to them year round then they simply can't function.

To me, hell is being stuck in traffic with ac that is barely working. I'd much rather be moving on a bicycle than stuck in a car with full ac.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 01:29 AM   #168
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Which I imagine you could say about motorists, and pedestrians, and those [vulgar epithets] pushing shopping carts. I see kids riding against traffic and it pisses me off.
The percentage of cyclists who act with total disregard to the traffic laws is far greater than the percentage of car drivers who do the same.

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I also see motorists blowing stop signs all the [crude participle] time.
By which you mean that they creep across the stop sign slowly and don't technically stop - I wouldn't really count that as blowing through a stop sign.

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I can understand wanting to keep your momentum but it's still a public road with rules and hazards.
Frankly I find this momentum excuse to be total rubbish, I can accelerate as fast as a car does in reality on a bike - obviously if the car driver put their foot down they'd be quicker off the starting blocks, but still.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 11:15 AM   #169
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It's very hot where I live too and like you say, it's really not a problem. Also, Minneapolis is at the top of the list when it comes to cycling cities in the US. It's not exactly known for its mild winter weather, yet cyclists are still out there when the weather is bad. People seem to forget that our forebears didn't have central ac or heating yet survived just fine. I think in some ways, Americans have become a bunch of whiny, spoiled brats. If all mod cons are not immediately available to them year round then they simply can't function.
Yep, people survived in this town pre-A/C, but now everyone acts as if going outside on a hot summer day is akin to visiting the planet Venus.

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...To me, hell is being stuck in traffic with ac that is barely working. I'd much rather be moving on a bicycle than stuck in a car with full ac.
Been there, sweated through the t-shirt.


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Originally Posted by Eraserhead
...By which you mean that they creep across the stop sign slowly and don't technically stop - I wouldn't really count that as blowing through a stop sign.
The 'Hollywood' stop in a car or on a bike is acceptable—though not legal—when there's no other traffic.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 12:05 PM   #170
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...
The 'Hollywood' stop in a car or on a bike is acceptable—though not legal—when there's no other traffic.
It's probably the full speed non-stop through the stop sign or light that riles people up.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 12:07 PM   #171
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It's probably the full speed non-stop through the stop sign or light that riles people up.
I don't think I've ever seen that - except after the lights have literally just changed.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 12:21 PM   #172
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I don't think I've ever seen that - except after the lights have literally just changed.
I see it all the time. Up to 3 or 4 seconds after it's gone red. Bearing in mind amber means stop this can be up to 6 seconds after the driver should have considered it a stop...
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 12:23 PM   #173
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I see it all the time. Up to 3 or 4 seconds after it's gone red. Bearing in mind amber means stop this can be up to 6 seconds after the driver should have considered it a stop...
A yellow light means s-l-o-w d-o-w-n.

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Old Feb 5, 2013, 12:25 PM   #174
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I don't think I've ever seen that - except after the lights have literally just changed.
Really? Happens all the time here. Since this thread started I've noticed a number cyclists go thru stop signs and lights without slowing down at all.
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Old Feb 5, 2013, 12:56 PM   #175
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Really? Happens all the time here. Since this thread started I've noticed a number cyclists go thru stop signs and lights without slowing down at all.
I saw one just now, in my mind.

To say car drivers are saints is a complete joke.

When I'm driving coming up to traffic lights, it goes amber (means prepare to stop) but I still continue (maybe red) Four cars behind me follow, definitely red, and they go just a feet apart trying to squeeze in for ****s sake.

Car drivers are always breaking the law, they speed, under cut, ignore hatched crossings, ignore road signs saying no right or no left and never give way.


Which is why I no longer cycle, too dangerous.
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