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Author Topic: Bike People  (Read 7129 times)

Mergingtraffic

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Bike People
« on: June 25, 2009, 07:39:00 PM »

The new trend seems to be biking to work.  When a new road project comes up the bike people usually come out in force to either delay or cancel the project or to add bike lanes in.

Connecticut, Oregon have bike people medling on expansion plans (I-5 bridge in Portland). 

I also notice that the press, local officials and the DOT cater to these people because it's "politically corect."

Even though they are the vocal minority, I have been at several DOT public hearings and they are all there voicing their opinion but not many highway people are there.  So, then it seems to me that the DOT thinks everybody wants bike lanes and auto traffic suffers at the result of the bike people or mass transit people.

Thoughts?
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mightyace

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 07:58:38 PM »

Well, until showers become a regular feature at most employers, I don't think it will become popular in the south!

Who wants to bike for 30 minutes to an hour in 90+ degree heat with humidity to match and then have to deal with the stress of work?

And, I don't want to be near a co-worker who's biked to work in this weather and hasn't showered.
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74/171FAN

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2009, 10:42:00 PM »

I know this has happened in VA on roads such as VA 123 when ther're widened to four lanes.  Froggie would probably know more about what I'm referrung to here.
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Duke87

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 11:38:59 PM »

I have an uncle who's a chemical engineer. He did some calculations. You know what he determined?

On average, the amount of extra carbon dioxide you produce by increased respiration from biking to work is greater than the amount of carbon dioxide your car produces from driving to work.

So much for reducing your carbon footprint! :spin:
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agentsteel53

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2009, 12:06:13 AM »

yes, but I am not producing various noxious sulfur compounds from my tailpipe.

okay, maybe I am... time to cut down on the bean and broccoli diet!
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Hellfighter

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2009, 01:07:42 AM »

okay, maybe I am... time to cut down on the bean and broccoli diet!

Isn't that what Beano's for?
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Chris

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2009, 02:44:37 AM »

Cycling to work or other utility trips is extremely common in the Netherlands. However, we do have generally short distances, moderate weather conditions and nearly 100% flat cities, so circumstances are quite in favor of cycling.

I can't imagine cycling in those hot, humid cities like Houston or Atlanta.

Scott5114

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2009, 03:59:29 AM »

I now live ~1 mile from my workplace and am considering biking to work to lose weight and save on gas. Although I do think I may hold off on the idea for a while, considering Norman is going through one of its fits of 100+F weather...
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Mergingtraffic

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2009, 09:35:49 AM »

I think bicycles should be considered in addition to autos not in favor of.  After reading the press and listening to the politicians in some areas you get the idea that bikes come first and autos come second.

Because in reality, most people use autos and therefore should come first in my opinion.

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Chris

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2009, 11:32:42 AM »

^^ You would really not feel comfortable in the Netherlands then... we are the cycling capital of the world... bike racks with thousands of bikes at railway stations are not uncommon...

However, even in the Netherlands, cycling is not that big compared to the car. Although the bicycle has a 30% share in most cities counting the number of trips, when counted by mileage, it's around 10%.

agentsteel53

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2009, 01:03:02 PM »

Doofy:  are bicycles not a transportation mode?  Should they not be accommodated?

so are pedestrians, tractors, hovercraft and rickshaws, but most of the time they are prohibited from major expressways and freeways, and you don't see anyone complaining.

I'll give bicyclists a bit of sympathy when they stop running red lights and stop signs without a second glance, causing me (who actually stops at those places - what an idea!) to have to overtake and then catch up with them 10 or 15 times, with each time an opportunity for me to miss out on whatever idiotic behavior they're going to engage in next, and promptly flatten them.
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Re: Bike People
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2009, 01:11:41 PM »

Doofy:  are bicycles not a transportation mode?  Should they not be accommodated?

so are pedestrians, tractors, hovercraft and rickshaws, but most of the time they are prohibited from major expressways and freeways, and you don't see anyone complaining.

I'll give bicyclists a bit of sympathy when they stop running red lights and stop signs without a second glance, causing me (who actually stops at those places - what an idea!) to have to overtake and then catch up with them 10 or 15 times, with each time an opportunity for me to miss out on whatever idiotic behavior they're going to engage in next, and promptly flatten them.

It's a lot of this stuff, plus no shoulders on many roads in TN, plus being middle-aged and out of shape why I don't bike much anymore.

It seems like most bicyclists don't realize that, in most states, they must follow the same rules at automobiles, trucks, etc.

I can't count the number of times I see bicyclists go down the left side of the road!
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myosh_tino

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2009, 01:36:12 PM »

Doofy, on the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (Interstate 80), a pedestrian/bike lane was included in the construction of this span.  Problem was the bike lane was not extended onto the the existing west span so it ended at Treasure Island. Naturally the bike-crazy S.F. Bicycle Coalition demanded a bike lane be added to the western span at considerable cost.  Caltrans and the MTC shot them down but it wasn't easy.
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Chris

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2009, 02:30:01 PM »

bike lanes do not belong on freeways anyway...

andytom

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2009, 03:17:48 PM »

I think bicycles should be considered in addition to autos not in favor of.  After reading the press and listening to the politicians in some areas you get the idea that bikes come first and autos come second.

Because in reality, most people use autos and therefore should come first in my opinion.




With reference to the I-5 bridge in Portland, this is not an expansion project.  It is a total replacement of the current bridge.  As such, including the fact that this bridge is one of only 2 (+1 railroad bridge) that cross the river for about 100 miles, I don't see adding bike and pedestrian facilities as an imposition on the project or as setting bikes first.  This will change the existing configuration  (3 lanes in each direction plus inadequate sidewalk in each direction) to 5 traffic lanes, 1 transit lane and 1 wide sidewalk in each direction.

Portland is one of the big bike cities in the country and a lot of people do ride bikes to work.  As such, we tend to build bike facilities that complement rather than replace car facilities in such a way that the bikes are not slowing the cars down overly much.  You should see the amount of bike traffic that crosses the downtown bridges every day.  It doesn't match up to the road traffic yet, but it probably far outstrips what you would see passing through chokepoints in other cities around the country.


--Andy
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J N Winkler

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2009, 04:39:15 PM »

I do not own a car at present, so I am a regular cycle commuter.  It is really convenient in terms of parking and in the town where I spend most of my time (Oxford), cycling has something like a 25% mode share.  In my experience the major threat to cyclists is not cars, but rather pedestrians, followed closely by large vehicles such as buses and lorries.

I think sweat and body odor are oversold as reasons not to cycle in hot and humid climates.  The best way to stay on top of a body odor problem is to take showers daily without fail, use antiperspirants or unguent-type deodorants, and wear loose-fitting clothes made of fabrics which wick moisture off the body.  The smell tends to be worse coming from parts of the body with apocrine sweat glands (armpits and crotch) and these need special attention when washing.

Fresh, clean sweat does not have an offensive odor, especially if it is wiped off promptly with a clean towel.  Back when I was still weightlifting on a regular basis, I usually never bothered with a shower at the gym and didn't have any problems with offensive smells.  I have also been near people doing intensive, sweaty workouts and never really been able to smell them either.  On the other hand, eating 2/3 of a bulb of garlic in a single meal is a good way to become regarded as a war criminal.

The real usefulness of showers in the workplace has more to do with washing dried sweat off the body.  When sweat dries on your skin, as it will do when you stop exerting yourself, it makes your skin sticky and apt to adhere to smooth surfaces such as chair arms, etc.  Usually the dried sweat won't smell but the stickiness is a major nuisance, particularly when working in a sitting position in an environment that is not air-conditioned.

Admittedly, Britain has a maritime climate (similar to that of the Netherlands) with mild winters and cool summers, so the problem of cycling in weather extremes does not arise very often.  This is part of the reason cycling is popular in places like California too.  But I would contend nevertheless that there are substantial health benefits to cycle commuting even in continental (hot summer, cold winter) climates.  In my current environment, it is not uncommon for people to cycle or walk everywhere and delay learning how to drive until they have almost finished their graduate degrees.  Then, with full driving licence and master's or doctorate in hand, they go out, get a job, buy their first cars, and when we see them again, they have become bloated like capons.  Not good.
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Hensepens

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2009, 05:41:22 AM »

Well, until showers become a regular feature at most employers, I don't think it will become popular in the south!

....

And, I don't want to be near a co-worker who's biked to work in this weather and hasn't showered.

I agree. However. Having showers in office buildings is here in The Netherlands not that uncommon. I'm working for a large financial institution and we have different offices in the Amsterdam Area. Most of them having shower for workers who are arriving on bikes.

I commute by train. But I cycle (is this correct English?) between my home and the railway station.
 (only 8 minutes, so that is close to the station).
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 05:44:03 AM by Hensepens »
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Alps

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2009, 02:02:52 PM »

Note: I don't know how crosswalks started getting discussed in here, but they've been moved to their own thread.

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Re: Bike People
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2009, 10:16:51 PM »


I'll give bicyclists a bit of sympathy when they stop running red lights and stop signs without a second glance, causing me (who actually stops at those places - what an idea!) to have to overtake and then catch up with them 10 or 15 times, with each time an opportunity for me to miss out on whatever idiotic behavior they're going to engage in next, and promptly flatten them.

One of these days, one of those bikers is going to get flattened, and my sympathy is going to merely extend to the 911 call from my cell phone. Once the police leave, I'll just bike away back to what I was doing before.
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