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Go7SD Aug 13, 2010 6:36 AM

Cyclists showing you how it's done in NYC...who needs bike lanes. ;)
Video Link

electricron Aug 13, 2010 8:11 AM

There were many, many traffic violations in that video...

Go7SD Aug 13, 2010 8:22 AM

Actually, on a more serious note in order for America to adapt to the kind of bicycle culture the way people do in Europe the attitudes of the politicians, planners, cyclists and motorists must change. The way to do this is to build more bikeways and encourage people to ride often. Overtime, this will become more acceptable in our culture. When there is no mutual co-operation in the over all big picture through ignorance and arrogance the roads will continue to become a dangerous place for everyone.

Many years ago when I was in the Netherlands for the first time I was in pure culture shock. I was amazed by the way they managed to separate the travel lanes between the motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in a more safer and convenient manner. When I rode my bike there I couldn't believe how much easier it was to get around and didn't have to worry about getting hit by some idiot. The bicycle culture there is basically a way life for most people there so the attitudes between cyclists and motorists are much more respectable compared to what you'll find here. There's a very good chance that these motorists are cyclist as well. ;) The people over there do not take driving for granted the way we do here in the states.

Instead of cities arguing about who has the right of way and trying too hard to figure out a way to reinvent the wheel they should look at what has already worked in Europe for many years.

The Netherlands have been perfecting the bike way system for over a hundred years. This video explains what we could learn from them. It's all about common sense designing. Do not put striped lanes next to the road with motorists.
Video Link

Video Link

fflint Aug 13, 2010 9:06 PM


Originally Posted by Roy McDowell (Post 4945832)
Cyclists showing you how it's done in NYC...who needs bike lanes. ;)

Every year, bicycle messengers from around the world gather in one city for a big week-long series of events, including various kinds of racing. This video is from the year NYC hosted the international messenger gathering and shows one of their alley cat races through Manhattan. They're not locals, nor are they really just 'cyclists.' They are the taxi drivers, NASCAR racers, and fleeing felons of the cycling world, all rolled into one hot, brakeless mess.

Go7SD Aug 15, 2010 5:03 AM

^ all I can say is that they have a pair of steel balls.

M II A II R II K Aug 17, 2010 4:39 AM

What Does American Exceptionalism Mean For Livable Streets?

July 2, 2010

By Noah Kazis

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Is the United States exceptional? It's a question that's bedeviled activists and historians alike since the country was born 234 years ago this Sunday. It's also a question that's been bugging Barbara McCann, the executive director of the Complete Streets Coalition. She's been at Velo-City, a bike conference held in cycling mecca Copenhagen this year. Writes McCann on her organization's blog:

"Frankly, in the past, I’ve discounted the value of the European model in the United States. It has been just too different - and certainly has been rejected by most local elected officials in the US. Specific European treatments such as cycle-tracks (bicycle lanes raised from the road surface and separate from the sidewalk) seemed pointless to discuss. On this trip, however, I came away with greater clarity about what European cities have to teach the Complete Streets movement in the United States."

- But one or two cycle-tracks does not a Copenhagen make. There's nowhere in this country even close to the cutting edge of livable streets. So McCann's question seems apt: Just how much can the United States learn from other countries?

- "The lesson for most of the United States, then, is not to simply import a technique or two (although it is encouraging to see a few American cities trying it): it is to learn how to build the political consensus that roads serve purposes beyond automobile travel."

Rush hour in Copenhagen. Photo: Complete Streets Coalition

sammyg Aug 17, 2010 4:53 AM

DC implements bike signals

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) recently installed Washington, DC's first traffic signals for bicycles at the intersection of 16th Street, U Street and New Hampshire Avenue, NW. The safety improvements also include contraflow bike lanes on New Hampshire Avenue and "bike boxes" for cyclists on 16th Street

M II A II R II K Aug 19, 2010 8:50 PM

Bicycle City

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- While we’re seeing more projects that address critical world issues, the planners behind Bicycle City see the city plan as a holistic approach to solving society’s problems as it addresses several problems at once, like obesity, climate change, and alternative energy.

- Co-founder Joe Mellett tells us that he envisions car-free towns as a “showcase for wind and solar energy as well as architects who specialize in green and LEED-certified problems.” (Especially prescient, perhaps, since the Southeastern United States is one of the worst perpetrators of carbon emissions in the United States.)

Official Website:

Go7SD Aug 20, 2010 1:32 AM

^^ Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to

M II A II R II K Aug 21, 2010 9:26 PM

Courts ordering cyclists who injure pedestrians to pay high damages

August 22, 2010

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Numerous court rulings awarding huge damages to victims of bicycle accidents have been handed down following the tightening of bicycle-related laws in 2007, it has emerged. Since 2007, when the Road Traffic Law was revised, there has been a stream of civil lawsuit rulings awarding damages ranging from several million yen to over 50 million yen in cases resulting in death or serious injury to pedestrians. In line with this, four main courts across Japan including courts in Tokyo and Osaka presented a new standard for judging bicycle accidents in March, stating that "in principle, pedestrians are not at fault in accidents that occur on sidewalks."

However, while high damages continued to be awarded in courts across Japan, public awareness of rules governing bicycles remains low, and the issue is likely to stir public debate. Under Japan's Road Traffic Law, bicycles are treated as "vehicles" and are supposed to travel on roads, not sidewalks, but in practice the situation is different and recently there has been a surge in accidents between cyclists and pedestrians on sidewalks. In response to the increase, the Road Traffic Law was revised in 2007, creating a provision regarding conditions for bicycles traveling on sidewalks.

The judgments awarding high compensation to pedestrians highlight the tough stance courts are apparently taking against cyclists who injure pedestrians in response to the tightened regulations. In March this year, judges from courts in Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka, which have sections specializing in traffic lawsuits, debated the issue in a legal magazine. While a Tokyo District Court workshop and other bodies have adopted standards offsetting the fault of motorists in accidents depending on the degree of negligence of pedestrians, no such provisions exist for bicycle accidents, and the judges agreed that standards for bicycles were necessary.

M II A II R II K Aug 24, 2010 4:18 PM

How a Summer Bike Ride Makes Serious Joy

August 23, 2010

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I learned over the past year that granting public space to bicyclists is a piece of policy. And as policy goes, it’s a ton of fun. A year ago, I grumbled about seeing grim faces and rampant headphones while I ran up Lafayette Street during Summer Streets, the thrice-annual city-sponsored shutdown of car traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge two big Manhattan avenues. If this was a celebration of car-free living, I carped, why did everyone look so solitary? Why did I see so few smiles?

- The fact of people sharing an urban artery on pollution-free contraptions is celebration in itself: people can see each other, hear each other, notice details of the built environment and appreciate changes in speed. They don’t need to be dancing or prancing, though they did plenty of that: just living without horns and carbon monoxide elevates us to a sharper awareness.

- The lesson I learned is that urban biking is not an escape but a confrontation. A friend and I rode, with our daughters riding on child seats and telling each other silly poems, and talked about our cycling history. He had joined Critical Mass, the monthly civil-disobedience ride, in San Francisco where he said it had neutralized car traffic on Friday afternoons.

- And I, a recent convert to bike commuting, had found police officers snarling at me about “blocking the street” and found passersby calling me a criminal and worse, and found myself more alert to the infuriating harassment that rains every day in the city on people who were born poorer than I, or with darker skin. We kept riding, often quiet, with the sense that we were in a more civilized and negotiable space because there were no cars to prowl behind us or bump us.

M II A II R II K Aug 26, 2010 9:54 PM

Rent a Bike With Your iPhone


Ryan Rzepecki's Social Bicycles System might be the most affordable way for cities to implement bike sharing networks, Shareable reports.

The Social Bicycles System, or SoBi, allows commuters to "use their smartphones to locate, check out, and lock bikes," doing away with costly docking stations. Instead, a lock box connected to the rear wheel would keep the bike immobile until a commuter calls in or uses an app to get the unlock code.

The System will be tested in New York City next month with a starter fleet of 20 bicycles. From the looks of it, you're out of bike commuting luck if you still have that cool Razr phone from five years ago. Or if someone hacks into the system and locks up your rear wheel on a downhill.

JHoward88 Aug 26, 2010 10:03 PM

For some the bike is a vital transportation device. For some it is a recreation device. For some it is both. When I was a teenager, my family didn't have a car. We lived on the rural outskirts of Buckley, a small town on the fringe of the greater Seattle Metro area. I relied heavily on my bicycle to get to work, sometimes to get groceries, and to explore. It was a 45 minute bicycle trip to the nearest bus route. For me, it was - without any doubt - a transportation device. If I didn't have my bike, I wouldn't have gotten anywhere.

As an adult living in suburban Tacoma with a vehicle, the concept of bicycling to work or bicycling to the store is nolonger practical. I bicycle only for the exercise and recreation, when I want to explore the streets in a way that wouldn't be possible driving. Over the course of the last few years, the bicycle has played an important role in my life. My usage started off being entirely utilitarian, and eventually became entirely recreational.

As pertaining to bicycle lanes, cyclists are lucky. They have the right to use the road much like a motor vehicle (whereas a pedestrian does not) as well as the right to use the sidewalk/shoulder like a pedestrian (whereas a motor vehicle does not). I have bicycled many miles throughout cities and rural areas in my region, and I have never encountered a part of the city which I regarded as unfriendly to cycling.

I think that bicycle lanes are nice, but possibly over-rated. The places where I have found that it is actually dangerous to bicycle are usually rural arterials/state routes without proper shoulders; but ultimately, nobody has proposed installing bike lanes in those obscure places anyway.

fflint Aug 26, 2010 10:10 PM

^Adult cyclists cannot legally use sidewalks in many cities, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

JHoward88 Aug 27, 2010 6:24 AM


Originally Posted by fflint (Post 4961154)
^Adult cyclists cannot legally use sidewalks in many cities, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

^ I didn't know that, fflint.

I would never ride my bicycle on a sidewalk if there were pedestrians also present. I usually either dismount and walk or move into the street if there are any people on the sidewalk whatsoever. For example, I would never bicycle on the sidwalk downtown Seattle. On most non-downtown city streets though, you can go for a long time without encountering any pedestrians.

Downtown Seattle, most or all cyclists ride in the street, but that works fine, as the traffic doesn't go very fast anyway. What I don't like is when I'm bicycling at the edge of a road with a 35-40 MPH speed limit, there is a ditch on the side of the road, and no shoulder at all. In that case you're bicycling right on the white line and cars pretty much have to see and navigate around you. It is risky.

In any case, don't get me wrong - I certainly appreciate bicycle lanes when they are available. One reason why I never have a problem personally is that I use a mountain bike, so bouncing up into some dirt, grass, or gravel on the side of the road doesn't bother me. Cyclists who use street bikes really need smooth pavement, so they naturally rely much more heavily on bicycle lanes more than mountain bikers.

vid Aug 27, 2010 10:28 AM

In my city, it is illegal for large bikes to be on sidewalks, and illegal for small bikes to be on roads, which means if you're riding with your kids, someone is gonna have to break the law.

M II A II R II K Aug 27, 2010 3:18 PM

Running bike-sharing networks through smartphones


Instead of relying on kiosks and docking stations to connect users to bikes, cyclists use their smartphones to locate, check out, and lock bikes -- everything is portable, wireless, decentralized, and self-contained. The tech is stored in a small "lock box" attached to the rear wheel, which connects the bike to a central server. Users create an account with SoBi, find a bike through a call or smartphone app, and receive a code which they can use to unlock the bicycle from an ordinary rack. They can just enter their account info directly into the lock box; they use the same pin code every time, "just like with a bank card."

Lyly Aug 31, 2010 2:26 PM


Originally Posted by fflint (Post 4961154)
^Adult cyclists cannot legally use sidewalks in many cities, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

I don't have the option any way, there are no sidewalks where I live. Meanwhile, you're not supposed to bicycle on highways, which we do have plenty of. It's very hard to be a cyclist in most of Texas.

M II A II R II K Aug 31, 2010 5:27 PM

The Truth About London's Cycle Superhighways

09 August, 2010

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Launched to much fanfare last month, London’s two new cycle superhighways are being touted as safe, fast and more direct journeys into the city centre. However, my recent trip down the CS3 - which links Barking in the east to London’s famous Tower Bridge - raised some questions over the ‘super’ status of these lanes. As the above image shows, the CS3 begins in an understated manner, with its 9 mile route offering moments of perfection and incredible frustration in equal doses.

Dotted along the route are these guides telling you your location and the time required to get to key points along the superhighway. The timescales provided are realistic - I was able to cycle the entire route in 45 minutes, compared to their projected time of 55 minutes.

At its most eastern point, the CS3 runs alongside a motorway, raised at a similar level to the pavement and about 1.5 metres wide. Not the best views or source of fresh air, but much better than sharing the road with cars and lorries.

At points, the CS3 veers away from the motorway, running alongside fields and passing underneath junctions.

Unfortunately, not all junctions can be passed underneath, increasing journey times by leaving cyclists to cross at pedestrian crossings.

Whilst the minimum width of 1.5 metres is adequate for most of the route, on corners such as this it is not enough, with the risk of collision between turning cyclists being high.

As the route gets closer to London’s city centre, it becomes sporadic. This pavement, for example, is also the CS3, despite there being no signage illustrating this to either pedestrians or cyclists.

This shared road then takes a turn into a gated area, where cyclists have to wait for an attendant to raise a barrier before they can continue with their journey.

Rizzo Aug 31, 2010 5:54 PM


Originally Posted by fflint (Post 4961154)
^Adult cyclists cannot legally use sidewalks in many cities, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

It's not enforced in Chicago, unless explicitly stated by signage. By not enforced, I mean if you are clearly being a danger and knocking over pedestrians they can issue a ticket. Most officers will say nothing, even if you slowly ride past them on a sidewalk. It's just not in the city's interests to make a deal out of it, unless they really have to.

I rarely ride on the sidewalk except on my own street because of all the double parked cars and people doing U-Turns. But I always yield to pedestrians and when a stroller or elderly person comes by, come to a complete stop and wait for them to pass.

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