I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

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Highway
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by Highway »

As I've probably said before: The gas tax is not the only source of funding for roadways. A significant part comes from general funds. So cyclists *do* pay for roadways, pretty much the same as anyone else.

But I'll also be clear on this: Roadways get paid for. Maintenance gets paid for. Whether it's from the gas tax, special funds, or general funds, local, state, or federal. They get paid for out of public money. It's not any more on 'credit' than any other part of government (and when it's explicitly on credit, there are explicit payback plans for bonds). On top of that, 'our crumbling infrastructure' stories are bullshit, as the number of deficient roadways and structures is shrinking. So stuff gets paid for. It may not be as much money as ASCE wants, but it's being done.

Aside: The argument about there being 'enough' funding for capacity improvements is far different, and has many more components than just money for construction.

No road 'pays for itself', unless it's a toll road (and quite a few of them don't pay for themselves). But every road is paid for. We could make it so that there is a road tax for everyone, rather than a gas tax. We could make it so that all of the funding comes from general funds. By and large, everyone would pay the same amount towards roadways that they do now. It's set up that way. So the point is don't try to play 'tit for tat' with 'You didn't pay for this', because everyone did pay.
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Ayn_Randian
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by Ayn_Randian »

Highway wrote:
nicole wrote:And bikes are just like buses, delivery vans, etc. Another pain in the ass that slows down traffic as everyone passes them. But we're supposed to act like they're something other than that because environment.
I don't think anyone's asking you to act like they're something different. Heck, treat them like that other stuff: they have a right to be on the road, and you don't hit them. Noone's asking you to like them.
Like I said before, having a right to do something does not mean it's a good idea to exercise that right.
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by Ayn_Randian »

Mo wrote:Should we ban tourists from the sidewalks of NYC? They go 3 when everyone else is going 5 and they stop short all the time.

It's not like bikes are on interstates, they're on streets where the speed limit is 25-35 miles an hour. The thing is cars will slow down significantly for a car going 25 on a 25 road as well.
The consequences of two pedestrians running into each other is not the same as a car striking a cyclist.

I feel like you guys want to turn this into a justice issue: bikes have the right to be there and motorists should just deal. That's not what I'm saying. I'm saying in terms of safety and speed cyclists are much closer to pedestrians. Going 10 in a 35 or a 45 (I frequently see cyclists on 4 lane 45 mph roads) is just not appropriate.
It has the effect of making me want desperately to do the opposite of what Green Day is suggesting I should want to do. Billy Joe Whassname may have created a generation of war mongers. - Jason L
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Highway
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by Highway »

And the answer is "Hey, that's great, that's your opinion. The rest of the world disagrees." It's not a binary question of appropriate or not. It's a question of "Which of the available choices are the most appropriate for ALL of the modes involved." And the answer to that question has consistently, and continues to be, bikes on the road and pedestrians on the sidewalk.
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by thoreau »

I guess I would ask myself three questions about bikes on the road:

1) How much of a problem do they cause? Not much, from what I can tell. I slow down briefly, pass carefully, and move on. If I'm in the right lane on a residential street, I should be exercising a lot of care for parked cars, pedestrians darting out, and people getting out of parked cars anyway. If I'm on a faster road, they're usually in a special lane, at least in CA.

2) How much cost do they add? Marking a couple feet on the side of the road seems unlikely to add much, though I'll defer to any corrections Highway might give. Certainly they aren't adding anything significant to upkeep costs.

3) Are there positive externalities if people bike instead of drive? Sure. Even if you don't subscribe to certain views on climate change, a bit less smog ain't such a bad thing, healthier people ain't a bad thing, and it's more parking spaces for the rest of us.

Adding it all up, I just don't see anything worth objecting to.
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

At least in my experience, it's fewer parking spaces. Streets that once permitted parking on one or both sides of the road suddenly have bicycle lanes and No Parking signs.

And unless I'm very mistaken, every additional square foot of roadway is far from cheap.
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by nicole »

1. How many times do you do this during a normal, in-your-own-municipality driving trip of, say, under 5 miles? I easily pass a dozen+ cyclists on my shortest car trips; when I drive on arterial roads that don't have bike lanes I pass dozens within miles, along with a half dozen buses or so that require similar consideration. For me, this isn't about "exercising care" or "watching out," but about time. If the guy in front of me, or a few cars in front of me, is uncomfortable passing, he could impede the flow of traffic for dozens and dozens of cars because of a single bike. If you're chill with bikes, whatever, but I don't see how you can argue that they don't slow the overall flow of traffic compared to what it would be if only cars were on the road.

3. More parking spaces except when those parking spaces become a bike lane--a direction we are going in parts of Chicago.
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Highway
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by Highway »

Taking capacity from a roadway for bikes is an iffy thing. We generally don't do it in Maryland, but I don't know about other locations. If a bike lane is provided, it has to be at least 5' wide, usually 6. But for 'bike compatible lanes', that goes down to an additional 3 feet (a normal lane is 11-12 feet, a bike compatible lane is 14-15 feet, only on the curb lane). There are definitely design challenges for bike lanes, particularly with right-turning vehicles.

And yes, that costs money to build. But in the overall scope of a *new* project, the additional cost to provide bike lanes is not particularly troublesome. Yes, they add costs throughout, but it's pretty clear that's where the political will is going. Just like we're not going to build a roadway without ADA compatible facilities, it's unlikely that we'll build a roadway without bike facilities now.

As for retrofits, taking parking spaces is something that, the complaints of locals taken into account, is popular now, not just for bicycles. Of course, if you're arguing for more capacity on the road, then it's hard to say "Leave the parking, and let the bikes be in the road". Street parking is probably about as much of a capacity killer as bikes in the lane, and replacing street parking with a bike lane solves both issues, usually without much loss of parking. But parking is one of those things people are not particularly rational about, to be honest.

But most of what we've been talking about here is locations without bike lanes. And most places, it's difficult to put them in without a major project. Consider that many arterials have already been restriped to provide another lane, that's why they feel so narrow. Or they used to have parking and now they don't. And all of that is to prevent having to reconstruct, if it's even possible to.
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Highway
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

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nicole wrote:1. How many times do you do this during a normal, in-your-own-municipality driving trip of, say, under 5 miles? I easily pass a dozen+ cyclists on my shortest car trips; when I drive on arterial roads that don't have bike lanes I pass dozens within miles, along with a half dozen buses or so that require similar consideration. For me, this isn't about "exercising care" or "watching out," but about time. If the guy in front of me, or a few cars in front of me, is uncomfortable passing, he could impede the flow of traffic for dozens and dozens of cars because of a single bike. If you're chill with bikes, whatever, but I don't see how you can argue that they don't slow the overall flow of traffic compared to what it would be if only cars were on the road.
It would be impossible to find someone who has argued that in this thread. The response has repeatedly been "The delay is not as long as you think it is" and "Bikes need to go somewhere, and the best of the possible places is on the road."
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by nicole »

Highway wrote: Street parking is probably about as much of a capacity killer as bikes in the lane, and replacing street parking with a bike lane solves both issues, usually without much loss of parking. But parking is one of those things people are not particularly rational about, to be honest.
Now pretend you live in a city and the street is the only place to park.
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by Kolohe »

D.A. Ridgely wrote:At least in my experience, it's fewer parking spaces. Streets that once permitted parking on one or both sides of the road suddenly have bicycle lanes and No Parking signs.

And unless I'm very mistaken, every additional square foot of roadway is far from cheap.
The state shouldn't be provide parking as a public good in any case.
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Highway
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by Highway »

nicole wrote:
Highway wrote: Street parking is probably about as much of a capacity killer as bikes in the lane, and replacing street parking with a bike lane solves both issues, usually without much loss of parking. But parking is one of those things people are not particularly rational about, to be honest.
Now pretend you live in a city and the street is the only place to park.
Then I'd probably be annoyed, although as Kolohe says, the state shouldn't be providing parking. But that's not the question. The condition is: There will be bikes. The question is: where do you want them. As has been discussed, the sidewalk is not appropriate. Therefore they're in the lane, or they're in a bike lane. And if the bike lane is created by removing parking, which do you want?

Here's another thing to think about: If the land adjacent to the street is too valuable to give over to parking vehicles, even vertically, why is the street real estate appropriate for that use? Congested street right of way is MORE valuable than property alongside it. Shouldn't the state say "We are taking back this land for the movement of vehicles, not the parking of vehicles. Find somewhere else to store your car."?
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Kolohe wrote:
D.A. Ridgely wrote:At least in my experience, it's fewer parking spaces. Streets that once permitted parking on one or both sides of the road suddenly have bicycle lanes and No Parking signs.

And unless I'm very mistaken, every additional square foot of roadway is far from cheap.
The state shouldn't be provide parking as a public good in any case.
That's as may be, but why not carry that argument to say the state shouldn't provide roads as a public good, either?

Moreover, there's a significant difference in my opinion between street parking in residential neighborhoods and commercial districts. Eliminating street parking in a residential neighborhood for the sake of a bicycle lane strikes me as madness. As long as people live in suburbs they are going to depend on motor vehicles with passenger and cargo capacities. Inconveniencing motorists for the sake of cycling commuters or recreational cycling is a poor trade regardless of where the current political winds may be blowing.

As for urban street parking versus bicycle lanes, while I admit there are reasons to encourage bicycles, I'd prefer to see street parking priced on the basis of demand.
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by nicole »

Highway wrote:Here's another thing to think about: If the land adjacent to the street is too valuable to give over to parking vehicles, even vertically, why is the street real estate appropriate for that use? Congested street right of way is MORE valuable than property alongside it. Shouldn't the state say "We are taking back this land for the movement of vehicles, not the parking of vehicles. Find somewhere else to store your car."?
I don't think this holds in a residential neighborhood. (Am thinking over the rest of your post.)
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

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Why doesn't it? Is there some special claim that people who live adjacent to a road have over some 30' stretch of the road in front of their house?
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by nicole »

For the record, this is my street. Note the cyclist riding the wrong way in the bike lane. The next street west of me has the corresponding southbound bike lane, just as it has the corresponding southbound driving direction.
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I just think, there is a legitimate difference between people are are just not used to the patterns and the density and there are real reasons that make bikes inefficient in certain places, but there are also places where the density both makes it make sense and also makes it genuinely fucking suck.
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nicole
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

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Highway wrote:Why doesn't it? Is there some special claim that people who live adjacent to a road have over some 30' stretch of the road in front of their house?
Well you made the claim based on street congestion, but not all streets are that congested.
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by Mo »

nicole wrote:1. How many times do you do this during a normal, in-your-own-municipality driving trip of, say, under 5 miles? I easily pass a dozen+ cyclists on my shortest car trips; when I drive on arterial roads that don't have bike lanes I pass dozens within miles, along with a half dozen buses or so that require similar consideration. For me, this isn't about "exercising care" or "watching out," but about time. If the guy in front of me, or a few cars in front of me, is uncomfortable passing, he could impede the flow of traffic for dozens and dozens of cars because of a single bike. If you're chill with bikes, whatever, but I don't see how you can argue that they don't slow the overall flow of traffic compared to what it would be if only cars were on the road.

3. More parking spaces except when those parking spaces become a bike lane--a direction we are going in parts of Chicago.
On weekends I pass a good number of bikes on the road right in front of my house*. It's moderately annoying, but the delay, in the grand scheme of things is minimal. At worst, I miss one entire cycle of a stoplight.
D.A. Ridgely wrote:Moreover, there's a significant difference in my opinion between street parking in residential neighborhoods and commercial districts. Eliminating street parking in a residential neighborhood for the sake of a bicycle lane strikes me as madness. As long as people live in suburbs they are going to depend on motor vehicles with passenger and cargo capacities. Inconveniencing motorists for the sake of cycling commuters or recreational cycling is a poor trade regardless of where the current political winds may be blowing.
In a suburb, you can use your driveway or garage to park. The beauty of using your own land for parking is you can keep bicyclists off of it.

* Apparently, it's quite a popular through way for bikes
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by Jadagul »

Highway wrote:
As for retrofits, taking parking spaces is something that, the complaints of locals taken into account, is popular now, not just for bicycles. Of course, if you're arguing for more capacity on the road, then it's hard to say "Leave the parking, and let the bikes be in the road". Street parking is probably about as much of a capacity killer as bikes in the lane, and replacing street parking with a bike lane solves both issues, usually without much loss of parking. But parking is one of those things people are not particularly rational about, to be honest.
To which I have to share this (inflammatorily-headlined) piece about bike lanes and parking.

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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Meh. Seventy nine percent probably doesn't understand what "negative impact" means.
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by Highway »

nicole wrote:
Highway wrote:Why doesn't it? Is there some special claim that people who live adjacent to a road have over some 30' stretch of the road in front of their house?
Well you made the claim based on street congestion, but not all streets are that congested.
But if the street is not congested, then the claim that bikes are causing so much delay falls apart, so the claim that they need to move somewhere else falls apart (on capacity grounds). And I'll admit that I added the 'congested' part in because if it's not congested, then that's a different argument (about preferences, not delays).
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

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Mo brings up another point I've been thinking about: Street Parking is an externality. It is a cost forced on the public by the people who want to park their cars there (right of way, paving, maintenance, stormwater pollution, exclusion of other uses). Why do they not have to come up with another place to put their cars, that they bear the costs of? If the argument is 'we've always done it that way', that's not really a good argument. Why should the externality of parking trump the desired use of other roadway users?
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

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I got ya. I'm not complaining about delays on my own, residential street. I'm complaining about delays on arterial roads without bike lanes. Arterial roads with bike lanes get around the delay problem, but by making other tradeoffs that may or may not be worth making.
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nicole
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

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Highway wrote:Mo brings up another point I've been thinking about: Street Parking is an externality. It is a cost forced on the public by the people who want to park their cars there (right of way, paving, maintenance, stormwater pollution, exclusion of other uses). Why do they not have to come up with another place to put their cars, that they bear the costs of? If the argument is 'we've always done it that way', that's not really a good argument. Why should the externality of parking trump the desired use of other roadway users?
I actually don't park on the street at home, and haven't in several years. However, I think I could make a reasonable argument that in fact, on a street like mine, the value of parking is higher than the value of driving. If I had to ballpark it, I'd say something like half of the people living in this neighborhood (and similar ones) park on the street, and frequently move their car only once a week or so. The other half do bear the costs of parking, either bundled with the cost of an apartment (like mine, which has "free" parking included in the alley) or additionally (which runs, in my neighborhood, which is pretty cheap, around $150/month). There's not much point in driving on a lot of these streets except to find a parking space, or if you have really unusual preferences about going places without making unnecessarily left turns or something only an OCD person would do.
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Re: I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!

Post by Mo »

Highway wrote:Mo brings up another point I've been thinking about: Street Parking is an externality. It is a cost forced on the public by the people who want to park their cars there (right of way, paving, maintenance, stormwater pollution, exclusion of other uses). Why do they not have to come up with another place to put their cars, that they bear the costs of? If the argument is 'we've always done it that way', that's not really a good argument. Why should the externality of parking trump the desired use of other roadway users?
White Plains has essentially no free parking anywhere in the main part of town*. At first it sounds horrifying, but it ends up being great. You end up with way less total parking spots because you end up with a certain level of optimization. People don't spend a shitload of time driving around looking for spots, which reduces congestion, and it lowers property taxes, since it's all municipal parking. It sorta sucks at peak Christmas, but the fancy mall solves it with valet.

* Except after ~9 in some spots
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