Author Topic: Mafia Lanes!  (Read 9514 times)

PoutineLover

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #50 on: November 14, 2017, 11:12:32 AM »
I think that all new roads should have bike lanes, bus lanes, and sidewalks, and that car lanes and parking lanes be reduced to make room for this, especially in downtown cores. Make driving the difficult option, and all active and communal transportation the easy choice. People tend to make irrational decisions to prioritize their own convenience, at the expense of the livability of the city for everyone else. Every street should have more bike parking than car parking, and bikes and pedestrians should have the right of way over cars. I know that sounds drastic to car people, but when you are a biker you realize how little care drivers take regarding cyclists and pedestrians, and I see near accidents all of the time. Reorder the priority on the roads, and we will end up with safer, more active, and less congested cities.

This works extremely well when there's also attention paid to getting people (and their bikes) into and out of the downtown core and other places where people congregate. Most people who work or shop there can't also live there especially if they've got entry-level, seasonal, or service jobs. The families who live downtown also need some means to get their kids to school and to go to places where individuals and families like to be in large numbers: ballparks, stadiums, the local university, the major hospitals, the military base if there is one, the airport, and performing arts centers. Such things are seldom downtown simply because of the amount of space needed. Cities that have a public transit backbone that connects the downtown core with these key destinations, along with a couple park-and-ride or bus-fed terminals in the suburbs, tend to succeed in bike-centric and pedestrian-centric development provided people can bring bikes, pets, and suitcases on board. Sequentially speaking, the public transit backbone has to come first.
Yes of course, I think that big parking towers by the main train or bus routes into the core are essential. The idea being that for people living further away, they can drive until the more densely populated area, then switch to communal transport. But when there are good transit links to the main amenities you mentioned, fewer people need to own cars at all, and with car sharing services, fewer cars can serve more people for those occasional trips. It takes an entire urban planning mindset shift, and it would be difficult to convert cities that have a deeply ingrained car culture already, but for new developments it is essential to make them less reliant on cars and more accessible by other forms of transit.

Indexer

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #51 on: November 14, 2017, 03:07:27 PM »

Nobody HAS to slam their brakes, especially uphill. If they have to, they drove very badly, because you should look ahead and anticipate other traffic.
And even less they HAVE to pass unsafely (like in my top example). It is their choice, based on idiocy and negligent to the biker. They can just wait for a space big enough to safely overtake or even - gasp! - drive a few minutes behind the bike if really necessary. They do wait at train crossings, right? So it's not like they are mentally incabable of waiting (and if they would, they should not have a driver's license to start with).

On my way home I'm driving on a road where the speed limit is 45, people actually drive 50+. There are hills and curves. You can't necessarily see more than a couple cars ahead. In 5:00 traffic on a Friday you are driving along, both lanes are full of cars, everything is normal, then the car in front of you suddenly swerves into the other lane, and BIKE!!! 

Sure, every other driver could drive safer, but they don't. Without notice you have a bike in front of you going 30-40 mph slower than you. If you are travelling at a safe distance from the car that was in front of you then you have room to stop if you slam on the brakes. Someone might as well be standing in the middle of the road.

I don't consider that to be safe for vehicles to be travelling significantly slower on major fast roads.

GuitarStv

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2017, 05:59:42 PM »

Nobody HAS to slam their brakes, especially uphill. If they have to, they drove very badly, because you should look ahead and anticipate other traffic.
And even less they HAVE to pass unsafely (like in my top example). It is their choice, based on idiocy and negligent to the biker. They can just wait for a space big enough to safely overtake or even - gasp! - drive a few minutes behind the bike if really necessary. They do wait at train crossings, right? So it's not like they are mentally incabable of waiting (and if they would, they should not have a driver's license to start with).

On my way home I'm driving on a road where the speed limit is 45, people actually drive 50+. There are hills and curves. You can't necessarily see more than a couple cars ahead. In 5:00 traffic on a Friday you are driving along, both lanes are full of cars, everything is normal, then the car in front of you suddenly swerves into the other lane, and BIKE!!!
 
Sure, every other driver could drive safer, but they don't. Without notice you have a bike in front of you going 30-40 mph slower than you. If you are travelling at a safe distance from the car that was in front of you then you have room to stop if you slam on the brakes. Someone might as well be standing in the middle of the road.

I don't consider that to be safe for vehicles to be travelling significantly slower on major fast roads.

What you're describing is a textbook scenario of out-driving visibility, coupled with exceeding the speed limit.  (It also kinda sounds like there's some tailgating going on too.)  What if the car in front of you swerved into the other lane because there was a deer, a log, a giant pothole, a tractor, a broken down car?  It's the same result every time.

Not only is it not safe for vehicles travelling significantly slower on the road, but it's not safe for any of the vehicles driving on that road.  Maybe petition for better police enforcement until the recklessness you've described is ticketed away?

Goldielocks

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2017, 11:12:11 PM »


Because some bike paths are designed more for recreation than transportation, and don't always go to where people work or run errands.  In many cities, bike path networks are also frustratingly incomplete, and you can end up with paths that are excellent in one part of town, but lack safe crossings or connections to another part of town you need to get to.  In these situations, it's sometimes more practical, safer, or faster to bike on roads.
I think the frustration is when people avoid a good bike lane (one that connects, is wide, is not impacted by garbage / debris / parked cars / pedestrians), a lane that connects very well with another direct transportation route (not a rambling exercise path), ...   simply because it is a 1/2 block longer than staying on the current road.   At least, that is the only reason I can see for people using the road versus our bike network.

Quote
And because people have every legal right to ride bikes on roads (excluding interstates and other limited access roads) as long as they obey traffic laws.
Yes, and sometimes it is obvious that being an idiot is not against the law.

In general, cyclists are usually pretty good judges of whether it's safer to
ride on the road or the bike lane.

Which is why the vast majority are in the bike lane... with room to spare.  It is the one or two idiots that cause problems for others.

Rubic

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #54 on: November 15, 2017, 07:02:47 AM »

In general, cyclists are usually pretty good judges of whether it's safer to
ride on the road or the bike lane.

Which is why the vast majority are in the bike lane... with room to spare.  It is the one or two idiots that cause problems for others.

When it is safer for me to ride in the bike lane, I ride in the
bike lane.  Sometimes it's not.  Sometimes the bike lane simply
ends or continuing to ride in it puts me in more hazard (e.g. parked
car door opening, clueless pedestrians, etc.)  I have enough road
miles in the saddle to consider that I'm the best judge of the situation.

FWIW, the only time I've ever been hit by a car (after almost 100K of road
miles during my bike trips) I was riding in the bike lane.

moof

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #55 on: November 15, 2017, 02:16:30 PM »
I can only speak for the Portland Oregon suburbs I live in, but we have a great lack of driver and rider education and it only seems to get worse.

The drivers seem to barely be able to figure out the rules among themselves.  Often people yield when they should not, leading to near rear-ends.  Local buses like to move into the bike lane with me in it.

Cyclists often are on the side walks, riding the wrong way, or otherwise flaunting the law.  Being mostly a bike commuter I have largely come to loathe other cyclists that do everything from ride the wrong way in the shadows, turn right on red without looking for bikes in the lane, to randomly switching from sidewalk to bike lane at random without checking or signaling.  Spring is the worst due to all the fair weather cyclists coming out due to the nice weather.

Add to this a severe lack of enforcement all around and I get pretty sick of the whole commuting situation no matter what mode of transport I choose.  I personally would like to see driver's licenses require refresher courses every 5 years so that everyone at least knew what the rules are supposed to be.

End rant.

Rubic

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #56 on: November 15, 2017, 03:16:58 PM »
I can only speak for the Portland Oregon suburbs I live in, but we have a great lack of driver and rider education and it only seems to get worse.

The drivers seem to barely be able to figure out the rules among themselves.  Often people yield when they should not, leading to near rear-ends.  Local buses like to move into the bike lane with me in it.

Cyclists often are on the side walks, riding the wrong way, or otherwise flaunting the law.  Being mostly a bike commuter I have largely come to loathe other cyclists that do everything from ride the wrong way in the shadows, turn right on red without looking for bikes in the lane, to randomly switching from sidewalk to bike lane at random without checking or signaling.  Spring is the worst due to all the fair weather cyclists coming out due to the nice weather.

Add to this a severe lack of enforcement all around and I get pretty sick of the whole commuting situation no matter what mode of transport I choose.  I personally would like to see driver's licenses require refresher courses every 5 years so that everyone at least knew what the rules are supposed to be.

End rant.

+1 Agreed.

Where I live, law enforcement is more strict and will hand out tickets to
cyclists who run stop signs.  This is a good thing.  Same roads, same rules.

nereo

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #57 on: November 15, 2017, 04:46:27 PM »
everytime the subject of driverless cars come up and someone says they are uncomfortable driving alongside a car controlled by a computer I think to myself "i'm uncomfortable being next to cars driven by a person*".

*a person, that is, who is doing any of the following - texting, talking on their cell, speeding, drunk, high, shaving, putting on makeup, having an argument with a fellow passenger, yelling at fellow drivers, changing lanes without signaling, tailgating, eating... conservatively I'd say it's 1 out of every 3 drivers at any given moment.

** from what I've seen driverless cars are much better able to adjust to cyclists than human drivers.

Goldielocks

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #58 on: November 16, 2017, 03:41:21 AM »

In general, cyclists are usually pretty good judges of whether it's safer to
ride on the road or the bike lane.

Which is why the vast majority are in the bike lane... with room to spare.  It is the one or two idiots that cause problems for others.

When it is safer for me to ride in the bike lane, I ride in the
bike lane.  Sometimes it's not.  Sometimes the bike lane simply
ends or continuing to ride in it puts me in more hazard (e.g. parked
car door opening, clueless pedestrians, etc.)  I have enough road
miles in the saddle to consider that I'm the best judge of the situation.

FWIW, the only time I've ever been hit by a car (after almost 100K of road
miles during my bike trips) I was riding in the bike lane.
Rubic,  I am obviously not talking about you.   I am talking about the few cyclists who choose to avoid a much better option of a bike lane, that seasoned cyclists such as you are using because it is safer and easier for cyclists;  rather they choose  to use the only road where cars are allowed to drive and turn to access their residences / businesses / parkades.

There are idiots out there.  I am sure you have seen them.   Frustrating as all heck during rush hour to come across them.     For our city, this is one 12 block stretch of one road that should be posted "no cyclists" for safety as better alternatives are abundant.

Rubic

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #59 on: November 16, 2017, 07:09:04 AM »
Rubic,  I am obviously not talking about you.   I am talking about the few cyclists who choose to avoid a much better option of a bike lane, that seasoned cyclists such as you are using because it is safer and easier for cyclists;  rather they choose  to use the only road where cars are allowed to drive and turn to access their residences / businesses / parkades.

There are idiots out there.  I am sure you have seen them.   Frustrating as all heck during rush hour to come across them.     For our city, this is one 12 block stretch of one road that should be posted "no cyclists" for safety as better alternatives are abundant.

Goldielocks, I agree with you to the extent that a lot of cyclists (along with motorists)
are idiots.  I frequently see cyclists on roads that don't make any sense for them to
be riding on because one block over they could ride to the same destination on a less
congested road.

nereo

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #60 on: November 16, 2017, 07:18:22 AM »
FWIW, I just see a 'whole bunch of stupid' from all parties; distracted and enraged drivers, cyclists on roads where they shouldn't be (and/or failing to obey the rules of the road), pedestrians crossing bike-paths without looking or walking three-abreast on them, children drawing with chalk on bike paths around a blind turn, vehicles double-parked and blocking traffic flow for everyone...

probably a minority in all cases, but the common thread seems to be individuals who don't consider their impact on others (or don't care).

LennStar

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2017, 02:23:12 AM »
That video is completely OT but still a full hit on conversation lol.

Watch how to fix a dangerous traffic situation with a simple solution: duct tape

https://boingboing.net/2017/11/16/watch-how-to-fix-a-bad-traffic.html

GuitarStv

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Re: Mafia Lanes!
« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2017, 07:11:16 AM »
That video is completely OT but still a full hit on conversation lol.

Watch how to fix a dangerous traffic situation with a simple solution: duct tape

https://boingboing.net/2017/11/16/watch-how-to-fix-a-bad-traffic.html

Actually, it kinda highlights what many have been mentioning in this thread . . . there exist bike lanes that are frustrating to use and dangerous because of poor design.  Sadly, not all of them can be fixed with tape.