March 18, 2013 § 1 Comment
Iris and Brennen Bechtol have lived in Oak Cliff for some time now. They love the neighborhood, how bike friendly it is, and how BFOC always had great group rides for them to participate in. One thing though, they didn’t always feel comfortable taking their 8 year old daughter with them.
In the same vein that BFOC has been doing iBike Rosemont, they’re launching Kidical Mass Dallas. On the last Saturday of every month there will be a short, kid friendly group ride in various parts of Dallas. The idea is that it happens the Saturday after Dallas Critical Mass‘ Friday group ride, has a fun destination, and is very easy to do for all level of kid and adult riders.
Please “Like” our page to stay up-to-date on their monthly group rides!
Here are the details for their first group ride:
The ultimate family friendly group ride, Kidical Mass Dallas is hosting it’s first group ride to Lake Cliff Park.
Here are the meet up details:
When: Saturday March 30
Times: Meet at Bolsa Mercado; 614 W Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208 @ 12:30 PM
- Leave Bolsa Mercado: 1:00 PM
- Arrive at Lake Cliff Park: 1:30 PM
- Leave Lake Cliff Park: 3:30 PM
- Arrive back at Bolsa Mercado: 4:00 PM
Route: 7th street to Bishop, Bishop to
Colorado. 1.1 miles
Kids are encouraged to ride the approximately 1.1 mile route or be carried on their parent or guardian’s bicycle. The ride is very safe and will have designated Traffic Volunteers assisting at intersections.
There will be a fun game of ultimate Frisbee, and you’re encouraged to bring a picnic. No alcohol please.
Kidical Mass is a legal, safe and FUN bike ride for kids, kids at heart, and their families on the last Saturday of the month in Dallas, TX. A different ride will take place each month, and the location and route will change to different parts of Dallas.
September 4, 2012 § 3 Comments
It’s hard to believe the day has finally come when we no longer say Dallas still doesn’t have a dedicated bike lane. A plan to include bicycle infrastructure at the lower Rosemont Elementary School campus has started bearing fruit this past week when the City of Dallas laid down buffered bicycle lanes and a new crosswalk on Mary Cliff Rd from Rainer to Taft, and bicycle sharows from Taft to Kings Highway.
Further improvements, to be completed soon on Stephens Forest Dr., include lane re-stripping, a raised crosswalk, and more bicycle infrastructure. The project has been community lead since iBike Rosemont, a bicycle awareness program started by Christian Johnson, Jason Roberts, local parents and non-parent residents in the Spring of 2009. Here’s a great video about iBike Rosemont:
Now that new paint has been laid, work still needs to be done in educating drivers in how to travel through the new infrastructure. Look for a public awareness campaign to rev up throughout this Fall during Cyclesomatic!
May 4, 2012 § 2 Comments
The mayor recently stated that construction of the Trinity Toll Road would help grow South Dallas because it would create greater connectivity to jobs in North Dallas and help spur development along the route. Currently, 175 and I-45 carve through incredible South Dallas neighborhoods, and yet the land directly beside these roads has depressed values and relatively little development. How can this be? Sadly, the neighborhoods of South Dallas would be thriving today if they were connected at street levels with at-grade boulevard style infrastructure. Traffic would not be negatively impacted, in fact, pass through traffic that has no intention of stopping in South Dallas would be rerouted to other areas allowing neighborhoods to be turned back into incredible destinations.
After a recent history bike tour of South Dallas, I really fell in love with the small neighborhoods throughout the area. It was hard to see so many of these areas cut in half by elevated roadways that created a moat effect, stopping development and growth at the foot of each highway. Fortunately, there has been some strong neighborhood focused redevelopment spearheaded by Councilwoman Davis with the Bexar Street area. Its development stops at the highway as well, but it shows a roadmap that the rest of South Dallas could follow in order to begin creating great pedestrian oriented places.
The topography, the culture, and the people in the area deserve great places so their family’s can thrive and feel a sense of place. The tollroad will continue the path of carving up neighborhoods and tear apart the foundation that is left which could quickly be built upon. Looking at places like the Bishop Arts District, which are far removed from highways and small scale, a template exists that could easily be adopted throughout South Dallas for far less money and far greater return on investment. My hope is that we quickly help these communities before more roadway developers in North Dallas strip what’s left of a beautiful opportunity for revitalization. There’s a reason why no one in North Oak Cliff or East Dallas is fighting to have a tollroad any where near their neighborhoods. The question should be asked, if tollroads do create major investment and development, why isn’t anyone in Park Cities (where the majority of our region’s wealth exists) asking for a highway through their neighborhoods? The reality is they would fight it tooth and nail…because they know the truth.
February 24, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Meet Up: At Beckley and Commerce
Time: 2:15 PM
Depart: 2:30 PM
Cemetery tour will begin at 3:00 PM. After the tour, we’ll ride to Bar Belmont for a drink
February 16, 2010 Comments Off
(photo by Flickr user Willyf)
The Dutch blog, A View from the Cycle Path, thoroughly dismantles the “high density needed for successful bicycle infrastructure” argument, by highlighting the fact that infrastructure alone is all that is needed for increasing ridership. By example, the author uses his home city of Assen, which has no large universities or colleges, a density half that of Dallas, and a 41% rate of trips by bicycle. More from the article:
“It’s perhaps interesting to note that the highest cycling rates in much of the Netherlands are actually in the North of the country, in the least densely populated areas, where journey lengths are often a bit longer. It’s not population density which really makes the difference in cycling rates, but infrastructure which makes cycling into an obvious option. It has to be the most convenient, pleasant and safe way to get about. That’s why 93% of the Dutch population ride a bike at least once a week.”
Head over to Google Maps street view, and drop the street guy on any arterial street (in yellow), and see how the planners in Assen develop their roads in comparison to our own. It’s easy to see why ridership is so high…they’ve made it simple, and irresistable.
November 19, 2009 § 2 Comments
(Santiago Calatrava standing next to a model of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas. Photo by Daniel Driensky)
The DJC in Oregon posted an article yesterday comparing Vancouver’s bridges with Portland’s, and the effect these structures have on their communitys’ livability. Since the Trinity Trust has hired Vancouver’s planner, Larry Beasley, this is a timely conversation for us, as we are about to open our newest suspension bridge connecting West Dallas to Downtown.
(Burrard Street Bridge, Vancouver)
An important factor to note, when studying livable cities, is that the planners in these areas do not consider congestion a problem…they welcome it. These planners have found that the reality is congestion is a direct contributor to slowing streets and making communities more walkable. The widening of roads to speed vehicle traffic has shown to have a detrimental effect on surrounding neighborhoods and the life that surrounds them. We know this first hand when comparing a road like McKinney Avenue, to Fort Worth Avenue. One has four lanes, a trolley and wide sidewalks, while the other has 6 lanes, and small sidewalks. One area is built to minimize congestion, the other is not. Obviously, of the two, people would much rather sit at a cafe table alongside the congested street. Small Businesses would rather setup shop here as well, as they bring greater foot traffic, and are more appealing aesthetically. People also prefer to live closer to streets that are not high speed thoroughfares. McKinney Avenue is not only safer to cross due to the thinner streets, but also has a heightened perception of safety due to the number of eyes on the street. One could be used on a postcard, the other is sterile, gray, and cold.
More from the article:
“…Gordon Price, director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University and a former longtime Vancouver, B.C., city councilor, is glad to have a narrow, three-lane Lions Gate Bridge. “The conclusion I’ve drawn from looking at the history is that it’s one of the reasons we are one of the most livable cities in the world,” Price said, “on both sides of the inlet.”
Vancouver and its northern suburbs had a chance to see whether maintaining the size of the crossing would lead to increased congestion and a worse economy. “The answer, apparently, is no,” Price said. “If it were true that congestion would lead to an economic decline, you wouldn’t have the affluent area on one side and a vibrant urban area on the other.”
In any community, Price said, residents need clarity on transportation-planning decisions that determine where people live, where they work and how they commute. In Vancouver, people know there won’t be a new Burrard Inlet crossing.
“We said, ‘That’s OK; we will live with the existing capacity,’ ” Price said. “Once it became clear that wouldn’t change (and) we wouldn’t be overruled by the provincial and federal governments, then we took the other (transportation) options seriously and started to design cities to be walkable, to have more transit, and to be more bicycle friendly.””
According to this World Architecture News article, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas was designed to “not only create a new icon for the city’s skyline, but will also pump life back into the Trinity River.” Life or cars? Two very different concepts. The article goes on to state that “the structure will cross the Trinity River Corridor linking West Dallas/North Oak Cliff with the downtown area. At a length of 418.5m and a width of 36.7m the bridge carries 6 lanes of traffic across the water.”
Six lanes of traffic, which will then open up to another 6 lanes of traffic on the new Singleton Boulevard? Again, what are our aims? To create a highway, or a boulevard? What models are we seeking to replicate, and what is the end goal? If this is truly a signature bridge, it should have wide bike and pedestrian lanes, and streetcar rail that allows access into the park and along the boulevard. Otherwise, we’ll have 6 dedicated lanes to cars, which we’ll then need to build giant parking structures or worse, sprawling lots, to accommodate the traffic. This is not a livable approach to infrastructure development. We’re simply accommodating cars only, so we should expect another sterile, gray, and cold environment.
October 30, 2009 § 4 Comments
In our previous article, we challenged city leaders to set extraordinary goals and to think beyond what is currently the defeatist “Dallas is a car city” mindset. The above picture illustrates a comparison of attitudes towards Dallas city planning and Copenhagen city planning. You’ll notice Dallas looks like a moonscape filled with massive gray parking lots, and a perfect place to live if you happen to be a car. We also noted Danish planner Jan Gehl’s efforts to return Copenhagen’s streets to a people-first model, and specifically his successful Stroget project. To recap, the Stroget turned from an auto-centric street, to a pedestrian only in 1962:
Gehl’s ideas were shaped largely by the observations of noted author and architecture critic, Jane Jacobs, whose seminal book, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities”, was released in 1961. The key to the success of his projects was a gradual shifting of mode planning. Gehl strived to reduce parking each year by only 3%. Similar efforts to create pedestrian plazas in the US in the late 70′s often failed due to efforts to simply remove all parking in hopes that people would come out. The problem with this idea was that residents had no time to adapt to the changed environment, and quickly lead to several of these project’s failures. Along with the pedestrianization efforts of city plaza’s by Gehl, the city of Copenhagen also noticed a large drop in bicycle ridership. It hits its lowest point in the 1970′s, where city officials then took great measures to begin the buidout of a major bicycle infrastructure network. Due to these efforts, bicycling rebounded, and has now grown wildly in popularity:
The focus of efforts to increase ridership centered on building safe streets for all residents, from ages 5 to 85+. Gehl illustrates this point in the following slide from a recent presentation with his 85 year old mother-in-law:
In the end, city leaders were willing to take risks, and drop assumptions they’d built over time on how people wanted their city to look and feel. To contrast this split in planning, Dallas began its Downtown underground mall in the 1970′s, completing its vision to remove all signs of life from its streets.
October 29, 2009 § 3 Comments
Stroget Pedestrian Plaza, Copenhagen, Denmark
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood…. Make big plans… aim high in hope and work.” Daniel Burnham, Architect of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair
When Danish Planner, Jan Gehl, began his work to make the streets of Copenhagen pedestrian and bicycle friendly, what he heard most often from residents was, “We’re Danes, not Italians…We Don’t have a culture for walking”. Businesses along the now famous “car-free” Stroget plaza, claimed that their shops would be shuttered and everyone would desert the City center if no access was allowed for automobiles. Obviously, the changes they made have turned Copenhagen into one of the most livable cities in the world, but the idea of removing car lanes, parking, and more, originally brought nothing but defeatist predictions on the outcome, based soley on the idea that the culture simply didn’t exist…or if it once did, it had long since passed.
And how did they achieve such a status in a relatively short amount of time? Their city leaders were visionaries and didn’t settle for “just enough”. In all of my own advocacy within city meetings, townhalls, chambers, and more, I’ve been struck at how many people who have been placed in positions of authority, had the “Dallas just doesn’t do that” mentality. Fortunately, I’ve recently been heartened by a few that have decided to actually set goals beyond our own predefined boundaries like council members Delia Jasso, and Angela Hunt. I should note, it takes one extra trait beyond vision, and that’s courage. One has to muster quite a bit when putting ideas on the line, while knowing you’ll be taking arrows from NIMBY’s, C.A.V.E. people, and the very vocal “We Can’t” crowd.
So how do you challenge your community, and set out for the unimaginable? You set extraordinary goals. There are examples of this throughout the places we think of as “Great Cities”. Copenhagen set a goal to reach 50% bicycle ridership by 2015. Chicago set a goal to become the “Most Bicycle Friendly City in the United States”. Portland’s goal is to become the “Most Sustainable City in THE WORLD”.
If you strive for mediocrity, and miss your goal, then not only have you settled, but you might as well go home. On the other hand, if you set your vision far beyond what is currently imaginable (think: JFK’s moon challenge), then you’ve found an inspiring endeavor, and you stand the chance to make an entire community strive to its greatest potential. And even if you fall short, you’ve probably achieved much greater strides toward your goal than you ever would have previously, had you set out for “just enough”.
So our challenge to all city leaders is simple…set an unimaginable goal like “Dallas will be the most livable city in the World by 2020″, and even if we fall short, I don’t think anyone will have a problem with only being the “Eighth Most Livable City in the World.”
October 14, 2009 § 5 Comments
(image from Copenhagencyclechic.com)
We’ve noted this on multiple occasions here at BFOC, but this recent article in Scientific American goes into greater depth: “Addressing women’s concerns about safety and utility “will go a long way” toward increasing the number of people on two wheels.”
Rutgers Planning Professor and bike scholar, John Pucher (who we’ve noted in the past), goes on to explain, ” In the U.S., most cycling facilities consist of on-street bike lanes, which require riding in vehicle-clogged traffic. And when cities do install traffic-protected off-street bike paths, they are almost always along rivers and parks rather than along routes leading to the supermarket, the school, the day care center.”
The article goes on to state, “Other data support those findings. In New York City, men are three times as likely to be cyclists as women. Yet a bicycle count found that an off-street bike path in Central Park had 44 percent female riders. ‘Within the same city you find huge deviations in terms of gender,’ Pucher remarks.”
Copenhagen and Amsterdam’s success at attracting many people to cycling was based on focusing on women and children, and their natural aversions to risk. This presentation gives a breakdown of the actual ridership numbers and how they changed once Copenhagen began adopting a large bicycle infrastructure network beginning in the 1970′s. Though the city had always been known for a cycling culture, ridership levels were dropping at dramatic rates in the early 70′s, so planners quickly looked at what was creating this drop, and noted that the focus on auto-centric planning was the culprit. As soon as accommodations were made to address cyclists and to raise the perception of safety, ridership not only returned, but exploded. In Dallas, the previous bicycle coordinator attempted to focus on an education only campaign, to try and persuade riders that cycling on the streets with cars was just as safe and that separated paths were not only expensive, but dangerous. Fortunately, all major cities in the US have moved away from this position and are now implementing very successful bicycle programs as noted here. Not only has ridership increased, but most importantly, so has safety…a win, win.
The success of “complete streets” advocacy in cities such as San Francisco, Portland, New York, and Chicago has clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of infrastructural enhancement.- Paul Dorn, League Cycling Instructor (#1237)
October 12, 2009 § 7 Comments
Dallas is the only major US city without on-street bike lanes. Bike lanes have proven to increase ridership and safety and most every major city in the US is currently undergoing major bicycle infrastructure build-outs. Below are answers to a few common debate points given by those opposed to building bicycle infrastructure:
1) Dallas isn’t dense enough for bike lanes, right?
Portland’s inner city density in the 1980′s (pre-bike lane years) was comparable to Dallas inner city area (inside Loop 12) now. This is THE time to build, not once more people arrive. As an example of the major growth occurring in the inner city area, Dallas downtown population was 500 in 2000, and projected to be at 10,000 by 2010.
2) Isn’t it too hot in Dallas to promote major bicycle ridership?
Tempe, Phoenix, Austin, Houston, and New Orleans have bike lanes and they’re hot. The latter three are extremely humid. Fort Worth just unveiled a plan for 490 miles worth. Melbourne, Australia hit 108 degrees during their summer this year, and they have a very high bicycle ridership with lanes. In the end, ALL cities have issues with climate (Portland – Rain, Minneapolis – Cold, Austin – Heat, Copenhagen – Freezing). This is not a legitimate excuse. Dallas has 8 months of extremely mild weather. Copenhagen “Bike Capital of the World” has 4 months of freezing weather.
3) Don’t Bike lanes bring out more inexperienced riders, who are fearful and actually pose a greater danger?
If this is the case, then one would expect to see an exponential increase in accidents/fatalities in cities with major bicycle infrastructure. Remember, a place like Portland has 150+ miles of bike lanes and 8% ridership (Dallas has 0 miles, and 0.2% ridership). Given the above assumption, the massive number of inexperienced students bicycling in lanes and crossing the path of cars at thousands of different intersection points would show exponential increases in accidents. In 2008, Portland had 0 fatalities…Dallas had 7. There is not a single study out that notes where the percent increase in ridership surpassed the accident rate in any US or European city. Multiple studies now show that the reason for the inverse relationship is due to “safety in numbers” and greater awareness.
4) Aren’t the “Safety in Numbers” studies flawed, because John Forester plotted numbers on a page using random phone numbers from a phone book to show how this test’s findings are inconclusive.
Actually, John Forester’s attempt at debunking the test was flawed. Here is a complete breakdown by the study’s author on where JF went wrong.
5) There’s a study in Denmark that shows the following: Cycle tracks increase cycling 18-20%, Cycle tracks increase accidents 9-10%, Cycle lanes were less effective at increasing cycling and it was unclear if they raised accidents more than cycle tracks. Isn’t that proof that bicycle infrastructure is a failure?
Look at the numbers again. The Jensen study referenced does not show a greater percentage increase in accident rates over ridership. That’s the key. In other words, if you had 1 accident with 100 riders one month, and 2 accidents with 1000 riders the next month, you’d have an increase in accidents of 100% (a great example of how percentages can be used to scare), but an increase in ridership of 1000%. As long as the accident rate stays below the ridership level (which it ALWAYS does, and by great margins), then the accident ratio drops. Jensen also replied to us and thoroughly vetted this attempt to mask the numbers here. His final conclusion, “Dallas should add cycle tracks. Ridership will definitely increase. Accident ratios will definitely decrease.”
6 a) Bicycle Ridership will never be high because Dallas doesn’t have a single University. That’s why the other cities can have high turnout.
We have SMU.
b) SMU is in University Park, not Dallas
University Park is 3 miles long, 4 miles from Downtown, and completely surrounded by the city of Dallas. Also, Dallas Baptist University.
c) Dallas doesn’t have a University with 30,000 students.
How did this become the magic number for successful bicycle infrastructure? For this to be a legitimate excuse to not build bicycle infrastructure, one would have to produce a city with a University that has 29,000 students, and implemented bike lanes that failed. For that matter, there isn’t a city in the US that has completely removed its bicycle infrastructure. The reality: All cities with bicycle infrastructure have not only successfully attracted riders, but they’ve all added or are in the process of adding more lanes. Also, this argument goes completely counter to the “bike lanes bring out more inexperienced riders” talking point constantly returned to. If a city has 30,000 students that you provide bike lanes for, you’d have a greater number of inexperienced riders, thus an assumed greater numbers of accident ratios.
Lastly, we’re not advocating for only 18 to 21 year olds to ride, but for seniors, children, young adults, mothers, fathers, and more to ride. Amsterdam’s successful ridership has come from focusing on safety of women and children primarily, not college students. They’ve proven that if those two demographics feel comfortable riding, all others will as well.
7) If you implement bicyle lanes, cars will expect you to ride in them, and become more hostile if you drive on the street.
Cars are already hostile to bicyclists in the road and expect them to stay off the road. I’ve been honked at, encroached on, and had brakes squealed/engines revved on more occasions that I can count in Dallas, and we have no bike lanes. The person in charge of informing the Dallas public at large that bicycles are allowed on the road did not do a good job of spreading that message.
8 ) Dallas doesn’t have the culture for bicycling that other cities do.
According to Mia Birk, former planner of Portland, Oregon, neither did they. Ridership started out only slightly greater than Dallas. Roger Geller, the new planner stated, “If you build it, they will come.” Now, the city has built a 120 Million dollar industry surrounding bicycling, including a major tourism, and production industry. Also, Cyclesomatic proved that the culture can be fostered and grown.
9) So where exactly are you going to build these bike lanes. Dallas is sprawled out, and it’s going to cost a fortune.
You wouldn’t create bike lanes throughout the entire metro area (read our article titled: The Transect for more). A major bicycle infrastructure should largely be developed within an urban zone (ie. inside Loop 12). Beyond that, the sprawl is an obstacle. As the inner city grows, you can’t add more car lanes. The only option is to accommodate multi-modal traffic. This is exactly what Chicago, Seattle, NYC, DC, Portland, Phoenix, Atlanta, Boston, et al. have begun doing, and to great success.
10) There’s debris in the bike lanes. No one’s going to clean them.
Dallas already provides street sweeping once a week on all Downtown streets, and once a month on all major thoroughfares. Also, as of a 2007 Dallas County roads report, the cost for street sweeping is $17.44 per mile.
11) Aren’t bike lanes far too expensive to implement?
Bicycle lanes in most cities are installed when the City happens to be resurfacing a road anyway. This allows the money to come from the regular budget for repairing a road and requires very minimal costs. Plus, less wear and tear occurs within bike lanes, requiring far less maintenance on the surface, since the cause of most pot holes is due to heavy trucks. Also, the return on investment for streets with bike lanes, and businesses surrounding these has proven to far offset any cost. Remember, you’re not building roads to move people as quickly as possible (that’s what highways are for), you’re building them to allow interaction between commerce and individuals, as well as transport. Forsaking the former for the latter has shown drastic effects in increased accidents, crime, and health.
For roads that aren’t being repaired, but lane implementation buildout was sought, cities around the US have opted for the following funding methods:
- TIF (Tax Incremented Financing) Districts : In Oak Cliff, we’re lucky enough to already have three in place, and they are currently allocating funds for pedestrian/bike amenities.
- PID’s (Public Improvement Districts): We have one being planned now by merchants all along multiple corridors in Oak Cliff. The Uptown PID currently pays a portion of upkeep for the MATA trolley, the Katy Trail, and McKinney Avenue streetscapes
- Parking Improvement Districts: This is a very popular way that urban communities are now applying to develop infrastructure projects from streetcars, bike lanes, and more. A municipality will build out a parking structure near an area that is tight on space to allow more businesses to bring in greater traffic. The funds brought in from these Parking Districts are then channeled to infrastructure improvements.
- Federal Grants: Safe Routes to Schools, Main Street Improvements, TIGER grants, and a host of others are all being applied for now by members of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, and other agencies to bring in funds for bicycle infrastructure. It’s the exact same funds other cities have applied for and used to build out their networks.
- Friends of Organizations: From rails to trails, to historic building renovations/upkeep, “Friends of” organizations are built out throughout the nation using fundraisers, grants, and more to build and create infrastructure projects on a routine basis.
12) Why are you comparing Dallas to Northern European cities? We’re nothing like them.
Portland used Copenhagen and Amsterdam as its model when developing its multi-modal infrastructure plan. NYC just completed its street redevelopment program with the aid of Gehl Consulting from Denmark. Currently Gehl is working with Mexico City on a plan for its downtown. So yes, European cities are a fair model. Watch the following clip where you’ll see Copenhagen streets in the 1960′s that looked much like ours. Full of parking lots and high speed roadways. Year after year, they began rolling these back and creating a more pedestrian friendly environment. Note that, the interviewee states “When we implemented this, everyone said ‘we’re Danes not Italians…we don’t have a culture for walking!’. 40 years later…
13) Do you just hate cars? Taking away a lane for bicycles will cause a nightmare for traffic.
I own two cars, but I understand that we can’t continue to build our inner cities for automobiles only. Also, every study has shown that an increase in ridership occurs when you accomodate multi-modal traffic, and that the end over end volume levels out, and capacity remains unchanged.
14) Don’t Bicycle lanes increase accidents due to Right Hooks, confusing left turns and more?
First thing to note, a study of auto/bike crashes from Jan. 1, 2007, through June 30, 2009 in Fort Collins, Colorado noted that “Right Hooks” accounted for only 13% of accidents on bicycles and no fatalities. Left hand turns accounted for 9.3%. Where did the bulk of accidents occur? Broadsides, or collisions where a cyclist is running perpendicular to the flow of traffic accounted for over 60.5%.
With that being said, even with intersection conflicts, there have been multiple engineering techniques applied to overcome right hooks and left turn issues, including bike boxes, the Copenhagen-Left, no-right turn exclusions, and more. There was a rudimentary attempt at drawing a right-hook failing point by a bike lane opponent, but her methodology would have also shown how a jogger on a sidewalk could also be injured by crossing an intersection via sidewalk. Again, Portland had 0 fatalities in 2008 with 150+ miles of on-street bicycle infrastructure and 8% ridership. Dallas had 7 fatalities with 0 miles of on-street bicycle infrastructure and 0.2% ridership. Also, Copenhagen, the world’s bicycle capital, has the highest ridership levels (over 50%), and lowest accident rates (decimal point levels). New York City just released its 200+ page guide on street design. Multiple examples of how to overcome many intersection issues are noted here.
15) Experienced Cyclists do not want bike lanes.
Not so. Read multiple Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong’s take on bike lanes. Also read Boston’s new bicycle coordinator’s, racing champion Nicole Freedman, take on bicycle infrastructure. Lastly, League Instructor Paul Dorn gives a great account of the failure of Vehicular Cycling advocates position on bicycle infrastructure here.
16) So you expect to put bicycle lanes on every streets?
No. We are for a mix of infrastructure buildouts including bicycle boulevards for some residentials (mixed car and bike roads, that discourage pass-through traffic, and make safer for children in neighborhoods), and separated bike lanes on streets at 35 mph or greater, but not all streets. Separated (ie. dedicated) bike lanes have proven to bring the highest increases in ridership. Also, intersections are key areas to focus on for traffic calming. If an intersection feels unsafe, a bike lane will fail at increasing numbers to a high degree.
17) The Katy Trail is expensive, and no one rides to work on it.
The Katy is actually fairly successful for being a long linear park, which is why it was built…not as a commuter bikeway. Because of this, there are very few connection points onto the trail from the streets it crosses, and at its terminus, you are dropped onto a one way street. It would be no different than building a long highway with no ramps onto it except at a distant end and beginning point, and at its end you were dropped on a one way going the wrong way. You would expect little commuter traffic.
18) Why are you so adamantly for this?
Several reasons. 1) Our generation demands this type infrastructure, and our friends and family are leaving in droves for cities that adopt them like Portland, Chicago, and Austin. Some orginally claimed these cities have a different culture, but we’ve proved through Cyclesomatic that a major culture exists in our area, and it just needs to be fostered and cultivated. Our friends and family weren’t moving to Portland in 1990, but they were in 2009. 2) The infrastructure allows a more pedestrian friendly business environment, that allows for more “eyes on the street” which increases safety, and improves the environment, all while supporting more local business. We’ve already lived through the alternative.
19) We only need education. Everything else is far too expensive.
First of all, education for whom? All drivers? All bicyclists? Most likely both. So a statewide education campaign that educates all drivers and bicyclists wouldn’t be expensive? I’ve never seen a vehicular cyclist ever quantify the actual number required for a successful education campaign that will both increase ridership and safety. Also, all drivers go through testing currently, and we still have 42,000+ fatalities on the roads a year. And to be successful, wouldn’t you have to regularly reeducate (ref. the number of drivers receiving tickets and regularly being re-educated via defensive driving courses)? So when developing a cost for education, you’d have to find a number that first educated all drivers, and second, reeducated them on a semi-regular basis, you’d then fold in a added layer of beaurcracy via the DPS to manage testing and the overall statewide administration of this program. The proven option for cities to increase bicycle ridership and safety is to create facilities and educate.
20) Painted bike lanes create a false sense of security. Do you really think that “magic paint” is going to stop cars from hitting you?
First of all, our preference is for completely seperated bicycle lanes, physically divided with bollards, curbs, or step ups. With that being said, even a painted lane would be a step in the right direction. To follow the “magic paint” thought process, one would also be an advocate of removing traffic lights as well, because they do nothing to physically stop cars from hitting others.
21) It’s irrational to fear being hit by a car. Rear end collisions are rare, and riders just need to get out there and conquer their Cycling Inferiority Complex.
This is THE most common talking point developed by Vehicular Cyclists, and is usually followed with some kind of condescending “Man Up”, or “Grow a Pair” kind of 1950′s weak attempt at getting timid cyclists to feel confident about having a truck bare down on them. This is not only childish, it completely disregards the natural feelings of a large population that is natually averse to risk, like mothers, the elderly, and children. The idea that an SUV pounding down your back at 40 mph with a texting teen behind the wheel, while you pedal with your child on a booster seat down a road to the grocery store, is not something one simply educates away. The key to increasing ridership is increasing the perception of safety, as well as the actual safety. If something is percieved as unsafe, it will be left to a fearless minority. Plese review the following article where we elaborate on this in great detail.
22) Who supports bicycle infrastructure on a national level?
The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended cities implement bicycle lanes to curb obesity trends along with the Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Ray LaHood, citing Portland as THE model for 21st century US city planning. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently reference complete street implementation by name or in principal, and the much anticipated Moving Cooler report released by the Urban Land Institute discusses the impact CS have on lowering greenhouse gases. There are now 108 US cities officially ranked as Bike-Friendly, with major bicycle infrastructure in place, and hundreds more are online now or in various stages of development. In six years, our sister city of Fort Worth will stripe 470+ miles of bicycle lanes, and rank as one of the most impressive bicycle communities in the nation.
23) By “forcing” bicycles into their own space, you are relegating me to a second-class citizen.
For this argument to be legitimate, two things would have to be noted:
a) Since no state allows bicycles on all roadways (ie. highways/tollways) with automobiles, you’ve already attained the self-anointed title “second-class citizen”
b) This automatically lumps all pedestrians and handicap people in wheelchairs on sidewalks as “second-class citizens”.