Bicycle Infrastructure

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
EOst
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby EOst » September 5th, 2017, 9:16 am

BoredAgain wrote:
September 4th, 2017, 9:46 pm
Any cyclist that rides on trails often is pretty much trained to ignore these because of how they are normally used.
Yep. Like (I think) Bill Lindeke said, these signs aren't about keeping cyclists safe from cars, they're about keeping cities safe from litigation.

David Greene
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby David Greene » September 5th, 2017, 9:59 am

BoredAgain wrote:
September 4th, 2017, 9:46 pm
I haven't ridden through here in a while. Is it still one of the small stop signs? Any cyclist that rides on trails often is pretty much trained to ignore these because of how they are normally used.
How are they normally used? When I'm driving I expect people that have a stop sign to stop.
BoredAgain wrote:
September 4th, 2017, 9:46 pm
Also, the behavior described in the article as "most dangerous" (partial car stoppage) happens when cars don't do what they are supposed to. The cyclists approaching already know about the intersection and will stop if they don't think they can clear the space.
Not in my experience they don't. Numerous times I've had cyclists go right through an intersection when I am clearly approaching and I don't have a stop sign and they do. Not that cars behave well either but let's understand the whole problem before we begin crafting solutions.

I would have no problem removing the stop signs and/or changing laws to allow cyclists a better experience. I'm looking for predictability and consistency. As a motorist I expect all vehicles to obey all rules and regulations because it's the only way I know to have that certainty. I am perfectly fine bringing those regulations into alignment with whatever people think *should* happen.

amiller92
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby amiller92 » September 5th, 2017, 10:06 am

David Greene wrote:
September 5th, 2017, 9:59 am
How are they normally used? When I'm driving I expect people that have a stop sign to stop.
I assume you're frequently disappointed then?
Not in my experience they don't. Numerous times I've had cyclists go right through an intersection when I am clearly approaching and I don't have a stop sign and they do. Not that cars behave well either but let's understand the whole problem before we begin crafting solutions.
Yes, let's understand the terrible problem of people on bikes intentionally flinging themselves at moving cars before we can craft solutions. Isn't it really just suicide by bike? So sad.
As a motorist I expect all vehicles to obey all rules and regulations
No you don't. You expect drivers to speed, run lights, fail to stop, fail to yield, change lanes illegally/dangerously, tailgate, etc. Or at least you better.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 5th, 2017, 10:14 am

As a motorist I expect all vehicles to obey all rules and regulations.
So not a defensive driver, eh? When driving I expect everybody to do everything wrong - so I'm never surprised.

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Mooglemuffins
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby Mooglemuffins » September 5th, 2017, 11:35 am

VacantLuxuries wrote:
September 5th, 2017, 10:14 am
As a motorist I expect all vehicles to obey all rules and regulations.
So not a defensive driver, eh? When driving I expect everybody to do everything wrong - so I'm never surprised.
Same here, I trust other drivers pretty much zero. Even moreso if I'm the one on a bike. Being suspicious of everyone worked so far, haven't ever gotten into anything bad involving my car/bike.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby SurlyLHT » September 5th, 2017, 1:38 pm

Overall, I believe there needs to better signage and some sort of plan for these types of crossings. In Minneapolis the Greenway & Minnehaha and Hiawatha Trail and 26th are a bit similar. As a cyclist I slow down and prepare to stop. Yet, the cars often stop and I'm afraid to go because another car might not stop and hit me. Secondly if I wave the car on I'm afraid another cyclist will blow the intersection and get hit. Often at the 26th and Hiawatha trail I wave the cars on simply because often they A) Have a green light and B) If they don't go the cars behind them might backup and block Hiawatha Avenue. There needs to be better signage standards and more education.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby RailBaronYarr » September 5th, 2017, 1:51 pm

Not to pile on, but if the article is correct that it's **extremely common** for cyclists to be blowing the stop signs at the trail crossings (or anywhere else), isn't that enough predictability? If you see a bike approaching the same intersection you are, shouldn't the action be to proceed with caution? There's a whole argument to be made that predictability/consistency is oftentimes what makes our streets less safe overall (I can predictably drive down Lyndale from Franklin to Lake and not stop for pedestrians trying to cross along with 100% of other drivers, etc). Anyway, what most people want is not the predictability of cyclists having the right of way to cross without stopping - which is why we don't have the laws and/or infrastructure/signage/education in place to make that happen. They want predictability AND priority when in a motor vehicle.

EOst
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby EOst » September 5th, 2017, 3:34 pm

I think there's a lot of nuance in this. There's a big difference between flat-out blowing a stop sign (not looking, not slowing) and an "Idaho stop" (slowing and checking that the coast is clear enough to proceed). I suspect most cars would treat stop signs similarly if they spent most of their time on side streets with high numbers of stop signs and traveled at 10 mph. I also think there's a real disconnect between how cyclists and drivers see the act of crossing here. I think a lot of cyclists treat it like taking a left across traffic; if they can make it with a few seconds to spare, that's good enough. Whereas a lot of drivers seem to see that as "darting across the road."

There are probably a lot of ways to deal with these crossings. Refuge islands would make the crossing more prominent and predictable, which could encourage cyclists to come to a complete stop more often. Cyclists are just like any other vehicle; if they have to cross the road without an aid, they're going to go whenever they think they can make it. Putting up signs ordering them to do otherwise isn't a winning strategy.

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Anondson
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby Anondson » September 5th, 2017, 4:03 pm

Blake has similarities and important differences with the Belt Line crossing. Both are four lanes of motor vehicles.

However, IMO, drivers line of sight of incoming cyclists is a bit worse and Blake due to the nice closeness to the street of Pizza Luce on the west side, and the foliage dividing the freight from trail on the east side.

Even slow bikes appearing can cause startle reflexes with the average speeding driver. Most drive 40 and this doesn’t give good reaction times.

There is a refuge island at Blake, a nice sized one at that, but I’ve been honked at and shouted at by dumbass drivers thinking I’m trying to race all the way across when I’m just advancing to the refuge.

Too many drivers don’t know how to react to cyclists moving to a median refuge, I have seen it too often at Blake. Cyclists rushing across all lanes, mixed with normal speeding and less than ideal line of sight for the speeds normally driven at, may have conditioned enough drivers to just expect the worst.

thatchio
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby thatchio » September 5th, 2017, 11:08 pm

Anondson, would crossings that included those Z-shaped crossings at the center median help improve safety and predictability, as bikers would be forced to turn to look towards ongoing traffic, as well as make it clearer what leg of the crossing they're within? I'm thinking of something like the pedestrian crossings at non-thru street locations along the Green Line.

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Anondson
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby Anondson » September 6th, 2017, 12:19 am

Hmm, I think a Z-shape crossing in the median really would be a help. There is enough of a diagonal that putting a Z in the median could helpful. Though with the trail tunnel under Blake imminent (a couple years) I doubt it would see the light of day.

I think a Z-shape refuge at the 11th Ave S crossing might be the place it could go, it’ll still be at grade after SWLRT. I think there weren’t as many trail crossing at 11th as there are at Blake. But 11th Ave is still a grossly wide four lanes of motor vehicles (a lot of semis) with a significant space for a protected median.

amiller92
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby amiller92 » September 6th, 2017, 9:08 am

SurlyLHT wrote:
September 5th, 2017, 1:38 pm
Overall, I believe there needs to better signage and some sort of plan for these types of crossings. In Minneapolis the Greenway & Minnehaha and Hiawatha Trail and 26th are a bit similar. As a cyclist I slow down and prepare to stop. Yet, the cars often stop and I'm afraid to go because another car might not stop and hit me. Secondly if I wave the car on I'm afraid another cyclist will blow the intersection and get hit. Often at the 26th and Hiawatha trail I wave the cars on simply because often they A) Have a green light and B) If they don't go the cars behind them might backup and block Hiawatha Avenue. There needs to be better signage standards and more education.
Greenway and Minnehaha seems to actually work pretty well to me. Drivers are typically paying attention and know there will be bikes around. There's signage telling drivers to yield and they mostly do.

26th and Hiawatha Trail is a mess, and so little is done to accommodate bikes, that I'm definitely not waving any cars through. If they choose to yield, great. They may have to wait a bit longer than they anticipate as I make darn sure no one is whipping around them, but I've no sympathy free flowing traffic.

I don't even know how to fix it. Maybe move (or more likely add a second set) of the train arm thingies (that's a technical term, look it up) back so that bikes can at least get a protected crossing when there's a train? Except (1) that's not really enough, and (2) it's kind of already that way. Bikes really need their own signal interval there but it's so close to the Hiawatha signals that it doesn't seem like it would work very well.

Silophant
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby Silophant » September 6th, 2017, 9:42 am

A separate set of bike signals is the only thing I can think of, short of a bridge, which would of course be even more expensive.

Getting rid of the porkchop island and free right from Hiawatha would help, but I'm not sure if trucks are capable of making that tight of a turn without the slip lane.

BoredAgain
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby BoredAgain » September 6th, 2017, 9:59 am

David Greene wrote:
September 5th, 2017, 9:59 am
BoredAgain wrote:
September 4th, 2017, 9:46 pm
I haven't ridden through here in a while. Is it still one of the small stop signs? Any cyclist that rides on trails often is pretty much trained to ignore these because of how they are normally used.
How are they normally used? When I'm driving I expect people that have a stop sign to stop.
Here are some examples of stop signs on Bike Trails that no-one stops for unless there is an actual car blocking the intersection. Some do get the "idaho stop" treatment.
https://www.google.com/maps/@44.974943, ... 776!8i3888
https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9612252 ... 312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9536567 ... 312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9161642 ... 312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@44.9502707 ... 312!8i6656
David Greene wrote:
September 5th, 2017, 9:59 am
BoredAgain wrote:
September 4th, 2017, 9:46 pm
Also, the behavior described in the article as "most dangerous" (partial car stoppage) happens when cars don't do what they are supposed to. The cyclists approaching already know about the intersection and will stop if they don't think they can clear the space.
Not in my experience they don't. Numerous times I've had cyclists go right through an intersection when I am clearly approaching and I don't have a stop sign and they do. Not that cars behave well either but let's understand the whole problem before we begin crafting solutions.

I would have no problem removing the stop signs and/or changing laws to allow cyclists a better experience. I'm looking for predictability and consistency. As a motorist I expect all vehicles to obey all rules and regulations because it's the only way I know to have that certainty. I am perfectly fine bringing those regulations into alignment with whatever people think *should* happen.
As other people have mentioned, if you are assuming that everyone will follow all laws all of the time, then you are a minority (and likely dangerous). Experience indicates that people break laws (willfully or neglegently) all of the time and you should be prepared to respond. My experience is that bikes cross intersections when they think they can, just like cars. No one likes to get hit. If you haven't hit anyone yet, then they did in fact have the time to cross. Personally, I wait for cars to get safely out of the way because car drivers are dangerous.

Law changes are meaningless for fixing this crossing. If you want to solve the problem, you need to change the design. That is why they already have plans to add a tunnel. If no one has gotten hit here (yet), then there are many other intersections that could use more help and attention than this one.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby SurlyLHT » September 6th, 2017, 10:03 am

Someone at Our Streets (MPLS Bicycle Coalition) told me they had a solution in the works in the coming years for 26th and Hiawatha. . I don't remember what he said however. Although, it would be really expensive...why not just throw the tracks and bikes over 26th? This would not only solve bicyclists dilemma it would stop all the havoc the trains create with the Hiawatha/26th intersection. I often ride on Hiawatha from Lake St. to 26th before getting on the trail because it's quicker and it's crazy how much the 26th and 28th lights back up traffic.

Silophant
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby Silophant » September 6th, 2017, 10:23 am

Someone who knows more about train capabilities will probably chime in, but I don't know if the trains could make it up that steep of a grade to get back up above 26th after going under the Sabo Bridge.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby SurlyLHT » September 6th, 2017, 11:20 am

You're probably right. A bridge over the tracks/path might be better.

David Greene
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby David Greene » September 6th, 2017, 9:41 pm

BoredAgain wrote:
September 6th, 2017, 9:59 am
My experience is that bikes cross intersections when they think they can, just like cars. No one likes to get hit. If you haven't hit anyone yet, then they did in fact have the time to cross.
Tell that to the cyclist who literally just yesterday turned right from west-bound Lake St. to north-bound Hennepin when I was in the intersection on north-bound Hennepin. That's right, not only did he turn right in front of me, he was going the wrong way on a one-way street.

I have never had a car pull that kind of move on me. I have had multiple cyclists do it this year.

So I don't accept the notion that car drivers are inherently more dangerous to cyclists than cyclists themselves are.

Everyone needs to take responsibility, obeying the rules *and* driving/cycling defensively.

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Anondson
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Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby Anondson » September 6th, 2017, 10:30 pm

I can see average cyclists believing they can bike either direction on one way streets in moments of need.

My opinion, the average driver drives in way that violate rules more than the average cyclist violates rules. But I believe there is a class of cyclists that bike so dangerously nearly everywhere, as if they were on the run from law enforcement, that there isn’t a good equivalent with motor vehicle operators except getaway drivers.

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Tiller
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby Tiller » September 7th, 2017, 12:14 am

David Greene wrote:
September 6th, 2017, 9:41 pm
So I don't accept the notion that car drivers are inherently more dangerous to cyclists than cyclists themselves are.
I would be curious as to what % of cyclists actually do dangerous things like that. I'd bet for the vast majority of cyclists, cars are easily far more dangerous because cars eat bikes. For those that do behave dangerously, they are more dangerous than cars simply because they unnecessarily throw themselves in front of cars, which are dangerous.

I'd be willing to bet because of this https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Restorff_effect (I remembered the description of this, but not what it was called, so I Googled it),
things like near accidents with cyclists and cyclists doing incredibly stupid things stand out in my/our/your memories a disproportional amount, compared to their actual occurrence. If things are going as they should, there's nothing to really notice, but if something goes wrong, it draws our attention. It's a similar to how people perceive crime, as an example.

(I want to say I appreciate David having a different opinion so there can actually be some back-and-forth discussion here)
(disclaimer: I literally never bike)


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