Bicycle Infrastructure

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
BoredAgain
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby BoredAgain » September 7th, 2017, 8:34 am

David Greene wrote:
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.
There are some terrible cyclists out there that I sometimes think deserve to be hit. I am sorry that you seem to find them repeatedly. The person you describe is clearly an asshole and part of me hopes that they do get hit (lightly and without permanent injury) so that they learn to stop doing stupid things. I hope you honked at him/her.

There are more cyclists than drivers who think that certain things are okay. That list of things does include going the wrong way on one-way streets and turning right without looking because "they aren't taking the lane and cars have room to go around them". I swear at these people also. They are wrong about acceptable behavior on the road. You (David) are correct that they should be following rules. I still think you are foolish to expect people to follow rules all of the time.

Finally, I believe that studies show that bike riders are about equally as responsible as car drivers for bike/car collisions. That being said, the car always wins in that fight.

David Greene
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby David Greene » September 7th, 2017, 8:58 am

Anondson wrote:
September 6th, 2017, 10:30 pm
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.
Not sure I agree with the first part (IME almost no cyclist does a complete stop, or even a California stop, at stop signs, for example) but the second part is almost certainly true.

I suspect the rates of violation are pretty similar, but the types vary. For example, I never see a motorist stopped at a red light suddenly cross the intersection. I see cyclists do that all the time. Both run red lights without stopping.

If a cyclist feels safe to cross an intersection after stopping at a red light (i.e. they treat it as a stop sign) and some of you think that's ok, should we allow motorists to do the same? That's not a vacuous question, as there are countries that permit exactly that.

I agree that in some cases unpredictability can actually make things safer. I've often wondered what would happen if we removed all traffic lights and stop signs in the city.

I would absolutely be for a complete rethinking of our surface transportation rules. I think a lot of what we have in place is antiquated and counter-productive.

min-chi-cbus
Capella Tower
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby min-chi-cbus » September 7th, 2017, 9:03 am

My $0.02 (that nobody asked for).....cyclists are probably even a bit more aggressive and are bigger risk takers by their nature (in general), given that they fearlessly ride in the middle of moving traffic in all kinds of elements. Cyclists also very likely have a much higher sense of their surroundings and are aware of the dangers that exist. Car drivers, on the other hand, are probably more risk averse (in general), and lazier (in general), so probably are generally less aggressive than the average cyclist. However, they're also much more distracted and have a bigger sense of security, and are therefore more careless.

So, both sides play a part in causing and avoiding accidents, and for variable reasons, but the car driver almost always has the upper hand, given its size/build (solid steel), and therefore must yield to cyclists -- assholes or not. And yes, many cyclists AND drivers can be serious assholes who deserve to be "humbled" (not condoning hurting anybody though).

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Silophant
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby Silophant » September 7th, 2017, 9:25 am

David Greene wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 8:58 am
Not sure I agree with the first part (IME almost no cyclist does a complete stop, or even a California stop, at stop signs, for example)
True enough, but almost no driver comes to a complete stop at stop signs either.
If a cyclist feels safe to cross an intersection after stopping at a red light (i.e. they treat it as a stop sign) and some of you think that's ok, should we allow motorists to do the same? That's not a vacuous question, as there are countries that permit exactly that.
I've got no problem with that, actually.
I agree that in some cases unpredictability can actually make things safer. I've often wondered what would happen if we removed all traffic lights and stop signs in the city.

I would absolutely be for a complete rethinking of our surface transportation rules. I think a lot of what we have in place is antiquated and counter-productive.
Agree 110%.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby RailBaronYarr » September 7th, 2017, 9:36 am

This is all so silly. Anecdotes are not data. They're helpful only to a point. I have indeed seen many cars in the last year driving the wrong way down a one-way, then make erratic decisions on when to turn given other traffic conditions. I have seen many cars stop at the light at 31st/Bryant then choose to go through anyway. I'll admit the latter scenario happens far less frequently than for bikes.

And man.. "I don't accept the notion that car drivers are inherently more dangerous to cyclists than cyclists themselves are." Cyclists almost never kill each other, or pedestrians. Studies have shown that the majority of injuries and deaths for cyclists are not attributable to the cyclist behavior - crashes mostly occur when they're following the law (an infrastructure/legal system designed around driving, with a crash reporting method/system that biases the survivor - drivers - or witnesses with driving biases of their own). Beyond that, studies also show cyclists don't disobey laws as often when they have infrastructure built for them (bike lights that detect their approach, dedicated space, etc).

It's odd to hear someone who think cyclists are more reckless than drivers and pose a greater risk to themselves than drivers, then also say they want a complete re-thinking of surface transportation rules, and not be skeptical of what that person's desired outcome is. For example, we don't really need a re-thinking of surface transportation rules to build protected bike intersections, or a cycle track on Lake and Lagoon to eliminate 98% of people who'd ride the wrong way. For the Blake Road "problem," we don't need education or anything fancy; we could just put a damn stop sign for cars where the trail is. We don't because we have a system that favors driving, even when some collector road meets one of our region's premier bicycle highways.

Ohiosotan
Block E
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby Ohiosotan » September 10th, 2017, 11:28 am

Anyone ride on the new ("bike lane closed" no more) Washington Ave bike lanes yet? Forgot to detour there yesterday. Also, they're now striping bike lane extensions on 26th and 28th between I-35 and Hennepin, but it's only partially done with certain blocks here and there still untouched. No bike lane stencils or green paint yet and lots of motorists coming over the bridge at Stevens on 26th were treating it like it was still a car lane. When I rode it motorists were fine with it and certainly knew it was supposed to be a bike lane after all, although merging in the meantime is a bit of a pain. I've yet to ride on the new bike boulevards in Seward on 24th and 29th, but I'm expecting to be underwhelmed since I saw no mention of restricted motor vehicle access or speed humps.

We know how to do protected bike lanes, but not bike boulevards for some reason and never update them with actual traffic calming once "completed". We'd be better off spending money copying traffic calmed streets like Aldrich than just plastering bike stencils everywhere on an uncalmed street except for a couple of traffic circles, especially in light of what happened on the bike boulevard on Charles in St Paul. We need motorists to be slowed down in between every intersection to feel safe enough to use these at the same rate as a protected bike lane or bike path. In NE they were doing work on the water pipes on residential streets and when I was riding down Grand (?) they had impromptu dirt and gravel mounds across the street acting the same as a speed hump: perfectly navigable by bike. How much could it possibly cost to just do these throughout the city now as a temporary traffic calming fix until they can secure funding for paved ones? With bike boulevards it's like we're still building the equivalent of door zone bike lanes and calling it a day.

EOst
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby EOst » September 10th, 2017, 11:42 am

Rode the Washington Ave lanes yesterday on the way home from Open Streets. Compared to the lanes west of Hennepin, they felt "safer" but I felt greater anxiety on them near intersections than the in-street ones. That will probably fade if I ride them more. Also rode the PBL extension on the 3rd/Central Bridge, which was really nice. Very glad Hennepin County was willing to put those in even with the reconstruct project coming in a few years.

I've been told by Saint Paul PW that they require an 85th percentile speed of 40 mph on a residential street before it will put in traffic humps (i.e. never), which is part of why bike boulevards here are built (at best) with circles, bumpouts, and occasional diverters.

seanrichardryan
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby seanrichardryan » September 10th, 2017, 12:18 pm

Are all the intersections NTOR? I hope so.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

intercomnut
Union Depot
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby intercomnut » September 10th, 2017, 4:53 pm

The intersections won't be no turn on red... exactly. But once the new signals are installed, there will be a leading bicycle interval, with no turns permitted during that interval:

Image

At least, if the county sticks to what they said two years ago. But the signals that are sitting covered-up look similar to this.

amiller92
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby amiller92 » September 11th, 2017, 9:12 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.
Of course they are. Car drivers are in a speeding ton+ metal box. That's inherently more dangerous to people on bikes (or really, just people) than literally anything short of riding of a cliff.

amiller92
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby amiller92 » September 11th, 2017, 9:19 am

David Greene wrote:
September 7th, 2017, 8:58 am
Not sure I agree with the first part (IME almost no cyclist does a complete stop, or even a California stop, at stop signs, for example)
You've done a study, have you?
For example, I never see a motorist stopped at a red light suddenly cross the intersection.
Then, again, I say you aren't paying attention. It happens and I've seen it.

But even so, like someone on a bike, that's way less dangerous than what drivers do routinely: speed up to blow through a light that's just changed to red. Or turn right on red without stopping/looking right.

Regardless, the light is there for cars. Because of the scenario I just mentioned. A person on a bike that's stopped, observed that there is no cross traffic and then proceeds is doing nothing remotely dangerous.
If a cyclist feels safe to cross an intersection after stopping at a red light (i.e. they treat it as a stop sign) and some of you think that's ok, should we allow motorists to do the same?
1. Cars do it with some frequency, especially late at night, and no one spends any time complaining about it.

2. No, because cars because the speed, power and weight of cars makes them inherently dangerous to others, which is why we adopted a whole system of traffic controls after cars started taking over our streets that we didn't need for bikes and pedestrians and horse carts before that.

SamtheBusNerd
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby SamtheBusNerd » September 11th, 2017, 1:52 pm

Ohiosotan wrote:
September 10th, 2017, 11:28 am
Anyone ride on the new ("bike lane closed" no more) Washington Ave bike lanes yet? Forgot to detour there yesterday. Also, they're now striping bike lane extensions on 26th and 28th between I-35 and Hennepin, but it's only partially done with certain blocks here and there still untouched. No bike lane stencils or green paint yet and lots of motorists coming over the bridge at Stevens on 26th were treating it like it was still a car lane. When I rode it motorists were fine with it and certainly knew it was supposed to be a bike lane after all, although merging in the meantime is a bit of a pain. I've yet to ride on the new bike boulevards in Seward on 24th and 29th, but I'm expecting to be underwhelmed since I saw no mention of restricted motor vehicle access or speed humps.
Just rode the Washington Ave cycletracks (they're still technically closed northbound?) and was impressed. It'll be even nicer once they stripe the lanes the rest of the way to the south and there's a dedicated bike facility on Washington all the way from Seven Corners north. The cycletracks reminded me of the ones they had when I lived in Copenhagen and felt pretty safe, although I tend to slow down through intersections anyway.

Then I rode the 3rd Ave extension over the bridge and I was a lot less impressed. It's better than the lanes that were there before but still doesn't feel particularly safe since they posts are spaced really far apart and the lanes still just randomly end at University. To go anywhere north or east from the bridge you have to merge back into four lanes of fast, unpredictable traffic which kind of seems to defeat the point of fixing the bridge. I actually almost got run over right as I turned onto 5th St NE with the ROW. There really need to be dedicated, protected lanes all the way up Central if the goal is to encourage more biking to NE.

I've ridden the new Seward bike blvds a few times now and I was pleasantly surprised. There seemed to be way less car traffic on them compared to Bryant, 17th or Charles, and it also seemed to be moving slower. The blvds also connect nicely to Riverside and the greenway. Most importantly imo, they fixed all the stop signs so you only have to stop at a very few 4-way intersections! And, unlike the other three bike blvds I listed, there are stoplights at every major cross street! More traffic diversion would be great but this was way better than expected as is.

David Greene
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby David Greene » September 11th, 2017, 3:07 pm

amiller92 wrote:
September 11th, 2017, 9:12 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.
Of course they are. Car drivers are in a speeding ton+ metal box. That's inherently more dangerous to people on bikes (or really, just people) than literally anything short of riding of a cliff.
If cyclists put themselves in danger, who is creating the danger?

David Greene
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby David Greene » September 11th, 2017, 3:10 pm

Bike lanes on 26th and 28 west of Nicollet (I think) are going in. Lanes are striped but there are no bicycle markings so cars are driving in them. >:-| I am cautiously optimistic that one lane for cars will make these streets much safer to cross on foot.

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VacantLuxuries
Rice Park
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby VacantLuxuries » September 11th, 2017, 3:15 pm

I saw them over the weekend. Unless you were aware they were adding bike lanes to these roads, they look indistinguishable from the striping in the Lowry Tunnel and I don't blame drivers for being confused. Hopefully the bicycle markings are scheduled to be painted immediately.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby RailBaronYarr » September 11th, 2017, 3:27 pm

(EDIT: this was responding to David's post a few up)
I know you *get it* but your posts really make it seem like you don't. It's fine to nod your head in agreement with someone making a descriptive (vs normative) take that, yes, technically cyclists who break the law are putting themselves at risk. But you (or should) know darn well that (and sorry for reiterating some things I wrote on a recent post):

- The majority of cyclist (and ped) crashes reported involve a cyclist who was not breaking the law (or even "norms" that many witnesses might otherwise confuse with breaking the law - like riding in the thru-lane adjacent to a bike lane, or biking across a street on a trail with a crosswalk without stopping)
- There are many crashes or near-misses that are never reported. This is one where I don't have data to support myself, but my experience is that these incidents aren't worth reporting to the cyclist and are as likely if not more than reported incidents to be primarily/solely the driver's fault.
- There's a subset of reported crashes where survivor or witness bias, or where the police don't fully understand the law, incorrectly lay blame to the cyclist (or pedestrian)
- Risk/reward calculation for people on foot or bike is vastly different than for people in cars. On a hot/muggy, cold/windy/and or rainy day people on bikes overvalue getting to their destination quicker to get out of the elements. When your bus is on the other side of the street and missing it means you'll wait for 10-?? minutes for the next one. So many things make people make instinctual decisions to cross in ways drivers rarely have to, and explain a portion (though not all!) of scofflaw behavior, including the ped/bike behavior in crash reports that lay blame on the victim.
- People on bikes and foot react to better infrastructure for them by not breaking the law as often.

For someone so focused on structural issues rather than individual behaviors/blame in other policy realms, you sure seem to focus on the individuals in laying blame here (even if you're willing to change the legal system to shift things around). It might help to recognize that cyclists/peds aren't really putting themselves in danger through individual actions so much as the infrastructure system that doesn't prioritize their safety/convenience oftentimes forces behavior that does (in addition to exacerbating the dangers facing them by encouraging/allowing cars to travel at the speeds they do).

Ohiosotan
Block E
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby Ohiosotan » September 12th, 2017, 9:15 am

SamtheBusNerd wrote:
September 11th, 2017, 1:52 pm
I've ridden the new Seward bike blvds a few times now and I was pleasantly surprised. There seemed to be way less car traffic on them compared to Bryant, 17th or Charles, and it also seemed to be moving slower. The blvds also connect nicely to Riverside and the greenway. Most importantly imo, they fixed all the stop signs so you only have to stop at a very few 4-way intersections! And, unlike the other three bike blvds I listed, there are stoplights at every major cross street! More traffic diversion would be great but this was way better than expected as is.
I had the opposite experience: motorists speeding past the school (if you can't put speed humps next to a school on a bike boulevard, when can you?)and only a couple of traffic circles and bump outs. Meh.

amiller92
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby amiller92 » September 12th, 2017, 9:47 am

David Greene wrote:
September 11th, 2017, 3:07 pm
If cyclists put themselves in danger, who is creating the danger?
The cars are the danger, David. They hit things - bikes, pedestrians, other cars, signs, houses, buildings, etc. - all the time. Literally all the time. They are inherently a danger.

People on bikes also sometimes do dangerous things, but that doesn't change the facts that cars are inherently dangerous.

SamtheBusNerd
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby SamtheBusNerd » September 12th, 2017, 2:06 pm

Ohiosotan wrote:
September 12th, 2017, 9:15 am
I had the opposite experience: motorists speeding past the school (if you can't put speed humps next to a school on a bike boulevard, when can you?)and only a couple of traffic circles and bump outs. Meh.
Huh. Maybe I just had good luck? Totally agree that bike boulevards shouldn't be built without traffic diversion and slowing traffic, but I'm still impressed that they got the crossings right in terms of giving bikes ROW. I don't know of a single other bike boulevard in the Twin Cities that has done that so far and I think it makes a huge difference on how useful the route is.

amiller92
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Bicycle Infrastructure

Postby amiller92 » September 12th, 2017, 2:19 pm

I'm going to ride over there on my way home (well, over there and then home) to check it out.


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