Concerned About Concerns

This is another nonsensical debate in the swirl of endless argument over things that have been resolved for decades in more civilized parts of the world.

Instead of doing experiments and looking at data, we are concerned.

How very generous of you.

Well, one thing my princess loves about me is that though I have trained myself to have a facade of a nice person and to not argue with everyone over everyone–though I am silently judging you, yes you! :)–I do love to argue.

While she gets worn out and sick of it, I can keep going–not with her, though, we never argue–ad museum until my heart gives out.

Thus, I’ll rehash this hot mess again!

“One-way cycle tracks trade the perception of increased safety between intersections, for a documented increase in bicycle-involved collisions at intersections due to through-right conflicts”

Note the false duality right off the bat? We can either REALLY be safe or have a PERCEPTION of safety. Notice that our perceptions are often completely wrong.

I have found, in my life, that this is usually not correct. When I feel safe, I usually am. When I feel like I am in danger, I know it.

I have had a queasy feeling right before each bicycle collision, mugging, and bar room fight. (Just kidding about the last one). 🙂

The only exception to this is statistically speaking. But these stats are really, really long shots. For example, the difference between flying and driving. Scratch that, I’m actually more afraid when I drive, and guess what? I’m right on that one, too.

Yes, sometimes ghettos are safe and people get shot by their loved ones in their “safe” feeling home.

But overall, we can feel safe and be safe all at the same time.

“Without intersection priority for bicyclists — either a bike-only signal phase or a bicycle head-start phase — combined with restriction of right-turn-on-red, there is no way to remove this hazard from cycle-track designs.”

Wrong!

There’s nothing magical about a cycle track that increases intersection risk. This is total nonsense.

Someone who pays attention while riding on an unsafe road with no infrastructure will NOT suddenly stop paying attention when there’s a cycle track.

When I rode in cycle tracks, I always looked over my shoulder for the right hook.

The only difference is that nobody tried to do it in Denmark.

Contrast here with NO infrastructure, I have near misses all the time.

Also, the traffic light adjustments are part of infrastructure. So you can’t say that infrastructure is unsafe then point out light design or something else and say we need this otherwise your design is unsafe.

No, the design is one piece which IS safer. John knows that and he’s just playing word games because he hates infrastructure.

Note I’m skipping a lot of this because there’s too much to cover. If you think I missed something big, I’ll argue that later.

“A sidewalk-level bicycle facility, whether 1-way or 2-way, will generate frequent driveway conflicts”

No! No! No!

I “take the lane” each day because of three big conflicts with driveways.

There is no bike infrastructure.

Adding paint and some cycle tracks would make the situation BETTER not worse.

Remember John is going to make up an imaginary situation with a retarded person designing the fixes. This is an insult to American traffic engineers. They will do a good job of mitigating any potential problems.

If they don’t get it totally perfect the first time, we’ll run HAT analysis on it, and 2.0 will be better.

Today I saw wreckage of a CAR accident at this dangerous driveway. John, what magic did the engineers do when they failed to provide anything for bicycles to make this safe?

They didn’t.

There are thousands of dangerous intersections in the US right now. They are all within code and blah, blah, blah. Yet we lose 3000 people a month due to these legal and non-cycling oriented designs.

“Cycle tracks do not allow cyclists to properly prepare for vehicular-style left turns at intersections”

“Vehicular style left turns” are idiotic and dangerous and ought to be discouraged.

“In the Netherlands, such turns are prohibited for bicyclists; a bicycle-specific signal phase enables bicyclists to turn left from the right side without motor vehicle conflicts. This greatly increases total signal cycle time and consequently average delay for all users.”

No! I was not in the Netherlands, but in car oriented Southern Californian, lights take way longer than in cycling Denmark.

In Philly and other big cities which are not totally car oriented, lights take less time.

The more car oriented you make a place, the bigger the intersections and the longer the signals because of left arrows, etc.

So this is totally false.

6. “Urban cycle tracks that run behind busy bus stops have high incidences of pedestrian-bicycle conflicts and collisions.”

No they don’t.

7. “If the vehicular part of the street is not narrowed, including potential removal of on-street vehicle parking, adding cycle tracks in the sidewalk area takes away width for walking and other uses such as trees, seating, and cafés.”

Yes, infrastructure for cycling takes up space. Wow, what a genius.

Quick, John, what’s the biggest public space right now?

The answer is vehicular traffic and parking. If you want to advocate for that then come out of the closet. Otherwise, stop pretending to be a cycling advocate.

I care about motorists, too, but not in such a bull headed way. I want to give them transportation options, to keep up good traffic throughput, and to make their trips safer. Cycle tracks accomplish all those goals.

Most motorists do NOT like parallel parking. They park parallel only when they feel there are no other options. The fact is there is a glut of parking in all major cities.

Again, such a nonsensical argument suggests that we only care about suppressing infrastructure.

“8. Perhaps most importantly, because of the limited width available in any streetscape cross section, I fear that many agencies would remove on-street bicycle travel width (bike lanes or shareably-wide outside lanes) if sidewalk-level (“cycle track”) facilities were installed. Do you want to see narrow outside lanes on the streets you now ride?”

Yes, I do.

You fear many agencies and a lot of other things.

I fear that such nonsensical ideas have been taken seriously for far too long.

I don’t know where you live, but Denmark is an OLD country with some narrow streets. They accommodated bicycles in many cities if not all.

How come in more modern places, we can not do the same?

It’s all a matter of priorities.

It’s not up to the advocate to find “concerns” or other reason NOT ot do things. That’s for other people to say.

It’s up to advocates to push for things, politicians and other motorists to resist, engineers to worry about the technical ptoblems, and to lawyers, only, to worry about liability issues.

If you are coming up with nonsensical reasons why we can’t do good cycling design, you are not a cycling advocate nor a decent engineer.

Things will be designed differently everywhere just as freeways have been adapted to each country.

“Many cycle track advocates assert that they are the only way the U.S. can hope to achieve northern-European bike mode shares, or even double-digit mode shares…”

No. I have not heard a single advocate say this.

I enjoyed riding on cycle tracks, and I am very much in favor of seeing more of them in San Diego. However, it’s not up to me what to put where. Again, that’s up to the engineers to decide.

I do know, however, that there are no good objections to them in many place, but still there’s this annoying yammering about them due to people’s insane fears of anything new or from Europe.

“Denmark’s own roads agency has published a report, which I can send you, that ranks the effectiveness of various engineering, education, enforcement and encouragement measures in increasing bicycle mode share. Car parking restrictions and fuel pricing (i.e. making motoring less convenient) ranked higher than cycle tracks.”

I am in favor of all of these, but it seems that Quisling advocates oppose any extra regulation of motoring even when it has been proven to save lives and to promote cycling.

I have noticed that one of the myriad of tricks that Quisling advocates have pulled is “divide and conquer”. This means that they take all the pieces from a comprehensive program and they point out that they will not be as effective if the entire program is not implemented.

For example, they argue that new infrastructure will be hard to use because we are not educated. Then they argue against education of new how to use the infrastructure because it’s not safe because people aren’t educated.

Then they argue against the entire program on legalistic or procedural grounds.

To summarize, Quisling advocates are racers who are highly uneducated about cycling infrastructure.

They spread misinformation masked as “concerns” regarding it because they hate dedicated cycing infrastructure.

There are many reasons for this including brand loyalty. If cycling infrastructure becomes mainstream then their “style” of riding will be obsolete.

Many are racers who like to ride in traffic because it gives them a rush. Others sincerely believe, due to misrepresentation of studies such as Ken Cross’s, that infrastructure is dangerous.

The are totally immune to learning new things due to the sunk cost fallacy as well as confirmation biases.

Arguging with them is totally pointless, but can be a lot of fun if you don’t have much else going on in your life.

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2 Responses to “Concerned About Concerns”

  1. John S. Allen Says:

    I’ll only respond to one thing in your post: “no they don’t.”

    The recent Copenhagen study found 17 time the crash rate and 19 times the injury rate for cycle tracks that ran to the right of bus stops. It’s on page 3, here:

    http://www.trafitec.dk/pub/Road%20safety%20and%20percieved%20risk%20of%20cycle%20tracks%20and%20lanes%20in%20Copenhagen.pdf

    I haven’t taken time to review the rest of your post. But you might take some time to review the research record before posting.

    • Fred Says:

      Thanks for cherry picking a tiny point on my post and totally ignoring the rest of it.

      Here are some cool points from the study:

      “The increase in injuries is especially large among females
      under 20 years of age on foot and bicycle, as well as female pedestrians over the
      age of 64.”

      This is is stupid. We can’t look at absolute increases in injuries only relative increase.

      In many places no women ride. At all.

      Therefore if women feel safe enough to ride the number of absolute injuries will increase. If I get more people wood working, we’ll see more people getting splinters.

      However, these same women were protected from traffic accidents:

      “On the other hand, there was a considerable fall in injuries among older
      cyclists and children in cars of both sex.”

      Note the percentage was not given for some reason so we can’t see how many lives cycle tracks saved.

      Also, I didn’t see anything on fatalities nor did I see how bad the injuries were.

      Tell me John, when we make safer streets do we combine cuts and scrapes with fatalities?

      Please read my post on HAT to begin your journey to the notion of safe streets. Then follow the links and read about this.

      Also, if we are going to talk stats, let’s ask if the changes were statistically significant:

      “The construction of cycle lanes has resulted in an increase in accidents of 5% and
      15% more injuries. These increases are not statistically significant.”

      No they were not.

      Good day.

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