Forester Had No Impact on Cycling in the US (NOT!!)

I don’t know why we get this comment, but I guess the notion is to discredit those who like infrastructure as “conspiracy theorists” rather than arguing their case?

http://www.johnforester.com/Articles/Social/My%20History.htm

I just took the quotes where he actively did things. I did not check to see the result.

One can read the entire page for details.

1. Product Design Laws for Bicycles

“One result was the Consumer Product Safety Commission of the United States, empowered to issue safety regulations that had the force of law for most consumer products…I held the CPSC to the law, first with comments on the proposed versions of the regulation, then by suing the CPSC itself…The motorists got the point; BMA didn’t get a single vote in favor, as I remember.”

2. Bikeway design standards:

“After one particularly harrowing presentation by a salesman for bollards to mark bicycle lanes, I bought a Gestetner Mimeograph and started issuing reports to all the cyclists I knew in California. That stirred the California cycling world into writing letters to the committee expressing opposition to its work.”

“As a result of the efforts of cyclists against this discrimination, we were able to head off the intended mandatory-bike-path law by demonstrating how dangerous side-path cycling was. However, were unable to head off the mandatory-bike-lane law, and we were unable to get repeal of the mandatory-side-of-the-road law. Whenever I pointed out how that law, as originally written years before, contradicted standard traffic law, the committee members protected the discriminatory law by inserting exceptions, and they did the same thing with the mandatory-bike-lane law. Many cyclists nowadays think that those exceptions were inserted into the law through the goodness of heart of the committee members, but that is entirely incorrect. The committee members inserted exceptions only to protect the discriminatory law from judges who thought cyclists should obey the normal traffic laws rather than the imperfect and discriminatory law written for cyclists alone. ”

“The resistance by cyclists against discrimination, and their demonstration of the dangers of the UCLA bikeway standards to lawful, competent cyclists, prevented those standards from being adopted. California therefore set up a new committee, the California Statewide Bicycle Facilities Committee, to design new standards. Of the eight members, cyclists were allowed two; the rest represented branches of government.”

“My leadership of the cyclists’ resistance had made me unacceptable on the new committee, but, since I was by then president of the California Association of Bicycling Organizations, they could not keep me from attending and submitting papers. In my attempts to redirect the committee to making cycling safer rather than discriminating against cyclists, I wrote probably about half of the paperwork produced by the committee. My close associate, Professor John Finley Scott, of the sociology department of UC Davis, represented CABO, and Richard Blunden, a state government employee, acted as representative of the League of American Wheelmen. ”

“The result of all this was that the Federal government and the states adopted the California bikeway standards, presumably because these had gone through the fire of cyclists’ criticism and were least likely to produce liability judgements against the governments’ agencies.”

Thus, he claims to have influenced standards that make up Federal Standards. If anything, he’s been under-estimated in his impact, not over-estimated.

3. Effective Cycling Book.

This book is widely available. Some cycling organizations recommenced it and even handed out copies. Inside you’ll find the tactics that are still used to this very day on how to stop cycling infrastructure including attending meetings, threatening liability problems, nit picking, and more. Please borrow a copy, don’t buy a new one, and check it out.

4. Cycling Safety Courses.

I have not taken a class, but I have heard that many of the instructors use this supposedly neutral class to impart their political views into their students.

This is why when a new advocate is disagreeable, they urge her to “take a class”. This phony paperwork is used as some kind of traffic engineering certification for judging the safety of bikeway design.

VC advocates urge this kind of deception.

There are course in roadway engineering, but they are much more rigorous. Their opinions on bikeways are much more informed and nuanced.

Thus, there are many new students still indoctrinated each year in these notions.

These people do post comments and attend meetings.

There’s much more, but this is a start.

Thus, I never want to hear again, that “Forester had NO IMPACT ON INFRASTRUCTURE in the US” as this is a lie.

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