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M II A II R II K Feb 22, 2010 10:50 PM

Urban Cycling Developments
 
When a Bicycle Isn't a Transportation Device


Feb 22, 2010

By TENEILLE GIBSON

http://media.nbcwashington.com/desig...go_peacock.gif

Read More: http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/lo...-84959792.html

Quote:

So… it’s all play and no work for bike riders.

“I don’t believe a bicycle is a transportation device,” Fairfax County Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock District) said during a transportation committee meeting. “I think it’s a recreation device. The big problem is people don’t want to ride their bike in the rain or get sweaty before work.”

Cook's comments clash with Reston’s plan to add new bike trails. The Examiner reported that transportation officials have identified pedestrian and bicycle projects to improve bike accessibility to the planned Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway Metro stations. It’s all part of the transit extension to Washington Dulles International Airport.

“I don’t agree with him,” said Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) to the Examiner. “People don’t do it now -- not because they don’t want to -- but because they can’t. It’s not safe.”

Bike enthusiasts are not feeling the love at all.

BTinSF Feb 22, 2010 10:58 PM

For a majority of the population--most of those over 50, those who are disabled, those who live too far from work, those who don't have changing facilities at work and need to wear bike-inapproriate clothing at work and those who just don't want to ride a bike--it is NOT a transportation device that is relevant to their lives. That's why I object to cities like my own reducing lanes and road capacity for what remains by far the primary personal transportation device, the motor vehicle, in favor of bikes. A few streets in San Francisco like Valencia (in the Mission District) have become almost impassable to cars with the reduction in lanes needed to create bike lanes and lack of enforcement against double parking and parking in the center (turn) lane.

As far as whether the bike riders feel any love, IMHO they stopped deserving love when they started intentionally blocking streets and disrupting the commutes of the rest of us once a month. Why should anybody love a group that resorts to such selfish, hostile tactics?

fflint Feb 22, 2010 11:01 PM

The bicycle is obviously a transportation device, and one that was on our streets before cars were even invented.

Steely Dan Feb 22, 2010 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BTinSF (Post 4712926)
most of those over 50, those who are disabled, those who live too far from work, those who don't have changing facilities at work and need to wear bike-inapproriate clothing at work and those who just don't want to ride a bike--it is NOT a transportation device that is relevant to their lives.

yeah, but those people are all stupid and lame, and their opinions should never matter. remember, cars are stupid, but bicycles completely rule the universe. these are facts.

here's to san francisco's continuing efforts to promote the bicycle revolution :cheers:

SpawnOfVulcan Feb 22, 2010 11:13 PM

What type of device it is obviously depends on the purpose it's being used for. Obviously, if you're riding it to work, or class like I do, it's a transportation device. The guy has a point though, it's not exactly a great choice if you're wearing a suit or dress.

village person Feb 22, 2010 11:17 PM

Some percentage of the populous can't or choose not to bike and the rest can't bike in some smal percentage of inclement weather, therefor no safe network should exist in which to bike. Nice logic.

It's all about..... options.

Nobody is advocating biking as the only form of transportation available. Making it viable and safe is nonetheless important.

fflint Feb 22, 2010 11:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 4712934)
here's to san francisco's continuing efforts to promote the bicycle revolution :cheers:

Haha, SF is a total, unreconstructed laggard when it comes to advancing bicycle infastructure, due to NIMBYs who think like BTinSF. Our local manifestation of the ongoing bicycle revolution has been a strictly DIY affair. We're up to 6% of all daily trips in the city now.

urbanlife Feb 22, 2010 11:24 PM

Well John Cook might need to spend some time in Portland, we are proof that weather doesnt matter when it comes to bike commuting...as for the over 50 comment, that is a generalized load of crap, I have seen plenty of people above 50 that bike to work and have legs that could easily kick the crap out of anyone.

What annoys me the most is when car drivers like Cook think that the car is the only form of transportation and expect there to be a parking spot in front of their house and in front of their work for them everyday...they are the same morons that think it is okay to drive in the bike lanes too, we dont drive on the sidewalk and we dont drive in the bike lanes.

Ugh, it is people like this that has made me lose interesting in the Republican Party every year. I am getting to the point that I dont even care what they think anymore because many of them are sounding like they are still stuck in 1950.

M II A II R II K Feb 22, 2010 11:37 PM

Where I'm at bike lanes can appear on just about any of the wider roads by the sidewalk, as for the narrower main roads only on the more residential or less trafficked roads would have them.

Would never see them on the older narrower main routes that are heavily trafficked. There have been movements to get that changed on some of those routes but they never get anywhere.

SpawnOfVulcan Feb 22, 2010 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanlife (Post 4712979)
Well John Cook might need to spend some time in Portland, we are proof that weather doesnt matter when it comes to bike commuting...as for the over 50 comment, that is a generalized load of crap, I have seen plenty of people above 50 that bike to work and have legs that could easily kick the crap out of anyone.

What annoys me the most is when car drivers like Cook think that the car is the only form of transportation and expect there to be a parking spot in front of their house and in front of their work for them everyday...they are the same morons that think it is okay to drive in the bike lanes too, we dont drive on the sidewalk and we dont drive in the bike lanes.

Ugh, it is people like this that has made me lose interesting in the Republican Party every year. I am getting to the point that I dont even care what they think anymore because many of them are sounding like they are still stuck in 1950.

Well, biking may be a great and comfortable thing to do in Portland, but in cities in the Southeast, Mid Atlantic, basically just the East, the heat and humidity from Spring to Fall can be quite unbearable.

That being said, there should still be some more support of biking. Even if you're not gonna have people in business suits and stuff riding them to work, there's not doubt that it will take pressure of roadways, removing people from them that are just on their way to class, more casual jobs, etc...

Nowhereman1280 Feb 23, 2010 12:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BTinSF (Post 4712926)
For a majority of the population--

One might argue the same for the car. Large sections of the population are under 16, too old or too disabled to drive, or, more importantly, unable to afford a vehicle. This is especially true when it comes to cities, cars are wildly expensive to keep in a city and frankly take up too much space. What about the poor who can't drop a few grand on an old beater? What about people who can't afford parking in their building and there is no room on the street.

A bike is a transportation device and an extremely effective one at that when it comes to dense, urban cities. And for that small section of the population that is too old or disabled to ride a bike around there is this little thing called Mass Transit (GASP!) that they can use if they are too uncomfortable driving down roads that are choked with bikes.

Mad_Nick Feb 23, 2010 2:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tredici (Post 4712950)
What type of device it is obviously depends on the purpose it's being used for. Obviously, if you're riding it to work, or class like I do, it's a transportation device. The guy has a point though, it's not exactly a great choice if you're wearing a suit or dress.

Have you ever been to Amsterdam? Wearing a suit or a dress isn't much of a problem.

Cirrus Feb 23, 2010 2:54 AM

This article is actually great news. First of all the article borders on mocking Mr. Cook because even the mainstream media recognizes a fool when they see one, but more importantly, to get this kind of sentiment the news has had to resort to quoting a nobody local politician from the outer suburbs. It wasn't that long ago the US Secretary of Transportation held similar views, but we've come a long way since 2007.

JordanL Feb 23, 2010 3:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BTinSF (Post 4712926)
For a majority of the population--most of those over 50, those who are disabled, those who live too far from work, those who don't have changing facilities at work and need to wear bike-inapproriate clothing at work and those who just don't want to ride a bike--it is NOT a transportation device that is relevant to their lives. That's why I object to cities like my own reducing lanes and road capacity for what remains by far the primary personal transportation device, the motor vehicle, in favor of bikes. A few streets in San Francisco like Valencia (in the Mission District) have become almost impassable to cars with the reduction in lanes needed to create bike lanes and lack of enforcement against double parking and parking in the center (turn) lane.

As far as whether the bike riders feel any love, IMHO they stopped deserving love when they started intentionally blocking streets and disrupting the commutes of the rest of us once a month. Why should anybody love a group that resorts to such selfish, hostile tactics?

The Portland 2030 Bicycle Master Plan (which was just finalized two weeks ago) found via survey that only 30% of Portland residents would NEVER consider a bike for transportation. 50% Would like to bike but feel that it isn't safe enough (even though we have a ludicrously low bicycle fatality rate per trip).

What this tells me is that either Portland citizens are radically different inherently than other people, or viewing a bicycle as a transportation device can be learned and taught.

Portland is a fairly rainy place, and we manage.

In short, this politician is full of it.

Jon Dalton Feb 23, 2010 5:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BTinSF (Post 4712926)
For a majority of the population--most of those over 50, those who are disabled, those who live too far from work, those who don't have changing facilities at work and need to wear bike-inapproriate clothing at work

That's a majority of the population - really? Of course of you include 'just don't want to ride a bike' as a qualifier your subset of people could be anything. Of course less people will want to ride a bike if we make it harder. More people will want to ride a bike if it's safer, if more people are doing it, and if the alternatives become more expensive which is inevitable.

I could just as easily say a 'majority' don't consider cars to be relevant because they are too young or old, can't afford them, don't have a licence, or don't want to deal with ever increasing congestion and operation costs.

Quote:

That's why I object to cities like my own reducing lanes and road capacity for what remains by far the primary personal transportation device, the motor vehicle, in favor of bikes
What you propose is to keep roadspace for the most inefficient, most wasteful and socially detrimental form of transportation, to avoid giving a small fraction to the most efficient transportation ever known. I'm sorry but that's just ass-backwards.

Quote:

As far as whether the bike riders feel any love, IMHO they stopped deserving love when they started intentionally blocking streets and disrupting the commutes of the rest of us once a month. Why should anybody love a group that resorts to such selfish, hostile tactics?
Cars do this to other cars every day.

Cirrus Feb 23, 2010 6:09 PM

I agree that Critical Mass is not doing cycling advocacy any favors, as San Francisco's moratorium on funding cycling infrastructure attests.

However, because cyclists are occasionally obnoxious it does not logically follow that cities should become anti-cycling. If it did, asshole drivers would have required us to outlaw cars long ago.

urbanlife Feb 23, 2010 6:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BTinSF (Post 4712926)
As far as whether the bike riders feel any love, IMHO they stopped deserving love when they started intentionally blocking streets and disrupting the commutes of the rest of us once a month. Why should anybody love a group that resorts to such selfish, hostile tactics?

seriously?? Well then cars stopped deserving any love when I see people in cars not break for pedestrians crossing the street or they dont pay attention to the signs and the paint on the road. The car is not the only thing on the road. I once had some ass complain to me that my city was backwards because we gave two entire roads their own bus lanes because he felt buses were inferior to cars. Car drivers tend to be the most selfish ( a generalization of course) but when you consider how many cars out there commuting only have one person in them, that is kind of a selfish act to produce that much pollution and consume that much energy for one person.

Of course I am not saying all bike riders are saints, I have seen plenty of them over the years that have disobeyed the laws of the road and it doesnt bother me one bit to see them being pulled over by the police (which does happen in Portland), and I have no sympathy for the bike rider that gets hit when they blow through a light. But I do expect those in cars to still pay attention to their surroundings instead of acting like they are the only ones on the road and it is their kingdom and domain.

Steely Dan Feb 23, 2010 6:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanlife (Post 4714230)
I have seen plenty of them over the years that have disobeyed the laws of the road and it doesnt bother me one bit to see them being pulled over by the police (which does happen in Portland),

:laugh:

seriously? the police in portland actually pull over cyclists who break traffic laws? i've never experienced nor witnessed such a thing in chicago, and i've rolled through stop signs directly in front of squad cars before and they just look on or give a wave. bikes are invisible to the CPD, i guess they're just too busy contending with real crime to be bothered with writing up traffic tickets to cyclists.


but i will agree that the critical mass goofballs do FAR more harm than good for advancing the cause of cycling with their boorish, selfish, antagonistic behavior. it's the reason why i don't participate in their rides.

M II A II R II K Feb 23, 2010 6:22 PM

And if they gave them a ticket are they going to force them to show them their ID to be able to ensure they get payment.

Cirrus Feb 23, 2010 6:31 PM

^
Good question. You don't need a license to ride a bike, nor must bikes be registered.

The police in DC don't generally ticket anybody for anything, neither cars nor cyclists. The suburbs are different, but in the city it's pretty much a free-for-all.


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