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  #1001  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 5:38 PM
swimmer_spe swimmer_spe is offline
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
It might be either/or, though, if it's cost prohibitive to do both. And again, there's reams of data indicating that road widening is useless in the long run to relieve congestion.
Highway 401 in Toronto is 6+ lanes and every rush hour it is plugged. They could double it and it still would be plugged.
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  #1002  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 5:54 PM
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I'm all for rail if for no other reason than it may finally stop us from building bike lanes.
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  #1003  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 5:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
I'm all for rail if for no other reason than it may finally stop us from building bike lanes.
Really?

Bike lanes make it safer for bikes to get around.
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  #1004  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 7:13 PM
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
Really?

Bike lanes make it safer for bikes to get around.

They encourage unsafe and risky behavior and impede other forms of transportation. The lanes are largely unused and are a hugely expensive gift to a small group of loud activists. If we put rail lines on-street there will be no room for bike lanes, a good thing.
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  #1005  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 7:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
They encourage unsafe and risky behavior and impede other forms of transportation. The lanes are largely unused and are a hugely expensive gift to a small group of loud activists. If we put rail lines on-street there will be no room for bike lanes, a good thing.
Yup, you are certifiably nuts.

Unsafe? How?

Risky? How so?

All modes of traffic, including cycling needs to be police enforced.

Street running in traffic is a stupid idea. It really is no better than buses. Look at Toronto.

Now, if you decide to follow the rest of the city into the future, we can have a civil discussion.
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  #1006  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 8:25 PM
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It actually is rather unsafe currently since we have a very low proportion of people travelling by bicycles. The data is completely unambiguous in demonstrating that the more cyclists there are in a given area, the safer it is to cycle there. And we also know that many people feel unsafe biking while sharing spaces with cars. But bike lanes actually make people feel safer, increase the number of people riding, and as a result, make it much safer to ride. And bikes take up far less space and use far less energy compared to cars to both build and power. In fact, bikes use even less energy to cover the same distance when compared to walking. And in terms of infrastructure upkeep, they put next to no wear or strain on roads.

The reality is, investing in bike lanes and encouraging bike use is far less expensive than investing in car facilities or even public transit. It just doesn't seem that way when there are few people who use bikes due to the investment in bike provisions not having yet been made.
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  #1007  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 8:28 PM
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
Yup, you are certifiably nuts.

Unsafe? How?

Risky? How so?

All modes of traffic, including cycling needs to be police enforced.

Street running in traffic is a stupid idea. It really is no better than buses. Look at Toronto.

Now, if you decide to follow the rest of the city into the future, we can have a civil discussion.

All one needs to do is observe cyclists to understand the first couple of points. Recent tragedies add to the evidence.

I agree with police enforcement. However when a cyclist can get on the streets with no training, no license - or indeed, no ID at all -, no registration, and no insurance it becomes difficult to do anything.

Unless we build a totally separate street network for them, as many of them demand, it will always be very unsafe. And that will not change in our lifetimes.
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  #1008  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 9:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
All one needs to do is observe cyclists to understand the first couple of points. Recent tragedies add to the evidence.

I agree with police enforcement. However when a cyclist can get on the streets with no training, no license - or indeed, no ID at all -, no registration, and no insurance it becomes difficult to do anything.

Unless we build a totally separate street network for them, as many of them demand, it will always be very unsafe. And that will not change in our lifetimes.
And driving a a vehicle is safer?

Many cities are putting in bike lanes, and stepping up enforcement.

For the next few years, there will be many accidents as motorists and cyclists get used to each other on the roads.
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  #1009  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 9:13 PM
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There are many of places around the world where thousands of cyclists get around safely and efficiently without special licenses or training. The idea that it's inherently unsafe has been proven false so many times it isn't even worth discussing.
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  #1010  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 9:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
There are many of places around the world where thousands of cyclists get around safely and efficiently without special licenses or training. The idea that it's inherently unsafe has been proven false so many times it isn't even worth discussing.
It is attitude adjustment on the part of cyclists and motorists.
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  #1011  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 9:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
City staff concluded that it wasn't cost-effective, but many on council and elsewhere beg to differ.
I don't think it was city staff's conclusion. The study itself was done by an outside consultant. I get the impression that the city's various departments are interpreting the findings differently.
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  #1012  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 9:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
The data is completely unambiguous in demonstrating that the more cyclists there are in a given area, the safer it is to cycle there.
Does it demonstrate causation or just correlation? I'd say both influence each other - there will be more cyclists in an area where it is safer to cycle.
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  #1013  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 9:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Unless we build a totally separate street network for them, as many of them demand,
Which is actually what many (I would guess most on here) are hoping for.
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  #1014  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Hali87 View Post
Does it demonstrate causation or just correlation? I'd say both influence each other - there will be more cyclists in an area where it is safer to cycle.
It is certainly both, but if you're wondering which ultimately comes first, here's an except from a site discussing that very topic:

Quote:
Originally Posted by grist.org
The phenomenon, dubbed “safety in numbers,” was first identified in 2003, in an academic paper by public health researcher Peter Jacobsen [PDF]. After being asked by officials in Pasadena, Calif., if their city “was a dangerous place to bicycle,” Jacobsen began looking at crash data from various communities where bicycle ridership had fluctuated over time.

What he found surprised him: The number of crashes involving bikes correlated with the number of riders in a community. As ridership fluctuated, so did the crash rate. More riders, fewer crashes; fewer riders, more crashes.

This happened too abruptly, Jacobsen decided, to be caused by slow-moving factors like infrastructure development and cultural change. Bicycling becomes safer when the number of riders increases, he concluded, at least in part because the number of riders increases.

The inverse happens, as well. One data set Jacobsen looked at covered 49 years of biking history in the United Kingdom. Those numbers showed that cycling became safer during the oil crisis of the 1970s, caused by the OPEC oil embargo. Once the crisis ended, both ridership and safety dropped.
http://grist.org/article/2010-10-11-...-for-cyclists/

In other words, having a larger number of cyclists can act as causation for the increased safety on its own, without the increased safety from things like bike lanes already being present to attract greater numbers of riders.
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  #1015  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 10:58 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
What he found surprised him: The number of crashes involving bikes correlated with the number of riders in a community. As ridership fluctuated, so did the crash rate. More riders, fewer crashes; fewer riders, more crashes.
The wording is a little confusing as the author is using 'crash rate' and 'number of crashes' in the same context. 'Crash rate' would tend to indicate number of crashes per total number of cyclists on the road which is different than absolute total number of crashes.

i.e. if the same number of crashes occurred due, for example, to the same number of inept motorists on the road crashing into cyclists, but the total number of cyclists increased, then the crash rate would automatically be lower due to the sheer number of cyclists on the road (simple mathematics).

It makes sense, that more cyclists equals greater visibility and thus more driver awareness. Also, something that the article didn't mention (and probably never would) is that increased number of cyclists on the road will also improve the riding behavior of the cyclists who are on the road. If they are in greater numbers, there will be some peer pressure to obey rules of the road, etc. as well as larger numbers require more orderly conduct to make it work and not cause crashes among the cyclists themselves.

Not rocket science, really.
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  #1016  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 11:12 PM
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The only thing really relevant is the rate of crashes, not the number of crashes. After all, every mode of transportation is prone to accidents, but the rate of accidents is what determines how likely any particular individual is to be injured when using that mode. Which is basically interchangeable with the concept of safety.

One can say it isn't rocket science, but there are people, even on this very site, for whom these concepts don't seem to be intuitive. They seem to envision the number of accidents to increase in a linear manner keeping constant with the ridership increase, or even exponentially due to cyclists becoming brazen and reckless with their sudden empowerment, even suggesting that the only way to make it safe is to totally segregate bikes from other traffic. This is not supported by reality.
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  #1017  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 11:27 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I guess to my way of thinking is that the rate of crashes is not really relevant, and this is why I say it. Consider these two examples:

- If I'm riding my bicycle alone along the side of the road and a car crashes into me, then the rate of crashes per cyclists is 100%.
- If I'm riding with a group of 1000 cyclists and that same car crashes into me, then the rate of crashes is now 0.1%.

I'm still getting creamed, and the same number of cars are still ineptly crashing into cyclists, but the statistics would falsely lead one to believe that since there are more cyclists on the road then it is now safer to be there.

If that statistic is for a 1 km stretch of road, then the 100% vs the 0.1% is very misleading as the car could have veered off the road anywhere else on that 1 km stretch of road and suddenly the stats are reversed - 0% crash rate for riding alone and 0.1% for riding in a group of 1000, for example.

I would hope that the intent of the article is to illustrate that increased number of cyclists increases awareness among both cyclists and motorists, and thus reduces the total number of crashes on any particular stretch of road.

Just my
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  #1018  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 11:36 PM
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In your example, the rate would be relevant to you as an individual because if the number of incompetent car drivers remains the same and then number of times one hits a cyclist remains the same, it is far less likely that it will be you that he hits rather than someone else in that crowd of 1000 compared to if it's you by yourself. But of course, if for some reason it's always going to be you who gets hit, then the presence of those 999 others may not be comforting to you, but your presence would certainly be comforting to them.
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  #1019  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2015, 11:45 PM
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All you have to do is visit any of the thousands of cities in the world where cycling and cars co-exist peacefully to see that cycling on streets shared with cars is not inherently unsafe--but we need to get over the idea that city streets are primarily for cars zipping around at 50 km/h, and everything else can get wedged in if there's room. Sometimes it DOES feel like bike lanes are empty, etc, but this does have to do with lack of infratsructure. Opinion surveys show there are a lot of people who want to cycle but are scared off because it still feels a bit intense to chcle on city streets. Protected lanes are the best way to address that.
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  #1020  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2015, 12:13 AM
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The idea of optimizing for car speed is interesting. There are a lot of counterintuitive aspects to traffic, and one is that increasing car speeds does not increase the throughput of vehicles much. This is because the real bottleneck is human reflexes. Cars need to be spaced out by a couple of seconds to allow the drivers to avoid accidents. This implies that the cars have to be spaced out more at higher speeds. The throughput on a fast highway or slow surface street will both max out at a vehicle every couple of seconds. Modifying city streets to allow cars to drive really fast is not as useful as it seems.

As far as commuter rail, the timing seems good and the plan seems realistic (the arguments about viability are really flawed arguments about economic returns; they are not compelling reasons to cancel the project). My only worry is that maybe there is some better alternative transit plan like light rail that was never really considered because everybody has been so fixated on the rail cut. On the other hand, if the city takes a step back maybe momentum will be lost and nothing will happen for years. The transportation planning process needs to be fixed so that this doesn't happen in the future. There should be a transportation authority that is always evaluating all of the plausible options from a regional rather than parochial perspective.
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