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JulianWilliams

Should a large part of city roads be turned into bicycle lanes?

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Cars are polluting, the take up a lot of space, they damage the roads, they kill  / injure a lot of people every year and they damage our health by reducing the amound of exercise we get and they're also fairly expensive to buy and operate.

Bicyclists however have a really hard time riding through cities because there's not much infrastructure available for them.

 

Should cities turn a lot of the infrastructure destined for car trafic into infrastructure for bicycle traffic? I mean if there's a road with two lanes on each direction they would turn one lane on each sides into a bicycle path. Or if the road only has one lane per direction they'd turn one lane into a bicycle path and the onther lane would remain in use for cars as a one way road.

 

I think it's a great idea and I hope it will happen soon.

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No. But streetcars should be reinstalled.

My city just made one major avenue one-way downtown taking one lane and dedicating it to bikes. That's all well and good, but our temperatures stay in the low 20s for 4 months of the year so no one uses that bike lane in those temps.

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Rain, cold, lightning, any degree of cargo beyond a coke, passengers, & time demands are among the constraints of widespread bike commuting.

Other than that, as a pastime; it's great. 

 

"A lot of the infrastructure over to bikes" ? ; that would be a colossal impracticality.

 

My question is, where are the self-driving bicycles?? ;)

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Too many lazy asses to even make this a pie-in-the-sky project.  It is beyond comprehension how this would make anything better.

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Seattle Political Hags have allowed the Cascade club to have their way and they took a major lane on all major streets to create all these Bike lanes. With that you only see a handful at best using them and a ton of lost parking spaces. Now parking is a nightmare and you have bike riders thinking they are better than cars and when the lights turn red they break the law by jumping up on the sidewalks to cross and continue to go. Bike riders have double standards and I have come to hate them having been hit a couple times by riders running red lights.

 

If the cities want bike riders, then license them, require road riding courses and have them pay for their own lanes.

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^ Do they not also cause 'wear and tear' on the roads… and deny Gov't gas tax revenue?? Sounds like a problem looking for a 'solution'.

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^ Do they not also cause 'wear and tear' on the roads… and deny Gov't gas tax revenue?? Sounds like a problem looking for a 'solution'.

 

They do cost money to build those damn bike lanes and "rails to trails"

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In Vancouver, we've aggressively built cycling infrastructure. Certain projects like taking one vehicle lane and converting it into a safe, dedicated bike lane have had mixed results. 

 

Many cyclists don't like riding along main thoroughfares, choosing to ride on a parallel street one block away. So we're speed-controlling many of those roads, and providing optimal space for cyclists. It keeps cars and bikes at safe distances and makes more sense than taking away arterial road lanes, which makes motorists and businesses upset. 

 

But what's needed is to institute a congestion tax and charge drivers who enter urban areas. This encourages more transit (and cycling) use, and the reduced congestion is safer for cyclists and those on scooters/motorcycles. 

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In Vancouver, we've aggressively built cycling infrastructure. Certain projects like taking one vehicle lane and converting it into a safe, dedicated bike lane have had mixed results. 

 

Many cyclists don't like riding along main thoroughfares, choosing to ride on a parallel street one block away. So we're speed-controlling many of those roads, and providing optimal space for cyclists. It keeps cars and bikes at safe distances and makes more sense than taking away arterial road lanes, which makes motorists and businesses upset. 

 

But what's needed is to institute a congestion tax and charge drivers who enter urban areas. This encourages more transit (and cycling) use, and the reduced congestion is safer for cyclists and those on scooters/motorcycles. 

Why should I be taxed for using my brain on how to get around Idiot City planning of not building the major roads big enough and I know the side streets so I take a short cut to get home or to where I need to go faster.

 

Transit is not efficient and bike riding is not either. Slow and way to long and not something useful during fall, winter or spring.

 

Heck why not charge the bike riders and motorcycle/ scooter riders a fair tax for dedicated roads or covered protected lanes for their use.

 

Why should I a driver who has earned the privilege to drive a car have to pay for bike riders and scooters?

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What is a "vancouver"?

Silly Boy, Seattle is boxed in by two cities, Vancouver BC to the north a fun place to visit and Vancouver Washington on the Columbia River another fun place to visit.

 

The Pacific Northwest has tons of Indian tribes and as such most cities are named after various chiefs or Indian terms.

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In Vancouver, we've aggressively built cycling infrastructure. Certain projects like taking one vehicle lane and converting it into a safe, dedicated bike lane have had mixed results. 

 

Many cyclists don't like riding along main thoroughfares, choosing to ride on a parallel street one block away. So we're speed-controlling many of those roads, and providing optimal space for cyclists. It keeps cars and bikes at safe distances and makes more sense than taking away arterial road lanes, which makes motorists and businesses upset. 

 

But what's needed is to institute a congestion tax and charge drivers who enter urban areas. This encourages more transit (and cycling) use, and the reduced congestion is safer for cyclists and those on scooters/motorcycles. 

Why should I be taxed for using my brain on how to get around Idiot City planning of not building the major roads big enough and I know the side streets so I take a short cut to get home or to where I need to go faster.

 

Transit is not efficient and bike riding is not either. Slow and way to long and not something useful during fall, winter or spring.

 

Heck why not charge the bike riders and motorcycle/ scooter riders a fair tax for dedicated roads or covered protected lanes for their use.

 

Why should I a driver who has earned the privilege to drive a car have to pay for bike riders and scooters?

 

 

Transit CAN be efficient. But it is more expensive to operate than a bike lane, thus the congestion tax. 

 

We're quickly approaching (past?) the time where we who like to drive should be supporting drastically increased subsidies for public transit to enable and encourage those who would prefer not to drive to get off the road.

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Not sure how one quantifies "prefers not to drive" vs. 'would own a vehicle anyway'. I've seen plenty of very low income families in smaller inner cities, with access to plenty of PT, still owning beaters. There's a freedom equivalency that the majority are not willing to give up, IMO. What that figure is no one knows.

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Not sure how one quantifies "prefers not to drive" vs. 'would own a vehicle anyway'. I've seen plenty of very low income families in smaller inner cities, with access to plenty of PT, still owning beaters. There's a freedom equivalency that the majority are not willing to give up, IMO. What that figure is no one knows.

 

I can't think of a single city in the US outside of NYC that has anything close to the public transit density needed to have a majority of residents live car free. Yet there are many cities overseas much smaller than some of our major metros where it is not only possible, but more desirable to use PT due to the ease and cost v. the hassle of driving and maintaining a car, and then use car sharing services for the sporadic instances where a car is necessary. 

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Undoubtedly the State of PT is a cog, but my question is; to what degree does the U.S. culture/custom play? IE: we have been a 'nation on wheels' for a century, which is counter to other countries. Plunk down a 'dense' PT system in a random city and how many people will jettison their vehicles?

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In Vancouver, we've aggressively built cycling infrastructure. Certain projects like taking one vehicle lane and converting it into a safe, dedicated bike lane have had mixed results. 

 

Many cyclists don't like riding along main thoroughfares, choosing to ride on a parallel street one block away. So we're speed-controlling many of those roads, and providing optimal space for cyclists. It keeps cars and bikes at safe distances and makes more sense than taking away arterial road lanes, which makes motorists and businesses upset. 

 

But what's needed is to institute a congestion tax and charge drivers who enter urban areas. This encourages more transit (and cycling) use, and the reduced congestion is safer for cyclists and those on scooters/motorcycles. 

Why should I be taxed for using my brain on how to get around Idiot City planning of not building the major roads big enough and I know the side streets so I take a short cut to get home or to where I need to go faster.

 

Transit is not efficient and bike riding is not either. Slow and way to long and not something useful during fall, winter or spring.

 

Heck why not charge the bike riders and motorcycle/ scooter riders a fair tax for dedicated roads or covered protected lanes for their use.

 

Why should I a driver who has earned the privilege to drive a car have to pay for bike riders and scooters?

 

 

Bicycles produce vastly less wear and tear to the surface of the roads. You can get away without doing much to bike lanes for many years. Also, how are pedestrians being taxed for walking?

 

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Undoubtedly the State of PT is a cog, but my question is; to what degree does the U.S. culture/custom play? IE: we have been a 'nation on wheels' for a century, which is counter to other countries. Plunk down a 'dense' PT system in a random city and how many people will jettison their vehicles?

 

Once people realize the benefits, it will catch on.  The system has to have critical density for people to want to use it.  

 

The Port Authority in Pittsburgh is an example of a death by a thousand cuts.  Every 6 months they cut routes and cut runs citing declining ridership and lack of funds from the state, but the problem of declining ridership just keeps accelerating.  My bus route in to work was standing room only years ago.  Today, on the rare occasion I take the bus in, it is not unusual for half the seats to be open.

 

The problem? They've cut the frequency multiple times over the years. During rush hour, it used to be every 15 minutes, then it increased to every 20 minutes, then it increased to every 30 minutes, today it is every 40 minutes.   If you miss your bus at the time you intended to take it, you're sunk, walk back to your car and drive in.  If you're trying to take a bus outside of rush hour, better not miss it because it could be an hour or more wait.

 

Furthermore, because of the Corbett administration choking off funds in an attempt to break the union, they don't even have enough operational buses to run every scheduled route on most days.  There have been reports of up to 20% of the scheduled runs during the day system wide not happen due to lack of running equipment.   That level of unreliability scares people away from using the system.  Here I am, someone who wants to use public transit yet no longer able to due to lack of system density and reliability. I have been stranded waiting for buses out of the city more than once due to my bus simply not showing up.

 

The problem is that certain political mindsets think that everything everywhere should always always always turn a profit on the books.  Something like public transit doesn't operate in that way.  The profit to the taxpayers comes in the form of savings elsewhere and off the books.  It comes from not sitting in traffic jams and killing your MPG, it comes from lower road maintenance costs, it comes in lower environmental costs, lower accident rates, etc etc.

 

If you build it, they will come.

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In Vancouver, we've aggressively built cycling infrastructure. Certain projects like taking one vehicle lane and converting it into a safe, dedicated bike lane have had mixed results. 

 

Many cyclists don't like riding along main thoroughfares, choosing to ride on a parallel street one block away. So we're speed-controlling many of those roads, and providing optimal space for cyclists. It keeps cars and bikes at safe distances and makes more sense than taking away arterial road lanes, which makes motorists and businesses upset. 

 

But what's needed is to institute a congestion tax and charge drivers who enter urban areas. This encourages more transit (and cycling) use, and the reduced congestion is safer for cyclists and those on scooters/motorcycles. 

Why should I be taxed for using my brain on how to get around Idiot City planning of not building the major roads big enough and I know the side streets so I take a short cut to get home or to where I need to go faster.

 

Transit is not efficient and bike riding is not either. Slow and way to long and not something useful during fall, winter or spring.

 

Heck why not charge the bike riders and motorcycle/ scooter riders a fair tax for dedicated roads or covered protected lanes for their use.

 

Why should I a driver who has earned the privilege to drive a car have to pay for bike riders and scooters?

 

 

Bicycles produce vastly less wear and tear to the surface of the roads. You can get away without doing much to bike lanes for many years. Also, how are pedestrians being taxed for walking?

 

 

Pedestrian sidewalks are being paid by the building owners who construct and are required to supply sidewalks around their buildings butting up against the street. The business wants people to come in they supply sidewalks.

 

Yes Bikes produce less wear, but they are also random and all over causing many problems and are less efficient in getting from point A to B fast. Yes this is more of an American culture thing. 

 

Having gone to college in Japan I have first hand experience on how especially in the Asian rim they incorporate public transportation in small areas. Yet the US was never small and as such, getting around in cold, freezing or raining areas especially when you work 40 miles in each direction from home to work makes Bike riding a non-starter. Not going to waste my hours riding a bike to and from work. Rather work out in the gym with the wife or go skiing than to waste hours riding a bike.

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Undoubtedly the State of PT is a cog, but my question is; to what degree does the U.S. culture/custom play? IE: we have been a 'nation on wheels' for a century, which is counter to other countries. Plunk down a 'dense' PT system in a random city and how many people will jettison their vehicles?

 

Once people realize the benefits, it will catch on.  The system has to have critical density for people to want to use it.  

 

The Port Authority in Pittsburgh is an example of a death by a thousand cuts.  Every 6 months they cut routes and cut runs citing declining ridership and lack of funds from the state, but the problem of declining ridership just keeps accelerating.  My bus route in to work was standing room only years ago.  Today, on the rare occasion I take the bus in, it is not unusual for half the seats to be open.

 

The problem? They've cut the frequency multiple times over the years. During rush hour, it used to be every 15 minutes, then it increased to every 20 minutes, then it increased to every 30 minutes, today it is every 40 minutes.   If you miss your bus at the time you intended to take it, you're sunk, walk back to your car and drive in.  If you're trying to take a bus outside of rush hour, better not miss it because it could be an hour or more wait.

 

Furthermore, because of the Corbett administration choking off funds in an attempt to break the union, they don't even have enough operational buses to run every scheduled route on most days.  There have been reports of up to 20% of the scheduled runs during the day system wide not happen due to lack of running equipment.   That level of unreliability scares people away from using the system.  Here I am, someone who wants to use public transit yet no longer able to due to lack of system density and reliability. I have been stranded waiting for buses out of the city more than once due to my bus simply not showing up.

 

The problem is that certain political mindsets think that everything everywhere should always always always turn a profit on the books.  Something like public transit doesn't operate in that way.  The profit to the taxpayers comes in the form of savings elsewhere and off the books.  It comes from not sitting in traffic jams and killing your MPG, it comes from lower road maintenance costs, it comes in lower environmental costs, lower accident rates, etc etc.

 

If you build it, they will come.

 

While I have no problem using PT, I agree that business should be profitable but the PT at least should be break even. The system in Seattle is a perfect example of stupidity. They only charge $1.25 for 1 zone, $2.50 for 2 zones and if you cross counties then it is $4.50 and yet non of this is break even. Worse is the Socialist idiots that feel the PT system should be free for street people and people who can prove they make less than $50K a year. This costs city of Seattle 38 million last year alone. They finally are killing off the free ride program as the tax dollars do not support it. 

 

Worse yet is that the free program was scaring riders due to assaults by street people and other crazy people.

 

PT needs to be break even and safe for it to work. Nothing wrong with having $5 one way fares so that for the average person, you are looking at $50 a week, $200 a month. If you choose to use it and not have a car you will get ahead due to gas savings, insurance cost, car payments, etc. But right now biggest problem is PT not being run as a break even system. Then you also have the Unions with their seniority based jobs that does not mean you get the best worker and then you have pay issues. Some bus drivers have been sited earning 100K or more a year due to no limit on over time. I would think better to hire more drivers than control it and pay OT.

 

Political mess that does not promise that if you build it they will use it. 

 

One Solution is the Fed's paid the bulk for HOV Lanes. If they want to get people out of their auto's then convert the HOV lanes into Lite Rail now fast quick and have the stations over the freeway systems so people walk out to the lite rail get on and zoom off.

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Undoubtedly the State of PT is a cog, but my question is; to what degree does the U.S. culture/custom play? IE: we have been a 'nation on wheels' for a century, which is counter to other countries. Plunk down a 'dense' PT system in a random city and how many people will jettison their vehicles?

 

Once people realize the benefits, it will catch on.  The system has to have critical density for people to want to use it.  

 

The Port Authority in Pittsburgh is an example of a death by a thousand cuts.  Every 6 months they cut routes and cut runs citing declining ridership and lack of funds from the state, but the problem of declining ridership just keeps accelerating.  My bus route in to work was standing room only years ago.  Today, on the rare occasion I take the bus in, it is not unusual for half the seats to be open.

 

The problem? They've cut the frequency multiple times over the years. During rush hour, it used to be every 15 minutes, then it increased to every 20 minutes, then it increased to every 30 minutes, today it is every 40 minutes.   If you miss your bus at the time you intended to take it, you're sunk, walk back to your car and drive in.  If you're trying to take a bus outside of rush hour, better not miss it because it could be an hour or more wait.

 

Furthermore, because of the Corbett administration choking off funds in an attempt to break the union, they don't even have enough operational buses to run every scheduled route on most days.  There have been reports of up to 20% of the scheduled runs during the day system wide not happen due to lack of running equipment.   That level of unreliability scares people away from using the system.  Here I am, someone who wants to use public transit yet no longer able to due to lack of system density and reliability. I have been stranded waiting for buses out of the city more than once due to my bus simply not showing up.

 

The problem is that certain political mindsets think that everything everywhere should always always always turn a profit on the books.  Something like public transit doesn't operate in that way.  The profit to the taxpayers comes in the form of savings elsewhere and off the books.  It comes from not sitting in traffic jams and killing your MPG, it comes from lower road maintenance costs, it comes in lower environmental costs, lower accident rates, etc etc.

 

If you build it, they will come.

 

While I have no problem using PT, I agree that business should be profitable but the PT at least should be break even. The system in Seattle is a perfect example of stupidity. They only charge $1.25 for 1 zone, $2.50 for 2 zones and if you cross counties then it is $4.50 and yet non of this is break even. Worse is the Socialist idiots that feel the PT system should be free for street people and people who can prove they make less than $50K a year. This costs city of Seattle 38 million last year alone. They finally are killing off the free ride program as the tax dollars do not support it. 

 

Worse yet is that the free program was scaring riders due to assaults by street people and other crazy people.

 

PT needs to be break even and safe for it to work. Nothing wrong with having $5 one way fares so that for the average person, you are looking at $50 a week, $200 a month. If you choose to use it and not have a car you will get ahead due to gas savings, insurance cost, car payments, etc. But right now biggest problem is PT not being run as a break even system. Then you also have the Unions with their seniority based jobs that does not mean you get the best worker and then you have pay issues. Some bus drivers have been sited earning 100K or more a year due to no limit on over time. I would think better to hire more drivers than control it and pay OT.

 

Political mess that does not promise that if you build it they will use it. 

 

One Solution is the Fed's paid the bulk for HOV Lanes. If they want to get people out of their auto's then convert the HOV lanes into Lite Rail now fast quick and have the stations over the freeway systems so people walk out to the lite rail get on and zoom off.

 

 

Public transit is socialist... its right there in the name... get OVER it. 

Public transit does NOT need to break even on the accounting books to be a net positive to the cities they serve. You have the EXACTLY WRONG mentality about public transit.  The benefits of which will never ever be seen in accounting software.  Every single run of of a bus route can take 25 - 50 Toyota Corollas off the road.  Multiply that by thousands of bus runs (not routes, but runs) and you're talking some real numbers in terms of traffic and congestion avoided. That can mean the difference between 12mpg and 18mpg in your Suburban, every day.

 

Even if you never ever take a bus, tram, trolley, train, etc, it is in your interest to strongly support public transit and using tax dollars to do it.

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^ I would agree with that; there are tangental benefits that do not show up on the ledger.

At the same time, like every single Gov't program out there, there is waste and abuse that needs to be addressed on the allocation side.

There IS a middle ground goal to reach for.

 

I also like the idea of street cars, DD. Steel wheels; let 'em roll.

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Operating at a profit for a public transportation system is a moot point unless the expenses are a ridiculous drain on the tax base. Sidewalks don't make a profit. Roads don't make a profit. Traffic signals don't make a profit, etc.

Yet, public transportation systems have a net benefit to the economy of dense cities. Without subway systems the roads would be so congested that there would be an economic drain caused by the inefficient flow of workers and consumers.

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^ I would agree with that; there are tangental benefits that do not show up on the ledger.

At the same time, like every single Gov't program out there, there is waste and abuse that needs to be addressed on the allocation side.

There IS a middle ground goal to reach for.

 

I also like the idea of street cars, DD. Steel wheels; let 'em roll.

 

The waste at the Port Authority is entirely on the employment side of things, but the problem is that they are unable to hire enough employees to cover sick days and such, so drivers end up doing lots of overtime and getting those newspaper headline salaries.   They can't even keep enough equipment on the road to run all of the scheduled buses today, so it's not like they're wasting money on hardware. 

 

The only other thing I would do for them is a fare structure change.  Raise all fares by 50 cents (half the cost of a transfer), but include one free transfer in each trip.   Then they could successfully run a hub and spoke system.  My bus currently runs the entire way into town.  But during the trip, it passes through three major transfer points. Instead of running me all the way into town, it should drop me at a transfer station and then turn back on its run outbound again.  This would increase service density without the need for additional hardware. 

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This is a topic I've been planning to do an Op-Ed on for a while now.

I think it is worthy, I am enjoying the banter and discussion about PT. I see your point and others.

 

So if I am reading you right, you are saying each county have a local bus system to get around. then have a system that goes cross county from transit station to transit station then pick up a local bus to finish getting to work or home?

 

FYI, Bill and Melinda gates foundation announced quietly that they will work with local social services to provide monthly passes to poor and street people so they can get around. I like how they are stepping up to make a difference with their money.

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