The Chainlink

In NYC, there are some new bike lanes that some bikers would rather do without.  Excellent video and a must-see for anyone thinking about future changes to Chicago streets.


Views: 95

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

crybabies
In a big city, it's trivial to find a few people who think that some innovation X is more dangerous than the status quo, no matter what X is. Without actual numbers, it doesn't mean much.

That said, Copenhagen-style innovations such as separated bike lanes encourage Copenhagen-style bike commuting, a style that is much slower and much more civil than the high-speed street daredevil style that many are used to. As biking becomes more popular in cities, by necessity biking will become more organized and uniform. I personally am going to miss the current fast style, I love flying down Clark or Milwaukee at high speeds. I'm sure the early car drivers felt similarly when the first traffic lights and stop signs went up (and I guarantee you could have found a bunch of drivers complaining that the lights made things more dangerous).

That line at the end about having to use the bus lane makes one realize just how backwards Chicago is in terms of transit.
I think this is thoughtfully done. It raises some legitimate issues with some particular bike lanes in a particular city, NYC. I remain a big fan of bike lanes for all of the reasons stated in the beginning of the video.
It will be sad to see the speed demon days become more difficult to get away with.

David said:
In a big city, it's trivial to find a few people who think that some innovation X is more dangerous than the status quo, no matter what X is. Without actual numbers, it doesn't mean much.

That said, Copenhagen-style innovations such as separated bike lanes encourage Copenhagen-style bike commuting, a style that is much slower and much more civil than the high-speed street daredevil style that many are used to. As biking becomes more popular in cities, by necessity biking will become more organized and uniform. I personally am going to miss the current fast style, I love flying down Clark or Milwaukee at high speeds. I'm sure the early car drivers felt similarly when the first traffic lights and stop signs went up (and I guarantee you could have found a bunch of drivers complaining that the lights made things more dangerous).

That line at the end about having to use the bus lane makes one realize just how backwards Chicago is in terms of transit.
Glad someone took the time to speak out about this.
I would not take it as a condemnation of all bike lanes but of one poorly-designed example.
Two problems jump out here:
1) Where bike lanes and bike paths are placed, driver intolerance of any cyclist not in that lane or on that path spikes to dangerous levels.
2) When bicyclists get planning or advocacy jobs, they frequently lose their enthusiasm for the cause of bicycling and morph into the type of half-awake bean counters that let this particular mistake happen.
Bike lane on the right, eh? When did New York get reclaimed by England?
Separated lanes and bike boulevards are the way to go to get everyone a place to ride for any purpose. It's fun to be a cowboy when you are not hauling your kids, a kid yourself, or old and staying on a bike. In Germany my ancient neighbors and kids going to school had a right to ride and place to do it on separated lanes.
As a parent who rides to school every morning with my kids I can say that moving in and out of traffic is really crappy, not fun. I ride a stretch of Milwaukee in the shared lane by the Polish triangle down to Wood because I have to and find it dangerous. I can't wait for my turn off. I find it irksome that my sons can't ride their own bikes on our commute because of the bad cycling infrastructure. Should I stay off the road just because I have kids? Anyone out there planning to have some and hang up their wheels?
This brings up an interesting idea that maybe is out of place here, but here goes anyway: making roads bike-friendly enough for kids.

I grew up in the suburbs, a subject which I often lamented, but one thing that I have fond memories of is being able to just get up and on my bike and see how far out I could get (this is the outer fringes of the suburbs, mind you). I used to love to see if I could get to the mall under my own power, or the library, etc. It occured to me that city cycling is really an adult thing, and that's too bad.



Allen Wrench said:
Separated lanes and bike boulevards are the way to go to get everyone a place to ride for any purpose. It's fun to be a cowboy when you are not hauling your kids, a kid yourself, or old and staying on a bike. In Germany my ancient neighbors and kids going to school had a right to ride and place to do it on separated lanes.
As a parent who rides to school every morning with my kids I can say that moving in and out of traffic is really crappy, not fun. I ride a stretch of Milwaukee in the shared lane by the Polish triangle down to Wood because I have to and find it dangerous. I can't wait for my turn off. I find it irksome that my sons can't ride their own bikes on our commute because of the bad cycling infrastructure. Should I stay off the road just because I have kids? Anyone out there planning to have some and hang up their wheels?
Just an friendly aside city cycling isn't only for adults. I ride with my kids in many different ways on my cargo bike, them on their own bikes, on a tandem. I have to be really choosy about when and where- time of day and where we are going are key factors in if my children can be on their own bikes. They have the skills to ride places but the traffic is the main obstacle to being on the road- we do some selective sidewalk trips too.( I have a blog post about it on chicargobike.blogspot) I think that the poor bike lanes- painted on the road- are not for kids for the most part. Kids are too short to be seen in traffic by most drivers easily. Sad to say but I think at this point the suburbs are more dangerous a place for kids to ride because of the larger vehicles and lack of good urban-suburban planning now. Traffic is so thick and fast moving. I have said before on the chainlink that educating drivers is kind of a lost cause- I am a huge fan also of real separated lanes and bike boulevards- we will all be old someday I want to be on my bike when I am.
New York has a very vibrant ciclovia on 5th ave. now I think every week in the summer. Wish that lane in the film had been well designed. The left rolling traffic is no surprise to folks who sidewalk ride here in Chicago and the lane is much like an almost sidewalk ride on the left. Looks like there is no legal parking. They could separate the lane easily with a barrier on each side to discourage cars on the right and pedestrians on the left.
I'm kind of surprised at this response.
Sure, the type of infrastructure you call for would be great, but what about the people who need to ride from Rogers Park to UIC every day, and would prefer not to spend more than 50 minutes doing so?
Are they "anti-kid" because they're not willing to add another 30 minutes each way to accept a different type of infrastructure designed for a different type of use?
Germany is an odd comparison; towns there are much more centralized in their business districts, and in larger cities each part of the city tends to have its own center-- it's much less likely that anyone's daily commute would be 8, 12, 14 miles like it may be in a city laid out like Chicago.
Additionally, Germany has sadly become the world capital in terms of drivers harrassing cyclists off the road because they know there's a path nearby.
Your solution is obviously not one-size-fits-all.
I wonder if you watched the film or are just responding to a few flippant comments here?


Allen Wrench said:
Separated lanes and bike boulevards are the way to go to get everyone a place to ride for any purpose. It's fun to be a cowboy when you are not hauling your kids, a kid yourself, or old and staying on a bike. In Germany my ancient neighbors and kids going to school had a right to ride and place to do it on separated lanes.
As a parent who rides to school every morning with my kids I can say that moving in and out of traffic is really crappy, not fun. I ride a stretch of Milwaukee in the shared lane by the Polish triangle down to Wood because I have to and find it dangerous. I can't wait for my turn off. I find it irksome that my sons can't ride their own bikes on our commute because of the bad cycling infrastructure. Should I stay off the road just because I have kids? Anyone out there planning to have some and hang up their wheels?
with such a diverse group as the american cycling community, you will never have something everyone can agree on. but so is life
Actually in Germany many people commute on bikes from the outer parts of the city rings into the center as it is much cheaper to live in the outer rings. Many people also commute across the city. When I lived in Munich I often rode across town and into the outer rings to work. Moving on and off the bike way to get from place to place was common and I was not menaced by cars off the road. Plenty of drivers are cyclists there. Friends that we have in Amsterdam ride from the outer city and in to school each day and commute at least six-seven miles to do so.
I commute with kids about four miles each way in the morning. It is a slower trip for me. I do need to choose quieter road routes as I am riding with kids. I think that it is not true that families should not be a welcome part of the bike commuter culture in the city. We have to be alot more crafty to pull it off right now. Using a bike to really get around can include everyone- good bike infrastructure could support a wide style of rider. We don't have that here yet. You can still weave in and out of traffic with separated lanes and boulevards- it just wouldn't be your only option like it is now.

RSS

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service