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Thread: New bike lane markings on Pershing from Washington to Arlington Blvd

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    I do not believe you. You, Dismal, are comfortable riding in the general travel lanes and have made it clear that you feel plenty safe mixing with traffic, which you have been doing for years. AFAICT, any old road is safe infrastructure for you.
    Sorry, but I ride in the unprotected bike lanes on Fairfax, Wilson, and Clarendon. Well, I'll take the lane going downhill on Clarendon from Courthouse, just because that should be marked with sharrows instead of a bike lane. The lanes generally are not blocked, but, if so, I will merge into the general lanes when safe to pass obstructions.

    I also used to ride in the unprotected bike lanes on Army-Navy, Veitch and Pershing regularly, but, alas, this is no longer an option. At least with these routes, the distances are pretty short so the general lanes aren't as much of a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    Sorry, but I ride in the unprotected bike lanes on Fairfax, Wilson, and Clarendon. Well, I'll take the lane going downhill on Clarendon from Courthouse, just because that should be marked with sharrows instead of a bike lane. The lanes generally are not blocked, but, if so, I will merge into the general lanes when safe to pass obstructions.

    I also used to ride in the unprotected bike lanes on Army-Navy, Veitch and Pershing regularly, but, alas, this is no longer an option. At least with these routes, the distances are pretty short so the general lanes aren't as much of a problem.
    Sorry for the confusion. I did not mean to say that you do not ride in the unprotected bike lanes. You said that you may now have to ride in what you deem to be unsafe infrastructure. I responded that you are comfortable riding in traffic lanes, which I believe you generally are.
    For Dismal, general traffic lanes do not constitute unsafe infrastructure. That's what I was saying.

    More to the point - no one cares what Dismal considers safe or unsafe. You are not going to start driving or taking the Metro because some PBLs have been built. You will keep riding your bike regardless. OTOH, some previous non-riders may start riding, and that is the goal. You don't matter, because you already ride and you are not going to stop.

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  4. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post

    More to the point - no one cares what Dismal considers safe or unsafe. You are not going to start driving or taking the Metro because some PBLs have been built. You will keep riding your bike regardless. OTOH, some previous non-riders may start riding, and that is the goal. You don't matter, because you already ride and you are not going to stop.
    Dismal - I care about you and think you matter.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Sorry for the confusion. I did not mean to say that you do not ride in the unprotected bike lanes. You said that you may now have to ride in what you deem to be unsafe infrastructure. I responded that you are comfortable riding in traffic lanes, which I believe you generally are.
    For Dismal, general traffic lanes do not constitute unsafe infrastructure. That's what I was saying.

    More to the point - no one cares what Dismal considers safe or unsafe. You are not going to start driving or taking the Metro because some PBLs have been built. You will keep riding your bike regardless. OTOH, some previous non-riders may start riding, and that is the goal. You don't matter, because you already ride and you are not going to stop.
    I think you misunderstand. The unsafe infrastructure I am referring to are the general travel lanes. Sorry, but I don't want to ride on a PBL down Fairfax during rush hour. Nor do I want to ride in the general travel lanes down Fairfax in rush hour. I am, however, perfectly content to ride in the unprotected bike lanes during rush hour.

    There seems to be this notion out there that the bicycle infrastructure in some place in Europe is ideal. However, this sort of infrastructure seems to be designed for low average speeds. This may be fine in dense urban areas where the average ride is a mile or two. What do faster riders do in Europe? Either they take to the road or suck it up and go slowly. Well, I have a commute of about 8 miles at its shortest. This probably isn't considered a very long commute in this area. However, a European-style bicycle infrastructure isn't conducive to such long distances--at least for me. I think you are vastly overestimating the amount of mode shifting to bicycles due to adding PBLs due to the lack of density in this area. Look at how unsuccessful dockless bike sharing is. Everything is moving to e-bikes and scooters because people are basically lazy. Sorry, but I don't view our biking infrastructure clogged with scooters as a transportation panacea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    I think you misunderstand. The unsafe infrastructure I am referring to are the general travel lanes. Sorry, but I don't want to ride on a PBL down Fairfax during rush hour. Nor do I want to ride in the general travel lanes down Fairfax in rush hour. I am, however, perfectly content to ride in the unprotected bike lanes during rush hour.

    There seems to be this notion out there that the bicycle infrastructure in some place in Europe is ideal. However, this sort of infrastructure seems to be designed for low average speeds. This may be fine in dense urban areas where the average ride is a mile or two. What do faster riders do in Europe? Either they take to the road or suck it up and go slowly. Well, I have a commute of about 8 miles at its shortest. This probably isn't considered a very long commute in this area. However, a European-style bicycle infrastructure isn't conducive to such long distances--at least for me. I think you are vastly overestimating the amount of mode shifting to bicycles due to adding PBLs due to the lack of density in this area. Look at how unsuccessful dockless bike sharing is. Everything is moving to e-bikes and scooters because people are basically lazy. Sorry, but I don't view our biking infrastructure clogged with scooters as a transportation panacea.
    Gotta correct that. The companies are dropping dockless regular bikes because of the caps on total dockless vehicles - they can make more money per vehicle with ebikes and scooters, so given a cap, it does not make sense to have dockless regular bikes. Its not because dockless regular bikes were not being used.

    The "sweet spot" for bike commuting in Europe, and almost certainly here, is 2 to 5 miles or so. LOTs of car trips in the USA, and I am quite sure lots in North Arlington (even commutes to DC) are that long. And lots of people will do 8 mile commutes at speeds comfortable in a PBL. My commute is nine and a half miles at it's shortest, and my pace fits in the PBLs around here fine (and safely).

    IIUC in the NL people with much longer commutes (there are quite a few) ride to rail transit. See all those massive bike parking garages at Dutch rail stations. Long distance suburban bike commuters here may not like that prospect. I understand, and, like Judd, I do care. As a caring person. But as a transportation advocate, I realize that that model has reduced car use. AFAICT the model of people riding long commutes at high speeds has never had a significant impact on car usage.

    But I do think we should preserve some conventional door zone bike lanes for you to feel comfortable riding in. The City of Alexandria has striped some like that recently, and I am sure they will add more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    I think you misunderstand. The unsafe infrastructure I am referring to are the general travel lanes. Sorry, but I don't want to ride on a PBL down Fairfax during rush hour. Nor do I want to ride in the general travel lanes down Fairfax in rush hour. I am, however, perfectly content to ride in the unprotected bike lanes during rush hour.
    Fair enough, but I repeat, what Dismal finds he is perfectly content riding in does not matter. Most people do not find unprotected bike lanes to be contentful places to ride, particularly the ones along Fairfax Drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    I think you are vastly overestimating the amount of mode shifting to bicycles
    Perhaps, but I am certain that the amount of mode shifting that will occur without improved infrastructure is even less.
    Your mode has already shifted, so making you content along your commute is irrelevant.

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    What makes you think that my mode choice is irreversible and therefore my preferences do not matter? (Even if my choice is irreversible, why should my preferences not matter? This doesn't seem to be a very democratic sentiment.)

    And, at the same time, you think that others' mode choices are changeable (by largely conjecture) and therefore they should be accommodated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DismalScientist View Post
    I think you misunderstand. The unsafe infrastructure I am referring to are the general travel lanes. Sorry, but I don't want to ride on a PBL down Fairfax during rush hour. Nor do I want to ride in the general travel lanes down Fairfax in rush hour. I am, however, perfectly content to ride in the unprotected bike lanes during rush hour.

    There seems to be this notion out there that the bicycle infrastructure in some place in Europe is ideal. However, this sort of infrastructure seems to be designed for low average speeds. This may be fine in dense urban areas where the average ride is a mile or two. What do faster riders do in Europe? Either they take to the road or suck it up and go slowly. Well, I have a commute of about 8 miles at its shortest. This probably isn't considered a very long commute in this area. However, a European-style bicycle infrastructure isn't conducive to such long distances--at least for me. I think you are vastly overestimating the amount of mode shifting to bicycles due to adding PBLs due to the lack of density in this area. Look at how unsuccessful dockless bike sharing is. Everything is moving to e-bikes and scooters because people are basically lazy. Sorry, but I don't view our biking infrastructure clogged with scooters as a transportation panacea.
    (1) When an unprotected lane is beside parking (as on most of the streets you mentioned), where in the lane do you ride? Assuming you're answer is on the left side, do you find drivers ever give you 3 feet? In my experience the answer is no - they think they're in their lane, so they're fine. Because of this, door zone bike lanes are, imo, less safe than a regular travel lane. I certainly don't ride with my kids in them.

    (2) You matter, but we can't design an entire city around you. Sorry.

    (3) Are you comfortable on 9th St N (That's parallel to Fairfax)? On 8th St N (parallel to Pershing)? Generally, I don't think we should shove the majority of cyclists on to more circuitous, side-street routes, but if there's a minority that needs something that conflicts with the majority, this seems like a solution.

    (4) I'm not getting this from any "notion" about Europe. I'm getting this from data and from the real experience of riding with my kids. They're getting bigger. There's going to be a point where I can't get them all on a bike, even with e-assist, so if there's not infrastructure that's safe enough for them to bike in, we're going to be a car family.

    (5) The Netherlands is putting in long distance cyclepaths with high speed limits on the stretches between cities. There's an entire book describing all the wonderful things going on over there. You may want to read it.

    (6) I totally agree with you that e-assist is the key that will open up cycling American-level distances to most people. Protected infrastructure is what will get folks to actually ebike those distances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    (3) Are you comfortable on 9th St N (That's parallel to Fairfax)? On 8th St N (parallel to Pershing)? Generally, I don't think we should shove the majority of cyclists on to more circuitous, side-street routes, but if there's a minority that needs something that conflicts with the majority, this seems like a solution.

    3. Its a LOT easier to satisfy more riders when we have an actual street grid that means more parallel routes (though its not like everything in DC is hunky dory for riders these days). But most of our suburbs were mostly not built that way, and retrofitting grids in happens seldom, usually as part of big redevelopments, and often even then with incomplete connectivity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    (1) When an unprotected lane is beside parking (as on most of the streets you mentioned), where in the lane do you ride? Assuming you're answer is on the left side, do you find drivers ever give you 3 feet? In my experience the answer is no - they think they're in their lane, so they're fine. Because of this, door zone bike lanes are, imo, less safe than a regular travel lane. I certainly don't ride with my kids in them.
    I ride on the left side of an unprotected lane in the presence of parked cars. Most drivers give me three feet although I do note that I am more likely to be buzzed with bike lane markings than without. That said, not being given 3 feet is pretty rare.

    I have ridden with my kids (now 14) on Fairfax with no problem. I will not let them go in a PBL in my presence because they ride too quickly to be safe. As I have said before, I think the hazards of PBLs at intersections and driveways are worse (certainly in frequency) than getting rear ended in an unprotected bike lane or a general travel lane with a reasonable amount of traffic. I think riding in PBLs require more bicycling skills and attention to potential traffic issues than riding "with" traffic in a unprotected bike lane or general lane. I especially don't think that kids have this experience or an intuitive sense of traffic to recognize these dangers, even if they feel more comfortable in PBLs.

    I have been driving for 40 years and biking for 50 years and this is what my experience tells me. I have stated my concerns. If others think differently, oh well... I think it is a mistake to assume that the biking community is monolithic, but it is clear how bicycle infrastructure is evolving. I think it may also lead to less acceptance of cyclists on streets without bicycle facilities.

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