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Thread: e-Bikes - Let's talk

  1. #261
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    if you want e-bikes to play in traffic you have to allow an increase in speed. Legal e-bikes flatten hills but otherwise are pretty much the same as bikes in performance and mix as well as bikes on MUPs. However, increasing an e-bike's speed limit from 20 to 25mph and bumping the motor from 750 to 1500 allows an e-bike to keep up with auto traffic in an urban setting and in suburbia allows commuters to equal or exceed average car speeds. Besting car commute times is what it takes to get long distance bike commuters.

  2. #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    But take a street like Lee. Unless they do something to drastically slow down vehicles, a simple bike lane won't feel safe enough even at high speeds.
    Yes, I agree. I was thinking of slower streets with more pedestrian and commercial activity, such as Wilson Blvd. Climbing the hill from Oak St at 20MPH would be unsafe in the existing PBL, and becomes impossible if you encounter any human-powered bikes using it. OTOH many parts of Lee Highway feel more like a racetrack than a city street. A PBL would be especially useful for e-bike riders on the uphill out of Rosslyn.
    Last edited by scoot; 08-02-2017 at 12:27 AM.

  3. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarBikeCar View Post
    if you want e-bikes to play in traffic you have to allow an increase in speed. Legal e-bikes flatten hills but otherwise are pretty much the same as bikes in performance and mix as well as bikes on MUPs. However, increasing an e-bike's speed limit from 20 to 25mph and bumping the motor from 750 to 1500 allows an e-bike to keep up with auto traffic in an urban setting and in suburbia allows commuters to equal or exceed average car speeds. Besting car commute times is what it takes to get long distance bike commuters.
    You want to play in higher than back street traffic? Use the proper machine. What is safe in speed and mass on a mid speed road might not be safe for other users on a MuP.

    Increasing the speed of a bike regardless of how it is powered decreases the crash safety. Energy increases on the square. Dissipating stored up energy is key to impact survival. Crashing at 20 mph is bad but the energy levels between the avg speed of a human powered bike and 25 mph is huge. A 25 mph e-bike is not an e-bike it is an electric moped but is lacking some road safety items. With brake lights, turn signals lights and a horn the e-moped is far better suited for mid speed roads. How it is powered and the format of the seat and H bars maters less than the performance. When you are on it rather than in it your body becomes the energy absorption system.

    I also don't think long distance is the best way to push bikes e-bike or human powered. I also don't think letting them on Mups is good ether as high speed high mass is not good to mix with low speed bikes peds and pets. Bikes are well suited for the kind of trips many of us do often, short hop. Short hop car trips are also the most polluting per mile as the motor and catalyst system takes time to come up to working temp to work well. Good bike infrastructure is like the baseball diamond in the corn field. Build it and they will come.

  4. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicegrip View Post

    I also don't think long distance is the best way to push bikes e-bike or human powered.
    Taking us off on a tangent, maybe, but this. Definitely this. Lots of "us" commute long distances (including us nut jobs riding hybrids 10 miles or more), and upto 100 mile recreational rides routinely. Which leads to a "need for speed" as well as to less need for "urbanist" development patterns (high density, mixed use, etc) But from a policy POV, the sweetspot for transportation cycling is more like 2 to 5 miles. Where people just avoiding the hassle of parking or the time waiting for bus or metro gives biking a time and convenience advantage. Where people don't have to ride fast, and in most weathers don't need access to a shower at work. Don't need to wear anything special, can ride any old bike. For the most part that is who will "crowd" the infra, in the most likely path to the promised multimodal future.

    Maybe Ebikes change that. In that they make it easier for non-athletes to go fast, and for anyone to go fast without sweating so much, etc. But long commutes on ebikes are still going to take up a lot of pavement space per trip just because of the distance involved (and hopefully everyone giving a lot of room when riding at 20MPH)

  5. #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolarBikeCar View Post
    if you want e-bikes to play in traffic you have to allow an increase in speed.
    I am confused (both by this and by other comments on this thread)

    I am 57 years old, didn't start riding regularly till 4 to 5 years ago (depending on your definition of 'regularly') don't ride every day, have a minor physical issue, and just seldom (almost never?) ride above 15MPH for any length on flats. And I play in traffic a lot more than some people here seem to think is safe or comfortable. From Maine Avenue in SW DC to King Street just south of Beauregard, to Braddock road either way to and from North Hampton. Have I been totally brainwashed by the VCers? (yet I am a big advocate for seg infra, and will even ride a sidewalk here and there, so I don't think so) Has my age and attitude made me more relaxed about physical danger?

    Note, I am not talking about riding on really really bad roads, like 45MPH roads, or 35MPH roads with only one lane in each direction, etc - when I have done those kinds of things, it was usually with a group and for only a very short stretch, and yeah, I was scared.

    But as an advocate I definitely want alternatives to such routes (or appropriate seg infra on them). And yeah, I don't expect Isabella riding to her ice cream cone to ride like I do - but I am surprised that riders who I think are stronger, faster, and more experienced than me seem to be less VCish than me.

    In case the Isabella reference is too obscure :

    http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/e...t-for-isabella
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 08-02-2017 at 08:56 AM.

  6. #266
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicegrip View Post
    Increasing the speed of a bike regardless of how it is powered decreases the crash safety. Energy increases on the square. Dissipating stored up energy is key to impact survival. Crashing at 20 mph is bad but the energy levels between the avg speed of a human powered bike and 25 mph is huge. A 25 mph e-bike is not an e-bike it is an electric moped but is lacking some road safety items. With brake lights, turn signals lights and a horn the e-moped is far better suited for mid speed roads. How it is powered and the format of the seat and H bars maters less than the performance. When you are on it rather than in it your body becomes the energy absorption system.
    Thanks for pointing this out. On a bicycle, you and the being you collide with are the crumple zone. A little faster, a little heavier, a lot more crumple.

  7. #267
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    VC is vehicular cycling, right?
    seg infra - is segregated cycling infrastructure?
    Learning

  8. #268
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    A PBL would be especially useful for e-bike riders on the uphill out of Rosslyn.
    Yes, I appreciate the PBL on Wilson coming out of Rosslyn and I ride my ebike on it rather than the Custis Trail on my commute home, I hope Arlington extends the PBL the rest of the way up hill to Courthouse. I would like bike lanes or preferably a PBL installed on one of the Potomac bridges. Memorial bridge is the obvious candidate but it seems NPS disagree. DC DDOT have an opportunity to widen the Rossevelt bridge sidewalk but I've read they too are not interested. This type of segregated infrastructure is necessary or lower powered ebikes are obliged to ride the bridge sidewalks/paths because there are no safe on-street routes for cyclists or lower powered ebikes to cross the Potomac. There also needs to be improved infrastructure at either end of a river crossing to connect to lower speed on-street routes, for Memorial Bridge the path around the East side of Arlington cemetery should be widened and preferably a segregated cycle path put in to enable safer cycling alongside the, at times, heavy pedestrian traffic - large tour bus groups, memorial visitors, joggers, dog walkers, etc.
    Last edited by Dewey; 08-02-2017 at 09:52 AM.

  9. #269
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
    Yes, I appreciate the PBL on Wilson coming out of Rosslyn and I ride my ebike on it rather than the Custis Trail on my commute home, I hope Arlington extends the PBL the rest of the way up the hill to Courthouse. I would like bike lanes or preferably a PBL installed on one of the Potomac bridges. Memorial bridge is the obvious candidate but it seems NPS disagree. DC DDOT have an opportunity to widen the Rossevelt bridge sidewalk but I've read they too are not interested. This type of segregated infrastructure is necessary or lower powered ebikes are obliged to ride the bridge sidewalks/paths because there are no safe on-street routes for cyclists or lower powered ebikes to cross the Potomac.
    PBLs on Key Bridge would solve a lot of my and others' problems in life, especially if the Roosevelt Bridge walkway isn't going to be widened. A PBL on Memorial would be good, but I feel they'd need to improve connections on the Virginia side so you weren't just leaving the PBL and riding straight to your death.

  10. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by huskerdont View Post
    PBLs on Key Bridge would solve a lot of my and others' problems in life, especially if the Roosevelt Bridge walkway isn't going to be widened. A PBL on Memorial would be good, but I feel they'd need to improve connections on the Virginia side so you weren't just leaving the PBL and riding straight to your death.
    I would gladly ride a PBL over Key Bridge. The volume of traffic at the intersection with the northern end would require good traffic engineering to enable bicycles and ebikes to turn left from Westbound M St onto the bridge.

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