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#1 2013-10-31 00:18:09

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 438

Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks
http://bikeaustin.org/education/changin … le-tracks/
http://bikeaustin.org/wp-content/upload … 00x750.png

What Are Cycle Tracks?
Cycle tracks, also called “green lanes,” are separated bicycle facilities that run alongside a roadway. Unlike regular bike lanes, cycle tracks are typically separated from auto traffic by a physical barrier, such as parked cars, bollards, a landscaped buffer, or a curb.

Why Is The City Of Austin Building Them?
A 2013 study shows that over half of Austinites are interested in bicycling to get around Austin, but are concerned about mixing with high-speed motor vehicle traffic.  For these people, a line of paint on the street isn’t enough to get them onto a bike.  These protected bikeways make bicycling along major streets comfortable and convenient for people of all ages and abilities, and encourage more people to ride bikes.  Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Our major corridors can no longer fit more cars during peak commute times, so our city is improving mobility through transit, walking, and bicycling. However, with only 2% of work commute trips by bicycle, Austin is nowhere near reaching the full potential of bicycling.

Comfortable, All Ages and Abilities Bikeway Network
The City of Austin is taking steps to build an all-ages-and-abilities bikeway network connecting Austin via quiet neighborhood streets, via urban trails, and on major streets via “cycle tracks.” An all-ages-and-abilities bikeway network will allow more people to ride safely and comfortably from home to work, shop, and play. Convenient and seamless bikeway connections to bus and rail stations will expand Austin’s mobility options even further, making bicycling an everyday part of the lives of even more Austinites. Look for existing and upcoming cycle tracks on Rio Grande Street in West Campus, 4th Street next to the Convention Center, 3rd Street across downtown, Bluebonnet Lane, Barton Springs Road next to the Palmer Event Center, Pedernales Street, Mueller Boulevard, Berkman Drive, and Guadalupe Street next to UT at Austin.

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#2 2013-10-31 16:47:15

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

The better approach to getting the non-cyclist who wants to be a cyclist actually to cycle:  http://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/10/3 … nd-better/ "Neighborhood Greenways. It doesn’t take much – stop signs on cross-streets so that the cyclists have the right-of-way, and perhaps a few speed bumps to discourage cars from taking the “greenway” as a shortcut. The low cost means that these projects actually can be built quickly."

Albuquerque's cyclovias merely establish an 18 mph speed limit on nicely bikable streets that go near destinations one might want to cycle to; that plus a little paint and signage and public announcements.  Easy peasy.  On the other hand, the Barton Springs Blvd. 'solution' at a cost of $750,000 (enough to buy 1500 nice bicycles and train people to ride safely) made that street less ridable and hasn't increased ridership noticably in the hours I tend to ride it. 

Copying the Copenhagen/European facilities isn't enough.  One must understand how those facilities evolved.  A large part of the European cycling culture is the direct result of automobile driving to get around town being a giant pain.

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#3 2013-10-31 17:31:50

tomwald
Moderator
From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 288

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

Jack wrote:

The better approach to getting the non-cyclist who wants to be a cyclist actually to cycle:  http://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/10/3 … nd-better/ "Neighborhood Greenways.

Good observation.  Cycle tracks are only part of the network.  From the link in Larry's post:

Comfortable, All Ages and Abilities Bikeway Network
The City of Austin is taking steps to build an all-ages-and-abilities bikeway network connecting Austin via quiet neighborhood streets, via urban trails, and on major streets via “cycle tracks.”

The "quiet neighborhood streets" is a layman's way of referring to neighborhood greenways, which are sometimes also "bicycle boulevards".

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#4 2013-11-01 11:58:17

m1ek
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 153

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

In what way did turning the normal bike lane on Guadalupe into a cycletrack contribute to an "all ages, all abilities" network? It may have improved things for those with little ability, but what are the high-ability folks supposed to do now?

It seems to me that what you've been doing instead is building a bikeway network suitable for low-ability cyclists, and said to hell with the high-ability cyclists.

And, no, saying "take the lane on the Drag" is not an acceptable answer. Drivers aren't going to be happy with that, because they see a gold-plated bike facility they just paid a ton of money for over there that you're not using.

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#5 2013-11-01 13:10:34

cycling74
Member
Registered: 2008-09-28
Posts: 60

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

m1ek wrote:

but what are the high-ability folks supposed to do now?

I take the lane as I always have. Traffic is never that fast on the drag, I can keep pace. I will admit, that method is not for the faint of heart, but maybe that cycle track is. It is definitely for slower moving cyclists.

I don't use it, mostly due to the pedestrians. I would not feel safe riding on it through an intersection where cars are allowed to make right turns like 22nd St for example.

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#6 2013-11-03 11:11:03

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 438

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

Jack wrote:

The better approach to getting the non-cyclist who wants to be a cyclist actually to cycle:  http://janheine.wordpress.com/2013/10/3 … nd-better/ "Neighborhood Greenways. It doesn’t take much – stop signs on cross-streets so that the cyclists have the right-of-way, and perhaps a few speed bumps to discourage cars from taking the “greenway” as a shortcut. The low cost means that these projects actually can be built quickly."

Albuquerque's cyclovias merely establish an 18 mph speed limit on nicely bikable streets that go near destinations one might want to cycle to; that plus a little paint and signage and public announcements.  Easy peasy.  On the other hand, the Barton Springs Blvd. 'solution' at a cost of $750,000 (enough to buy 1500 nice bicycles and train people to ride safely) made that street less ridable and hasn't increased ridership noticably in the hours I tend to ride it. 

Copying the Copenhagen/European facilities isn't enough.  One must understand how those facilities evolved.  A large part of the European cycling culture is the direct result of automobile driving to get around town being a giant pain.

Great points, Jack. Neighborhood greenways should be an important part of a city's cycling network.
I tried the new Green Line Greenway in Memphis, Tn this past summer. Bit of mix between rails to trails and neighborhood greenway as described by heine. Lots of potential, connecting all the way across the city to midtown and beyond (eventually to the river?), through stately old city parks, museums, university of memphis district, and out to the nation's largest city park, shelby farms, complete with american bison and many miles of different types of biking/hiking trails.

And the 18mph speed limit, signage, traffic calming on neighborhood cycling routes is another great idea.
We should try it on the length of route 31 (Emerald Forest on north in to downtown at least) and the network using 4th and 5th streets.
Or perhaps E 2nd St, the entire length, if not, Holly ?
Poquito ?
Cherry Wood ?
Great Northern or Bull Creek Rd?
Or try to take back Shoal Creek Blvd ? Although it does curve around so much and is used heavily by neighborhood autos.....

Last edited by AusTexMurf (2013-11-04 10:45:42)

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#7 2013-11-04 14:28:05

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

m1ek wrote:

In what way did turning the normal bike lane on Guadalupe into a cycletrack contribute to an "all ages, all abilities" network? It may have improved things for those with little ability, but what are the high-ability folks supposed to do now?

It seems to me that what you've been doing instead is building a bikeway network suitable for low-ability cyclists, and said to hell with the high-ability cyclists.

.

The irony is that it takes MORE caution and by extension GREATER knowledge and skill to ride safely in a cycle track than on a street with a sharably-wide curb lane.  Why?  Cycle track riding is very much like sidewalk riding.  First, avoid pedestrains.  Then, the cyclist is placed in a position to be at greater risk from the very sorts of things a novice cyclist is most vulnerable to--collisions with turning and cross traffic.  The cyclist is not as visible as a rider in the street and the cyclist can't see traffic as well either.  Next, note that normal traffic movements like left hand turns are made more difficult and less convenient.  The novice/child rider won't know what to look out for and won't be as able to see it even when it occurs.

Someone on this list touted the "choice" the Guadalupe cycle track offers--in the road if going fast but on the track if he's towing his kid.  Statistically, s/he should tow his kid in the street instead.

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#8 2013-11-04 14:32:18

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

AusTexMurf wrote:

And the 18mph speed limit, signage, traffic calming on neighborhood cycling routes is another great idea.
We should try it on the length of route 31 (Emerald Forest on north in to downtown at least) and the network using 4th and 5th streets.
Or perhaps E 2nd St, the entire length, if not, Holly ?
Poquito ?
Cherry Wood ?
Great Northern or Bull Creek Rd?
Or try to take back Shoal Creek Blvd ? Although it does curve around so much and is used heavily by neighborhood autos.....

Why not dismantle the Guadalupe cycle track and the Rio Grande two-way segregated thing and do it on Rio Grande?  How about Duval or Speedway from 51st to campus?

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#9 2013-11-05 11:19:25

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 438

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

Jack wrote:
AusTexMurf wrote:

And the 18mph speed limit, signage, traffic calming on neighborhood cycling routes is another great idea.
We should try it on the length of route 31 (Emerald Forest on north in to downtown at least) and the network using 4th and 5th streets.
Or perhaps E 2nd St, the entire length, if not, Holly ?
Poquito ?
Cherry Wood ?
Great Northern or Bull Creek Rd?
Or try to take back Shoal Creek Blvd ? Although it does curve around so much and is used heavily by neighborhood autos.....

Why not dismantle the Guadalupe cycle track and the Rio Grande two-way segregated thing and do it on Rio Grande?  How about Duval or Speedway from 51st to campus?

Original plan had been Nueces ?
Went over like a fart in a parked car, if I remember correctly.
Mostly DT attorneys, protesting, I believe.
Rio Grande cycle track was the eventual compromise.

Last edited by AusTexMurf (2013-11-05 11:19:53)

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#10 2013-11-05 11:29:43

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 438

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

Jack wrote:

Someone on this list touted the "choice" the Guadalupe cycle track offers--in the road if going fast but on the track if he's towing his kid.  Statistically, s/he should tow his kid in the street instead.


That was me.
The choices I referred to might include,
Nueces
Rio Grande
Guadalupe lane of traffic
Guadalupe cycle track or some combination of the Guadalupe options
Shoal Creek MUP, separate from cars
As I said,
I prefer, in the past, just rolling down Nueces, flattest and fastest, or Rio Grande when moving through this part of town.
Much nicer ride than out on Guadalupe.
However, if I do ride Guadalupe, and flying through, I will just stay out in the lane. No big deal. Easy, peasy.
I might use the cycle track on Guadalupe if I am shopping/eating or going to a destination on the drag.
Or if I am pulling my kids in the trailer or have other kids behind me on their own bikes.
Because, seems to me, you would need to split the lanes or move to the left lane, to get around the busses. Not as comfortable with kids.
However, of course, we do use the streets when pulling the kids.
Depends on the street in question and what alternative cycling facilities/routes are nearby.

Owned 5 kids trailers, including two chariots and one burley.
We also have two tag along tandems and a recumbent tandem that attaches to the adult.
More than 20K miles pulling trailers and kids by bike, here.
Personal experience counts a lot more to me, than statistics.
What is the source and motivation of such numbers, anyway ?

Last edited by AusTexMurf (2013-11-05 11:38:50)

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#11 2013-11-05 12:14:05

rich00
Member
Registered: 2010-01-18
Posts: 166

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

You're options now are 25mph or whatever the speed of traffic is in the travel lane on the drag.
Or, 15mph and ready to stop on the cycletrack.

May not be optimal for the experienced commuter cyclist, but that's still two options. not all that bad IMO. If the traffic on the drag was going 40mph, that would be a different story.

I use the cycletrack now, because the air is a bit less stinky, I am in full control (not worrying about what's behind me), and because taking the lane usually means stop and go congestion or even if it's moving fast, it's not all that much faster since there are red lights every few blocks.

I like the cycletrack overall. I don't care for the intersections, occasional peds, and the merge near MLK. But it's much better than the other nearby options (the Rio Grande cycletrack is better, but usually not the nearby route).

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#12 2013-11-05 16:25:44

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

AusTexMurf wrote:

Original plan had been Nueces ?
Went over like a fart in a parked car, if I remember correctly.
Mostly DT attorneys, protesting, I believe.
Rio Grande cycle track was the eventual compromise.

A bad compromise.  Narrow two-way tracks should be avoided generally and on RG it would be easy to avoid.  The better plan (and European!  In use! Successful!) is to have one-way auto traffic with the cyclists operating as normal vehicles northbound in a sharable-width lane and a bicycle only southbound lane striped on the opposite side of the street.  Easy to set up.  And easy for everyone to understand which direction what user is likely to be going, fewer turning conflicts, no need for the pylons.  Slow the speed limit to 18 mph and it would be an even more attractive route.

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#13 2013-11-05 16:43:38

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 438

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

Jack wrote:
AusTexMurf wrote:

Original plan had been Nueces ?
Went over like a fart in a parked car, if I remember correctly.
Mostly DT attorneys, protesting, I believe.
Rio Grande cycle track was the eventual compromise.

A bad compromise.  Narrow two-way tracks should be avoided generally and on RG it would be easy to avoid.  The better plan (and European!  In use! Successful!) is to have one-way auto traffic with the cyclists operating as normal vehicles northbound in a sharable-width lane and a bicycle only southbound lane striped on the opposite side of the street.  Easy to set up.  And easy for everyone to understand which direction what user is likely to be going, fewer turning conflicts, no need for the pylons.  Slow the speed limit to 18 mph and it would be an even more attractive route.


Agreed.

Austin should try the one way blvd, somewhere.
Idea is very appealing.

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#14 2013-11-06 10:04:52

m1ek
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 153

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

Riding in the lane on Guadalupe is no longer a feasible option for anybody other than daredevils - because motorists are going to (rightfully, in their minds) be pissed you're not in the cycletrack.

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#15 2013-11-06 13:22:05

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

m1ek wrote:

Riding in the lane on Guadalupe is no longer a feasible option for anybody other than daredevils - because motorists are going to (rightfully, in their minds) be pissed you're not in the cycletrack.

That's the message:  only a 'daredevil' would ride like a person operating a vehicle; what 'daredevils' and the rest of us need is a place to ride like a pedestrian with pedestrians. 

Then the execution:  a place to ride like a pedestrian with pedestrians designed to ignore the ways the facility is demonstrably more hazardous and less convenient to ride than the street it replaces.

How Guadalupe was already set up worked fine even for all but the most timid cyclists.  They did the same thing (in a different way) to Barton Springs Rd.  Now one rides on what is effectively a sidewalk to go west--on a path that makes going south extremely inconvenient and more hazardous besides (compared to the unimproved street)--and rides in a 'protected lane' going east that requires drivers to right-hook cyclists instead of merging to the curb before turning right (like they are taught in drivers' ed).  The city staff's response?  "Oh, you can still ride in the lane if you want to."  Of course I can.  But they made a fairly rideable route a lot less workable.  The better plan?  Non-protected bike lane striping in each direction.  But that wouldn't get the "Greenways" "bike-ped" grant money, would it?

The city (and Bike Austin) is working hard toward building _something_ that _might_ attract more riders.  They keep asking non-riders "what would it take to get you to ride?"  Non-riders answer with ideas that don't work in reality as well as the streets they already have.  A Boston example:   http://john-s-allen.com/blog/?p=5583  The current wave of bicycling 'improvements' is often making things worse, not better.  We need more projects like the striping on the S. 1st St. bridge and fewer new barriers to riding properly and safely.  How many better simpler projects could have been accomplished with the $750,000 spent on Barton Springs Blvd. and the surely expensive Guadalupe cycle track?  How much will they cost to just to maintain?  The better approach is to ask people who do ride what barriers they find to riding more or getting to their destinations and work to reduce those barriers.

It is too late on Barton Springs and Guadalupe, it seems.  What do we do about the next project?  Worth a view, but long!:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cC3eRPA … e=youtu.be  Good highlight:  spend a few minutes starting at 51 mins in and a few more at 59 mins in.

Last edited by Jack (2013-11-06 14:00:33)

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#16 2013-11-06 16:33:05

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 511

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

m1ek wrote:

Riding in the lane on Guadalupe is no longer a feasible option for anybody other than daredevils - because motorists are going to (rightfully, in their minds) be pissed you're not in the cycletrack.

Who cares if they're pissed?

What are they going to do about it?  Run you over?  Throw their beer at you?  Shoot you as they drive by?

At most, they'll honk.  They might yell.  While it's certainly possible that some true sociopath might go above and beyond and actually go into the "intentional assault with a deadly weapon" mode, such people are exceedingly rare and tend to end up in jail after they do it to a celebrity (like Lance), somebody with a camera or an off duty cop.

At most, they'll just sit there fuming in their car because they see a cyclist where they don't think they belong.  Maybe they'll pass the cyclist too closely in a passive-aggressive sort of thing, or cause their diesel truck to "smoke" the cyclist as they go past, but even those people are rare.  Most either don't care or do care but keep it to themselves.

Riding the road on Guadalupe is just fine.  And really, motorists shouldn't be too pissed because the cyclist can probably pretty much keep up with the traffic if they're riding the road there southbound.

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#17 2013-11-06 17:44:26

m1ek
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 153

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

Well, Doug, back when I could still ride, Shoal Creek became quite unpleasant after the Fiasco - when I'd get honked/yelled at for taking the lane in anticipation of parked cars.

At the margins, when you make cycling less pleasant, do you get more of it or less of it?

The idea that this couldn't possibly have an effect is incredibly naive. Especially on Guadalupe, when the impulse control of the average motorist is perhaps lower than anywhere else in the city. And the apparent public investment in the cycle facility that the cyclist is not using for apparently no good reason is far higher, too; both in financial cost and in inconvenience to motorists.

You really don't see how this could make taking the lane less feasible than "it's easy!"? Really?

Before you answer, remember, you're going against the guy who predicted pretty much all of the problems other cyclists are now saying they are actually experiencing in the cycletrack. Not that any of those who ripped me several new ones have apologized or even admitted they were wrong, of course. But still; maybe a little more humility here?

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#18 2013-11-06 18:24:14

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

dougmc wrote:
m1ek wrote:

Riding in the lane on Guadalupe is no longer a feasible option for anybody other than daredevils - because motorists are going to (rightfully, in their minds) be pissed you're not in the cycletrack.

Who cares if they're pissed?

What are they going to do about it?  Run you over?  Throw their beer at you?  Shoot you as they drive by?
.

Ahh.  The one-man-critical-mass option.  Why should we care if we piss someone off?  Daring men on two wheels pissing people off is part of the strategy to win the hearts and minds of non-biking Austinites!

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#19 2013-11-06 19:41:29

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 511

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

Jack wrote:

Ahh.  The one-man-critical-mass option.  Why should we care if we piss someone off?  Daring men on two wheels pissing people off is part of the strategy to win the hearts and minds of non-biking Austinites!

I'm not talking about running red lights or attacking people in their cars or whatever else you're implying with this "one-man-critical-mass" bit.

I'm talking about riding in the street, with traffic, at a reasonable rate of speed.  Red lights ought to be obeyed, turns signalled, pedestrians yielded to.  If we're still talking about southbound Guadalupe, a cyclist can probably even keep up with the car traffic.

If all that *still* pisses somebody off, the problem is with them, not the cyclist.  And the reality is ... if it does piss somebody off (which it really shouldn't), the odds are they'll do nothing about it.  And if they're the rare exception that does do something about it, all they'll do is honk or yell -- which isn't really worth getting upset over.

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#20 2013-11-06 21:08:16

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 976
Website

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

dougmc wrote:

if it does piss somebody off (which it really shouldn't), the odds are they'll do nothing about it.  And if they're the rare exception that does do something about it, all they'll do is honk or yell -- which isn't really worth getting upset over.

Well, we can't choose our emotions.  As a recent immigrant a couple of years ago, my wife was troubled that she'd frequently get yelled at for no reason when she rode her bike.  (This was before she started actually fearing for her life.)  She thinks it could be racially motivated, though, since she's Asian and the people yelling at her were always white males.  Not sure if they were also prejudiced against bikes, or if was just the fact that she was on a bike that made it easier for them to yell at her.  It could also be sexism, but when she biked with her white female friend they didn't get yelled at.

Anyway, she told me early on that she didn't like to leave the house because of getting yelled at, so she felt very isolated with our house being a little island for her.  I started going shopping with her at night as a result.  In her whole life biking in Japan, nobody ever yelled at her, and it's really uncomfortable her here.  I feel I'd be a pretty lousy partner if I told her that getting yelled at "isn't really really worth getting upset over."

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#21 2013-11-06 22:50:00

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 511

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

m1ek wrote:

At the margins, when you make cycling less pleasant, do you get more of it or less of it?

Well, "less" is obviously the answer you're leading me to, but in this case, I think the facility seems to make cycling more pleasant for most people most of the time.  So does more more pleasant for most people most of the time get us more cycling or less?  (To answer, I guess it depends on, like most things, the exceptions, but if the exceptions are generally minor, it sounds like a "more" cycling situation.)

m1ek wrote:

You really don't see how this could make taking the lane less feasible than "it's easy!"? Really?

Is this the "impersonal you"?  If so, it's an odd situation to use it in, because you seem to be talking to me.  I didn't say anything about "it's easy!".  Also, I wasn't the one suggesting that people take the lane -- that was AusTexMurf.  But I do agree, it's an option, even if "motorists are going to (rightfully, in their minds) be pissed you're not in the cycletrack".  (I should point out that just about everybody who is pissed is "rightfully" pissed, in their minds.)

m1ek wrote:

Before you answer, remember, you're going against the guy who predicted pretty much all of the problems other cyclists are now saying they are actually experiencing in the cycletrack. Not that any of those who ripped me several new ones have apologized or even admitted they were wrong, of course. But still; maybe a little more humility here?

So, I ask if we should really care if somebody is pissed, and you once again say "I told you so", imply that you're owed an apology/admission of wrongness (I'm not sure if I'm one of the persons who needs to apologize/admit wrongness, but I'm guessing I am since you mentioned it), and then lecture me about humility?  And all in one paragraph?  Impressive.

I get that you have a pretty good knack for predicting future failures.  And that you've taken reminding people that you predicted these future (now past) failures to a whole new level (and that's only a portion of it.)   But this isn't really up to the quality of some of your past "I told you so" situations (you did bring up Shoal Creek, however ... that was a good one.)

First, you weren't the only one predicting problems.  Plenty of people were.

Second, I don't think anybody was predicting perfection.  (But if they were, they were obviously wrong.  But then again, predicting perfection in public works is almost always a losing game.)

Third, from what I can see online, most cyclists seem happy with the facility.   I've seen a few complaints, but most seem happy.  I've been down there a few times with no real problems (but no, I've never been down there at 8am.)  In fact, most of the complaints I've heard about it came from somebody driving past it.

If the facility is a failure, it seems to be a remarkably successful failure.   Personally, I think it's going about as well as expected -- far from ideal, but not awful.  Perhaps it's getting overwhelmed during the morning hours when I haven't seen it, but other than that it seems to work well enough.

But, if somebody does have a problem with the facility for whatever reason, I will humbly agree with AusTexMurf that they do have the option of taking the lane instead.   As for this pissing people off, I think Lincoln said (I think he originally said it) it well -- "You can please some of the people some of the time all of the people some of the time some of the people all of the time but you can never please all of the people all of the time."

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#22 2013-11-07 11:58:50

m1ek
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 153

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

Doug, only time for a minute, but I was talking about points made by other cyclists who now hate the facility in places like the FB group "Social Cycling Austin".

No, it's not OK to say "you can just take the lane" if the changes you made to the road mean taking the lane will be viewed by the motorists as a far more hostile and unreasonable act than it was before.

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#23 2013-11-07 12:09:28

AusTexMurf
Member
From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 438

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

You can just take the lane...

But, since you make those decisions for yourself, only, m1ek,
Use the cycling facilities when you see fit.
When by bike, not motorized couch.
And we all seem to agree that cap metro and COA need to continue making improvements to the cycle track on guadalupe and/or rethink the way the peds, cyclists, busses, autos, interact in that zone.
Lane or not is a different question.
I frequently move in and out of the cycling facilities for many different reasons. So do most experienced cyclists that I know.
And the route, one's purpose, traffic situation (busses, peds, autos, road closures, special events, whatever), experience and comfort levels, one's companions, time of day, weather, even type of bicycle chosen to ride that day,
all might influence a cyclist's choice.
Ride your bike, lots.
It's still much more fun, mike.

Last edited by AusTexMurf (2013-11-07 13:17:21)

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#24 2013-11-07 13:25:36

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 511

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

m1ek wrote:

Doug, only time for a minute

If you're only going to respond to one point I bring up, that's fine -- you don't need to explain why.

but I was talking about points made by other cyclists who now hate the facility in places like the FB group "Social Cycling Austin".

Oddly enough ... so was I.

And even the people who don't like it ... don't generally seem to hate it, just mildly dislike it.  And in the times that I've been there, I've seen zero cyclists taking the lane and quite a few in the track (and some of the cyclists in the track were hauling ass at 20+ mph.  Not what I'd do, but whatever.)  But again, maybe it changes at 8am.

I haven't attempted to carefully categorize and add up the responses to it on the SocialCycling page, but I guess I could.  What ratio of like to dislike would I have to find for the facility "to not be the failure you told us it would be"?

(Or, put another way, what ratio of dislike to like would I have to find for the facility to be the failure you told us it would be?)

No, it's not OK to say "you can just take the lane" if the changes you made to the road mean taking the lane will be viewed by the motorists as a far more hostile and unreasonable act than it was before.

So, what you're telling me is that if the bike lane is next to the road (the way it was before) that motorists may or may not care if you're in the road rather than the bike lane (I'm being really vague because you didn't explicitly say how they'd react in that situation), but if the bike lane is separated from the rest of the road by a row of cars and some structures in parts (the way it is now) that motorists will now view your being in the same lane as before as a far more hostile and unreasonable act?  Have I misunderstood?

Tell you what though -- you can keep deciding what is and what is not OK for me to say, and I'll keep saying what I want.

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#25 2013-11-07 17:19:18

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 192

Re: Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks

"(Or, put another way, what ratio of dislike to like would I have to find for the facility to be the failure you told us it would be?)"

It fails when one pedestrian is struck by a cyclist or when one cyclist is struck at an intersection in a way we've foreseen.  Such tracks are not appropriate when pedestrians will be frequently walking in or across them and are not appropriate when there are many intersections for cyclists to contend with, unless some other feature is present--like stop signs at intersections, for instance.  The cycle track manufactures traffic conflicts in ways the design target users are not wary of.

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