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#1 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » stop signs @ LAB » 2010-07-21 17:29:02

It is a very good idea to stop at the LAB intersections with BR Reynolds and Sandra Muraida, they are dangerous intersections and demand a lot of paying attention. I ride these intersections several times a week. Do you really think that bicycles should never have to stop for oncoming traffic or to check their position with existing traffic potential?

#2 Re: Other » F the F1 Proposal -- Austin's Newest Potential Boondoggle » 2010-07-13 19:06:35

There is supposed to be an infusion of 25 million dollars a year for ten years from the state of Texas to this project, this at a time when state workers have not had a raise in ten years and their benefits package has been severely eroded. FI owner Bernie Ecclestone has a very sketchy business and moral record. There is the possibility of him pulling the race after the state and local entities have invested in the infrastructure to make it possible. If his numbers do not add up to his satisfaction he will leave the state of Texas holding the bag.
Rick Perry is in this deal up to his eyeballs with our money.

#3 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » crackdown on bicyclists? what crackdown? » 2009-01-23 12:34:31

Police departments are not exempt from all other public and private entities, the operational concept is CYA.

#4 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Austin police allow bike theft » 2008-12-23 11:43:12

The cops don't need you
and man they expect the same...

B. Dylan

#5 Re: Other » Jennifer Gale, perennial candidate, cycling supporter, found dead » 2008-12-19 08:38:47

Being "out there"
She did less harm than the rest...
May she rest in peace.

A attractive fifteen year old girl once asked old adult me how to live off of the grid.
She had thought about it and determined it to be impossible.
I told her to live off of the grid was done by millions, we call them homeless.

#6 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Calcutta, India: door prize » 2008-12-19 08:33:39

You don't miss your water till your well runs dry...
god bless the quest for order in the west?

#7 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » an article about the new CoA transportation leaders and city prospects » 2008-12-12 16:22:25

"We need to move that the other way around — identify bike corridors and try to rearrange the resurface program to do the whole corridor at once. We want to make this a bike city."

Let's for god's sake hope so.

#8 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Parking in Bike Lanes -- neighborhood meeting » 2008-10-10 14:41:29

The following is exactly what the Law and Safety Subcommittee passed on to the Street Smarts Task Force regarding the new guidelines for parking in bike lanes.

"The City of Austin should develop a comprehensive strategy to preserve existing bike lanes, analyze and promote a seamless bicycle network, limit parking in bicycle lanes and expand lanes that promote safety and connectivity. September 4."

The "preserve existing bike lanes" was in direct concern about the potential for getting rid of usable bike lanes through the Parking Modification guidelines that are now in pilot mode and being tested on Exposition.

#9 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Parking in Bike Lanes -- neighborhood meeting » 2008-10-09 16:01:52

1. We can see how the Street Smarts Task Force dealt with this issue (parking guidelines) by reviewing the channel 6 tapes of the meeting that was held in council chambers when we were hammering out the final version of the SSTF recommendations.
I was not in the Infrastructure Committee meeting but was told that it was not discussed in depth.
I was at the Law and Safety Committee meetings where it was discussed and passed on with the idea of making it better later, a lot of issues were passed on that way.

2. From my own experience I have witnessed infrequent use of parking on Exposition and Emerald Forrest which is the main reason that the status quo is ok to me. Shoal Creek seemed to have only a small amount of actual parking on it also. There needs to be a traffic engineering (science) guideline that triggers the removal of parking thus taking it out of the political and into the traffic safety realm. The bike lane that is part of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway in front of Austin High is a fine example of a completely dangerous piece of bicycle infrastructure. In a lot of these cases a reduced speed limit and sharrows would probably be of use.

3. the city is definitely motivated to keep the miles of bicycle infrastructure that is in the bike plan that is actually non existent or unsafe. The SSTF actually did a lot of work on this issue and requested that some of the current bicycle infrastructure be removed from the maps and the bike plan. Hopefully there are members of the League of American Bicyclists that might bring this to that organizations committee that issues the gold and silver standards for Bike Friendly Cities.

4. The triggers for parking modification to be considered are:

A. Parking removal --- (parking) utilization is below 10% during both average daytime and nighttime periods.

B. One sided parking --- more than 60% of vehicles were parked on one side during the daytime.

C. Daytime parking restrictions --- where daytime utilization was below 20% (residential) or 150% workplace areas.

So actually the process is triggered by the bike lane with occasional parking in it?
The process is also triggered by the street maintenance schedule instead of as needed schedule.
The document can be found here,
On-Street Parking Modification Guidelines (Draft)

This problem (conflict) seems to be systemic to bicycle programs all over the planet. It is definitely not an easy one to solve. The idea of purity will probably not help.

#10 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Parking in Bike Lanes -- neighborhood meeting » 2008-10-08 06:10:18

The no bike lane at all point of view is a valid one but bike lanes do cause drivers to give bike riders more room. Drivers keep further to the left in their lane when there is a striped bike lane to the right of them. One of the problems with no bike lane on Exposition would be that there is a lot of "up hill" on Exposition and though it is legal to take the lane and go five miles an hour it does cause a lot of frustration and resulting reckless behavior from car drivers. Asking car drivers to be rational in frustrating circumstances is going against human nature.

#11 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Parking in Bike Lanes -- neighborhood meeting » 2008-10-07 13:16:38

I was there, no decisions were made but there are a block of residents that are definitely against any restrictions on parking. The new guidelines are not well thought out they pretty much put bike lanes in jeopardy. Problem number one, the city bike plan calls for no parking in bike lanes. Problem number two, bicycle activists want no parking in bike lanes. Problem number three the new guidelines give the resident stakeholders the choice of approving the plans or not. It takes a vote of the city council to actually get rid of a bike lane.
It would be very bad for west Austin cyclists to lose the lanes on Exposition because of the volume and speed of the traffic and the fact that Exposition is about the only through street available for meaningful transportation.
If the bike lanes disappear I am afraid that Exposition would be made into a four lane street with no room for cyclists whatsoever.
In this situation the status quo would be better than removal of the bike lanes.
The city guidelines should have a more "safety for cyclist" orientation instead of the promoting political cat fight orientation that they have now. The BAC tried to get a traffic volume / speed condition put in the guidelines that would automatically eliminate parking once a certain number of auto trips per day was reached on that route but the attempt failed.
In this situation and the one I live near (Emerald Forrest) I would rather keep the lane with some parking in it than get rid of the lane altogether. Remember, it takes a vote from city council to actually eliminate a bike lane.
More later I am sure.

#12 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Biking's environmental benefits negated by longer lifespan » 2008-10-05 20:33:32

"The Earth does not care about us, we belong to the Earth."

That would be the operational sentence.
And yes war, famine and disease are in the whole very good things if there is any such thing as good and bad.
The advent of agriculture 12 to 14 thousand years ago set us on the path to population explosion and the surplus based politics that we have lived with all of our lives. Nothing grows forever so killing the enemy and the unborn may be your human duty. One of the reasons that our medical system is so expensive is the massive amounts of money spent on dieing people in the last weeks of life. Yes medicine should be rationed.
Let's smoke that in our "sustainability" pipes.
We are stewards of nothing, nature bats last, we are definitely not in charge.
The "environmental" movement is full of Victorian vanity. the earth will take care of itself, culture and society is another matter.

#13 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Biking's environmental benefits negated by longer lifespan » 2008-10-03 08:35:50

The point is that if we are talking about the future and not talking about a reduction of the population we are condemning ourselves and our small families to catastrophe and a big fat no quality of life for a rational person. Now we can discuss whether humans are actually rational or not, should we start with bicycle activists? Maybe we should wonder if the powerful in social politics even need to hear us?
Is the bee hive a model for "density"?
Is B. F. Skinner's "Beyond Freedom and Dignity" a prophetic guideline for our culture's future?

#14 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Biking's environmental benefits negated by longer lifespan » 2008-10-02 20:54:59

I don't want to ride on streets with a half million cyclists any more than I want to ride on streets with a half million autos.

#15 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » KVUE: "Police cracking down on bicyclists who break the law" » 2008-10-02 20:51:35

This is Texas it is a stone age culture, the next step in our cultural evolution will be to become Los Angeles.

#16 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Bike Lane "No Parking" on Exposition ... Feedback Needed » 2008-09-09 15:26:47

There is nothing illegal about crossing a solid white line.
These guidelines are predicated on the rigid notion that parking and bike lanes should not coexist in Austin Texas.
We will under these guidelines lose a lot of bike lanes on collector streets where the traffic is both fast and dense at times. At some point the city is going to have to develop the political will to have bike lanes on collector streets or not. I would suggest that as many people as possible actually read these guidelines and address your concerns to
Annick is the bicycle issue person for the city of Austin.
In my reading of these guidelines I see a direct political confrontation between cyclists interests and the interests of residential users of collector streets, at some point safety and engineering guidelines are going to have to override parking considerations or our bicycle infrastructure will be seriously diminished.

EDIT: As per the rules, please do not post anyone's email address.

#17 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Bike Lane "No Parking" on Exposition ... Feedback Needed » 2008-09-09 13:34:20

The guidelines state on page three that on collector roadways that have excess of 3000 ADT the parking removal process shall be initiated. which is not what we passed out of the BAC where we wanted parking to be automatically "eliminated" when ADT reached 3000 ADT. Not for the bicycle lane elimination process to be started which is what is going to end up happening on almost every collector street bike route in this town.

#18 Re: Train, Bus, Transit » Fuel efficiency of trains no better than cars? » 2008-09-09 09:40:48

Unless there is a global financial / social meltdown the private use of the automobile is not going away anytime soon. In Texas we have the most inefficient use of resources on the planet so we have more room to keep the autos on the road with minor adjustments in efficiency. New York city recently made changes in their development codes to allow for more parking in downtown New York. The car is not going away it is going to get smaller and more efficient.

#19 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Bike Lane "No Parking" on Exposition ... Feedback Needed » 2008-09-09 09:34:59

The COA new parking in bike lane guidelines were addressed by the Street Smarts Task Force with almost no discussion, they have been passed on by the BAC with minor amendments. The basic policy of the city is that there will be no parking in bike lanes or the bike lanes will go away. The city is in negotiations with property owners concerning the bike lane / parking on Mary St. also. The Shoal Creek fiasco was an embarrassment for everybody. I am not sure that these new guidelines have even been adopted by the city council yet. Everything is in "test" mode. The members of the BAC were notified by email of the proposed changes on Exposition.

#20 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Red Light Cameras Issue 400 Citations » 2008-08-19 13:55:07

As for my own behavior, I use extreme caution when I run a red light in my car or on my bike. On my bike, no car approaching the intersection from any angle observed from a full stop and of course no cops...go, go, go...
In my car, early in the morning, same routine. So I don't run many but am not morally opposed.
Starting and stopping seems to be something that a lot of bicyclists dread.

#21 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Red Light Cameras Issue 400 Citations » 2008-08-16 11:16:30

I think what m1ek is trying to say is that a larger percentage of bicycle riders as a population sub group run "mature red" lights than do auto drivers. I agree with him that this is the case. Not a very large percentage of auto drivers run mature red lights given their huge portion of the population at large. A lot of bicycle riders treat their bicycle as if it were an extension of their feet and just sort of "jay walk" through red lights. It gives the bicycle riders an air of privilege and exclusivity and causes resentment among auto drivers even when it is not dangerous as hell.

#22 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Red Light Cameras Issue 400 Citations » 2008-07-31 07:56:53

This will be another excuse to put readily visible license tags on bicycles or maybe a big easily read number on your forehead or the back of your shirt or wherever these contraptions read such things.

#23 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » We need THESE » 2008-07-07 12:20:35

Sooner or later the city is going to have to address the issue of using "sharrows" on bike routes that do not have room for bike lanes. There are quasi legal issues with them right now and they are not just paint on the pavement they are actually stuck down on the pavement and are not as cheap as they may look.
There are going to be some trial applications soon I think.
The city does not want to burden every street with a bunch of signs I do know that.

#24 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Cyclist killed on 290 over the weekend » 2008-07-02 06:58:56

Tragic story, when a car rear ends another car because the sun was in their eyes there is less sympathy from the law enforcement personnel than when they kill a cyclist. they usually get a ticket for following too close.

#25 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Bicyclist hit and run in austin » 2008-06-19 14:11:15

I forgot, fellow cyclist curb your traffic law violating, go ahead and stop at red lights, be courteous and move over for faster traffic when it is safe to do so. at least do a California stop at stop signs. The resentment that you cause by rude and thoughtless behavior buys you no sympathy in the important political realm of public opinion. I realize  this means that you have to slow your very important momentum, I hate to roll from dead stop too and maybe the laws should reflect this aspect of physics and bicycles but at this time they do not. Act like an outlaw and the very uptight "citizens" out there hate you for it as you can see in the comments section of that article posted by Adriel.

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