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#1 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-12-05 11:02:14

So, my last message as I leave you guys - I will give as good as I get sometimes; I don't initiate the personal attacks but will gladly respond in kind sometimes;  but in this case that's not even true. I was polite to Jason even as my friends and coworkers were wondering who this crazy MF was.

Bike community, you made your choice. I'll not spend a moment more time advocating for your needs. Best of luck with who you've chosen.

#2 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-12-04 17:50:56

Not only that but an experiment with very few differences was run ON THIS SAME STREET about 20 years ago (northbound side, 2-way protected (by concrete barrier) bike lane, which was ripped out to much acclaim in the 1990s). Those who insist this one is nothing like that one have very poor analytical skills; most of the problems of the old one are still around in the new one (the only real exception being wrong-way cycling, which seems to be happening in the new one anyways despite lack of official sanction).

#3 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-12-04 11:12:56

Doug, that's a nice attempt to reroute but fundamentally disingenuous just like your whole participation in this affair. The whole thing started when I noted some problems on my OWN FACEBOOK PAGE, and then your buddy Jason ripped me a new one ON MY OWN PAGE - to which I stayed relatively civil in response even as my coworkers asked me What The Ever Living F*ck.

That's how it STARTED.

Since then I stayed more civil than Jason, and have simply called you out on your game as it became more and more clear that nothing would have satisfied you (nothing) - I provided exactly what you were asking for - attacking language making false claims that was refuted by actual cyclists with no acknowledgement from Jason and no apology. Don't expect to get away with liking somebody else's personal attack and then try to get out of it.

And even now you're still mocking the idea. You're basically Jason with a nicer face.

Austin cyclists, if this is who you prefer to have on your team, continue to line up behind them and I'll just give up and let you follow them off the cliff - I have relatively little personal interest in trying to make things better for you at this point, and it's not worth this kind of abuse.

#4 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-12-03 09:59:59

Doug, I suspected your real goal from the beginning, and when you hit "Like" on one of Jason's many mocking personal attacks, I knew what the truth was - you're just being disingenuous.

I made claims that the facility had numerous problems I observed during AM rush drives; Jason called BS on them in a mocking, attacking, manner, asking cyclists to verify the 'bloodbath' and other such nonsense; several cyclists immediately chimed in and said they had seen the same things and that it DID suck; I pointed you to said statements, and you still claimed it's not enough. You're no doubt thrilled you sent me on a wild goose chase through facebook's horrible interface to dig up said statements and still didn't accept them.

I'm not accepting any more homework from you; and today when I drove down Guadalupe during the AM rush and saw pedestrians using the green lane as a second sidewalk, I came to some inner peace by thinking "at least some elements in the bicycle community are getting what they deserve". I'm considering whether this community is worth even the small amount of fucks I continue to give about it, given your appalling behavior.

#5 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-11-28 13:00:43

What that discussion showed is that before the facility was fully complete I predicted a bunch of problems; when it first opened I observed those exact problems and was mocked for it by your pal (IIRC you were just moderately dismissive), neither one of you believing those problems were frequent (in your case) or real (in his case); then after the facility opened many cyclists reported the same exact problems and characterized them as major irritants, not occasional, and neither you nor your pal were willing to admit the problems were real and frequent.

Real men admit when they were wrong even if they think the other guy was an ass. Neither one of you guys were willing to do so; and you, instead, engaged in a week-long campaign of mockery as I wasted hours of time digging up the old facebook thread so you could just wuss out and be a complete dick about it.

If I could block you here, too, I would.

#6 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-11-25 17:06:15

Jack, this is a lost cause for now. The cycling 'community' obviously prefers to mock the concerns of those of us who know better, egged on by the moderator of this very forum most recently on bookface.

#7 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks » 2013-11-07 11:58:50

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.

#8 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks » 2013-11-06 17:44:26

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?

#9 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-11-06 15:53:31

I'm surprised anybody ever rides Dean Keaton under I-35 (and I rarely see anybody doing it). Seemed like a bad design the day it went in many years ago, and Manor is so much more civilized, and not that far away.

#10 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks » 2013-11-06 10:04:52

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.

#11 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Changing Lanes: Austin’s Cycle Tracks » 2013-11-01 11:58:17

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.

#12 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-10-29 10:59:05

dougmc wrote:

I don't spend much time there at 8am.  What was it like before this change at 8am?  I imagine that if it's so horrible now that it probably wasn't so great before either.

It was fine before. Pedestrians didn't stand in the bike lane because they had to go past a row of parked cars just to get to it; it was clear that the bike lane was part of the street and not the sidewalk.

Cars parking were a pain before - and people exiting parked cars are a pain now; that's pretty much a wash.

Intersections were a small pain before - and a much bigger pain now.

But as far as pedestrians being in the bike lane, I can't remember EVER seeing one in the years I've been driving down this corridor in the morning rush. I bet there's been one or two but the fact that I can't remember one is telling.

So far I've gone down the corridor about 20 times since the facility was finished (to its present condition) - I don't drive this way every day but do about a third of the time; and every single time there have been at least 1 pedestrian standing (not moving) in the bike lane at some point between 24th and 21st (for some reason south of 21st doesn't seem to be a problem so far). There have been at least a few pedestrians crossing that bike lane without looking backwards for cyclists on every trip. On bad mornings, there's far more of both; with an eastbound cyclist stopped blocking the whole bike lane for good measure.

Again, this has to do with the mass movement of pedestrians from west to east in the morning rush. You guys who keep saying this isn't so bad because there's only one or two guys in the way when you go through at noon aren't getting it.

#13 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-10-28 09:39:24

You really need to see it at 8 AM. That's when the massive pedestrian movement from west to east happens; and it's that movement that's most of the problem. (People exiting parked cars and transit vehicles are a problem all day but not likely to lead to people just hanging out and blocking the lane).

#14 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-10-25 16:13:55

The claim that cyclists interested in actually getting somewhere with some speed can just take the lane as before is naive. Just as I was honked at frequently for taking the lane on SCB after the bike lane was turned into that shared monstrosity, so will people be honked at (or worse) on Guadalupe for taking the lane. The (or worse) is because the investment of public dollars into a cycling facility is far more obvious here than there; and motorists' ire will be proportionally worse.

I fully expect eventual trouble with the police telling cyclists they MUST use the cycletrack - it's as far right as practicable, after all.

#15 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-10-17 09:43:44

I'm not sure I should even bother at this point, but what the hell, I'm having a bad morning and need a break.

Drove down SB Guadalupe this morning at about 7:45. The street furniture is now complete; cars are finally parked outside the bike facility.

At 24th/Guadalupe, a couple of pedestrians were overflowing from the island into the bike lane, requiring a SB cyclist to come to a stop and ask them to move.

At the bus stop following that, two pedestrians were walking north in the bike lane. The cyclist had given up by that point and dismounted.

At the West Mall crossing, about a dozen pedestrians were standing in the bike facility (overflowing from the large island) waiting to cross.

At the other bus stop (down near 21st), another pair of pedestrians were walking north in the bike lane.

#16 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-09-18 10:01:11

This morning on twitter from a bicyclist who happened to be on a bus at the time:

"I'm pretty sure conflicts b/t pedestrians & bicycles will abound on the Guadalupe cycle track for a while"

followed by

"Just saw a bunch of students standing in the cycletrack waiting to cross the street while bicycles had a green light."

This matches what I've seen in the mornings (I drive down this part of Guadalupe around 7:45 most mornings this time of year). I have yet to see a crash but have seen cyclists have to come to a screeching halt a couple of times already.

Hey, it sure would be neat if people would eventually learn that maybe credibility should be based on how often you were right in the past, rather than how attractive it is to hear what the person is saying?

#17 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-28 13:53:26

Rob, the 6 peds I saw who didn't look are not in the video (I wasn't recording; I was driving an hour earlier - around 7:45 AM - at the same spot and made my report on twitter at the next traffic light at the time; the recordings were made by Jace Deloney at 8:45 who was standing on the sidewalk at the time - the two things are coincidental).

Murf, there is no way to incrementally improve this. Peds are going to do what peds do - they're going to cross without looking, because a separated cycletrack is a sidewalk for all intents and purposes. All the bullshit marketing in the world isn't going to change the fact that cyclists who want to travel at greater than sidewalk speed now cannot use Guadalupe. This is not, as Bike Austin tries to claim, a network for a larger number of users - this is now a network of sidewalk-users.

And these videos weren't even taken after class was in session (that started today).

As for just using the traffic lane, what do you expect the reaction of the typical motorist to be - as they see the large, expensive-looking facility that they think they paid for, right over there, being unused by you, while you're slowing them down in the traffic lane?

I hate to be that guy, but do you guys know how many times I've heard variants of this from y'all in the past, regarding things like Shoal Creek or the Red Line?

At some point, shouldn't you be like "this guy seems to be right a lot; maybe we should listen ahead of time instead of after the fact"?

#18 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-27 11:07:45

This morning, I was driving southbound on Guadalupe near the bus stop in question at about 7:45 and was stopped by a red light. A bus a couple vehicles in front of me let out 6 passengers - I watched each walk down the ramp and cross the cycletrack without ever looking for bicyclists.

An hour later this morning, Jace Deloney recorded the following two vines (note: he's in favor of this facility). Does anybody see the problem with these two short clips?

#19 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-26 14:45:02

A blog I wish I had stumbled across a couple of weeks ago instead of today: … -or-equal/

Makes the case damn well that protected bike lanes are a net safety decrease over 'normal' bike lanes, including pictures, and also explains Europe.

#20 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-23 08:28:20

Augenwinkel wrote:

To my understanding, bicycle program staff thought that the BAC did not need/want to weigh in on the cycle track since it's not an incredibly disruptive design.

This is a ridiculous framing. I hope you don't actually believe this. Even if you think this is a positive change, it's clearly a major change, not a minor striping issue.

#21 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-20 07:05:33

Murf, did you miss this quote:

Having to go to the BAC to get a logical argument heard, if that even works, is not the solution. It's the problem.

I'm damn well not taking scarce family time to go to this when I don't even ride any more. Y'all should care about this a lot more than I do.

#22 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-16 11:07:31

Having these discussions IS a form of participating in politics.

This is really about the difference between a direct democracy and a republic - except this meetingocracy is even worse than a direct democracy, IMO. It's rule by those with the most time on their hands. Of course the people with the most time on their hands pretend that they're making a noble sacrifice, but I call bullshit; having done both forms, spending all night in meetings is no more noble than raising your kids or paying your taxes - arguably less.

I'm saying Bike Texas, as a sort-of representative of the cycling community, should be presenting the views of the cycling community rather than just going along with whatever the city does. That's it, and it shouldn't be that controversial.

#23 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-16 09:03:35

Doug, I'm saying that BikeTexas should be listening to this input and then act as the representative of the cycling community, whatever that ends up being based on the debate here and elsewhere. Instead, they are acting as a de-facto member of the city staff, uncritically endorsing this project and suggesting that anybody with anything else to say needs to show up at the BAC.

A nobody named Jane Jacobs once wrote:

"But, you know, I'm like most people in this. I have other things to do. I don't like getting in these fights. I hate the government making my life absurd. I don't want the government to set an agenda for what I have to be doing by it being so stupid that I have to devote myself to that. I have other things to do. And this is true of most people. It is really an outrage when you come to think of it. Here are all these people who get paid for government jobs, and we the taxpayers are paying them. And how are they spending their time? Making life miserable for us so we can hardly earn the money to pay their wages because we are so busy fighting them. That's what I mean by making our lives absurd."

#24 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-15 20:04:58

dougmc wrote:

If you want to get the city to stop using colored pant to designate "special" parts of bike lanes, the ideal place to bring this up would be the BAC meeting.  The next one is next Tuesday.

Having to go to the BAC to get a logical argument heard, if that even works, is not the solution. It's the problem.

#25 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Red alert on the Drag » 2013-08-13 13:32:21

Tom, more helpful would be if you would participate in this forum AND at the BAC, knowing that many of us can't or won't be at your meeting. I believe discussions like this, held in public, with the widest possible audience, are far superior to the meetingocracy.

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