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#1 2008-07-06 10:12:01

Adriel
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

We need THESE

Lots and lots of THESE

full_use-765774.jpg

You tell me how to get this ball rolling and I will do it.

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#2 2008-07-07 09:58:22

chuckthomas
Member
From: Far NW Austin
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 76

Re: We need THESE

All along 35th street esp west of mopac down the hill to the Camp Mabry entrance would be a prime canidate for these signs.

Contact:

Nadia M. Barrera
Bicycle/Pedestrian Project Coordinator
Department of Public Works
City of Austin
512-974-7142
(f) 512-974-7101
nadia.barrera@ci.austin.tx.us

and these people:

Michael Curtis, Pedestrian & Bike Program Manager –, 974-7056
Mark Cole, Pedestrian & Bike Project Coordinator, 974-7019
Jennifer Herber, Public Information Specialist Sr., 974-1444

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#3 2008-07-07 12:20:35

doughead
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 37

Re: We need THESE

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.

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#4 2008-07-07 12:58:47

Adriel
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: We need THESE

The city does not want to burden every street with a bunch of signs I do know that.

well its better than a picture of a bicycle which is not as clear as this sign.

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#5 2008-07-07 21:37:40

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 553

Re: We need THESE

But what would these signs do to help?

Bicycles are already entitled to use the entire lane in most cases.  The signs might reduce the number of people yelling at you to get into the shoulder/sidewalk/edge of the lane, but I don't see where that's so important -- people yelling at me are easily ignored when needed, and if they're yelling at me then I know they *see* me, and aren't likely to actually hit me.  It's the people who don't see me that worry me -- and these signs don't help with that.

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#6 2008-07-08 08:29:04

Adriel
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: We need THESE

Because a car who is angry you are there, wielding 2 tons of steel, is not a good thing to have near you on the road.

Because a lot of drivers apparently feel we need to "get those bikes out of the middle of the road" and we need to stop that train wreck before it starts.

because one day when some a**ho*e gets 2 inches from my bike, and HONKS his horn full blast at me, I might have a wreck, and I could get hurt or die.

Because motorists expecting to own the road are more dangerous all around than a motorist who has been told by his authority figure (the sign) that he in fact, does not.

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#7 2008-07-08 11:26:40

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 553

Re: We need THESE

OK, suppose we get 500 of these signs put around Austin.  Let's assume that all motorists will see the signs at least once or twice, and understand what they mean.

Now many motorists will assume that if the sign isn't there, the cyclist isn't entitled to take a lane.

Sharrows have similar problems.  I'm not saying they're bad, but unless you can put one everywhere where it's even remotely an issue, they might do as much harm as good.

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#8 2008-07-08 13:14:28

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

Re: We need THESE

I see that potential problem with sharrows too.  I've already been told by motorists a number of times to get off the road because there was no bike lane on that particular street.

I'd suggest that we use sharrows at first only where it seems really hard for motorists to understand that bicyclists may, should, and will use that portion of the road (usually to emphasize use of the full lane).  Narrow that set of locations further by only putting the sharrows in places where taking an alternate route to avoid that road are cumbersome.

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#9 2008-07-08 14:08:00

Adriel
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: We need THESE

This may be slightly off topic but not too far.

I found this wonderful website by Ken Kifer, and he paints such an optimistic view of riding, and I think he travelled about 75-100,000 miles by bike, so he would know.  And I started thinking I am too pessimistic, maybe I should be more optimistic like him.

Then after reading loads and loads of articles, I decided I wanted to pop him a note and tell him how much I enjoyed his site.

Turns out he died in 2003, killed by a drunk driver who was released from jail 4 hours previous to killing ken, for a DUI.

Anyway.  My point is I want to be more optimistic about drivers and our law enforcement (they REALLY dropped the ball on that one), but the world keeps proving my optimism as foolishness.  The only things most motorists seem to listen to are signs.  If a sign tells them the speed LIMIT is 55 and the car in front of them is going 40mph, they get angry.  VERY angry, it does not even matter if there are 2 empty lanes that they can pass the slower traffic on, they get upset that that car is not following the almighty sign.  Some people get violent when they get upset.  Its a bad mix with driving.

I think you are right, it is probably all or nothing.  I think if we are going to live in a society where drivers only listen to signs, we need to suck it up and spend the money to sign all of the roads, access roads, rural highways, etc etc.  It has to be a LOT cheaper than separate facilities.  Maybe these signs are better than sharrows.  You could make the exact same argument for bike lanes.  I think some people have.  But we do have bike lanes on some roads and not others, and I would say only about 30% of them are worth riding in.

All I know is right now, what we need are drivers prepared to slow or stop for a bike or a pedestrian as the law says they should.  And I do not know how to accomplish it, but that sign looked like a cool idea.  Maybe someone else has some cool ideas?  Or should I just give up and resign myself to a world bathed in a constant fear of death.  Just hope I can have a few happy years till some drunk or self entitled or blind driver kills me.  And realize that in the end it cycling has better odds than sitting at home drinking beer and watching tv, but it's still a roulette wheel, I just have to pick a chamber and pull the trigger.

Last edited by Adriel (2008-07-08 14:16:57)

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#10 2008-07-08 14:17:01

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

Re: We need THESE

I think one of the keys to learn[ing] how to be and stay safe on a bike is to take serious note of every 'close call' one has.

Taking note of close calls is the primary reason I started taking the full lane years ago.  I couldn't find any solution that had better results than taking the full lane.

Paying attention and evaluating retrospectively each close call helps improve safety for many other dangers to bicyclists as well.

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#11 2008-07-08 20:59:28

Tower of Pedal
Member
Registered: 2008-06-06
Posts: 7

Re: We need THESE

agreed. i always feel safest taking the lane, so it's what i do. talking shit with some redneck at a light on 24th n guad who yells at me to 'get off the road' is preferrable to coming within 2.4 inches of a car a block prior.

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#12 2008-07-08 22:48:48

Adriel
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: We need THESE

I agree, and I ride very defensively and assertively.  (Yes they can be combined :)  I still think the roads need to be made safer, I am not sure what the answer is, but it lies in the attitudes of motorists.   They are the most dangerous thing on the road.

I did like the sign idea, but maybe it's not the best answer.  All I am saying is something has to be the right answer.

Last edited by Adriel (2008-07-08 22:49:28)

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