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#1 2013-11-30 06:15:46

AusTexMurf
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From: South Austin
Registered: 2008-11-21
Posts: 439

Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark...

Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany
Pucher, John and Buehler, Ralph (2008) 'Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany', Transport Reviews, 28:4, 495 — 528
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Article Here

ABSTRACT This article shows how the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany have made bicycling a safe, convenient and practical way to get around their cities. The analysis relies on national aggregate data as well as case studies of large and small cities in each country. The key to achieving high levels of cycling appears to be the provision of separate cycling facilities along heavily travelled roads and at intersections, combined with traffic calming of most residential neighbourhoods. Extensive cycling rights of way in the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany are complemented by ample bike parking, full integration with public transport, comprehensive traffic education and training of both cyclists and motor- ists, and a wide range of promotional events intended to generate enthusiasm and wide public support for cycling. In addition to their many pro-bike policies and programmes, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany make driving expensive as well as inconvenient in central cities through a host of taxes and restrictions on car ownership, use and parking. Moreover, strict land-use policies foster compact, mixed-use developments that generate shorter and thus more bikeable trips. It is the coordinated implementation of this multi- faceted, mutually reinforcing set of policies that best explains the success of these three countries in promoting cycling. For comparison, the article portrays the marginal status of cycling in the UK and the USA, where only about 1% of trips are by bike.
Introduction
For readers in many countries, the title of this article might sound so impossible as to seem absurd. Most Britons and Americans, for example, must find cycling quite resistible indeed, since they make only about 1% of their trips by bike. Cycling conditions in most countries—including the UK and the USA—are anything but safe, convenient and attractive...

Last edited by AusTexMurf (2013-11-30 06:17:31)

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#2 2014-01-14 15:25:41

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 258

Re: Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark...

http://john-s-allen.com/blog/?p=820  See this response for another take.

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#3 2014-01-14 17:25:21

MichaelBluejay
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Re: Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark...

Jack, rather than consistently taking potshots at every idea and effort to make cycling safer and more attractive, do you think you might be constructive by offering some alternatives?  That is, what would you think we should actually *do* to make cycling safer and more attractive?  We've heard your constant criticism, ad nauseum.  Where's your plan?  Because I strongly suspect there isn't one, that Effective Cyclist enthusiasts just think cyclists should just pretend they're little cars and then everything will be fine.

You critiques might actually be correct, but the constant negativity is so tiring it's hard to sympathize with that position.  Especially when it's never accompanied by a constructive alternative.

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#4 2014-01-15 13:10:26

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 258

Re: Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark...

MichaelBluejay wrote:

Jack, rather than consistently taking potshots at every idea and effort to make cycling safer and more attractive, do you think you might be constructive by offering some alternatives?  That is, what would you think we should actually *do* to make cycling safer and more attractive?  We've heard your constant criticism, ad nauseum.  Where's your plan?  Because I strongly suspect there isn't one, that Effective Cyclist enthusiasts just think cyclists should just pretend they're little cars and then everything will be fine.

You critiques might actually be correct, but the constant negativity is so tiring it's hard to sympathize with that position.  Especially when it's never accompanied by a constructive alternative.

Negativity? Well, it is a matter of perspective. I, for one, find getting around by my bicycle safe and pleasant enough to largely forego getting around by the convenient and somewhat safer (though pedestrian-killing and polluting) car. I also have had some success getting others to overcome fears and uncertainties so they too cycle instead of drive.  I'm a posititve guy with a positive approach.

And because of that, I find it amazing that amateurs and professionals alike find it so necessary to try to improve things (1) by means that have been repeatedly proven not only not to help but to make things worse besides and (2) making cycling seem far more dangerous than it really is to drive up demand for the non-improvement improvements.  Hence the focus on the negative.  Should I start in on mandatory helmet laws?  Would it bum you out if I posted that they might do more harm than good?  I have little reason to bring up for this forum things done right; you'll catch them as soon as I will, no?

You seem to be saying that this forum has no room for the positive suggestion that we don't spend our efforts and money making things worse instead of better.  In this instance, the rose-colored glasses point of view presented in the first post doesn't cut it and I replied with some of the things it falls short by.  Sorry if that's a downer. The American perspective looks for the short easy answer rather than the real answer. If we want European cycling participation & safety, we need European cultural supports--which include marvels like education in the public schools on how bicycles should operate as vehicles (even a child can learn easily how to the ride safely in the streets) and marvels like separate signal phases for cycle track users and motorists at intersections to reduce the hazards created by the segregation and marvels like (as you'll find in the link above) liability laws favoring cyclists and peds over motorists when things go wrong.  Work toward those things, I say.

Kudos to the city program for putting bike lane striping to the left of right- turning traffic at intersections (like on east bound Barton Springs east of S. 1st). That is 1st rate infrastructure. It helps cyclists and motorists understand the proper road positioning that helps to avoid collisions that occur with poor positioning. I would love to see more of that. More kudos for the MOPAC bridge access project. It isn't all we might hope for as "operators of vehicles," but it removes a very significant barrier for getting around by bike and the cost for what all we'd hope for would be truly astronomical.  These make cycling more attractive and safer and I support.  "Put up some protected bike lanes to attract new riders," I say and have said; but don't lead the newbies (or me, even) into danger unnecessarily--like don't put them where there are lots of intersections without doing something to prevent the hazards--stop signs, prohibited right turns, separate signals, routing cyclists back to the street before the intersection, something that has been shown to work!
 
Putting "cycling facilities"-- protected or unprotected-- to the right of right turning traffic violates the fine advice for making riding safer and more attractive found here:  http://bicyclesafe.com/  That advice is a good nutshell version of what you just described as pretending to be a little car.  But that phrasing is roughly just trolling, isn't it?  Just like saying I take "potshots" at "every idea and effort" and that I've nothing to offer in the alternative. Not all is negative; some nice things are being done.  I do post critiques of ideas and efforts against the interests of cyclists and wannabe cyclists and I try to support the critiques with research or expert opinion rather than rely on my own thinking, wishful or otherwise.  Compare this illustration http://www.austintexas.gov/prioritylanes  with this illustration http://bicyclesafe.com/ (collision type 5, red light of death) and explain to me why the striping directing cyclists to stay to the right of turning traffic at an intersection is better than simply having the bus, bikes, and right turns only share a single lane (which works well in San Antonio among many other places).  Was that a "potshot" just then?  Or did I suggest a positive way to improve the plan?

Positively, I endorse this approach -- http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/200 … community/ and this approach http://bicyclesafe.com/  and this approach http://ohiobike.org/obf-cfc.html (may we get such a program here!) .  They are grounded in the real world experience of cyclists all over the world.  See http://cyclingsavvy.org/2012/05/couch-p … -0-months/ .  German urban biking is way up while barrier-separated infrastructure projects are way down (Munich 1996 at 6%; 2011 at 17%).  http://bikeportland.org/2013/05/16/jan- … ways-86843 It worked in Davis, CA, where there's a 19.1% bike commuting percentage (compare Portland at 6%).  Davis does the infrastructure largely right.  The new German approach works well.  Why wouldn't we emulate that instead of the current "protected cycle track" craze in US? Why would any of that be some sort of buzzkill for you?

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