The Chainlink

"A cycle route is judged based on its weakest point and people will not get out of their cars and onto their bikes if they do not feel that they have a safe route to follow … Instead, the quality of the route is often sacrificed to minimize the perceived impact on car users. This results in the route being unattractive to potential new users and therefore not likely to generate modal shift.”

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agree to always disagree with you on this topic. I am pro-protected bike lanes with concrete dividers. As drivers become more and more distracted with phones, other devices, alcohol, etc. I don't want them anywhere near the bike lanes I ride in. This idea of "freedom" from bike lanes you are always arguing for? I argue that just for a few people (I've really only heard men say it) arguing against bike lanes, it's not worth losing lives and alienating the other 99% of the bike riding population. We want adequate protection. No amount of grumpy will get me to believe you are better off without bike lanes. Montrose is a terrible street to ride on. Why? No bike lanes and biking discouraged. Just rode on it last week and had multiple drivers on phones weaving very close to me, not paying attention. Where are our safe accommodations? Pedestrians and cyclists deserve better than that.

You assume I don't ride effectively and that's what makes it more dangerous. I couldn't disagree more. It's not about me. It's not about me wearing reflective clothing, changing my riding behavior, not being "meek". This wrong-mindedness is why drivers get light sentences. You fall into the trap of calling them "cars" "SUVs" "buses" and NOT drivers. Yes, there is shared responsibility BUT there's only so much a cyclist can do to protect ourselves. We are ultimately sitting ducks if there's nothing between us and the drunk or smartphone distracted driver. Someone pretty awesome died in DC who could not have been less meek, could not have been a better cyclist and he was killed by a driver speeding on a street that had no safe accommodations. The world has a big gaping hole where he left us. He left a daughter and spouse behind. I will always argue for protected bike lanes. And not those stupid plastic things, proper concrete. I've been on those PBLs and it's the most enjoyable ride I've ever had. Stress is overrated. I am not meek but I am also not invincible. Taking an all-caps from you... PROTECTED BIKE LANES FOREVER. EVERYONE DESERVES SAFE ACCOMMODATIONS. 

I 100% agree with you Yasmeen. We have this false equivalency that as bikers we can only ride in PBL's or on the street. We accommodate drivers of different levels and therefore should do the same for bikes. But let me throw this out there for you: I believe that people are afraid to bike because they are also afraid to drive. I spent 10 years talking to cyclists and motorists and THEY ARE ALL SCARED. How many times did I hear a driver say "I'm afraid of what would happen if there were bikes aroun? A LOT. It's great that people are concerned, but they don't see that they are the cause of the fear. I believe the need for multi-modal travel is self-evident and so simple that people don't believe it. 

Interesting. That sounds a lot like articles I've read about the younger population not wanting to drive because it's too much responsibility so they prefer public transportation or bikes to cars. 

I've read that and experienced that too, but the refrain of fear was from every age.

It's a huge responsibility and it's become more dangerous.

SUVs are getting bigger and more people are driving these large vehicles with huge blind spots. Studies show that driving around in an SUV can make drivers less connected to their surroundings. Less aware. Now add in distractions. Now add marketing that tells people they will be more safe in a large SUV. The auto industry is and has been pretty terrible. 

On the flip side, as the article mentions, so many people are going 1-2 miles in a car because they don't feel they can get their safely on a bike. If we had safe accommodations, more people would likely be inclined to choose a bike. Less cars on the roads. 

"So do you want to eliminate miles of street parking on Montrose, in order to pour concrete walls, and build protected bike lanes for you, and your meek friends?  Really?"


Too much emphasis on the importance of parking imo. Why does parking get prioritized above the safety of cyclists? 

Like it or not drivers outnumber cyclists, and until that changes parking will keep its importance.

Forrester Fanatic,

Yes, cycling should be accessible to everyone, *even* those "meek" people who are not so brave as you are. You and your manly cohort are, as always, free to brawl it out with cars and their drivers if you like. The rest of us will keep working to keep changing reality rather than accepting the shortcomings that currently exist, and make cycling accessible to as many people as possible. Especially the "meek". 

well said. Thank you.

I think the concept that a bike route is as good as it's weakest link still holds but what  is a weak link is  subjective. In general a route  that has a portion on  a street  such as  Ashland or Western or any other  fast street with no place at  all  for cyclists is very weak. I once saw Randy Neufeld riding  on  Dempster St.  in Skokie and asked  him  about  it.  He was riding only one block  to a store on Dempster very aware of his  choice.  It is not  a place  for bikes but he had  his  eyes  open and  the  skill to deal  with his choice. I know  a very experienced cyclist who is  never happy on roads and always prefers trails. I know lots of suburban  riders who feel a sense  of claustrophobia  when  on  a  lane in the city where they are still vulnerable to car doors.  We all have our comfort  levels.   We all have  our issues. I am pretty comfortable on  most  streets without regard to lanes, Yasmeen, an urban  warrior, as she wrote,  feels differently and  prefers a bike lane especially in  the age of distraction.  Either way,  the  more  we plan for  cyclists and the more we plan roads and routes for the average cyclist and not  for me or Yasmeen or  CLP the more we get citizen  riders out there and the more we get  people to shift modes from  cars to  bikes. Most  of us who read this forum are easy. Give  us a good road  without too many potholes and  with 3 feet of  clearance in the city and we are good. Until we are designing  roads and lanes,  urban and  suburban  areas that will be  good for a middle school kid or  for our less bike savvy friends we are going  to  have  too many motorized  trips. When  bikes become more  of  a norm the drivers will  be  less  impatient as they will  know  it is simply going  to take them  more  time as the world is no longer  revolving around them.  I  can I will keep my eyes open for  now as drivers seem  to be playing  a video game  and scoring  points each time one of us hits the pavement.  



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