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VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L  February 2007

VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L February 2007

Subject:

Re: Stuart Richards' Comments

From:

"Lustgarten, David" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Lustgarten, David

Date:

Mon, 12 Feb 2007 08:29:09 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (438 lines)

Hi Anne,

This is David from Burlington, VT. I like your ideas very much, and your
rationale. Just one correction; the project is on Colchester Ave. not
Dorchester! (Dorchester, Colchester, Worchester ¡© it can get confusing!) And
yes, it is not well liked because it is very ambiguous, not to mention
incomplete; bikes are off the road and then on the road. Car drivers don¡¯t
know what to expect. But it does give the wary cyclist a safer means on a
the most dangerous section of the 4-lane road, so it does get used
extensively by both cyclists and pedestrians.

We are faced with very tight road dimensions from the start here in
Burlington; the battle to get more space for bikes is a big one, especially
for those of us who envision a reasonable mass-transit system, (similar to
the ones pretty much every country in the developed world have.) That,
combined with a means to move bicycles in from the outlying areas (as
Portland, Oregon has, I believe,) would be ideal. We¡¯re working on it!

Thanks for your initiative here.

David Lustgarten
Burlington Bicycle Council member


On 2/10/07 10:44 AM, "Anne Lusk" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Lem and All,
> Lem, the arguments you make are very valid for individuals who are
> comfortable biking in the road. The issue, as you pointed out, is if we only
> provide the road, we won't increase the numbers of riders. The real problem
> is if we also just increase the numbers of bike lanes in the road, we also
> won't increase the numbers of riders because riding on a bike lane in the road
> to many bicyclists really means biking in the road with all the cars. Car
> drivers tend to not be deterred by that white line that is lying flat on the
> ground and drivers pass cars using that lane, use that lane to turn right,
> naturally use that lane to parallel park, and also use that lane to double
> park. Therefore, when it is proposed that we create a "network of bicycle
> facilities by connecting off road shared use paths with on road bike lanes,"
> the default user is the on road bicyclist and not the off road path user who
> is not comfortable riding with the cars.
> The reason for bringing this up is our health crisis and even the recently
> announced diet pill won't solve the obesity epidemic the way physical activity
> will. The best physical activity doesn't involve going to the gym once a week
> but building physical activity into your daily life. If you can walk or bike
> to the store, work, or school as a routine part of the day, you are guaranteed
> to burn the calories that day. And obesity is all about calories in and
> calories out "each day." We can even eat that midnight snack if we haven't
> eaten much food all day because it just is a matter of how many calories you
> consumed that day versus how many you burned.
> Yes, we want to keep the already-fit-on-road-and-bike-lane bikers biking
> but we also need to find ways to get the "other" populations biking. They do
> it in other countries and they have settlement patterns similar to our
> villages in Vermont.
> I do hope Vermont would be the creative state and try to be inventive in
> relation to biking. The Dorchester Street example in Burlington, that was not
> well liked, is not what we are proposing because that just involved putting
> the bicyclists up on the sidewalk near the pedestrians. The cycle track
> designs can be copied from Europe and we could adopt their latest and most
> inventive designs. If you want to look at any of these progressive designs,
> google Odense, Denmark.
> Thanks,
> Anne
>
> Anne Lusk, Ph.D.
> Research Fellow
> Harvard School of Public Health
> 617-432-7076
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [log in to unmask]
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 10:18 AM
> Subject: Re: [VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L] Stuart Richards' Comments
>
> Thank you for sending out Mr. Richards email, Mr. Jacobowitz.
> I pretty much agree with everything he has to say. Because I
> could not attend the hearings in Montpelier due to work obligations
> I sent a long email to a Ms. Durcher(?? I think ?) about my thoughts
> on central VT biking as a year 'round commuter in the Rutland area.
> A battle will rage terminally between the 'Vehicular Cycling' proponents and
> the 'Gimme a nice shoulder or lane' people. I believe peoples reasons for what
> philosophy they support come from a combination of riding experience and
> inate comfort levels with traffic which can vary widely from region to region,
> state to state, etc.....
> I have been reading some very compelling arguments from both side of this
> issue in the other emails that have been circulating recently, too.
> As cyclists we are presented with a reality that is far different than the
> ideal 'The way it should be', one. I also believe that due to the
> afformentioned
> split in philosophies we do not present a united front in our efforts to try
> to
> get legislature, development plans etc, to go our way. There hasnt been a
> 'Promise Keepers/Million Cyclists' type ride to the Capitol or our own version
> of
> Stonewall, yet. We still remain a weak lobby.
> Here are my thoughts on the bicycle related issues presented in some of these
> emails. As individuals who are of a more thoughtful mindset I believe we are
> still going to be the ones who will have to make the most consessions no
> matter
> what happens. I do not want to see Vermont widen roadways or even repair
> some of them but realisticly, we need to ask ourselves will bike lanes get
> more
> people out and perhaps strengthen our numbers ?? As a commuter, I have
> heard two statements repeated to the point of inducing nausia whenever people
> find out I ride a bike for main transportation. Statement number one is :
> "are you crazy, you are going to get killed" and number two and one I can
> almost
> identify with : "Are you one of those ones who holds up traffic ?", and then
> the
> obligatory yarn about having to wait behind what was obviously a group of club
> riders
> who wouldnt yield on a back road. For the sake of brevity I will comment on
> these
> two statements and ones that over time I have come to believe a great insight
> as to
> what the non-cycling public thinks of us. The microcosm of the
> macrocosm.........
>
> BIKE LANES: I believe more people would at least try riding if they had a
> safer space
> to do it in. Experienced riders will ride vehicuarly if they want to but a new
> rider wont
> and really shouldnt. Even though I consider myself a fairly experienced rider
> I prefer lanes
> in an area they were available. I only consider them another option available
> to us though,
> not a firm 'you a belong over there' that some car drivers might mistakenly
> believe.
> Over time, well travelled riders may have forgotten how terrifying it is to be
> a new rider
> and get an unprovoked HONK or be crowded into a curb. A new rider may suffer
> far less
> of these assaults of uncivility in a dedicated lane.
> Having read great opinions on both sides of this issue, I want to say we need
> to do what
> will obviously get more people out but also having moved here to live in the
> spectacular
> beauty of Vermont it kills me anytime I see anything being built in rural
> areas, especially
> when Rutland itself is on the verge of collapse. But, I digress.........
>
> LAWS ~ HUMAN NATURE : Somehow it has become known to car drivers that they
> have exclusive rights to the road and we are lowly, second class citizens or
> DUI
> convicts who lost our right to drive. Mounting the bicycle, one is no longer a
> human.
> How dare we hold up important people with our stupid kids toy. Get a job, get
> a car !!
> Sadly enough, even law enforcement and political entities subconcously share
> this view
> to some degree. This is the reality we face and I dont believe it will ever
> change to a
> degree that will be totally acceptable to us. Like a hungry Crocodile, I
> personally dont
> believe a speeding BMW SUV with NY plates is a changable beast but I do
> believe that
> a stepped up program of law enforcement and PSA's might go a long way toward
> changing this. On a recent cross country trip up the whole east coast by car,
> I was
> amazed to see what people will voluntarily slow down for.....a wreck on the
> other side
> of a highway split by an acre of grass, a racecar on the back of a trailer
> etc, but, to
> momentarily slow for another human on a bike is incomprehensible, abstract
> theory.
> Laws already written give bicycles right-of-way in ALL traffic situations a
> car and bike
> might encounter at the same time. Drivers need to have this hammered into
> thier
> conciousness constantly. Tvs ads similar to those morbid drunk driving
> ones....having
> VT traffic violation tickets imprinted with 'Slow down, your infraction could
> have killed a
> cyclist/ped' perhaps.... "Kill a cyclist, go to prison"........Vt's cycling
> campaigns are far
> too soft and sugar coated and not in line with the severity of some of the
> hostilities
> that get visited upon daily riding, utilitarian cyclists regularly. It needs
> to be imparted
> harshly and constantly that cyclists not only have a right to the road but
> have the
> right-of-way to that road. If lawmakers can actually find time to write and
> expect police
> agencies to enforce such ridiculous and KGB inspired writs relating to smoking
> in a car
> and wearing seat belts they can and will have to find the time to write and
> fund/support
> useful legislation that will save our lives too. We (cyclists) need to look
> inwardly and
> change some of our behaviours too. Just as I would like to see cars pay
> monitarily for
> thier transgressions against us, bicycle riders who ride the wrong way up a
> street
> unlit at night or blow 4-way stop signs at rush hour need to pay also. We cant
> claim
> to have rights to the road and not act responsibly ourselves. The people who
> do this
> are not the people that share the same concerns we do or even care about
> car/bike
> relationships but these are the people care drivers remember when formulating
> an
> opinion of bicyclers. Also, I think club riders DO need to yield right-of-way
> out of
> courtesy and for the greater good of all when it is obvious cars are building
> up behind
> them. The public remembers this selfish behaviour also.....
> To sum up this this epic bore d'force that I apologise for having gone on for
> much longer
> than anticipated, I think we are going to have to give to get and the first
> priorities that
> need to be addressed are our safe travel through BL's -when approporiate- and
> long term,
> high exposure awareness campaign of changing the publics perception and lack
> of
> tolerance towards us. I offer these opinions respectfully and hope I have not
> offended
> anyone with them.
>
> Be safe,
>
> Lem Mason
> Proctor, Vt.
>
>> >From: "David W. Jacobowitz" <[log in to unmask]
>> <javascript:parent.ComposeTo("david.jacobowitz%40UVM.EDU", "");> >
>> >Reply-To: "David W. Jacobowitz" <[log in to unmask]
>> <javascript:parent.ComposeTo("david.jacobowitz%40UVM.EDU", "");> >
>> >To: [log in to unmask]
>> <javascript:parent.ComposeTo("VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L%40LIST.UVM.EDU", "");>
>> >Subject: [VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L] Stuart Richards' Comments
>> >Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 09:57:20 -0500
>> >MIME-Version: 1.0
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>> >X-OriginalArrivalTime: 06 Feb 2007 14:57:50.0220 (UTC)
>> >FILETIME=[2BB63CC0:01C749FF]
>> >
>> >Dear List,
>> >Stuart Richards has asked me to distribute his comments on the Ped
>> >Bike Plan.
>> >Dave
>> >==============
>> >STUART L. RICHARDS
>> >
>> >PO Box 156, #82 Elm Street
>> >Norwich, Vermont 05055
>> >Tel: 802-649-3928
>> >Fax: 802-649-3928
>> >
>> >
>> >February 4, 2007
>> >
>> >Mr. Scott Bascom, Planning Coordinator
>> >Policy and Planning Division
>> >VT Agency of Transportation
>> >National Life Building, Drawer 33
>> >Montpelier, VT 05633-5001
>> >
>> >Dear Mr. Bascomb:
>> >
>> >Re: Vermont Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan Executive Summary
>> >
>> >My comments are based on having lived in many different sized Vermont
>> >communities for the last 40 years, using my bicycle for both
>> >transportation
>> >and recreation. There is much in this plan that is encouraging to me
>> >as a
>> >pedestrian, bicyclist and motorist. Unfortunately, the lack of specificity
>> >in the plan will, in my view, keep it from accomplishing it©ös stated
>> >objectives. I hope you will pay close attention to the email that Rick
>> >Hubbard sent you since I agree with most of the points that he made,
>> >although perhaps he does not carry them quite far enough.
>> >
>> >First, the Vision statement is incorrect. It states, ©øThe State of >Vermont
>> >provides safe, convenient and accessible conditions for bicyclists and
>> >pedestrians of all ages and abilities.©÷ The statement should read, ©øThe
>> >State of Vermont seeks to provide safe, convenient, enjoyable and
>> >accessible
>> >conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.©÷ >The
>> >reason for the change is that Vermont does not currently provide these
>> >conditions but hopes to in the future. I have added the word
>> >©øenjoyable©÷
>> >since unless conditions are enjoyable, attempts to promote bicycling
>> >and
>> >pedestrian activity will be much less successful. Similarly, throughout
>> >the
>> >document, wherever the word convenient is used, the word
>> >©øenjoyable©÷ should
>> >be used as well.
>> >
>> >This document fails to mention the importance of shoulders, crosswalks,
>> >storm drains, and guard rails. I am deeply disturbed by Vermont©ös
>> >continued failure to place at least 3 foot paved shoulders on ALL roads
>> >and
>> >the failure to require municipalities to include this in their town plans.
>> >Equally distressing is the elimination or minimization of paved shoulders
>> >where they previously existed when maintenance and replacement
>> >projects are
>> >undertaken. The placement of storm drains below road surfaces and
>> >the use
>> >of certain types of drains is a menace to cyclists. In addition, the guard
>> >rails most commonly used with their very sharp top edge are extremely
>> >dangerous to any cyclist, pedestrian or motorist who lands on that
>> >edge.
>> >There are guardrails made which have a broad, dull, less dangerous
>> >top
>> >edges. Or, if a different rail is not selected, why not modify the >existing
>> >©østandard©÷ rail so that the top edge does not menace anyone who
>> >makes
>> >contact with it?
>> >
>> >Crosswalks and sidewalks are important for pedestrian safety. There
>> >should
>> >be more of them and specific numbers, requirements and standards
>> >should be
>> >established and listed in this plan.
>> >
>> >Based on years of observation, many guard rails are being installed
>> >with no
>> >space between the pavement edge and the guardrail. This type of
>> >installation for both new and replacement guardrails forces the cyclist or
>> >pedestrian toward the dangerous, traveled portion of the road.
>> >Wherever
>> >possible, all guardrails should be installed at least two feet from the
>> >pavement edge and the policy should state this.
>> >
>> >Lastly, the Policy Statement says: At each stage of planning, design,
>> >construction, implementation, operations and maintenance activities,
>> >VTrans-funded projects and programs, wherever reasonably feasible,
>> >should
>> >accommodate PROMOTE pedestrians and bicyclists USAGE. New
>> >projects, road
>> >reconstruction projects and capacity improvements will maintain or
>> >improve
>> >existing access and conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists. Please
>> >consider changing the word ©øaccommodate©÷ in line 3 to ©øpromote©÷£¿
>> >and add the
>> >word ©øusage.©÷
>> >
>> >Thank you very much for considering my comments and thank you also
>> >for the
>> >time and effort expended and still to be expended to attempt to
>> >promote
>> >bicycle and pedestrian use. Your efforts and those of your colleagues
>> >and
>> >associates are very much appreciated. As Rick Hubbard has noted,
>> >you©öve
>> >made a good start, now it©ös time to get down to the specifics and
>> >details,
>> >without which the Plan is likely to fail.
>> >
>> >Sincerely,
>> >
>> >Stuart L. Richards
>> >
>> >SLR: mtf
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >==========
>> >VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L: The Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Policy Discussion
>> >List
>> >Subscription control: http://list.uvm.edu/archives/vtbikepedpolicy-l.html.
>> >For help: email [log in to unmask]
>> <javascript:parent.ComposeTo("listserv%40list.uvm.edu", "");> with the word
>> "help" in the message >body.
>
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