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VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L  February 2007

VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L February 2007

Subject:

Re: Stuart Richards' Comments

From:

Bud Haas <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Bud Haas <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 10 Feb 2007 11:43:38 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (374 lines)

Lem:
All I can say, is Right On!
Please keep repeating these thoughts to whomever you can.
(Dave: It's great to see the Bike Policy Listserve come alive after some 
years of quiet)
Bud

Lem Mason wrote:
> 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]>
>> Reply-To: "David W. Jacobowitz" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: [VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L] Stuart Richards' Comments
>> Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 09:57:20 -0500
>> MIME-Version: 1.0
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>>
>> 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 it¹s 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,  ³The State of 
>> Vermont
>> provides safe, convenient and accessible conditions for bicyclists and
>> pedestrians of all ages and abilities.²   The statement should read, 
>> ³The
>> State of Vermont seeks to provide safe, convenient, enjoyable and
>> accessible
>> conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and 
>> abilities.²   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
>> ³enjoyable²
>> 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
>> ³enjoyable² 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 Vermont¹s
>> 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
>> ³standard² 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 ³accommodate²  in line 3 to ³promote²
>> and add the
>> word ³usage.²
>>
>> 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,
>> you¹ve
>> made a good start, now it¹s 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] with the word "help" in the 
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>
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> ==========
> VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L: The Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Policy 
> Discussion List
> Subscription control: 
> http://list.uvm.edu/archives/vtbikepedpolicy-l.html.
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>
>

==========
VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L: The Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Policy Discussion List
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