Dear All,
     David, thanks for the correction about Colchester Ave.  Because I never say that street's name, it wasn't firmly in my brain.
     Burlington and all the other cities in the U.S. were developed long after the cities in western Europe and they have managed to squeeze in the off road bicycle facilities. The most inventive was the Mayor of Erlangen, Germany who was a Fullbright scholar who came to the states and studied Jane Jacobs and Lewis Mumford.  In the 70's he went back to Erlangen (a hospital and college city much like Burlington) and, after becoming Mayor, said, "Only buses and bikes."  Of course, cars still existed but he didn't creata major highways.  He had a very historic city with old homes and busineses against the sidewalk and had to determine how to still accommodate bikes.  His solutions included: 1) putting a two way cycle track on one sidewalk while the sidewalk on the other side of the street remained for pedestrians: 2) making a two way street one way and putting the cycle track on the other lane; 3) putting paths through parks to create important connections to destinations on the other side of the park; 4) making it possible to bike directly to the University and hospital (patients in wheelchairs went directly outside to gardens; 5) putting cycle tracks around the pedestrian city square so as not to bother the pedestrians but also not to slow down the bicyclist; providing cycle tracks to bike into the city center from the suburbs; and 6) putting in regular cycle tracks on both sides of the street.  Why can't Burlington do this and all the other cities in the U.S.? Paris and suburbs around Paris have done it in addition to The Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway. Some have said that cycle tracks need to be swept but there even are special narrow sweepers that can keep these facilities clean.
     We need to speak as one loud bike voice and champion facilities for all bicyclists.
Anne  
 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: [log in to unmask]
To: [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]
Sent: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 8:29 AM
Subject: Re: [VTBIKEPEDPOLICY-L] Stuart Richards' Comments

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 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
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