[Carfreeliving] bike paths and columbus
Jessica ter Schure
jterschure at nelsonnygaard.com
Thu Aug 25 17:07:37 MDT 2005
I know that maybe this is not a discussion I should get into, since I have only lived in the US for about a year and have lived my entire life in Sweden, and for the last 10 years in Lund, one of the largest university towns in Scandinavia. Lund has an excellent pedestrian and bicycle network, something I had no idea I appreciated so much until I moved here. I didn't even get a driver license until I was 27, because wherever I wanted to go I could either take the bike or transit. I know this is true for many of my fellow colleagues here as well, although I don't know if I have the courage to bike in the City, yet.
Anyway, what I want to say is that in Lund and the rest of Europe it works really well with a bike path/sidewalk next to the street (different surface treatments, usually asphalt for the bikeway, and pavers for the sidewalk, and a brick divider between the two). At each intersection there are separate bike and ped signals (and buttons) with separate crossing treatment. Another solution is to let the bike path turn into a bike lane 100 yards or so before the intersection, with a bike box in front of all the cars (which has been tested and implemented in a few places in the US as well). In the Netherlands, bikers more or less always have separate green light from the traffic. I don't know if these types of treatments may seem like too much of "utopia" here, but it is working all across Europe. I know red turn on right is completely messing this up, but is it impossible to move away from this type of right-turn?
Well, this is all from me now!
Jessica ter Schure
Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates
785 Market Street, Suite 1300
San Francisco, CA 94103
415.284.1544, fax 415.284.1554
From: Carfreeliving-bounces at livablecity.org [mailto:Carfreeliving-bounces at livablecity.org]On Behalf Of Mike Sallaberry
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:36 PM
To: 'Carfree Living'
Subject: [Carfreeliving] bike paths and columbus
Today's very busy for me, but I do want to reply to this statement:
"Bike lanes are great, but they are still not as safe as bike paths or segregated bike lanes."
Not true...it's just not true. They can be great in midblock locations, but what happens when these segregated paths get to the intersections? Bike paths seem nicer, but in the US and other countries they have proven to be less safe than bike lanes. More sexy and pretty, yes; more safe, no.
I just skimmed this email...I agree with the thoughts about Columbus (which has transit, so we need to be careful about really reducing capacity): remove all the on-street parking, replace some or all of the parking with a couple small garages at the north and south end of the street (to placate the businesses), expand the sidewalks by 3' and stripe bike lanes, or expand the sidewalk by 7' and stripe the right lane in both directions as a shared bus and bike lane. The sidewalks along Columbus are pathetic! They need to be wider...I think the businesses along the street would agree with that, but perhaps only if they are assured that garages replace the parking. Two relatively small garages strategically placed to intercept the traffic before it enters the commercial district, with with electronic guide signs that indicate occupancy to motorists and guide them as quickly as possible to an available space. Anyone who's tried to park in N Beach knows that so much of that traffic must be people circling around for 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes looking for a space...catch them at the edge before they get into the neighborhood. Some side/cross streets could be made into woonerven too to slow traffic to 10 mph and blur the sidewalk/street interface.
Michael Sallaberry, P.E.
Associate Transportation Engineer
San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic
25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 345
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 554 2351
(415) 554 2352 (fax)
Bicycle Hotline (415) 585-BIKE
"Dan Krause" <dankrause at rescuemuni.org>
Sent by: Carfreeliving-bounces at livablecity.org
08/25/2005 09:41 AM
"'Carfree Living'" <Carfreeliving at livablecity.org>
RE: [Carfreeliving] Will LA leapfrog San Francisco?
Fasinating conversation. I agree with everyones comments oddly enough.
I think good things are happening in SF. I see new bike lanes
everywhere and we have started really pushing for better transit.
Affordable housing is problem but we probably do more than anywhere else
in the western u.s. And I love that we are all starting to think about
the beauty of our physical environment for all. On the other hand, as
an activist, I am constantly running into a fear of really bold thinking
from SF bureacrats and even many of us activists. We need to start
design stuff that really kicks ass and demand an end to the mediocre
thinking from our leaders. I am constantly struggling against poor
designs for new transit projects. Bike lanes are great, but they are
still not as safe as bike paths or segregated bike lanes. The excuse is
always there is not enough money to do what we really want to. Well I
believe with a strong vision and total commitment money seems to
materialize. I believe the we have crisis of vision in America and
while SF is much better than most places we still get disempowered as we
fight over the crumbs MTC and others offers us. What if we all got
together and lobbied MTC as hard as other surbuban and South Bay leaders
do? What if we started a movement to increase new starts money at the
federal level for transit and lobbied for more money for bikes and peds.
Instead we spend most of our time fighting over the crumbs offered to us
while the paving of America goes on, and that is where the real money
Lets get bold! Someone said center bike lanes curbed off from traffic.
Great. Can we somehow build a bike path that extends west from the
panhandle paths to downtown by taking an auto lane on fell and oak? How
about BRT projects that can be easily converted to super-rapid rail
projects later after we go get more money. How about one lane of auto
traffic along Columbus through the heart of north beach allowing us to
widen the sidewalks, while adding a bike lanes . Lets put and end to
mediorcre thinking now.
Managing Director, Rescue Muni
105 San Jose Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94110
415/826-1219 (p) 415/826-3362 (f)
dankrause at rescuemuni.org
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