Wednesday, November 12, 2008

[Cyclelicious] New comment on A United Front.

Yokota Fritz has left a new comment on your post "A United Front":

Part of my purpose in publishing this blog is to recognize cycling as a safe activity. I'm okay with facilities; I'm not okay with the fear mongering that sometimes accompanies facilities promotion.

Fully segregated paths can be very nice -- many of the bike paths that Anthony (the author of this post) uses in Boulder County, for example, are excellent. When I lived there I was among many excited about the prospect of the (not yet completed) LoBo trail. Monterey County has a wonderful coastal bike path. I'm excited about the prospect of the 70 mile Sonoma Marin trail that voters in those counties approved on Nov 4.

An issue we're fighting in San Jose, CA right now, though, is planning for segregated sidepaths in the downtown area, and fear mongering is a big part of the promotion being used by the facilities fans. It might seem a little daunting riding past crowded 10 mph downtown traffic, but it's actually pretty safe there. The only accidents that occur in downtown San Jose are in intersections, and these are precisely the kinds of collisions that will increase with the construction of these paths.

The reason some VC advocates vociferously oppose and mock facilities is the supposition that the presence of bike paths will erode our rights on the road. Santa Cruz CA, for example, has a network of bike paths and lanes, but the motorists in Santa Cruz are very aggressive and dangerous when I ride on the roads there. I take the lane on the Alameda and El Camino Real in Santa Clara County, however, with no problems at all.

Back to Anthony's thesis: Can VC and P&P people coexist? Of course -- we've been doing that for years in California with varying levels of success. Some of us VC people sometimes get uptight on the minutiae of designating Class 1, 2, and 3 bike facilities and how local governments stripe the sides of the roads, but that kind of activity keeps planners honest, IMO.

Posted by Yokota Fritz to Cyclelicious at 11/12/2008 10:36:00 AM