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Holy bike paths!

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Holy bike paths!

Postby jjoyce » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:34 am

Have you seen this yet?

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/ ... f887a.html

That sound you hear is the steam escaping from local conservatives' ear holes. Yet the interesting part of the story is:

White called the meeting "outstanding" because it tried to address some big issues such as road rage between bicyclists and motorists.
"What we really want to work with the county on is, how can we reduce the tension out there on the rural roads? How can we make the rides better for cyclists without causing disruption and problems for people who call those rural areas home?" White said.


I was on the Badger State Trail over the weekend, through Fitchburg, and it has to be a huge improvement over riding on Seminole Hwy. and Fish Hatchery (I've never ridden on either). The truth is that a lot of people around here bike, whether the conservatives choose to admit it or not, and there needs to be accommodations for them. Neither bicyclists nor motorists like the shoulder bike lanes.
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby ArturoBandini » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:55 am

I don't see any reason why "conservatives" should be against bike path infrastructure. There is a conservative argument to be made about cost and public spending, but that would apply to automobile infrastructure too. I like the paths, although I still ride on the roads if I venture out of the city limits.
How can we make the rides better for cyclists without causing disruption and problems for people who call those rural areas home?" White said.
Regarding tension on rural roads - I don't really get it. Under what circumstances does a cyclist create tension that isn't wholly within the mind of the driver of the car/truck? At worst, a driver might need to wait to pass until a cyclist has crested a hill (because of visibility issues), but otherwise, the delay caused by a few cyclists in the road shouldn't be more than 15 seconds. I suppose a lot of this tension is due to a urban/rural cultural divide, rather than a design problem with the shared infrastructure.
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:25 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:Regarding tension on rural roads - I don't really get it. Under what circumstances does a cyclist create tension that isn't wholly within the mind of the driver of the car/truck?


Failing to follow proper road etiquette and laws are about the only legitimate reasons I can think of, but members of both groups are guilty of that. The only law I think cyclist break on a far greater number (and more blatantly) than motorist would be stop signs.

Nice news for Dane county though, I wish Milwaukee had 1/4 of the bike paths that Madison does.
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby rabble » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:35 pm

jjoyce wrote:I was on the Badger State Trail over the weekend, through Fitchburg, and it has to be a huge improvement over riding on Seminole Hwy. and Fish Hatchery (I've never ridden on either).

I used to ride fish hatch a lot. Crossing the beltline in either direction is the only time that I'll just refuse to ride in the road and take to the sidewalk even if it means I have to get off and walk it around the pedestrians. That crossing is just plain suicide for a cyclist.
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby jjoyce » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:37 pm

Sociologically, you're maybe right. But for exactly the same reasons that a dog walker or stroller on the bike path will get under a cyclist's skin, a bike on a road without shoulders gets under a driver's skin, especially when the bikes aren't single file.

It happens. Nobody's perfect. I think local bikers and motorists need to be listeners in this discussion, stop making values judgments and stop letting talk radio dictate the tenor of the debate. We all know the reason why conservatives oppose bike paths: because courageous cultural warriors like Mitch Henck and Vicki McKenna tell them to.

Any logical discussion reveals that if you don't want bikes on the rural roads without shoulders, then you need more bike paths. And if you want to help Dane County become more of a destination for tourism, you need to build an industry around something we're already famous for: bicycling. It's not fishing or snowmobiling or golf... it's biking. That's what brings people here in the summertime to recreate. These discussions need to happen with less noise and more light, and that includes the hard-liners on bikies as much as the jerks in Escalades.
Last edited by jjoyce on Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby Kenneth Burns » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:04 pm

rabble wrote:I used to ride fish hatch a lot. Crossing the beltline in either direction is the only time that I'll just refuse to ride in the road and take to the sidewalk even if it means I have to get off and walk it around the pedestrians. That crossing is just plain suicide for a cyclist.


The Cannonball Path bridge will make crossing the Beltline less awful.
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby narcoleptish » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:16 pm

ArturoBandini wrote: Under what circumstances does a cyclist create tension that isn't wholly within the mind of the driver of the car/truck?


On a 55 mph road, coming upon a cyclist that is probably going 20-25 causes you to hit the brakes, backing up traffic behind you that now looks at you as at least half the problem as they sit 6 feet off your rear bumper contemplating going for the pass before you do. Traffic coming the other way is still going 60 mph making it harder to judge the distance you need to accelerate and pass. Throw in curves and hills and I think you can have a fairly tense situation.
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby Remember_Me » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:36 pm

Combining bicyclists with thousands upon thousands of speeding glass and steal has NEVER been a good idea.

Bikes need their own dedicated and separate infrastructure.

Period.

I'm sick of sharing the roads with idiot motorists.

And I'm sick of sharing the road with idiot bicyclists as a motorist.

Image
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:40 pm

Remember_Me wrote:Combining bicyclists with thousands upon thousands of speeding glass and steal has NEVER been a good idea.

Bikes need their own dedicated and separate infrastructure.

Period.

I'm sick of sharing the roads with idiot motorists.

And I'm sick of sharing the road with idiot bicyclists as a motorist.

Yeah, it's one of those things where even if 99 out of 100 motorists or bicyclists follow the rules of the road, that 1 out of 100 can cause a terrible accident.
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby Meade » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:45 pm

jjoyce wrote:That's what brings wealthy white people here in the summertime to recreate.

What's with the racialization of the issue? And that's on top of JJoyce's need to make the issue ideological in the third paragraph of his opening post. Non-white/white, conservative/non-conservative? Is that really helpful? And then he says: "These discussions need to happen with less noise and more light[...]"

Oh really?
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby DCB » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:23 pm

jjoyce wrote: Neither bicyclists nor motorists like the shoulder bike lanes.

It may be an unpopular opinon, but I generally don't mind bike lanes. As a taxpayer, I think adding a few feet of asphalt to an existing road is more cost effective than building a separate path. And probably environmentally better, too. I think they are a good solution in urban situations.

But then, I like all-of-the-above solutions for transporations (bike lanes, separate bike paths, trains, buses, .....)
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby Kenneth Burns » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:35 pm

DCB wrote:It may be an unpopular opinon, but I generally don't mind bike lanes. As a taxpayer, I think adding a few feet of asphalt to an existing road is more cost effective than building a separate path. And probably environmentally better, too. I think they are a good solution in urban situations.


On a busy street I'd rather use a bike lane than not, but I'm grateful that most of my commute is on the beautiful Southwest Path. Compared to biking on the street, biking on the path feels calmer and safer. It's true that on the street you tend not to encounter one of the menaces of the bike path: overeager salesmanship on the part of cute little kids running lemonade stands.
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby jjoyce » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:31 pm

The remark about wealthy white people was regrettable and I changed it.

But I didn't make up the stuff about conservatives hating all things bike-related. It's well documented. They hate it when the bike paths get plowed and they hate it when bicyclists don't come to a full stop at stop signs. It's cultural and peculiar.

http://youtu.be/_74ayHGOLE8
http://www.ibwisconsin.com/Blogs/In-Biz ... o-love-em/
http://haguester.posterous.com/talk-sho ... ikes-again
http://www.isthmus.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=49135
http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/10/gop-hates-bikes
http://earthfirst.com/walking-riding-bi ... publicans/
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby pjbogart » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:38 pm

I'm wondering if that NW Hwy 12 trail would go all the way to Devil's Lake? I've taken the Military Ridge all the way to Dodgeville, but I recommend turning around after Ridgeway as the rest of the way was poorly kept and generally poor scenery. Mt. Horeb to Barneveld is probably the best part of the trail.
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Re: Holy bike paths!

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:42 pm

People often see the choices others make as taking resources away from the choices they make. Such as plowing bike paths takes away resources from plowing roads. Or spending money on building bike paths translates to taking longer to fix potholes on city streets. But really we need to consider the entire transportation network and how different travel modes can co-exist.

I tell anti-bike motorists this: every extra bike on a bike trail means one less motorist on the road getting in your way and slowing you down. More bikers, less roadway congestion. Everybody wins.
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