Module 2 – Content suggestions and additional readings

Home Forums Module 2 – Linear Infrastructure: Lanes, Paths, and Streets Module 2 – Content suggestions and additional readings

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    • #25967
      George Liu
      Keymaster

      Do you have suggestions for the ordering of our content or interesting materials related to this module? Post your links here and you may well see it added to the course!

    • #26075
      Arnout Boelens
      Participant

      Hi George and Lior,

      For roads where there is currently no cycling infrastructure, how would you measure latent demand? I am asking this for the last assignment of this week. Considering there are multiple schools, a mall, and a university along this road (Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto, CA), I am expecting that a lot of people would use this route, if good cycling infrastructure were present. However, currently there is only a sidewalk.

      Thanks,

      Arnout

      • #26090
        George Liu
        Keymaster

        Hi Arnout, yes, this looks like your classic “stroad”. As neither Lior nor I are traffic engineers, we’ve focused on the urban design side of bicycle infrastructure. You could define latent demand as a decreasing function of travel distance, but this would be roughly true for all modes, and an easy counterargument would be that people drive now, and people will always drive. There would be slim evidence for your imagined case in an imagined world with better cycling infra. Perhaps more convincing to stress our responsibility to create safe streets and pleasant environments for people outside of motor vehicles? A minimum level of provisions even if only a handful of people use those provisions? In other words, taking an idea like Vision Zero seriously. I find this a thoughtful read: https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2018/2/2/forgiving-design-vs-the-forgiveness-of-slow-speeds

    • #26096
      Arnout Boelens
      Participant

      Hi George, thanks for sharing that link! The interesting thing is, that there is a realization that there needs to be a bicycle connection, but an unwillingness to remove car lanes. There have been proposals making a bicycle path on the sidewalk:

      https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civicax/filebank/documents/53341

      Since the assignment is to imagine what you would do if there were no constraints, it seemed that the logical thing to do is to give the whole street protected bike lanes.

      • #26129
        Lior Steinberg
        Keymaster

        Correct me if I’m wrong, Arnout, but what I see in this plan is a pedestrian path between the road and the cycling path?

        The “unwillingness to remove car lanes” leads to bad solutions. I’m sure that your suggestion, at the last module, will look better!

    • #26135
      Arnout Boelens
      Participant

      Hi Liors, yes, that is correct. Also, the supposedly bi-directional lane is only a couple of feet wide…

      It is weird in a way. The city is quite progressive, they have a 10 year bicycle plan to develop the bicycle network, there is an advisory committee on pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and they have the policy goal to increasing walking and biking and reduce driving. Some bike projects work out well, but generally they keep hiring traffic engineers and consultants that come up with really quite bad plans. Even more so, when you participate in a meeting for a new infrastructure design plan and tell the engineers/consultants that you need, for example, a certain turning radius for a cargo bike, you get ignored…

      Sorry for this rant. I’ll do my best to come up with something better!

    • #26201
      Andrew Russ
      Participant

      Arnout, I’m sure you’ve heard Brent Toderian’s phrase “You don’t decide where to build a bridge by counting the number of people swimming the river”. Presumably the sidewalk is used? But how could you have predicted how many people would use the sidewalk before it existed?

      The fact is suppressed demand is a thing whether talking about motor vehicles or cycling. Fear of traffic is very definitely a thing. Most people will no more cycle if they have to mix with trucks, or even cars (@ pre COVID volumes), than they would walk down the middle of the road. Sometimes providing cycling infrastructure is an act of faith.

    • #26215
      Arnout Boelens
      Participant

      It makes sense you don’t count the number of swimmers, but it would till be nice to have an educated guess whether you need a 2 m wide bike lane or a 4 m wide lane.

      I actually found this website for England ans Wales:

      http://www.pct.bike

      It gives suggestions for bike routes based on current commuting patterns and hilliness. I was hoping there was a quicker method to get an estimate instead of porting this tool for the Bay Area.

    • #26224
      Dermot Hanney
      Participant

      Hi George and Lior,

      I feel one issue that comes up more in the UK than the Netherlands is how and when to mix buses with cycling.

      I think it would be helpful to understand from a street design literature perspective any analysis on whether 1. we should be happy to mix cycling and buses on the same corridor and 2. if yes, is there a threshold that bus starts to overwhelm cycling? A simple question for me would be can a Bicycle Street still be so if it also has a bus service using it?

      Another subtle issue is that of Shared Space vs Bicycle Priority Streets. I think it would be helpful if there was a table to outline commonalities and differences between the two concepts, especially something to present to others on the subject.

      Thanks!

    • #26307
      Padmadip Joshi
      Participant

      The existing cycling infrastructure near my neighborhood is of Hard category.  But it seems due to encroachments, and lack of awareness amongst the citizens. It is neither being used nor helping in reducing traffic from the streets. In fact facilities like Schools, Fuel Stations are making it even harder for citizens to even cross from that portion.

      I request you to please share insights to design such pockets on the route to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.

       

      Also, I would love to see more things on the presentation while recording the classes from Instructors. It makes things more clear at the time of watching the videos.

      Thank You,

      Padmadip

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