Miraculous Safety Toilet Plungers Fix Fifth Avenue Mixing Zones For Just $4.99

Members of the Transformation Department put out plungers on Fifth Avenue to demonstrate the danger of unprotected mixing zones. Photo: Transformation Department
Members of the Transformation Department put out plungers on Fifth Avenue to demonstrate the danger of unprotected mixing zones. Photo: Transformation Department

It’s time to flush mixing zones down the toilet!

Activists “fixed” the city’s most controversial and dangerous intersection design in the simplest manner — deploying simple toilet plungers to keep cars out of a “mixing zone” on Fifth Avenue on Tuesday night — in the latest effort to highlight the de Blasio administration’s Vision Zero shortcomings and symbolically deposit them in the bathroom fixture evoked.

Mixing zones have been deployed for several years by the city to, theoretically at least, let drivers safely turn through bike lanes and give cyclists space to veer around them, but in practice lead to drivers almost running into cyclists and in some cases killing them. So on Tuesday night, before Transportation Alternatives’ die-in in Washington Square Park, members of the  Transformation Department deployed some well-placed toilet plungers near 10th Street as a barrier to give cyclists and drivers safe, conflict-free passage.

The activists, who comprise Twitter’s best-loved rogue government agency, said they “wanted to show how easy and inexpensive it is to fix this known danger.”

This bit of tactical urbanism forced drivers to choose: drive over a bunch of stuck up plungers or drive around them, which meant stopping to let a series of cyclists moving up the street go through the intersection first. And as the video evidence shows, the drivers waited and the cyclists took the light (and hey for you prescriptivists out there, don’t forget the people going straight through the intersection have the right of way over people turning).

Look at that! Instead of “balancing” the desire of motorists to get where they’re going as fast as possible without any hitch or speed bump, human or otherwise, the more vulnerable road users got where they were going safely.

The good news is that the DOT is moving away from mixing zones along First and Second avenues in Manhattan and Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn, in favor of semi-protected offset crossings. It’s a switch that the Transformation Department told us is “a huge improvement,” with just one caveat: “The problem is the pace of these improvements,” the group said over a DM. “Where they are happening, it’s only as streets get repaved. There’s nothing stopping DOT from moving faster.”

Another caveat: Not all drivers know exactly what to do at an offset crossing, as many of them veer too far into the side street on turns, blocking cyclists as they proceed — with the right of way! — straight. And the city’s own report — “Cycling at a Crossroads” [PDF] — is very clear that all intersections have shortcomings. One thing is certain: Cyclists say they feel more “comfortable” at offset crossings, the report showed.

  • John_Schubert

    So. . . when I discuss, with some careful rigor, actual crash causes. . . why does it get removed as spam?
    That’s not journalism. That’s propaganda.
    For the record, when I get comments to approve or disapprove on the Savvy Cyclist blog, I don’t disapprove comments just because I don’t like them.
    Here’s the so-called spam comment that was removed yesterday:
    ••••••••••••••••

    Dear Reader and Jame,

    1/ If you’re going to play the race card, you can start by noticing how pissed off my black friends are at white bicycle advocates — for working to remove parking for black churches in Washington DC, so they can have their exclusive bike lanes that aren’t being used on Sunday mornings. Arrogant gentrification, much?

    2/ Actually, I do study lessons from Europe. I have crash studies from Helsinki, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Berlin. They ALL show that crossing conflicts cause human tragedy.

    3/ I also study lessons from the U.S. In the 1960s, Davis CA put in barrier-semi-separated bike lanes. (I say “semi” because you have gaps in the barriers at intersections.) And they got increased crashes, meticulously recorded and reported on by the researchers Tardiff, Lott and Tardiff. Tardiff, Lott and Tardiff were bike lane advocates, but they wanted quality control in the designs. As a result of their work, those bike lanes were ripped out.

    4/ The same bike lane designs are now reappearing and causing crashes in other American cities. Columbus is spending a LOT of money to recreate the same serious injuries that Davis created a half century ago.

    5/ I don’t just count crashes. I look at what caused them. Because causes tell you what the countermeasures should be.

    Let’s use right hooks as an example.

    I started studying causes and crashes of bicycle crashes in 1973.

    In the 1970s, right hook fatalities were barely heard of.

    In the 1980s, right hook fatalities were barely heard of.

    In the 1990s, right hook fatalities were barely heard of.

    In the 2000s, after cities got brownie points for building bike lanes up to the curb, fatalities started making the news.

    In the 2010s, these fatal collisions became a leading cause of urban bicycle fatalities.

    So, in this example, building more coffin corners is not a countermeasure to stop these crashes.

    6/ “Protected” is a false promise. What you really do with so-called “protection” is hide the collision participants from each other until the moment of impact.

    7/ I resent our work being called an “ideology.” It isn’t.

    8/ Jame has a point about our infrastructure. We have broccoli subdivisions connected by huge traffic sewers. But Jame blows his point when he says it requires “superior handling skills” to ride there. No, it requires understanding and knowledge. That’s a huge difference. I teach timid elderly women to ride their bikes in traffic, and I do it without making athletes out of them.

    9/ Edge riding DOES require more bike handling skills than bicycle driver behavior. That is one of a hundred reasons we teach the benefits of driver behavior.

  • The design that was safer wasn’t the one used here, though it’s also fair to point out that the protected intersection design in that study also wasn’t what is created by the plungers.

  • ShatteredGlass00

    “What the Savy people are saying is act like a motorcycle without the engine/HP.”

    That’s more or less accurate, but you overlook the significant difference caused by the “without the engine/HP” caveat, particularly by quoting motorcycle crash statistics. Relatively high speed is a factor in most motorcycle crashes, precisely what is not the case for bicyclists who “act like a motorcycle without the engine/HP”.

    Bicycling with a mirror is the gold standard for learning in real time what a tremendous role lane positioning plays in determining how you are treated by faster traffic approaching from behind, and how much control you have in that, particularly when you “act like a motorcycle without the engine/HP”, and position yourself accordingly.

  • user1

    These increased collisions is probably from increased bicycle traffic.

  • user1

    In the 1970s, people using their bikes for transportation were barely heard of.

    In the 1980s, people using their bikes for transportation were barely heard of.

    In the 1990s, people using their bikes for transportation were barely heard of.

    In the 2000s, after cities got brownie points for building bike lanes up to the curb, number of people riding their bikes has increased.

    In the 2010s, number of cyclists increased even more.

  • user1

    That’s why I always walk in the middle of the road. In this way I’m better visible. Sidewalks are pure evil.

  • user1

    Note that vehicular cyclists are a product of the car-oriented environment. In countries where cycling is inviting for all people, they barely exist.

  • This claim about the Dutch system being “designed for slower speeds” just isn’t true. The urban minimum design speed is 30 km/h, which certainly isn’t an unreasonable speed for biking and of course, “light” mopeds which go faster have been allowed on them for decades (though yes, the bigger cities are now kicking them off due to rampant abuse of the system). Meanwhile, a legal e-bike in The NLs has a maximum assisted top speed of 25 km/h, which may I point out is lower than the design speed.

    The alleged “problems” with the e-bikes are due almost entirely to elderly individuals who have been on a regular pedal-only bike or perhaps haven’t ridden at all in a number of years getting on an e-bike that goes much faster than they could go under their own power and depending on the design, is less stable due to a battery stored above the rear wheel. As a result, they can’t handle the speed and/or have trouble balancing and unfortunately take a tumble. That certainly is something that the Dutch have been working on addressing, but it’s a drastically different problem than the “e-bikes are too fast for the bike facilities” claim that is implied.

    As for how the system came about, it was primarily activism, though it certainly helped that biking was still more wide-spread so there wasn’t necessarily the same level of bikelash because the general populace could actually envision themselves biking and perhaps even remembered doing so just a few years prior. Nevertheless, the main underpinnings of the Dutch system are infrastructure and the policies to promote and include it, not “culture” or any of the other ridiculous excuses. Dutch people aren’t magical beings, they die when hit by speeding traffic just like Americans do which is why they keep the speeding traffic away from bikes and vice versa and why there’s zero reason to believe that the same wouldn’t have similar benefits here.

  • There was an increase in traffic, but some collision types did increase far beyond the increase in traffic. However, subsequent research has identified better ways to design the intersections (i.e. what is usually known as the “protected intersection”) as compared to what is common in Copenhagen.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369847816300705

  • Yes, it perhaps works as a coping strategy for car-clogged traffic sewers, but it’s far from ideal.

  • It could just be a nomenclature issue as well. In the three decades where they were “barely heard of,” was that because they actually weren’t happening or because they just weren’t being given that specific term?

  • John_Schubert

    In addition to your censoring of facts, you invent facts of your own. Cycling in the US has been in steady decline for 30 years. A minor uptick in some cities (there were more city cyclists than you want to acknowledge in the 1960s 1970s and 1980s).
    Here’s a graph of the recent years of the decline of cycling.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b4e4ed06aaf4cf2f27302c849c480580c59b73366999ac15f6f20d91472e8f76.jpg

  • “Extremely well” is quite a subjective assertion, especially when there are tens of thousands of people bumping along sidewalks right now for whom that is also working “extremely well” for them and will continue to do so for years even though research supposedly suggests that they’re facing imminent danger.

  • John_Schubert

    If I induce someone to do something that kills him — like, say, ride his bike in the coffin corner and get crushed by a turning truck whose driver can’t see him — is that something to be proud of?
    We KNOW how to make cycling attractive and safe.
    This pushback against any quality control in cycling promotion is offensive.

  • John_Schubert

    User1, read the damn report. The collisions are generated by the facilities.
    Why so much resistance to the simple fact that it’s possible to design a dangerous facility? Even Mr. Norman, also commenting here, begrudgingly acknowledges that.

  • JL

    >it’s not that difficult to cycle using lane control on streets with high speed differentials.

    LoLing indeed.
    Please show us a video of a single cyclist “lane control” a crosstown one way street in the w30’s with a tour bus driver wolfing down a whopper or playing on the phone who’s going 10mph faster than you are.

    No need to drag a 4 year old with you. She’s adorable btw, but the 5 min video has only one vehicle pass and showed the mother rightfully distressed the truck passed less than her comfort level with a toddler in the bike seat. The camera person did not go further left to “shield” the mother/child. NYC drivers have a totally different mindset than the one in the “Savvy” video.

    >These have nothing to do with bicyclists practicing lane control or other driver behavior. This quote lacks even the slightest bit of context as to what caused the crashes.

    Motorcyclists need to control their lane at all times (by position/lights). There biggest safety concern like cyclists are drivers not knowing they are there. Other factors can be excess speed and homicidal drivers. Cyclists present even a smaller speck on a drivers visual scan/if they scan at all. A larger group of cyclists have a much stronger presence with more options. Many nearby NYC suburbs in north jersey and southern NY state have made it unlawful to ride 2 abreast which make solo riding in the left tire track even more ridiculous.

    >Nobody cares about what you do.

    I haven’t done any studies so I can only comment on my own experience of 25 years of actual riding in the NYC area and knowing 3 different club members (all very experienced, at least 2 with mirrors) who were all killed by hit and run drivers on roads without considerations for cyclists. One in Texas, one in NJ suburbs, one recently in Nassau county.

    The mixing zone fatality on First ave in NYC (the only one I know of) which really isn’t a mixing zone problem as the Truck Driver was coming from the far right lane across the ave to make a left turn which is like a west bound truck blowing a red light. She never had a chance.

    >You’re coming off as super self-centered.

    Well, I can’t help you there. We are what we perceive.

  • Most “vehicular cyclists” contrary to the misinformation spread on this website aren’t against all bicycling facilities. They’re against the ones that manufacture conflicts, restrict travel, and they’re against harsh discriminatory laws that don’t allow cyclists to act safely and predictably. NYC unfortunately has a lot of both – poorly designed infra that causes more problems than it solves, and some of the most restrictive “must use bike stuff” laws.

    Ah yes, the “we’re not against all bike facilities, just the bad ones” defense. It’s becoming increasingly clear to a growing number of people that that is just a stalling tactic and that in fact, outside of rail trails or similar situations, there aren’t actually any facilities solutions beyond sharrows that vehicular cyclists support.

    If you want to increase mode share, knock it off with all the negativity and learn how we all can use all the roads we have today to go places by bike. Then from where we can decide where and how much SAFE infrastructure we want.

    Literally any credible study on the topic continues to find that building infrastructure is an essential building block for increasing mode share. Short of a mass event that makes driving physically impossible for a large number of people, no amount of “education”/shaming is going to get them out biking in the current environment. The infrastructure changes must come first.

  • JL

    I do ride of left side crosstown BL or not. I use the jump and acceleration so I’m half way down the block before they even catch up. By that time, everyone is slowing anyway.

  • John_Schubert

    Actually, in those decades, there was a LOT of publicity about transportation cycling, and many of us were doing it then.
    First time I ever rode a bike to a job was 1971. That’s also the first year I went touring and the first (and only) time I won a bike race.

  • JoeDokes999

    Great to see people taking action in the face of car-privilege and government apathy. That’s a great idea – like the bike activists that used to paint bike lanes somewhere in Europe (I can’t remember where). The city would keep removing the markers but eventually gave in and supported them. People can make a difference – it just takes time.

  • But this was about the specific crash type, not whether there were people biking at all. Obviously, if the term hadn’t yet been coined, then there are not going to be instances of it being described.

  • user1

    I don’t see that decline from about 2006. Also, check streets with protected bike lanes instead of the whole country. Where protected bike lanes are installed, more people cycle – it’s simple.

  • Frank Krygowski

    So it’s simple – bicycle only where there are protected bike lanes? It’s too dangerous to bike anywhere else? Then you’re condemning over 4 million miles of roadway. You’re saying cycling is safe on only 1/100 of one percent of roads. Way to kill cycling!

  • Frank Krygowski

    To summarize: “Biking on ordinary streets is so dangerous! We need painted bike lanes!” So governments painted some bike lanes. “Biking in painted bike lanes is so dangerous! We need bike lanes protected by parked cars – or maybe toilet plungers!” So governments built some “protected” bike lanes. “Biking in ‘protected’ bike lanes is so dangerous at intersections (um, just like the engineers predicted) so we need PROTECTED intersections.”

    Why not just cut to the chase and demand elevated bicycle cloverleaf intersections at every street and driveway?

    More seriously – why pretend that riding a bike is terribly dangerous? It’s safer than walking, as data clearly show. Why continually scare people away from bicycling?

  • Frank Krygowski

    I think what the Dutch would do is begin about 800 years ago to settle in a dead flat area (a swamp, really) and build a dead flat city in an area with a very mild climate. They would go through a long era of prosperity to build up their super dense cities. Then about, oh, 150 years ago find themselves in less prosperous times. So they’d be able to afford lots of bicycles, and use them everywhere; but when motor vehicles became common, they’d be less able to afford them and they’d be already committed to bicycle use. Yes, they’d flirt with a car economy in the 1960s, but later be able to reject it because of a long history of bicycle culture. So the U.S. should go back in time and do the same! (Um… starting with changing the terrain and climate.)

    A serious question for those saying “The Dutch are the only ones doing this right!” – Why do you think ONE (or maybe 1.5?) out of about 200 nations in the world have built your utopia? The answer is, conditions there are pretty unique. Duplicating Amsterdam’s bike system is about as likely as duplicating Alaska’s dog sleds.

  • user1

    Yes, for most people it’s too dangerous to cycle on (main) roads which are designed only for a fast car traffic i.e. without protected bike lanes. Lack of safe cycling infrastructure kills cycling and cyclists.

  • Frank Krygowski

    The Dutch (and the Danes, as in the article in the link) ARE certainly discovering problems with their systems and changing their standards and rules. The most important example is the two-way “protected” bike lane on one side of the street. As Colville-Andersen says, Europeans now know it’s crazy. They are baffled that U.S. bike bike nuts think it should be the default design. Here’s the article:

    http://www.copenhagenize.com/2014/06/explaining-bi-directional-cycle-track.html

  • user1

    No need to scare people away from bicycling because they’re scared anyway. No protection from fast car traffic is what scares them.
    Also, data clearly shows that walking is terribly unsafe. It’s because walkers are not visible and are using unsafe crosswalks when drivers don’t expect them. That’s why sidewalks should be removed and people should walk in the middle of the road. When someone wants to turn left, for example, he should use a left turning lane. You don’t want to be on the right of the cars when you’re turning left. Convince me that I’m wrong if you can, but I was walking (well, running) like that for last 60 years and never had any problems or accidents like right hooks. The other 1% of people who walk also don’t complain. There are no sidewalks here anyway and we’re used to such conditions. Other 99% of people just don’t walk. They say it’s dangerous to walk when fast cars are passing near you closely, but I don’t know why. Perhaps they need better education and training and need to learn how to have eyes in the back of their head all the time like I do.

  • Frank Krygowski

    It’s simply not true that “more people are riding than ever before.” Bike commuting mode share is where it was 30 years ago, within a tenth of a percentage point. Some cities have had recent increases, other cities have had decreases. And the increases and decreases do NOT correspond to building more bike infrastructure. Pittsburgh’s mode share jumped BEFORE they put in lots of bike lanes. It’s been flat since then. San Francisco’s mode share jumped when a lawsuit prevented any bike facilities. It’s been flat since then. Instead of trusting your true beliefs or Streetsblog’s propaganda, look at the data.

  • Frank Krygowski

    Super fast and superior bike handling? Let me tell about a man I met. He was in his 60s. He had just lost his wife to cancer. He had never ridden a bike as an adult, but bought one and began riding in his neighborhood and on bike paths. Then he decided, after a few months, to ride from Ohio to Florida where his daughter lived. Since I’ve done bike touring, mutual friends told him to talk to me.

    He did visit me, I gave him some advice, and in about a month he rode out of town. I rode with him for the first 10 miles or so. He rode on the 40,000 car per day 5 lane through the busiest shopping area in the county, riding his “comfort bike” with wide saddle and very high handlebars. Without a word from me, he rode right in the center of the right lane, smiling all the while.

    I watched in my mirror as all the traffic shifted to the left lane to pass him. He slowed to a crawl on the two steepest uphills and pulled over to rest at the top of one. When the road became a two lane, he rode the center of that lane and cars passed him only when it was safe. I left him still smiling, and talked to him when he flew back from Florida. He had a wonderful time.

    If he had waited for ordinary bike lanes, let alone “protected” ones, he could never have gotten out of town. He was not strong, fast, or unusually courageous. His advantage was that somehow, he had missed all the fear mongering churned out by this website and its fans; so he rode as a normal vehicle operator and had the adventure of his life.

  • Frank Krygowski

    You’re arguing based on a false premise. AFAIK, all U.S. cycling education has always taught both methods of making left turns. The classes and publications have generally said it’s up to the individual to choose which he or she prefers.

    There are many, many criticisms of “vehicular cycling” that are based on complete and total misunderstanding. If a person hasn’t at least read the _Street Smarts_ booklet by John Allen (it’s just 50 pages) they probably shouldn’t comment on “vehicular cycling.”

  • Frank Krygowski

    ” to claim that bikes moving at 10 or 15 miles per hour can or should
    intermingle with cars moving at 30 or 40 miles per hour. This is an
    absurd position…”

    So what I’ve been doing myself, with my wife, with my kids, with my friends since 1972 has been absurd? I should have waited until there were bike lanes on every street I wanted to ride? THAT is absurd!

    FWIW, in our riding, we frequently avoided bike lanes even when they have been there. Why? Because even if they weren’t in the door zone, they’ve frequently had gravel, glass, trash, leaves, puddles, cracks or other problems. By contrast, cars’ tires sweep the roadway clean, and pavement is often better maintained.

  • Jame

    And how often does he ride now?

  • Frank Krygowski

    One might say there are two “solutions” for riding a bike in America. We can try to build “protected” bike lanes and “protected” intersections everywhere anyone would want to ride. So far, that has failed because less than one hundredth of one percent of American streets and roads have those. That’s 99.99% failure.

    Or we can learn how to operate safely and pleasantly on the roads we have. Those who learn the techniques report, over and over, that they work. In my experience, very few disagree.

    The only serious failure with that method is that so few people are willing to try, willing to attempt to learn. Why is that? At least in part, it’s because websites like this one and those arguing in its favor are crying “Danger! Danger!” They are saying we need to increase that 0.01% to… realistically, what? 0.03%? How much help will that really be?

    I’ve ridden in 47 states and a dozen other counties using what I learned about proper riding on regular roads. I thank God I didn’t wait for the Utopia promised by Streetsblog.

  • Frank Krygowski

    “Literally any credible study on the topic continues to find that
    building infrastructure is an essential building block for increasing
    mode share.”

    WRONG. Look at the timeline for bike facilities and bike mode share in Pittsburgh. The bike mode share jumped _before_ the building of bike lanes. Look at San Francisco. The bike mode share jumped while bike lane building was stopped by a lawsuit . Furthermore, look at the countless cities that did build bike infrastructure and saw no improvement in mode share. Look at cities like Portland and Seattle that continue adding more infra, but see no further gains, or even declines, in bike use. Look at the “new towns” outside London that were designed with though and separate bike infra, and have very low bike mode share.

    The experience of Pittsburgh, San Francisco and other cities show that fashion and trendiness is at least as important as infrastructure. Instead of “Build it and they will come” perhaps we should work on “Make it trendy and they will come.”

  • Your “summary” is missing the part where vehicular cyclists were influential in getting separated bikeway designs stripped from design manuals in the 1970s, which they remained largely absent from through the late 2000s (or was it early 2010s?). Unsurprisingly, most agencies weren’t interested in using unsanctioned designs so the painted bike lanes were effectively the only option available when they started responding to demand for bike facilities.

    “Biking in ‘protected’ bike lanes is so dangerous at intersections (um, just like the engineers predicted) so we need PROTECTED intersections.”

    Do you criticize railroad crossings for having crossing gates instead of wigwags too? As knowledge and experience have advanced, so has the design. It’s ridiculous to claim that things should remain frozen in time when better options are being identified. Of course, part of the problem is the misguided rabbit hole of “mixing zones” instead of just taking the logical step of continuing the bikeway to and through the intersection, which the study above confirms reduces conflicts.

    More seriously – why pretend that riding a bike is terribly dangerous? It’s safer than walking, as data clearly show. Why continually scare people away from bicycling?

    This idea that people are being “scare[d] away” from biking because advocates are asking for safer facilities to remove what people are actually scared of—fast, heavy motor traffic—is preposterous. The overwhelming majority of people are instinctively concerned about their safety if they were to be in that traffic, a fact that has been identified in numerous studies of both peoples’ perception of the situation as well as before-and-after experiences when infrastructure is constructed.

  • If you’re out there taking the lane as a matter of course, then, yes, what you are doing is absurd. You should stay to the right, and take the lane only in those rare instances when the prevailing speed of the cars is less than 20 miles per hour, or when you are very close to an intersection at which you intend to turn.

    And of course no one says that you should ride only on those streets with bike lanes. We’ll probably never get to the stage where every street has a bike lane. What’s more, there are plenty of streets that don’t need bike lanes; Queens abounds with then, as, to a lesser extent, does Brooklyn.

    But a bike lane on a street the size of Queens Boulevard is absolutely essential. That protected bike lane has changed riding on that street from stressful to delightful. And the bike lanes on First, Second, Eighth, and Ninth Avenues have (notwithstanding a few minor flaws, as well as the problem of police neglect) dramatically improved the experience of riding on those streets. Anyone who wishes to deny this has thereby defined himself or herself as completely devoid of credibility.

    Even painted markings, while clearly not as good as physical protection, are generally beneficial. The Grand Concourse has been completely tamed by a painted bike lane. And just last week I encountered the painted bike lane on Broadway in Queens for the first time. This was a pleasant surprise, as I didn’t know that that lane was there. The bike lane made the experience of riding on that street immeasurably better than it had been my previous experience.

    Finally, the claim that most bike lanes are filled with gravel is empirically false. Also, the assertion that cars’ tires “sweep the roadway clean” is so ridiculous it is almost comical, as the fact is that cars do tremendous damage to the street surface and also to the painted markings.

    The bottom line is that the act of regularly taking the lane is irresponsible; and, if you do this when accompanied by children, it is criminal.

  • Incorrect. Cycling in accordance to the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles was the default form of behavior before motor vehicles became ubiquitous on the roadways.

  • Not true at all. People can and do learn to ride in these unfavorable conditions and do it safely and efficiently.

  • user1

    Indeed, before motor vehicles became ubiquitous on the roadways it wasn’t a problem and isn’t a problem till this day on roads where there are not many cars. But I’m talking about vehuicular cyclists who oppose building cycling infrastructure on roads with heavy car traffic.

  • Guy Ross

    The Dutch have never used this design. That’s my point: stop wasting time when the answers are right in front of you.

  • Guy Ross

    Google ‘Limburg’ it will blow your mind. Seriously.

  • Guy Ross

    People aren’t will to interact as equals with cars going 40 mph while on a bike because of a niche website’s comments sections? That’s a heck of a stance.

    There are a ton of people here telling you that, through their own personal experience, what you are advocating is miserable. For some reason you see them as being the problem, not the 95% of people who love their lives in a car. It’s bizarre really.

  • dfiler

    WRONG. Look at the timeline for bike facilities and bike mode share in Pittsburgh. The bike mode share jumped _before_ the building of bike lanes.

    I live in Pittsburgh and disagree. Bike infrastructure has been THE driving force in increased ridership.

    Early on that was limited to the riverfront trail system and the hot metal bridge. Now on nights with good weather or especially on weekends, the riverfront trails actually become congested to the point where passing becomes difficult. As infrastructure is being added to city streets, these same people are able to extend their safe cycling into the city.
    Also a key factor is the amount of good mountain biking in and around the city. As mountain bikes progressed and trail systems were built, our numbers increased dramatically. Sitting on my porch last night after a ride, mountain bikers came down my residential street every 5 or 10 minutes. Prior to the local park having a great singletrack trail system, this was not the case.
    But this is overlooking a key component. More important than increasing ridership is increasing safety. I’ve been hit by cars a few times while riding in Pittsburgh. I’d like to not be hit again.

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