Category Archives: infrastructure

City Cycling

Gasoline costs TRIPLE in the Netherlands, and Denmark
News item, Feb 2016 — Gasoline costs TRIPLE in the Netherlands, and Denmark compared to USA

My notations from the book: City Cycling edited by John Pucher and Ralph Buehler.

John Pucher is arguably the foremost American proponent of separate bicycling infrastructure; often called “Dutch-style”. He is an academic (planner-type; he’s not a traffic engineer) who has many published articles on the subject. And while he is a vociferous advocate for infra, if you read his work fully, he does at least mention there are other factors at play; and furthermore he considers these other factors as necessary to achieve high levels of safety and mode share a la Netherlands or Copenhagen. Among those other factors are, for example, the extremely high costs associated with motoring in those places with high bicycling mode share (duh). In the book, he covers these in the chapter Promoting Cycling for Daily Travel (see below). Here’s a brief excerpt where Pucher explains:

In short, such pro-bike ‘carrot’ policies [e.g. cycle tracks, bike parking] are indeed possible even in a car oriented country like the USA. By comparison, there is almost no political support in the USA for adopting and implementing the sorts of car-restrictive ‘stick’ policies listed in Table 3 [e.g. expensive fuel, high taxes, expensive vehicle parking, restrictive land-use policies] that indirectly encourage cycling in the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.

Chapter: International Overview

Pucher has the same or similar table comparing fatalities/injuries for NL, DK, GER, UK,  USA (fig 2.6); i’m sort of confused by the injury rate calculations as I explained here in reference to another Pucher paper Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany that was citing the same or similar data.

He also shows trends for a bunch of countries in fig 2.7 — it would be worth it to put that into Evan’s perspective of looking at the broader traffic safety picture internationally: Traffic fatality reductions: United States compared with 25 other countries in which Evans shows how badly the US is lagging in overall traffic safety compared to virtually the entire rest of the developed world. Continue reading City Cycling

48th Street; Piedmont to Guadalupe gets SLMs (sharrows)

I have a lot of thoughts about this stretch of roadway in Phoenix: 48th Street (turns into Guadalupe Rd), north of Piedmont. [google maps]
It involves the odd geographic position of the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix; and the the almost complete lack of connectivity for Ahwatukee residents to anywhere else, (Tempe, Chandler, and indeed the main portion of Phoenix) except by car-choked umteen lane roads.

Ahwatukee is called — sometimes derisively, sometimes happily — the world’s largest cul-de-sac. Setting aside 48th street for a moment; Ahwatukee’s ONLY ingress/egress is Pecos Rd (which is loop 202, a limited-access highway), Chandler Blvd (10 lanes?), Ray Road (10 lanes), Warner Road (only 6 lanes?), Elliot Road (10 lanes?). So these are all either a limited-access freeway, or humongous monstrosities that have interchanges with I-10.

In short, these are all car-choked, car-sewers. They are not particularly bad for cyclists; two (Ray, and Chandler) have wide-curb lanes; Warner has nice narrow lanes;  I find Elliot road to be most annoying as it is “critical width“; that is to say not wide yet not narrow enough to be perceived as too narrow to share by many motorists. Yet many cyclists, understandably, don’t want to do it. It is a thoroughly obnoxious experience for pedestrians, too. Continue reading 48th Street; Piedmont to Guadalupe gets SLMs (sharrows)