> > In a letter from Bicycle Network Victoria to me, after I complained
> > about the spread of Copenhagen style bike lanes around Melbourne.
> > "There was strong opposition to protected bikes lanes in the English
> > speaking world for many years, led by John Forester, an influential
> > force in the American League of Bicyclists.
> > So while Europe went in one direction, the US, UK, Australia, NZ and
> > other places resisted.
> > But the answer was in the data. The bike lanes in Europe seemed to
> > attract massive numbers of riders.
> > Now the whole world is following Europe and Forester and his ideas are
> > as good as dead.
> > Copenhagen lanes and their variations will gradually become the norm,
> > and cycling numbers will rise to never imagined levels.
> > There is no going back."
> Copenhagen and the Netherlands are not representative for the whole of Europe! In Germany the trend is to bring cyclists back into the street, because seperate bike lanes next to the sidewalk have proved to be dangerous at intersections, slip roads, parcing cars and in interaction with pedestrians. Also in narrow streets of old towns there is simply not enough room to allow for wide enough bike lanes, which allow save overtaking and enough distance to pedestrians, lamp posts and parking cars. "Shared spaces" is the new model for livable city streets - low speed limits, no seperate sidewalks, restricted parking. I would wish places, where there is not already much "bike infrastructure", to avoid the errors of Copenhagen, Netherlands and the 70s to 90s in Germany!
> Out of towns, where there are not much pedestrians and intersections, wide enough seperate bike lanes are less problematic.
This is kind of cool:
"The results were striking. Without bumps or flashing warning signs,
drivers slowed, so much so that Mondermans radar gun couldnt even
register their speeds. Rather than clarity and segregation, he had
created confusion and ambiguity. Unsure of what space belonged to
them, drivers became more accommodating. Rather than give drivers a
simple behavi***mandatesay, a speed limit sign or a speed bumphe
had, through the new road design, subtly suggested the proper course
of action. And he did something else. He used context to change
behavior. He had made the main road look like a narrow lane in a
village, not simply a traffic-way through some anonymous town."
"Perhaps unsurprisingly, given how long we have lived with this built
ideology, Mondermans ideas encounter two common criticisms. The first
is that measures that appeal to the better angels of our nature could
never work in a country such as the United States, where drivers seem
stubbornly reluctant to share the road even with other cars, much
less pedestrians and cyclists, and the threat of a lawsuit hovers over
the smallest traffic intervention. It is true that if a local
government is to remove the signs from a busy intersection, and
orchestrate the smooth movement of bicycles and cars through it,
strong social norms must be in place. But norms can be influenced by
context. Picture, for example, the improvised grass parking lots at
county fairs: no stop signs, no speed limits, no markings of any kind
maybe just some kids with flags telling you where to go. But people,
by and large, drive and walk in a cautious manner. There is no great
epidemic of traffic fatalities at county fairs."
... and, perhaps my favorite:
"Traffic signs, for Monderman, were an invitation to stop thinking, to
stop acting on ones own volition. In streets designed to safely
handle the actions of the riskiest participants, everyone slips into
riskier behavior. As he put it to me, There are so many things that
can be forbidden. The stranger thing is that we believe everything
that isnt forbidden is allowed."