Today’s Headlines

Post-debate: are we still facing the same choice?

  • It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a… Future Streetsblogger? (NPR)
  • Why, oh, why have we not done this here? Bring on the bamboo bikes and education! (Atlantic Cities)
  • Expansion of 405 at bottle-neck L.A. County line approved by OCTA (O.C. Register).
  • A cyclist doored and killed is being widely ignored by NYPD (Gothamist).
  • The NFL Stadium… at the Dodgers Stadium? (Curbed).
  • The newest ploy in selling you a home: forget the tour, let’s have a party and disrupt entire neighborhoods (L.A. Times).
  • Hey, engineers: it turns out that dedicated bike lines are much safer rather than learning to ride beside cars. Who woulda thunk? (Atlantic Cities)
  • Is Venice really the new Hollywood? (Curbed)
  • Fear the birds — they can door you too (Long Beach Post).
  • Why Luis Lopez opposes the 710 expansion project (Patch).
More headlines are here, at Streetsblog Capitol Hill.
  • Anonymous

    Once again, in defense of my profession… no engineer would disagree that dedicated bike lanes are safer. Cities prioritize cars because drivers complain to elected officials. In places where citizens have made bikes a priority, city officials pay attention, and they will tell the engineer they want bike facilities.

  • Erik Griswold

    Engineers have listened to the unearned prestige of the Johns (Franklin and Forester) because their VroomVroom BicycleDriving solutions cost no money and allowed the road engineering profession to get to the meat of “Moving More Cars” which is exactly what AASHTO, ITE and the Manuals were telling them to do thanks to car-industry lobbying.  

    Proper bike facilities including cycltracks are STILL NOT ALLOWED under the MUTCD and the AASHTO Bike Guide, thanks to the rantings of CABO locally and the VC movement nationally.

    (He’s a production engineer and yet you let him dictate traffic physics?)

    Your defense is like those medical doctors who were still promoting cigarette use in the 1970’s because of its popularity then.  None with a conscious did. 

  • Anonymous

    Hm, now this is interesting, because I went to school for civil engineering, and I’ve been working in the field my whole life, and I’ve never heard of either Franklin or Forester. But I did learn about designing dedicated bike facilities, from a civil engineering department that has since created a study abroad program in the Netherlands to show students best practices. Who woulda thunk!?

    Having spent a few minutes looking Forester and Franklin up, I’d agree they’re wrong, not to mention total jerks. I’d also note that neither is actually a civil engineer, and Forester is… a planner. And planning is the level at which the decisions that matter get made. If you zone your entire city for low density sprawl and your residents don’t care about bikes, it doesn’t matter what the engineer says. If the city wants to move as many cars as possible, and the engineer tells them they should take away a car lane to make room for bike lanes, the engineer is out of a job.

    I realize that this could uncharitably be called the drug dealer defense: if I don’t sell you drugs, someone else will. But the fact remains that by the time an engineering firm gets a design job, the critical choices have already been made. Harping on traffic engineers makes about as much sense as fighting a drug war by giving low-level drug dealers long jail sentences..

    If we want to change things, our advocacy is much better spent on (a) engaging elected officials to make it an issue and (b) convincing more people in the general public that (a) is a good idea. If those two things happen, the engineering profession will follow. Most engineers I know just like to build stuff, and they’d be just as happy building cycle tracks and LRT as timing traffic lights.

  • Erik Griswold

    The fact that you have not heard of the man (Forester and he is a production engnieer, i.e. he designs factories, I believe) does not mean he hasn’t been influential.  You should know, because it was what I was taught in engineering school that the ITE and AASHTO did not factor in the needs of the local community until 1995; until then it was move cars swiftly as safely possible.  

    I am glad you have come from the post-reformation era.  But I am sorry, there are still way too many old-school thinkers still practicing.  Otherwise, why am I still being cited, for example, the Bruce Herms study and told about “false sense of security” when I engage in discussions about pedestrian facilities?http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-60821426.html

    http://bikinginla.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/who%E2%80%99s-the-man-behind-the-curtain-of-l-a-bicycling/

    http://la.streetsblog.org/2012/03/21/its-past-time-to-abandon-the-argument-that-crosswalks-make-streets-more-dangerous/

    http://www.wherethesidewalkstarts.com/2009/08/true-or-false-sense-of-security.html

    http://streetswiki.wikispaces.com/Crosswalks,+Uncontrolled

    http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Operations/Traffic/crosswalks.htm

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