Category Archives: cycling

Fight for your right to ride

I am starting to think that a problem for us cyclists is that we lack legitimacy as a viable means of transportation. To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield- “We don’t get no respect”. I think we are going to have to consider the idea of a bicycle registration fee.

The arguments against have been that many of us pay fees for the cars we own and why does that not cover our usage as cyclists. Agreed. That raising the cost of owning a bicycle may discourage cycling. It depends.

I think we could agree on a nominal registration fee. Also a Texas “Share the Road” license plate proceeds directed to cycling infrastructure.

The main point is that to legitimize the bicycle we will have to treat it as the legitimate form of transportation it is, and not a novelty.

In other news…

I can sympathize with the cyclist. I have been run down, bumped, clipped, etc. by vehicles. I also drive, a lot more than I ride for “trips”. But drivers really need to get over themselves and share the road. But cyclists need to keep it cool and not make our image worse in the eyes of drivers. In Texas where I live it is constitutional law that bikes have the same rights to State roads and highways.

The running tally of wins in the cyclist vs vehicle…

Cyclists- 1

Vehicles- lost count

http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_18576.aspx

Nominal Mass Part 3: Map Maker, map maker, make me a map

Well no visuals yet. Still collecting GIS data. I am now restructuring my project around identifying recreational cycling routes and proposing some ideas for other routes in the future for greater connectivity. I noticed there are several main utility power lines with lots of right of way. Now to find out who owns it and if it is even a possibility that in the future a hike and bike trail could be placed there. NCTCOG has some ideas about where the routes should be but I can’t read the maps in their report http://www.nctcog.org/trans/sustdev/bikeped/Pedestrian_Bicycle_System_AHedits_July07.pdf

And their Velo Website is not clear. They have funded on and off street facilities as bike/pedestrian? huh? First of all bikes and pedestrians really don’t mix that well. Secondly, what facilities? the street? I have not seen anything in Arlington other than .5 miles bike lane on Pecan and the hike and bike along Green Oaks.

http://www.dfwmaps.com/index.asp?mapTheme=dfwmaps&mapOption=pedestrian&BPTRAILS=on

Also we need to quit lumping walking and biking together on the sidewalks and in the collected data

http://www.nctcog.org/trans/data/census/bike_walk.pdf

At any rate, I hope to finish collecting data soon, identify the routes, ride them, identify proposed routes, compare mine to the NCTCOG and Arlington and see what’s what.

Most Stupidest Bike Lane

This was sent to me by AOS (thanks), I guess the one by my UTA campus is longer, when I have a chance I’ll try to get a measurement.

http://www.slatev.com/player.html?id=1475273846

Nominal Mass Part 2: ‘to ride or to drive that is the question…’

Well I used my Garmin Edge 305 GPS/cyclometer and my camera and went out for a two hour ride today and documented some of the cycling challenges.

Below is a link to the ground I covered.

http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=gmotfkwexrpuqueo

BTW if you want to convert data from a Garmin Edge 305 suitable for GIS or Google Earth you need to download a communicator from Garmin for your device, and go to http://www.gpsies.com and use their converter and you can download all kinds of files. I downloaded an EXCEL file, and I hope to use it for creating shp files for my project. [update it worked- hoo ray!]

A few observations:

North Arlington is hilly, that’s good for cycling enthusiasts looking for a workout, but not for novices and commuters.

Downtown Arlington is flat, that is good for commuters. It is very commercial, lots of used car lots and repair shops. Its also a little sketchy in some parts, such as dogs wandering around and some people who I don’t feel comfortable around on my overpriced bike and holding camera gear worth even more, so…

Fielder sucks!!!! I am comfy with traffic, but people really are not expecting a bike in “their” lane. I had one guy from the solace of his pick up truck yell out his window “faggot”- he must be a people person. Fielder also smelled of sewage near Randol Mil, but at least that masked the smell of diesel and 10% ethanol, and the one car that seriously need new rings or a valve job! Blue smoke is not cool!!!

Davis and Bowen are much better routes from UTA Blvd to the North towards Green Oaks.

To drive, or to ride, that is the question…

rideordrive.jpg

Fielder, north of Randol Mill, not a great path at 5pm

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Fielder, just south of Green Oaks, not much traffic, but the rolling hills are too much for commuters

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The beginning of the 1/2 mile of marked bike lanes in Arlington, this is on Pecan street between UTA Blvd and Mitchell. It’s flat, but given the crime on campus, I would not really want to ride my bike there. I did, but I was uneasy about it.

bikeroute.jpg
If you want to avoid the train, this is between Main and Division on West

bridge.jpg

This is a “roadie”, notice the skinny tires. This is on Green Oaks on the hike and bike trail- very nice…

roadie.jpg

Stopped to drink while on the bike lane on Pecan. Notice the compass to keep from getting lost, its also a bell! So I can “ding ding ding” to get people’s attention. I thought of getting a cow bell and tying it to my saddle,

since sometimes I feel to lazy to ding the bell.

bars.jpg

Nominal Mass Part 1: “Where the sidewalk ends”

Some of you have heard of “critical mass”, I am humbly proposing “nominal mass”. My idea is that by identifying routes for cyclists to commonly use, they may generate a presence that will hopefully demonstrate to other cyclists to use that route, and eventually these routes become better known by cyclists. The point of that is, a regular presence of cyclists would hopefully signal to drivers that cyclists are using certain streets and to be more aware of cyclists, and also maybe the City might be more inclined to at least post a sign noting that street as bike friendly. All this in response to teh reailty that cities are strapped for cash, and cycling is not a priority when you have crime and streets in need of repair. but bikes can use much of the existing infrastructure, and with some information, a cycling presence, and some signage posted by the city, I think we can make cycling more attractive in Arlington and be a model for other cities with similar challenges.

I also hope to get some pics of the elderly on their scooters ie Larks that use the street to get around, but back to the bikes!

According to the latest Planning magazine, they delineate 3 types of cyclists. A, B and C. A is comfortable in traffic, B is somewhat comfortable riding in traffic, and C is not comfortable or should not be riding in traffic, they are the recreational riders and children or novices. While I am a planning student, and appreciate this tres fix of cycling types, my inner bike snob sees it a little differently.

That is Type A is likely a “roadie” someone who not only is comfortable riding in traffic, but in really good shape, can sustain 18+ mph for at least an hour, and can not ride on a sidewalk or crappy street, cuz they ride a 3lb aluminum frame, with 20mm wide tires inflated to 100-135 psi. A mountain biker may also ride in the street, but at a much slower and comfy pace, of course 2″+ wide tires at 35-60psi is a lot cushier of a ride on Arlington streets! The type B rider may ride a road bike, but slower, they may ride a mountain bike, but probably hop back and forth between the street and sidewalk, navigating the lesser of the two evils. Type C as the authors from the Planning magazine noted are uncomfortable or should not be riding with traffic, for them they can stay in the neighborhood on the wide low to almost no traffic streets.

This is an Arlington sidewalk, it just ends and is poorly maintained, not suitable for even pedestrians!

where the sidewalk ends

This is Fielder facing North, it has enough room for a cyclist and a car, ye barely!

I think I can squeeze in there

This is Fielder facing South, I think this demonstrates the A vs B cyclist, although this may have more to do with riding two abreast for a sense of comraderie, which is a cycling no no when on the street, but at any rate….typeA rides in the street, type B is taking the sidewalk. Now what happens when a pedestrian wants to use the sidewalk and a cyclist approaches? There is little use of sidewalks in Arlington anyways, but other cities there is “trail rage” and “sidewalk congestion”.

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This is UTA Blvd. (not sure what makes this a blvd) It has a sidewalk that students ride and walk on. It is odd to me that college students ride on the sidewalk, given that traffic is low, and the lanes are fairly wide. I need a picture of that! But this is what I have so far.

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Well those are just a few pics and thoughts. I thought I’d share. I had ideas of identifying corridors for A and B type cyclists to navigate through Arlington and to connect to other cities, but I am not sure I can do that. Even the bike shops are not easily accessible by bike!

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/where-the-sidewalk-ends/