Category Archives: bicycle facilites

… so, don’t know if it’s a Chrome Doesn’t Like WOrdpress thing but I can’t seem to keep writing on the same post … bikeWithLamp

This is today’s lamp and that shade seems like a blank canvas  😉   Granted, I’m using up my drivel-time with this post but I’ll try to search how to decorate lampshades… I’m shre there are some nifty Instructables out there… (yes, the shade is perpendicular to the lamp right now.   That’s how we haul things 🙂 )

Pretty sure both sides of the bridge under the railroad were occupied … as was the car I went by yesterday and noted that the bike and cooler on the back and the pretty extreme quantity of fabricky belongings inside spoke of it being a dwelling.  (Yesterday I was rolling an hour later.)   No, we still don’t have a men’s shelter.   We had one; it was sold and the company that bought it closed it.   It’s gonna get cold 😦 😦 😦

I’m at 100 miles on the month thanks to a wonderful Labor Day excursion to Monticello and Allerton Park.   Had a flat tire but erm, the tire’s old enough so it came off and went back on easily and there was CO2 handy… *perfect* weather for … well, the folks who added a mile when we got back got metric (I had 11 more for assorted other goings and comings).   That said I am not committing to full “after season Pleasure” ride tonight because I said I’d put a Geogebra video up Sept 4 and it’s not there yet…

Oh, and LAB sent out a survey b/c the U. is going for Bike Friendly again.   I gave credit to the people working so so so hard to make things better, with significant successes… but … people, the lip service parts are pretty awful.   The years of construction on what you claim to be a bike route… the failing to clear the wonderful new infrastructure when it snows and ices… the parking on the routes…

And now back to your regularly scheduled program!

Pictures or it didn’t happen

blockedroutesmallSo Lily says “hey, let me know when things on campus don’t work for bikes.”   Well, of course, except for the known “black eyes” that … well… it’s the U.

So many black eyes, though!

So here’s a typical morning.   This is the “bike route” — duly note that actually, this isn’t a great route.  Yes, we’re maneuvering through a *fountain.*   We’ve already had to do tight 90 degree turns because no, we can’t have curb cuts for the bike path so we have to cut 20 feet over to the sidewalk curb cuts.   (City of Urbana put some in where the city and U border.   Urbana is Gold, the U. bronze per “bike friendliness” and while the metric’s far from perfect, yes, that kind of thing counts.)

So, yes, they just close it off.   It was closed for construction for *a year and a half* just after they put in their “master bike plan” with it as the “bike route.”   Have I mentioned that the University is concerned with What It Looks Like On Paper, not the reality?

I’m sure it’ll be closed for beginning-of-year events, too.

bikelaneparkingOh, and see that line of cars (second one w/ headlights on)?   That’s where the bike lane is.  This is a compromise I’m willing to make — let folks park there moving into dorms — but I’d love to see stats on whether people are allowed to bend parking rules in other places.   I didn’t think so.   The bike facilities are there under duress and as soon as it is inconvenient to *anybody,* the anybody takes priority.

main street bike rackVery nice bike parking on Main Street in Urbana for our post-bike/ped council brew.   (We were mindful of public notice of meetings act and talked about other stuff.)

Here’s a bit of contrast with Champaign, where yes, if I made a left and rode across some grass, I could access a multi-use path behind Springfield to get to the happy hour at El Toro.   Parking at El Toro?  Well, find a table to cable it to.   This is Champaign (and typical).

champaignbikeparkingclothes from bike ride

Finally, somebody left their laundry basket exposed in their truck… clothes all over the road for our Saturday Saunter ride.   THey’ll go into a hot wash and dry… and go on a probably smaller person.   ERm, yea, we were rained on a bit — though we were at Casey’s for the pouring part.   (We also just had to slow our pace a bit for that loooong train to go by…)   Really nice cottons and a fellow who sorts his clothing (grateful the delicates basket wasn’t on top).  Hauling soggy cottons makes a nice workout…

They’re baaaack :)

Move-in day for teh Mother U isn’t ’til Thursday, but this Monday is Parkland’s first day of classes. 

On my commute in — it’s my later-arrival day — I saw two other bike commuters before I beheld the first car on the roads (Washington, east of Vine).   Then, not once but *twice,* there were three of us cycling commuters with no cars between us.   Twice I had to navigate around another cyclists (on the University’s sidewalks, dodging the construction and the lip-service-to-bike-friendly infrastructure).

    As soon as I got past Mattis, yes, the Weather Changed; no heat island effect so the fog hadn’t cleared, tho’ I *could* see the college unlike earlier arrivers 😉 

    This weekend is CU Across the Prairie… thinking of doing the “Family in town” ride as a “trip down town.”   

all I want for Christmas is… a biker bar… the generating kind…

Youtube path ride (not mine, or anybody I know…)

So.   Just for fun I thought I would do a search for “how to ride on a path.” Of course “how to” are both words that Google pretty much ignores, so what I got was a whole lot of pages describing new paths being built — and this video of a guy doing a 20 mile ride on a sparsely-traveled path (who duly notes at the beginning that you aren’t supposed to drive on the path). I haven’t watched the whole thing but the rider’s thrill at being in nature as well as his complete shock and awe at the interaction with pedestrians provided an insight into the mind of the more normal person who doesn’t ride everywhere. 

This was the most interesting site I found — but I don’t think it has tips in it… it does say the following;

2.2 Segregated versus non-segregated facilities
Direct comparison of the relative safety of bicycle facilities proves to be a difficult task.
Separate bicycle paths may appear to be “safer” than bicycle lanes but may result in
more conflicts at intersection and driveway locations, especially if the path is physically
removed from the roadway in such a way that motorists may not be expecting cyclists at
the junction of the path with the driveway or intersection.
Similarly, bicycle lanes may result in more orderly and predictable behavior between
motorists and cyclists along a road segment, but may lead to conflicts at intersections if
cycle lane traffic must re-integrate with motorized vehicles as they jointly traverse the
intersection and its influence area. Much of the safety performance seems to depend on
the design of bicycle facilities and the context of the road environment on which they are
applied. The New Zealand Land Transport Safety Authority makes note of this in their
Cycle Network and Route Planning Guide as a general consideration for providing either
roads or paths:
One choice is not inherently safer than another; both can be hazardous and both
require high-quality design to achieve safety.2
Research on this issue is far from conclusive. Findings can be contradictory and many
studies seem to exhibit shortcomings in data analysis, basic definitions, (i.e. what are
considered on-road and off-road facilities) statistical robustness, and often – a
preconceived bias that seemingly favors one type of facility over another. Further, much
of the research has been conducted outside of North America where the rules of the
road and the nature of transportation systems and policies are substantially different
than those experienced on this continent.

… and now, to change a few search terms to see if I can find something — add “safety” to the mix or something…

That gets me stuff about neighborhoods being no less safe where there are bike paths (despite the odd idea people get that bike paths will mean ne’er-do-wells will loiter and Do Bad Things), and Dave Moulton’s Oct 17 “Don’t be a Gutter Bunny” (tho’ that wasn’t a direct hit) and links to debates over whether separated cycle tracks are safer than riding on the road.

This seems to be a topic where the Internet commentary is almost certainly significantly different from what you’d get from the general public.   It makes sense — the person who is sort of almost thinking about riding a bike sometimes, and even the person who goes out riding with kids or on paths, is far less likely to have a biking blog or even be involved in the cycling community IRL or online.

I have often considered assorted gathering of my data — every word I type — as, rather than an invasion of my privacy, a chance for what I chose to express to be counted.  AFter all, why in the world should the Internet be considered “private?”

Still, regarding bicycles… it’s obviously a challenge for somebody considering getting started — ready for that 9 mph trip around a path — to find real tips on riding there.   Reckon I should be happy that most people aren’t like me and are brave enough to actually do new things without spending hours on the INternet researching 🙂   is pretty nifty, tho’ almost exhaustive… but does not give tips on how to ride on a path safely; just says ‘be careful, the roads are usually better.”

I did find a reference about greenways that stated blithely: “For Safety
Designated bicycle paths are excellent places to learn how to ride! Riding on designated bicycle paths is safer than riding on unsigned streets and roads.”  It made me wonder when I had ever in my life, especially in New York of all places (which has regulations for just about everything), seen an unsigned road with a designated bicycle path within miles.

Invisible Gorilla

… so, remember that video with the moonwalking bear imploring us to look for bicycles? The book about the research that came from is coming out Tuesday…

Yes, it is spun ever so much like Malcolm Gladwell … I’m thinknig of trying to get a copy so’s I can have it on hand at teh RIde of Silence.  (No, bicycle safety is *not* a main theme of the book. However, unless I’m mistaken, the issues in it are a “main theme” of bicycle safety.)

Ridin’ late

It was just a “running late” day and since it’s also a “study day” I didn’t worry about it, and nobody needed me for the first ten minutes of the day.  (I’ve got a pretty full house in here right now, though.)

I saw two used Gu wrappers on Church street… so there *was* a marathon; it wasn’t a government hoax.

Last night I rode home in the daaaark on Windsor.  I suspect it was the kind of nervous-feeling ride that discourages people from commuting & cycling on the roads and makes them want for paths, except that the parts iwth the path were of course hairier.  Issues were:  my little flashlight on the handlebars wasn’t too bright, and there was a fair amount of gravel here and there, tho’ potholes weren’t too bad.  On the Eastern stretch, there was enough gravel to send me out into the main lanes between light cycles … until it suddenly cleared up at that ol’ Champaign-Urbana line, so I cut back to the bike lanes … whoops!  rumble strips.  Oucharama.   46 miles on the day 🙂

This morning I had to take springfield in ’cause teh construction has closed Logan.

Kudos to CHampaign plowperson…

Yesterday I headed out to Savoy at 5:30, having done my six minutes on the trainer and piled on the layers.  I headed South on Anderson and decided to stick to Windsor.  To my delight, the bike lane was plowed… oops for a little while.  Then it wasn’t… then west of Lincoln, the rumble strip was so nicely uncovered.  I have to wonder, wasn’t that a nuisace to plow?  Would a sleepy driver not get the same “you’re on a different surface” sensation on cruncy snow?  I suspect the one driver who gave me a bit of horn wondered why I wasn’t using that nice looking stripe of white, and wonder whether the plow driver might have been thinking the same thing.

Then things got *much* better – maybe s/he figured it out?  Oops, no, I’ve just crossed into Champaign.  Except for one small clump of highly visible salt, the bike lane was plowed as if it were part of the road.

Of course, when the path went off-road, it wasn’t cleared at all. Yes, yet another reason that side paths shouldn’t be considered adequate bicycle facilities, except to the “you’re only supposed to ride when it’s convenient to drivers – get a car, man!” contingent.  THanks to that Champaign Plow Driver for going the extra lane.  CHampaign felt definitely bike-friendly to me last night.

Two notables from yesterday, which was the first day since May riding in for 9:00 arrival:
Not 10, but 22 bicycles seen on the way in to work. A veritable bevy of ’em at the corner of Race & Oregon – three going South, two West.
19 of the 22 were on the street. The last 3 were on Church Street, on the sidewalks; 2 were kids under 15.
Second notable: when I went out to the bike to see if just maybe I’d left some money there, a bike was locked to the tree near the bike rack. There was space on the far right end of the rack, but I suspect that was parked up when the tree-bike-rider arrived. Gotta remember how to ask for a good bike rack for D wing.

Today, only 6 or 7 cyclists (8:00 arrival). Also, the U hasn’t even started yet. (Tomorrow is Move In Day. Oh, dear. Don’t even think of going to Target, dear folks 😉 ) I *did* secure permission and get bike maps in a pocket on a bulletin board here on campus 🙂 (And then go back and retrieve my keys… Kudos to the student life folks who are not just deluged, but dealing with little details like being sent the wrong ID cards, so they get to write them out by hand for students and then print them out and track them down later. Oy. Blessings all over them.)