Monday, August 27, 2012

Bike Lane Advocates Set to Do Bike Lane Count; Bias of Organizations Leaves Doubts it Will Be an Honest Count

Several pro-bike lane groups have announced that they will be participating in a count being conducted by Indianapolis Office of Sustainability, the office in City government that is responsible for installing and promote bike lanes.

IndyCog will participate.  IndyCog is an association made up mostly of weekend, recreational bicyclists, with very few serious bicycle commuters as members.  IndyCog has never seen a bike lane design that it found unsafe.

Then you have an outfit called "Health by Design,"a diverse and growing coalition" that says it wants to "increase...biking..options" and to "[r]educe dependency on automobiles."

Bicycle Garage Indy (which got a sweet location in the municipally-owned City Market) is also promoting the count with the declaration that "[a]s Indianapolis continues to add more bike lanes and trails, it is important to tell the story of how these additions have caused increased usage....  This will help us begin to quantify what most of have been seeing on our streets - more people riding bikes. "

Wow, what an objective bunch of people being assembled to do a count.  (Sarcasm.) It is like calling up your insurance agent and asking if you need more insurance.  What do you think the result of the count is going to be?  You think they're going to find Indy's (poorly-designed) bike lanes to be wildly popular?  You betcha.

Let me assist them in the count though.  I spent about 6:30-6:45 last Friday stuck in traffic, while trying to make a foolish attempt to drive across Broad Ripple Avenue from Keystone to College.  Because two lanes of traffic had been removed to make room for bike lanes, cars just sit at the lights, spewing carbon monoxide into the air.  I did have plenty of time to observe the number of bicyclists using the Broad Ripple bike lanes though during that time. That would be ZERO.  I had also just driven down Allisonville by the bike lanes there and the count there was also ZERO.  In fairness though I did see some bicylists yesterday using the Capital and Illinois Avenue bike lanes. Those are some of the worst designed bike lanes in the City, weaving in and out of very narrow traffic lanes and running right next to parked cars. Making bike lanes that are safe is just not a priority of city leaders and recreational bicycling groups.  For those of us who bike and drive in Indianapolis, that is unfortunate.


Cato said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cato said...

At least you have your own website to post the folly of the destroyed Broad Ripple Avenue.

Would you try to post it on UrbanIndy, the gulag advocates would delete your post, right quick.

And they are gulag advocates. They want everyone living in a 400 sf. ft. hovel, stacked one on top of the other, stripped of privately owned high-speed transportation, dependent upon public transportation.

Bike lanes, even imperfect ones, further the attack on the automobile and individualism, so the hard left will always champion such foolish lanes, even at the expense of dead bicyclists, as these lanes advance the evils of density and dependence.

RhondaLeeBaby69 said...

Cato (Kaelin):

If you were a true advocate of individualism you would support the expansion of bicycle infrastructure, not just in the city, but statewide, as bicycle ownership is attainable to more than 90% of the population, whereas automobile ownership is attainable to less than 50%.

Oran said...

Paul, you seem to confuse IndyCog with local riding groups. The majority of IndyCog members are commuters and people that use their bicycles as their sole source of transportation. I'd call them very serious cyclists. IndyCog has indeed found bike lanes it thought were not safe and has said so. And those lanes were changed (the city listens.)

The city wants a bike count and has gone to the local organizations that support cycling. Nothing odd about that. BTW what such organizations would you have do the count? Rotary? Broad Ripple Gardening Club? Obviously you don't like IndyCog, BGI etc and seem to think they're heavily in favor of cycling and bike lanes.

While you were stuck in traffic (excuse me, I meant "while you were traffic") you saw no bikes in the bike lanes. Did you see any bikes anywhere else? That would be a more thorough look at counting bikes.

I've ridden and commuted on Capitol for years before and after bike lanes. It's just as dangerous as ever. The dangers are the cars in the other lanes. I'm riding in the same place as ever. A mere paint line won't keep a Buick from running over someone. No one should ride in a bike lane thinking they're safe. No one should ride ANYWHERE thinking they're safe.

Bike lanes do have the advantage that mostly aware drivers will acknowledge that bikes go there and they don't. Just like mostly aware drivers observe stop signs. For the most part it works.

There's more to cycling in the city than bike lanes but they CAN help. And occasionally they're misplaced. A bike count might help discover that.

Joe said...


Just as you declare cycling advocacy groups biased, your statements regarding "observed" counts and self imposed levels of cycle dedication could easily be viewed as skewed.

I, a member of Indycog, ride 100% of my days to work via bike. I know this percentage because I sold my car in response to increased cycling infrastructure. My route contains bike lanes, narrow street lanes, highway shoulders and neighborhood surface streets. It seems to me any description of a "serious" rider should include my lifestyle, though I don't really care to be labled as much as you.

If you speak so strongly against those in charge of the counts, why not get a group together of "serious cyclists" such as yourself and complete the task? Could it not be said that traffic counts for area roadways are skewed by the traffic engineers and DPW workers who spend their lives dealing with automobiles? Are all highway projects objectively defined by INDOT eventhough their funding and pay comes from the perpetual construction of lane miles?

It's nice that your small world contains your personal blog and a very tall, poorly constructed soapbox, but please understand reality first.

Any moderatly functioning human realizes a bike lane is not a physical barrier from vehicles. The lane does denote a dedicated space to ride a bike. It makes movements more predictable and provides an area for drivers to be more alert. I encourage you to hop on your bike as a serious cyclist next time instead of idling your car in your self imposed congestion.