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Shanghai bans cycling on major roads(14 posts)

Shanghai bans cycling on major roadsrollo tommassi
Dec 9, 2003 8:55 AM
probably the worst news ever:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3303655.stm
Cycling is banned on most "major roads" in the US (nm)TJeanloz
Dec 9, 2003 8:57 AM
You can't ride a bike on any of the main thoroughfares in Boston. And if you could, you would be crazy to.
and you think that's not a problem?laffeaux
Dec 9, 2003 12:14 PM
Sorry I reposted this above; I missed yours.

The point is that there are ways to build cites where cars (an extremely inefficient mode for moving people and goods) is not the primary form of transportation. The US elected to make autos the primary mode of transportation, and as a result, in many places it is no longer possible to use any other form of transportation beseides the car.

With 50% or more of our land area dedicated to the car - there's 6 to 7 parking spaces created for every car on the road, there's acres of land area occupied by every freeway interchange, and there's parking lots, drive ways, collector roads, and freeways filling much of our urban areas - we are no longer driving because it's faster to get places, we're driving longer and further to reach places that could easily be reached by foot, bicycle, subway, train, etc., if the car were not present.

If I decide not drive, if I'm too old or too young to drive, if I have health problems that prevent me from driving, or if I'm too poor to own a car, what option do I have in a place that only allows for one form of transportation (i.e. the car)? If I'm poor how do I get to the suburbs to find a job? If I'm too old to drive how do I get to the grocery store or pharmacy? If I'm too young to drive how do I get to soccer practice or my friend's house? If I'm sick how do I get to the doctor? The answer is you can't. We have decided that unless you like the one option that is provided - the car - you're out of luck. There is no choice.

China is making a big mistake by promoting the automobile. They should be promoting anything but that.
I think you're making some pretty bold assumptionsTJeanloz
Dec 9, 2003 12:21 PM
Here in Boston, if I had to guess, I would say that the primary mode of transportation for city-dwellers is on foot. I don't drive more than twice a month. This doesn't mean that there aren't times that driving is more efficient than anything else. And for those times, safety considerations dictate that I would rather not have bicycles in the left lane of the interstate.

The idea that 50% or more of our land is dedicated to the car is ridiculous. Maybe in urban environments, which account for a very small % of worldwide land mass. And it's not like you would get rid of roads if you got rid of cars - roads have been around a lot longer than automobiles have.

This whole Shanghai issue is a non-issue. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that they should be able to limit congestion on their main streets. This is just another case of "do as I say, not as I do, we know what's better for you poor chinese people." Let them govern themselves, as we have ourselves.
look at the country as a whole, not just your neighorhoodlaffeaux
Dec 9, 2003 1:40 PM
Not all places in the US are dominated by the car, but most are. With a few notable downtown exceptions, most of the US requires the use of cars.

Currently at least 50% of the urbanized areas are dedicated to the automobile, and the amount of land that is being urbanized is increasing every year. Between 1950 and 1990 the urbanized land area of Philadelphia grew by 32%, while the population declined by 3%. Why did 3% fewer people need so much more land? Worse yet, what does that mean for California (where I live), where our population is predicted to increase by 100% (that's 30 million people) in the next 40 years? It already takes my more than 2 hours to drive across the SF Bay Metro area (north to south), should I expect it take 4 hours or more in the future? So much for our farm land, our open space, and the places I like to ride.

I agree that roads have a place. Roads are a place for people to walk, bikers to bike, and cars to drive. However most road systems being built today are not build only cars, and actively exclude alternatives. If an intersection is dangerous for pedestrians, the first thought is to remove the sidewalk. Why is that? Why don't we seek to remove the cars instead?

The amount of urban area that is NOT downtown dwarfs the area that is. Most people live in the suburbs. While it's good that some people are able to live downtown and survive in some cities, it's generally the exception and not the rule in the US.

The US is starting to feel a lot of the problems associated with our current use of land. In my mind, and in the mind of a lot of others, we're in for a some pretty bad times ahead. Sure we can watch other countries follow the road we've taken, or we can offer our expertise and maybe others can learn from our mistakes instead of having to make their own.
Get over it,TJeanloz
Dec 9, 2003 2:00 PM
Why is it that everybody who complains about the car culture CHOOSES to live in a place that requires a car? We have a lot of places that don't require a car to live. They're called cities. New York, Boston, et. al. - no need for a car. Our cities weren't designed around automobiles (quite obviously, if you've ever tried to drive in them). If you're so opposed to this, put your money where your mouth is and leave California, where the culture is focused on cars. If people wanted to live without there cars, the alternative is there, but they don't - they like it the way it is in suburbs. It's like the "save tahoe" bumper stickers on big SUVs. Hypocrites.
Running from the problem does not fix it.laffeaux
Dec 9, 2003 2:18 PM
You can run from the problems, of you can choose to stay and try to fix it.

The effects of what the average person does impacts the entire country and probably the world. Running from the problem will not fix it. Trying to work towards making better places to live will fix it.

Your taxes are higher because you are building infrastructure for low density suburbia. How much money (i.e. tax money) was spent increasing Philadelphia by 1/3 in size, when the population did not change? Do you think that spending billions of tax dollars to move people around is a good idea? You probably have no idea that your tax dollars are subsidizing housing prices in the suburbs. It bothers me.

Do you think that turning farm land into 1/4 acre lots helps produce more food? If you eat you are effected.

Do you think that buying oil, burning fuel, and polluting the air with cars, instead of looking at workable public transportation does not effect you?

If you choose to keep your head in the sand and think that the decision that those around you make do not effect you, you are sorely mistaken.

If you think that you have a choice in the way new suburban development exists, you need to read some local zoning laws sometimes. It is illegal in most places to build anything but sprawl. And if you change the law, you better have deep pockets because few banks will finance a non-sprawl development. After 50 years of building auto-only communities banks are leery to try anything else. There are few choices available for you if you don't want the one choice that you are given. If we don't change it now, as we increase the size of our cites by two fold, do you think we'll be living in a better place? No! Those of us who give a damn will work toward making tomorrow better, while you keep saying there is no problem. Look around you!
I did look around me...TJeanloz
Dec 9, 2003 2:38 PM
My neighborhood hasn't changed appreciably in 100 years. Except its harder to find a parking spot, because people never move their cars. I'm not going to tell people how to live their lives, and how they have to value the same things that I value, and cherish the same things that I do. But if you want to live a car-free life, it's very possible, a lot of us do. My city has excellent public transportation. California is a mess, there's no doubt about it, and everybody who lives there is responsible for it. But if you want to live in a sty, or a suburban cookie cutter, I'm not going to tell you you can't. Do I think that your decision don't effect me? Of course not. Do I think I thus have a right to make your decisions for you? No.

And further, you've done a lot of complaining, but what do you propose? Do you have a plan that will work? No, because people LIKE it the way it is, and they will continue to live their lives the way they LIKE to live.
look further than your back yardlaffeaux
Dec 9, 2003 3:16 PM
Suburban Boston is not a lot different from parts of CA. Many cities (Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Dallas, Houston, etc.) are more like the perception of Los Angles than LA is like LA (Los Angeles is actually one of the most - if not the most - densely settled urban areas in the US). We're talking about a national issue, not a CA issue.

Have you seen this other story in the news today:

Sydney Lifestyle Unsustainable, Report Says
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20031209/wl_nm/environment_australia_dc_2

Selected quotes:

".. the number and length of trips taken by cars .. has increased by more than 25 percent."

"Transport is the third largest source of greenhouse gases in Australia, contributing 14.3 percent to emissions nationally, and it is the fastest growing emission sector. Greenhouse gas emissions from cars are expected to rise by 40 percent by 2010."

".. it takes 18 acres of land to provide the range of goods and services consumed by each resident each year."

What do I think should be done? I've said a lot already.

- When building new places, DO NOT build neighborhoods where cars are the only means of transportation.

- Build new places in such a way that they can be (now or in the future) serviced by public transportation.

- Do not continue to build smallish buildings on large lots.

- Do not continue constructing building (particularly retail and business) that are inaccessible to pedestrians and public transportation.

- People do not need huge houses and yards. A reasonable sized house on a small lot, with more public parks makes more sense, offers more opportunities, and takes up less space.

- Do build neighborhoods that allow residents to walk to work, shopping, and public transportation (if they want).

- Provide adequate space for cars, but do not make the automobile the central part of our life.

- Build neighboorhoods, communities, towns and cities instead of sprawl.

In California we'll have 30 million people added to our population in the a few short years. We can build cities like Boston or San Francisco. We can build small towns that function like small towns. Or, if we keep building the way we do today, we can have thousands of square miles of tract homes.

I propose that we think about we'd like to build, and then build it. I'd like the opportunity for the next generation to be abel to choose to live where they want to live (a city, a small town, or a tract home). However, given our current rate of development, combined with the fact that few places in the US build "new towns", only sprawl, there will be little choice.

There's a group of planners, developers, and regular people called "New Urbanists" that are trying their best to build cities instead of sprawl. Most people don't care, or don't know any think different than what tehy see out of the window of their house.

Maybe I shouldn't try. Maybe I should say "f--- it," move where I want, and let the land be destroyed. Or maybe I should try and preserve the future. Each of us makes a choice. I'll see if I can make a difference.
TJ has the angle....Lone Gunman
Dec 9, 2003 7:25 PM
You want to whine and complain about cars, put your money where your mouth is, move to the Amish country, buy yourself a horse and buggy, live like the Amish, using oil lamps and wood or coal fires for heat and a hand pump to pump water from the ground. Can't have it both ways.
read more carefullylaffeaux
Dec 9, 2003 11:54 PM
I never said that I didn't expect cars to exist. I said it would be nice to have the choice to live in a place where cars where not the primary consideration in how the land was used.
on second thought ...laffeaux
Dec 10, 2003 12:03 AM
It's interesting how the MTBR.com readers react to this news compared to RoadBikeReview. MTBs seem to think it's ridiculous that cars get the right of way in this case. In this and other similar posts, roadies seem to think that cars are more important. Interesting...
re: Shanghai bans cycling on major roadst5rguy
Dec 10, 2003 7:05 AM
If you had any idea of Shanghai traffic in particular and Chinese traffic in general, you wouldn't think it strange at all.
The real question is, will this new rule work. All other (traffic) rules don't seem to work. The only (non-written) rule that people try to follow, is try not to hit each other!
Good idea. Shanghai roads are psycho.Bosun
Dec 11, 2003 8:19 AM
Shanghai roads were not designed as well as many modern U.S. cities. They lack real "freeways" Would you go biking on the local interstate? This is what they are dealing with--8 lane "super roads" with stoplights and people biking between enormous trucks, etc... I love biking, but most people don't understand the true bike madness in China. Bike "parking lots" in Shanghgai hold thousands of bikes--it's a crazy sight.

They are not talking about any road that any of us would ever want to bike on.