• aBioGuy 12 days ago
    If you make it pleasant to ride a bike - people will do it.

    Where I live, there is an off-street bike path that was completed about 10 years ago. Since then many new businesses have opened along the path. The economic impact of pulling people OUT OF A CAR and INTO THEIR environment is perhaps under-appreciated.

    • ericmay 12 days ago
      > The economic impact of pulling people OUT OF A CAR and INTO THEIR environment is perhaps under-appreciated.

      All you have to do is stop and take a look at pictures where you see lots of people riding bikes or walking near businesses and then contrast that with a 4-lane road to get an idea of how much more economic activity is generated locally for a business.

      If you don't have an automobile industry (and even if you do) you are pillaging your own economic well-being by taking thousands of dollars from families and forcing them to send it to far away places that make cars and oil and gas when they could be spending it in their own neighborhoods and towns.

      It's fucking crazy that we do this. I don't know how much more emphasis I can put on it. Requiring people to drive a car 20 miles, 40 minutes, whatever to just live their lives is so stupid it defies belief. That's not to say you can't have a car (or two). It's to say that we shouldn't design all of our towns and cities around moving cars around instead of people. We're literally making ourselves poor trying to do this.

      • rland 12 days ago
        This is how I think of this.

        Think of the median income of a country that you might imagine is a "nice" place to live. I found a source that lists them all (in fictitious "international dollars", not USD). So here's a few:

        * USA: $19,300


        * France: $16,300

        * Japan: $14,200

        * Israel: $10,800

        * UK: $14,800

        * Spain: $11,800

        Wow, we are so much richer than those guys. Our quality of life must be higher, right? This extra 30% money for everyone(!) must translate to a higher standard of living. Maybe we work more than people in those countries, but it translates to: less air pollution, quieter streets, less time spent commuting, more pleasant built environments, more beautiful cities, better health, more civil services, better parks and public facilities ...

        Nope. All that money just goes to cars. We make an extra 30% -- and then turn around and burn it, literally, in cars, making everyone poorer, more atomized, more depressed, more unhealthy. For an unlucky hundreds of thousands of us per year, we are physically hurt; for 35,000 of us, we are killed!

        For what?

        • nick_ 12 days ago
          Won't somebody please think of the oil and car companies!
          • rob74 12 days ago
            We don't have to think of them, the politicians already do (at least here in Germany)...
            • rayiner 12 days ago
              Oil and car companies just sell a product that people want to buy. Toyota didn’t hold a gun to my head to get me to buy an SUV that gets 15 miles a gallon. Attacking them is an out to avoid confronting the real issue, which is that you don’t like the life choices most other Americans are making.
              • stephen_g 12 days ago
                There’s actually some interesting history about how over decades and decades the oil and car companies have done a lot of things beyond just strongly lobbying for planning laws that were extremely good for car drivers and not good for other modes of transport, but even did stuff many years ago like buying up trolly bus and streetcar lines in many cities, ripping up the rails and wires and replacing them with diesel busses. So it’s not quite as consumer-led as you say, the way cities have been designed and have evolved (including in a lot of ways many people now acknowledge is pretty crappy) has actually been affected quite significantly by people who want to sell you cars and gasoline.

                See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_streetcar_consp... for example.

                • rayiner 12 days ago
                  That's the one example people always trot out, and even that one is questionable: https://la.curbed.com/2017/9/20/16340038/los-angeles-streetc.... The streetcar system was already in dire financial straits when those companies bought it.

                  > But Bianco points out that this plan wouldn’t have been feasible if the streetcar companies National City Lines purchased weren’t already struggling.

                  > By the 1930s, LA’s streetcars had become wildly unprofitable and were quickly losing riders. In Transport of Delight, Jonathan Richmond points out that the Pacific Electric company managed to turn a profit in only one year between 1913 and the beginning of World War II.

                  More importantly, much of the country was developed post-1945, and all followed the same car-dependent model. Atlanta isn't a car-dependent city because of conspiracies. It's because it's unpleasant to do physical activity outside for much of the year between the heat, humidity, and bugs.

                  • drewcoo 12 days ago
                    Social benefit and profit are different things. Profit is actually private benefit, usually at society's expense, both in subsidies and in externalized costs.

                    And a for-profit system that's not pulling in enough money will let its service, sanitation, and safety degrade, causing a downward spiral of profitability and ridership.

                    • rayiner 12 days ago
                      Public benefit and profit are different, but related. For example, say that it costs Ford $100 make an SUV. They sell it for $200. It generates $10 of negative environmental externalities. And someone buys it for $300.

                      The benefit generated by the car is $300 - $100 - $10. That amount is split between producer profit and consumer surplus. Note, the more value the buyer gets from the car, the bigger the total surplus, and the greater profit the producer can obtain. Profit and benefit aren’t the same thing, but they generally move in the same direction.

                      Generally when something is unprofitable, it’s because people don’t value it enough compared to what it costs to produce. Externalities can change that somewhat, but typically not by that much.

                      Externalized costs for vehicles is extremely well studied: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attachments/road-safety/18076.... For example, the externalized costs for my Toyota 4Runner are $0.13-0.21 per mile depending on whether you include crash costs or not. That’s at $50 per ton of CO2, which is probably too low. At $100 per ton that goes up to about $0.25/mile. That’s about $10 for the average 40 mile round trip commute. If you raised gas prices enough to fully internalize that cost, that would be like $200/month. Most 4Runner owners would probably just pay that. Some might get a slightly more fuel efficient car, or live a little closer to home. But those externalities aren’t so big that most people would give up the convenience of personal transit to use public transit instead.

                    • mike00632 12 days ago
                      It should be mentioned that suburban road financing is currently in dire straights.
                  • ericmay 12 days ago
                    > which is that you don’t like the life choices most other Americans are making

                    I think this is the fundamental problem. I don't have a bone to pick with oil and gas companies. It's a resource, we need to address climate change, w/e, but fossil fuels are useful and should be used within reason.

                    But I do have a bone to pick with this idea that Americans are making a choice because I think they're not making a choice with complete information, they're incentivized to make certain choices, and they don't have a good feedback loop to see how their choices affect them. This ranges from highway construction which displaces natural habitats and eventually bankrupts towns and cities as initial costs are subsidized by the federal government (inflation anyone?) to obesity, racism, to loss of local businesses and economies and many more.

                    • AlecSchueler 12 days ago
                      And why would their choices be so different to their counterparts in Europe? Especially Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, France, UK etc? Their counterparts in China?

                      If the infrastructure is built for a certain vehicle then it's not really a choice is it?

                      • ericmay 12 days ago
                        Is the Netherlands building 4 to 8 lane highways, tearing down buildings in major cities and building overpasses, and expanding streets so that they can easily fit and park Ford F-150 size trucks? Are there multi-acre shopping malls, Wal-Marts, and associated parking lots?

                        > If the infrastructure is built for a certain vehicle then it's not really a choice is it?

                        Right... that's why I don't agree that anybody is choosing here.

                      • rayiner 12 days ago
                        Culture, history, and wealth. Americans are more individualistic and anti-social than Europeans, and much more so than Chinese. Some have theorized that the exodus of the most disagreeable 1/4 of the Swedish population to the U.S. in the 19th century laid the groundwork for the modern Swedish welfare state: https://slate.com/business/2019/01/scandinavian-socialism-mi....

                        This is a continuing phenomenon. The fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. today is Asians. But when polled, only 7-8% of Asians in Asia would migrate if they had the opportunity: https://news.gallup.com/poll/245255/750-million-worldwide-mi.... The ones that come here are the anti-social ones like my parents, who don't mind leaving behind their kin and ancestral ties to make their home in a foreign country. (They live in a suburb with no sidewalks and drive an SUV, of course.)

                        History: The American continent has been populated by migration. My wife's family landed on the east coast in the 1700s and kept moving west until they reached Oregon in the 1800s. This has both created a culture of valuing unrestricted mobility, and also as a practical matter meant that most development is greenfield. In Germany even tiny villages have been settled for hundreds of years--there are roads, old churches, etc., that force development into a particular pattern. My town in Maryland was mostly farmland just 50 years ago, and most of the stretch between here and DC is still farmland. The giant freeway connecting the two was built through 20 miles of nothing in the 1950s. But note that greenfield development happens in Europe too, and there's plenty of car-dependent suburbs in parts of Germany.

                        Wealth: Americans are significantly richer than Europeans, and vastly richer than Chinese. Many, many Chinese people would love to have a house on an acre of land and drive around in an air conditioned car all day. And Americans can afford to actually do that.

                        • bombcar 12 days ago
                          Europe has much older cities than the US, and larger amounts of land were already taken up, which has limited the amount of "freeway"-style development.

                          Arguably if it had NOT been for the interstate highway push in the US we'd have an America that would look more European.

                          • noahtallen 12 days ago
                            I definitely agree with the latter paragraph. But it’s important to note that places like Amsterdam did invest heavily into car infrastructure as well. It’s not completely true that car dependency was staved off by existing road sizes.

                            Like you allude to, the US was bulldozed for the automobile. We didn’t develop around it. Amsterdam was following a similar path until mass protests in the 70s about people being slaughtered by cars. (https://inkspire.org/post/amsterdam-was-a-car-loving-city-in...)

                            And over the past several decades, they have made vast changes and redevelopments that we should have been following as well.

                            And now Amsterdam isn’t just amazing for cyclists and pedestrians… it’s also great for driving. ( https://youtu.be/d8RRE2rDw4k)

                        • rayiner 12 days ago
                          My point is that consumer demand drives car production and fossil fuel use, not the other way around. If your theory is that people's buying choices are uninformed, that just means you need to focus on informing and persuading people. You're not going to get the results you want by attacking oil and car companies, who are simply selling highly commoditized products in enormously competitive industries.
                        • harryh 12 days ago
                          From 2004-17 I lived in NYC and didn't own a car and very rarely rented one. From 2017-20 I lived in Chapel Hill, NC and (along with my wife) owned two cars. From 2021-now I've been back in NYC. We sold the cars and have no plans to ever buy new ones.

                          I've been roughly the same person the whole time. My change in buying behavior wasn't so much personal preference as much as it was the lifestyle that was enforced by the policy choices of the location I was living in.

                          • et-al 12 days ago
                            This is largely due to policy.

                            For example jaywalking wasn't a crime until cars became the norm, then automakers lobbied police to be more aggressive against pedestrians: https://www.vox.com/2015/1/15/7551873/jaywalking-history

                            The Section 179 of the US tax rules creates a perverse incentive for buying heavier cars for larger tax withholding: https://diminishedvalueofgeorgia.com/6000-pound-vehicles/

                            And one could argue our gas subsidies have just continued to enable America's car dependency.

                            • suture 12 days ago
                              Your perspective ignores human nature and how easily influenced people are at scale. Toyota did not put a gun to your head but American society long ago evolved to the point where having a car is a necessity for the vast majority of adults. The real issue is that the negative externalities for those design decisions decades ago have resulted in a lot of harm with little benefit.
                              • vkou 12 days ago
                                They sell a product that people have to buy because decisions that were made decades ago make my life incredibly shitty if I don't buy it. And it doesn't have to be that way. We could have made better decisions in the past. We can still make better decisions going forward.

                                It's one thing if cars were an optional convenience. It's absolutely insane that they are a necessity in so many North American cities.

                                • mdasen 12 days ago
                                  > Toyota didn’t hold a gun to my head to get me to buy an SUV

                                  No, but lots of things push people to buy those vehicles.

                                  As others buy giant vehicles, you might want to buy a giant vehicle so that you feel safer on the road. If everyone is riding around in a 4,000 pound (1,800 kg) SUV whose bumper is very tall, you don't want to be riding around in a 3,000 pound (1,350 kg) car whose bumper is low.

                                  As we mandate parking minimums, we create stores that you can't walk to (because they have acres of parking separating you from every store) and we create neighborhoods you can't walk around (because we need enough storage space for all those cars and all those drivers want wide roads so they can get places "fast").

                                  As we criminalized crossing the street (except in specified locations), we made walking slower and driving faster. As we changed our codes so that crosswalks were only mandated every half mile, we made it even harder to cross the street without a car. As our courts allowed drivers to strike and kill pedestrians with no repercussion, we made it easier for drivers to drive fast without fear of their actions; we made it easier for drivers to drive distracted without fear of their actions. That also made walking and biking more dangerous prospects.

                                  > you don’t like the life choices most other Americans are making

                                  People don't make life choices in a vacuum. People look at the world and make choices based on the reality that exists. If you lived in a city where parking was taxed at $1,000/mo, I bet you wouldn't make the choice of buying a car. If we changed our laws to say that killing a pedestrian would involve 1 year in prison and a permanent loss of license, you'd be a lot less likely to check your phone while driving.

                                  Ok, you think those are contrived examples. Let's talk about giving Americans actual choice.

                                  1) Remove all parking minimums. If the market will sell houses without parking (if Americans will make that life choice), we should let them, right? Or do we need to have laws propping up the oil and gas industry and not letting Americans make that choice? If stores think they don't need as much parking, let them build other stores on parts of their parking lots. Or do we need to mandate that stores accommodate cars rather than letting Americans make free choices? If Americans don't like that a store doesn't have a lot of parking, they'll vote with their feet/dollars and go elsewhere. If Americans don't like a home without parking, they'll vote with their feet/dollars and buy other housing. This is the easiest one to say to any skeptic because it's the free market. People will build, buy, and patronize what they feel fits their lifestyle.

                                  2) Remove all road subsidies. Right now, drivers pay for around half of their state/local road usage (https://taxfoundation.org/states-road-funding-2019/, it varies by state). That doesn't even include the huge amount the federal government spends subsidizing highways. We should make drivers pay for what they're using - and if it's too high a price, they'll look for other modes of transportation. Instead, by making road usage cheaper than it actually is, we encourage people to use them more than they naturally would.

                                  3) Remove parking subsidies. The US allows you to deduct parking costs from your taxes. If we're talking about letting people make free choices, let's not offer people money for being car-centric.

                                  4) Explicitly allow accident victims to sue drivers due to their choice of dangerous vehicles. Trucks and SUVs have been exploding in size and raising their bumpers a lot - and that is leading to a lot more pedestrian deaths. Drivers of those vehicles should face the liability of their choice - including the negligence of their choice in protecting pedestrian safety. They should face higher insurance premiums to cover that negligence. Again, this is about people making free choices rather than being protected from the consequences of their actions. If you drive a car that's safer for pedestrians, that's a better choice. If you drive a car that's more dangerous for pedestrians, that's a worse choice - but you don't face any consequence for that.

                                  5) Disallow car parking on public property without paying market rate. Many places offer free car parking on public property and many other places offer cheap car parking on public property. Why should we offer public property to drivers for free? Again, this is about making drivers face the real costs of their actions. By giving drivers so much free parking, we're subsidizing people to buy a car rather than giving them a free choice.

                                  6) Make people pay for pollution/emissions. Drivers should have to pay for the pollution/emissions that their vehicles create. Otherwise, we're not giving people a free choice. If everyone else is polluting for free and you're not, then you're paying for and suffering from their pollution. By making drivers pay for their pollution and emissions, we make sure that we give people a free choice of what they want to pay for.

                                  Others are harder to do completely independently. Building more public transit means making a choice that influences others choices. Building more or fewer roads means making a choice that influences other choices. Making roads safer for pedestrians might make cars a tad slower influencing people's choices.

                                  Oil and car companies don't "just sell a product that people want to buy." We've created a whole system that makes it hard to live without that product while insulating drivers from the costs of their driving. Drivers always think "I pay so much" and it's nowhere near the cost of their driving. Would you support the 6 things I outlined above? Or is your freely made life choice only a choice you'd make as long as the government subsidizes a huge amount of the cost and protects you from the consequences of your actions?

                                  • sokoloff 12 days ago
                                    > The US allows you to deduct parking costs from your taxes.

                                    Parking costs in furtherance of a business, yes. Same as the US allowing me to deduct the cost of taking the subway to a business meeting or the utility bills required to air condition my office building.

                                    • bombcar 12 days ago
                                      The "oh it's deductible" is way WAY overplayed and I suspect people use it as a fig-leaf for otherwise dubious purchases.

                                      Meanwhile, things like making the electric car tax rebate an actual refundable credit can't be done because that might actually help poorer people!

                                    • nick_ 10 days ago
                                    • giraffe_lady 12 days ago
                                      You know I usually try to consider this sort of thing as like, groups of people responding to large-scale constraints and complex incentives rather than an issue of individual moral virtue and "life choices."

                                      But now that you've pushed it yes absolutely I think making that choice in the face of currently happening climate change crisis is wicked. I don't like it or respect it and don't see why I would be expected to.

                                      I fail to see how this is "the real issue" though. At least as big a problem is we've been encouraged to believe our personal choices have no effect on other people and so there is no particular weight, meaning or consequence to them. It's not true though. Your decision affects other people negatively and you suck for not caring about that.

                                      • ir123 12 days ago
                                        How come europe is not that car dependent?
                                        • rayiner 12 days ago
                                          Europe has lots of car companies and oil companies too, so that framing would seem to support the idea that they’re not the cause.

                                          What’s different about Europe is virtually everything else. See my sibling post on this issue. In a nutshell, an immigrant nation with a long tradition of migration for opportunity and to get away from others places a higher value on unrestricted mobility. Culture is extremely sticky.

                                          Additionally, Europe is very old and that affects patterns of development. Even rural Germany is dotted with towns that are hundreds of years old, and mid-sized cities that anchor regions, like Ulm, are over a thousand years old. Meanwhile, the vast majority of America was developed during the railroad age (leading to cities that are far apart) or the car age (leading to low-density residential development).

                                          Then there’s population growth. Germany’s population only grew about 20% since 1939. That means that the housing areas for most of the population were already built up by the car age. The US population has increased by 150% since 1939. That’s 200 million more people that needed residential areas built for them during the car age.

                                          • bombcar 12 days ago
                                            Also, America has other, darker, undercurrents that occurred around the same time - the racial aspect of car culture can't be entirely dismissed (even if race is/was a proxy for "poor") - Europe seems much more comfortable with poor and rich living near each other (where rich is some variation of "middle to upper-middle class +").
                                            • 8note 12 days ago
                                              The racial aspect is strong - it's "development" that actually killed black wallstreet, rather than the firebombings
                                          • notacoward 12 days ago
                                            Two basic explanations come to mind.

                                            (1) Most of Europe had less of a population boom during the time that the auto/highway build-out happened. Part of the reason, ironically, is that there was a lot of migration from Europe to the US. Many descendants of Europeans are stuck in car culture in the US, while their cousins who stayed home are not.

                                            (2) There's a strong correlation between the ability of governments to "spend for the future" on things like transportation and the existence of decent transit infrastructure. It's no accident that Europe's infrastructure is better, Japan's and China's better still, while in hyper-individualist government-hating US it's the worst.

                                            These two factors reinforce each other as well. Most of the "developed" world got out in front on this issue, while we veered off into insanity (thanks lobbyists!) and are now stuck with the near-impossible task of retrofitting The Right Thing onto a well entrenched Wrong Thing.

                                            • rufus_foreman 12 days ago
                                              At the outbreak of World War 2, close to 50% of US households owned a car. By 1960, around 80%. What were the numbers for Europe?
                                            • uoaei 12 days ago
                                              This ignores an entire history of market manipulation and public propaganda and influence campaigns exercised by the auto industry.
                                          • notacoward 12 days ago
                                            > taking thousands of dollars from families and forcing them to send it to far away places

                                            Not sure if it's what you meant, but that phrasing reverses cause and effect. The arrangement of homes, offices, and retail precedes most individual housing choices. In other words, people chose to live in places, already knowing what the transport implications would be. They weren't yanked out of their car-free utopia and forced to live a car-centric lifestyle.

                                            I agree that the car-centric way we do transit and urban planning is absolutely disastrous and needs to change, but part of making that happen is not simply dismissing people's revealed preferences as something imposed from above. It's the solution that's likely to be imposed from above, and I'm OK with that personally, but in the political real world it pits a whole bunch of noble principles against the hyper-individualist anti-government attitudes prevalent especially in the US. That's how you end up with "ban all cars" on one side and "rolling coal" on the other. The trick is to understand and accommodate the reasons why people choose to live as they do, while still moving toward a better future.

                                            • bombcar 12 days ago
                                              This is one of the things that is so annoying about US public policy; mass transit needs to be built to where people are not yet so that it can support growth in those areas, trying to only shoehorn it in where "there's enough riders already" results in silly systems that don't do anything very effectively.
                                              • notacoward 12 days ago
                                                > only shoehorn it in where "there's enough riders already" results in silly system

                                                "Understand and accommodate" can cover a much broader and more ambitious range of actions than that. Look at the plain words. What I'm saying is that we should understand why people have made the decisions they have, what capabilities or benefits they expect, and trying to preserve those capabilities or benefits even if it's with a completely different kind of infrastructure. It's just basic requirements analysis.

                                                You know what's truly silly, since you used the word? Ignoring others' knowledge, judgment, and agency. Pretending those things don't exist. "You're a dummy who has been duped, screw your feelings, ban cars tomorrow" is both un-empathetic and absolutely useless as a way to formulate policy, but I see it again and again and again from the extremists in these discussions.

                                            • tablespoon 12 days ago
                                              > Requiring people to drive a car 20 miles, 40 minutes, whatever to just live their lives is so stupid it defies belief.

                                              That's pretty misleading and tendentious framing. There's no law requiring people to drive that much: even in the most suburbanly zoned suburb, if you pick someplace close to your job, you have to drive far less than "20 miles, 40 minutes." If you have a more of a commute, it's probably due to optimizing for other priorities.

                                              It'd be great if I could walk around the corner to the a coffee shop and a grocery store, but those businesses just wouldn't be viable at the density I also want to live in.

                                              • aiisjustanif 12 days ago
                                                >> to just live their lives

                                                > if you pick someplace close to your job, you have to drive far less than "20 miles, 40 minutes."

                                                I’d make a good wager that “living their lives”, did not mean going to work. It’s going to the park or the “nice, bustling area” of town a.k.a. the walkable area like the farmers market.

                                                > but those businesses just wouldn't be viable at the density I also want to live in.

                                                The density you want to live in doesn’t sound like it promotes social interactions, drives economic inequality, and takes money from the community.

                                                Also in Texas, California, and Seattle this is a real thing for white collar work. This is a very real thing for blue collar work in almost any state.

                                                • tablespoon 12 days ago
                                                  > I’d make a good wager that “living their lives”, did not mean going to work. It’s going to the park or the “nice, bustling area” of town a.k.a. the walkable area like the farmers market.

                                                  Did you know that suburbs also have parks, shopping, etc. right?

                                                  > The density you want to live in doesn’t sound like it promotes social interactions,

                                                  FYI, "promoting social interactions" does not require density.

                                                  Honestly, it seems you have the strange idea that a particular kind of urban living (that you probably prefer or idealize) is the only kind of good living, and therefore feel the need to take a piss on every other type.

                                                  • clint 11 days ago
                                                    > Honestly, it seems you have the strange idea that a particular kind of urban living (that you probably prefer or idealize) is the only kind of good living, and therefore feel the need to take a piss on every other type.

                                                    That's odd I get the exact same vibe from you.

                                                    • tablespoon 11 days ago
                                                      > That's odd I get the exact same vibe from you.

                                                      Then you're projecting. I never said urban living was bad or inferior, just that it's not for me and that a lot of the negative characterizations being thrown around about it are incorrect. If you want to live in an apartment block downtown and bike everywhere, more power to you. Just don't put down suburbanites as anti-social people who are "forced" to drive 20 miles to experience "parks" and the "'nice, bustling area' of town" (because I guess there's nothing good in wasteland suburbia).

                                              • gernb 12 days ago
                                                getting rid of the car doesn't get rid of the commute. Plently of countries in the world where most people commute by train/bus/subway but it's still 40 minutes or more on average to commute.
                                                • adgjlsfhk1 12 days ago
                                                  There's a massive difference between a 40 minute commute by public transit and one where you're driving. If your commute is by car, you can't do anything else while commuting. If you are on a bus, you don't have to be focused on your commute the whole time.
                                                  • rufus_foreman 12 days ago
                                                    The last place I lived where I rode the bus, when you commuted by bus you had to be focused on the other bus commuters the whole time.

                                                    No thanks, would rather drive.

                                                • jader201 12 days ago
                                                  > It's fucking crazy that we do this. I don't know how much more emphasis I can put on it.

                                                  I usually jump on a soapbox whenever I see so much support for getting rid of cars on HN, so here goes:

                                                  Not everyone lives in a city.

                                                  I’m 100% in agreement for all of these arguments, with the precondition that you live in the city.

                                                  But many prefer and enjoy distance from neighbors, commerce/industry, and enjoy being surrounded by a more natural environment.

                                                  And many of these comments seem to completely ignore folks that prefer a quieter lifestyle over being surrounded by everything.

                                                  This is especially true as we move more towards remote work — if people are able to work out of their home, a percentage of those will want their home -- where they spend a large majority of their life -- to have some privacy and pleasant surroundings. Which means distance. Which means cars.

                                                  • closeparen 12 days ago
                                                    Almost no one is actually surrounded by a natural environment. The suburbia that pervades in America is surrounded by deeply un-natural roadway, parking, gas stations, strip malls, and big box stores. For most people, any time you're outside your home you're in a thoroughly human-crafted world. The question is to what ends that craft is directed. Too many places are optimized for the convenient operation of cars above all other concerns. In an increasingly remote world, we should be less willing to sacrifice other goods on the altar of transportation.

                                                    Even supposing that your surroundings are already very pleasant to you, wouldn't you be better able to revel in their pleasantness without the enclosure of a car or the urgency of a highway?

                                                    • tablespoon 11 days ago
                                                      >> But many prefer and enjoy distance from neighbors, commerce/industry, and enjoy being surrounded by a more natural environment.

                                                      > Almost no one is actually surrounded by a natural environment.

                                                      He didn't say "a natural environment." He said a "more natural environment," which I hazard to guess means stuff like more grass and trees and less concrete outside the window.

                                                      Oh, and BTW: I live in surburbia and actually have a patch of legitimate forest in my backyard.

                                                      • closeparen 11 days ago
                                                        >more grass and trees and less concrete

                                                        I would challenge the degree to which contemporary suburban sprawl developments actually deliver on this promise: wander around any of them, your field of view is going to be dominated by a wide road making a sweeping curve, huge driveways, imposing garage doors, and (maybe, if any houses are visible behind the garages) giant masses of vinyl siding. There's at least as much inorganic material in the vista as in any Manhattan streetscape, it's just the ugly and utilitarian kind, designed to facilitate efficient through-travel and car storage instead of something designed to be pleasant or inviting to people in itself.

                                                        You can have a nice patch of nature privately in your backyard, and perhaps in dedicated parks and preserves, but the connective tissue between all that stuff is remarkably hostile to any mode of engagement besides passing through at speed.

                                                      • snerbles 12 days ago
                                                        It's interesting that your first assumption is suburbia and not an actually rural setting.
                                                        • rland 12 days ago
                                                          It's a valid assumption to make. Most people live in suburbia, relatively few are truly rural. A little less than one in five, according to [1]

                                                          [1] https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2017/08/rural-america...

                                                          • closeparen 12 days ago
                                                            In a rural setting, you surroundings would normally be working farmland. Nothing particularly natural about vast rectangles of genetically engineered crops dotted with heavy equipment and industrial buildings. Better to look at landscaping designed for one's aesthetic enjoyment than for economic production.
                                                        • Cederfjard 12 days ago
                                                          As we figure out how to live sustainably with ten billion people (or wherever the population will cap out) with higher and higher standards, perhaps certain people’s preferences isn’t what we should optimize for. Maybe if you want to live far away from others, you’ll have to bear the true cost of the externalities associated with that. So yes, you can live in the sticks, but running that car of yours is going to cost you. If you won’t or can’t pay for that, stay in the city with everyone else and live efficiently.
                                                          • s0rce 12 days ago
                                                            I'm tired of subsidizing rural people, the communities are unsutainable, particularly in the west where they have extreme fire risk.
                                                            • bliteben 12 days ago
                                                              Where did you get this insane idea that subsidizing actual farming and agriculture is a bad idea? Do you not like eating or being alive? I agree the subsidies are probably not 100% efficient but the intent is to keep you alive in times of famine or worldwide catastrophe.

                                                              We don't live in a planned society and many many people have made mistakes about where to farm / raise livestock in the US. The good news is they usually eventually give up if the place is unsuitable, sometimes there are outsize subsidies that allow bad practices to go on forever, but in general it does correct itself. That land eventually (especially in non desert areas) returns back to its norm, where badly planned cities will take a much longer timescale to return back to nature.

                                                              • s0rce 12 days ago
                                                                I guess that was overly broad. Many rural residents (most?) are not farmers...
                                                          • flaviut 12 days ago
                                                            I see nothing wrong with that.

                                                            But it's exactly how you said:

                                                            > want their home -- where they spend a large majority of their lives -- to have some privacy and pleasant surroundings

                                                            This applies to people living in cities too. I don't want to have to be afraid of death or serious injury whenever I cross the street.

                                                            Please leave your car at the park-and-ride outside.

                                                            • Bukhmanizer 12 days ago
                                                              I think most people, including the person you replied to would agree with this. The key is that people shouldn’t be required to have a car to go everywhere.

                                                              By increasing density in some places, we would decrease density in other places, allowing people to have a choice in how they want to live. But in huge swaths of America, there is basically no diversity in density. You literally can’t live somewhere that’s walkable or bike-able to grocery stores and restaurants, and you can’t live somewhere that’s more rural than a suburb (because it’s all suburbs).

                                                              Even in non-cities I’ve lived in places where it’s perfectly fine to walk or bike to do my daily chores, but to have a car for longer trips. But if the only options are a Walmart 10 miles away, and a Home Depot 15 miles away from the Walmart, it’s just not possible.

                                                              • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                I really wonder what people mean by "rural" but I suspect what most people are saying is "suburbs are where I want to live, but I want everything as close as it is in the city.

                                                                Because in my "town" which is something like 10k, we're 30 miles from the nearest "bigger town" and 45 from the nearest international airport, but I can walk to Walmart in 30m or walk to Ace Hardware in about the same (though in a different direction).

                                                                So they do exist, they just don't exist where people want them to.

                                                                To me "rural" is mile long dirt driveway at the end of a gravel road that is ten miles from the nearest paved road, let alone the nearest services.

                                                              • cpursley 12 days ago
                                                                Nobody is suggesting we prevent people from living away from cities. People are talking about making North American cities human-friendly instead of car-centric. Also, the more people live in cities, the more the countryside is left wide open - for people who want to live there.

                                                                If you want to see how you can have your cake and eat it too, watch some of this guys videos:


                                                                • jyounker 12 days ago
                                                                  Small towns are great places for bike paths and bike infrastructure. If you don't believe so, then I suggest visiting the Dutch countryside.
                                                                  • bjustin 12 days ago
                                                                    Large networks of large roads are not financially sustainable [1]. I can only assume this is more the case the more rural you get. Asking for more of the current American style of car infrastructure may not even work, depending on the specifics.

                                                                    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IsMeKl-Sv0

                                                                    • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                      Rural areas are actually cheaper because they do NOT have paved roads every 500 feet or so. The local county pays for all of the rural roads (maintenance, plowing, etc) and the little town pays for the roads in town; federal funds are only used for the interstate and some connecting ramps, etc.

                                                                      What may not be sustainable is city-like road patterns with suburban densities.

                                                                  • thegrim33 12 days ago
                                                                    "We're literally making ourselves poor trying to do this." I guess you'd need to explain why we've had this infrastructure for the entire history of our country, and it didn't "make us poor" before. You're implying it so obviously doesn't work, yet it's been the default setup for every city in the country for a long time now. It very obviously has worked in the past.
                                                                    • hnaccount141 12 days ago
                                                                      This series from Strong Towns does a good job of explaining the idea (with case studies). The gist is that the specific pattern of infrastructure design we've been using since WWII (car-dependent sprawl) isn't financially sustainable without relying on future growth. We got away with it for a while due to the rapid growth seen in the 2nd half of the 20th century, but as growth has slowed, we're finding ourselves falling behind.


                                                                      • uoaei 12 days ago
                                                                        It has been making us poor the whole time, but city budgets are good at hiding the burden we carry. Every municipality you stepped foot in today is probably one that carries significant debt because the rate of return on development of the current style (sprawl-oriented) is terrible. Compare this to higher-density options where people are pedestrians who are free to walk into shops along a boulevard, with no need for parking spaces and drive-thrus, which are shown to be more prosperous for cities and foster more productive and sustainable sources of tax revenue in downtowns and public centers more generally.
                                                                        • adgjlsfhk1 12 days ago
                                                                          We really haven't. The interstate system is only 70 years old (and was built at a time the US was incredibly rich)
                                                                          • btreesOfSpring 12 days ago
                                                                            The Strong Town series by Not Just Bikes on YouTube is often linked on HN but the third video[0] in the series covers your question. Take a look if you are curious about where the "making ourselves poor" point of view is hatched.

                                                                            [0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IsMeKl-Sv0

                                                                        • dionidium 12 days ago
                                                                          The belief that the opposite is true is so entrenched that business owners in Manhattan vehemently opposed banning cars on 14th St for fear that it would devastate their businesses. Of course, nothing of the sort happened. The cars were banned and nothing happened except that the street got a lot quieter and safer.
                                                                          • NovemberWhiskey 12 days ago
                                                                            Based on feedback from local businesses in early 2020 (pre-Covid), ~40% of food and beverage businesses reported that business had become either "worse" or "much worse" since the changes. Reports from "dry retail" businesses are slightly better and service businesses slightly worse.

                                                                            This is compared with <20% of businesses that reported any kind of improvement in business conditions.

                                                                            https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5bc63eb90b77bd20c50c5... (page 21)

                                                                            Traffic also increased substantially on some of the nearby streets, as expected.

                                                                            A reasonable discussion on the impact of these kinds of changes can be had; but not if we're going to make up statements about what the impact of the changes was.

                                                                            • dionidium 12 days ago
                                                                              We're at a bit of an impasse here because I simply don't find those self-reports credible. These folks are salty about the changes. They're not going to tell people that it's going swimmingly. Does it pass any kind of smell test that most of the traffic in these shops arrived by automobile? We don't need to ask them, anyway. I feel like it'd be pretty easy to set up a test to simply observe how people arrive at shops on neighboring streets.
                                                                              • cmonagle 12 days ago
                                                                                It would be very interesting to see more comparisons between merchant's perceptions of mobility and reality, but this[1] Toronto study is the only one I'm aware of. As expected, merchants were proven to not be credible sources.

                                                                                > • 72% of visitors to the Study Area usually arrive by active transportation (by bicycle or walking). Only 4% report that driving is their usual mode of transportation.

                                                                                > • Merchants overestimated the number of their customers who arrived by car. 42% of merchants estimated that more than 25% of their customers usually arrived by car.

                                                                                Similarly, Toronto compared credit card transaction volume by mode in evaluating the Bloor bike lane. The area with the new bike lane saw increased card transaction volume, by slightly more than the control areas [2]. Merchants did report an increase in customers at this time.

                                                                                [1] https://www.tcat.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Bike-Lanes-On...

                                                                                [2] https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/pw/bgrd/backgroundf... (Page 15 for Moneris data).

                                                                                • mckeed 12 days ago
                                                                                  Doesn't that study say that the merchants properly reported an increase in customers? So applying that to the NYC example, it's a reason to doubt the expectations before the change, but not necessarily the reports after.
                                                                                • belligeront 12 days ago
                                                                                  Agreed. This is one of the most transit dense areas of ny and the country. The amount of available street parking was minuscule compared to the amount of people walking/biking/transiting on 14th.
                                                                                • NovemberWhiskey 12 days ago
                                                                                  This reads as "I don't believe it's a problem and I don't believe it when people tell me it's a problem". Why exactly do you think these merchants are salty about the changes? What reason do they have to misreport on this stuff?
                                                                                  • dionidium 11 days ago
                                                                                    I think it's pretty easy to think of reasons:

                                                                                    1. They drive to work and erroneously assume their customers also arrive by car

                                                                                    2. They're more likely to be old and dedicated to a car-centric society

                                                                                    3. They're more likely to live in outer boroughs and don't care much about neighborhood walkability

                                                                                    4. They heavily protested the changes and are invested in the idea that it wouldn't work

                                                                                    5. The minority of their customers who do drive are very loud. They hear them complain whenever they come in and so erroneously assume they're representative.

                                                                                    6. Self-reports are generally unreliable and inferior to actual measurement

                                                                                    I think I could probably think of more, if I had to.

                                                                                    • frosted-flakes 12 days ago
                                                                                      Because they themselves drive down those streets.
                                                                                  • dghlsakjg 12 days ago
                                                                                    This seems like such a convoluted way of measuring what happened.

                                                                                    There are very easy and very concrete ways to measure if businesses saw a drop in spending. You could look at tax receipts for the area, for one.

                                                                                    Instead they chose to ask peoples feelings about sales numbers...

                                                                                    • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                                      Way WAY too many "studies" are done this way - the famous "50% can't afford a $500 unexpected expense" study for example is a survey asking people if they could spend $500 without worry.

                                                                                      It's cheaper, but it's not better. True investigations watch results over time and compare actual items (that still have to be determined to be significant).

                                                                                    • sandworm101 12 days ago
                                                                                      That depends on one's perspective. Certainly the businesses seem to have suffered, but who in NYC really cares about street-level businesses? NYC is all about high-end residential real estate. Emptying that street of makes all those apartments slightly more desirable, slightly more expensive. That in turn has a net benefit to the city's bottom line. And I would not be surprised if there were more people employed in constructing new high-end apartment buildings that there are working street-level retail.

                                                                                      There is an old saying that nobody who "works" in NYC can afford to live in NYC. You need passive family/investment income to support living there. The new saying might be that nobody who lives in new your can afford to live there. It is a place for people rich enough to maintain residences in multiple cities, a place for luxury crashpads servicing weekend benders. Nobody rich enough to owns a NYC apartment actually spends much time in NYC.

                                                                                      • yieldcrv 12 days ago
                                                                                        sort of kind of, I think you arbitrarily mix renting with owning and that changes a lot

                                                                                        I've lived in all of the expensive cities in the US, never interested in saving for a downpayment so its a much larger budget that worked okay with whatever job I was doing

                                                                                    • colpabar 12 days ago
                                                                                      This attitude is common in my city as well. So many people seem to think that if you cannot park directly in front of a business then that business will fail.
                                                                                      • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                                        The list of businesses directly affected by proximity to traffic consists of:

                                                                                        1. Gas stations

                                                                                        Everything else does better when the storefront is nearer the road, assuming all things else are equal (ie., rear parking vs front parking). However, to do this right you often need two entrances for the business, which can complicate things.

                                                                                        • mcv 12 days ago
                                                                                          Well, maybe if I can't park my bike directly in front of it. But there's never enough space for all the cars of all the customers; car drivers are used to having to walk the last bit.
                                                                                          • datavirtue 12 days ago
                                                                                            Typical seat-of-the-pants, non-data-driven business thinking. Knee jerk pablum.
                                                                                            • skrbjc 12 days ago
                                                                                              Considering the number of food-delivery cars constantly double parked along the restaurant-dense streets of my area, the restaurants would probably lose a fair bit of business if cars couldn't access them.
                                                                                              • pgodzin 12 days ago
                                                                                                why can't all those trips be done by e-bike?
                                                                                          • thedevelopnik 12 days ago
                                                                                            Yeah Denver turned one of the residential roads in my neighborhood into an official bike road two years ago. They replaced stop signs with roundabouts, put up tons of signage, and where there are lights at major crossings they put sensors that are triggered by bikes.

                                                                                            Even though it’s still shared with cars, it’s so much more pleasant and safe because they are more aware and polite.

                                                                                            Went from biking being just a thing I do to get around to taking my son to and from school on his bike every day.

                                                                                            • aeolis_mons 12 days ago
                                                                                              Are you talking about 16th? Moving from NYC, I appreciated the island of sanity that street provides in Denver’s car-dominated cityscape.
                                                                                            • postscapes1 12 days ago
                                                                                              Where in Denver is this? Am local here and most of the city is dismal for biking safely with kids
                                                                                              • mediocregopher 12 days ago
                                                                                                They did this in a few places in caphill during covid, 16th and 11th being big examples. The cars have since been allowed back on those roads, though. Someone went tearing down 11th in their jeep at easily 50mph the other day, made me really really miss those days.
                                                                                            • AlecSchueler 12 days ago
                                                                                              > If you make it pleasant to ride a bike - people will do it.

                                                                                              There's a lovely saying in Dutch urban design circles, "Build for the traffic you want, not the traffic you have."

                                                                                              • jeffbee 12 days ago
                                                                                                The problem is excessive deference by local authorities to incumbent business operators. Often the businesses have no idea how their customers get to their store. They assume everyone drives, but careful observational surveys often disprove this idea. This was shown conclusively in Toronto and Oakland by before/after studies. Governments shouldn't revere the input of local business operators. They should study the evidence and act rationally.
                                                                                                • Taylor_OD 12 days ago
                                                                                                  Yeah pretty simple. I've lived in places where I biked almost everywhere and placed where I've been scared to even get on a bike. Biking is my preferred way of getting around a city but some cities invite bikers and others dont.
                                                                                                  • dangus 12 days ago
                                                                                                    This is a great and underrated point: high-speed traffic avenues are terrible for business.

                                                                                                    As a retail business, you want to be in a place where actual humans are there and moving slowly enough to lay eyes on your storefront.

                                                                                                    The only way it works for stroad big box developments are giant ugly signs designed to be visible for miles. Even then, someone might just decide to drive on by rather than dealing with a two-way center left turn lane against two lanes of oncoming traffic.

                                                                                                    • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                                                      The other thing to remember is that cars can drive around, parking can be in the rear, etc - there's no reason to dedicate the prime real-estate to parking of all things.

                                                                                                      And when buildings face the road and are closer to it, it becomes more walkable and rideable. You're more likely to slip into a store if it's up against the sidewalk than if you have to cross an acre of parking to get to it.

                                                                                                    • dominotw 12 days ago
                                                                                                      > If you make it pleasant to ride a bike - people will do it.

                                                                                                      Just to put this context < 100 more people "did it". 138 -> 211 isn't significant at all. Also 138 was on day with 55 deg weather and 211 was on 75 deg weather. more people ride bikes on a perfect 75deg day.

                                                                                                      • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                                                        73 "car trips" saved is still a valuable metric; that can make/break other roads and reduce traffic overall.
                                                                                                      • mc32 12 days ago
                                                                                                        I don't know if that's a lot of return on investment over six years. I love being able to bike in protected bike lanes but the numbers, I would say, are dismal:

                                                                                                        >"While the growth rate change during each year was modest, the accumulated impact over the study period was more substantial – a growth rate in bicycle counts of 69% over the 6-year study period. Locations with an on-street bike lane, also showed growth though at a lower rate than protected bikeways. On average, these on-street bike lane locations saw 99 more cyclists on average during the peak period and a similar rate of increase in ridership over time compared to locations without facilities (26% increase over 6 years)."

                                                                                                        • gonzo41 12 days ago
                                                                                                          Yep yep yep, add an electric bike to the mix and you've gotta winner EV for the people that gets over the range concern so many have.
                                                                                                          • holri 12 days ago
                                                                                                            It is also much more intersiting for the biker. On many occasions I met people or interesting art / shops etc. while biking, I would have missing those travling by car or bus. You are much more connected to your environment. You do not need an artificial entertainment system, the world itself is your entertainment, as it should be.
                                                                                                            • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                                                              Slow travel is like going to a bookstore to get the latest O'Reilly book. If you walk or ride your bike to your destination, you're traveling slow enough to notice what you're passing, and you may notice something you've never seen before, or stop in at a store you've always passed on by, just like walking to the tech section in the bookstore would take you past all the other rows of books, which have a chance of catching your eye.

                                                                                                              If you drive, you're going to your destination and are unlikely to be derailed or sidetracked, just like ordering a book from Amazon doesn't get much visibility into anything else, even with all their AI.

                                                                                                              • em-bee 12 days ago
                                                                                                                a documentary i saw recently about biking in germany reported exactly this observation about i think copenhagen, where it was noticed that bike riders shop more impulsively because when they see something, they can just stop and get it, whereas car drivers have to find a place to park, and then walk to the shop, which means they will mostly focus on their original destination, and won't allow themselves to be sidetracked. the faster speed and need to focus on traffic also makes it less likely to even pay attention to the shops they are passing.
                                                                                                                • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                                                                  Yep, and cars also cause "false economy" where you'll spend a good dollar's worth of gas and wear-and-tear to go a bit further to the store where you can save fifty cents.

                                                                                                                  Walking or biking suddenly makes that a matter of time savings and more noticeable.

                                                                                                          • pwenzel 12 days ago
                                                                                                            Minneapolis resident here. Biking is pretty serious in our city, even in the winter. Many of the bike lanes and paths are plowed with the same priority as car traffic. We also have the Grand Rounds, which is almost 80 miles of paths that circle the lakes in Minneapolis and further into St. Paul. It's pretty amazing.
                                                                                                            • onychomys 12 days ago
                                                                                                              The day after the Metrodome collapsed, I was able to bike to work on the greenway even though every road in town was out of commission. It was plowed with a higher priority than anywhere else!
                                                                                                              • WkndTriathlete 12 days ago
                                                                                                                Additionally, a lot of the county highways around Minneapolis have car-width shoulders. It's not all of them, but it's enough to ride 60-80-100 miles pretty easily without having to worry too much about getting picked off by a vehicle straying over the right lane line a little.

                                                                                                                Fat bike in the winter; road bike in the summer; fat bike/mountain bike on lots of mountain bike trails in the metro and outstate all year. It's pretty great.

                                                                                                              • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                                                                Note that the improvement was on protected bike lanes, which is the key. A dedicated bike path (even if shared with pedestrians) is the kind of thing that gets people who don't ride to try riding.

                                                                                                                Painting some lines on the road can help once people are on the bike - we need more dedicated bike lanes and they should be designed to "shortcut" in ways that roads do not.

                                                                                                                Even things like "mostly" closing an alley to through car traffic and making it a bike "road" can work - people won't cut through it if cars are blocked from getting to the other end, but they can still use it to access back alley stuff if necessary.

                                                                                                                • toyg 12 days ago
                                                                                                                  > Painting some lines on the road can help once people are on the bike

                                                                                                                  Nah, it really doesn't. It just creates aggravation for cars and bikes alike, as both parties are stressed out about small spaces and eventually who-went-over-the-line. The only place it helps is at intersections, to favour filtering; whether that's a good thing per se, I'll leave for others to argue.

                                                                                                                  This is one of those areas where politicians' default modes ("compromise" and "progressive improvement") just don't work. On busy roads, you either build wholly-separated spaces for bicycles and motor vehicles, or you might as well not bother. On tight streets, you close the street to motors or you might as well not bother.

                                                                                                                  Painting lines is only useful to assuage somebody's conscience or tick some abstract box, not to actual road users. And I say that as a motorbike owner.

                                                                                                                  • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                                                                    The places I've seen where line painting works is where it replaced on-street parking; a bike lane painted on a road that is 10-12 feet wide works well, for some value of well.

                                                                                                                    The thin bike lanes added to roads are a joke most of the time.

                                                                                                                    • frosted-flakes 12 days ago
                                                                                                                      My city converted a lot of 4-lane roads to 2 traffic lanes, a centre-turn lane, and 2 wide bike lanes. It's great, cheap, and it really doesn't affect car traffic at all.
                                                                                                                      • genocidicbunny 12 days ago
                                                                                                                        Anecdotally, where I live has been doing something similar, and it really depends on the specific road as to whether or not it's effective. One of the roads near me had this 'road diet' done to it, and the net result was that drivers actually ended up speeding more often on that road because they ended up driving faster to avoid driving next to cars in the narrowed lanes. Since the road diet occurred, I've basically not seen any cyclists using that road anymore because the car traffic has gotten more dangerous.
                                                                                                                        • frosted-flakes 12 days ago
                                                                                                                          These are all on curving roads through residential neighbourhoods, which might have something to do with it. Roads that really did not need 4 lanes to begin with. Some areas near schools also have enforced 40 km/hr speed limits.
                                                                                                                  • em-bee 12 days ago

                                                                                                                    this german documentary makes exactly the same observation and argument. street markings may help existing riders, but most of those will ride anyways, even without dedicated paths.

                                                                                                                    whereas protected bike lanes are what really attracts new riders

                                                                                                                  • SeanLuke 12 days ago
                                                                                                                    This was a case study with no control group. Case studies are, IMHO, close to useless.

                                                                                                                    Having read the study, I'm not impressed. No attempt was made to compare Minneapolis with peer cities as controls, that is, ones which did not increase bike infrastructure. A limited model was attempted regarding climate impacts, but beyond this little was done to control for external factors. Thus we have no idea if the change in bike usage was due to the bike lanes or if it was due to some other factor, such as societal, environmental, or other changes in Minnesota, or the US, which increased ridership over the 7-year inclusive (!!!) time period of the study.

                                                                                                                    Additionally, this study was essentially a before-and-after for the US's $25 million Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP). The study is based on data gathered by parties highly invested in the program's success, such as Transit for Livable Communities (a nonprofit paid by Minnesota to manage the program), rather than disinterested parties.

                                                                                                                    Do I want to see cycling successful? You bet I do. Does this paper tell us anything much? No, it does not.

                                                                                                                    • overbyplants 12 days ago
                                                                                                                      I'm a cyclist in Minneapolis, and I'd love to see even more dedicated bike and multiuse trails everywhere. I think it's critical for all sorts of reasons, and have personal investments in it at some level.

                                                                                                                      I had a sort of similar reaction as you to the study though. It's better than nothing, it provides some numbers that are consistent with one interpretation, and I believe that interpretation, but there are other interpretations.

                                                                                                                      One issue is that dedicated bike paths in the Twin Cities don't get put in random places. The money and municipal planning involved in them is focused on pathways that are of critical infrastructural importance, or where studies have already shown that they're likely to see a lot of use. They get put in places where the city and county wants to increase nonvehicular transportation as much as possible, to increase access to something (e.g., light rail, some kind of hub) or to connect two or more places.

                                                                                                                      So showing that bike use is higher in places that a lot of city, county, park, and DoT planners have decided there's a demand for, based on years of study, isn't entirely surprising. It would be like if five companies did a multiyear study of demand for product X versus Y, concluded people would prefer X, made product X, and showed that it sold better than Y.

                                                                                                                      On the other hand, you could go full circle and interpret this as just meaning the municipal planning studies are usually right, and people do like dedicated bike lanes, especially in the places their studies suggest.

                                                                                                                      • alangibson 12 days ago
                                                                                                                        You're right in your criticism of the study. Luckily the Netherlands has already proven that for bike infrastructure, if you build it they will come.
                                                                                                                        • Paianni 12 days ago
                                                                                                                          According to Figure 6 from the study linked below, the trend in cycling levels in the Netherlands was essentially flat from the mid-80s to the mid-2000s. I recall (but cannot find) a source with statistics that suggest a minor increase since then, but much of the current infrastructure was in place 15 years ago.


                                                                                                                          • user_7832 12 days ago
                                                                                                                            Speaking as someone living in the NLs, I don't see any reason for cycle use/ownership to change much. Folks who can cycle likely already do, and those who can't/don't want to are unlikely to start (with the exception of e bikes making it easier).
                                                                                                                            • em-bee 12 days ago
                                                                                                                              because the netherlands already have a very good biking infrastructure for decades. i have been biking there in the 80s and 90s. neighboring germany was no comparison. obviously if you already have good infrastructure, further improvements won't be very noticeable or motivate many more people to bike.

                                                                                                                              but in cities that previously didn't have good infrastructure, the massive improvements really did attract new riders that would not have considered riding a bike before.

                                                                                                                            • diordiderot 12 days ago
                                                                                                                              They built their cycle infrastructure through the 60s and 70s tho so that would make sense
                                                                                                                              • willio58 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                Yep, they started doing the same dumb car-centric infrastructure as the US around the 50s but unlike us they stopped when they saw how it was negatively affecting life for their people.
                                                                                                                                • Paianni 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                  Is it not a wee bit short-sighted to label everything car-centric undertaken in the 50s and 60s 'dumb' when the planners and engineers of the day were learning just as they are today?
                                                                                                                                  • willio58 1 day ago
                                                                                                                                    I agree, the ‘dumb’ in my comment comes from an anger i feel toward these planners. They engineered the life around us, but instead of doing it in an intelligent way, they allowed car companies and dictate our lives for decades to come. Now the younger generations are stuck in concrete and asphalt worlds confused why they can’t walk to the grocery store without crossing a 6-lane stroad.
                                                                                                                          • nabilhat 12 days ago
                                                                                                                            It's quite generalized. If you're looking for more focused data and conclusions, public projects like these infrastructure improvements that are to some degree novel or pioneering (for the USA at least) are subject to a high level of attention and data collection over time. The city's website presents a lot of those results:


                                                                                                                            Minneapolis in particular has been remarkable in the USA bikey world for their investment in multimodal infrastructure over the last 15 years. In this regard they've long been widely regarded as a success and discussed in detail in blogs, magazines, etc.

                                                                                                                          • astuyvenberg 12 days ago
                                                                                                                            After spending a decade living and biking around Minneapolis, I recently moved to Boston.

                                                                                                                            The comparison of bicycle infrastructure (and number of people cycling) is stark. Given how bad the vehicle traffic is in Boston, I expected lots of bike commuters.

                                                                                                                            But there's no cohesive bicycle infrastructure here. Protected lanes barely exist, and even when they do, they suddenly end - leaving you on the side of a busy road.

                                                                                                                            Maybe one day Boston can catch up.

                                                                                                                            • bwanab 12 days ago
                                                                                                                              It’s really problematic. Next door Cambridge is devolving into civil war over bike lanes on Mass Ave. The trouble is that to put in the bike lanes something else has to give. What’s giving is parking spaces which the merchants consider essential to their livelihood. Every time this comes up on Nextdoor it becomes a shouting match. Personally, I stick to riding on the Minuteman. My calculation of the risk reward ratio isn’t good enough to justify riding on the streets.
                                                                                                                              • nerdponx 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                Ironically if you had better bike infrastructure you wouldn't need all the parking.

                                                                                                                                The MBTA bus redesign ought to help too.

                                                                                                                                But there is no reason why downtown dense city areas should be so car-dependent. It's not like people will stop going to shops along Mass Ave if they can't drive there!

                                                                                                                                What's worse is that even in surrounding suburbs, which have wide roads, the bike infrastructure is basically nonexistent, and car traffic is correspondingly horrible.

                                                                                                                                Not to mention the economic benefits to small businesses of having downtown bike infrastructure. Imagine how places like Malden would benefit (especially since there is already a bike path there).

                                                                                                                              • ocb 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                It's a case of the relatively spread out development pattern and associated wide rights of way being advantageous. Minneapolis can tack on fairly substantial bike infrastructure without totally screwing over cars, which would be just as politically difficult in Minneapolis as any other American city.

                                                                                                                                The Grand Rounds help a lot too. It's a great basis to have inherited from the past.

                                                                                                                                • gen220 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                  Not a Boston resident, but have some friends up there who say that there are great bike paths for urban ingress/egress, but not particularly good for intra-urban travel. Does that match your experience?
                                                                                                                                  • astuyvenberg 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                    I've put on about 200 miles since moving to Boston, and that observation does not align with my experience at all.

                                                                                                                                    So far I've ridden one very good path connecting a few suburbs to Boston (Minuteman Bike Trail, a rails to trails path). There are other paths, but they're combined with running/walking trails and generally not conducive to bicycle travel.

                                                                                                                                    The bike lanes of nearby Somerville and Cambridge are okay, but still lacking in comparison with Minneapolis.

                                                                                                                                    • gen220 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                      Gotcha, that's disappointing.

                                                                                                                                      I think my friends were riding along the Charles River, for what it's worth. They're more occasional bike commuters (once or twice per week) than a real serious bunch, and I don't know their start/end points.

                                                                                                                                      Rail-to-trail appears to be how most longish (10 mile +) bike paths come into existence in the northeast, from my observations. There's a lot less "free space" to work with than other parts of the country, since the land is so developed / dominated by automobiles.

                                                                                                                                      • rory 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                        I used to commute on the Charles River bike paths and esplanade. It is actually pretty great for commuting from the Allston and Harvard areas downtown, but that experience doesn't generalize to other routes around the city. And the last half mile or so to get to your actual office can be pretty perilous.
                                                                                                                                • zahma 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                  Not really surprised. The foundation was already there. Maybe 15-20 years ago Minneapolis started to build bike lanes along old railways and trolly lines. Some of the paths spanned the city and became thoroughfares totally isolated from traffic. The city had a good thing and kept at it. Good for them.

                                                                                                                                  Worth mentioning is that the city has grown in population. That was designed by previous mayoral campaigns to bring in industry. Lots of suburban folks also started moving back into the city too in the 2010s, so demographically the city was ripe to see more cycling. There’s also just a better culture for exercise and outdoor activity in Minneapolis. It used to be one of the fittest cities.

                                                                                                                                  I’m not sure this could work everywhere. Minneapolis has different planning than most cities I’ve seen. There’s a lot of residential space (that’s now being re-zoned), which means more room to build on and options in case bike paths reroute traffic. The streets are generally larger and there are lots of parallel avenues and boulevards that facilitate partitioning of cyclists and cars. Personally, I find this to be ideal for commuting, and Minneapolis began to experiment with closing streets to cyclists a long time ago. I’ll stop myself from ranting about the budget for interstates and road maintenance compared to the cost of 76mi bike lanes though.

                                                                                                                                  • jvanderbot 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                    Concur. I lived in minneapolis for a long time, and biked almost 100% (except winter). I have never felt more un-safe than when I tried to live this lifestyle in LA. In Minneapolis, you could ride along bike-specific greenways and literally stop at bike-only pubs, coffee shops, etc. It was quite accommodating.

                                                                                                                                    I'm sure much of that has changed with recent events, but I'm moving back and am cautiously optimistic.

                                                                                                                                    • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                      Minneapolis has the advantage of some relatively major rivers, which provide convenient areas to run bike paths along. It works decently well.
                                                                                                                                      • jvanderbot 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                        I want to call out their conversion of old railways to "greenways" though. Rail lines are straight, off the main roads, have their own bridges, and usually run into the old warehouse areas that are actually the new build-up areas with all the cool bars, student housing, etc. Really smart use of existing infra.
                                                                                                                                        • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                          Rails to trails is being done in multiple areas and is a great way to reuse right-of-ways (sometimes the railroad still owns them and has the right to redevelop them in the future!) that already exist, and you can even add trails next to active lines sometimes (especially since many "active" lines are one train a day or less).


                                                                                                                                      • rufus_foreman 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                        > and biked almost 100% (except winter)

                                                                                                                                        So like 50%?

                                                                                                                                        • jvanderbot 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                          You know, late Nov to Apr, is 50% of the year, so yeah. I usually biked starting in March.
                                                                                                                                          • rufus_foreman 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                            So if there's bike infrastructure for March to November, there also has to be other infrastructure for November to March?
                                                                                                                                      • nic_wilson 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                        I’ve been a bike commuter in Minneapolis for almost two decades at this point. It’s much better than it was. In the early 2000s I’d say most cars were not used to or expecting to share the streets with other forms of transportation. Back then it was not uncommon to have motorists hurl insults or trash at you from their window. Today it’s not that difficult to route your commute to most places entirely on bike specific infrastructure. On the other hand, over the last five years and especially since the pandemic I’ve noticed a huge increase in distracted drivers who are driving dangerously and unpredictably. All this is to say, a lot of people have done a lot of hard work which has made this a better place to live and bike in, but there is still a long way to go.
                                                                                                                                        • boringg 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                          Easy equation - make safe biking in the city and people will use it instead of driving if weather permits. It's such an easy equation to improve the quality of a city.
                                                                                                                                          • alistairSH 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                            if weather permits

                                                                                                                                            Reminds me of an old cycling adage (possibly predates modern cycling, not sure):

                                                                                                                                            There's no such thing as poor weather, only poor clothing choices.

                                                                                                                                            I hate to come across as a Nordic fetishist, but there are several cold northern cities known for their year-round cycling. Bike paths are plowed and/or heated. And people just layer up. Oulu, Finland comes to mind - paths are designed to drain well so sheets of ice don't form, plows are paid bonuses for clearing snow in a timely manner, etc. Winter ridership numbers in Oulu would put most/all American cities' summer numbers to shame.

                                                                                                                                            • KennyBlanken 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                              Indeed. 43% of Minneapolis bicyclists ride year-round: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/36685502.pdf

                                                                                                                                              I always found winter riding far preferable to the alternative: walking in the cold to a bus stop, standing there for 5-10 minutes, standing for 15 minutes in a lukewarm bus, then walking 5+ minutes in the cold...

                                                                                                                                              ...versus biking home, and being warm within 5 minutes, and having all my jacket zippers open by the time I get home in a total of 20 minutes, walking in the door toasty warm.

                                                                                                                                              Half the problem is that most of the American populace considers itself experts on bicycling despite knowing fuck-all about it (never use the front brake! Tell your kids to ride against traffic for safety! You'll sweat to death biking to work in the summer! You'll freeze to death biking to work in the winter!) and the other half of the problem is that the American populace is incredibly bigoted towards anyone on foot or especially on a bicycle, and considers themselves road vigilantes whose duty is to punish the cyclist in front of them for every traffic violation supposedly committed by another cyclist that they witnessed at one time.

                                                                                                                                              • vel0city 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                > There's no such thing as poor weather, only poor clothing choices.

                                                                                                                                                Where I live the heat index is supposed to be 108F with almost no cloud coverage. Riding a bike a few miles in the middle of the day is definitely risking heat stroke. It is without a doubt poor weather for riding.

                                                                                                                                                • KennyBlanken 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                  And yet bicycles are very popular in countries where it is incredibly hot and humid.

                                                                                                                                                  Bicycling is more efficient than walking; you're generating less heat to move at the same speed, or you can move faster for the same heat generation, generating more cooling breeze.

                                                                                                                                                  I've ridden in over 100 degree weather during a heat wave. I dressed in the lightest clothing I owned, and arrived barely sweating.

                                                                                                                                                  My coworkers demanded to know how I'd arrived not drenched in sweat; after all, just walking from the bus stop many of them had gotten soaked in sweat.

                                                                                                                                                  Simple: I planned an extra ten minutes for my commute, and barely pressed the pedals...

                                                                                                                                                  • reidjs 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                    If you are in good condition and wearing light clothes, sunscreen, and drinking plenty of water, hot weather is not a problem for bicyclists. Admittedly it takes a bit of work to get there, though, and most people are not willing to put in the work.
                                                                                                                                                    • WkndTriathlete 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                      Riding when the temperature is 42C is "uncomfortable", rather than "not a problem", if you're seriously road riding. I suppose it's only "not a problem" if you're slowly tooling around on a cruiser...
                                                                                                                                                      • reidjs 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                        Part of being in good condition is knowing your limits. If it’s that hot out, you will want to leave a bit earlier and ride slower so you don’t overheat.
                                                                                                                                                    • titzer 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                      One idea would be to cover bike paths with solar panels.
                                                                                                                                                    • fipar 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                      Do they also get lots of rain, or only snow?

                                                                                                                                                      I find that biking (and more broadly, being outdoors) sucks during rainy winter days, but I live in a place with no snow and only humid, rainy winters. Also, having something waterproof to cover your head has a negative impact on your ability to see properly (even as a pedestrian).

                                                                                                                                                      I've been a few times to places where it snows in the winter (nothing extreme, NYC in February and Ottawa in January) and found that it is more tolerable for me to be outdoors (given proper clothing) during snow than during rainy winter days.

                                                                                                                                                      • alistairSH 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                        Oulu is near the arctic circle, so winter rain is probably rare (though I've never been there, just read about it).

                                                                                                                                                        And yeah, cold rain is the worst. We get far more of that than snow where I am.

                                                                                                                                                      • loeg 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                        Poor weather is also hard on the drivetrain. It’s not just a matter of rider discomfort — riding in the wet is also just more expensive and more time-consuming, mile for mile. (I ride a few thousand miles per year, but mostly not in the rain and never in the snow.)
                                                                                                                                                        • alistairSH 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                          The wear issue is real, but for a commuter bike, I'm not sure it's that big a deal. Wipe down and relube the chain every few weeks and the drivetrain will still last thousands of miles or more. Especially if it's a less cutting edge 8/9 speed system, which tend to be way less finicky to wear and tuning than the latest 12 speed stuff (which is awesome, but needs a lot more maintenance). Bearings these days are pretty well sealed and short of submerging the bike, not really a wear item for most users.
                                                                                                                                                          • andrewsuzuki 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                            Belt drivetrains (e.g. Gates Carbon Drive) + internally-geared hubs (e.g. Shimano Alfine) have basically solved that issue. They cost a bit more than chain-derailleur drivetrains but not significantly more.
                                                                                                                                                            • KennyBlanken 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                              There's also an efficiency loss, but for me the near elimination of maintenance costs and labor was worth it.

                                                                                                                                                              In over ten years of riding in all conditions including heavy snow with sand and salt, I have never done any maintenance on my belt drive system. I'm on my second belt.

                                                                                                                                                            • jupp0r 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                              What do you do instead of riding when it’s wet or it snows? I bet it’s also harder on their drivetrains and biking is still cheaper.

                                                                                                                                                              Spiked tires work really well in winter by the way.

                                                                                                                                                              • swader999 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                There's almost no weather you can't bike in, just requires decent clothing and studs like parent mentions. In Calgary Alberta one year I commuted 50 km across the city each way with ebike for an entire year. With decent snow clearing, studded tires there was probably only ten days I didn't want to or couldn't take my bike.
                                                                                                                                                                • greedo 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                  Yesterday it was 94F with humidity around 70%. If I tried to ride to the closest supermarket, that's 10min each way. Great way to get heat stroke.
                                                                                                                                                                  • jupp0r 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                    Good point about the heat, that can indeed be dangerous if you’re not used to/trained to ride in those conditions. The same is. kt true for cold conditions where it’s really just clothing and tires.

                                                                                                                                                                    What you can do in hot conditions is ride an ebike.

                                                                                                                                                                    • rufus_foreman 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                      It's not just hot, it's humid.

                                                                                                                                                                      94F with humidity around 70% is a dew point of 83. Most scales will rate a dew point of above 70 as something like "miserable" or "intolerable".

                                                                                                                                                                      The only outdoor activity I want to be doing when the dew point is 83 is called "going inside where there is AC". No I will not be riding an ebike around when the dew point is 83.

                                                                                                                                                                      • jupp0r 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                        It’s just hot and humid, you’re not on Mars. Of course it’s more convenient to take the car, but it’s not dangerous to use an ebike in those situations.
                                                                                                                                                                        • rufus_foreman 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                          Does Mars have high humidity?

                                                                                                                                                                          When was the last time you did something outdoors when the dew point was 83 or above?

                                                                                                                                                                          • swader999 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                            The radiation is more of a concern on Mars but they do have some decent single track.
                                                                                                                                                                    • alistairSH 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                      Very unlikely you’re going to get heat stroke in 10 minutes or even 10 miles if it’s 94*F. Unpleasantly hot? Sure, I guess, though I ride through similar weather without problems (beyond sweat).
                                                                                                                                                                  • loeg 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                    I’m not driving a vehicle the other days.

                                                                                                                                                                    (I don’t ride in snow because we don’t get snow where I live, not for lack of tires.)

                                                                                                                                                                • Taylor_OD 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                  Sure. It's a funnel though. If you have no biking infrastructure some single digit percentage of people will bike regularly. If you have good biking infrastructure some likely multi digit percentage of people will bike regularly. If you have good biking infrastructure and the weather is bad you will likely have some digit percentage of people who will bike but less than those who will bike when the whether is nice.

                                                                                                                                                                  I biked to work everyday in Chicago for years. Unless it rained or snowed. I thought the people who did that were crazy. The people who never biked to work thought I was crazy.

                                                                                                                                                                  • grumple 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                    Bike paths / lanes in the US are typically not plowed reliably, or worse, street snow is plowed into the bike lanes. I can ride in rain short of a hurricane, I cannot ride through snow and on ice.
                                                                                                                                                                    • alistairSH 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                      Yep, that's problem for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                      Where I live, local footpaths are cleared almost as fast as roads (local HOA/town management does it). The main mixed-use trail sometimes gets plowed, depends on the municipality and timing/availability (it's 50 miles long, almost straight, and spans 4+ counties/towns).

                                                                                                                                                                      Bike lanes that are adjacent to roads are usually full of snow from the car lane. And intersection corners are usually 12+ inches of wet slush/ice water that catches and doesn't drain. So walking or riding in these areas is impossible. It sucks - I usually walk to work (1 mile from office) but can't in the snow because I can't cross major intersections without walking through that wet slush at the corners. Such poor design.

                                                                                                                                                                    • paulryanrogers 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                      Having done it a few years in the Midwestern US my experience is the salt will rust the bicycle. And avoiding the salt is impossible until it is washed away in spring.
                                                                                                                                                                      • mcv 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                        On one of our rare snowy winters, the underside of my cargo bike developed a serious case of rust. The front-wheel was constantly spraying a stream of salty sludge over the entire lower part of a bike.

                                                                                                                                                                        A mudflap fixed the problem. Well, not the rust, but the spray.

                                                                                                                                                                        Fortunately bikes are pretty sturdy and a bit of rust won't take them down. Mine is still doing fine over a decade later.

                                                                                                                                                                        • alistairSH 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                          So buy a $6000 carbon bike! /s

                                                                                                                                                                          Salt sucks. It's better in my area (suburbs outside DC) since they switched to brining roads in advance of storms instead of dumping salt mix afterwards. And we have a horrible freeze/thaw cycle - below freezing overnight, low-30s daytime, so we get slick "black ice" if nothing is put down.

                                                                                                                                                                          • analog31 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                            For this reason I built up a dedicated winter bike. "Winter" starts when the salt trucks come out.
                                                                                                                                                                          • fellerts 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                            We have the same saying in Norwegian (where it rhymes, perhaps the English saying is translated?). Incidentally, people bike year round, and many have recently opted for electric bikes for commuting. Though I think this expression refers to rain and cold, where you can dress to be perfectly comfortable. Extreme heat is entirely different but not usually a problem in Scandinavia.
                                                                                                                                                                            • mint2 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                              Cars and AC everywhere have really made a lot of people completely naive in regards to how to do without it for brief periods
                                                                                                                                                                            • depingus 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                              Yup. I live 4 miles from my workplace. But biking just isn't a safe option.
                                                                                                                                                                            • dhr 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                              I recently moved to the twin cities. The bike paths are absolutely amazing, and given that the whole state is pretty flat, it's not hard to get around the city for work or for fun.

                                                                                                                                                                              Bike paths are plowed in winter, but biking in -10C weather doesn't sound pleasant. I haven't tried winter biking yet, and honestly, I'm a bit scared to.

                                                                                                                                                                              • jseutter 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                I commuted by bike during winter and found that I could handle temperatures down to -12C. Below that I couldn't keep my toes and fingers warm with mittens and booties. I had to trade off between adding layers to my legs and arms and sweating like crazy to provide enough warm blood to my hands and feet, or I'd wear the right amount for my legs and arms and my hands and feet would lose feeling.

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm tempted to try it again this winter with battery powered hand warmers on my hands and feet, and handlebar mitts to keep the wind off my mittens.

                                                                                                                                                                                Another important factor is the length of your ride. It takes a while to cool off, so a 15 minute ride may be fine while an hour long ride is miserable.

                                                                                                                                                                                • dylan604 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't done -10C, but I've done 20F temps. With the proper layers it's not the worst. I find it better than 104F that I'm currently enduring. In cold, it is not uncommon for people to come inside and remove layers. In heat, it's just gross coming inside and sweating like you just climbed out of a pool.
                                                                                                                                                                                  • kerblang 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm surprised nobody else bothered mentioning this: Hands, feet and ears. For an hour-long ride, keeping your legs/arms/torso warm is not particularly hard, but extremities are, because you're making your own 20-30mph wind. I recommend expedition-quality gloves, a balaclava, and something along the lines of sock liners/covers (might need to check shoes/helmet for fit with all that underneath). Not a particularly big expense though.
                                                                                                                                                                                    • beefield 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                      > I haven't tried winter biking yet, and honestly, I'm a bit scared to.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Winter biking can mean a lot of differen things, and no, you do not need to start with trying to bike 20km on a -10c blizzard against the wind. A short trip on a calm, cool day is a surprisingly mundane thing after a try or two. A few notes, though:

                                                                                                                                                                                      - if there are icy patches, you might want to invest in studded tires. They are awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                                      - experiment with clothing on shorter trips. If you live there, you likely have anyway suitable clothes for a variety of different trips.

                                                                                                                                                                                      - somehow I feel that fatbikes have gotten a bit out of fashion, but they are really cool winter bikes and not nearly as bad in the summer as you might think (assuming a quality bike)

                                                                                                                                                                                      - overall, you need much less new things you might think to try. And after you try, you know much better what you actually want.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • onychomys 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                        I was a year-round bike commuter for five years in Minneapolis, and I had a strict rule that I wouldn't climb on the bike if it was colder than -15F. At that temp, even with all the cold weather gear I had, it's still just really darn cold.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • alistairSH 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm near DC, so nowhere near as cold as Minneapolis, but I do cycle down into the mid-teens F. For shorter rides, I just wear normal winter outdoor clothing (heavy socks with hiking boots, soft-shell pants, base layer+wool mid-layer+light shell jacket). It's chilly for the first few minutes, but I warm up pretty quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The only part I find really hard to balancing clothing with effort. Easy enough for a quick run to the pharmacy or whatever. Harder for a workout or longer ride, where the effort ramps up quickly and excessive sweat quickly becomes a problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I enjoy riding in the snow (on my mountain bike). But, it's a once/season treat here.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • dominotw 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                            main thing is to invest in clothing that can expel sweat out from your clothing. Getting soaked in sweat is going to make you miserable. Start out with less layers than what you expect and shed layers ( into your backpack) as you are getting warmer.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Also invest in mid to fat tires depending on the snow condition. Don't use road bike.

                                                                                                                                                                                            wear high visibility clothing because of reduced visibility in winter.

                                                                                                                                                                                            don't pivot around obstacles (snow covered potholes) suddenly, try to go over them or safely pivot by looking behind you.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • bombcar 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                              It's surprisingly not bad - you don't even need the snow tires you see if the paths are plowed. Try it as it keeps getting colder, wear layers, and see how it goes. You may find that you don't need as much clothes as you thought you did.
                                                                                                                                                                                            • germinalphrase 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                              Once you figure out how basic winter bike maintenance and how to dress appropriately (which is almost certainly wearing less than you think), it’s really not too bad. Give it a shot!
                                                                                                                                                                                              • michael1999 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                Just ride later into the season each year, and start earlier each spring, and you'll figure it out.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • worldmerge 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                I just visited Minneapolis for EYEO Festival. I was amazed at how good cycling was there. I now can't see my hometown the same and have started considering Minneapolis to move to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Check out PeopleForBikes' city ratings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • yboris 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Same here - just came back from EYEO Festival (which was amazing!) and was impressed with the bike-friendliness of the city. I drove around to explore the city by car and there were bike lanes in most places I drove.
                                                                                                                                                                                                • jmyeet 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                  People not familiar with the US may not realize just how hostile US cities are to cyclists (and pedestrians). Some examples:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Turning right at red lights. Legal in most of the US. This is a huge safety issue for pedestrians and cyclists;

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Many streets don't even have widewalks;

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Many major roads don't even have any form of pedestrian crossings. For example, I had Google Maps tell me to just run across an 8 lane highway (at least there was somewhere safe to stand in the middle) where the speed limit was 45mph. Why? There was absolutely no alternative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  In comparison, many freeways or highways in other countries will regularly have dedicated pedestrian crossing bridges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. In cities with a dedicated cycling lane in many US cities it gets used as extra parking, forcing cyclists out onto the road. Some I have sympathy for (eg delivery drivers) but many other people just don't give a shit they're blocking a lane of traffic and creating a safety issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  5. Many Americans never walk anywhere so are an annoyance (if not an outright safety hazard) on any space shared with cyclists. I routinely see runners refuse to get out of the way in a dedicated cycle path. Many are oblivious and will just walk onto a cycle path without looking. I've had many near-misses this way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  So there are a lot of things you can do to improve this situation, most of which doesn't take exttra room. For example:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Netherlands style intersections designed to improve cyclist safety [1];

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Suburbia is dominated by cul-de-sacs to avoid car through traffic. These back streets should have dedicated cycle paths (to avoid cycling on highways) combined with car-free connections to allow through-traffic and safe crossings o fhighways with lights if necessary;

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Instead of road->cycle lane->parked cars create separation with road->parking->cycle path where the cycle path has a physical barrier to avoid people using it as parking;

                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Have islands separating traffic on roads. In addition to making driving safer, this island can make cycling safer as you can half-cross the road and then cross the rest when it's clear without impeding traffic or risking being hit;

                                                                                                                                                                                                  5. Splitting straight and turn right lanes. This will create another island for safety and less guessing on what motorists will do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I guess I could summarize this as "just do what Amsterdam does".

                                                                                                                                                                                                  [1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlApbxLz6pA

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • brewdad 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                    > 3. Instead of road->cycle lane->parked cars create separation with road->parking->cycle path where the cycle path has a physical barrier to avoid people using it as parking;

                                                                                                                                                                                                    We have setup #3, minus the physical barrier, on a few roads in my town. I can say as a driver it can be quite difficult to see cyclists when it comes time to make a right turn at an intersection or driveway. Additionally, dooring may be more likely on those roads since passengers aren't used to looking for cyclists on the curb side of the car.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • TimPC 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                    69% doesn’t seem like the kinds of gains you’d hope for. If you’re going from unsafe infrastructure to protected bike paths I’d want to see a tripling of ridership.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • zeroonetwothree 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Exactly. Before it must have been close to zero so we would expect a huge increase. Seems underwhelming
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • anamexis 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was not close to zero before 2007. For quite a long time, Minneapolis has a solid set of bike paths and a good bicycle culture to accompany it - all along the Mississippi river, around the numerous lakes in the city, and also the Midtown Greenway, an off-grade rail trail that runs all the way from the river to the lakes, which opened in 2000. In addition to several other bicycle commuter paths that predate this change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        These new bike lanes were the city doubling down on being a bicycle-friendly city.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • alistairSH 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I didn't see any mention of starting numbers, at least not in the summary/abstract. I believe Minneapolis has been bike-friendly for quite some time, so the starting point was probably not zero.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • rocketbop 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Without knowing the initial number of regular users and the initial number of potential users the percentage doesn't tell you much, not sure what is special about a 200% increase in isolation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • mablehealth 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Greenville, SC is similar. We have 27 miles of bike trails and it's always popular for work commutes or trips to the town north of us. Could be a great green initiative for numerous cities.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • stevenjgarner 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                            For those interested in outlying examples in the extreme, the 8-day Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa known as RAGBRAI takes more than 15,000 riders [1] on a different route across Iowa every year with different participating overnight communities selected each year. It is the "largest bike-touring event in the world" [2]

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "The University of Northern Iowa Sustainable Tourism and Environment Program conducted a (2008) study of RAGBRAI's economic impact on the state, and found the event generated nearly $25 million in direct spending. For overnight stops like Coralville and the points in between, that could mean more than $3 million a day in tourism spending." [3]

                                                                                                                                                                                                            [1] https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/life/living-well/rag...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAGBRAI

                                                                                                                                                                                                            [3] https://www.press-citizen.com/story/news/local/2015/07/09/ra...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • donatj 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Minneapolis resident here. Unlike the other Minneapolis resident here, I feel like I see most of the bike lanes entirely disused. A project in my neighborhood turned a major thoroughfare into a one way with a separated bike lane, and I've seen maybe 40 people use it since it's completion a few years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm curious what a 69% increase looks like in real numbers - a 20% increase on next to nothing is still next to nothing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              In my honest opinion Minneapolis is 75% of the year too hot or too cold for all but the most keen bikers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • ARandumGuy 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                While the city has been making a lot of improvements with bike infrastructure, I feel like there are still a lot of pain points in the system. Many bike lanes are still only indicated by paint or flex-posts (which do absolutely nothing for safety), there are still many dicey left turns, and bikers get virtually no accommodation during construction (see the Cedar Lake Trail disaster).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is a big deal, because for inexperienced cyclists, their perception of safety is dictated by the most unsafe portion of the journey, not the average safety.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think the weather has that much to do with it. There are hotter and colder cities out there with higher bike ridership then Minneapolis. Good infrastructure is the number one contributor to bike ridership, and weather is a secondary factor at most.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • nightski 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's been shown that temperature doesn't necessarily have a correlation with biking activity. It has a lot more to do with infrastructure [1]. I know I live in the tri-state area (MN,ND,SD) and bike year round.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uhx-26GfCBU

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • donatj 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I mean I can say without a doubt that I'm not personally going to cycle when it's above 85 or below 40. It's not a pleasant experience.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • llamataboot 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Minneapolis consistently has one of the top 5 highest percentages of bike commuters in the US and is the most bike friendly city I've ever lived in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You can also look at data here:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • nkurz 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      > I'm curious what a 69% increase looks like in real numbers - a 20% increase on next to nothing is still next to nothing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's a good question. User Cenk just provided a link to the full paper in another comment: https://oa.mg/pdf/10.1016-j.trip.2022.100604.pdf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If my skimming is accurate, the answer seems to be that they surveyed two hours of afternoon commute in September in 39 locations, and saw an average increase from 138 cyclists to 211. So likely a real increase rather than a statistical artifact, but also quite small in terms of absolute numbers given the costs involved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • KennyBlanken 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        > A project in my neighborhood turned a major thoroughfare into a one way with a separated bike lane, and I've seen maybe 40 people use it since it's completion a few years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How many cyclists you've personally witnessed using the lane is irrelevant. Look up the stats from a bike count.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        > In my honest opinion Minneapolis is 75% of the year too hot or too cold for all but the most keen bikers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just goes to show the value of an opinion: 43% of Minneapolis bicyclists ride year-round: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/36685502.pdf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also, a few years ago your city had the third highest percentage of bicycle commuters in the country: https://www.startribune.com/bicycle-commuting-at-highest-rat...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • donatj 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > How many cyclists you've personally witnessed using the lane is irrelevant. Look up the stats from a bike count.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't think it is, when it comes to the value of the infrastructure. I can undeniably note that the number of humans going by in cars is orders of magnitude higher than bicycle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > 43% of Minneapolis bicyclists ride year-round

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Compared to how many people who don't cycle at all because of the weather? This is meaningless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • xhkkffbf 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a keen biker and I just don't ride in the winter, especially in places like Minnesota. When you mix the snow, ice and darkness together, it's just too much. Summer is better because of the late light, but I can only go to casual, fun events. If I'm supposed to be dry and presentable, a bike doesn't work in the summer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • kennywinker 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Some alternate interpretations of your experience:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. It’s possible your sampling is biased. I.e. you usually pass that street at its lowest usage time, and never at its highest usage time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. It’s possible that road is a cycle infrastructure fragment. I.e. it’s great, but unconnected to the rest of the cycling network - so it’s not being used because only people who are going from one place on that strip to another place on that strip can make use of it. Once it’s joined up to the rest of the infrastructure it would start to get heavily used.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As for Minneapolis’ climate - i’ve not been there so i can’t speak firsthand but I have lived and biked in Toronto and Montreal, which have roughly similar climates (very cold + very hot) and SO MANY CYCLISTS - so I think you might be wrong about that

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cenk 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • tomc1985 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Meanwhile San Diego is adding bike lanes right and left and people are constantly bitching about them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • NoSorryCannot 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There are tatters of bike lanes which makes it hard to assemble a route without going through very uncomfortable traffic situations. Drivers are really, uh, spirited and unpredictable, as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So they're not well-used yet, which some are taking as a signal that we should foreclose on the entire idea before it even truly gets started.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                San Diego needs to reconsider the design of virtually all of its surface roads. They're designed for 45mph traffic but the signs ask politely, maybe 25mph instead? Which everyone ignores.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • antihero 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's because driving seems to lead many to a special kind of individualistic entitlement.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • formerkrogemp 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I too miss all of the cycling I did in college. Unfortunately where I live now I'd just be run over if I were to cycle everywhere now. The costs of rural living I guess.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • swader999 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    One life hack I'm going to encourage my kids to do is try to live within walking distance of work/school/grocery store to minimize dependancy on a car.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • simlevesque 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Build it and they will come.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • taeric 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm assuming that the different increases are good? Certainly beats drops, but I always get suspicious when increases are couched in percentages. :(
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • vangelis 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It sounds like Minneapolis is doing great things.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • ordiel 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And how much of the general population does that total of people cycling is? Like 0.05% of the population? Cycling is nice healthy and eco-friendly yet being honest they dont trully serve a metropolitan area, more bus routes and comunal tranportation methods is what is trully needed on an urban area,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Probably there were only 3 people using bikes and now there are 5, that is a HUGE percental increase but not quite significant as a whole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • etskinner 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Anecdotal, but: Yesterday I rode on the Midtown Greenway, chain of lakes paths, Mississippi River Trail, and Minnehaha Creek trail in Minneapolis. They each serve as a big artery to access various semi-urban parts of the city. You'd be surprised how many people are out biking. Each of those trails have a road that runs parallel to them, and there are consistently more people on the trail than on the road. Meanwhile, the trails take up half the space of the road, and spacing between bikes can be much tighter. Each of those bike trails also has a nice pedestrian path running parallel. I'd estimate the portion of the nearby population utilizing either the bike or pedestrian trails is more like 20-30%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree that improving bus infrastructure would be a huge help, but that's not mutually exclusive to improving bike infrastructure. If you haven't experienced biking in Minneapolis, please visit some time! Try our bike share bikes, and the trails above, and see for yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • n4jm4 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I welcome biking. Sadly, the bike lane added to my home street is never used for biking.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • dominotw 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                > Compared to locations with no facility, sites with protected facilities had 113 more cyclists during the evening peak 2-hour count period (95% CI 16.19, 209.99; p = 0.02) and a greater rate of increase in cyclist counts over time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                paper seems to be behind a wall. Hard to see what the actual number of cyclists this 69% represents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • nkurz 12 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The paper seems to have the information you are looking for. If I'm reading it right, the numeric increase was from an average of 138 bicycles per site to 211 per site, measured over two hour periods in September.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • alexccccc 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  YES. we need more bikes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • yuppie_scum 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • whateveracct 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • threevox 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Only on HN do you only get like 2 "nice" comments smh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • oneplane 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There are more, but they get flagged because it's not really on-topic etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • badRNG 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • joarv0249nw 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • IYasha 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          #bike4life :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • nashashmi 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fair question:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Are dedicated bike lanes near pedestrian friendly paths a safe transportation environment? I feel that bikes and electric scooters are more dangerous than cars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • croniev 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              > I feel that bikes and electric scooters are more dangerous than cars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How do you get this idea? In a collision with a pedestrian, the person on the scooter/bike will come to harm more likely than the pedestrian. But such collisions do not happen too often, and when they do, they don't go as bad as car crashes. I live in a German City (Darmstadt) where next to the big roads as well as in the city centre bikes and pedestrians share a lot of place, and it is not a big problem that people keep getting hurt because of this. Most accidents in these places are because bikers had accidents due to bad roads, hidden stairs, car drivers, bad bike lanes, etc. If you ask me, making a city nore bike friendly, also close to pedestrian areas, decreases the chances of bikers getting hurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • nashashmi 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Two reasons why:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A car has better ability to brake suddenly then scooters and bikes where the rider can get thrown forward. I can hear a car coming. In the city they don't drive fast where as bikes ignore lots of rules and travel very quickly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ask yourself this: is a motorbike hitting a pedestrian more dangerous or a car hitting a pedestrian, where are both are driving at city speeds with lots of braking in short distances.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • chapium 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That feeling seems pretty absurd. Cars get dedicated infrastructure and kids are never allowed out on their own for fear of being run over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cars are more massive than bikes and scooters and kill almost everyone they hit at a minimum of 40mph. Bikes max out at 20mph with the exception for a racing cyclist. Also by weight they are far smaller.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Car produced noise, micro plastics, and exhaust also have detrimental effects on the environment we live in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The list goes on an on. Bikes and scooters whizzing by pedestrians is annoying, but probably not the huge danger that is compared to a car.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • sixstringtheory 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm going to assume it's safer. I can't remember the last time I heard about someone riding a bike or scooter killing a pedestrian. Oh wait, I've never heard of that. But I have heard of people driving cars that have killed:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - other people driving cars

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - cyclists

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - pedestrians

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - themselves

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Why do you feel that bikes and scooters are more dangerous than cars?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • blakesterz 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "The Answer May Surprise You!" Or maybe not surprising at all? I guess it doesn't happen very often, but according to this from last year, it's also not been studied.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Near accidents and collisions between pedestrians and cyclists

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  An online survey was directed to inhabitants of Finnish cities ... The main results show that near accidents are far more common... Only 16 survey respondents had been involved in a collision during the 3-year period, whereas roughly a third had experienced at least one near accident.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lionga 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A 100KG vehicle going maybe 15 to 25KM/h being more dangerous than a 1000 KG 40 to 70 KM/h going vehicle? Seems practically impossible to me
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • kfarr 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agree with your analysis, however I'm not sure facts are helpful for this person when the starting point is feelings. > I feel that bikes and electric scooters are more dangerous than cars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • nashashmi 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For those wondering, I stepped into a bike path where an electric scooter at speed ran into me. I got thrown back a couple of feet onto the ground and it hurt. Had the scooter braked, he would have been thrown forward into me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • dylan604 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Like everything, it depends on the rider. The majority of the bike paths in my city are shared with pedestrians. These are the non-street lanes/sidewalks. These are the paths/trails type. There are riders that come through with an entitled sense that these are bike paths and pedestrians should yield. They typically wear spandex and wrap around shades and ride in a tucked position and ride like they are going to get a new yellow piece of spandex at the end of the ride. They are the worst.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There are also places on these paths/trails where they have separated a secondary path that is pedestrian only. The shared path in these places also have an enforced 10mph speed limit for the bikes. Much less spandex types on this section except for those trying to get to the other paths.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Electric scooters pretty much no longer exist in my town because A) the companies sucked at operations and B) humans sucked at being decent

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • KennyBlanken 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • dylan604 12 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Holy cow there's so much going on here that's just made up in your mind. Perhaps yet another entitled bicyclist offering up why they fit the stereotype?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You sound like the person that yells at me for stopping at a stop sign and causes them to slow down to a stop as well. Sorry, but rules are rules especially when the stop sign is only there for the bike/pedestrian path.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A pedestrian walking in the same direction you are traveling has no idea you are coming as they tend to not have eyes in the back of their head. If they do something that surprises you, then you have failed to anticipate properly. It happens. Riding at 15+mph on a congested mixed use path is just inconsiderate. It is not a dedicated bike path pedestrians are encroaching. It's mixed used. Be considerate. Yes, it is a pain to slow down, but dems da brakes on choosing to use a mixed used path. Just do it. If you want to travel at higher speeds, use appropriate lanes for that.