Metro Area Bicycle Discussion

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles (and Streetcars!).

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Uffda
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Postby Uffda » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:32 pm

Saw this posted by a friend on FB

Dear Urban Cyclists: Go Play in Traffic
From Dublin to Bogotá, bicycles are taking over city streets. What's next, lanes for hopscotch and pogo sticks?


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... lenews_wsj

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:31 pm

Weird; It seems like an April Fools joke, but it's a day too late.
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
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Postby iamjacobm » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:02 pm

http://journalstar.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_f0b06fe5-f108-502e-ab01-09496be70b00.html

All StarTran buses now have bike racks


"StarTran ridership is up 10 percent since last fall, and we expect this bike and bus option to further increase the use of our transit system," Mayor Chris Beutler said at the news conference.


I am curious does every Omaha bus have a bike rack?

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:58 pm

Yes.
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
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Postby OmahaBen » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:15 pm

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:Weird; It seems like an April Fools joke, but it's a day too late.


Mr. O'Rourke's many books include "Don't Vote—It Just Encourages the Bastards."


I'm just guessing, but you may have taken it a tad too seriously.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:08 pm

Really? How could you possibly know how seriously I took it?

I took it as less than a grain of salt.
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Postby OmahaBen » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:45 am

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:Really? How could you possibly know how seriously I took it?


If you knew it was satire, you wouldn't have questioned whether it was an april fool's joke or not.

Just sayin'.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:57 pm

It's satire, but it's not clear enough whether the author is joking or whether there is a true animosity toward bicyclists underlying the satire. Hence, it seemed like an April Fools joke, but the fact that it was a day late combined with the aforementioned issues cast doubt in my mind as to the intent of the author.
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Postby almighty_tuna » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:39 pm

For those interested in something practical and tangible...

WOWT wrote:Want A Bike Path In Your Neighborhood?
The Nebraska Department of Roads is requesting community proposals to build pedestrian and bike trails and develop scenic byways.


http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/Want ... 08544.html

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:31 pm

Thanks, Tuna!
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Postby Brad » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:40 am

WOWT read FB comments on air after that story and most people were not in favor of more trails.
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Postby S33 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:43 am

Brad wrote:WOWT read FB comments on air after that story and most people were not in favor of more trails.


Did they say why? I can't imagine having more jogging/biking trails in a city could ever be a bad thing.

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Postby almighty_tuna » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:45 am

S33 wrote:
Brad wrote:WOWT read FB comments on air after that story and most people were not in favor of more trails.


Did they say why? I can't imagine having more jogging/biking trails in a city could ever be a bad thing.


WOWT read *FB* comments over the air.  Do you think they'd go one step further and ask people *why*??

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Postby Brad » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:47 am

The negative comments were all Money Related.  Why spend more money we don't have, or why don't we spend that money on fixing roads.
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Postby S33 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:57 am

almighty_tuna wrote:
S33 wrote:
Brad wrote:WOWT read FB comments on air after that story and most people were not in favor of more trails.


Did they say why? I can't imagine having more jogging/biking trails in a city could ever be a bad thing.


WOWT read *FB* comments over the air.  Do you think they'd go one step further and ask people *why*??


Yes. I'm used to watching Fox News where everything is meticulously researched and opinions are fair and balanced©.

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Postby almighty_tuna » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:02 am

S33 wrote:
almighty_tuna wrote:
S33 wrote:[quote="Brad"]WOWT read FB comments on air after that story and most people were not in favor of more trails.


Did they say why? I can't imagine having more jogging/biking trails in a city could ever be a bad thing.


WOWT read *FB* comments over the air.  Do you think they'd go one step further and ask people *why*??


Yes. I'm used to watching Fox News where everything is meticulously researched and opinions are fair and balanced©.[/quote]

[insert Glenn Beck doing weekend anchor duty@WOWT joke here]

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Postby S33 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:11 am

As long as he brings his chalkboard.

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Postby iamjacobm » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:59 am

Bike czar driven to see us drive less

http://omaha.com/article/20110414/LIVEWELL02/704149899#bike-czar-driven-to-see-us-drive-less

Bob Glissmann
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER wrote:
Medium-sized cities, he said, often debate whether it's worth the money to designate staff for such work.
“Some of the more conservative cities don't recognize (cycling) as a transportation function. They see it more as recreation,” he said. “Here, we've recognized it as transportation.”


Bob Glissmann
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER wrote:
This summer is shaping up to be a busy one for biking in Omaha, Morales said, with the Bike Omaha Commuter Challenge, a new public awareness-social marketing campaign about biking, and the beginning of the construction of an east-west trail connector on tap.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:57 am

This is all excellent news!

I actually had an internship set up with Carlos Morales for the summer, but was offered a position at the MPO here in the Capital District that I'll be taking instead.  

Carlos seems like a super nice guy and a real asset to livability and 21st Century transportation planning in Omaha!
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Postby Seth » Thu May 05, 2011 6:20 pm

S33 wrote:As long as he brings his chalkboard.


Not good enough.  I want him to bring his marching band and confetti!

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Postby almighty_tuna » Thu May 19, 2011 9:59 am

Rode my bike to work today to commemorate "bike to work week".  Overall it went pretty well and I only got into it with one motorist, which was far less than I was expecting.  Ironically, he was driving a car with handicap tags. Here's a link to the route I took.  Started at 108th and Mockingbird, essentially at KMTV studios.  

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4516916

L Street wasn't bad since it has a shoulder and frontage roads, and where I did ride in a traffic lane drivers were generally accommodating.  And really, that was the story throughout.  Saddle Creek wasn't packed, motorists gave plenty of space.  Leavenworth was a piece of cake because there's extra room for parking in the right lane so I wasn't crowded there and once it went to one-way things were gravy.  Downtown was downtown.  The only confrontation was on Douglas by the Holland, where there were 5 lanes of traffic, plenty of space for the 10 cars around me, and some guy in a red Ford Ranger wanted to "assert the lane was his", putting it kindly.   :roll:   Anyway, not bad and I'd definitely do it again some time.

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Postby S33 » Thu May 19, 2011 10:05 am

Glad you made it in one piece. You are definitely more trusting of motorists than this guy. Me and my training wheels stick to the keystone trail...

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Postby Brad » Thu May 19, 2011 10:19 am

Tuna,  What are you going to do if it rains today?

I ordered a new rack that goes above my back wheel as well as a new saddle bag.  I got it all mounted last night, but have not taken it out for a spin yet.  I am a bit disappointed because the saddle bags seem a bit small.  I am not sure my size 13 shoes are going to fit in them.   I am just excited to ride to work without a backpack on.

Nice work on the ride!
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Postby almighty_tuna » Thu May 19, 2011 11:25 am

@S33 - thanks, I'm glad it worked out.  Definitely more smooth than expected.  

Brad wrote:Tuna,  What are you going to do if it rains today?


Get wet.  :;):

Ok, in all seriousness.  I'm probably going to be catching a ride back because I'm shooting Special Olympics after the 9-5 and one thing my bike is lacking is a light, so I prefer not to be riding after dark.  Another time, though.  I plan to do this a few more times throughout the summer.  It definitely wouldn't be my first time riding in the rain though, not with the weather in this state...


Brad wrote:I ordered a new rack that goes above my back wheel as well as a new saddle bag.  I got it all mounted last night, but have not taken it out for a spin yet.  I am a bit disappointed because the saddle bags seem a bit small.  I am not sure my size 13 shoes are going to fit in them.   I am just excited to ride to work without a backpack on.

Nice work on the ride!


Thanks, it wasn't too bad at all.  Since Mrs Tuna was driving the 4yr old to daycare so I could bike, my backpack & camera bag caught a ride in the trunk.

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Postby iamjacobm » Mon May 23, 2011 10:45 am

http://www.omaha.com/article/20110523/LIVING/705239987#rainbow-one-bike-for-two

On nice days, the midtown couple commute to work downtown on their souped-up tandem. They call it “the family sedan.”

They get lots of double takes on their 5-mile commute to work. (They both work downtown at Alley Poyner Macchietto architecture firm, where Michael is a principal and Laura works in administration.)

Laura is convinced that drivers are nicer to them than they would be if the pair were on regular bikes. “They think you’re so goofy-looking,” she said, “they kind of give you a pass.”

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Mon May 23, 2011 10:16 pm

Man, what losers. They must have something wrong in the head. 8)

Thanks for posting that, Jacob.
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Postby Brad » Tue May 24, 2011 8:35 am

I got on the bike for the first time last night.  It went surprisingly well for at least 9 months worth of rust.  Took the trail from Aksarben to Fort Street and back to Aksarben (13 miles round trip).  Great night for it.
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Postby Brad » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:37 am

Some businesses cater to cyclists

http://omaha.com/article/20110607/MONEY/706079959

Emily Nohr
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A growing number of Omaha businesses are displaying their support for their bike-riding customers.

Window decals with a bike-friendly message, part of a project spearheaded by cycling advocacy group Omaha Bikes, inform cyclists they are welcome and, in some cases, eligible for discounts or special deals for riding their bikes.

To be part of the project, businesses must pay $5 to Omaha Bikes, said Sarah Johnson, outreach chairwoman of the group. In exchange, the group lists that business on its website and steers cyclists there. So far, more than 30 businesses have signed on to the almost year-old effort.
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Postby almighty_tuna » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:35 pm

After participating in yesterday's Corporate Cycling Challenge, it's easy to see why most motorists treat local cyclists with much disdain.  They're a bunch of idiots.  I couldn't believe how many cyclists were riding two or three wide, weaving or just didn't seem to have a clue of their surroundings.  And that's before we even got out onto the Hwy 75 for the 42mile route.  Once on US 75 it never seemed to occur to people that they were riding on a major 4-lane highway and would continue to ride 2-3 wide on the shoulder and often riding in the right lane of the highway!  I don't know if it's a sense of arrogance where the rider assumes that because they're doing some organized ride they're somehow entitled to use whatever portion of xyz road they feel like, or that they just have no flipping clue about how to ride in traffic or a highway.  Maybe a combination of both.  Anyway, it was a miracle nobody got flattened by traffic yesterday. I saw many close calls.

It was obvious who were seasoned riders, accustomed to riding in traffic and rural highways and who were absolute novices.  Maybe things would operate more smoothly in this city if not only the vehicle drivers learned to coexist with bike traffic and respect their right to a lane of traffic, but also if new bike riders took the time to be aware of their surroundings and know what the eff they're doing. It's more than knowing how to signal a left or right turn.

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Postby DeWalt » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:53 pm

almighty_tuna wrote:After participating in yesterday's Corporate Cycling Challenge, it's easy to see why most motorists treat local cyclists with much disdain.  They're a bunch of idiots.  I couldn't believe how many cyclists were riding two or three wide, weaving or just didn't seem to have a clue of their surroundings.  And that's before we even got out onto the Hwy 75 for the 42mile route.  Once on US 75 it never seemed to occur to people that they were riding on a major 4-lane highway and would continue to ride 2-3 wide on the shoulder and often riding in the right lane of the highway!  I don't know if it's a sense of arrogance where the rider assumes that because they're doing some organized ride they're somehow entitled to use whatever portion of xyz road they feel like, or that they just have no flipping clue about how to ride in traffic or a highway.  Maybe a combination of both.  Anyway, it was a miracle nobody got flattened by traffic yesterday. I saw many close calls.

It was obvious who were seasoned riders, accustomed to riding in traffic and rural highways and who were absolute novices.  Maybe things would operate more smoothly in this city if not only the vehicle drivers learned to coexist with bike traffic and respect their right to a lane of traffic, but also if new bike riders took the time to be aware of their surroundings and know what the eff they're doing. It's more than knowing how to signal a left or right turn.


I'm all for giving bike riders a wide berth, and doing everything I can to assure their safety.  But, as you pointed out, there are a lot of bike riders who are total idiots.  I cannot even begin to guess how many times I've seen bike riders blow through stop signs, and ignore all manner of traffic laws.  And if there's ever a close call or - God forbid, somebody honks at them - they're furious.  I'm actually amazed that there aren't a LOT more serious accidents involving bike riders.

I know that there are a lot of very smart, serious, law-abiding bike riders.  In fact, I'm sure the good bikers are in the majority.  But the stupid bikers are a blight to themselves and everyone around them.

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Postby Bosco55David » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:36 pm

DeWalt wrote:
almighty_tuna wrote:After participating in yesterday's Corporate Cycling Challenge, it's easy to see why most motorists treat local cyclists with much disdain.  They're a bunch of idiots.  I couldn't believe how many cyclists were riding two or three wide, weaving or just didn't seem to have a clue of their surroundings.  And that's before we even got out onto the Hwy 75 for the 42mile route.  Once on US 75 it never seemed to occur to people that they were riding on a major 4-lane highway and would continue to ride 2-3 wide on the shoulder and often riding in the right lane of the highway!  I don't know if it's a sense of arrogance where the rider assumes that because they're doing some organized ride they're somehow entitled to use whatever portion of xyz road they feel like, or that they just have no flipping clue about how to ride in traffic or a highway.  Maybe a combination of both.  Anyway, it was a miracle nobody got flattened by traffic yesterday. I saw many close calls.

It was obvious who were seasoned riders, accustomed to riding in traffic and rural highways and who were absolute novices.  Maybe things would operate more smoothly in this city if not only the vehicle drivers learned to coexist with bike traffic and respect their right to a lane of traffic, but also if new bike riders took the time to be aware of their surroundings and know what the eff they're doing. It's more than knowing how to signal a left or right turn.


I'm all for giving bike riders a wide berth, and doing everything I can to assure their safety.  But, as you pointed out, there are a lot of bike riders who are total idiots.  I cannot even begin to guess how many times I've seen bike riders blow through stop signs, and ignore all manner of traffic laws.  And if there's ever a close call or - God forbid, somebody honks at them - they're furious.  I'm actually amazed that there aren't a LOT more serious accidents involving bike riders.

I know that there are a lot of very smart, serious, law-abiding bike riders.  In fact, I'm sure the good bikers are in the majority.  But the stupid bikers are a blight to themselves and everyone around them.


Amen buddy. I just had a pretty close call with an idiot bicyclist that tried passing me on the right while running a red light. That said, the smart ones seem to be in the majority. He too had a bit of an attitude until the cop sitting across the intersection told him he would have been at fault had their been a collision.

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Postby DeWalt » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:24 pm

Bosco55David wrote:Amen buddy. I just had a pretty close call with an idiot bicyclist that tried passing me on the right while running a red light. That said, the smart ones seem to be in the majority. He too had a bit of an attitude until the cop sitting across the intersection told him he would have been at fault had their been a collision.


There's no question that there should be some changes made, that would make Omaha more bicycle-friendly.  Some bike-specific lanes would be a good start.  But that won't fix stupid, and there seems to be a lot of stupid riding around on two wheels.

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Postby Seth » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:48 pm

I try to be a good cyclist, but I won't try to say I obey every traffic control to the letter of the law.  I always stop at traffic lights, and will wait for it to change to green unless there is no traffic and no cars in my direction to trigger it.  I usually treat stop signs as a yield sign (which is how cycling traffic laws are written in a few states).  There just isn't a difference in safety between slowing down enough to see traffic and being prepared to stop, and physically coming to a complete stop.

I agree, though, there are cyclists who really make all of us look bad.  The ones that seem the worst to me are the casual cyclists who have no concept of their place on the street.  The sidewalk is not where you're supposed to be!  It's not even as safe as you might think it is!

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Postby HuskerDave » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:27 am

Seth wrote:I try to be a good cyclist, but I won't try to say I obey every traffic control to the letter of the law.  I always stop at traffic lights, and will wait for it to change to green unless there is no traffic and no cars in my direction to trigger it.  I usually treat stop signs as a yield sign (which is how cycling traffic laws are written in a few states).  There just isn't a difference in safety between slowing down enough to see traffic and being prepared to stop, and physically coming to a complete stop.

I agree, though, there are cyclists who really make all of us look bad.  The ones that seem the worst to me are the casual cyclists who have no concept of their place on the street.  The sidewalk is not where you're supposed to be!  It's not even as safe as you might think it is!


Glad you follow the traffic laws, Seth.  I wish more did.

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Postby iamjacobm » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:41 am

http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/Bike_Friendly_Omaha_130845303.html

On Friday, September 30, at the Heartland Active Transportation Summit, the City of Omaha will be officially recognized as a “Bicycle Friendly Community” (BFC) by the League of American Cyclists.

The BFC award recognizes Omaha’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies. The BFC judges were particularly impressed with Omaha’s unique public and private partnerships that led to the initiation of the Bike Omaha System which will encompass over 20 miles of on-street bicycle facilities, the launch of Omaha B-Cycle, and the Transportation Master Plan, which seeks to create a balanced transportation network for the city.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:28 am

That's really awesome. I wonder what "level" the award will be. I thought I remembered reading something that said the city thought it would bypass bronze and go straight to at least silver.
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Postby cdub » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:50 am

Some didnt want to apply again until they could get Silver but that didnt happen.  They got the bronze and have a ways to go to move up.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:33 am

Well the important thing is that Omaha is officially a Bike Friendly Community!

I'm sure that as the city is reevaluated over the years after further expansion of B-Cycle and the bikeway network, and implementation of the current transportation master plan, we will continue to climb toward platinum.
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
Lewis Mumford, The Highway and the City, 1963

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Postby HuskerDave » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:45 am

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:Well the important thing is that Omaha is officially a Bike Friendly Community!

I'm sure that as the city is reevaluated over the years after further expansion of B-Cycle and the bikeway network, and implementation of the current transportation master plan, we will continue to climb toward platinum.


That's what's important, really?

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:41 am

Yes. And what a weird comment.
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Lewis Mumford, The Highway and the City, 1963


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