Link roundup: June 3

Post any interesting links you find in the comment section.

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basketball shoes
basketball shoes

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Coghauler
Coghauler

Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one to whom that pointseems obvious. I see it as a serious parallel with the JoseRincon incident out on east Broadway. The city probablystill doesn't see itself culpable in any way, but the people spoke and a judge agreed...$12 million in consequences.The city has made no effort to study the difficulties cyclistshave with tracks in the street.A recent survey in a UA graduate study revealed that the 4thAve. underpass was the most avoided feature of downtownstreets for cyclists. I shake my head at the city putting inanother wildly expensive street feature that cyclists end uphaving to avoid.

Coghauler
Coghauler

Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one to whom that pointseems obvious. I see it as a serious parallel with the JoseRincon incident out on east Broadway. The city probablystill doesn't see itself culpable in any way, but the people spoke and a judge agreed...$12 million in consequences.The city has made no effort to study the difficulties cyclistshave with tracks in the street.A recent survey in a UA graduate study revealed that the 4thAve. underpass was the most avoided feature of downtownstreets for cyclists. I shake my head at the city putting inanother wildly expensive street feature that cyclists end uphaving to avoid.

Red Star
Red Star

The Tucson Trolley seems to be a given: it is too late to go back and replace it with electric buses integrated with redesigned and tailor-made roadways which make more sense in a relatively short-haul and (theoretically) high volume market. Do the light rail thing, if you must, over long hauls such as the back and forth on Broadway and on Speedway. But that is too costly...so "if you must" converts to "you can't." As a result, the default action is a silly wasteful gtm thing like the trolley. No doubt train hobbyists, planners, City Council and local newstainment media will be proud upon cutting the ribbon five years from now. Careers will have been at stake and the catharsis will be grand to see!If the Tucson trolley is to be a selfish charade, can they at least incorporate red or yellow paint around the tracks and maybe even reflectors? How about dedicated bike roads segregated from the trolley by the concrete slabs of "under construction" concrete lining most USA expressways during all of Red Star's life? Ban automobiles from 4th Avenue? And can they afford to maintain safety measures?

Coghauler
Coghauler

rubber-filled flangeway: nixed by the city. Streetcar not heavy enough to displace it....too rapid UV deterioration in our climate. High maintenance...(gasp!)Special rail (European design) to significantly reduce the gap in therail and to be used in areas of high bicycle crossage: nixed by the city.Too expensive, design not compatable with regular rail or something.Move the line from University Blvd. to 2nd St. avoiding at least halfof the bicycle route and greatly simplifying two intersections.: nixed by the city.Too much trouble, can't think outside the University Blvd. box. City wantsstreetcar to deliver customers to business' door, like a tram down the centerof a Mall walkway.Is there no "bike-minded person" among the engineers, designers and plannerswho can say, "Look, this is what we have done to acknowledge and addressthe existance and relevance of bicycle traffic on this route in an attemptto make it less hazardous."?

Steven Vance
Steven Vance

Don't forget about a rubber-filled flangeway that depresses as a train runs over it. Details here.

Steven Vance
Steven Vance

What does the paint tell the bike riders? Paint: "There are streetcar tracks here." Bikers: "Yeah, I see that. What are you really trying to tell me?"Paint: "Eh..."How do you communicate that the biggest danger of the streetcar track is getting a narrow bike tire caught in the gap?

Steven Vance
Steven Vance

Re: 1. The issue with bike and streetcar conflicts is that many people are unaware of the very specific maneuver or action that leads to danger and a potential crash. That is, getting your bike tire in the gap between rail and rail bed (or flange) that seems to be designed to do exactly that - catch your bike tire.See this discussion about the different signage Portland and Seattle use.

Steven Vance
Steven Vance

On this photo of a sign for bike riders about streetcar tracks, I'm trying to have a discussion about what is the right symbol and text to quickly alert bike riders to the dangers of turning on and riding near streetcar tracks.Tucson should try to figure this out for themselves (cuz no one else seems to have a good solution yet) because if things keep progressing, Tucson will have MORE tracks.

Coghauler
Coghauler

Street car tracks are like city-installed potholes.You can know they are there and be successful inavoiding them 99.99% of the time. But the realworld is full of distractions. A car pulls out infront of you, some loud noise, you reach aroundto scratch an itch...and that's when tracks willtake you down. Tucsonvelo is right...one tumble and that would beit for the new riders the city is trying to attract.They want to think cycling is unsafe anyway.And the 4th Ave bike boulevard dumps riders rightout on an intersection full of tracks.I don't think Portland put a streetcar on a majorbike route like here but they have problems, too.http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/steve_...The street car is not as much about transportation asit is about commerce. The city is using it to attractbusiness.The good thing is it seems to require a recession/depressionfor the city to be able to afford to install a streetcar, so wemay not see any more. But the damage will be done to themajor bike route of central Tucson. I haven't seen or heard ofany solutions acceptable to the city yet...there may not be any.

Tabot Tietjen
Tabot Tietjen

Anyone know how Portland deals with the Streetcar tracks? I just avoid University & 4th corner. I only travel down that way a few times a year and have never gotten used to the tracks so they always surprise me. Easier to cut across near Time Market and just avoid the 4th Avenue corner(when heading West). Sounds like Mike has a good idea but I wonder if costs are a problem? Tucson always seems to cut corners and deal with the consequences latter.

Colby
Colby

I agree that the streetcar issue is going to be an issue for those just trying biking - I've heard it said that it should be safe for little kids and old ladies.I also agree that some serious attention-grabbing paint along the tracks is an easy place to start.

tucsonvelo
tucsonvelo

I understand the thinking that you need to be aware or road hazards, but there are a lot of new riders who don't know that the tracks even are a hazard. For some people it only takes one tumble to keep them off a bike for good. There are a lot of smart engineers out there and I can't imagine they can't figure out a solution to this problem. What about some sort of grate that is on a hinge, but requires a lot of weight to activate the hinge? A bike rolling over it wouldn't make the grate drop, but the trolley would. I could see road paint helping with warning people about the tracks. Maybe black and yellow striped paint with little bicycles icons or something.

tucsonvelo
tucsonvelo

I always liked the idea of only allowing people to have gold carts than go no faster than 30 miles an hour.

Colby
Colby

What are people's thoughts on the bike/streetcar conflicts in light of the recent issues during the Cyclovia and more tracks coming downtown?I'll throw out my initial reaction to give you something to chew on. 1. Part of riding a bike is dealing with multiple hazards/various road conditions. The only time I've had a problem with the tracks on 4th Ave is when I wasn't paying attention. I didn't go down, but it sure got my attention and I'm more cautious now. Warning signs, pavement paint/markings could probably help with informing people - especially at corners/intersections.2. Both bikes and streetcars (transit) are differnent approaches to the same problem - cars/oil consumption etc. For the streetcar to be viable, it has to go down the street with dense population and business (4th ave/Univ etc). Same with bikes - people want to ride on these same areas. So we need to find a way to share that space while minimizing conflicts. All that to say I don't want to see a bike-streetcar war.3. I've heard from PAG/City folks that the rubber gap filler won't work with the weight/frequency of the streetcars proposed for Tucson. Europe has been able to mix/mingle streetcars and bikes for a long time. Do they have these problems? If yes, how do they handle it?. If no, what are they doing different?OK - your turn. What are your experiences, ideas for solutions? (Please be constructive - if you just want to bash someone or some idea, go somehwere else).