North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

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Lock   10 GW

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North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by Lock » Sep 03 2013 5:16am

Just last Sunday, in Toronto, our local "rag" (newspaper) had an article by regular contributor Bryen Dunn... Per the Sun site "Mike has contributed a popular column titled "The Way We Were," to the Toronto Sunday Sun newspaper for more than 30 years."

His latest column is titled (in the print version) "From weird to wonderful", and online it's "Portland is America's most cycle-friendly city"... Yah can read the article online (maybe) here:
http://www.torontosun.com/2013/08/29/po ... endly-city

Stuff like:
Before visiting Portland, Oregon, I'd heard it was a little "weird" -- a metropolis of cycling enthusiasts who enjoy micro-brews, locally grown edibles, a thirst for adventure, and a laid-back atmosphere.

With more cyclists per capita than any other U.S. destination, Portland deserves its nickname as the nation's most "cycle-friendly city." And it's a particularly fitting locale for the Cyclepedia: Iconic Bicycle Design exhibition, on through Sept. 8 at the Portland Art Museum.
So here's a thought... (Why do folks say "Oh oh", EVery time I say that? Hehe...)

How `bout the good ppl on ES, wherEVer, organize an "award" or "presentation", to the mayor of the most *UNFRIENDLY* ebike town/city in North America?

OK, so nominations are now open... Maybe some of us (on ES, etc) have already heard about the unfortunate situation re ebikes in NYC? But I don't know how many here on ES have heard about watt has been happening in some cities to the north of NY State, eg in Ontario?

In my "home town" (Toronto, defacto "capital" city for Canada, in the province of Ontario), the burgermeisters (in their infinite wisdom) have been banning the electric bicycle from some city pathways and bike lanes... For example, this online article "E-bikes banned from Martin Goodman Trail", from September, 2011, here:
http://bikingtoronto.com/blog/2011/09/e ... man-trail/

So lessee... New York City, Toronto... Anyone here care to nominate anywhere else in NA for the "Most Unfriendly Ebike Award"? And watt would the "trophy" look like? How large would such a thing have to be if anybuddy on ES were invited to "take a dump" in it before it is presented?

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by dogman dan » Sep 03 2013 5:33am

But that's ebike unfriendly, not bike unfriendly.

From what others have commented over the years, Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix would be high on a USA list.

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by Lock » Sep 03 2013 6:17am

Phoenix AZ?!!! Say it ain't so, Joe! (DM)... Would be fun to visit AW et al there... But it may be a bit TOO hot (and dry) there for an old sailor... Hehe...). The last boat I owned was christened the M.V.Phoenix, by her prev owner... And I hadn't the heart to rename her... She was a 30-something foot wooden "lobster boat", and only after I bought her did I find out the lobster fishing in Lake Ontario kinda "sucks", eh?
Hehe...
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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by amberwolf » Sep 03 2013 12:08pm

Well, Phoenix isn't *e*bike unfriendly, it just isn't particularly *bike*-friendly. Not *un*-friendly, exactly, either. Just...is what it is.

The real problem is the road maintenance (or lack thereof, and/or the poor quality of it when they do repairs, and the way they do those repairs, typically by resurfacing a road and THEN digging up parts of it (often on the edges) for other work immediately afterward, instead of the other way around.).

Since the bike lanes are usually on those road edges, then there's often lots of things wrong with them that make them difficult or even impossible to ride in safely, unless perhaps you are riding a well-equipped downhill bike with a super-suspension system. :lol:

THe bike lanes are also often (usually?) "shared" as parking zones. Some of them are "no parking M-F 7a-4p" or the like, sometimes "7a-11a and 1p-4p", meaning that unless you happen to be out riding in those short hours, you don't have a place to ride, other than the road where cars are (going faster than the speed limits, usually). It's "safer" to stay completely out of the bike lane when cars are parked in it, because otherwise you can't see clearly behind you when coming out from between the cars, and approaching cars can't see you clearly either, so dodging in and out is more likely to get you run over than just riding in the road and forcing the cars to either knowingly run you down or go around you.


That combined with the way many (most?) drivers don't want to be slowed down by ANYTHING, even other cars, much less bicycles or pedestrians, means that the only "safe" place to ride, in dedicated bike lanes wherever those do exist, isn't safe either.


There are a few places here and there where it's relatively safe to ride, but the attitude of drivers means you can't let your guard down at all, no matter where you are. Even on the canal paths and in parks, where cars are not allowed at all, you're not safe from them because (infrequently) people drive their cars illegally down these paths to get to their favorite fishing spots, since they can't be bothered to walk that far (often only a few dozen feet from the road), and then they park the car across the path so it's impossible to get by. One might have to stop and argue with them to get them to move it, perhaps requiring a call to the police as encouragement.

There are also the many delivery vans/trucks that like to park in No Parking, No Stopping, No Standing zones, which are sometimes also Fire Lanes, and which are often also bike lanes, so the lane is blocked and one must instead ride in the heavy traffic alongside it. (they could, of course, go a dozen feet around the corner and park in the perfectly-safe-and-legal spot for the purpose, but why do that when they can cause a safety problem instead?).


Riding the sidewalks is always dangerous, no matter what city you're in, simply becuase of driveways and pedestrians and signposts and intersections and whatnot.


Anyway...Phoenix is not great for bikes, but it isn't anywhere near as bad as some places are. :(

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by fizzit » Sep 03 2013 2:27pm

I'd guess that the most bike-unfriendly city in North America is probably somewhere in Mexico.
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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by Chalo » Sep 03 2013 3:21pm

fizzit wrote:I'd guess that the most bike-unfriendly city in North America is probably somewhere in Mexico.
I doubt it. Mexican cities have grids, are walkable, and are scaled smaller than USA cities of similar population. Lots of commerce there happens by pedal and push carts, which implies a more cycle-friendly situation than postwar USA cities offer.

For example, here is a place in the outskirts of Denver. And here is a place in the outskirts of Monterrey, which is sometimes compared to Denver. These images are displayed at the same scale. Which one do you think offers better cycling options?
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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by jimw1960 » Sep 03 2013 3:26pm

Bikes getting banned from bike paths and trails probably has more to do with idiots going balls to the wall on 72-volt lipo than the town being ebike unfriendly. My preach for the day: whenever on a shared-use trail, never ride faster than you could go under pedal power alone (~15 mph).

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by slacker » Sep 03 2013 6:53pm

jimw1960' kudo's as i could not said it better myself and agree wholeheartly.good day.

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by Lock » Sep 03 2013 7:26pm

I three! (Agree too)... One "problem" maybe, our market for ebikes is being "flooded" with cheap, "Chinese-quality" scooter-style ebikes, that are "affordable" to the "masses"... eg those that really don't care about others... And why are they called "sideWALKS" again?
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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by yopappamon » Sep 03 2013 8:33pm

I nominate Flint Michigan as you are more likely to be killed riding than any other American city. Granted it has nothing to do with riding an ebike but still..... :shock:

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by kriskros » Sep 04 2013 3:39pm

dogman wrote:But that's ebike unfriendly, not bike unfriendly.

From what others have commented over the years, Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix would be high on a USA list.
the mayor of toronto took the bike lanes off a north/south street that is VERY important to riderscommuting to city core to work..without designated lanes the heavy traffic it is very dangerous for cyclists ... personaly i think he is just jealopus....at about 400 pounds ,i dont think there is bike made that would hold him....think of him trying to unplug the saddle :roll:
Last edited by kriskros on Sep 05 2013 12:51am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by Lock » Sep 04 2013 4:24pm

Ohhh... I have a rather long "to do" list (of mods to my etrike)... Now gotta add to that list... Ummm... Is there such a thing on ebikes watt a pilot might refer to as an "ejection seat"? For presentation to the Mayor of Oshawa?

Just curious, as always...
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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by kriskros » Sep 05 2013 1:07am

Lock wrote:Ohhh... I have a rather long "to do" list (of mods to my etrike)... Now gotta add to that list... Ummm... Is there such a thing on ebikes watt a pilot might refer to as an "ejection seat"? For presentation to the Mayor of Oshawa?

Just curious, as always...
:)
L
my apologies Lock,i lived in TO so long i forgot to specify..the mayor of toronto...can your mind picture THAT rump on a bicycle :?: or would you really rather not?to those not familiar with R.F. its about 4 axe handles wide...at least :P

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by Lock » Sep 05 2013 5:56am

Ahhh... I was beginning to wonder (whether Ontario majors were having a competition for "Who is the largest" or something... An idea maybe to "file away" for some future date... The media would have a chuckle at least, when the invites are mailed out to all Ontario majors re THAT competition...)

On my list of mods "to do" ain't really a "mod" (to the etrike) at all... but to get a "rickshaw" built for next spring... A big one, suitable for two etc (max "load" 500 lbs), with a big, comfy seat built for two at least plus basket, as the prototype to be pulled by summer students, etc around harbours, etc in towns across Ontario... So a "rickshaw", but pulled by a student, etc riding an electric bicycle... Meant really as a "promotional device" for the ebike... It's sorta "riffing" off the first electric trike I EVer ride, many years ago, where I carried ("pulled", sort of) my friend Mister P around the neighborhood, he in the back basket... That was on the Toronto Islands... So the "neighborhood" included both Wards Is. and Algonquin Is., plus the bridge that "hops" between the two...

Mr. P was a "big guy" EVen back then... Anyway... No hills to speak of on the Toronto Islands, but that bridge? No prob "lugging" a "heavy cargo" (passenger) over THAT bridge... That electric trike was borrowed from Richard O'Brien, of "BamBoo" restaurant fame (or notoriety?)... Ya can read about Richard here:
http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/20 ... under.html

So back then, Richard was a bit "mayor-sized" as well, and he had "mobility" issues... hence the electric tricycle...

Anyway... Anybuddy on ES can try this, but I hope to have "first dibs" for the province of Ontario... Wish me luck? And yeah, I don't know, but our Toronto mayor might be a "shoe in" for the first EVer "Who Is The Largest Ontario Mayor competition"...

Hehe...

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by Lock » Sep 05 2013 3:00pm

Well, well... No thoughts/response from anyone on ES to the "rickshaw" idea? I see there have already been two threads about a rickshaw idea on ES (in 2009, 2010)... Just to "flesh out" the idea (or "whet" some appetites)... The fellow in Toronto I have had one conversation (live) with:
http://cappelcustomcarts.com/

If ya poke around his site a bit, you will note some of his bicycle carts mimic Toronto harbour ferrys...

So just to "pump up" the idea a bit maybe, I will ask Manuel (he can design the rickshaw any way he likes) to add maybe a small energy-efficient wood-burning stove to the rickshaw (for our cooler months)... And maybe a small "steam whistle", that these folks might like/support:
http://www.steamwhistle.ca/

... Who coincidentally might host our first-EVer annual Ebikers Ball this coming December...

So, no thoughts here?
:cry:
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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by amberwolf » Sep 05 2013 8:47pm

Problem with rickshaws is that in some places they're illegal, for one reason or another. Some places define a bicycle as something with a "saddle" for the rider to be seated upon (which also thus prohibits a number of recumbent types, including my CrazyBike2), while others prohibit passengers unless seated upon a saddle fixed to the bike (and I think some even prohibit passengers entirely).

Might not matter if the laws aren't enforced and the builders/riders don't care, but I thought I'd just put that out there. ;) It's why I can't build the cargo "bike" I'd really like to, which would be a four-wheeler: in Arizona a bicycle can't have more than three wheels in contact with the ground. :(

Some places it's illegal for other reasons not related to bikes themselves, because of laws about taxi services. It might not apply if you're not charging for the rides, but I think some of the various cities' laws don't care if the rides are free or not, they're prohibited unless you have a city license for the purpose. :?


That said, I've pondered a rickshaw-like vehicle for my dogs...but that was long before the fire. Perhaps someday I'll revisit the idea.

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by Chalo » Sep 05 2013 9:52pm

Here in Austin, we have hundreds-- literally hundreds-- of licensed pedicabs. There is a special limousine operator license for their drivers, and the trikes or trailers have to be inspected. Electric assist is specifically prohibited for pedicabs, though.

Texas law limits an electric bicycle to a maximum of 100 pounds, thus no passenger-carrying trike can meet electric bicycle legal requirements in Texas. They bust the weight limit long before you add e-assist.

If you were using a pedicab trike as a household utility vehicle (for groceries, kids, dogs, laundry, etc.), then in practice you could probably get away with power assist as long as you didn't zoom around at unnatural speeds. The bodywork of a pedicab trike offers a lot of room for motor, batteries, and electronics, so it can be very stealthy.

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by John in CR » Sep 05 2013 10:27pm

Chalo wrote:Here in Austin, we have hundreds-- literally hundreds-- of licensed pedicabs. There is a special limousine operator license for their drivers, and the trikes or trailers have to be inspected. Electric assist is specifically prohibited for pedicabs, though.

Texas law limits an electric bicycle to a maximum of 100 pounds, thus no passenger-carrying trike can meet electric bicycle legal requirements in Texas. They bust the weight limit long before you add e-assist.

If you were using a pedicab trike as a household utility vehicle (for groceries, kids, dogs, laundry, etc.), then in practice you could probably get away with power assist as long as you didn't zoom around at unnatural speeds. The bodywork of a pedicab trike offers a lot of room for motor, batteries, and electronics, so it can be very stealthy.

Image
My 100mph ebike is more of a bicycle than those things. Those are on par with those scooter ebike things you hate so much...ie slow moving and only marginally useful in a very narrow range and excels at nothing. The reason electric assist isn't allowed is because they would become too useful and would take business away from taxi's.

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by Chalo » Sep 06 2013 1:24am

John in CR wrote:My 100mph ebike is more of a bicycle than those things. Those are on par with those scooter ebike things you hate so much...ie slow moving and only marginally useful in a very narrow range and excels at nothing. The reason electric assist isn't allowed is because they would become too useful and would take business away from taxi's.
Well, there are more pedicabs all the time, and only so many taxis. So it must not be working.

It's true that pedicabs are useful only within a narrow set of conditions: short distances, scarce parking, high density areas that people want to traverse. I could throw in heavy drinking and terrible high heeled shoes, but those may not be entirely necessary. Here, pedicabs operate within the few closely situated entertainment districts and at special events like football games and music festivals. They are enhancements to a night out, or occasionally a high priced parking shuttle, but not transportation per se.

One thing I have observed about pedicab drivers other than there are too many of them here, is that I don't think I could name even one of the couple hundred I have met who is technically together enough to manage a high performance battery pack without destroying it or causing a fire. Most can't even respect the needs of the SLAs they use to run their lights. Car cab drivers would be summarily fired for the gross mistreatment and neglect these guys and gals mete out on their machines.
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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by The fingers » Sep 06 2013 8:20am

I envision a fleet of pedicabs at LAX, and thoroughfares littered with bodies and bicycle parts. :twisted:
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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by Lock » Sep 06 2013 8:26am

"...thoroughfares littered with bodies and bicycle parts."

Oh... Like I imagine the roads to/from LAX are now?

:?
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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by kriskros » Sep 06 2013 4:39pm

pedicab... on tv, i once saw two seater chesterfield on a trike bike frame..it got a LOT of looks and laughs :mrgreen:

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by amberwolf » Sep 07 2013 1:13pm

I have mentioned this elsewhere in wordier form, but here's a pic (end of post) and description of part of the problem with drivers here. Red ovals surround the problematic areas. Keep in mind that *except* for the narrow no-passing zones, where I ride in the center of the lane cuz there's no room for anyone to the left anyway, I ride at the right edge of the road, as close as "practicable" to it, if there is any other traffic on the road at the time (usually there is).


Why do drivers find it necessary to wait to pass until the other vehicle they are passing (regardless of size, type, etc) is reaching the narrowest point of the road where it is most dangerous for both of them? Often, where it is ILLEGAL to do so as well (with double-yellow lines for no passing, and sometimes signage for such, as well).


This happens so often here that I am actually inured to it, and expect it, and am shocked when it does not happen.


As an example, this place here, at the south end of a 1/4 mile strip of 31st Ave from Orangewood north halfway to Northern, has a lane either side of the no-passing double-yellow line that is barely one car wide when it reaches the intersection at it's south end, and about the same at it's north end. It has no lane markings at all between those two sections, and is only no-passing at those two points. The rest of it is free-for-all based on the general rules of the road, at 25MPH max.

There's no bicycle lane cuz the road is too narrow for one, but it is a part of the bike path along 31st Ave, which has bike lanes both north and south of that strip.

But...if there is a car behind me at any point on this entire 1/4 mile section, they will hang way back, sometimes going slower than I am (usually just under 20MPH), UNTIL I REACH THAT NO-PASSING ZONE. At that point, they immediately gun their engine, and RACE AROUND ME, to screech to a stop halfway (or all the way) into that 4-way-stop intersection. Last night the guy almost went all the way to the other side of the intersection before he could stop, because the rain had made the road slick. :roll:

If we're going north instead, they'll also wait until the same no-passing zone is reached, and then gun their engine and roar past me at up to 40-50MPH (in a 25MPH zone, mind you), and sometimes keep that speed up until htey have to screech to a stop at the still-red traffic light a 1/4 mile north of there, usually behind the line of cars already waiting there. Occasionally they needed to turn right as soon as they exit that narrow no-passing zone, and that usually results in them screeching down to a speed they can make a U turn at (barely), then going BACK SOUTH again right in front of me on the wrong side of the road, to make their turn. :roll:


This isnt' the only place this happens at, it's jsut the easiest to illustrate, and one at which it happens almost every day that I pass thru the stretch of road, either northbound or southbound (I commute to work thru it, so at least 5 days a week, 10x total each way--it doesnt' happen everytime I go thru, but often enough to maybe count as half of the time).

Many other places have cars, trucks, and trailers that are parked way too far out into the bike lane to pass them while I'm in hte lane, forcing me to go into the regular traffic lane to do so. Cars will be approaching slowly from behind (at the ~5MPH difference between their legal-speed-limit 25MPH and my max just under 20MPH), until I begin to move leftward to go around the obstacle. At that point, they suddenly gun their engines, and race up to pass me, even though there really isn't enough room to do so, and they sometimes scrape tires on the median curb to their left where there is a center median, or simply go into the oncoming traffic lane if there isn't. :roll:

I see this happen to other bicycles, too, and even to other cars on the road. Sometimes a car will be slowing down to turn into a side street, pull into a driveway, or parallel park off to the side of the traffic lane...as soon as they begin to slow and are at a point where they must be most leftward into the traffic lane to do what they're doing, whatever the most dangerous point is for this to happen, is when the cars behind them will suddenly gun their engines and race around them.



There is NO REASON for any of these drivers to do that kind of thing, because all they have to do is keep going exactly like they already were, and they will not be blocked or slowed down IN ANY WAY by whatever I or other vehicles are doing, cuz we'll all be well out of their way before they ever reach us.


W.

T.

F.


:evil:

31st ave orangewood strip 1.JPG
31st ave orangewood strip 1.JPG (63.91 KiB) Viewed 3337 times

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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by The fingers » Sep 07 2013 2:12pm

The cageyness of cagers is indescribable and unexplainable. :evil:
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Re: North Americas most Electric Bicycle UNFRIENDLY City

Post by Lock » Oct 11 2013 12:14pm

Well, well... In the news online recently, "Chariots energize electric vehicle market", from Las Vegas, Nevada, seen here:
http://www.reviewjournal.com/autos/driv ... cle-market

The word "pedicabs" only mentioned once. The pic accompanying the article of rows of electric CARS... Looks like I was right. It IS more "eco friendly" to be run over or hit by an electric car!

Looks like EVen the pedicab companies got it wrong. They are using tricycles, instead of electric bicycles pulling 2-wheeled rickshaws. The cars may or may not have solar panels... Instead, the pedicabs I see around do already have electric-assist motors, but they look like typical Chinese-made "product", many made with heavy metal back seating for passengers, sides and backs plastered with advertising...
http://www.rickshawservices.com/

I see out City is already on the case:
http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_545.pdf
PEDICAB - A vehicle drawn, propelled or driven by human muscular power, with or without the assistance of an electric motor, and includes a pedal-powered rickshaw.

Watt the rickshaw companies (and maybe some local ebike sellers) don't see is the chance/opportunity to maybe promote (sell) just the electric bicycle...

L
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Toronto Electric Riders Association:
http://www.ebikeriders.com/
Canada, eh?

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