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      WARNING!   07/26/16

      By reading or participating in the Coffee House forum, you are acknowledging that some topics may be highly controversial in nature. While we make every attempt to ensure that no one and no groups are offended as a result of discussions contained within, we unfortunately can make no guarantees. Participate in threads contained within this forum at your own risk.
Raintree21

Charlotte trying to be more bike friendly

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It would be great if Charlotte accomidated bikers more. I used to bike a great deal, but not so much anymore because it is just too dangerous. There are a lot of drivers who don't think that bikers should be on the road and a bike is no match for a pissed off driver in a SUV. I've been run off the road several times. Its best to go in groups if you bike a lot as this minimizes this effect.

I still like to bike but I stick mainly to neighborhood streets now.

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"I see more people on bikes every day and they like to ride in the middle of the road."

A cyclist is entitled to the entire lane. I will take the lane when the road is too narrow for a car to safely pass me inside that lane. Most drivers overestimate their driving abilities. I have been hit by numerous drivers "who thought they had enough room"

For any cyclists on the board: the annual "Ride With The Mayor" ride is this Friday!

details: http://www.bike-charlotte.org

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NC DMV Handbook Chapter 6

Bicycle riding is an important means of transportation, particularly for traveling to work and school. Drivers must always be alert for bicycle traffic on any road at any time. Because bicycles are vehicles, bicyclists must obey the same traffic laws as other drivers.

Like drivers, bicyclists must:

ride on the right side of the road;

stop for stop signs and red lights;

and give hand signals.

A bicyclist should not transport more riders than the bicycle is built to carry and should always have both hands free to operate the bicycle.

Many crashes happen because drivers do not see cyclists soon enough. In North Carolina, most bicycle crashes occur in residential areas during the summer months and on Saturdays. Usually, the crashes occur during daylight hours and on straight, dry roads, intersections, alleys, or driveways. The most fatal crashes occur on open country roads.

Bicyclists are legally entitled to use most roads in North Carolina. Even though their slower speeds can pose problems for motorists, it is important to respect the bicyclist's right to be on the roadway. Yield the right of way to the bicyclist in the same way that you would for a car. If possible, make eye contact with the bicyclist, especially at intersections. If you must use your horn, a gentle "beep" should alert the bicyclist without startling him or her. Road defects are even more of a problem for bicycles than for cars.

Be prepared to leave the bicyclist plenty of room in case he or she must swerve to miss a pothole or other hazard in the road. In a crash with a bicycle, the bicyclist is usually the person most likely to be hurt seriously.

Drivers must take special care to watch out for bicycle riders. Take the following precautions:

Wait until the cyclist has cleared the intersection before making a turn to the right or left. The most common error for drivers is to make a left turn directly into the path of an oncoming cyclist-without seeing the bicycle until it is too late to stop. Drivers will also frequently make right turns in front of cyclists they have just passed, cutting them off and causing crashes.

When passing a cyclist, slow down and make sure the bicycle rider is aware of your presence. Leave plenty of room between the bicycle and your vehicle. If there is no room to pass because of approaching traffic, wait until it has gone by, and then pass. The law requires that you pass at least two feet to the left of the bicycle, but you should leave more room if there is any danger that your vehicle

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Until bicyclists can go the speed limit they should not be in the middle of the road. It pisses me off too when I am in a 55 zone and get behind a bicyclists. A speed limit is a speed limit, period.

I have no problem with them riding in uptown Charlotte though, thats different. Just not on a two lane road blocking traffic.

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Isn't there a yearly bike race uptown?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Bank of America Invitational Criterium started last summer. This year it will be held on August 6th. Best of all, it's free. :rolleyes:

More info.

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are you talking about a country road? where in heck is there a 55 mph speed limit in meck county other than freeway?

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Until bicyclists can go the speed limit they should not be in the middle of the road. It pisses me off too when I am in a 55 zone and get behind a bicyclists. A speed limit is a speed limit, period.

I have no problem with them riding in uptown Charlotte though, thats different. Just not on a two lane road blocking traffic.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Indeed. As you said it is the Maximum Limit that you are allowed to drive under Ideal Conditions. It is NOT the speed that you MUST drive. Many drivers make this mistake. Its the reason that I am afraid to bike on the highways anymore. It only takes one bad driver to send you to the hospital or worse.

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"Until bicyclists can go the speed limit they should not be in the middle of the road. It pisses me off too when I am in a 55 zone and get behind a bicyclists. A speed limit is a speed limit, period."

Yes, God Forbid you actually have to slow down for 30 seconds to get around someone.

Most of the original roads in the Charlotte area were actually built FOR bicycles originally. But we'll be nice and let you share our roads. ;)

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Im sorry, but a bike going 15 mph in a 35 mph zone during rush hour traffic is just dumb, especially when there is a perfectly good sidewalk 5ft away. Anyone know the S turn on Sharon Rd, between Fairview and Quail Hollow. Twice now, iv'e come upon a bike riding in the right lane on those turns. When your going 35/40 (which is with traffic....), and come up suddenly on a bike thats going 15/20mph slower then you it is a danger to the biker and all drivers around them. I drive a large truck that has 4 wheels accross the back and compartments that stick out just past those wheels. Slamming on the brake with an 18k pound vehicle around a turn is not fun. There are plenty of neighborhoods and back roads they can be riding on, or get on the friggin sidewalk.

I understand the roads were built with bicycles in mind, but things have changed, traffic moves too quickly, and the streets are too congested for bikes to be on anymore. Sorry for ranting, but this is something that DOES anger me because I would feel terrible hitting or killing someones father because they HAD to share the road with cars.

Edited by Mobuchu

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I dont speed, at all... I go 35 in a 35mph zone and usually am annoyed at by those going with traffic (35-40mph or more). That is a shame about being illegal to ride on the sidewalk, did not know that.

I dont have a problem with bikes being on the road, when there is no traffic. But isn't it common sense to stay off the streets during rush hour, in a 35 or 45mph zone. Yeah, its legal and all should share the road with hands at 10 and 2 and drive perfectly, obbeying all traffic laws. But its also legal (freedom of speech) for me to walk into a "redneck" bar down in clover with a yankee's ballcap on, leather jacket and tell everyone how much grits and the Braves suck, but it wouldn't be smart. Why risk your life for that. To prove a point, that your allowed to share the road as much as anyone else?

Do you ride your bike down main thoroughfares during rush hour, with cars flying by you? No need for any "smart" replies like I should go to driving school either. Its dangerous and would like to understand, educate me...

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I use my bike as my means of transportation. I choose not to own a car. I have the right to use the same roads as you do, regardless of hour. Rush hour is dangerous for cars as well, do you stay home and wait for traffic to wane? Of course not. Want safer roads, email city council and ask them to create more bike lanes.

As the population of Charlotte becomes more dense, more and more people will be riding bicycles in traffic. The city needs to do a better job of providing infrastructure for a variety of transportation options.

Just remember this: Everytime you see someone riding a bike, they are contibuting to cleaner air, less congestion, and a safer world by reducing our Nation's dependency on foreign oil.

It only takes 30 seconds to change lanes and pass safely. Honestly, if there is any moment when a slow moving vehicle can cause you to wreck then you need to travel at a slower speed and increase your following distance.

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I only have one complaint against cyclist, and almost all are guilty.....if you want to be given the same respect on the roads then stop running stop signs and traffic lights.....I have this arguement all the time with my bike messanger friend downtown.....he complains that he has just as much right to ride in traffic, but he says that's it's fine for him to run a stop light because he likes getting ahead of traffic before a light turns green.......

But again, reverb, I do agree that the city should provide MUCH more infrastructure for cyclists. It seemed that there was good progress being made, but now I haven't seen as many bike lanes being added as before. I know the SCIP will add many lanes along the South Corridor, so that is encouraging.

Here's a question that I have. I've considered riding a bike to work since I live about 1.5 miles from my office, but how do you deal with getting sweaty on the ride, especially in the summer? I don't have to wear a suit, but at least business casual every day and there is no shower facility in my building? I've walked, but that's not the most enjoyable on hot days in business shoes.

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"Here's a question that I have. I've considered riding a bike to work since I live about 1.5 miles from my office, but how do you deal with getting sweaty on the ride, especially in the summer? I don't have to wear a suit, but at least business casual every day and there is no shower facility in my building? I've walked, but that's not the most enjoyable on hot days in business shoes."

Luckily I havce a progressive employer who provides showers. For you, here an idea. On Mondays, bring three days's worth of clothing, then leave it at work. Ride tow ork on tues, weds, and thursday. On Friday, drive again and bring home that week's clothing. 60% reduction in car trips to work, plus you'll be getting MUCH healthier, eliminating any need for a gym membership.

Added bonus: On nice days, take a much more "scenic" route home to add more miles to your weekly total of miles ridden. :)

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I dont speed, at all...  I go 35 in a 35mph zone and usually am annoyed at by those going with traffic (35-40mph  or more).  That is a shame about being illegal to ride on the sidewalk, did not know that.

I dont have a problem with bikes being on the road, when there is no traffic.  But isn't it common sense to stay off the streets during rush hour, in a 35 or 45mph zone.  Yeah, its legal and all should share the road with hands at 10 and 2 and drive perfectly, obbeying all traffic laws.  But its also legal (freedom of speech) for me to walk into a "redneck" bar down in clover with a yankee's ballcap on, leather jacket and tell everyone how much grits and the Braves suck, but it wouldn't be smart.  Why risk your life for that.  To prove a point, that your allowed to share the road as much as anyone else?

Do you ride your bike down main thoroughfares during rush hour, with cars flying by you?  No need for any "smart" replies like I should go to driving school either.  Its dangerous and would like to understand, educate me...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Your analogy to bike riding on public streets is wrong because you are talking about walking into a private establishment with the idea of provoking the people in that establishment. (By the way your Constitutional right to free speech does not give you the right to hurl insults in a private bar)

If however, you were to wear the same clothes into the Panther's stadium and the same dudes were there, you would absolutely expect them to leave you alone on taxpayer paid for public property. Same for the bikes on the highways.

Your inability to drive your truck safely is no rational at all for keeping bike riders off the street. What about some one driving slowly in a real small vehicle? Should they get off the highway too because it interfers with your driving? I don't think so. Nobody has a right to drive at whatever speed they want on a highway even if it is within the legal limit. You are required to share the road with other vehicles no matter what speed they drive and do so in a safe manner. You have no right to force them to the same speed that you drive.

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wow, maybe im not getting my point out correctly. Me and my truck are not the ones bikers need to worry about. I do drive very safely and an accident didn't occur because of it. I only brought up that situation to emphasize the danger, bad idea I guess. The problem, like I said, is during rush hour traffic when most drivers are trying to get to their destination in the shortest time possible. We all see it, drivers swerving through traffic, doing 15mph over speed limit, that type of thing.

Yes, we are required to share the road, but do you think everyone feels that way. Many drivers hurl their cars through traffic with little regard for other drivers let alone a guy on a bike that is very vulnerable if hit. I wish Charlotte was more bike friendly and it was safe for more people to commute using a bike, but unfortunetly its not.

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Even being a bike advocate, I still find that roads were engineered for motor vehicle traffic, and bikes do not belong on them. Whats wrong with the damn sidewalk? I always ride on the sidewalk. no one outside of dt uses them anyway. The biggest problem I see is that at red lights, a biker will ride to the front, passing 20 cars. Then when the light turns, 20 cars have to manuever around that one slow moving person. It causes a lot of headache.

Bikes should be reserved for greenways, bike lanes and sidewalks. For some reason though, cyclists feel a sense of entitlement to the roads that are built for cars.

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Bicycles are very dangerous on sidewalks. They are not designed for them, especially if two meet headon and the poor pedestrian would be required to jump into the road in many cases to avoid being hit by one. This is why riding a bike on a sidewalk is illegal in most cases.

Bikes should be on the road and subject to the same laws that govern other traffic because everyone is safer in the long run when it is handled this way. But as I mentioned earlier, individuals consider the roads their own private property and bicycles need not apply.

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bikes are a traffic calming device and should be on any road they want to be.

I, too, have had a frustrating moments with bicyclists, but i've had many manymore frustrated moments on the road because of dumbass drivers.

Bike lanes will be added to routes as they get repaved and widened, and a number of roads, like east boulevard are being converted to one lane for cars (per direction), a bike lane, and parking lane, and a landscaped median, and intersections will be replaced by roundabouts. Samething goes for mcdowell by M Street. and a number of other streets around town. Studies show that 2 to 1 conversions on certain types of streets (non-thoroughfares) can carry the same amount of traffic and be much safer for pedestrian and bike use, and much more attractive and supportive of land values.

Maybe i'm more understanding of bicycles because i lived in holland...

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bikes are a traffic calming device and should be on any road they want to be.

I, too, have had a frustrating moments with bicyclists, but i've had many manymore frustrated moments on the road because of dumbass drivers. 

Bike lanes will be added to routes as they get repaved and widened, and a number of roads, like east boulevard are being converted to one lane for cars (per direction), a bike lane, and parking lane, and a landscaped median, and intersections will be replaced by roundabouts.  Samething goes for mcdowell by M Street.  and a number of other streets around town.  Studies show that 2 to 1 conversions on certain types of streets (non-thoroughfares) can carry the same amount of traffic and be much safer for pedestrian and bike use, and much more attractive and supportive of land values.

Maybe i'm more understanding of bicycles because i lived in holland...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That is awsome, and is exactly what is needed. On top of that, doing something similar down south blvd is really needed. It would promote even more people to use the light rail, instead of just those within walking distance. I forget who it was on here, but someone mentioned they would not bike over to the rail station from ideal way because of similar problems. Hopefully when they redo south blvd where the track will run in the center they will incorporate a bike lane on either side.

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South Blvd is a thoroughfare, so even if they add street parking and trees...and even bike lanes, it will still be a bit scary to cross. as far as bike lanes, i don't think they'd be adding bike lanes to south blvd, because the light rail will have wide path for bikes and peds all down the route.

They will spruce up the intersections, though, as part of SCIP, to be more attractive and ped/bike friendly in order to address that concern.

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