Author Topic: Fantastic Commuting Infrastructure  (Read 552 times)

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Offline brad

Fantastic Commuting Infrastructure
« on: May 26, 2014, 11:32:49 am »
Everyday I ride over this bridge that connects my town with the next one here in Germany near Stuttgart. I ask myself constantly why can't we have this in the US? Used to live in Alexandra, VA and it was too damn dangerous just to ride to the District from where my house was situated, a friend was hit twice on the street outside our neighborhood.
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline John Nelson

Re: Fantastic Commuting Infrastructure
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2014, 02:46:04 pm »
We have hundreds of bicycle bridges in the U.S. Not enough, of course.

Offline DaveB

Re: Fantastic Commuting Infrastructure
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2014, 04:41:14 pm »
Using any European country as an example of what we should do in the US is too much an apples and oranges comparison.  Our low population density, huge distances and the fact that Europe was crowded and urbanized for 500 years before they even knew about the "New World" makes that discussion unfair. 

Also, automobiles were an expensive luxury in Europe for decades after they were everyman's appliance here.   
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 04:43:17 pm by DaveB »

Offline brad

Re: Fantastic Commuting Infrastructure
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2014, 04:45:06 pm »
All of that is true but our cities could have basic bicycle infrastructure. I lived four years in Alexandria, VA and could not ride my bike 6 miles to the Pentagon where I worked due to the lack of lanes and safe options.

Just putting in basic things like bike lanes, bike racks, and other basic amenities for using bikes as a daily mode of transportation.
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. ~James Michener

Offline hirundo

Re: Fantastic Commuting Infrastructure
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2014, 09:59:49 pm »
Read a blog called The Washcycle for up to date info on bicycle infrastructure in Alexandria/DC. Life for cyclists is much improved and people are working hard to make things better. But out in the hinterlands very small and incremental changes have many activists with little to show for our efforts. Bike riding is still fun and safe dedpite the lack of government assistance.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Fantastic Commuting Infrastructure
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2014, 07:26:03 pm »
Bike riding is still fun and safe dedpite the lack of government assistance.
The safe part is relative, depending on where you are and what your skill level, experience level and tolerance levels are.  I ride in a lot of different environments from busy urban to single lane mountain roads with no traffic, and I have to adjust, of course, depending.  My mirror allows me to feel much safer in the traffic areas.

As far as the bike accommodations in the US compared to European countries, we are way behind many of them.  Our culture is built around cars and the ability to go anywhere at any time in a car.  And our tax rates, especially on the rich, are very low compared to the social democracies of Western Europe and compared to our own 50-60 years ago.  There just is not the money to spend on so many things. When I was a kid, camping was free, as were national parks, state parks, etc.  Now we can't even afford decent veteran care and we have bridges collapsing on us. Think there's much money left over for bike amenities?  We have financial structural problems that preclude such frivolities.  Meanwhile, the richest of us have second and third homes, yachts, etc.  The European democracies with high tax rates have the highest standard of living in the world, better health care, etc, and , yes, better accommodations for getting around without cars.

Don't expect our situation to improve a lot until we get a more equitable tax structure and we have the funds available like we did in the halcyon days of the mid-twentieth century when deficits were manageable and benefits and amenities generous.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Fantastic Commuting Infrastructure
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2014, 03:44:26 am »
And our tax rates, especially on the rich, are very low compared to the social democracies of Western Europe and compared to our own 50-60 years ago. 

Don't expect our situation to improve a lot until we get a more equitable tax structure ...

I live in Denmark and would consider being in the middle class. I pay approx 60% income taxes (you have to earn almost nothing in order to have that rate reduced). And the VAT is 25% in Denmark (on everything - even food). I have to pay the equivalent of 40 US cents for 1 kWh of electrical power. I have to pay the equivalent of approx 10 USD (due to taxes) for 1000 liter of water = 260 gallons out of the tab. Gasoline costs 8,5 USD pr gallon (due to taxes). 2 things are cheap in Denmark (to name a few): Electronics and meat.

So based on all this income tax and VAT, we should have bike lanes and bike bridges built constantly and everywhere. I have not seen any new ones for years - most were built 20-30 years ago.

I can tell you for sure that many people are furious about that system.

The values are very similar in all Scandinavian counties.