Re: Wide Corners at Walnut


Marie Hughes
 

Whenever people complain that bike infrastructure isn’t safe, we are told that this infrastructure isn’t for *us* the savvy cyclists. It’s for beginners who want to feel safe. I submit that beginners might be lured onto this infrastructure at first, but the first time they are almost right hooked will be the last time they use it.

Good infrastructure works for everyone and how to use it safely is clear. They don’t design roads that are only are safe if you ride 10 miles below the speed limit and say they are for beginning drivers only. They don’t consult people who don’t have driver’s licenses to ask how to design the roads that they will then start driving on. They shouldn’t design bike infrastructure that only works for people who aren’t even regularly riding their bikes with the *hope* they will start riding and they shouldn’t design them solely based on what those people — who have little experience or knowledge — *think* is safe. 

Infrastructure should be designed based on data as to what is actually safe and you should be able to figure out how to use it without getting a PhD in traffic engineering. The bike infrastructure on Walnut fails on all those measures.

Marie

On Aug 12, 2021, at 2:22 PM, Daniel Karpelevitch <daniel@...> wrote:

Ken, presumably you take Stevenson or Mowry instead. My point is that there are people that wouldn't take those alternate routes. Not only would they prefer the Walnut bike path, they would not, or be much less likely to, ride elsewhere. 

Personally, I'm in the same boat as you. I'll ride on Niles Canyon Rd, Valecitos Rd, and other objectively unsafe roads without a second thought (not something even all of the club riders can say). But I recognize that I and riders like me are not the majority. Civil/traffic engineers should not be prioritizing our needs. They should focus on making cycling safe, accessible, and equitable for everyone. I believe the new changes are positive steps in that direction.

Daniel

On Thu, Aug 12, 2021, 14:03 Ken Goldman <ken.goldman@...> wrote:
My solution is the best yet! I now completely avoid riding on Walnut. Mission accomplished…

Ken


On Aug 12, 2021, at 1:13 PM, Michael Graff <michael.graff@...> wrote:


Your sister sounds like the ideal customer for the new bikeways.

Rather than treating bike-ped mixing as a problem on the side paths, we should expect it and design for it. Adding more rules, and attempting to separate bikes and peds, is futile. Especially at the intersections.

Instead of two narrow adjacent crosswalks, make one big one. Instead of a narrow sidewalk + narrow side path, make one wide one. Instead of hoping for one-way bike traffic, assume two-way traffic.

In other words, make Walnut work more like the Alameda Creek Trail. One wide space (on each side of the road) that everybody negotiates with each other.

Oh, and can some of the trees be trimmed? I keep having to duck under the low hanging branches.

On Thu, Aug 12, 2021 at 12:08 PM Daniel Karpelevitch <daniel@...> wrote:
Michael, you make great points. 

My 13-year-old sister just started riding bikes and will be riding to high school in a few weeks. Our route is from Mission/Walnut all the way down Walnut to Fremont Blvd, then north on Fremont to Washington High School. 

My sister averages around 8-10 mph. She absolutely does not feel safe riding on unprotected bike lanes. The only reason she will be riding to school this year is because of the new bike path on Walnut and the bollard-protected bike lanes everywhere else she is riding. 

I know the club riders are much faster on average, but I think it is important to realize that that bike path and the new intersections weren't built for the "avid cyclist." If we want cycling to grow and make Fremont less car-centric, this is a sacrifice we must be willing to make. There are still plenty of alternate routes that do not have any of these new designs.

I agree that pedestrians on the bike path and in the intersections are a problem. I think more signage making clear where each should go would help, as well as some sort of separators (the small white flexible bollards come to mind). 

What does confuse me is the new intersections design popping up without the accompanying bike paths around them, such as at Fremont/Stevenson and Fremont/Mowry. Hopefully the surrounding infrastructure will be built shortly after, otherwise I do not see the purpose.

Respectfully,
Daniel



On Thu, Aug 12, 2021, 11:45 Michael Graff <michael.graff@...> wrote:
The new side paths and intersections are designed for slower cycling, 10-12 mph max. If I rIde them at that speed, I can generally avoid right-hook and drive-out collisions with motorists, and conflicts with pedestrians.

Faster than that, we should use the roadway.

Another thing I've noticed on Walnut, and at the fancy new intersections, is that bikes and peds don't strictly follow the lines painted for them. Bikes and peds use each other's crosswalks, and travel in both directions on both the sidewalk and side path. If we're going to build more of these, we might as well accept that and make them Class I multi-use paths. The attempts at bike-ped separation don't work.

On Thu, Aug 12, 2021 at 11:25 AM Greg Vicksell <vicksell@...> wrote:
I was really surprised when Fremont made these changes. As already stated, you are not required to take the path up onto the islands. You still have the right to remain on the road like the motor vehicles. The other aspect of this is if you come down the path on Walnut from Mission towards Fremont you are going to be crossing a lot of driveways and cars coming out of the parking lots probably aren't going to be looking for you. I find it safer to stay on the road.

Greg Vicksell

On 8/12/2021 11:06 AM, Andrew Sass via groups.io wrote:
Three more near misses that I have seen (one being me, even with a bright rear light and front light with side flashers). �I have also seen one with a car leaving that apartment complex and pulling up to where they can see oncoming traffic and almost hitting a bike, and a car/bus near miss as the bus just stops in the street as there is no pullout for the bus stop.

The problem is worst when the light is green to begin with. �The cyclist pulls up onto the sidewalk and the car does not expect them to pop out again when the car turns. �It is safer for cyclists just to go straight and take the lane when on Paseo. �At least they are seen. �It would be much better if the curb was back 4 feet to safely go straight

While I am venting, those islands that are in the bike lane on Washington Blvd are also an accident waiting to happen. �Cyclists, even novice ones travel fast on the downhill and hitting those are certain broken bones, or worse.

There should be a moratorium on any more street changes until some statistics and feedback are examined

Andy Sass

On Thursday, August 12, 2021, 09:54:49 AM PDT, Vinnie Bacon <vbacon@...> wrote:


You should send this to Hans Larsen at Fremont�s DPW. Hans is very good with bike issues but he�s not perfect. I was just commenting last night that I don�t like how bikes go up on the sidewalk on Walnut.

�

Another big issue is the nice wide right turn lanes for bikes look like they could be for cars. The initial design at Civic Center / BART Way was like that, and the City had to redo it. I saw the new configuration at Mowry / Fremont and my first thought was those right turn lanes would be too small for a lot of vehicles, not even realizing they are not for vehicles. Motorists will be confused too unless they paint them bright green.

�

Vinnie Bacon

e: vbacon@...

p: 510-796-8870

�

From: info@ffbc.groups.io <info@ffbc.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tim OHara
Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2021 9:32 AM
To: info@ffbc.groups.io
Subject: [public info] Wide Corners at Walnut

�

All,

�

Please be careful when crossing Walnut after going up the green bike path on the sidewalk.� On three occasions now I have almost seen bike riders get hit when they have the green light and they advance just as a car sweeps around�the wide corner.� I don't really blame the cars, because it is just sooo weird, that the�corner juts�out so far.� I just don't want anybody getting hurt.� So be careful and watch�for the cars coming around the corner.�

�

Tim







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