Will the FHWA improve your bicycling experience?

FYI, I sent the following comment to the FHWA Facebook page this morning. I expect that it may be subject to review before it appears.
I took the liberty of also quoting Doug and John.
I have concerns about “New video shows how FHWA makes walking, biking safer” Is the efficiency of travel by bicycle to be jeopardized to maintain or enhance primacy of motor vehicle travel? To what extent will providing facilities (Sidepaths) with some level of comfort and increased safety require people bicycling to only use them?
I, and many people who already find bicycle travel to be a better choice for many trips are worried that people bicycling will be further marginalized if the right and ability to use public roadways is diminished rather than enhanced.
Ask me how to make bicycling a more popular choice for transportation.

Jim Baross Jr
President, California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO)

Note the following recent discourse from the public forum of the California Association of Bicycling Organization’s (CABObike.org)

From Doug Williams, Jan. 7, 2015 to CABOforum

I had the same notion [previous comments below from J.F.] when I viewed the video. I suppose that the “new design fans” are always going to overplay the safety of their plans and underplay how their designs slow down competent bicyclists who are capable of riding in traffic. If this were not the case, there would be no conflict in the bicycling community. Hey, if you can build a bike path that is safer for me to ride in WITHOUT any loss in my commute speed…please build it and I will ride it. But no…I haven’t seen many of those.

Why do bike path fans feel that is is necessary to criticize vehicular cyclists? Why can’t they support our right to ride on the street at the same time that they advocate bike paths? The answer, of course, is that they feel that competent vehicular cyclists threaten their plans. That doesn’t have to be the case. I’m not against bike paths that don’t slow me down, but I am tired of being told that only 1% of cyclists are capable of safely riding on the street. Anyone can do so with just a minimum of training! I’m tired of being told that riding on the street is a bad thing that only daredevils with no concern for public safety do. Jeez! You would think that people who promote vehicular riding and train people to ride in the street safely are menaces to society!

Why is it so difficult for bike path fans to advocate bike paths AND AT THE SAME TIME support my right to ride in the street? Am I going to get a ticket if I leave their magically protected green bike lane and merge into the (gasp) motor vehicle traffic lane?

Doug Williams

On Wednesday, January 7, 2015 12:19:18 PM UTC-8, John Forester wrote:
The same old propaganda based on foolish superstitions, with only a grain of truth in the presentation. Then there’s the same old propaganda that their designs make cycling safe and useful for cyclists without traffic skills and without compromising safety and usefulness for cyclists with traffic skills. Society should not permit all cyclists to be dumped in the pile of incompetents; those cyclists with traffic competence ought to be allowed to obey the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles.

Jim Baross
​CABO President​
San Diego, CA

This entry was posted in Miscellaneous on by .

About Jim Baross

I bicycled across the USA from East to West in 1976 leading groups of bicyclists for the “Bikecentennial ’76 “event and again in 2007 riding this time from West to East with my two sons. I was first certified as an Effective Cycling Instructor in 1986 by the League of American Bicyclist and have been an active League Cycling Instructor for the League since then. In 2002 I gained acceptance as a Cycling Instructor Trainer and since then have conducted 11 training seminars for certification of League Cycling Instructors held in San Diego, San Jose, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Sacramento, Morgan Hill, Fairfax, and Palo Alto. I completed the San Diego Police Bicycle Skills Menu Course in 2003 and I have been an expert witness for bicycling crash incidents. I presently serve on several bicycling advisory committees and advocacy organizations. Chair - Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Working Group for the San Diego regional association of governments since 1995 Vice Chair - California Bicycle Advisory Committee for the State Dept of Transportation, a member since 1992 President - California Association of Bicycling Organizations Board member - California Bicycle Coalition California State Ambassador – League of American Bicyclists Co-Chair California Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Challenge Area 13, Improving Bicycling Safety Conferences, seminars and similar events at which I have attended and presented bicycling safety information and training include the following: Speaker/Presenter, Calif. Office of Traffic Safety, Summit “What to do about all these bicycles in Traffic”, 2009 ProWalk-ProBike Conference, Seattle WA., 2008 Attendee/Speaker, League of American Bicyclists, Bike Education Conference, Wisconsin and New York City, 2002 & 2007 Velo Mondial, Amsterdam. 2000 Speaker/Presenter, Calif. Office of Traffic Safety’s Summit “A Vision for Roads to Traffic Safety”, 2000 Speaker Autovation conference, San Diego 2005 Chair, California Strategic Highway Safety Plan, #13 - Improve Bicycling Safety Presenter, California Strategic Highway Safety Plan Summit, 2008 Anaheim Attendee, League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Summit, Washington, DC, 2006 & 2008 Presenter, Walk/Bike California Conferences, Oakland 2003, Ventura 2005, Davis 2007 Speaker, Making the Connection International Trails and Greenways Conference Presenter, Safety N Kids, Conference, “Children Learn Best by Good Examples From Those They Trust”, 2006 Speaker, ITE Conference 2006 Dana Point, Calif., “Engineering for Bicycling, From a Bicyclists Point of View” Exhibitor/Speaker, Lifesavers, National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities, 2004 References familiar with my bicycling background and experience include: Kathy Keehan, Exec Director San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, Ph: 858-487-6063, Email: execdir@sdcbc.org Stephan Vance, Chair Calif. Bicycle Coalition and SANDAG Senior Planner, Ph: 619-595-5324, Email: sva@sandag.org Ken McGuire, Chief Bicycle Facilities Unit, California Dept of Transportation, Ph: 916-653-2750, Email: ken_mcguire@dot.ca.gov Preston Tyree, Director of Education, League of American Bicyclists, 1612 K St., NW, #800, Washington, DC 20006, Ph: 202-822-1333 x 227, Email: Preston@bikeleague.org