Front page article in the Guardian on the impact ebikes are having on road design in Germany

Cameron Newland

Well-Known Member
Awesome! London is doing something similar:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/feb/04/segregated-cycle-lanes-london-tfl

I hope to see a similar network on the Eastern Seaboard of the US sometime before 2050. Orange County/Los Angeles/San Diego would also be good candidates, though the weather there might be a little warm for people to start doing intercity rides en masse.

Where I live in San Francisco, there are nearby suburban areas (Marin County, for one) that have fantastic bike trails and bicycle infrastructure, but here in the city, we have to share roads with cars and delivery trucks, and though there are a lot of bike lanes, the cycling experience here is terrible. It'd be really nice to have a separate bike trail from San Francisco to San Jose via Silicon Valley, however, that'd cost a lot of money to build and there isn't enough political or financial support. Maybe in 100 years. I'll cross my fingers. :D
 

Adrian

Active Member
Great topic! The question of funding for bike paths is always raised. The thinking here in my particular locale (Geneva) has been to pave bike paths or bike lanes systematically when you need to remodel a street. This strategy had the adverse effect of slowing down the introduction of bike infra (it has taken 2 decades to get something "decent"). But it was definitely cheaper than building "everything from scratch". Now when I hear that "bike highways will be expensive", I agree. But if those cities had started 20 years ago, and built the infra progressively, they could have managed the costs better and the final bill would be infinitely cheaper.

In any event, I can only applaud the building of "bike highways" in Europe. But we need to ensure that 45km/h bikes are allowed on those trails, and also need to encourage the EU legislators to do something sensible about speed, such as raising the e-bike Speed Limit from 25Km/h to 32km/h (20mph) with a tolerance of 10%. This would be easy to implement as many manufacturers already make bikes for the US market. I don't see the point of having a 60 mile intercity highway if you've got to putter along at 24.5 km/h....
The Swiss public transport system is so good, there are far less incentives to bike anywhere. ;)
 

Adrian

Active Member
A train ticket costs 20 dollars for a one way 30 mile ride...

In Switzerland, 323000 bikes were sold in 2015, of which 66,000 were e-bikes. That's for a population of 8 million. The US has bought 150,000 (?) e-bikes for a population of 250+ million people. There's got to be a good reason such a small country is in love with bikes. :)
It's weird how things have changed. I lived in Geneva and the St Genis area across the border for 8 years in the 90s and for the life of me, I can hardly remember any bicycles. I guess 20 years make a big difference.