Is Your Road System Bike/Ebike Friendly

George S.

Well-Known Member
If I use Google Maps on this small city, the subdivisions built in the 60's are grids. You can travel fairly easily on a bike, and stay off major streets.

In the 80's, or by the 80's, neighborhoods look like this. The streets do not connect. It's tough to get from my 'start' to my 'finish'. See map.

Today, and really since the 90's,subdivisions use these dead end roads and add a twist. They generally build a wall around the subdivision.

BikeFriendly2.JPG
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Good grief. How do you figure getting to E100S from 10 S in that suburb? It makes no sense,
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Harry,

I never thought about this until I rode ebikes and thought about getting places. When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's, I rode through the subdivision on the right for 12 years, on a bike. It has decent access. On the right side, which is from an earlier period, everything is a grid. There is a later stub area at Prince and Country Club where there is limited access and no through access.

I guess it is the desire to keep traffic out of the neighborhood. Kids play on the street, that sort of thing. When I rode bikes as a kid, we always went through neighborhoods. Most places, that is impossible now.

In Vegas, during the nineties, most subdivisions had an entrance and every street fed off the entrance. If you paid more, the entrance had a gate.

There are ways to let bikes and pedestrians get through (surely) without getting commuter type traffic.

Tucson Suburb.JPG
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Most developers these days use space in the most financially advantageous way possible and often that comes by utilizing culs de sac. By using a cul de sac they generally get 5 houses where they would only get 2 for a through street or 3 for a dead end. I do my best to stay out of new developments, but now even cities are creating dead ends where there was once a through street for crime control. I don't think planners and developers are considering alternate means of transport.

Interesting topic @George!
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
I do my best to stay out of new developments, but now even cities are creating dead ends where there was once a through street for crime control. I don't think planners and developers are considering alternate means of transport.

Locally, you have to go back to the 60's to find housing that was meant to be good, but at a reasonable price. They built these with minimal streets. Parking is centralized. The houses don't have garages. They share a wall, so some roofing, plumbing, and building expense. The lots are tiny, probably condo ownership lots. Some of the land is taken up by tennis courts and a fire station, which Google doesn't depict. I doubt they would do the tennis courts these days.


High Density.JPG


If you wanted to plan for ebike/bike type neighborhoods, this is a pretty good model. Around here, they don't really have water for growing populations, without imposing drastic curbs. That offends people, apparently. So they have to travel to get water from Lake Powell, or pumping from ag lands 50 miles away, if they buy the land. A former construction guy told me it's around $25k just to pay the impact fees, do soil tests, file plans, permits, etc.

I think people who look at cycling or ebikes as transport are pretty intimidated by what they see in terms of where they would have to ride. It's really clear on this forum. There are an intrepid few who at least accept the risks and challenges. Maybe people love the bikes and gradually accept the risks. But I don't think they will sell ebikes without selling the infrastructure to ride them, except for recreation uses. I'd settle for basic solutions if they were integrated and as effective as the budget allows. People around here are much more educated than they were. I get more five finger waves these days than one finger.

My brother has always rode, commuting outside Boston. Eventually he had mishaps, so he would give up, or be on the sidelines. Now I think he rides on paths, but he had a mishap on a path, just a failure of communication.
I'm not sure some types of rider 'help the cause'. People may look at some cyclists and say it is a little nuts. It should look and feel like it is fun, to some extent. I'm pretty sure I am 'selling' something different from the hard core road cyclists.