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Old 02-12-2013, 02:02 PM   #1
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Default Speed Data-ing: You’re Broadcasting Traffic Reports without Even Knowing It



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As navigation systems transition from showing us where to go to telling us what traffic looks like along the way, better real-time information can be a big selling point. Traffic-info providers synthesize information from a number of disparate sources, but traffic choppers are expensive relics of the Ron Burgundy era and sensors embedded in roadways are fragile and often unreliable. The key to perfecting real-time traffic information may soon (if not already) be you.

Nearly all cell phones sold today are equipped with Bluetooth. Several years ago, researchers at the University of Maryland hatched a plan to replace expensive roadside radar installations and other observation methods with Bluetooth tracking. Cheaper than the *traditional solutions, Bluetooth field detectors catalog media access control (MAC) addresses, or the electronic IDs of the passing mobile devices. A central processor calculates the speed of traffic over a given stretch of road based on each device’s travel time between detection points. Those worried that the cops will spot their feloniously brief transit from points A to B and mail them a speeding ticket should note that nobody knows your device’s MAC address. No database of them exists, and many traffic-info systems in use today encrypt individual addresses as soon as they’re logged. Still worried your Droid will be appropriated by The Man for traffic logging? Write your congressional representatives, or, easier yet, turn off your phone’s Bluetooth. Or follow our advice for dodging traffic: Take a scenic back road.


Elegant as the Bluetooth solution may be, it still requires a network of field detectors strung along every corridor data suppliers wish to track. As an alternative, traffic-data companies are increasingly gathering info on vehicle position and speed from drivers’ own nav systems, whether they are installed by the carmaker, purchased at a store, or running as an app on a smartphone. This two-way conversation turns any driver who participates in the feedback loop into a sort of scout. Whether you’re poking at your screen to report construction backups, speed traps, or accidents, apps such as Traffic! (free from traffic-data house Inrix) feed data back to the mother ship for packaging and sale—possibly to the car right behind you.
we’re all wusses now
Less-Mean Streets We tend to think of roadways as the exclusive domain of cars. The National Complete Streets Coalition, an advocacy group, seeks to change that by broadening traffic planning for non-motorized users, including children, the elderly, and the disabled. It prescribes the smart integration of features such as crosswalks, medians, and dedicated bicycle and bus lanes.
Planners are keen, for instance, to bring back medians and wider verges, those spaces between the curbs and sidewalks. Medians make wide streets easier for pedestrians to cross; verges afford a greater measure of safety. Communities in 27 states and D.C. already have fallen in step with the philosophy. Of course, any effort that can be read as a plot to coax people out of cars usually sends enthusiasts racing for their tinfoil hats—even as others change nothing about their daily routines.

Complete Streets deputy director Stefanie Seskin says: “There is little disagreement that cars are going to be the primary mode of transportation for most people. We’re just giving people more options.” So think of Complete Streets as a best-practices guide for planners.

Regardless of intent, we’re still wary of build-it-and-they-will-come planning that reduces the space available for cars in favor of alternatives for which there may be little demand. While we’re not reaching for our Reynolds-reinforced tam-o’-shanters yet, we do have them at the ready.



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Old 02-12-2013, 02:06 PM   #2
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no thank you. wide medians sucks for pedestrians.

you run the risk of being stranded between lights.

you are obscured by the median to crossing traffic.

traffic circles? really? In a country that has proven inept in navigating them?
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:30 PM   #3
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no thank you. wide medians sucks for pedestrians.

you run the risk of being stranded between lights.

you are obscured by the median to crossing traffic.

traffic circles? really? In a country that has proven inept in navigating them?
We agree 100% on that lol. I can't tell you how many people have NO ****ING idea how to nav a round-about in my complex. They come to the circle first, yet sit there and wait for someone else to go.. it drive s me crazy.

I also hate the big medians, but for different reasons. I hate the fact that they use them to control traffic and maneuvers so heavily. Limiting where you can make a left turn, and most of the time controlling where you can make a u-turn too. Just make center lanes everywhere and let the people police themselves. If they can't handle it DON'T GIVE THEM A LICENSE.

I'm of the mind set you punish people for making mistakes, not try to prevent the mistakes because you're scared. Let people be as risky/risk-free as they want, and hopefully they learn/suffer for mistakes made.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:25 PM   #4
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well a big reason why traffic circles / Roundabouts dont work is the lack of a standard yield procedure. It should always be yield to traffic in a circle and not yield to traffic entering the circle. But not only does it vary from state to state, city to city, zipcode to zipcode, but also within the same circle!!!
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:01 PM   #5
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Regardless of intent, we’re still wary of build-it-and-they-will-come planning that reduces the space available for cars in favor of alternatives for which there may be little demand. While we’re not reaching for our Reynolds-reinforced tam-o’-shanters yet, we do have them at the ready.



[/b][/font]
The morons in Portland have been doing this around the area I work. Now we have big fat bike lanes for the once-every-twenty minutes bicyclist, and instead of two lanes for cars we have just one. Traffic is substantially worse, and I spend a lot of time idling and spewing pollutants unnecessarily into the air. These are the same rocket scientists who decided that using ramp lights to encourage drivers to avoid the freeways and take side streets would be the environmentally friendly option .
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:55 PM   #6
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They did this in my area too. Dumped a lane for bicycles. I've never seen a bicycle on the road, ever.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:37 PM   #7
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I'm a cyclist, and I wholeheartedly approve of bike-friendly measures. I pay taxes, take a car off the road, and lower your health insurance rates. You're welcome.

Fully anticipating rolled eyes, derpy rants, and gifs of diesel smoke enveloped bikers. Heard it all before.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:38 PM   #8
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Cliche NW is cliche.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:00 AM   #9
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Fully anticipating rolled eyes, derpy rants, and gifs of diesel smoke enveloped bikers. Heard it all before.
As long as you obey traffic laws, pay insurance, and enough road taxes to pay for your lane, why would anyone have a problem?
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:24 AM   #10
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As long as you obey traffic laws, pay insurance, and enough road taxes to pay for your lane, why would anyone have a problem?


I love entitled people.

You don't obey traffic laws (I don't know you personally, nor have I stalked you while driving, but I anticipate you speed, roll stop signs, don't signal, possibly all 3).

Insurance is necessary because it's cumbersome to pay for damages out of pocket should a motorist be at fault for an accident, I've seen bicycles and cars collide, and the amount of damage done to the car is minimal, blood cleans off really easy.

Taxes, that gas tax you pay doesn't cover the cost of maintaining the roads, so a good portion of the funds used to maintain and build roads comes out of a general fund that everyone pays. You might say you pay more, but a car also degrades the life of the road much faster, as well as it takes up more room on a road surface than a bicycle.

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Old 02-13-2013, 10:35 AM   #11
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I love entitled people.
People who think they deserve something for nothing? I pay insurance and taxes.

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You don't obey traffic laws (I don't know you personally, nor have I stalked you while driving, but I anticipate you speed, roll stop signs, don't signal, possibly all 3).
... did I mention that I have liability insurance?

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Insurance is necessary because it's cumbersome to pay for damages out of pocket should a motorist be at fault for an accident, I've seen bicycles and cars collide, and the amount of damage done to the car is minimal, blood cleans off really easy.
That's silly. If you want me to treat a bicyclist like a squirrel -- that is, I will actively plan on just mowing you down rather than swerving to miss you -- then we can talk about how the only risk you pose to a car is a paint scratch or blood stain.

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Taxes, that gas tax you pay doesn't cover the cost of maintaining the roads, so a good portion of the funds used to maintain and build roads comes out of a general fund that everyone pays. You might say you pay more, but a car also degrades the life of the road much faster, as well as it takes up more room on a road surface than a bicycle.
Cars degrade the road faster, and they also pay gas tax. And if you read just a few posts up, we were discussing how an entire lane of car traffic is removed for one lane of bicycle traffic.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:36 AM   #12
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I love entitled people.

You don't obey traffic laws (I don't know you personally, nor have I stalked you while driving, but I anticipate you speed, roll stop signs, don't signal, possibly all 3).

Insurance is necessary because it's cumbersome to pay for damages out of pocket should a motorist be at fault for an accident, I've seen bicycles and cars collide, and the amount of damage done to the car is minimal, blood cleans off really easy.

Taxes, that gas tax you pay doesn't cover the cost of maintaining the roads, so a good portion of the funds used to maintain and build roads comes out of a general fund that everyone pays. You might say you pay more, but a car also degrades the life of the road much faster, as well as it takes up more room on a road surface than a bicycle.

Gas tax alone isn't what covers road maint, etc. There's this other big fee cars pay called REGISTRATION too. And it's not just about how much damage gets done to the road with use but what more people want. If 100 people use cars and 1 person uses a bike I hardly think that justifies a bike lane. Your problem is with the population and their desired means of transportation, not the logic behind why bike lanes should/shouldn't exist.

Everyone knows biking is more environmentally friendly/more space efficient/whatever. The point is most people are lazy asses and/or go out to BUY stuff pretty much any time they go out unless it's for work commute.

Also, please prove the "general fund" bit for road maint. I didn't make the claim so I don't have to present the evidence.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:59 AM   #13
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People who think they deserve something for nothing? I pay insurance and taxes.

... did I mention that I have liability insurance?

That's silly. If you want me to treat a bicyclist like a squirrel -- that is, I will actively plan on just mowing you down rather than swerving to miss you -- then we can talk about how the only risk you pose to a car is a paint scratch or blood stain.
usually, the vehicle operator at fault is who pays (or rightly, their insurance pays) so I'm not sure what you're saying.

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Cars degrade the road faster, and they also pay gas tax. And if you read just a few posts up, we were discussing how an entire lane of car traffic is removed for one lane of bicycle traffic.
if there's a lane built for bicycles, the engineering required to build a road to survive the loads created by a bicycle are about similar to the cost of building a sidewalk.

if a current traffic lane is re-purposed for the use of bicycles that strip of concrete would never need to be repaired from damage caused by the loads it bears (tree roots and such are another story). It does require maintenance in that someone has to clean it every now and again, glass, wire, rocks, dirt. these are enemies of tires, in that they either deflate them, or make them lose traction.

I think in the extreme example provided above where there would be 4 car traffic lanes replaced with 2 car lanes and 2 bike lanes is a bit more than extreme, if it were fit into every scenario. It might make sense where bicycle travel were half of the total traffic on the road. Otherwise, it's just silly.

I don't think though, that the example posted above is meant for reproduction in every situation there is a 4 lane road, but as an example or guide of how it might be, should the need preset itself, and that future expansion should include a more responsible approach that does include multiple modes of travel.

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Gas tax alone isn't what covers road maint, etc. There's this other big fee cars pay called REGISTRATION too.
yeah, registration THAT covers really a lot of ground. It's what a whole $50 a year to register a vehicle in most states?

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And it's not just about how much damage gets done to the road with use but what more people want. If 100 people use cars and 1 person uses a bike I hardly think that justifies a bike lane. Your problem is with the population and their desired means of transportation, not the logic behind why bike lanes should/shouldn't exist.
You're right. But it does warrant that for your example of 100 to 1, that for every 100 miles worth of lanes designed for a car that 1 mile of lane designed for a bicycle should exist. more rightly though, it should be a ratio of car miles driven to bicycle miles ridden.

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Also, please prove the "general fund" bit for road maint. I didn't make the claim so I don't have to present the evidence.
http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/fil...ding_brief.pdf

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The largest sources of revenues for the trust fund are excise taxes of 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel fuel. The gas tax currently produces about two-thirds of the fund’s total revenues, and the diesel tax accounts for about one-quarter
that's on a national level, so interstate highways and such, each state is going to be different, but I can assure you that they are no different, and as a state, those cover mainly state roads. That doesn't take into consideration local roads which are maintained by municipalities (they get grants from state and national, but a good portion comes from their own cities funds, so property taxes and sales taxes). Keep in mind that most bicycles travel on local roads, not interstates, or state highways (although that is common in some rural areas).

edit: of course, this is a car forum, and not a bicycle, or share the roads forum, so I'll gladly just continue eating popcorn

Last edited by samagon; 02-13-2013 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:25 AM   #14
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usually, the vehicle operator at fault is who pays (or rightly, their insurance pays) so I'm not sure what you're saying.
Sounds like we agree. If you're driving or riding on the road, you ought to have liability insurance. I don't see any good reason why bicycles should be exempted. They should also be required to have some form of registration and associated license plate so they can be tracked down after they cause a wreck.

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I think in the extreme example provided above where there would be 4 car traffic lanes replaced with 2 car lanes and 2 bike lanes is a bit more than extreme, if it were fit into every scenario. It might make sense where bicycle travel were half of the total traffic on the road. Otherwise, it's just silly.
And yet, here in Portland we're doing exactly that. Converting existing traffic lanes to bicycle use. And these are roads that actually had a marked bike lane on the shoulder already .

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I don't think though, that the example posted above is meant for reproduction in every situation there is a 4 lane road, but as an example or guide of how it might be, should the need preset itself, and that future expansion should include a more responsible approach that does include multiple modes of travel.
It's someone's idea of a utopian future where everybody will walk or ride their bike everywhere. Never mind that it rains 2/3 of the time here, or that even with an extremely bike friendly environment the ratio of bicycles to cars is tiny. We're wasting time & money on someone's vision that isn't even remotely grounded in reality.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:33 AM   #15
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Balantz.. great troll job, bro!
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:40 AM   #16
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Sounds like we agree. If you're driving or riding on the road, you ought to have liability insurance. I don't see any good reason why bicycles should be exempted. They should also be required to have some form of registration and associated license plate so they can be tracked down after they cause a wreck.
I don't completely disagree. There are freedoms as a cyclist that I get to take advantage of that motorists don't. But there's also a much greater risk. If your car gets stolen, it can usually be tracked down and returned. If my bike gets stolen, a cop be all

This is why I have more than 1 bike. If I know I'm going to be away from it for a period of time, I leave the $2000 bike at home and ride the $100 walmart bike (I'd be more upset about having to replace the locks at that point).

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And yet, here in Portland we're doing exactly that. Converting existing traffic lanes to bicycle use. And these are roads that actually had a marked bike lane on the shoulder already .
Not sure about Portland, but if the shoulder bike lanes up there are like they are down here, they are not in any way usable by a person on a bicycle, see my comment above about rocks, glass, etc. They'd need to clean them daily to get out debris that ends up getting deposited on them.

bike lanes that are marked like that on the shoulder are only useful in a political sense so that city council can say "See! We are doing something for cyclists!"

I'd strongly recommend trying for yourself to see how useless these lanes are, before you consider them a useful solution.

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It's someone's idea of a utopian future where everybody will walk or ride their bike everywhere. Never mind that it rains 2/3 of the time here, or that even with an extremely bike friendly environment the ratio of bicycles to cars is tiny. We're wasting time & money on someone's vision that isn't even remotely grounded in reality.
No doubt about that. Utopia is rarely the same for any two people, which is why it is never an achievable goal.

However, there should be some way to achieve a balance. Currently, in most cities around the nation, there is no balance.

Regarding rain, head over to the Netherlands sometime, there's probably as many days with rain over there as in Portland, and they manage to do alright with bicycles.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:52 AM   #17
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yeah, registration THAT covers really a lot of ground. It's what a whole $50 a year to register a vehicle in most states?
Not sure, but in Fort Collins CO they do it based on a bunch of things, one metric being current value of your car. I paid 150/year for my s2000 to register it.

Even then, let's take in to account the $50 a year statement. With people owning multiple cars and some owning none, I'm just gonna make math easy and say I'll estimate the funding from that is $50 * the population of the state.

NM has 2 million people, so that puts the fund at ~100 million. How much do you think road maint costs yearly?

I'll give you some real world examples of stretches of interstate. NM posts signs saying how much each stretch is taking to repair (why I have no idea).

There's a good 3 mile stretch of premium 6 lane interstate in norther NM that shows an 8 million dollar price tag. It will need to be replaced maybe once every 5-10 years? I'd say the budget seems to be doing fine considering interstate is often the most expensive kind of road (meaning they don't often use cheap aggregate asphalt or thin layers like parking lots or low pop roads).
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:38 PM   #18
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Not sure, but in Fort Collins CO they do it based on a bunch of things, one metric being current value of your car. I paid 150/year for my s2000 to register it.

Even then, let's take in to account the $50 a year statement. With people owning multiple cars and some owning none, I'm just gonna make math easy and say I'll estimate the funding from that is $50 * the population of the state.

NM has 2 million people, so that puts the fund at ~100 million. How much do you think road maint costs yearly?

I'll give you some real world examples of stretches of interstate. NM posts signs saying how much each stretch is taking to repair (why I have no idea).

There's a good 3 mile stretch of premium 6 lane interstate in norther NM that shows an 8 million dollar price tag. It will need to be replaced maybe once every 5-10 years? I'd say the budget seems to be doing fine considering interstate is often the most expensive kind of road (meaning they don't often use cheap aggregate asphalt or thin layers like parking lots or low pop roads).
so NM only has 3 miles of interstate? no wonder registration covers the cost easily.

in actuality (I know, wikipedia can't be trusted), according to this page:

there's just under 7.5 million miles of road in NM. the number you referenced of cost for the 3 mile stretch is pretty average (most numbers reference an average cost to build a road at 1.3 million per mile).

go ahead and use that to do your maths at a replacement rate of 5 years and 10 years. in fact, we'll go on your number of 10 years. 7.5 million x 1.3 million over 10 years is still 975 billion every year. realistically, they'll be replaced a lot less frequently than that. even if you calculate for every 20 years, that's still 430 billion every year. the 200 million collected in vehicle registration is pretty small beans in the overall costs. and that doesn't even factor in regular maintenance, patching roads, inspections, etc.

at least you're state isn't in the north, where road salts and studded tires can chew through roads at a very rapid pace.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:43 PM   #19
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Personally I hate bike lanes. But that's only because most of my biking experience was in Manhattan where keeping up in traffic / speed differential wasn't an issue.

I can imagine that it's extremely beneficial on higher speed roads.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:10 PM   #20
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Not sure, but in Fort Collins CO they do it based on a bunch of things, one metric being current value of your car. I paid 150/year for my s2000 to register it.
Correct, Colorado bases fees on the value of the vehicle. If I recall correctly, when I bought my 08 Impreza new, I paid around $250-300 for the first year of registration but then it declines every year after that. I don't like the system as it seems to detract people buying new vehicles, but that is for another conversation.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:28 PM   #21
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Balantz.. great troll job, bro!
*bows*

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Personally I hate bike lanes. But that's only because most of my biking experience was in Manhattan where keeping up in traffic / speed differential wasn't an issue.

I can imagine that it's extremely beneficial on higher speed roads.
It is. BTW, I got hit by a taxi in Manhattan back in '10. ****er took an angled right turn off Broadway onto Columbus (heading south) and right into me. I was going straight on Broadway. He broke his mirror off, but kept going. No real damage to me besides a bruised toe and a skinned elbow, but I was as hell.

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Correct, Colorado bases fees on the value of the vehicle. If I recall correctly, when I bought my 08 Impreza new, I paid around $250-300 for the first year of registration but then it declines every year after that. I don't like the system as it seems to detract people buying new vehicles, but that is for another conversation.
Seems to me a system that accounts partially for the weight of the vehicle would be more accurate and fair. A new Lotus won't do much damage to the road, but costs a lot more than a new base-level F150.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:01 PM   #22
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I'm a cyclist, and I wholeheartedly approve of bike-friendly measures. I pay taxes, take a car off the road, and lower your health insurance rates. You're welcome.

Fully anticipating rolled eyes, derpy rants, and gifs of diesel smoke enveloped bikers. Heard it all before.
I never had a problem biking 11 miles to work in/around San Diego with no bike lane. I did not enjoy lane splitting between busses or sharing part of a lane with cars doing 50+mph, but it was something I learned to live with. In the summer here I bike 6+ miles one way to work. Never had a problem without having a "bike lane".

How exactly does bicycling lower health insurance rates?
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:05 PM   #23
WRXHillClimb
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Seems to me a system that accounts partially for the weight of the vehicle would be more accurate and fair. A new Lotus won't do much damage to the road, but costs a lot more than a new base-level F150.
I looked into it, and those were some of the other fees in there as well. Weight, # of axels, and even a "new bridge" fee of $45 is what my old registration had.

Then again, this is what the exits look like in CO... What a waste of ****ing money.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:13 PM   #24
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Not sure about Portland, but if the shoulder bike lanes up there are like they are down here, they are not in any way usable by a person on a bicycle, see my comment above about rocks, glass, etc. They'd need to clean them daily to get out debris that ends up getting deposited on them.

bike lanes that are marked like that on the shoulder are only useful in a political sense so that city council can say "See! We are doing something for cyclists!"

I'd strongly recommend trying for yourself to see how useless these lanes are, before you consider them a useful solution.
One of the upsides of the ridiculous amount of rain we get is that the roads and bike paths actually stay pretty clean.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:26 PM   #25
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Indianapolis is gone stupid with bike lanes...one of the busiest areas in town no longer has a 4 lane road going east/west for for 5 miles from 38th to 86th streets. I have no problem with cyclist as individuals, but in groups not so much. All bikes should have to register and carry visible license plate. If someone, on a bike, cuts illegally in front of me and I veer to miss them and cause an accident, I would at least like to be able to identify them if they don't stop. It is illegal for me to drive in their lanes, but they can drive in mine at will. When asked why some of the bike lanes could not be moved one block either way to keep a few of the cross streets 4 lane I was told it was because it wouldn't be efficient for the cyclists. Don't even start with me on how good they are for the environment.
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