Talk:Vehicular cycling/Archive 2

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I deleted the Criticism section for the following reason: "Criticism section as irrelevant here since it was entirely comprised of criticisms of Forester and vehicular cycling advocacy, not the topic of this article, which is vehicular cycling."

It was restored with the suggestion that I take it up on the talk page. Fine.

This is what the section currently states:

While all bicycle transportation advocates support the right of cyclists to ride on public streets and to be treated as legitimate users of the road, there is widespread disagreement over vechicular cycling advocacy. Urban planning professor, John Pucher, is among those who takes issue with the substance of Forester's paradigm, noting that "although Forester makes a number of theoretical arguments why bikeways are unsafe, his empirical test of the superiority of vehicular cycling is based on a sample of one—a single bike ride he took on a new bike path in Palo Alto, California."[1] Pucher's various transnational studies of bicycle transportation lead him to conclude: "the overwhelming evidence is that cycling is much safer and more popular precisely in those countries where bikeways, bike lanes, special intersection modifications, and priority traffic signals are the key to their bicycling policies."[1] The authors of a 2009 meta-study on cycle infrastructure safety research at the University of British Columbia similarly conclude that "in comparison to cycling on bicycle-specific infrastructure (paths, lanes, routes), on-road cycling appears to be less safe."[2] In direct contrast to the claims of vehicular cycling proponents, Jennifer Dill and Theresa Carr's research on bicycle transportation in 35 U.S. cities also suggests that "higher levels of bicycle infrastructure are positively and significantly correlated with higher rates of bicycle commuting."[3]
Jeff Mapes is one of several bike advocates who take aim the broader problems that the vehicular cycling paradigm poses for bike advocacy. In Pedaling Revolution, he specifically argues that Forester has had a negative impact on the development of cycling infrastructure in California, noting that Forester "fought bike lanes, European-style cycletracks, and just about any form of traffic calming", and "saw nothing wrong with sprawl and an auto-dependent lifestyle."[4] Zack Furness is highly critical of vehicular cycling advocates in One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility, arguing that "their extraordinarily bizarre philosophy of bicycling...totally ignores all the relevant socioeconomic, physical, material, and cultural factors that influence—and in most cases dictate—everyday transportation choices."[5] Critical Mass co-founder Chris Carlsson, describes vehicular cycling as a naive, polarizing "ideology" that "essentially advocates bicyclists should strive to behave like cars on the streets of America."[6]

I will start with the premise that the Criticism section of a Wikipedia article should be comprised of criticism of the topic of the article. The topic of this article is vehicular cycling, the behavior of driving a bicycle on roadways in accordance with the the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles (including slow moving vehicles). Well cited criticisms of that behavior arguably do belong in this article.

The topic of this article is not John Forester or whatever personal faults he may or may not not have. Those criticisms belong at John Forester, not here, keeping in mind the guidelines for biographies of living persons. The topic of this article is not vehicular cycling advocacy either, so criticism of its advocacy does not belong here either. --Born2cycle (talk) 17:51, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Agreed, as written the section reads as a mix of anti-Forester and OR since many of the quotes are taken out of context to create a POV. While I have no problem with a criticism section, this one seems weak at best. Contributions/ ([[User talk:|talk]]) 13:52, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Bicycle transportation is a controversial subject, particularly in the USA. A section named Criticism has a reasonable place in an article on such a controversial subject. However, the section quoted above has no criticism of vehicular cycling, only the opinions of persons who desire to replace motor trips by bicycle trips and thereby advocate a less unpopular style of bicycle transportation. If such a section is to be considered proper in this article, then it is equally appropriate for some more accurate evaluation of the bicycle transportation controversy. I provided a new section titled Evaluation, in which I presented what I considered to be a fair evaluation of the two sides. The administrator Hex (whose address and eddress appear to be concealed)removed that section with the remark that it consisted of opinion and contained some words he did not like, but which I considered to be factually accurate. Considering that I founded the field, I think that my views should be given more careful attention. Perhaps Hex should communicate with me? John Forester (talk) 18:59, 8 August 2010 (UTC)John Forester

  • I am glad that you have admitted to adding that text. May I suggest that you take the time to read our site policy on conflicts of interest, original research and neutral point of view. Phrases such as "Their motivation is... pursued with ideological fervor", "Naturally, vehicular cyclists oppose...", "grotesque exaggeration", and "ideological liar" are not suitable for a Wikipedia article.
  • "whose address and eddress appear to be concealed" - I have no idea what you're trying to imply here, but you have clearly misunderstood something. "Perhaps Hex should communicate with me?" - that's what article talk pages are for and what we're doing right now. — Hex (❝?!❞) 15:37, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree Forester's commentary does not belong here, but, again, neither does criticism of vehicular cycling advocacy, Forester's opinions, or opposition of bikeways, none of which is the topic of this article. Accordingly, I have again removed the Criticism section. If there is any source material criticizing vehicular cycling - the practice itself - that would be fine to include in a Criticism section of this article. --Born2cycle (talk) 15:46, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, but vehicular cycling is a topic intimately bound up with both the manner in which it is promoted by those who advocate it and how it is historically related to the opinions of its originator, Forester (as clearly demonstrated above by the fact that he was sufficiently motivated to personally modify the article with them). You can't arbitrarily separate them; there's certainly not enough material to merit an article of its own. Your actions smack of censoring the article to remove (heavily cited) material that you disagree with (a conclusion which I would have been less inclined to come to if you didn't have the user name "Born2cycle"). Consequently I'm restoring the section again. — Hex (❝?!❞) 16:13, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Hex, I don't know what you imagine the topic of this article to be, but per its own introduction, it is "is the practice of riding bicycles on roads in a manner that is visible, predictable, and in accordance with the principles for driving in traffic". Its title happens to be "vehicular cycling" because that is the term most commonly associated with the practice. We can change the name if that will help, but the topic, not the title, of the article should determine what is relevant to the article, including the Criticism section.
Whatever association the term vehicular cycling may have with other topics is simply not relevant here, nor is criticism of those associated issues. Accordingly, I've added the off-topic tag to the Criticism section. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:36, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
You're trying to nitpick material you disagree with away. Your argument is akin to saying that the article on, say, communism, to pick a topic at random, should not discuss Stalin or the implementation of communism in one-party states because the article is titled "Communism", not "Stalin" or "the implementation of communism in one-party states". Those topics have their own articles because they are large enough to merit it, and sections within the parent article. Vehicular cycling advocacy is not big enough to merit a separate article but deserves to be addressed within the article. Accordingly, I've removed the tag from the section. — Hex (❝?!❞) 22:55, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I have reverted Hex's removal of the {{off-topic}} maintenance tag in the Criticism section. His position is that my claim that the section is off topic is "untrue" - well, we disagree on that, and all the tag says is that it may be off topic, so let's resolve that here. I've also placed a request on his talk page reminding him to not remove maintenance tags until the issue is resolved.

I won't go into the myriad ways in which the Communism analogy does not apply here, nor will I comment on my personal views or motivation, or Hex's views of them, for all that is certainly irrelevant here. Let us please focus on article content.

I would like to remind everyone in general, and Hex in particular, of the existence of the Segregated cycle facilities article. That's where the pros and cons of cycle facilities and discussion of the relative safety of using them belong. Except in the Criticism section which is under discussion here, in its current state, there is no mention of facilities in this article.

Except in the section of the article entitled "Segregated cycling". — Hex (❝?!❞) 01:48, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

As it stands, the Criticism section is not only off-topic, it's terrible. The first sentence states that "there is widespread disagreement over vehicular cycling advocacy", without even specifying what "vehicular cycling advocacy" is, and what the disagreement is. It then proceeds to discuss Pucher's issue with "Forester's paradigm", which is also not defined, much less related to the practice that is the topic of this article. Here are the first two sentences, verbatim:

While all bicycle transportation advocates support the right of cyclists to ride on public streets and to be treated as legitimate users of the road[citation needed], there is widespread disagreement over vehicular cycling advocacy. Urban planning professor, John Pucher, is among those who takes issue with the substance of Forester's paradigm, noting that "although Forester makes a number of theoretical arguments why bikeways are unsafe, his empirical test of the superiority of vehicular cycling is based on a sample of one—a single bike ride he took on a new bike path in Palo Alto, California."[7]

If anyone can explain to me how any of this is relevant to the topic of this article, I would really like to know. And I'm not even getting into the absurdity of the unsubstantiated claim that "all bicycle transportation advocates support the right of cyclists to ride on public streets ..." - do we really need to get into this?

The bit about "all bicycle transportation advocates" can certainly go. Someone added the Pucher section after this disagreement began, but of course it is relevant. Vehicular cycling draws its justification from the theories of Forester. This quotation points out a salient fact about a test conducted on those theories. — Hex (❝?!❞) 01:48, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

The remainder of the paragraph centers on claims that bikeway cycling "is safer and more popular". Well, so what? How is that relevant to this article? Here is a published reference to a study that found that surfing is safer than soccer... does that warrant a mention in the Criticism section of the Association football article? After all, there is no separate article for Association football advocacy, and yet Hex's excuse for including this kind of off-topic criticism here is the absence of a separate article on vehicular cycling advocacy.

How is it not relevant to vehicular cycling that non-vehicular cycling has been found in studies to be safer? By the way, there is no "criticism" section in the football article, so your example is even less relevant than you claim mine was. At least I chose things that actually existed in the article in question to make a comparison with. — Hex (❝?!❞) 01:48, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

The second paragraph discusses studies that make conclusions contrary to the studies cited in the first paragraph, which are equally off-topic.

The second paragraph was added mid-disagreement by John S. Allen. One of those studies was quoted in a way that did not reflect its actual conclusion at all. I've corrected this, and the result now looks very much unrelated to this article. As I have noted in a comment above it, it should go. You can do that if you like. It was followed by some claims deriving from a page on Facebook. That's not a reliable source, and can't be included. The third item was not actually quoted at the page given in the article, and I have temporarily removed it pending further clarification (see comment to John S. Allen on this page). Should it be restored, it will be the only study conflicting with the ones above it. — Hex (❝?!❞) 03:09, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

What conclusion of the Copenhagen study are you referring to? The overall conclusion was that in spite of increased bicycle crash rates on non-vehicular facilities -- a conclusion which the study obfuscated by lumping motor vehicle and bicycle crashes together -- bicycling should be encouraged because of its general societal and health benefits. Is that within the scope of the article? More an more, I would like to see a separate article on vehicular cycling advocacy, where issues like this could appropriately be addressed. The tail is wagging the dog.Contributions/ ([[User talk:|talk]]) 18:45, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

The third paragraph is about Jeff Mapes and his criticism of Forester and vehicular cycling advocates. Nothing about vehicular cycling, or criticism of it.

Vehicular cycling is an ideology, not just a method, and this article should cover both aspects. — Hex (❝?!❞) 01:48, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

I do know of legitimate published criticism of the topic of this article, and I will try to find it and add it to the section. But the off-topic tag needs to remain until others weigh in, and if it is removed again then I will seek outside assistance. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:46, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

It's hard enough having this discussion without Forester himself wading in and dropping commentary into the article text instead of here. (And yes, I saw that post by him to a discussion group accusing me of "claiming" to be an administrator and, mysteriously, being "unidentifiable either through Wikipedia or by Google." Eh?)
As a small measure, I have split the criticism section into sections for the practice and the movement. — Hex (❝?!❞) 01:48, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Vehicular cycling is a "movement"? By writing this, I'm giving the author of that comment the opportunity to substantiate it, but it doesn't ring true to me, and I've been an active participant in bicycling advocacy in the USA since 1978. I would expect a movement to have a large enough body of supporters at a national level to have substantial political influence, and an organizational base. Where are they? Over the past 30 years, the League of American Bicyclists has repeatedly and now consistently turned away from support of vehicular cycling. Other national organizations have sprung up, recruited cyclists and flourished -- the Rails to Trails Conservancy, Adventure Cycling Association, etc. -- none of which are vehicular cycling advocacy organizations. Then there are the Critical Mass rides, which attract large numbers of participants and have the character of street demonstrations, and whose originator, Carlsson, has been quoted in this article as opposing the efforts of vehicular cyclists. There have been at least two attempts in the USA to establish a national organization to support vehicular cycling -- the Effective Cycling League, and the Bicycle Transportation Institute (citations needed, yes, I know), and they both have run aground. Political support of vehicular cycling comes mostly through the appeal of a relatively few dedicated supporters to the principles of law and order inherent in the traffic law, and their ability to convince state and local bicycling advocacy organizations to stand up for this to one degree or another -- because support for the right to ride on the road inherently requires support for the responsibility to operate lawfully. The same advocacy organizations, on the other hand, advocate more generally on bicycling issues, and often in ways that stand in opposition to vehicular operation e.g., lobbying for separate facilities. Perhaps the situation is different in the UK, where the CTC (Cyclists Touring Club) has more consistently stood up for vehicular principles?Jsallen1 (talk) 11:44, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

As promised, I added criticism from Hurst. --Born2cycle (talk) 01:26, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Forester on Pucher

Look at what's going on. Criticism keeps the Pucher remark about me: "his empirical test of the superiority of vehicular cycling is based on a sample of one—a single bike ride he took on a new bike path in Palo Alto, California." I, John Forester, informed this group, herein, that this claim by Pucher is false. Does Hex ask Pucher to support his claim with evidence? No, he removes my comment. Much the same went on for my other comments about mistaken or misinformed claims elsewhere in the criticism section. There is a reason why I use phrases such as ignorant of the subject matter or an ideological liar. This field is far too full of such. John Forester (talk) 02:25, 10 August 2010 (UTC) John Forester

Mr. Forester, you can't just drop your comments into an article. That isn't how Wikipedia works. If you have concerns about specific parts of the text, you should be using this talk page for them. If Pucher's claim is provably false, show it here. If Pucher's misrepresenting you in some fashion, changes can be made. In general, before you suggest adding anything to the article, please be sure to read our guidelines on reliable sourcing; it can't just be your opinion.— Hex (❝?!❞) 02:42, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

There's so much incorrect about Pucher's statement that I don't know where to begin. I did not base my claim that vehicular cycling is safer and more convenient than bikeway cycling on one ride; I've got whole books about that argument. Besides which, those rides, not just one, were not to demonstrate the superiority of vehicular cycling in general, but the dangers of one particular type of bikeway, the sidepath. Furthermore, if my test was wrong, then Pucher or one of his associates should have replicated it to demonstrate the safety of such. None of them have, partly because the test is far too dangerous. It nearly killed me; I was saved only by happenstance and things could, lawfully, have gone the other way. I don't know what evidence Pucher cares to advance to support his claim. Until he does so, nothing much can be said. John Forester John Forester (talk) 03:34, 10 August 2010 (UTC)John Forester

I see that you have added a quotation from Hurst: "The safety of vehicular cycling is disputed. In The Art of Urban Cycling, Robert Hurst criticizes what he refers to as the "vehicular-cycling principle" because he claims it "leaves responsibility in the hands of motorists, and trusts that they will act properly". That's one more false statement by a person who believes that traffic is never likely to operate properly. How's that for a foolish opinion? And his statement is false. For example, pages 320 to 328 of Effective Cycling are titled "Avoiding Motorists' Intersection Errors" and cover only that subject. [7] The principle throughout the Effective Cycling Instructional Program is that fully understanding how traffic is supposed to work better enables the cyclist, or any driver, to detect the symptoms of when it has started to work improperly. John Forester John Forester (talk) 13:01, 10 August 2010 (UTC)John Forester

Mr. Forester, I will review those pages in your book. Have you or anyone else ever written something that was published (and citable) to mean what your last sentence above does? --Born2cycle (talk) 13:20, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes. Effective Cycling Instructor's Manual; 6th ed ECIM6 Pg 13

Also, Bicycling Street Smarts, especially Chapter 9. It is online.[8]

Motorists do indeed have responsibility -- to operate according to the rules of the road. Cyclists' vehicular operation, accepting the same responsibility, establishes a communication, a choreography, a mutually understood pattern of behavior, that establishes who must yield right or way, and so makes it possible for cyclists to discern motorists' mistakes. Vehicular cycling also teaches avoidance maneuvers. There are a few situations in which the responsibility is primarily the motorist's -- notably, overtaking a bicyclist -- but this occurs with or without vehicular technique, and vehicular cycling teaches lane positioning, checking before merging, and use of lights at night, etc. so as to minimize the risk. The approach which most leaves responsibility in the hands of motorists is sidepath or bike-lane cycling, where right-turning motorists (in a right-side driving country) must yield to through-traveling bicyclists approaching from behind on the right, and left-turning motorists must yield to bicyclists who are concealed behind stopped motor vehicles. In these situations, the motorist must take all responsibility, often for an eventuality which can only be imagined rather than discerned, and the bicyclist is completely defenseless. Jsallen1 (talk) 11:44, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

[Back to Forester's comments]

The later ones, like Don LaFond's Illinois and Maryland programs, bene­fited from Ken Cross's studies of car-bike collision hazards by concentrating on "hazard recognition and avoidance." The apparent concept was that the cyclist could do anything he pleased so long as he recognized and avoided hazards. This approach has four serious defects: 1: Since the cyclist so trained does not know how the traffic system is supposed to work, he has little ability to recognize when someone is making a mistake. 2: This technique implies that the cyclist must dis­tribute his attention over all of the traffic scene looking for hazards, instead of concentrating on those particular parts of the traffic scene that present the greatest difficulty in traversing and the greatest probability of accident. 3: Without knowing how the traffic system oper­ates, who has right-of-way and who must yield, this prevents the cyclist from concentrat­ing on those other drivers who have the right-of-way, those to whom he must yield. 4: Most of all, this approach neglects the very great safety advantages of understanding traf­fic principles and developing the safe operat­ing habits that generally keep the cyclist out of trouble. John Forester (talk) 19:03, 10 August 2010 (UTC)John Forester

I've already incorporated material from Effective Cycling to show that there is no assumption that motorists will not make mistakes (contrary to Hurst's claim about vehicular cycling), but I think the first numbered point of the four above is also helpful, so I added that reference now as well. Thanks.

I've also added some material from your Pucher review that I believe to be salient if we are to include his criticisms of his perspective of your view on bikeways. While I still think most of the Criticism section should be removed, I hope everyone agrees it's now more reasonable and balanced, though I think there is still room for more clarity. --Born2cycle (talk) 19:56, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


Avoiding Motorists' Intersection Errors" which is obviously based on the assumption that motorists cannot be trusted to act properly.[14]

Really, how does this above quote not scream OR and POV pushing? Everything in that section is good defensive vehicle handling, this is an absurd criticism of VC. Contributions/ ([[User talk:|talk]]) 17:10, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

I don't understand. Does not the acknowledgment that motorists are capable of making errors clearly imply that motorists cannot be trusted to not make errors (act properly)? How is that OR or POV? --Born2cycle (talk) 18:55, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
I've taken a crack at improving it. Here is the revised section, with more context:

In The Art of Urban Cycling, Robert Hurst criticizes what he refers to as the "vehicular-cycling principle" because he claims it "leaves responsibility in the hands of motorists, and trusts that they will act properly". However, Forester devotes nine pages of Effective Cycling to a section entitled "Avoiding Motorists' Intersection Errors" which clearly acknowledges that motorists make errors (and thus cannot be trusted to always act properly).

Better? More clear? --Born2cycle (talk) 19:02, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Not at all, you are still attacking VC for what is defensive vehicular practices which can be applied to either motor, pedestrians, or HPV. Even with the cleanup your working draw conclusions that are unsupported by the references supplied. I also don't see how it's a criticism of VC to acknowledge that drivers are inherently failable and to watch for common and possibly *fatal* errors on their part. Contributions/ ([[User talk:|talk]]) 19:34, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Eric (I presume), the criticism of VC is from Hurst, not from me. Hurst criticizes VC for trusting that motorists will act properly.

Forester's acknowledgment of drivers being fallible is not a criticism of VC, but a retort to Hurst's criticism, something that Hurst apparently missed. That's why that sentence is introduced with "However, ...".

Suggestions on how to word this so it's more clear are welcome. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:27, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

By the way, the following clarifying sentence was removed: "Given the number of references to motorist errors (and how to avoid them) in Forester's works, it appears that Hurst's criticism of vehicular cycling for being based on trusting "that [motorists] will act properly" is itself based on a misunderstanding of vehicular cycling." for violating OR. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:41, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Me again ( Eric ). While the paragraph is far less weasily with it's current working it still sucks. The first sentance might be appropriate and it is Hurt's interpretation of VC, but the rest seems to be complaining about acting defensively around motor vehicles in a safety course. As a criticism it doesn't hold water and I have no qualms in moving or removing the block if it can't be sorted out. Contributions/ ([[User talk:|talk]]) 22:37, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand how you read "the rest" as "complaining about acting defensively around motor vehicles in a safety course". Again, it's not a complaint, certainly not meant to be one. It's just stating that vehicular cycling acknowledges the existence of motorist error (and the need to avoid crashes due to it), contrary to the essence of Hurst's criticism. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:43, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
The quote from Hurst is not even a full sentence taken out of the middle of a paragraph in a book written as an alternative to VC. Looking through the surrounding material p64-p66 is a combination of strawman and other fallacies in order to discredit his competitor. The section is still poorly written and I'm not positive how it can be reworked to be clear what it's actually criticizing. Contributions/ ([[User talk:|talk]]) 01:17, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
Hurst has plenty of animosity and criticism for Forester and what he calls vehicular cycling, but none of it addresses the practice of VC, except this point I'm trying to convey here: inexplicably, he has the impression that Forester/VC means to know and follow the rules without concern for the possibility that others violate the rules. It's wrong, absurd really, but it is a criticism of the practice and so deserves mention here, along with material that shows why that criticism is wrong and absurd (without explicitly saying so). There must be a way to accomplish this. --Born2cycle (talk) 07:34, 14 August 2010 (UTC)
May I gently note that you are hovering on the edge of point of view pushing yourself. "There must be a way to accomplish this" is not appropriate for talk page discussion. Our role as editors is to neutrally report secondary sources, not to try and find ways of refuting people's opinions. — Hex (❝?!❞) 17:39, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Criticism 2

I have added a section relating the results of research, which rather consistently show higher crash rates on separate (inherently non-vehicular) facilities to claims that these facilities increase safety, all other things (same location, same population) being equal. The point is that any increase in safety does not result from the non-vehicular operational characteristics of these facilities, but rather, if it does occur, from other factors which may include a "safety in numbers" effect.

I have changed the wording about Jeff Mapes. The statement that "[Mapes] is one of several bike advocates who take aim at the broader problems that the vehicular cycling paradigm poses for bike advocacy" misconstrues him as a "bike advocate." He is a professional journalist who has written a book about bicycling in which he attempts to get at the facts.

The wording also is biased, in describing "problems". I have changed that to "issues." The section also said:

[The vehicular cycling paradigm] has had a negative impact on the development of cycling infrastructure in California..."

This also is an opinionated statement, particularly considering the negative experience with barrier-separated bike lanes in Davis, California in the 1970s, and research results leading to rejection of some types of cycling infrastructure as unsafe.

There are other statements in this section which I have not addressed, not being familiar with the documents cited. -- John S. Allen —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jsallen1 (talkcontribs) 01:40, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree with others here in that the Criticism section has little to say about VC and much to say about one of its advocates. The section should be pared back to highlight the real criticisms of VC, and should include responses to the criticisms. This is not an anti-VC blog, yet that's what it looks like to me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:46, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

This statement: "Critical Mass co-founder Chris Carlsson, describes vehicular cycling as a naive, polarizing "ideology" that "essentially advocates bicyclists should strive to behave like cars on the streets of America." does not appear in the Web page linked in the reference, probably because that page does not include the entire content of the printed document. I also have some some serious problems with this statement. First of all, cars can't behave: they are machines. Their drivers behave (or don't). Secondly, vehicular cycling practices are very much like those taught in other driver-training courses -- most notably, those for motorcyclists, as the operational characteristics of motorcycles are similar to those of bicycles. Driver training is skills instruction, not an ideology.

  • Reference fixed to point to full text. — Hex (❝?!❞) 02:13, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

I think that Carlsson is confusing the issue that not all streets are equally conducive to bicycling, and that improvements or separate facilities can sometimes help -- an issue on which many vehicular cyclists take a much less hard line than Forester -- with the issue of the most practical, safe and cooperative way to ride on a given street.

I haven't yet figured out what to say about this in the article, though. Jsallen1 (talk) 15:03, 9 August 2010 (UTC)John S. Allen

I had to remove some of the text you added to the article as it was based on material from a Facebook page, which is not counted in our guidelines for reliable sourcing. Likewise, I am temporarily removing the following:
However, studies comparing different crash rates in the same locality have shown the separate facilities to have a higher crash rate than streets, such as a study carried out for bike lanes behind parked cars or barriers in Davis, California in the early 1970s.[9]
The referenced article mentions the title of the study, "Davis Bicycle Circulation and Safety Study", but does not contain any text supporting the following statement. Can you find a full-text copy, or at least provide a direct quote of this assertion? — Hex (❝?!❞) 02:13, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

I know that much that appears on Facebook is drivel, but the content of this Facebook page is an erudite analysis of a published study. Did you actually read it? Please recall that Wikipedia, too, also is confronted with the same type of blanket rejection. I suppose that the solution is simple enough: ask Dan Gutierrez to publish his analysis on an ordinary Web page, where Wikipedia will accept it. Whether this particular topic belongs in the article on vehicular cycling or in the one on separate bicycle facilities is another question. There has to be *some* discussion of separate bicycle facilities under vehicular cycling in my opinion, because some facilities preclude vehicular cycling either through their design, or through mandatory-use laws. As to the Davis study, I'll look for a better reference.Jsallen1 (talk) 04:11, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Regardless of the content of the material, I'm afraid "on an ordinary web page" will not be suitable either. Wikipedia has a strict policy on where it can source material from, which boils down to "formally published". As I mentioned above, please read our reliable sourcing policy. Thanks. — Hex (❝?!❞) 13:42, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I am familiar with the material in question and must agree with Hex that Facebook is not an appropriate source for something like data analysis. However, Hex's characterization of WP's policy about sourcing being "strict" and boiling down to "formally published" really only applies to facts and opinions about living persons. For other subjects it really depends on context, and even self-published material is often acceptable. --Born2cycle (talk) 14:27, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Um, no. The reliable sourcing policy does not "really only apply to living persons". Also it explicitly states that "self-published media—whether books, newsletters, personal websites, open wikis, blogs, personal pages on social networking sites, Internet forum postings, or tweets—are largely not acceptable." What you describe as "often" is more like "rarely". I have no idea why you're mischaracterizing policy to a new user in this fashion, but please stop it. — Hex (❝?!❞) 19:14, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
I didn't say the reliable sourcing policy "really only apply to living persons"... I said your characterization of it does.

You seem to be interpreting "often" differently from what it means. "Often" does not mean the majority of the time, or anything close to that. It also depends on context. For example, one can say he goes to Europe "often", meaning once every year or two. "Often" simply means "many times", as opposed to, say, "only once", or "almost never".

The semantics of "often" aside, because the policy does not completely prohibit use of self-published material sources, it's misleading to refer to the policy as strict. Strict implies practically no toleration for exceptions whatsoever. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:50, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

My God. If there was any point to your comments, you have buried it deep under a mountain of pedantry. I am not "characterizing" our policy as anything. I will save you the effort of reading WP:RS again by quoting the important part: The policy is strictly applied to all material in the mainspace—articles, lists, and sections of articles—without exception. This is not under discussion. — Hex (❝?!❞) 21:02, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, of course the policy strictly applies to all material in articles. But you characterized the policy as "boils down to 'formally published'", and implied that that characterization is strict. That's misleading. There is much more subtlety and allowance in WP:RS than your simplistic characterization misleadingly conveys. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:16, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Nnnnnnngggghhhh. WP:SOURCES: Articles should be based on reliable, third-party (independent), published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. That is strict. Self-published expert sources are regarded as reliable in limited circumstances. Those circumstances are strictly limited. I'm going to stop talking to you now and go back to doing something useful. — Hex (❝?!❞) 21:30, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Here is one example of what I'm talking about. About one dozen references, or 10%, at Richard Dawkins are from Richard Dawkins's self-published website, --Born2cycle (talk) 00:17, 12 August 2010 (UTC)


Here are some thoughts, along the lines of real criticism:

Vehicular cycling skills enable cyclists to ride with safety and confidence in situations -- particularly, on busy streets -- where they otherwise would feel intimidated and would ride unsafely. However, the level of skill required depends on the challenge posed by any particular cycling environment. The demands for situational awareness and skill in bike handling in challenging situations are beyond the abilities of some people. Not all routes which are satisfactory for adult, vehicular cyclists are satisfactory for children, or for cyclists without vehicular cycling training. While that training can greatly widen the cycling horizons for most adults, it can not do that to nearly as great an extent for children, or for people suffering from impairments which affect situational awareness.

One common criticism, however, results from a misconception, confusing vehicular cycling with fast cycling, often stereotyped as cycling on ultra-lightweight bicycles by young males clad in racing attire. An underlying assumption is that speed -- specifically, keeping up with motor traffic -- is a requirement to operate vehicularly; this belief is a manifestation of "fear from the rear". It is inaccurate in two ways: for one, young males clad in racing attire don't necessarily ride according to vehicular principles. For another, vehicular cycling, like any driver training, offers an applicable technique for any speed. There can be a minimum speed limit only on a limited-access highway, where the entrances and exits are all ramps, and there are grade separations for all cross traffic. Elsewhere, any vehicle must sometimes go slowly, and even stop. The bicyclist merely is more often going slowly than, say, a motorcyclist: but at the same speeds, in the same situations, the same techniques apply.

I don't have references yet to back this up, but I can find them. Jsallen1 (talk) 15:53, 9 August 2010 (UTC)John S. Allen

As you are a published author on this topic, I am obliged to point out our conflict of interest guidelines. I have to also note that article talk pages are not for general discussion of the topic at hand, but of the article itself. I think it's politer that I ask you to please help us keep this page useful by removing any non-article-related comments you have made above, than doing it myself. Thank you. — Hex (❝?!❞) 02:13, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

The above comments were intended as a draft rather than as discussion. Particularly the first paragraph is a valid criticism of vehicular cycling, as any vehicular cyclist who is a parent (and I am one) would know. Yes, I am a published author on vehicular cycling -- I am knowledgeable enough to write about it. But I am highly aware of conflict-of-interest issues, and don't intend to use the article to promote my own publications. Quite the contrary, I am pointing out a limitation of the vehicular technique. I can support my statements about this limitation with quotes from Forester himself.

Please be patient. This is a thorny and controversial topic, and working through it is not easy.Jsallen1 (talk) 04:19, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Of course - I just had to point that out. Additions to articles are always welcome provided they can be supported with proper referencing. — Hex (❝?!❞) 13:43, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Hand signaling

I revised the wording:

Compared to hand signaling , looking back has the advantage of allowing the cyclist to keep both hands on the handlebars; however, some jurisdictions, mandate that bicyclists use hand signals before moving laterally or turning.

This doesn't make sense, because it applies only to lookiing back as a signal to an overtaking driver, and it is confusing in that it seems to suggest that hand signaling might be used without also looking back to check whether a vehicle is in fact overtaking! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jsallen1 (talkcontribs) 21:36, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Hurst Criticism

The criticism from Hurst boils down to vehicular cycling being inadequate because it relies on motorists not making errors. There is one quote to establish his view about this in the article right now, and that's probably adequate, but he repeats it multiple times in his book, and its clearly what he is referring to in the chapter entitled "Beyond vehicular cycling" with sections on "taking responsibility" and "vigilance", with clear implications that "vehicular cyclists" leave too much responsibility in the hands of others, and are insufficiently vigilant. I know he's expounded on this point on internet forums as well - this view is at the core of his criticism of vehicular cycling.

I have long been personally perplexed by his view, since I never got that impression when I learned vehicular cycling, not from the book, nor from courses. When I confronted Hurst with actual quotes from Effective Cycling that contradicted his view, he seemed genuinely surprised, though still clung at the time to his view that vehicular cycling relies on drivers being flawless (but I haven't seen him repeat it in the years since). Of course, none of this dialog is usable as source material in the article, but it's important to clearly show that this major criticism of the practice of vehicular cycling itself, and the only one I know of, is unfounded. The quote from the instruction manual in which Forester explains that knowledge of the system is required in order to be able to recognize driver error is helpful, but inadequate, for Hurst has never claimed to have read the manual, nor taken a course. But he has claimed to have read Effective Cycling, and that's why the quotes that counter his view are so important, and so is not just one (that he could have easily missed), but several.

I don't mean to imply that Hurst wrote what he did in bad faith. I believe he genuinely believes his view is correct, he just, like so many others, misunderstood. I mean, Forester certainly does not hit the reader over the head about the importance of vigilance the way Hurst does (Forester emphasizes much more techniques and methods to avoid being in situations where motorist error puts you at peril in the first place), but that's a far cry from assuming that motorists don't make mistakes which is how Hurst characterizes vehicular cycling. That's why I think it's important we get this right, and why I restored all of the material from Effective Cycling that counter Hurst's view, material that was removed in a previous edit.

Just wanted to explain that in case anyone wondered... --Born2cycle (talk) 22:10, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Assumptions about driving

The article currently seems to assume that you are in a country where vehicles drive on the right. Does anyone object if I try to reword it to also cover countries where vehicles drive on the left? Murray Langton (talk) 12:41, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

That seems entirely reasonable. — Hex (❝?!❞) 21:29, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
A lot of effort has been taken to do that already, but if you see remaining issues, yes, please fix them!. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:45, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
I just looked for the word "right", and the only references (not including "right-of-way") are within quotes of what others have written. I don't think we should change the wording of quotations. It might not be obvious that these are quotations. I'll fix that. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:48, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I've just added a note to clarify the quote from Effective Cycling - you need to know which side of the road he's riding on. PamD (talk) 17:54, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Riding on same side as traffic is controversial?

This change added this comment regarding "Traveling on the same side of the road as other traffic traveling in the same direction", with references:

This is controversial, and a considerable percentage of cyclists feel that cycling facing oncoming traffic is a better survival strategy, albeit illegal in most states and countries. [10][11]

First, an internet forum and blog/article are not reliable sources. The blog/article might be, if the author was an established expert on the topic, but he is not.

In other words, this advice is not controversial among experts who have looked at the studies. There is a reason that wrong-way cycling is illegal - it's known to be a significant factor in bike-car crashes. Most people who think wrong-way cycling is safer are not aware that most bike-car crashes occur at intersections, and are not thinking about how much more vulnerable wrong-way cyclists are at intersections. They are also probably not thinking about closing speed. The closing speed of a 40 mph car approaching a 15 mph same-direction bicyclist is 25 mph; the closing speed of a 40 mph car approaching a 15 mph wrong-way cyclist is 55 mph!

There are no reputable cycling safety sources advising wrong-way cycling, and it's not because it's illegal. Wrong-way cycling is illegal because it's known to be much less safe.

So, I'm changing this section to be more clear about this, as follows:

Some cyclists believe that cycling facing oncoming traffic is a better survival strategy[12][13], but wrong-way cycling is illegal in most states and countries because it is known to be dangerous as it greatly increases closing speeds and causes the cyclist to be coming from an unexpected place at intersections and thus much more prone to be hit by turning vehicles [14].

--Born2cycle (talk) 18:59, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Firstly, if an issue has proponents and opponents, it automatically becomes controversial. Secondly, it may very well be illegal in most countries, but to say that it is illegal because it is dangerous, is an unproven connection. On South African roads almost all cycling fatalities take place on the legal side of the road. More studies are needed before anyone can categorically state that one practice is more dangerous than the other. All one can do for the moment is to list the pros and cons. I'm changing the wording to reflect a more neutral view. Androstachys (talk) 05:26, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
A neutral view should represent a balance of what reliable sources say about each side. There is no more basis in reliable sources for expressing the view that wrong-way cycling might be safer here than there is basis for expressing the Creationist view at Evolution. --Born2cycle (talk) 17:52, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I've revised and expand the section some more, reflecting what reliable sources say about the issue. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:34, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
"Ken Kifer's Bike Pages" are simply the personal opinions of a single cyclist and may as well be a blog. "The complete idiot's guide to cycling" is inaccessible and the quote "Although some riders may feel safer being able to see approaching motorists by riding against traffic, in reality this is one of the most dangerous things a cyclist can do" is not backed up by any reliable study or survey. The International Police Mountain Bike Assocation publication is the only source you quote with any credibility, but even they are not supported by any study. One of your sources states "Riding against traffic accounts for 45% of bike-v-car crashes in Orlando." One has to infer that the other 55% of crashes are caused by cyclists doing the legal thing....

I am revising the section to allow for the above points. Androstachys (talk) 06:33, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

The point is, riding against traffic accounts for almost half of all crashes when only a small percentage of cyclists ride against traffic! The Ken Kiefer page explains the reasoning and is often cited as a source; your sources are not. I'll double-check the links, but they should all work. --Born2cycle (talk) 04:44, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
Okay, all the links work for me.

I've added another reference based on an 8 year study of bike crash police reports and bicyclist counts in the city of Palo Alto, California, and adjusted the wording again. The "about 3 times more likely to crash" comes from this study. About 3,000 cyclists were observed, of which only 423 were riding against traffic, yet wrong-way cyclists had almost as many accidents reported (33) as did the 2553 riding with traffic (56). This makes the accident risks for each group 2.6 and 0.7 respectively (and 2.6 is 3.6 times 0.7, which is where the "about 3 times as" or "more than 3 times as" likely to crash statements arise. --Born2cycle (talk) 05:21, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

The study you quote is extremely hesitant about jumping to hasty conclusions. It states "The table shows that 35 percent of victims were aged 17 or younger, while 65 percent were 18 or older, and that 31 percent were female and 69 percent were male. It is obviously not possible to conclude from these figures that older bicyclists or male bicyclists are at greater risk: the actual risks depend on the age and sex distribution of the bicyclist population that is exposed to potential accidents. For the same reason, it is impossible to draw any conclusions about the risks involved in bicycling with or against the direction of traffic, or on the roadway or the sidewalk, without knowing how many bicyclists in each category were exposed." Androstachys (talk) 21:47, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
You really should read the whole study. Yes, it does say, "it is impossible to draw any conclusions about the risks involved in bicycling with or against the direction of traffic ... without knowing how many bicyclists in each category were exposed", as a prelude to explain why they did the study they way they did, which included determining how many bicyclists in each category were exposed. The entire next section is about Exposure Counts, and notes:

Nearly 3000 cyclists were observed during a

one-day count of 8 hours at each intersection. For each cyclist entering any leg of the intersection, observers trained by the Transportation Division collected data on approximate age (estimated as either 17 years of age and under or 18 and older), sex (male or female), direction of travel (with or against the direction of traffic on the roadway), and position (either in the roadway, including bicycle lanes, or on the sidewalk, including bicycle paths and crosswalks).

By omitting the fact that they did determine how many bicyclists in each category were exposed, just quoting them as saying the conclusion can't be reached without that knowledge is out of context and highly misleading. I'm reverting it.

The study is extremely hesitant about jumping to hasty conclusions, but never-the-less they conclude (without haste!) that wrong-way cyclists are on average at 3.6 times the risk of correct-way cyclists. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:00, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

The survey was done on one day at three intersections on one road - I don't think any statistician worth his salt would take conclusions from this survey and usefully apply them to a muddy road in Rangoon, a dusty track in the outback, an icy freeway in Vancouver or a narrow lane in London. Androstachys (talk) 08:57, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
The one-day survey part of the multi-year study was done to survey the population of cyclists with respect to what percentage rides on which side of the road in the area where the multi-year study was taking place. You may believe it's unreasonable to use the results of that one-day survey to reasonably estimate how many bicyclists in each category (wrong-way vs. correct-way) were exposed for the multi-year time period studied, but unless you can find a reliable source challenging the study on that point, that's not relevant here. As explained in the study, they had years of data about crashes, including how many of those involved in crashes were riding on the wrong side of the road. What they didn't know was the relative exposure rates. After all, if X% of the crashes involved wrong-way cyclists, but X% of cyclists rode on the wrong side of the road, then there would be no appreciable risk difference. So they needed to know approximately how often cyclists rode the wrong-way, and they did that one-day survey to get that data. And, if you think about it, why would the distribution of wrong-way vs. correct-way cycling be appreciably different from one day to the next? The folks doing the study didn't think there would be a reason, nor do I, and most, importantly, nor has any reliable source.

There are two popular views about wrong-way cycling: one is that it is safer, and the other is that it is less safe. But all that matters with respect to what goes in the article is what is in the sources.

The view that wrong-way cycling puts cyclists at over three times more risk is not only primarily sourced to this multi-year study (the one-day survey part of it was done to determine what percentage of the cycling population, in general, travels wrong-way vs. not), but to multiple secondary sources. Every authoritative source on the topic agrees with the study: wrong-way cycling is less safe.

If you can find a source to the contrary, please, cite it. But until then, please stop reflecting your unsubstantiated personal views about wrong-way cycling safety in the article. Thank you.

On a personal note, if you're a regular cyclist, I urge you to reconsider your views about cycling safety, especially if you choose to ride against traffic because you think it's safer. I might suggest that you read not only this particular study, but also some books on the topic. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:42, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your concern. I am 72 years old and cycle regularly on Johannesburg roads which must boast some of the worst drivers in the world, so that survival as a cyclist becomes critically important. I fully intend living for a few more years and know that when I die it will not be as a result of being hit from behind by a vehicle while both of us are doing the legal thing. Androstachys (talk) 04:37, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

In every study I'm aware of, the vast majority of bike-car crashes involve conflicts ahead of the cyclist, not behind him. I have no reason to believe the statistics in South Africa are any different. Do you? More importantly, no reliable sources agree with your advice. Reliable sources are ultimate the content what of Wikipedia articles, not the opinions of its editors. --Born2cycle (talk) 05:47, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
"On a personal note...." from your edit of 26 April introduces your personal opinion to which I responded on a personal level. You then proceed to denigrate this personal opinion by "...Reliable sources are ultimate the content what of Wikipedia articles, not the opinions of its editors". I have tried to keep my contributions to the article objective. "In every study I'm aware of, the vast majority of bike-car crashes involve conflicts ahead of the cyclist, not behind him. I have no reason to believe the statistics in South Africa are any different" is an ill-considered statement and seems permeated by wishful thinking. Androstachys (talk) 06:38, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Point taken regarding reliable sourcing and personal statements. In any case, do you have any reason to believe that traffic in South Africa is so different that, unlike every other place in the world, bicycling against traffic is safer there? --Born2cycle (talk) 19:01, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Merge of Effective Cycling

The article Effective Cycling contains material that is more or less entirely covered here, in greater detail, and should be merged into this article as a section. — Hex (❝?!❞) 21:18, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Vehicular cycling is a set of practices and techniques having to do with operating a bicycle on roadways. Effective Cycling is a copyrighted book and trademarked training program for teaching a variety of topics about bicycles and bicycling, including but not limited to vehicular cycling. For example, the parking lot drills, bike maintenance aspects, and physiological aspects of Effective Cycling having nothing to do with vehicular cycling. The two topics are related, to be sure, but they are fundamentally different things. Merging the two articles would blur this distinction.... I don't see how readers, or anyone, would benefit from this. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:55, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
  1. ^ a b Pucher, John (2001). "Cycling Safety on Bikeways vs Roads." (PDF). Transportation Quarterly. 55 (4). 
  2. ^ Reynolds, Conor CO (2009). "The Impact of Transportation Infrastructure on Bicycling Injuries and Crashes: A Review of the Literature.". Environmental Health. 8 (47).  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  3. ^ Dill, Jennifer (2003). "Bicycle Commuting and Facilities in Major U.S. Cities: If You Build Them, Commuters Will Use Them – Another Look" (PDF). Transportation Research Record (1828): 116–123.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  4. ^ Mapes, Jeff (2009). Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists are Changing American Cities. Oregon State University.  External link in |title= (help)
  5. ^ Furness, Zack (2010). One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility. Temple University Press. pp. 72;73.  External link in |title= (help)
  6. ^ Carlsson, Chris (2007). "‘Outlaw' Bicycling". Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture and Action. 1 (1): 87.  External link in |title= (help)
  7. ^ {cite book | first=John last=Forester| Effective Cycling 6th ed | pgs 320-328| 1993 | MIT Press |}
  8. ^ [John]. "Ways to Deal with Tough Situations". Retrieved 10 August 2010.  Check |author-link1= value (help)
  9. ^ David Takemoto-Weerts. "A Bicycle Friendly Community". Retrieved 2010-08-08. 
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