OT: Cyclists, skinny tires, streetcar rails — not a good mix

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vey

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Dec 6, 2007, 1:28:14 PM12/6/07
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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004055887_biketracks06m.html

New streetcar tracks on Seattle's Westlake Avenue have turned into a
trap for bicyclists.

The tires on a standard road bike are narrower than the 1 ¾-inch groove
that holds a streetcar wheel. If a bicycle veers into that gap, it can
easily get stuck, pitching the rider onto the street.

Seattle bike activists plan a wheeled protest next Wednesday, when the
South Lake Union streetcar begins service from Westlake Center to the
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Despite the goal of Mayor Greg Nickels to triple bicycle use, the new
streetcar line includes long stretches of track in the curb lanes of
Westlake Avenue, where bicyclists normally ride. Many riders have
adapted by riding on sidewalks, to the left of the tracks — or in the
left lane, which aggravates motorists.

"The streetcar isn't operating yet, and we're already seeing people
crashing," said Seattle Likes Bikes member Michael Snyder, who said he
has heard of eight or nine accidents.

Stacey Merrick said she was pedaling north on Westlake two weeks ago, in
the curb lane but just left of the rails. She felt pressure from passing
cars, drifted right, and became snared in the trackway.

"I had two options: fall into moving rush-hour traffic, or slam into the
back of a parked car. I opted for the parked car." She got up, bruised
and bleeding, then noticed her body broke the car's taillight. Merrick
said she no longer rides there.

"Any time there's a bicycle around, we're extra cautious," said Paul
Warner, a streetcar operator for King County Metro Transit. Warner said
he has seen a couple of cyclists fall during train testing and that he
allows extra stopping distance behind bicycles in case one gets pitched.

Sound Transit's Tacoma Link light rail runs mainly along a center
median, but Seattle's new streetcar is mostly in curb lanes, so
passengers can board from the sidewalk. It's a cheaper alignment, in a
neighborhood where Vulcan and other landowners are covering half of the
project's $51 million cost.

Ethan Melone, the city's streetcar project manager, said the main issue
wasn't price, but that a center layout would have required a wide
median, forcing out road lanes or parking spaces.

The new 1.3-mile route does add a paved east-west trail along South Lake
Union Park, said Melone.

The city intends to add bike lanes to nearby Ninth Avenue North, and
shift Westlake cyclists there. But that's not expected for at least
another year, said Snyder.

Protest organizers ask that the bike route on Ninth Avenue be built
immediately; that warning signs be installed on Westlake; and that the
city study putting rubber fill in the rail grooves.

The Cascade Bicycle Club will advocate that any future streetcar lines
take inside lanes or medians — a provision Portland added to its bike plan.

"We'd be happy to look at any ideas that cyclists may have," said
Melone. "At the same time, it's a multimodal system."

Alan Durning, founder of Sightline Institute, an environmental think
tank, calls the Westlake situation one example of "bicycle neglect" —
the American tendency to treat bikes as recreational vehicles, not
primary transportation. A street posing similar hazards to cars would
never be designed, he said.

landotter

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Dec 6, 2007, 1:54:31 PM12/6/07
to
On Dec 6, 12:28 pm, vey <jun...@ericvey.com> wrote:
> http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004055887_biketracks...

>
> New streetcar tracks on Seattle's Westlake Avenue have turned into a
> trap for bicyclists.
>
> The tires on a standard road bike are narrower than the 1 3/4-inch groove

> that holds a streetcar wheel. If a bicycle veers into that gap, it can
> easily get stuck, pitching the rider onto the street.
>
> Seattle bike activists plan a wheeled protest next Wednesday, when the
> South Lake Union streetcar begins service from Westlake Center to the
> Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
>

What a bunch of pussies. Ever visit Gothenburg or Amsterdam? Plenty of
trams and "dangerous" rails. You just don't ride in such a way that
you get stuck. Duh!

jobst....@stanfordalumni.org

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Dec 6, 2007, 2:12:28 PM12/6/07
to
There you've done it again. The heading of this thread has
unprintable characters that are not all replicated by newsreaders not
having that font. Therefore, responses have the propensity to appear
as a new thread... apparently with the same header.

Cut it out! Use simple ASCII.

Jobst Brandt

Steve Gravrock

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Dec 6, 2007, 2:42:25 PM12/6/07
to
On 2007-12-06, vey <jun...@ericvey.com> wrote:
> http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004055887_biketracks06m.html
>
> New streetcar tracks on Seattle's Westlake Avenue have turned into a
> trap for bicyclists.
>
> The tires on a standard road bike are narrower than the 1 ž-inch groove
> that holds a streetcar wheel. If a bicycle veers into that gap, it can
> easily get stuck, pitching the rider onto the street.

[...]

> Stacey Merrick said she was pedaling north on Westlake two weeks ago, in
> the curb lane but just left of the rails. She felt pressure from passing
> cars, drifted right, and became snared in the trackway.

[...]

> "Any time there's a bicycle around, we're extra cautious," said Paul
> Warner, a streetcar operator for King County Metro Transit. Warner said
> he has seen a couple of cyclists fall during train testing and that he
> allows extra stopping distance behind bicycles in case one gets pitched.

I'm a little confused. Westlake is one way northbound for most of its
length, including the entire portion that's paralleled by 9th Ave. If
<http://www.seattlestreetcar.com/map/> is accurate, the tracks are on
the west side of the street and the streetcar runs southbound, facing
traffic. That fits with the photo in the Seattle Times article, but
doesn't square Merrick's description of her accident or Warner's comments
about following cyclists.

It also seems that 9th would not be a good alternative route for
northbound cyclists, since it's one way southbound. At least that's what
Google Maps seems to think. I've cycled in that area in the past but I
haven't been there since the tracks were put in. Hopefully somebody
who's seen the situation firsthand can clarify.

joseph.sa...@gmail.com

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Dec 6, 2007, 2:46:55 PM12/6/07
to

Don't forget wet cobblestones too.

Joseph

Orin

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Dec 6, 2007, 3:12:40 PM12/6/07
to
On Dec 6, 11:42 am, Steve Gravrock <use...@sdg.users.panix.com> wrote:

> I'm a little confused. Westlake is one way northbound for most of its
> length, including the entire portion that's paralleled by 9th Ave. If
> <http://www.seattlestreetcar.com/map/> is accurate, the tracks are on
> the west side of the street and the streetcar runs southbound, facing
> traffic. That fits with the photo in the Seattle Times article, but
> doesn't square Merrick's description of her accident or Warner's comments
> about following cyclists.

See: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/transportation/337156_getthere29.html

> It also seems that 9th would not be a good alternative route for
> northbound cyclists, since it's one way southbound. At least that's what
> Google Maps seems to think. I've cycled in that area in the past but I
> haven't been there since the tracks were put in. Hopefully somebody
> who's seen the situation firsthand can clarify.

Don't believe any of the mapping software/web sites as to Seattle's
one way streets. You just have to go and ride them to find out the
gotchas. (I don't know about 9th.)

Westlake was never a good route anyway IMO - too many traffic lights.
Maybe it flows better now, but probably still best avoided.

Orin.

Jay Beattie

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Dec 6, 2007, 3:24:45 PM12/6/07
to

Isn't Amsterdam supposed to have all sorts of separate bicycle
facilities -- raised lanes, special lights, etc.? Anyway, come to
Portland where the street car tracks have just consumed the portion of
the road previously occupied by bicycles -- and the tracks are in the
direction of travel and also surrounded by brickwork that is like
f****** banana peels when it is wet (I never understood why they have
these death bricks all over in a downtown that is frequently wet).
Add to this cars and busses. Frankly, it's a nightmare. I can
totally understand the gripe. I've changed my route home. -- Jay
Beattie.

landotter

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Dec 6, 2007, 3:32:07 PM12/6/07
to
On Dec 6, 1:46 pm, "joseph.santanie...@gmail.com"
Oh yeah! My commute used to contain those as well mixed with the tram
tracks. Add that fierce coastal Scandahoovian wind in winter and ya
got an extreme sport.

landotter

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Dec 6, 2007, 3:47:18 PM12/6/07
to
On Dec 6, 2:24 pm, Jay Beattie <jbeat...@lindsayhart.com> wrote:
> On Dec 6, 10:54 am, landotter <landot...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Dec 6, 12:28 pm, vey <jun...@ericvey.com> wrote:
>
> > >http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004055887_biketracks...
>
> > > New streetcar tracks on Seattle's Westlake Avenue have turned into a
> > > trap for bicyclists.
>
> > > The tires on a standard road bike are narrower than the 1 3/4-inch groove
> > > that holds a streetcar wheel. If a bicycle veers into that gap, it can
> > > easily get stuck, pitching the rider onto the street.
>
> > > Seattle bike activists plan a wheeled protest next Wednesday, when the
> > > South Lake Union streetcar begins service from Westlake Center to the
> > > Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
>
> > What a bunch of pussies. Ever visit Gothenburg or Amsterdam? Plenty of
> > trams and "dangerous" rails. You just don't ride in such a way that
> > you get stuck. Duh!
>
> Isn't Amsterdam supposed to have all sorts of separate bicycle
> facilities -- raised lanes, special lights, etc.?

Yes, but sometimes you need to ride on the road. In Gothenburg we have
all sorts of fancy bike roads, but when you get into "Centrum", there
really isn't much room for bike roads and you end up on some
cobblestones and tram tracks. You get used to it.

Werehatrack

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Dec 6, 2007, 3:52:24 PM12/6/07
to
On Thu, 06 Dec 2007 13:28:14 -0500, vey <jun...@ericvey.com> may have
said:

>The tires on a standard road bike are narrower than the 1 ¾-inch groove
>that holds a streetcar wheel.

Mountain and comfort bike tires will also track into this groove;
roadies are not the only ones who have to exercise caution.

> If a bicycle veers into that gap, it can
>easily get stuck, pitching the rider onto the street.

Yup. This is not a new hazard. I noticed a mention of it in a
newpaper article about the repaving of a street here in Houston around
1906.


--
My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.
Typoes are not a bug, they're a feature.
Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.

Werehatrack

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Dec 6, 2007, 4:12:08 PM12/6/07
to
Oy, vey! Turn off the damn extended ASCII character set; UTF-8 has no
place in the 7-bit world that is Usenet.

On Thu, 06 Dec 2007 13:28:14 -0500, vey <jun...@ericvey.com> may have
said:

>The tires on a standard road bike are narrower than the 1 ž-inch groove

>that holds a streetcar wheel.

Mountain and comfort bike tires will also track into this groove;


roadies are not the only ones who have to exercise caution.

> If a bicycle veers into that gap, it can

>easily get stuck, pitching the rider onto the street.

Yup. This is not a new hazard. I noticed a mention of it in a


newpaper article about the repaving of a street here in Houston around
1906.

>Seattle bike activists plan a wheeled protest next Wednesday, when the

>South Lake Union streetcar begins service from Westlake Center to the
>Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Oh, the SLUT! (Yeah, the official name is SLU Streetcar, but the
*local* one is SLU Trolley.)

>"The streetcar isn't operating yet, and we're already seeing people
>crashing," said Seattle Likes Bikes member Michael Snyder, who said he
>has heard of eight or nine accidents.
>

>"Any time there's a bicycle around, we're extra cautious," said Paul
>Warner, a streetcar operator for King County Metro Transit. Warner said
>he has seen a couple of cyclists fall during train testing and that he
>allows extra stopping distance behind bicycles in case one gets pitched.

So the trolley drivers can cash a reality check where the planners
didn't. Small consolation.

>The new 1.3-mile route does add a paved east-west trail along South Lake
>Union Park, said Melone.

Yeah, build a feeder to something that the cyclists can't use now.
Logical.

>The city intends to add bike lanes to nearby Ninth Avenue North, and
>shift Westlake cyclists there. But that's not expected for at least
>another year, said Snyder.

By which time the cyclists will have moved elsewhere, which will be
duly noted by the folks allocating funds, at which point the project
will quietly go away.

>Protest organizers ask that the bike route on Ninth Avenue be built
>immediately; that warning signs be installed on Westlake; and that the
>city study putting rubber fill in the rail grooves.

The rubber fill hasn't been a good answer where I've heard of it being
tried.

>The Cascade Bicycle Club will advocate that any future streetcar lines

>take inside lanes or medians, a provision Portland added to its bike plan.


>
>"We'd be happy to look at any ideas that cyclists may have," said
>Melone. "At the same time, it's a multimodal system."

Multimodal = "does many things poorly"?

>Alan Durning, founder of Sightline Institute, an environmental think
>tank, calls the Westlake situation one example of "bicycle neglect";
>the American tendency to treat bikes as recreational vehicles, not
>primary transportation. A street posing similar hazards to cars would
>never be designed, he said.

vey

unread,
Dec 6, 2007, 4:41:34 PM12/6/07
to
Werehatrack wrote:
> Oy, vey! Turn off the damn extended ASCII character set; UTF-8 has no
> place in the 7-bit world that is Usenet.

I will try, but I'm not sure I know how. I'm using Thunderbird.
The character set is Western ISO-8859-1. Is that what I want to change?
I don't see any UTF in Thunderbird.

joseph.sa...@gmail.com

unread,
Dec 6, 2007, 4:56:27 PM12/6/07
to

Enough Thunderbird would make me see double. 8, 16, what's the diff?

Joseph

vey

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Dec 6, 2007, 5:00:07 PM12/6/07
to

Wait, UTF-8 is in the list as is Western ISO-8859-15.

jobst....@stanfordalumni.org

unread,
Dec 6, 2007, 5:36:07 PM12/6/07
to
Vey Junker writes:

That's the one. UTF-8 is in what most of this stuff is written. It's
not that the posting is unreadable, but rather that responses get
disjointed from their thread.

Jobst Brandt

vey

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Dec 6, 2007, 6:07:59 PM12/6/07
to

Which one is the one? 8859-15? or UTF-8?

jo...@phred.org

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Dec 6, 2007, 6:19:18 PM12/6/07
to
In article <50d22f40-07f3-45eb-89ac-92bec32efdb3
@w56g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>, land...@gmail.com says...


> What a bunch of pussies. Ever visit Gothenburg or Amsterdam? Plenty of
> trams and "dangerous" rails. You just don't ride in such a way that
> you get stuck. Duh!

Two problems there:

1. European tramways often use narrower, shallower flangeways than
what's been used in Seattle. e.g. Ri 60N flangeway is 36mm wide, still
enough to trap skinny tires but better than what Seattle chose.

2. European motorists are more accustomed to cyclists and are less
likely to blindly run over cyclists avoiding tram rails. A number of
the riders who've been injured were apparently forced into the tracks by
motorists who didn't see any reason to allow bikes to ride to the left
of the rails in the right lane.

You can see a sample of the Seattle track layout at
http://seattlelikesbikes.pbwiki.com/f/parade-of-cars-in-left-lane.jpg


--
jo...@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
<http://www.phred.org/~josh/>
Braze your own bicycle frames. See
<http://www.phred.org/~josh/build/build.html>

jo...@phred.org

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Dec 6, 2007, 6:22:39 PM12/6/07
to
In article <4758499c$0$36413$742e...@news.sonic.net>,
jobst....@stanfordalumni.org says...

Unfortunately, some newsreaders will accept pasted 8-bit even if they
generate 7-bit when typing. When you type something, they work OK, but
when you copy-and-paste from the web, they allow in all sorts of junk
that doesn't belong on Usenet.

I believe this is most common with email programs that have a Usenet
kludge, rather than proper newsreading software.

jo...@phred.org

unread,
Dec 6, 2007, 6:25:30 PM12/6/07
to
In article <72ogl3hin7r26mo8h...@4ax.com>, rault00
@earthWEEDSlink.net says...

> On Thu, 06 Dec 2007 13:28:14 -0500, vey <jun...@ericvey.com> may have
> said:

> > If a bicycle veers into that gap, it can
> >easily get stuck, pitching the rider onto the street.

> Yup. This is not a new hazard. I noticed a mention of it in a
> newpaper article about the repaving of a street here in Houston around
> 1906.

Seattle's previous generation of streetcars generally weren't put in the
right curb lane -- that's a not-new solution to a not-new problem that
Seattle's DOT seems to have forgotten about.

jo...@phred.org

unread,
Dec 6, 2007, 6:39:53 PM12/6/07
to
In article <btogl3t8u7fl3o16q...@4ax.com>, rault00
@earthWEEDSlink.net says...

> Oh, the SLUT! (Yeah, the official name is SLU Streetcar, but the
> *local* one is SLU Trolley.)

Which has led to all sorts of puns, T-shirts, and bumper stickers, e.g.
http://tinyurl.com/2uspo8 or http://tinyurl.com/2nkvw9

Tim McNamara

unread,
Dec 6, 2007, 6:58:30 PM12/6/07
to
In article <MPG.21c22353e...@newsgroups.comcast.net>,
<jo...@phred.org> wrote:

> In article <50d22f40-07f3-45eb-89ac-92bec32efdb3
> @w56g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>, land...@gmail.com says...
>
> > What a bunch of pussies. Ever visit Gothenburg or Amsterdam? Plenty
> > of trams and "dangerous" rails. You just don't ride in such a way
> > that you get stuck. Duh!
>
> Two problems there:
>
> 1. European tramways often use narrower, shallower flangeways than
> what's been used in Seattle. e.g. Ri 60N flangeway is 36mm wide,
> still enough to trap skinny tires but better than what Seattle chose.
>
> 2. European motorists are more accustomed to cyclists and are less
> likely to blindly run over cyclists avoiding tram rails. A number of
> the riders who've been injured were apparently forced into the tracks
> by motorists who didn't see any reason to allow bikes to ride to the
> left of the rails in the right lane.
>
> You can see a sample of the Seattle track layout at
> http://seattlelikesbikes.pbwiki.com/f/parade-of-cars-in-left-lane.jpg

Hmmm. Yes, there's not much room for cyclists there. And I see the
prospect for inattentive drivers losing a door or two to a passing tram.
Eliminate the car parking lane, convert it to a bike lane and some of
the difficulty goes away- except for home owners and/or businesses that
need parking- but then you introduce the problem of cyclists crossing
the tramway at the corner. TANSTAAFL.

Tim McNamara

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Dec 6, 2007, 7:02:20 PM12/6/07
to
In article <47587957$0$36395$742e...@news.sonic.net>,
jobst....@stanfordalumni.org wrote:

And while UTF-8 has long had its proponents claiming that it is the
future of Internet text standards, the future never seems to arrive. It
malfunctions with a lot of newsreaders and e-mail clients.

Tim McNamara

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Dec 6, 2007, 7:04:45 PM12/6/07
to
In article <slrnflgk51...@panix1.panix.com>,
Steve Gravrock <use...@sdg.users.panix.com> wrote:

> I'm a little confused. Westlake is one way northbound for most of its
> length,

That could lead to some Abbott-and-Costello routines when giving
directions to people. "North Westlake." "Northwest Lake?" Yep!"

jo...@phred.org

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Dec 6, 2007, 8:54:17 PM12/6/07
to
In article <timmcn-F2AEF7....@news.iphouse.com>,
tim...@bitstream.net says...

We have some great addresses like that around here.

To get to one of my clients, you go north on West Lake Sammamish Parkway
Southeast.

Personally, I live on the corner of 3rd SW and SW 3rd.

vey

unread,
Dec 6, 2007, 9:03:29 PM12/6/07
to

Well, I'm not using it. I'm using Western ISO-8859-1, so I guess I can
try the other Western one.

Tom Sherman

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Dec 6, 2007, 10:37:09 PM12/6/07
to

See <http://www.bumwine.com/>.

--
Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia
"Localized intense suction such as tornadoes is created when temperature
differences are high enough between meeting air masses, and can impart
excessive energy onto a cyclist." - Randy Schlitter

Tim McNamara

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Dec 7, 2007, 12:28:40 AM12/7/07
to
In article <MPG.21c247a4f...@newsgroups.comcast.net>,
<jo...@phred.org> wrote:

> In article <timmcn-F2AEF7....@news.iphouse.com>,
> tim...@bitstream.net says...
> > In article <slrnflgk51...@panix1.panix.com>,
> > Steve Gravrock <use...@sdg.users.panix.com> wrote:
> >
> > > I'm a little confused. Westlake is one way northbound for most of
> > > its length,
> >
> > That could lead to some Abbott-and-Costello routines when giving
> > directions to people. "North Westlake." "Northwest Lake?" Yep!"
>
> We have some great addresses like that around here.
>
> To get to one of my clients, you go north on West Lake Sammamish
> Parkway Southeast.
>
> Personally, I live on the corner of 3rd SW and SW 3rd.

The Minneapolis/St. Paul street system is incomprehensible as well from
any modern perspective (much of it was named based on the orientation to
the Mississippi River). West St. Paul is south of St. Paul, North St.
Paul is east of St. Paul, South St. Paul is south of West St. Paul, etc.
Minneapolis's streets are assigned to N, S, SE, etc. with barely a
semblance of rhyme or reason. But your area may take the cake!

Michael Press

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Dec 7, 2007, 2:13:37 AM12/7/07
to
In article
<50d22f40-07f3-45eb...@w56g2000hsf.googl
egroups.com>,
landotter <land...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Dec 6, 12:28 pm, vey <jun...@ericvey.com> wrote:
> > http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004055887_biketracks...
> >
> > New streetcar tracks on Seattle's Westlake Avenue have turned into a
> > trap for bicyclists.
> >

> > The tires on a standard road bike are narrower than the 1 3/4-inch groove
> > that holds a streetcar wheel. If a bicycle veers into that gap, it can


> > easily get stuck, pitching the rider onto the street.
> >

> > Seattle bike activists plan a wheeled protest next Wednesday, when the
> > South Lake Union streetcar begins service from Westlake Center to the
> > Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
> >
>

> What a bunch of pussies. Ever visit Gothenburg or Amsterdam? Plenty of
> trams and "dangerous" rails. You just don't ride in such a way that
> you get stuck. Duh!

Agreed. Learn how to ride. Or not.
Get stuck and run down. Oh, the carnage!

--
Michael Press

Michael Press

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 2:28:56 AM12/7/07
to
In article <fja9k6$4aa$1...@news.datemas.de>,
vey <jun...@ericvey.com> wrote:

Stay with ISO-8859-1, please. Pretty please?
It allows readers to makes the fewest assumptions.

It appears that your originating article
has a hyphen in it, and that is not a 7 bit ascii character.
Observe that this subject header has a bog standard dash.

--
Michael Press

* * Chas

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 4:12:16 AM12/7/07
to

"vey" <jun...@ericvey.com> wrote in message
news:fj9euk$1s5$1...@news.datemas.de...
>
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004055887_biketracks06m.html

>
> New streetcar tracks on Seattle's Westlake Avenue have turned into a
> trap for bicyclists.
>
> The tires on a standard road bike are narrower than the 1 ¾-inch groove

> that holds a streetcar wheel. If a bicycle veers into that gap, it can
> easily get stuck, pitching the rider onto the street.
>
> Seattle bike activists plan a wheeled protest next Wednesday, when the
> South Lake Union streetcar begins service from Westlake Center to the
> Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
>
> Despite the goal of Mayor Greg Nickels to triple bicycle use, the new
> streetcar line includes long stretches of track in the curb lanes of
> Westlake Avenue, where bicyclists normally ride. Many riders have
> adapted by riding on sidewalks, to the left of the tracks — or in the
> left lane, which aggravates motorists.
>
> "The streetcar isn't operating yet, and we're already seeing people
> crashing," said Seattle Likes Bikes member Michael Snyder, who said he
> has heard of eight or nine accidents.
>
> Stacey Merrick said she was pedaling north on Westlake two weeks ago, in
> the curb lane but just left of the rails. She felt pressure from passing
> cars, drifted right, and became snared in the trackway.
>
> "I had two options: fall into moving rush-hour traffic, or slam into the
> back of a parked car. I opted for the parked car." She got up, bruised
> and bleeding, then noticed her body broke the car's taillight. Merrick
> said she no longer rides there.
>
> "Any time there's a bicycle around, we're extra cautious," said Paul
> Warner, a streetcar operator for King County Metro Transit. Warner said
> he has seen a couple of cyclists fall during train testing and that he
> allows extra stopping distance behind bicycles in case one gets pitched.
>
> Sound Transit's Tacoma Link light rail runs mainly along a center
> median, but Seattle's new streetcar is mostly in curb lanes, so
> passengers can board from the sidewalk. It's a cheaper alignment, in a
> neighborhood where Vulcan and other landowners are covering half of the
> project's $51 million cost.
>
> Ethan Melone, the city's streetcar project manager, said the main issue
> wasn't price, but that a center layout would have required a wide
> median, forcing out road lanes or parking spaces.
>
> The new 1.3-mile route does add a paved east-west trail along South Lake
> Union Park, said Melone.
>
> The city intends to add bike lanes to nearby Ninth Avenue North, and
> shift Westlake cyclists there. But that's not expected for at least
> another year, said Snyder.
>
> Protest organizers ask that the bike route on Ninth Avenue be built
> immediately; that warning signs be installed on Westlake; and that the
> city study putting rubber fill in the rail grooves.
>
> The Cascade Bicycle Club will advocate that any future streetcar lines
> take inside lanes or medians — a provision Portland added to its bike

plan.
>
> "We'd be happy to look at any ideas that cyclists may have," said
> Melone. "At the same time, it's a multimodal system."
>
> Alan Durning, founder of Sightline Institute, an environmental think
> tank, calls the Westlake situation one example of "bicycle neglect" —
> the American tendency to treat bikes as recreational vehicles, not
> primary transportation. A street posing similar hazards to cars would
> never be designed, he said.

I grew up and learned to ride bikes in Pittsburgh, PA where we not only
had streetcars running throughout the city, but many of the streets were
paved with cobblestones especially the spaces between the tracks. When it
rained we had the double whammy of tracks plus wet cobblestones.

Learn to avoid the tracks like riders all over the world do.... A few less
lattés maybe???

Chas.


* * Chas

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 4:23:20 AM12/7/07
to

<jo...@phred.org> wrote in message
news:MPG.21c22353e...@newsgroups.comcast.net...

> In article <50d22f40-07f3-45eb-89ac-92bec32efdb3
> @w56g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>, land...@gmail.com says...
>
> > What a bunch of pussies. Ever visit Gothenburg or Amsterdam? Plenty of
> > trams and "dangerous" rails. You just don't ride in such a way that
> > you get stuck. Duh!
>
> Two problems there:
>
> 1. European tramways often use narrower, shallower flangeways than
> what's been used in Seattle. e.g. Ri 60N flangeway is 36mm wide, still
> enough to trap skinny tires but better than what Seattle chose.
>
> 2. European motorists are more accustomed to cyclists and are less
> likely to blindly run over cyclists avoiding tram rails. A number of
> the riders who've been injured were apparently forced into the tracks by
> motorists who didn't see any reason to allow bikes to ride to the left
> of the rails in the right lane.
>
> You can see a sample of the Seattle track layout at
> http://seattlelikesbikes.pbwiki.com/f/parade-of-cars-in-left-lane.jpg
>
>
> --
> jo...@phred.org is Joshua Putnam


Here's a picture of streetcar tracks and cobblestones in present day
Pittsburgh, PA that have been paved over with asphalt which has worn away.
Your streets look great! You just have to be careful to avoid crossing the
tracks at an obtuse angle.

http://www.phlf.org/spotlightonmainstreet/buildings/images/large/3017.jpg

Chas.


* * Chas

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 4:28:59 AM12/7/07
to

"Steve Gravrock" <use...@sdg.users.panix.com> wrote in message
news:slrnflgk51...@panix1.panix.com...

> On 2007-12-06, vey <jun...@ericvey.com> wrote:
> >
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004055887_biketracks06m.html
> >
> > New streetcar tracks on Seattle's Westlake Avenue have turned into a
> > trap for bicyclists.
> >
> > The tires on a standard road bike are narrower than the 1 ž-inch

groove
> > that holds a streetcar wheel. If a bicycle veers into that gap, it can
> > easily get stuck, pitching the rider onto the street.
>
> [...]

>
> > Stacey Merrick said she was pedaling north on Westlake two weeks ago,
in
> > the curb lane but just left of the rails. She felt pressure from
passing
> > cars, drifted right, and became snared in the trackway.
>
> [...]

>
> > "Any time there's a bicycle around, we're extra cautious," said Paul
> > Warner, a streetcar operator for King County Metro Transit. Warner
said
> > he has seen a couple of cyclists fall during train testing and that he
> > allows extra stopping distance behind bicycles in case one gets
pitched.
>
> I'm a little confused. Westlake is one way northbound for most of its
> length, including the entire portion that's paralleled by 9th Ave. If
> <http://www.seattlestreetcar.com/map/> is accurate, the tracks are on
> the west side of the street and the streetcar runs southbound, facing
> traffic. That fits with the photo in the Seattle Times article, but
> doesn't square Merrick's description of her accident or Warner's
comments
> about following cyclists.
>
> It also seems that 9th would not be a good alternative route for
> northbound cyclists, since it's one way southbound. At least that's what
> Google Maps seems to think. I've cycled in that area in the past but I
> haven't been there since the tracks were put in. Hopefully somebody
> who's seen the situation firsthand can clarify.

There are a number of streets in Sacramento, CA that have light rail
(street car) traffic running the wrong way or on the wrong side of the
street.

Chas.

* * Chas

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 5:06:28 AM12/7/07
to

"Tom Sherman" <sunset...@REMOVETHISyahoo.com> wrote in message
news:fjaf5p$fgb$1...@registered.motzarella.org...

> joseph.sa...@gmail.com wrote:
> > On Dec 6, 10:41 pm, vey <jun...@ericvey.com> wrote:
> >> Werehatrack wrote:
> >>> Oy, vey! Turn off the damn extended ASCII character set; UTF-8 has
no
> >>> place in the 7-bit world that is Usenet.
> >> I will try, but I'm not sure I know how. I'm using Thunderbird.
> >> The character set is Western ISO-8859-1. Is that what I want to
change?
> >> I don't see any UTF in Thunderbird.
> >
> > Enough Thunderbird would make me see double. 8, 16, what's the diff?
>
> See <http://www.bumwine.com/>.
>
> --
> Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia

Great web site but they have a few things wrong:

Night Train is renamed Ripple "Night Train gets you there on time".
(Ripple + ginger ale = Champipple).

MD 20/20 - better known as "Mad Dog" or Mad Dog 20/20". MD stands for the
maker Mogen David. 20/20 used to be around a 20% alcohol fortified "wine".

The advantage of these 2 wines is they taste good both ways. ;-)

Then in the late 60s and early 70s there was Cribari "The gentle journey".

Chas.


damyth

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 6:01:07 AM12/7/07
to
On Dec 6, 4:02 pm, Tim McNamara <tim...@bitstream.net> wrote:
> In article <47587957$0$36395$742ec...@news.sonic.net>,

News for you buddy. For those of use who are capable of reading, say
Japanese, UTF-8, as well as English, UTF-8 has been a standard for
years. As a practical example of its usefulness, web pages can be
comprensible to both English and Japanese readers.

It only seems "futuristic" to you because you are western-centric.
Which part of "legacy apps" don't you comprehend?

damyth

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 6:12:01 AM12/7/07
to
On Dec 6, 4:02 pm, Tim McNamara <tim...@bitstream.net> wrote:
> In article <47587957$0$36395$742ec...@news.sonic.net>,
>

News for you, buddy. For those of us who are capable of reading, say
Japanese, as well as English, UTF-8 has been a standard for
years. Check out these pages as pratical examples of UTF-8
usefulness:
http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1R
http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php

It only seems "futuristic" to you because you are western-centric.

Which part of "legacy apps" don't you understand?

Message has been deleted

Tim McNamara

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 10:02:06 AM12/7/07
to
In article
<d244ac1d-c465-40a5...@a39g2000pre.googlegroups.com>,
damyth <mdk.10...@spamgourmet.com> wrote:

Hmmm. I'm underwhelmed by the ""usefulness" of these sites, given that
I read neither Chinese or Japanese. I'm sure they're useful for many
people, but I can't really tell how. Heck, there are at least four
Japanese and eight Chinese text encodings to choose from. Which one is
the "best?"

> It only seems "futuristic" to you because you are western-centric.

Nah. It seems "futuristic" because Usenet is a 7-bit ASCII technology
and UTF-8 has not actually ascended to the standard encoding dominance
that its proponents have been saying is coming. It must be a
conspiracy. UTF-8 has been mooted since 1993 and has been the standard
that will be adopted "any minute now" as long as I've been using the
Internet.

> Which part of "legacy apps" don't you understand?

Which part of "malformed argument" don't you understand? Good grief,
try some linear thought.

(PeteCresswell)

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 10:14:34 AM12/7/07
to
Per * * Chas:

>
>Then in the late 60s and early 70s there was Cribari "The gentle journey".

I notice that Bali Hai didn't make it to their list.

Maybe it's not even up to being called a wine?

--
PeteCresswell

jo...@phred.org

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 12:57:46 PM12/7/07
to
In article <bZqdnQOXbeojjcTa...@comcast.com>,
verkt...@aol.spamski.com says...

> Here's a picture of streetcar tracks and cobblestones in present day
> Pittsburgh, PA that have been paved over with asphalt which has worn away.
> Your streets look great! You just have to be careful to avoid crossing the
> tracks at an obtuse angle.

Seattle still has many legacy streets with cobblestone or, even worse,
fired brick pavement -- talk about slippery when wet!

This one street looks great because it's brand new pavement around the
brand-new streetcar lines.

But the question is, why install a brand-new streetcar line in the right
lane of a popular bicycle route when the city had figured out eighty
years ago that right-lane streetcars were more dangerous to bicycles,
pedestrians, and parked vehicles than center-lane streetcars?

Does Pittsburgh use thin asphalt over cobbles on newly-constructed
streets, or does it simply tolerate deficiencies of century-old streets
while requiring safer designs on new streets?

--
jo...@phred.org is Joshua Putnam

* * Chas

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 1:04:58 PM12/7/07
to

"(PeteCresswell)" <x...@y.Invalid> wrote in message
news:oooil31jt32krn7m3...@4ax.com...

YUCK! It was more like an emetic! How to induce the Technicolor yawn....
:-0

The Eskimos and other Arctic dwellers may have unlimited words for snow
but the folks down in OZ have some of the best descriptions for "having a
chunder". ;-)

Chas.


Werehatrack

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 1:14:43 PM12/7/07
to
On Thu, 6 Dec 2007 15:25:30 -0800, <jo...@phred.org> may have said:

>In article <72ogl3hin7r26mo8h...@4ax.com>, rault00
>@earthWEEDSlink.net says...
>> On Thu, 06 Dec 2007 13:28:14 -0500, vey <jun...@ericvey.com> may have
>> said:
>
>> > If a bicycle veers into that gap, it can
>> >easily get stuck, pitching the rider onto the street.
>
>> Yup. This is not a new hazard. I noticed a mention of it in a
>> newpaper article about the repaving of a street here in Houston around
>> 1906.
>
>Seattle's previous generation of streetcars generally weren't put in the
>right curb lane -- that's a not-new solution to a not-new problem that
>Seattle's DOT seems to have forgotten about.

FWIW, late-19th- and early-20th-century streetcars tended to run down
the middle of the streets without causing problems precisely because
the automobile traffic was nonexistent to sparse and/or slow; people
could grab a ride on a streetcar in the middle of the road without
much worry about getting run over as they crossed. There was a lot of
debate over where to put the Houston streetcar line when they decided
to build it, and the final design has it along the right lane of a
stretch that has good alternate riding routes, along the center for
most of its route (with a maddening short stretch that goes through a
plaza where bikes are nominally banned, but I ride through anyway if
there's not much peddy traffic) and down the left of a one-way where
cars still tend to get hit by the trains. (People still haven't
learned not to turn left without looking behind them. Cell phones are
often involved. The stretch is full of florists who capitalize on the
area's proximity to the Medical Center.)

--
My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.
Typoes are not a bug, they're a feature.
Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.

Wayne

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 1:37:23 PM12/7/07
to

>
> FWIW, late-19th- and early-20th-century streetcars tended to run down
> the middle of the streets without causing problems precisely because
> the automobile traffic was nonexistent to sparse and/or slow; people
> could grab a ride on a streetcar in the middle of the road without
> much worry about getting run over as they crossed. There was a lot of
> debate over where to put the Houston streetcar line when they decided
> to build it, and the final design has it along the right lane of a
> stretch that has good alternate riding routes, along the center for
> most of its route (with a maddening short stretch that goes through a
> plaza where bikes are nominally banned, but I ride through anyway if
> there's not much peddy traffic) and down the left of a one-way where
> cars still tend to get hit by the trains. (People still haven't
> learned not to turn left without looking behind them. Cell phones are
> often involved. The stretch is full of florists who capitalize on the
> area's proximity to the Medical Center.)
>
> --
> My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.
> Typoes are not a bug, they're a feature.
> Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.

Placing a train going the wrong way on a one way street is a bad
idea. A lifetime of driving teaches people that a one way street is
just that - one way. Even if the locals eventually learn to watch for
the trains, visitors will fall victim and lawsuits will follow. The
city will lose a lot of money when it fails to justify it to a jury.

Wayne

(PeteCresswell)

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 1:48:37 PM12/7/07
to
Per * * Chas:

>YUCK! It was more like an emetic! How to induce the Technicolor yawn....
>:-0

I can tell you with 100% certainty that when one consumes a
half-gallon of the stuff, the chunks coming through the nose
*really* hurt.
--
PeteCresswell

Message has been deleted

A Muzi

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 3:27:55 PM12/7/07
to
>> FWIW, late-19th- and early-20th-century streetcars tended to run down
>> the middle of the streets without causing problems precisely because
>> the automobile traffic was nonexistent to sparse and/or slow; people
>> could grab a ride on a streetcar in the middle of the road without
>> much worry about getting run over as they crossed. There was a lot of
>> debate over where to put the Houston streetcar line when they decided
>> to build it, and the final design has it along the right lane of a
>> stretch that has good alternate riding routes, along the center for
>> most of its route (with a maddening short stretch that goes through a
>> plaza where bikes are nominally banned, but I ride through anyway if
>> there's not much peddy traffic) and down the left of a one-way where
>> cars still tend to get hit by the trains. (People still haven't
>> learned not to turn left without looking behind them. Cell phones are
>> often involved. The stretch is full of florists who capitalize on the
>> area's proximity to the Medical Center.)

Wayne wrote:
> Placing a train going the wrong way on a one way street is a bad
> idea. A lifetime of driving teaches people that a one way street is
> just that - one way. Even if the locals eventually learn to watch for
> the trains, visitors will fall victim and lawsuits will follow. The
> city will lose a lot of money when it fails to justify it to a jury.

Madison WI has an eastbound (reverse-direction) bicycle lane next to
four lanes of westbound traffic (University Avenue) and, yes, left turns
can result in mayhem. Even a same-direction left-side bike lane on a 2
lane one-way (Johnson Street) has left turn issues [1] besides wrong-way
bicyclists crowding the lane. 'alanstew' made a good point, 'safety' is
elusive!
[1] I was literally run over by a left turning rental truck to my bike's
detriment. Narrowly missed my leg when crushing the bike.
--
Andrew Muzi
www.yellowjersey.org
Open every day since 1 April, 1971

* * Chas

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 4:27:38 PM12/7/07
to

"(PeteCresswell)" <x...@y.Invalid> wrote in message
news:sa5jl3d4bpgobtndf...@4ax.com...

For medicinal use only.... Call the poison control center! ;-)

Chas.


* * Chas

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 6:48:32 PM12/7/07
to

"(PeteCresswell)" <x...@y.Invalid> wrote in message
news:sa5jl3d4bpgobtndf...@4ax.com...

Our favorite fortified wines in those days were Gold Seal Catawba Pink and
Virginia Dare - Good Ole VD!

20% and $.99 a quart.

They were so sweet that they truly tasted good "both ways". ;-)

Chas.


Tom Sherman

unread,
Dec 7, 2007, 11:14:05 PM12/7/07
to

I am surprised that more people do not get killed on that bicycle
"farcility", particularly from motor vehicle traffic going from
westbound University Avenue to southbound Park Street. And of course the
lower primates, err, undergraduate students, are always heedlessly
wandering out into the bicycle lane (and the street).

> Even a same-direction left-side bike lane on a 2
> lane one-way (Johnson Street) has left turn issues [1] besides wrong-way
> bicyclists crowding the lane. 'alanstew' made a good point, 'safety' is
> elusive!
> [1] I was literally run over by a left turning rental truck to my bike's
> detriment. Narrowly missed my leg when crushing the bike.

I would avoid both University and Johnson and go south to Dayton when
riding a bicycle in the area (west of Lake) or possibly ride by the
monkey houses on Langdon (east of Lake).

--
Tom Sherman - Holstein-Friesland Bovinia

Luke

unread,
Dec 8, 2007, 10:49:45 AM12/8/07
to
In article <MPG.21c22353e...@newsgroups.comcast.net>,
<jo...@phred.org> wrote:

> In article <50d22f40-07f3-45eb-89ac-92bec32efdb3
> @w56g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>, land...@gmail.com says...
>
> > What a bunch of pussies. Ever visit Gothenburg or Amsterdam? Plenty of
> > trams and "dangerous" rails. You just don't ride in such a way that
> > you get stuck. Duh!
>
> Two problems there:
>
> 1. European tramways often use narrower, shallower flangeways than
> what's been used in Seattle. e.g. Ri 60N flangeway is 36mm wide, still
> enough to trap skinny tires but better than what Seattle chose.
>
> 2. European motorists are more accustomed to cyclists and are less
> likely to blindly run over cyclists avoiding tram rails. A number of
> the riders who've been injured were apparently forced into the tracks by
> motorists who didn't see any reason to allow bikes to ride to the left
> of the rails in the right lane.
>
> You can see a sample of the Seattle track layout at
> http://seattlelikesbikes.pbwiki.com/f/parade-of-cars-in-left-lane.jpg

FYI, the situation in Toronto:

The majority of streetcar routes in Toronto's core share the center of
thoroughfares with all other traffic. On the majority of routes such as
these, (lacking in pedestrian islands), all dis/embarking passengers
stop traffic flow across 1/2 of the thoroughfare.

http://transit.toronto.on.ca/images/streetcar-4010-10.jpg


IMO negotiating the rails is not problematic, however doing so amid the
hurly burly of rush hour traffic can lead to uncomfortable, not to
mention painful, episodes. Because many of the (4 lane, 2 each way)
streets hosting trolley routes also allow curb lane parking, unless a
cyclist monopolizes the center lane, he greatly increases his chances
of a winning a door prize or colliding with the legions of jay walkers.
Many timid cyclists are been reluctant to do.

There have been a few incidents of cyclists, while riding at the inner
extremity of the curb lane - it being lined with autos parked curb side
- flung into the path of trolleys or other vehicles after being doored.
Predictably, some of the results have been tragic.

On some winter days, the commute involves guessing just where the
trolley rails are.

http://transit.toronto.on.ca/images/streetcar-4000-61.jpg


Few dedicated trolley ways exist here.

http://readingcities.com/images/uploads/RT-dtah.jpg

They are contentious projects; many local merchants oppose exclusive
on-street streetcar tracks because they limit the space available for
patrons to park alongside their shops. And, of course, all other
vehicular traffic is relegated one less lane.

A strange observation gleaned while riding streetcars over the years:
doesn't matter how late I'm running, I never feel in a rush while
onboard. Perhaps it's the sensation of steel on steel or the leisurely
pace of the trolley; can't really say.

frkr...@gmail.com

unread,
Dec 8, 2007, 11:27:27 AM12/8/07
to
On Dec 8, 10:49 am, Luke <lucasirag...@rogers.com> wrote:
>
> A strange observation gleaned while riding streetcars over the years:
> doesn't matter how late I'm running, I never feel in a rush while
> onboard. Perhaps it's the sensation of steel on steel or the leisurely
> pace of the trolley; can't really say.

And speaking of steel:

I'm surprised that it's sensible to use steel rails and wheels on
trolleys.

I understand that the rolling resistance is less than for ordinary
tires. But I'd expect the energy savings from rolling resistance
would not significantly offset the cost of laying rails in the first
place. Then there's the problem of fixed routes, as opposed to more
agile route modification. And, of course, all the other problems
we've been discussing.

When I was a kid (and dinosaurs ruled the earth) our city had electric
trolleys running on rubber tires. IOW, they looked exactly like
ordinary buses, but with overhead booms to reach their overhead
electric power lines. If a route needed changed, there would have
been no street excavation involved; they'd just hang more wires. Why
is that not standard?

Or even more basic: What's the advantage of a trolley over, say, a
bus with a different, but still clean, power source?

- Frank Krygowski

Mark Shroyer

unread,
Dec 8, 2007, 11:36:33 AM12/8/07
to
On 2007-12-08, frkr...@gmail.com <frkr...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Or even more basic: What's the advantage of a trolley over, say,
> a bus with a different, but still clean, power source?

Tourist dollars?

--
Mark Shroyer
http://markshroyer.com/contact/

vey

unread,
Dec 8, 2007, 12:50:59 PM12/8/07
to
frkr...@gmail.com wrote:

>
> When I was a kid (and dinosaurs ruled the earth) our city had electric
> trolleys running on rubber tires. IOW, they looked exactly like
> ordinary buses, but with overhead booms to reach their overhead
> electric power lines. If a route needed changed, there would have
> been no street excavation involved; they'd just hang more wires. Why
> is that not standard?

They may still be using those in San Francisco. I was riding one there
about 15 years ago when the driver turned wrong and lost the connection.
Not a big problem. She pulled out a long fiberglass rod and rehooked
the trolley to the wires.

But what is San Francisco famous for?

SMS 斯蒂文• 夏

unread,
Dec 8, 2007, 2:03:35 PM12/8/07
to
Mark Shroyer wrote:
> On 2007-12-08, frkr...@gmail.com <frkr...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Or even more basic: What's the advantage of a trolley over, say,
>> a bus with a different, but still clean, power source?
>
> Tourist dollars?

In San Francisco there are electric buses with rubber wheels and
electric street cars (aka trolly cars). The street cars used to run on
the street throughout the city, but a lot of the track is now
underground or in its own right of way and only in less congested areas
do they share the road with cars. So they are much faster than the
electric buses, especially in the downtown area.

One positive about trolley cars is that the route _can't change_. So
while bus routes come and go (and in my city we are in the process of
losing some key bus routes), at least you can plan your housing and job
choices with relative certainty that the trolley route will remain the same.

Another advantage of the trolley cars is that they can be connected
together to create longer trains, transporting more people with a single
operator. They also use less electricity than electric buses and are
more reliable. The poles that connect the bus to the overhead wires are
constantly coming off, stalling the bus and requiring the operator to
get out and use a stick to reconnect the wires. This invariably happens
at intersections where the bus is turning and changing from one set of
wires to another.

Now San Jose managed to create what is probably the world's slowest
trolly car system, where in the downtown area the street car shares the
street and crawls along, but in the suburbs it has its own right of way.

dusto...@mac.com

unread,
Dec 8, 2007, 2:01:46 PM12/8/07
to
On Dec 6, 2:24 pm, Jay Beattie <jbeat...@lindsayhart.com> wrote:
> On Dec 6, 10:54 am, landotter <landot...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > On Dec 6, 12:28 pm, vey <jun...@ericvey.com> wrote:
>
> > >http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004055887_biketracks...

>
> > > New streetcar tracks on Seattle's Westlake Avenue have turned into a
> > > trap for bicyclists.
>
> > > The tires on a standard road bike are narrower than the 1 3/4-inch groove
> > > that holds a streetcar wheel. If a bicycle veers into that gap, it can

> > > easily get stuck, pitching the rider onto the street.
>
> > > Seattle bike activists plan a wheeled protest next Wednesday, when the
> > > South Lake Union streetcar begins service from Westlake Center to the
> > > Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
>
> > What a bunch of pussies. Ever visit Gothenburg or Amsterdam? Plenty of
> > trams and "dangerous" rails. You just don't ride in such a way that
> > you get stuck. Duh!
>
> Isn't Amsterdam supposed to have all sorts of separate bicycle
> facilities -- raised lanes, special lights, etc.?

Yes, the red bricks belong to the cyclists, who are at the top of the
transportation pecking order.

I didn't ride a bike while there but it all looked plenty smooth to
me. Including the tram crossings for bikes and peds alike.

The MV operators seemed mostly suitably tamed. I understand that is
due to some intelligently designed liability legislation (IOW, if you
run down a cyclist or ped you're in trouble, contrary to the way
things are done in the good ol' USA). --D-y

carl...@comcast.net

unread,
Dec 8, 2007, 2:28:38 PM12/8/07
to

Dear Frank,

As a Denver & Rio Grande locomotive engineer once told me, the lack of
a steering wheel reduces accidents and liability.

Cheers,

Carl Fogel

Ted Bennett

unread,
Dec 8, 2007, 2:36:04 PM12/8/07
to

> As a Denver & Rio Grande locomotive engineer once told me, the lack of
> a steering wheel reduces accidents and liability.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Carl Fogel

That's exactly the approach I use with my DeSoto.

--
Ted Bennett

Andrew Price

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Dec 8, 2007, 2:41:23 PM12/8/07
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On Sat, 8 Dec 2007 08:27:27 -0800 (PST), frkr...@gmail.com wrote:

[---]

>Or even more basic: What's the advantage of a trolley over, say, a
>bus with a different, but still clean, power source?

They have a higher capacity than trolleybuses - trams running on a
fixed guideway can, and often are coupled together in multiple units
and can carry many more passengers than a trolleybus.

Tim McNamara

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Dec 8, 2007, 3:03:02 PM12/8/07
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In article <fjelgq$724$1...@news.datemas.de>, vey <jun...@ericvey.com>
wrote:

Rice-a-Roni!

David L. Johnson

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Dec 8, 2007, 3:37:29 PM12/8/07
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* * Chas wrote:

>
> Great web site but they have a few things wrong:
>
> Night Train is renamed Ripple "Night Train gets you there on time".
> (Ripple + ginger ale = Champipple).
>
Yeah, where was Ripple on that list?

Nice to see Gallo getting the credit for its creations on that site. I
used to drive by the Gallo winery from time to time. It looked like an
oil refinery, and smelled almost as bad.

--

David L. Johnson

Enron's slogan: Respect, Communication, Integrity, and Excellence.

* * Chas

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Dec 9, 2007, 2:23:44 AM12/9/07
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"Tim McNamara" <tim...@bitstream.net> wrote in message
news:timmcn-2D019A....@news.iphouse.com...

Also cable cars and abandoned hearts..... :-)

Chas.


* * Chas

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Dec 9, 2007, 2:26:43 AM12/9/07
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"David L. Johnson" <david....@lehigh.edu> wrote in message
news:T9udnZqOr82cncba...@ptd.net...

Yes but Gallo is almost as profitable as Exxon!

Chas.


Tom Sherman

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Dec 9, 2007, 2:54:33 AM12/9/07
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David L. Johnson wrote:
> * * Chas wrote:
>
>>
>> Great web site but they have a few things wrong:
>>
>> Night Train is renamed Ripple "Night Train gets you there on time".
>> (Ripple + ginger ale = Champipple).
>>
> Yeah, where was Ripple on that list?

At <http://www.bumwine.com/others.html>.

> Nice to see Gallo getting the credit for its creations on that site. I
> used to drive by the Gallo winery from time to time. It looked like an
> oil refinery, and smelled almost as bad.
>

The products from the oil refinery probably tasted better than 'Bird and
'Train!

Luke

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Dec 9, 2007, 3:49:52 AM12/9/07
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In article
<99de8e36-2691-44e5...@s8g2000prg.googlegroups.com>,
<frkr...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Dec 8, 10:49 am, Luke <lucasirag...@rogers.com> wrote:
> >
> > A strange observation gleaned while riding streetcars over the years:
> > doesn't matter how late I'm running, I never feel in a rush while
> > onboard. Perhaps it's the sensation of steel on steel or the leisurely
> > pace of the trolley; can't really say.
>
> And speaking of steel:
>
> I'm surprised that it's sensible to use steel rails and wheels on
> trolleys.
>
> I understand that the rolling resistance is less than for ordinary
> tires. But I'd expect the energy savings from rolling resistance
> would not significantly offset the cost of laying rails in the first
> place. Then there's the problem of fixed routes, as opposed to more
> agile route modification. And, of course, all the other problems
> we've been discussing.
>

Torontonians can attest: aside from what must be the horrendous
expense, the periodic excavation of major downtown thoroughfares to lay
concrete beds and rails imposes mayhem on traffic.

Add the frequent complaints from motorists: the trolleys are slow and,
unlike buses, its essential that traffic halt across all intervening
lanes to permit passengers passage - not a requirement calculated to
maximize traffic flow.

But despite all there is a fondness, maybe it's nostalgia, for the
streetcars just the same. Perhaps a fancy on my part, but I sense a
genuine reluctance to dispense with a unique -- at least in
contemporary cityscapes -- and esthetically pleasing form of transit in
order to literally pave the way for yet another sewer of automobiles.

> When I was a kid (and dinosaurs ruled the earth) our city had electric
> trolleys running on rubber tires. IOW, they looked exactly like
> ordinary buses, but with overhead booms to reach their overhead
> electric power lines. If a route needed changed, there would have
> been no street excavation involved; they'd just hang more wires. Why
> is that not standard?
>
> Or even more basic: What's the advantage of a trolley over, say, a
> bus with a different, but still clean, power source?
>
> - Frank Krygowski
>

Up until 1992 Toronto boasted an impressive fleet of almost 2000
electric buses and an extensive network of overhead wires (a la the
trolleys) powering them. At that time, in order to cut expenses, the
whole convoy was retired and its electrical grid dismantled in what
must now seem a tremendously short sighted decision, given the
spiralling cost of petrol and stifling summer smog,

According to the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission):

"Electric vehicles have longer lifespans than their diesel counterparts
(at least 30 years versus 12-18 for the average bus), but even these
vehicles have to be rebuilt or replaced sometime...

...To retain trolley coach service, the TTC was looking at either
rebuilding or replacing its fleet, and spending millions to upgrade
aging infrastructure. The price of oil was also very low at this time,
and the electric trolley buses had become the most expensive surface
vehicles of the fleet to operate. Add to this a budget crunch and
shrinking ridership from the recession, and the TTC decided that the
trolley buses weren't worth it, anymore.

The final straw was the natural gas buses. At the time, this new
technology promised quiet, smooth operation and reduced pollution, and
the builders marketed these buses as ideal replacements for trolley bus
service. The TTC did not stop to think that these improvements only
appeared when natural gas buses replaced diesels; instead, it pushed
for a change of technology from electric trolleys to natural gas. The
natural gas design has shown its flaws, since then, and the TTC are no
longer as interested in the technology.

In general, trolley buses were the poor siblings of transit agencies'
streetcar and bus fleets. While theoretically combining the advantages
of streetcars and diesel buses (lower emissions, greater flexibility,
less likely to be blocked by traffic), practically they also combined
the disadvantages of both technologies (less capacity, more
infrastructure required)..."

Ryan Cousineau

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Dec 9, 2007, 4:16:46 AM12/9/07
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In article <mcydnUtlspkpCsba...@comcast.com>,

Vertigo! When the missus and I took a trip there a few years ago, we
spent a considerable amount of our free time seeking out shooting
locations from the movie, which was an excellent way to structure a
wide-ranging tour of the city, as well.

The cable car museum is not to be missed by any engineering buff,

--
Ryan Cousineau rcou...@sfu.ca http://www.wiredcola.com/
"My scenarios may give the impression I could be an excellent crook.
Not true - I am a talented lawyer." - Sandy in rec.bicycles.racing

Jasper Janssen

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Dec 9, 2007, 11:45:03 AM12/9/07
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On Thu, 6 Dec 2007 15:19:18 -0800, <jo...@phred.org> wrote:

>In article <50d22f40-07f3-45eb-89ac-92bec32efdb3
>@w56g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>, land...@gmail.com says...
>

>> What a bunch of pussies. Ever visit Gothenburg or Amsterdam? Plenty of
>> trams and "dangerous" rails. You just don't ride in such a way that
>> you get stuck. Duh!
>

>Two problems there:
>
>1. European tramways often use narrower, shallower flangeways than
>what's been used in Seattle. e.g. Ri 60N flangeway is 36mm wide, still
>enough to trap skinny tires but better than what Seattle chose.
>
>2. European motorists are more accustomed to cyclists and are less
>likely to blindly run over cyclists avoiding tram rails. A number of
>the riders who've been injured were apparently forced into the tracks by
>motorists who didn't see any reason to allow bikes to ride to the left
>of the rails in the right lane.
>
>You can see a sample of the Seattle track layout at
>http://seattlelikesbikes.pbwiki.com/f/parade-of-cars-in-left-lane.jpg

Assuming that no-cars-in-the-tram-lane is standard, I honestly don't see
any possible way to get damaged from that. There's plenty of room between
even the track and the line of cars, there's plenty of room between the
two rails to ride (especially as long there aren't trams already going),
and leaving that track is fairly trivial as logn as you do it at slightly
below cruise speed so that you can make very sure that your front wheel,
at least, doesn't jam in it, by making a closer-to-right-angle crossing.

Stop whining, basically, is the summary of my response. And fired-brick
slippery when wet? No it isn't. It's slippery when it's *iced over*, or
when there's significant amount of wet leaves. Until then, don't whine
about it. The road into town center from where I live has a couple of old
fired-brick sections, so I do know whereof I speak -- and just wet is not
actually all that slippery.

I've ridden on ice, where I had to be ready every 10 meters or so to stick
out both my feet in order to become a four-legged more or less stable
structure instead of an entirely unstable one, and still fell over once or
twice in 10 minutes. Shit happens.

Jasper