Proposed College-Level Courses in Cycling Affairs: Cycling, Cycling Transportation Engineering, Cycling Instruction, Bicycles in Law Enforcement

John Forester, M.S., P.E.
Cycling Transportation Engineer
Consulting Engineer, Expert Witness & Educator in Effective Cycling, Bicycles, Highways & Bikeways, Traffic Laws

726 Madrone Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086-3041

Saturday, October 28, 1995 7:57 am

1. Outline of Cycling Courses

The four cycling courses serve four final purposes. The initial course in cycling activity has its own purpose of developing cycling skills equivalent to those of a club cyclist. In addition, it serves as the proper preparation for the three other courses. The first advanced course concentrates on the design and planning of facilities for transportational and recreational cycling. The second advanced course concentrates on teaching cycling and exercising responsibility for programs that affect cyclists. The third advanced course teaches police officers both methods of cycling suitable for police work and how the traffic laws apply to bicycle operation, information that is valuable both for the police officer and when informing the public in traffic-safety matters.
The Need for Courses in Cycling: The Competing Hypotheses
There would be little need for courses in cycling and its associated disciplines if most people had the proper theory of cycling traffic operation. That is, cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles. For one who understands this vehicular-cycling principle, the proper way to cycle and the proper way to design facilities and programs for safe and effective cycling transportation come rather naturally; in our motoring society, they appear to be merely extensions of the existing, well-understood technology. However, most people not only are ignorant of this principle, they believe in a diametrically opposed superstition, the cyclist-inferiority superstition. That says that the cyclist who rides in traffic must delay the cars and, if the cars do not choose to slow down, will be crushed. The first is Sin, the second is Death, and the Wages of Sin is Death. People who believe this superstition practically cannot make correct decisions about how to ride or how to design facilities or programs for cyclists. The governmental programs that exist, being based on political considerations instead of engineering ones, are based on this popular belief. Instead of improving the road system for better use by both cyclists and motorists, they concentrate on separating cyclists from motor traffic. Unfortunately, no satisfactory techniques for doing his have ever been devised; those that exist endanger cyclists, require higher skill of cyclists, and lengthen the trip. Therefore, existing governmental programs should not be used as a guide by those with cycling responsibilities, because they rarely specify actions that are good for cyclists. The cycling transportation engineer or administrator must understand what should be done and has to figure out how to take proper actions within the existing programs, or outside them if he strongly decides to do good for cyclists and for cycling transportation.

It is for this reason that complete and definitive courses in cycling and in its associated disciplines are required. Once the system has been changed so that most people understand and believe the vehicular-cycling principle, then there will be much less need for such detailed courses and their subject matter will naturally be taught within other disciplines.

2. Cycling Activity Course;
Dept. of Physical Education

Cycling 1 has the same goals as the original Effective Cycling course and is taught in much the same manner. The purpose is to teach people how to cycle for any purpose they desire, under all reasonable conditions of highway, traffic, weather, or hills, in reasonable safety, with confidence and enjoyment.
The following is a logical classification of the subjects that are covered. They are not taught in this sequence, but students are taught some of two or three subjects in each session or group of sessions, as given in the course outline. This makes available the total duration of the course for students to develop their cycling skills and change their attitudes to traffic, which is an extremely important feature. It also ensures that students are not overloaded with one type of material before their other cycling experiences develop their interest in the more advanced portions of it.
The Bicycle
Mechanical Safety and Operational Inspection
Bicycle types, Tools, Equipment & Clothing
Steering & Handling
Standard Safety, Recumbent, and Streamlined Bicycles
Dimensional Standards for Bicycle Parts
Bicycle Maintenance
Wired-on Tires & Pumps
Tubular Tires
Cleaning & Lubrication
Installing Wheels in a Frame
Matching Hubs to Fork Ends
Adjusting Derailleurs
Five-Speed and Seven-Speed Hub Gears
Cranks & Chainwheels
Freewheels, Clusters, & Cassettes
Rims & Spokes
Building Wheels
The Cyclist
Basic Skills: Posture, Pedaling, & Maneuvering
Emergency Maneuvers: Hard Braking and Instant Turns
Keeping Your Body Going: The Importance of Food, Water, and Electrolyte Balance
The Physiology and Technique of Hard Riding
The Cycling Environment
The Five Basic Principles of Traffic Cycling
Ride on the right and not on the sidewalk
Yielding to cross traffic
Yielding when changing lanes
Destination positioning when approaching intersections
Speed positioning when between intersections
The Why and Wherefore of Traffic Law
Drivers of vehicles compared to pedestrians. Drivers of vehicles compared to drivers of motor vehicles and drivers of bicycles.
Cycling accidents: Falls, 1/2; car-bike collisions, 1/6; bike-bike collisions, 1/6; bike-dog collisions, 1/12; everything else, 1/12. 95% of car-bike collisions are caused by turning & crossing movements. Few car-bike collisions are motorist overtaking cyclist collisions.
Where to Ride on the Roadway
To the right for the convenience of motorists but not too far right for safety.
Avoiding Straight-Road Hazards
Changing Lanes in Traffic
Looking & yielding before changing lanes, in traffic with different densities and speeds.
Riding the Intersections
Selecting the proper lane for each movement in each type of intersection. With single-destination lanes, select the one furthest to the right that serves your destination. With multiple-destination lanes, position yourself on the side nearest to your destination. When to disobey the bike-lane stripe.
Riding at Night
All reflectors except the rear one have little use and are insignificant. Proper equipment is the headlamp and a bright rear reflector, supplemented by a rear lamp if desired or required by local law. The federally-required all-reflector system is completely inadequate and misleading.
Riding in the Rain
Both protective equipment and skills required for wet roads and reduced visibility.
Riding in Cold Weather
Enjoying Cycling
Commuting & Utility Cycling
Cycling transportation in urban areas. Enjoyment of urban cycling, secure bicycle parking, employers and co-workers, clothing and methods of keeping it in good condition, freshening up, showers, and lockers.
Mountain Riding
Climbing without exhaustion and descending without accident.
Club Riding
Single-day trips with companions. Riding in groups. Importance of cycling clubs.
Multi-day trips by bicycle: enjoyable areas, maps, tour guides, styles of travel, equipment, distances.
Just an introduction to watching or entering the sport.
Cycling with Love
Cycling is more fun with those you love; lovers, spouses, & children.
Cycling in Society
How Society Pictures Cycling
Cycling is not serious transportation, cycling on roads is dangerous, cyclists should be frightened of traffic, those who do cycle in traffic possess unusual abilities and skills not available to the average person.
Bike-Safety Programs and the Cyclist-Inferiority Phobia
Traditional bike-safety programs are based on fear of cars and staying out of their way. They develop the feeling that cars own the roads and kill trespassers. Rather than teaching how to cooperate with other drivers, traditional bike-safety programs teach how to stay away, ignoring that such techniques intensify the dangers of the many times when interaction is impossible to avoid.
The Federal Safety Standard for Bicycles
This regulates bicycles as "toys or other articles intended for use by children." It is generally ineffective in reducing deaths and injuries to cyclists, but its glaring defect of requiring the all-reflector system contributes to the high proportion of accidents to cyclists that occur during darkness.
Revising the Laws to Control Cyclists
Repealing the laws that restrict cyclists more than other drivers. Revising those laws, such as the laws about signaling, whose requirements reflect the equipment of motor vehicles rather than the realities of traffic operation.
The Bikeway Controversy
History of governmental efforts to impose bikeway systems on cyclists. Reasons why bikeway systems make cycling more dangerous, with more delays, and less convenient, than cycling on good roads with the rights and duties of drivers of vehicles.
The Minute Penalties for Killing Cyclists
Examples of how the popular belief that cycling in traffic is extremely dangerous has allowed motorists whose negligence has killed cyclists to escape serious punishment.
Policies of Cycling Organizations and Bicycle Advocacy
Organizations Cycling organizations work for the good of those who choose to cycle. Bicycle advocacy organizations work to coerce people into cycling as a means of saving the world. These means, since people believe the cyclist-inferiority superstition, oppose each other. Doing good for cyclists won't attract as many cyclists in the short run, while attracting many people to cycling requires dangerous and inconvenient cycling. In the long run, scientific truth generally prevails.
Political Strategy for Cyclists.
Defend our rights as drivers of vehicles because they are under assault. Work to obtain acceptance of the vehicular-cycling principle, first among the experts, professionals and leaders of opinion, then among the public. Only then press for programs of cycling encouragement, because only then will they do good for cyclists.
Recommended Text
The recommended text is Forester, John; Effective Cycling, 6th ed.; the MIT Press, 1993

3 Cycling Transportation Engineering;
Dept. of Engineering, or Transportation Engineering, or City Planning

Cycling Transportation Engineering is intended to prepare those persons who will have responsibility for planning and designing systems and facilities for cycling transportation and for cycling recreation. Such facilities are streets and highways, bicycle trails, multi-use trails with cycling emphasis, bicycle parking facilities and systems, connections with, and carriage by, mass transit systems and by other passenger carriers.
The prerequisite for Cycling Instruction is Cycling 1, plus such other courses as the Department determines. Cycling 1 is necessary because, at this time, few of those persons who become responsible for directing the activities of cyclists are competent cyclists. Most people have many misconceptions about cycling and feel very strongly about cycling in ways that do not agree with the facts. Only those people who understand the techniques and feel comfortable when cycling properly in traffic are capable of doing satisfactory work in this field.
Past Events and Present Knowledge
Two Views in Cycling Transportation Engineering
Two contradictory hypotheses dominate thought about cycling transportation. The vehicular-cycling principle holds that cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles. The cyclist-inferiority superstition holds that cyclists should not act as drivers of vehicles but should act in ways appropriate to a lower level of competence and status in order to be safe. The problem with recommendations made through the cyclist-inferiority superstition is that they put the cyclist in more dangerous positions and require more dangerous actions, whose dangers require slower speeds and more delays to handle safely, and no lower level of skill. While facilities designed according to the cyclist-inferiority superstition may be as safe as normal streets when used with care at low speeds, they are more dangerous when used at speeds typical of useful cycling transportation. The other side of the cyclist-inferiority superstition shows when the person expressing it is a motorist, as of course most American adults often are. Then the supposed fact that cyclists are inferior becomes expressed as the superiority of motorists; cyclists don't belong on the roads and should get out of the way of motorists.
The Psychology of Beliefs About Cycling
The cyclist-inferiority superstition is the dominant opinion in America, and many of those who believe it hold to that belief with emotional fervor. Children are taught to be afraid of motor traffic, particularly when they are cycling. In many people, this fear becomes a phobia that is not removed by verbal teaching. They require successful experience in cycling in the vehicular-style in traffic in order to learn to overcome the phobia. Cycling transportation engineers need to understand this mechanism. They must overcome it in themselves in order to be able to design proper facilities, and they must also be able to defend their designs against the criticisms of those who are motivated by the cyclist-inferiority phobia.
History and Demography of Modern Cycling
From the great decade of the 1890s before the automobile became fashionable, cycling transportation in America declined to practically zero in volume and to zero in political respect by 1915. It remained there, except for some resurgence in the Great Depression and during the shortages of World War II, until the 1960s. Since then, respect for cycling transportation has first climbed and then wavered, largely because of demographics and fashion and secondarily because of real factors. In cycling, psychological and fashionable factors are far more significant than objective ones. One cannot count on real factors to control or predict cycling volume or the respect accorded to cyclists. However the amount of cycling transportation done by those who like to do it is a direct function of the convenience with which they can do it. Cycling is concentrated among those with the status, ability, understanding, and perseverance to withstand the discrimination and petty insults with which cyclists are treated. Therefore, cycling is concentrated among technical employees who think for themselves and who are valued for their knowledge and skills (engineers, attorneys, professors), and among civil service employees for whom cycling poses no career disadvantages. Cycling is less frequent among people who have to persuade others (salesmen, preachers, politicians). While cycling transportation might become significant for people with low incomes, that has not occurred yet to any great extent.
History of Governmental Actions
Regarding Cycling American governmental actions regarding cycling have generally been actions to do something about the problem of bicycles. Whatever their ostensible purpose, they have ended up promoting the cyclist-inferiority superstition and the ineffective cycling that goes with it. This is because the highway authorities see bicycles as delaying motorists, while the public sees motorists as endangering cyclists. Cyclists have had to fight to preserve their rights as drivers of vehicles, in order to retain their right to ride safely and efficiently on normal roads. As far as bicycles are concerned, the government regulates bicycles as toys intended for children instead of as vehicles intended for those who know how to use them.
Cycling Accidents
Any person designing facilities or programs for cycling needs to know the types of accidents that occur and their relative frequencies, in order to design facilities or programs that minimize the most significant types of accidents. Contrary to what most people think, falls account for half of accidents to cyclists, car-bike collisions are only one-sixth of accidents to cyclists, bike-bike collisions are as frequent in many areas, and the level of seriousness is not as different as is often thought. Contrary to what most people think, few car-bike collisions are caused by motorists overtaking cyclists and the great majority are caused by turning or crossing maneuvers. While nighttime car-bike collisions are frequent relative to the amount of nighttime cycling, the two main causes are not using headlamps and drunken motorists.
Parameters of Practical Cycling
The range of practical, daily, urban cycling extends much further than is commonly thought. Half of the commuting cycling transportation done by Bicycling subscribers is done by those who ride more than 10 miles each way. Cycling transportation is affected by extremes of weather, but not very much by weather normal to the area. For those who normally cycle commute, the times when they do not are those when they need a car for other purposes, say carrying heavy items, or going to distant places, or the like. Hills reduce the usable range, and the typical reduction can be calculated.
Systematic Traffic Law
Traffic law regulates the movements of vehicles according to their position, speed, and destination, not according to who is driving them, their purpose in driving, or the type of vehicle. The laws that apply to drivers of vehicles apply to cyclists. Since these are the most reasonable laws we have devised (not the safest, nor the most efficient, but those that best combine safety and efficiency), to behave otherwise is detrimental to one. While the special restrictive statutes that apply to cyclists have been advocated as being for the safety of cyclists, they actually make cycling more difficult and dangerous and were enacted to guarantee a clear path for motorists.
The Effect of Cyclists on Traffic
It is commonly thought that cycle traffic significantly delays motorists; that is the basis for the attitude of motorists toward cyclists. The cycling transportation engineer needs to know the extent of this delay: where it exists, under what conditions it exists, and how much it is. Provision of wide outside lanes in urban areas and shoulders in rural areas prevent normal amounts of cycling traffic from delaying motorists at all. In some urban areas where space is tight, society faces the choice between delaying motorists all the time to suit those cyclists who are afraid of cars, or of delaying motorists part of the time without adversely affecting cycling travel, or of delaying cycling completely (prohibition) for the convenience of motorists. However, cyclists produce the greatest delays to motorists on narrow, two-lane roads with much traffic in both directions or with very short sight distances due to topographic characteristics. These are generally roads on the periphery of urban areas where suburban growth has greatly increased traffic volumes but the roads have not yet been widened to suit. The amount of delay is proportional to the square of the number of motorists but is only directly proportional to the number of cyclists. Functions for representing and calculating motorist delay are developed and used to estimate the value of particular designs of road improvements.
The Effect of Bikeways on Traffic
The supposed effect of bikeways on traffic is to greatly reduce car-bike collisions, reduce the level of skill required to ride safely, and reduce the amount of motorist delay. Those types of bikeway that are generally practical in urban areas are parallel to existing roadways. These types of bikeway complicate the turning and crossing maneuvers of both cyclists and motorists, thus probably increasing the largest proportion of car-bike collisions while decreasing only a very small proportion of car-bike collisions. Rather than lowering the level of skill required, they require a higher level of skill to understand the dangers produced and still require slower speeds and greater delays for safety.
Flow of Cycle Traffic
Cycle traffic has a wider range of speeds than does motor traffic on any particular street or highway. Therefore, proportionally much more space for overtaking is required of bicycle paths to maintain a given level of service. While bicycle traffic can be very dense, that traffic must move at the speed of the slowest. Therefore, the productivity of popular bicycle facilities is not nearly as great as appears at first glance, and their convenience for their users is much less. When the density drops the opportunities for overtaking increase, but the random swerves typical of bicycle traffic when on bicycle paths make overtaking at normal road speed very dangerous. It is reasonable to estimate that the flow speed of cycle traffic on the proposed bicycle freeways (Los Angeles Veloway) will be much lower than has been predicted for particular flow rates; that is, the level of service will be lower than predicted for all traffic volumes that would justify construction.
Prediction of Cycling Volume
Many efforts have been made to predict the volume of cycling transportation produced by various types of facilities. In no case has the actual volume reached the predicted volume, and the difference is often enormous. This is because those making predictions have placed far more weight on the question of facilities, particularly bikeways, than is warranted, and too little weight on all the other factors that affect people's propensity to cycle. For most people, the most important factors are not the facilities, although they think that lack of bikeways is the strongest factor and so tell opinion pollsters. That is merely the socially-acceptable excuse that matches their fears, not the real nub of the problem. Predictions need to be made depending on the type of population in the area, the distances to be covered, the social acceptability factor, the speed of competing modes, the convenience with which the other tasks that accompany cycle commuting can be done (freshening up, showering, etc.), the support offered by employers (safe bicycle parking, emergency car rental, etc.) and probably other factors. The traditional methods do not work, we have some idea of factors that should be taken into consideration, but nobody has yet done it right and produced accurate predictions.
Cyclist Proficiency and Cyclist Training
At present, American cyclists have very low levels of skill. Having been systematically misled by the cycling inferiority superstition, they ride in ways that seem reasonable to them but are actually both inefficient and dangerous. The government's cycling policy is based on the concept that 95% of the cyclists in any cycling transportation system will be inexperienced and incompetent. This is not reasonable; cycle commuters will develop competence as they ride, provided that the system encourages competence. However, that may be a reasonable estimate if the system is designed to make incompetent cycling either most convenient or the practical norm, as is the case in several European nations. In any case, we know that people can develop competence in cycling much as they develop competence in driving motor vehicles; there is no significant difference except that the cyclist has to provide the power as well as the skill. Increasing the competence of American cyclists is the best way to both decrease the accident rate and increase the propensity to cycle for transportation.
The Bikeway Controversy
The bikeway controversy has two parts, one scientific and the other political. The scientific part concerns the questions of safety, level of skill, and convenience. Bikeway advocates claim that bikeways make cycling safe for unskilled cyclists and shorten the distances to travel. While there are few data specifically comparing these points, analysis of the known conditions demonstrates that the claims of bikeway advocates cannot be correct and are probably false. The pattern of accidents to cyclists, both total accidents and car-bike collisions alone, are contrary to the claims of bikeway advocates and prove that bikeways cannot significantly reduce accidents to cyclists. Considerations of movement analysis demonstrate that bikeways typically make intersection movements more complicated and dangerous, necessitating more care, greater skill, more delays, and probably producing more accidents. The locations where bikeways shorten the trip distance are very few; generally bikeway systems both increase the distance required for a given trip and reduce the speed at which it can be made. It is unreasonable to believe that bikeways meet the claims made for them by bikeway advocates, yet bikeways are the governments primary cycling policy and program. Government has made several attempts to produce bikeways, and standards for bikeways, that demonstrate the claims of bikeway advocates. Each of these attempts, in its turn, has been demonstrated to have failed to do so. The reasons why are analyzed.
European Bikeway Engineering and Design
It is often thought by bikeway advocates that the great prevalence of bikeways in parts of Europe, particularly those parts with much cycling, demonstrates both that Europeans know how to design safe and efficient bikeways and those bikeways have produced the large amount of cycling transportation that is evident. Examination of European design practices shows that they know less than we do in America. Examination of the conditions for both motoring and cycling show that the large amount of cycling transportation is what remains when motoring is very inconvenient and urban densities are very high; conceivably there would be more cycling transportation being done to greater distances if those nations had developed their systems to treat cyclists with as much consideration as motorists.
The Importance of Cycling Organizations
The organizations of cyclists have a very important place in cycling policy and programs. The cycling organizations are the repository of the skills that cyclists need and the wisdom that those skills can impart. Nowhere else in America is there a pool of such information. The advice and support of such organizations is vital to any cycling program. The information possessed by the other highway associated-organizations, such as the traffic-safety organizations, is inaccurate and has been developed through an inaccurate view of the problem, the cyclist-inferiority superstition. It is important to learn to distinguish between genuine organizations of cyclists who wish to protect and promote their own cycling as drivers of vehicles, and to attract others to such cycling, and organizations of bicycle activists who wish to get people out of cars, reform transportation, and the like. These people advocate popular but dangerous and inefficient cycling, typically on bikeways, instead of safe and effective cycling by competent persons.
Cycling and Environmentalism
While one would think that cyclists and environmentalists would have much in common, but that is not the case today. Cyclists want to cycle fast and safely, so that they have as wide a range of opportunity as possible. That means cycling on roads with the rights and duties of drivers of vehicles. Environmentalists want to get the maximum number of people out of cars, which is a different aim. Since most people believe in the cyclist-inferiority superstition, they say, and environmentalists believe, that they will not ride without bikeways to make cycling safe. Therefore we have a paradox. Environmentalists believe that the way to get the most cycling transportation is to produce a system in which cycling feels better to ignorant people but is actually more dangerous and less convenient than riding on roads. The end result of such a system is one in which the amount of cycling transportation done is limited by the inefficiency and inconvenience produced by the way in which it must be done. It is reasonable to consider that if the safer and more efficient roadway system were improved, and if people were trained to use it properly, such a system would produce considerably more cycling transportation.
Nighttime Protective Equipment
Cycling transportation engineers need to know about nighttime protective equipment for cyclists. Normally, all they would need to know is that while headlamps are quite visible to other users, they are not generally adequate to provide lighting along urban facilities without other light. However, because of the government's and the bicycle industry's attitude toward nighttime protective equipment, most cyclists are convinced that reflective equipment (bicycle-mounted reflectors and reflective clothing, helmets, etc.) is superior to lights. The question keeps coming up in discussions about nighttime policies and what should be done about nighttime accidents. Accident statistics and the operational features of various items of nighttime protective equipment, as they operate during traffic movements, are studied to demonstrate what equipment is required and what is desirable. Headlamps and bright rear reflectors are most important; everything else is minor.
Maps and Mapping
Many people think that maps are very important for cyclists, but this is merely another reflection of the cyclist-inferiority superstition that most roads are too dangerous for cycling. Most people want to be shown the safest routes before they will ride at all. Well, there is no way to determine the safest route; for one thing, it depends on the speed of the cyclist. Most of the maps that have been produced try to show safe routes and the bikeway routes, which results in a system for increasing the distance to be traveled for no real gain in safety. The various methods of showing these items are demonstrated. In point of fact, conventional street maps do a better job in most instances. However, conventional maps fail to show things of real importance to cyclists. One of the most important items to show is which streets or highways are closed to cyclists. It does a cyclist no good to follow a map all day, only to find that the vital bridge or highway section is prohibited to him. Climbs are also very important; in a place like San Francisco these are almost the most important items. Rural maps should also show sources of food, even of water in desert places. Typical maps are examined to show the different ways of making them and showing items of importance to cyclists.
Planning for the Future
The Practice of Cycling Transportation Engineering
Cycling transportation engineering is not just building bikeways and obeying policies that frequently reflect ignorance or superstition. A program of cycling transportation is the entire effort to make cycling transportation, and cycling recreation where appropriate, safer, faster, more convenient, and more acceptable than cycling is today. It involves many more disciplines than just facility design, as is discussed herein.
Recommended Cycling Transportation Program
The recommended cycling transportation program needs to be based on consideration of the following items: planning horizons; determining objectives; survey of deficiencies in streets and highways, parking, intermodal connections, governmental practices, cyclist skills and behaviors, bicycles, bicycle theft, personal dangers, etc.; correcting deficiencies; encouraging cycling; overcoming the cyclist-inferiority superstition; supporting cycling activities; improving multi-modal access and service; shortcut bikeways; establishing recreational bikeways; long-range planning for zoning, density control, telecommuting, etc. That is a lengthy and complicated program.
Changing Governmental Policy
Governmental policy, while loudly advocated to aid cyclists, usually does them harm. In the long run this has to be changed. The cycling transportation engineer must first work around the system to do what good he can without disobeying it too flagrantly. However, there comes a time when the justification for change changes from merely desirable to absolutely necessary. The cycling transportation engineer needs to take his part in encouraging both local and national change. Teaching the local law enforcement personnel and the local teachers about proper cycling methods and laws can make a considerable difference in how the community feels about cyclists and how its members will vote in the future. Legislators also need expert advice; although they are in charge of the community, particularly in cycling affairs they have misguided ideas and could benefit from very tactful advice. On the national scale, the cycling transportation engineer can do his part in influencing the professional organizations such as ITE, AASHTO, TRB, etc. in getting a better understanding of, and acceptance of, proper cycling behavior and facilities. Note proper behavior comes first; facilities should be designed only when proper behavior has been determined.
The Forms of Cities: City Planning
In general, cycling is slower than motoring; this means that cycling is competitive with motoring for short trips, but becomes progressively less competitive as trip length increases. Therefore, cities with shorter distances are likely to be better for cyclists than are cities with longer distances, so that the proportion of cycling transportation could be higher in smaller cities. This has caused many to consider ways of designing cities to reduce daily travel distances. Cities have always grown in the ways permitted by their transportation systems. Modern American and European cities have grown as permitted by automotive society. Therefore, there is a strong current of transportational reform and city redesign in many cycling proposals and environmental programs. Of course, cyclists can nearly always live near their work, but doing so will often saddle them with unacceptable burdens in other ways: costs, crime, poor living conditions, inflexibility in work, etc. Cycling transportation engineers need to know the basics of city planning to understand which changes are likely to be useful to cyclists and which are not. Modern cities in the industrialized world have developed in the pattern that is suitable for individual automotive travel. This means that, for any specific size of urban population, distances are longer than before, and urban populations have been growing as well. Those areas where cycling transportation still exists in large volume are those core areas with the old design, where motoring is very inconvenient and distances are so short that slow cycling is competitive with other modes. If cycling transportation is to be satisfactory in the newer cities, or the newer areas of older cities, it must be optimized for as high average speeds as cyclists can produce. That means cycling on good roads with the rights and duties of drivers of vehicles, the vehicular-cycling principle. Without the ability to cycle fast, few people will cycle at all, either for transportation or for recreation beyond the slow family strolls popular on bike paths. The alternate course is to redesign cities to reduce distances. This is pie-in-the-sky whose probability is very uncertain, and which in any case cannot achieve substantial results for several generations. We need to support cycling transportation now, not that which might eventuate at the end of the 21st century.
Law Enforcement
Law enforcement organizations are too likely today to consider cyclists to be mere nuisances that need to be controlled for the convenience of motorists, rather than understanding the difference between lawful and unlawful operation and what to do about the errors by cyclists, and by motorists with regard to cyclists. Furthermore, police officers are all too ready to think of the punitive aspects of ill-advised laws, or of what they believe to be laws but that actually do not exist. The cycling transportation engineer needs to understand the rational meaning of the traffic laws and how the facilities he has designed should be used in accordance with them, and then be able to communicate this to the police organization. All too frequently, added law enforcement efforts by the police take on punitive aspects of enforcing against lawful behavior while neglecting unlawful behavior. This is because of the cyclist-inferiority superstition. The cycling transportation engineer may be the person in the city administration who has the best understanding of traffic law as it should affect cyclists. The cycling transportation engineer should both know and be able to communicate that knowledge to achieve an equitable relationship between cyclists and the police. Real cycling organizations are nearly always appreciative of efforts to enforce the law against unlawful cyclists, because they realize that the unlawful behavior of most cyclists reflects on their status in society and jeopardizes their rights.
Road Design
It is commonly said that because road designers did not consider cyclists to be typical road users, the roads they designed are unsuitable for cycling. This is false. Roads that are suitable for motoring are generally also suitable for cycling; it is just that the resources have not been used to best advantage. Critical considerations are width of the outside lane between intersections and channelization at intersections. Roads with narrow outside lanes require cyclists to take the whole lane, a situation which many cyclists are reluctant to accept, and which, where speeds are high, is more dangerous. This has two effects: it discourages many cyclists while those it does not discourage cause more delay to motorists than they otherwise would. Instead, roads with wide outside lanes allow motorists to overtake cyclists without the cost of an entire new lane. At intersections, channelization by destination is desirable, and channelization by vehicle type is harmful. Channelization of motor traffic by destination helps protect cyclists from turning motor traffic, while the same channelization gives turning cyclists protection while waiting to turn. Traffic signals need to be timed for both cycling and motoring traffic, and traffic signal detectors need to be made responsive to bicycles. Merging distances need to be made suitable for cycling traffic. The smoothness of road surfaces is of great importance to cyclists for both comfort and safety. Collections of sand and gravel need to be cleaned up. Ridges and slots need to be smoothed over if possible and, if not possible, slots need to maintained as narrow as possible and space needs to be allocated for cyclists to cross them at as near a right angle as possible. Arrangements for motor-vehicle parking need to be made that are least dangerous to cyclists. The difficulties posed by bridges and tunnels need to be overcome.
Traffic Calming
Traffic calming is a set of actions that are designed to reduce the speed of motor traffic. However, many means of doing so compel speed reduction by increasing the danger. Such treatments as narrowing intersections, reducing sight distances, etc., not only slow motorists by decreasing the safe speed, but they also particularly increase the danger for cyclists at normal road speeds. In general, also, traffic calming measures increase the volume and speed of traffic on the uncalmed routes. Cycling transportation engineers need to understand the difference between traffic calming methods that make cycling safer and those which make it more dangerous.
Improving Bicycle Facilities
The street and highway system is the basic facility for cyclists. However, it can be improved and also some kinds of special facilities for cyclists are desirable. Wide outside lanes are good for cyclists and for motorists, and other improvements have been discussed under road design. In some locations bicycle paths can provide useful shortcuts. The cycling transportation engineer needs to know how to calculate which path locations would provide a time-saving route considering the lower speeds that such a route would require. Then he needs to be able to design it properly and to design proper connections with the road system at each end. With particular respect to paths, the cycling transportation engineer needs to know about the speeds produced by descents, the difference between flow capacity and transportation productivity, and the particular conditions presented by places with large cycling populations, such as university campuses. If high-speed bicycle paths are proposed, the cycling transportation engineer needs to know how to calculate the catchment areas of such paths in order to estimate their value. The special bicycle facility that is very necessary in many places is secure bicycle parking. The cycling transportation engineer needs to know how to estimate where bicycle parking is required and how to decide what kind of facility is required in each place to suit the type of parking use it will receive. The parking needed at fast-food restaurants is distinctly different from that needed at train stations.
Integration With Mass Transit and Long-Distance Carriers
Cycling travel within the urban area may be facilitated by being able to carry bicycles on rapid transit, either express buses or trains. This gives the flexibility of bicycle transportation at both the origin and the destination ends of the trip while providing the high speed of rapid transit for the long haul between. Arranging this was often difficult. Cycling transportation engineers need to know the methods and the arguments required to arrange this, wherever it is possible. Where it is not possible, secure bicycle parking needs to be arranged so that those who cycle to the station may have confidence that their bicycles will be there when they return. The other large-scale transportation system is that of the airlines. Airports need to have convenient access by bicycle; there are major airports in this nation where access by bicycle is actually nominally prohibited, although cyclists have defied the prohibitory notices. The access route needs to be well marked in both directions, so that strangers can both find the airport entrance and can find their way out to the city.
Changing Traffic Law for Cyclists
In those jurisdictions that have laws that discriminate against cyclists, reducing their rights below those of other drivers of vehicles, efforts need to be made to change those laws. Cycling transportation engineers need to recognize which laws discriminate against cyclists and be able to describe why they do so.
Future Educational Programs
Traditional American bike-safety education was a disaster for everybody. Based on the idea that acting inferior to motor vehicles and being restricted to only an easy range of skills would make cyclists safer, it merely made cyclists frightened and incompetent. About 30% of car-bike collisions are caused by the cyclist acting just as bike-safety programs urge him to act. Future cycling education programs need to teach cyclists how to act like drivers of vehicles and to give them confidence that this is the safest way that still provides reasonable mobility. Cycling transportation engineers need to know the general characteristics of such programs, so that they can encourage them through whatever organizations are appropriate.
Private-Sector Encouragement
Because most of the discouragements to cycling transportation have been produced by society at large, it is up to society at large to change over to encouraging cycling transportation instead. There are many opportunities for the private sector to encourage cycling transportation, and they could well become the most powerful ones. Various organizations within communities can sponsor cycling events, ranging from pure racing exhibitions to cycling day tours. Better training for cyclists is greatly needed; local organizations are in the best position to encourage, sponsor, even provide it. As far as commuting cycling is concerned, local employers are in the best position of all to correct the strongest discouragements to cycle commuting. Provision of secure bicycle parking spaces, lockers to store clothes, places to clean up, even showers, corrects the major facilities deficiencies.
Recommended Text
The recommended text is Forester, John; Bicycle Transportation, 2nd ed.; the MIT Press, 1994

4 Methods and Practices in Cycling Instruction;
Dept. of Recreational Studies

Cycling Instruction is intended to prepare those persons who will have responsibility for instructing beginning cyclists or for administering programs that affect cyclists, such as recreational programs or enforcement of traffic laws.
The prerequisite for Cycling Instruction is Cycling 1, plus such other courses as the Department determines. Cycling 1 is necessary because, at this time, few of those persons who become responsible for directing the activities of cyclists are competent cyclists. Most people have many misconceptions about cycling and feel very strongly about cycling in ways that do not agree with the facts. Only those people who understand the techniques and feel comfortable when cycling properly in traffic are capable of doing satisfactory work in this field.
Effective Cycling Training: What it is and why we need it.
Bicycling Accidents
Cycling instructors need to know which dangers are most significant, so they can direct their instruction to reduce the most significant.
Educational Programs Compared
Bike-safety programs have been based on fear and inferiority. Effective Cycling programs are based on competence, equality, and confidence.
Objectives and Results of Effective Cycling Courses
Classes of students who have completed the course suitable for their age pass a driving test on the types of roads for which they are qualified.
Instructor Qualification Process
Prospective instructors need to pass tests in both cycling and in instructional methods and problems.
Organizing Effective Cycling Courses
In many locations, the instructor needs to organize the courses. This provides information about the skills required and the recommended methods.
Preparing to Teach
Instructors need to obtain and produce the demonstration equipment that is required. Instructors need to determine the precise locations and routes for each session of each course.
Teaching the Adult Course
This follows the outline of the adult course with instructions for each session.
Teaching in Schools and Teaching Children
Teaching children requires modification of both the scope of the course and the methods of instruction to suit children of different ages. This discusses the differences, emphasizing that children require repeated, evaluated practice of each maneuver to learn it properly, and do not benefit from verbal discussion as do adults.
Testing Proficiency of Students
All students who complete Effective Cycling courses are given driving tests on the road in real traffic of the intensity suitable for their age and for which they have been trained. This instructs in how to prepare, give, and score driving tests for each age group.
Special Problems in Teaching
Some students present special problems, ranging from physical limitations to inability to learn the habits of normal cycling so that their minds can concentrate on the unusual features of their immediate surroundings. This discusses how to identify such problems and gives advice on how to handle them.
Recommended Text
The main recommended text is Forester, John; Effective Cycling Instructor's Manual; Custom Cycle Fitments, 4th ed.; 1986.

5. Law Enforcement by Bicycle:
Dept. of Law Enforcement Studies

The prerequisite for Cycling Instruction is Cycling 1, plus such other courses as the Department determines. Cycling 1 is necessary because, at this time, few of those persons who become responsible for directing the activities of cyclists are competent cyclists. Most people have many misconceptions about cycling and feel very strongly about cycling in ways that do not agree with the facts. Only those people who understand the techniques and feel comfortable when cycling properly in traffic are capable of doing satisfactory work in this field.
Bicycles in Police Work
This is similar to the present Mountain Bike Police Association seminar for police officers. It teaches the techniques of using bicycles for law enforcement.
Bicycles and Traffic Law
This part of the course teaches how traffic law properly applies to cyclists by giving them the rights and duties of drivers of vehicles. It carefully distinguishes between laws for all drivers of vehicles and the few specific ones for drivers of motor vehicles, and discusses the effect of the few specific laws for drivers of bicycles. This clarifies why obeying the rights and duties of drivers of vehicles works for cyclists just as it does for drivers of other vehicles, why there are a few additional restrictions on drivers of motor vehicles, and why the specific laws for cyclists are generally ill-advised and frequently serve as inequitable restrictions merely for the convenience of motorists.