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I live in a small city with about 150,000 people. Where I actually live I can be out of the city and on to country roads, usually with very little traffic, in about 5 to 10 minutes max. But the other day I had to drive into the heart of urban Chicago to see my eye surgeon for my semi annual follow up to my partial corneal transplant surgery of a few years ago. From the doctor's office it took me over an hour of driving (my car) to get out of the urban mess that is suburban Illinois north and west of Chicago. It started me thinking about being a motorcyclist and living in that urban jungle. I thought the same thing when visiting my brother recently who lives on Long Island, outside of NYC. Getting from his house to "the country" would be at least a 90 minute ride in heavy traffic, stop signs or stop lights every block or so, and especially in the summer heat would likely just be a misery rather than fun. I think that if I had to live in those environments I would have to seriously consider giving up the motorcycle. In truth, because I love riding I would never even consider living in a dense big city environment, even if my wife would be in heaven if we moved to that type location. This makes me admire the tenacity of inner city motorcyclists whose love of riding overcomes the environment that they undoubtedly spend most of their riding time, but I'm not sure I would put up with it.
 

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I live in the country and the closest thing to a large city I have lived in within the past 25 years has been Phoenix (metro area population about 5 million). That doesn't compare to NYC, Chicago or LA, but depending on what country roads you are going to visit for the day it could mean over an hour in traffic to get clear. In the summer the heat could be about 115-120*f. When I lived there my daily drivers for the day job was a motorcycle, and on the weekend for country fun. Even in the heat I would prefer the bike to a cage in traffic.
 

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I think a lot of what you're saying Vito, has to do with age. When I was younger, I lived in the San Fernando Valley, just outside of Los Angeles. It didn't bother me at all to run into Hollywood every day on my bike for work. It was normal for me to split lanes and work my way thru traffic. On weekends, it was nothing for the Club I was with to run from LA on down to San Diego for a weekend ride. Then one day I looked around and all I could see was cars, concrete, and buildings. I felt like I was suffocating. Riding in that environment didn't bother me, but all the people sure did!

In order to save my sanity I gave up my career, sold my house, and moved to another State. I settled in a very small town (pop 900), slowed down, and started enjoying life again. That small town now has a pop of over 4,000. Riding my bike is no problem, but if I was 30 years younger, I'd sell my house and move to another small town to finish out my days. You are correct with the 'urban jungle', but I think that as you get older, a person just doesn't want to deal with that **** anymore. Personally, I don't need all the 'hustle and bussle' of big city life.
 

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I would NOT live in a big city!! Period!
I live in northwest New Jersey, right about on the dividing line between the urban sprawl that is New Jersey and the beautiful country that is northwest Jersey, southern New York state, and eastern Pennsylvania. I can be on country roads five minutes after I leave my driveway. When I head out for
a ride, I always head either north, west, or south. There is nothing east of me that is worth the hell of driving through.
I'd love to move to a more "countrified" area, but I can't afford it.
 

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If you lived in a city where lane sharing is allowed, riding a motorcycle would make sense. I think Utah just passed law that allows filtering on city streets but not freeways. California and the rest of the world is pretty tolerant, but for the rest of us city riding has all the disadvantages of weather and vulnerability without any of the advantages.
 

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Where I live, as of 2018 the population of the Tampa Bay MSA is estimated at 3,142,663 people, it plain sucks. Its really not riding, its stop & going, and making sure you're not going to get creamed. Its one of the primary reasons I'm not a daily rider anymore. Once out of the metro area, its not bad, but its getting out or coming back in that's going to kill you..
 

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Zebra, that's why they invented "6 am Sunday morning". LOL!!
 

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I think folks may be missing one of the reasons for riding in urban environments. Motorcycles reduce travel time, reduce parking hassles, and substantially reduce operating costs.

The reason two wheeled transport is so much more common on the streets of Asian cities vs US cities is BECAUSE people have discovered that they are a very effective transportation mode. Of course the average bike isn't an 8 foot long, 800 pound, 120 decibel "freedom machine", it's a low cc machine that most of the riders here would scoff at.

I've found that I can reduce my urban commute time by 1/3 to 1/2, depending on traffic density, roadwork, etc. On my way, I've passed by many "open road" two wheelers, stuck in the traffic that I can easily slip through and around.

Studies have shown that the more riders are on the road, vs drivers, the less traffic delays will occur.

Maybe folks just need to stop thinking of their motorcycle as being equivalent to their car, and embrace the freedom flexibility and fun that two wheeled transport allows.
 

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Zebra, that's why they invented "6 am Sunday morning". LOL!!
And I do that from time to time. Kind of neat riding amongst the high rise buildings downtown when you have the streets to yourself, almost like a scene from a sci fi movie.

I think folks may be missing one of the reasons for riding in urban environments. Motorcycles reduce travel time, reduce parking hassles, and substantially reduce operating costs.
Reduces travel time? Depends on where you live and whether you're obeying traffic laws. No lane splitting or passing in emergency lanes here. Parking hassles? Parking spaces here are the same whether you're driving a cage or bike, no bike specific parking, both two and four wheel vehicles use the same spaces.
Reduces operating cost? I'm with you on that one.

The reason two wheeled transport is so much more common on the streets of Asian cities vs US cities is BECAUSE people have discovered that they are a very effective transportation mode. Of course the average bike isn't an 8 foot long, 800 pound, 120 decibel "freedom machine", it's a low cc machine that most of the riders here would scoff at.
The actual reason that two wheel vehicles are more common in most Asian countries is because that's what they can afford. People with money in Asian countries use 4 wheel vehicles. Many Asian countries standard of living and wages don't compare to Scandinavian, European or American wages and lifestyles. They don't have the earning power that we do. They also don't have anywhere near the interstate systems that we have here where vehicles run 85 mph.

I've found that I can reduce my urban commute time by 1/3 to 1/2, depending on traffic density, roadwork, etc. On my way, I've passed by many "open road" two wheelers, stuck in the traffic that I can easily slip through and around.
Not here, you might save a little time but not 1/3 or 1/2. Just way too much congestion. We also have serious road rage problems here in this state, most of it due to the congestion. I've been the victim of a couple while riding my bikes. One guy tried to run me off the interstate at 80 mph, he succeeded. Two wheels will always lose to 4 wheels. You irritate cage drivers here (and it doesn't take much) and this is what happens.




This guy was lane splitting (not legal here) and it pissed off the cage driver.

 

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They also don't have anywhere near the interstate systems that we have here where vehicles run 85 mph.

We also have serious road rage problems here in this state, most of it due to the congestion.
I would not consider interstate or highway riding to be "urban riding". I appreciate that highways do run through urban areas, and some folks make use of them. We have them here, but I don't use them as part of my commute. During rush hour, the highways are every bit as much parking lots as the main surface streets, and perhaps worse.

By the same token, none of the situations depicted in the videos you linked to, show what I would consider urban driving situations. Those depict what I would consider sub-urban to rural riding situations. My riding environment is much MUCH denser, no residential driveways, parallel parking on both sides of all streets. Believe it or not, I think that this density creates a safer environment, the mass of vehicles protects the rider from any individual vehicle. It's quite impossible for vehicles to reach any substantial speed or to maneuver erratically. The main streets have traffic lights each 1/4 mile, the side streets have stop signs every 1/8 mile. Rush hour travel time (on a good day), is spent about equally between traveling at an average speed less than 25mph, and sitting stationary at the traffic control points. On a bad day, the stationary percentage goes up and the average moving speed goes down.

I think it's much safer to filter through, at a very modest speed, when traffic is stationary, rather than to lane split when traffic is moving, and in the type of urban riding I do, there are many opportunities for this. I wouldn't be surprised if it enrages some folks, but I've yet to see any expression of that. I'm not hanging around waiting for it, either.

The study suggests that if 10% of the cagers switch to bikes, congestion will reduce 40%. A 25% conversion will result in NO traffic congestion. Giving up and driving our cars makes us part of the problem. Being a pro-active rider with a positive attitude might help with those conversions of drivers. Good for the road, good for the air, good for your finances, good for your mental attitude. Folks can make up all the reasons they want to rationalize their fears, but as the only Bona Fide URBAN rider to weigh in, I say, the car isn't the answer, if you get off the bike, better get on the BUS!
 

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I guess it depends on why you ride. And where you choose to live.
When I was young, I rode a bike for fun. Also because it was all I could afford.
So I rode it mostly in the city to get around. Not as much fun as riding on country roads.
I didn’t like dual highways because on a small bike I just couldn’t keep up. I felt very vulnarable.
It did get me through city traffic quickly, I didn’t split moving traffic, just filtered through to the light.
Motor cycle gear is a bit of PIA after you get there. Bringing stuff or getting stuff is a PIA

Today my bike is just for fun. I choose to live on a quiet rural island. My kids, family and friends are in the city. So I ride from an island to a city and back.
I get on the ferry, I get to use HOV lanes, whats not to like.

Still not keen on freeways, I can keep up, but wind buffeting is annoying so I tend to be in the slow lane. Mostly freeways are kind of boring.
 

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I would not consider interstate or highway riding to be "urban riding".
Well Johnny, who said it was. You might want to re-read the previous post and you'll see that, that was the response to why two wheel modes of transportation is more popular in some Asian countries than 4 wheels. I'll re-post that here for you.
The actual reason that two wheel vehicles are more common in most Asian countries is because that's what they can afford. People with money in Asian countries use 4 wheel vehicles. Many Asian countries standard of living and wages don't compare to Scandinavian, European or American wages and lifestyles. They don't have the earning power that we do. They also don't have anywhere near the interstate systems that we have here where vehicles run 85 mph.
I might add that just 20 years ago in many of these Asian countries the bicycle was the main mode of transportation

By the same token, none of the situations depicted in the videos you linked to, show what I would consider urban driving situations. Those depict what I would consider sub-urban to rural riding situations.
Again, who said it was? You missed the point of the videos. The point wasn't to show urban riding conditions, the point of the videos was to show how quickly a rider can encounter road rage and that two wheels will always lose that encounter against a 4 wheel vehicle. If you re-read the sentence above the video it clearly states that. Two wheels will always lose to 4 wheels. You irritate cage drivers here (and it doesn't take much) and this is what happens.

The study suggests that if 10% of the cagers switch to bikes, congestion will reduce 40%. A 25% conversion will result in NO traffic congestion.
Nowhere in my previous post did I dispute the study that you linked. I didnt read it because I think everyone here will agree that less cars on the road would make riding safer and ease congestion.

but as the only Bona Fide URBAN rider to weigh in, I say, the car isn't the answer, if you get off the bike, better get on the BUS!
This one was a good belly laugh, I damn near choked on my coffee. This is where I live, Tampa Bay, population of 3.2 million people, named one of the most traffic-congested cities in the world, Link: Tampa named one of the most traffic-congested cities in the world . I'm not proud of it either, Urban riding in heavily congested traffic just plain sucks. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the other contributors here also ride in urban conditions or come from heavily populated urban areas. Trust me, your are not the only bona fide urban rider here.
 
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I don't live in a big city, but sometimes I need to ride through one. My commute sometimes finds me in 4 lanes of bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go traffic. I still prefer my bike to my car, because the entire trip isn't like that, just parts of it.
 

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Tampa Bay, population of 3.2 million people, named one of the most traffic-congested cities in the world, Tampa named one of the most traffic-congested cities in the world .
Tampa ranked 207th globally, 25 nationally by your cited study. So, a local favorite, but not really a serious contender. Here's the top most congested cities in the US:
The 15 most congested cities in the US

Lots of places include the population of the overall community in their population totals, as you have. The city of Tampa proper is what? Less than 390,000? I live and ride within Chicago city limits. The CITY population alone, is about equal to the entire four county area called the Tampa MSA. Consider the Metropolitan Statistical area and you'll come up with a number more like 11 million. Anyway, not a contest. As you say, and I agree, congestion sucks, so we can move out or deal with it.

The topic I was trying to discuss was positive / beneficial aspects of motorcycling in urban settings, per the title of the thread.

Note that Mumbai is #1 in congestion. Now consider the percentage of two wheeled vs. four wheeled traffic in Mumbai. It's not just a financial issue. Japan has the highest per capita income of asian countries, yet the incidence of private auto ownership is quite low. Surveys suggest, that ownership of a private vehicle, even a motorcycle, has very little benefit, and substantial cost. In Tokyo, they have difficulty finding parking for their bicycles, let alone their 50cc scooters.

If you research this further, I'm confident that you will find that 2 wheeled vs. 4 wheeled vehicle use increases proportionately to population density, independent of per capita income.

The younger folks here seem far less interested in auto ownership, or even getting a driver's license than was my generation. They are content to use Uber, electric scooters, and public transportation. The world has changed.
 

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I'll be the other urban rider to chime in! I actually like riding in Chicago's environment. I'd rather sit in the parking lot that is Michigan Ave on a bike than in a car. I have split a few times in Chicago (illegal), though in those situations it was either in high heat and police closing roads, making traffic even worse (Pride 2018) or a severe thunderstorm and we needed to find shelter (Pride 2019).

And like johnny touched on, parking is far better as well. Forget $33 parking at Navy Pier, you can just slide into the nearest street with street parking and pay like $8. The only other vehicle I've had such a delight going through Chicago with is my smart fortwo, and that's basically because a smart fortwo may as well be a motorcycle with a roof and two extra wheels. :)
 

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Yes it states one of the most traffic congested cities in the world, not the most traffic congested city in the world. 207 out of 4416 cities puts it in the top 5%, I'd say that's congested. There's more that goes into the problem of traffic congestion though. The city of Tampa is relatively small in size at 175 square miles (that's why the congestion has spread out throughout the entire metro area). Compared to Chicago, 234 square miles, NYC 302 square miles, and LA at 503 square miles. Population in a given area based on square miles is a contributing factor. Another major contributing factor to urban traffic congestion is growth, and the ability of a city or state to keep up with the growth with the necessary infrastructure.

My area (Florida Gulf Coast) has experienced tremendous major growth over the last 30 years. So much so that the Cities & State can not build enough infrastructure fast enough to keep up with the growth rate, even though they keep raising the sales tax to pay for it. By the time they complete new roads or highways, they're already outdated and surpassed by the growth rate. This is a major contributing factor to the urban traffic issues here. From my house it use to take 20 minutes to get to the beach 15 miles away, now it sometimes takes an hour and a half. That's congestion no matter where you live.

All that being said, riding in urban bumper to bumper gridlock traffic sucks, bike or car. I've lived with it for so long that I'm use to it, but its not the fun kind of riding that I like to do. When you ride in full gear and its 99 degrees out with a 100% humidity, and you're moving at a snails pace, you'll think the same thing. I will say that a mediocre day of riding is better than a good day at work though. That's why I do my long weekend rides out in the little bit of country that we have left here. Such as the Yeehaw Junction ride I posted about a few weeks ago. As far as eliminating cars & trucks, its not going to happen here, at least not in our time. Motorcycles are a toy item to most US riders, they are only a necessity to a very small percentage of US riders. Compared to some other nations where motorcycles are the primary mode of transportation to most riders.
 

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Being stuck in traffic sucks, car or bike.
Fortunately for me, I have been able to avoid the regular 9 to 5 commute life. Most of my life. If it’s what you have to do. It’s what you do.
I find the vast majority of drivers are quite considerate here in Vancouver. Some are not.
Rush hour is best avoided.
Rush hour where I live, about 15 minutes after the ferry arrives.
 

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This video talks about the types of bikes that make for a good city bike.

Some things they share in common:
Small
Light
Narrow
Quick
High (standard) seating position

A bike like this can turn the painful experience of sitting in traffic as your engine overheats, into a pleasurable one, as the traffic becomes inconsequential. In fact, as I alluded to in previous posts, the more traffic is immobilized, the easier it is to get through it.

You can see in the video.

This type of riding is what you will see if you look at the video from riders in the MOST crowded urban areas all around the world. Chaotic? Dangerous?, Illegal? Perhaps, but one thing is for sure, you won't find these guys and gals sitting on their butts complaining.
 

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Before retiring, I was fortunate enough to have flexible working hours. So I started 2 hours before everyone else and I could still be caught in bumper to bumper traffic. And out of 6 lanes of traffic I could guarantee 2 would be completely stopped due to a wreck. At 5:00am the traffic was usually rolling fast enough that the wrecks were serious. 2 hours later they'd just be fender benders because no one could get above 5mph in all 6 lanes. I don't miss it at all.(n) (n) (n)
 

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I have ridden to and from work which means I pass through one city, then through an area full of offices (about 10 miles square), and then into the capital of the state. Used to be fine but in the last three years the population has almost doubled with people escaping the winters and moving into North Carolina. Now, it seems as though either you are dealing with Nascar wanna be's or self-centered people who think their schedule is more important than anyone else's life. I look at pictures of out west and think, that is the kind of riding I would love. Conversely, I drive I-95 to Phily and think, "How in God's name can anyone ride a bike in this traffic?" For me, age has nothing to do with it. Staying alive matters.
 
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