Letters to the Editor – 2014 edition

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Marko82
Participant
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With the nice weather coming, the letters are bound to start popping up like crocuses, so I thought I’d start a new thread for this year so we can keep track of the bicycle related letters to the editor, both pro and anti, within one thread.

First up, a reminder from a blind pedestrian not to buzz their dog. Really?
http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/2014/03/25/Spring-and-cyclists/stories/201403250168


helen s
Participant
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I want to write a letter complaining that my neighbor does not recycle all of their recyclables and leaves too many lights on, which obviously means ALL of my neighbors do this!

Speaking of which, I saw my first blooming crocuses today, but I have not been out and about much. Anyone seen any blooming daffodils
yet? I have heard the frogs are calling down in lower frick park.


jonawebb
Participant
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StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Two cents added.


Ted
Member
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@stu good points about the HPB having a higher speed limit than other bridges. I wanted to include something about the 4 foot passing law, but I couldn’t figure out a good place to put it in with a 250 word limit.


Marko82
Participant
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Great letter Ted!


screbner
Participant
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+1000 Ted!


rice rocket
Participant
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The posted speed limit doesn’t mean diddly in PGH. The Homestead High Level bridge is what, 25?

HPB sucks, I go out of my way to 62nd St and go back up the other side.


Eric
Participant
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The sidewalk on the HP bridge is clear of debris and signs. All the construction signs are clamped onto the jersey barriers. Better view to the river from the sidewalk too….


jonawebb
Participant
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Pro-bike editorial, Francis Kilinsky is already there in the comments:
http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2014/06/12/On-the-right-road/stories/201406120130
Have at it.


jonawebb
Participant
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Two letter today about the bike lane — one pro and one con. The letter from Jimmy Goldman is interesting; he claims nearly a million bicycle miles (hmm… Danny Chew?)
http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2014/06/14/Bus-lane-cycling/stories/201406140077
http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2014/06/14/Penn-Ave-biking/stories/201406140078


paulheckbert
Participant
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National discussion of “reckless cyclists”:

https://medium.com/@CarlAlviani/why-bikes-make-smart-people-say-dumb-things-9316abbd5735

Scott Simon @nprscottsimon · Jun 26
Any walk through downtown demonstrates that cyclists think they’re above the law. Does that explain @lancearmstrong ?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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This “national conversation” is running entirely counter to the groundswell that got the national 55 mph speed limit repealed. If cyclists were to do what most motorists did from 1974 to 1992, hardly anyone would be stopping for lights and stop signs, and everyone would be cheering them on.

C.W. McCall’s “Convoy” was at #1 on Billboard for three weeks in 1976, at the height of the disco movement. (I didn’t have to look that up. I lived it!)


rsprake
Participant
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That’s a great point Stu. Funny how that works.


Mick
Participant
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@ StuInMc C.W. McCall’s “Convoy” was at #1 on Billboard for three weeks in 1976, at the height of the disco movement.

IIRC, that was when the phrase “Shoot me now,” became a meme.

Purely coincidental, I’m sure.


rgrasmus
Member
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Not sure what happened to the out-of-town news thread, but a rather puerile article by a WashPo columnist http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/bicyclist-bullies-try-to-rule-the-road-in-dc/2014/07/08/f7843560-06e3-11e4-bbf1-cc51275e7f8f_story.html


Benzo
Participant
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Yeah, that guy also had a column about how he hates speed cameras.

Here’s a tip for him, the robot won’t ticket you when you don’t speed, so stop complaining that it’s ethical to break the law while you show disdain for cyclists doing the same.


Marko82
Participant
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Marko82
Participant
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atown
Member
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A new activity for us


paulheckbert
Participant
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I like the bingo.

News: Senator Toomey is being somewhat less foolish than in the past: “Funding for bike trails and popular pedestrian projects remains in the highway spending bill moving through the U.S. Senate after Sen. Pat Toomey dropped a proposal to shift those dollars to road and bridge projects.”

http://articles.mcall.com/2014-07-14/news/mc-toomey-rails-trails-amendment-dropped-20140714_1_toomey-e-r-anderson-highway-spending-bill


jonawebb
Participant
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jonawebb
Participant
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Ahlir
Participant
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re P-G editorial.
Wow, only two comments.
Oren and a guy with something positive to say. Where’s the old gang?


RustyRed
Member
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I hope what Oren said wasn’t perceived as negative. :(

*scampers off to read what he wrote*

Nope, looks pretty positive to me. (except the swipe at Ravenstahl)

Maybe the lack of comments means new bike infrastructure is commonplace, more accepted and not worthy of any bellyaching?


Ahlir
Participant
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I didn’t pass any judgement on Oren’s comment.

Oren’s is pretty much always the first posting, on every P-G letter I’ve ever clicked on. I’ve learned to ignore him. (I think: A man with an opinion on everything is a man with an opinion on nothing.)

Perhaps, someday when I retire, I will get up very early every morning and try to pen the (very) first reply to every (?) editorial or letter in the P-G. Compete with Oren, if he’s still there and as if it mattered.

But I’m not ready to retire… and I’d like my opinions to mean something (at least to me).


byogman
Member
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Oh dear, what’s the hate on Oren for?

But somehow it doesn’t seem right to not have Francis in there.

Anyways, I’m sure my latest will bring out the haters since I dare to mention to some recent road ragers that there are other ways to get to downtown. And that they might do well to join us ;)

Don’t KNOW that it will run, but got the callback which happened fairly shortly before it ran last time.


byogman
Member
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On the subject of road rage (not cycling related), but very identifiable: http://digg.com/video/its-only-6am-and-this-guys-day-is-already-ruined-by-traffic

And it looked like beautiful weather for a ride.


RustyRed
Member
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jonawebb
Participant
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Good letter, @byogman. Made your point clearly and effectively without being snarky.


byogman
Member
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Eh, I thought the last line was a ~little~ snarky. But it’s in there for a good reason too. A lot of the folks who behave most egregiously toward cyclists have maneuverability envy and really need better outlets for stress.

It’s a win when your average driver becomes a cyclist. It’s a HUGE win when an aggressive driver becomes a cyclist.


Swalfoort
Participant
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I thought it was a good letter. And the little touch of snark at the end was perfect. It needed a little snarkiness.


jonawebb
Participant
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BTW, as to the issue about the Forbes bottleneck — couldn’t this easily be fixed? As I recall the point where Forbes goes to one lane is exactly the place where there is a lot of unused space to the right. It seems to me that a bike lane could easily be put there. That would not fix the problem of connecting Oakland to Downtown, but it would eliminate this spot where drivers get impatient. Everything else is multi-lane.


byogman
Member
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Yeah, a lane there would be nice and seeing all that space unused to the right definitely brings it to mind as an easy possibility. Just getting rid of a short piece of the low concrete barrier would work and provide some nice low stress riding. The single lane section is one of the two things that had me avoiding the route for the longest time. Until I realized even the buses can pass me in the single lane section with room to spare and generally do it nicely.

The other thing, the merge, is not so bad if you just are patient and ride up the middle further to get longer sight lines. But a mirror just ahead of the merge would be beneficial and also non-committal about purpose, if the city wants to stay that way… liability n’at.

If not, major bonus for labeling the newly accessible empty lane and follow-on cross-hatched section for bicycles, and then adding some sharrows the rest of the way up.

Anyways, the irony of my letter was drivers getting impatient even when there are multiple lanes and I’m riding the same average speed. In fact I think it’s because I’m riding the same average speed, catching up, and often passing in the right lane when they got in the left lane to get past me. No fair! Right?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Five minutes with a crowbar and we could move one of those dividers a couple feet. Like the opening in that jersey barrier under the 40th Street Bridge.


Benzo
Participant
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There is a huge priority on fixing the connection via forbes / fifth for cyclists, but not yet. They are trying to coordinate this with street changes with respect to Bus Rapid Transit which has to use the same corridor.

We don’t miss things we don’t have, but we would really miss a nice bike lane if it was put in and removed or put out of service indefinitely (See hazelwood Trail and Strip district Trail).


byogman
Member
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All true. And what a fine day that will be (years from now).

But I have to say I still greatly enjoyed Stu calling out what could be done with five minutes and a crowbar.

Kinda doubt it’ll go anywhere, but I’ll put in a 311 for the heck of it.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Also, a couple of arrows with a can of yellow paint, once that divider is moved, would make travel easier.

As it is, I can hop that barrier, but that’s a dicey proposition if dark, wet or slippy.


byogman
Member
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ticket #115685

Where Forbes ducks under the spaghetti formed by the blvd of the allies and misc ramps there’s first a good bit of roadway space, and then a whole empty lane that feeds into a cross-hatched area where the traffic from the parkway enters.

It’s currently unusable because of a low concrete barrier. It would be quite valuable for cyclists who’d then have a part of the climb on Forbes actually be quite relaxing where now they have to either ride far to the right and worry about impatient drivers not giving safe passing distance or claim the only lane and then have to worry about road raging.

For the same reason it would be a benefit to motorists. And again, you get this all with the removal of just a small section of that low concrete barrier. No, it’s not the long term answer for Forbes, not by a longshot, but it’s trivially easy and has a real benefit.

Major bonus if you put a panoramic mirror off to the side so cyclists can see traffic coming up off the parkway more easily and if you include some signage/roadway markings to alert motorists to expect cycling traffic to join the right lane as the crosshatched section tapers.


byogman
Member
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BTW, got the first “you were probably asking for it” response to my letter. Which I responded to. But I’m happy something like that finally got out there.

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