Crashing bike stencil

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dwillen
Participant
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I’ve seen potholes outlined in orange, I assumed the city did that, perhaps to mark the ones to be patched?

I know absolutely nothing about that…

Hypothetically speaking, of course, it would be a hell of a lot easier if the city was painting them. If I were to do something like that, not that I would, because vandalizing a pothole is against the law, as cited above, but if I did, I might complain about how much of a pain in the ass it may have been to dodge cars whilst circling a pothole with a can of spray paint.


fungicyclist
Participant
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Kudos dwillen. Said the same to an officer once with my orange hands in my pockets. Now I wear disposable gloves.


Drewbacca
Participant
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I vote for pothole gardens myself.


Erica
Participant
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if this could be made semi permanent (until it was patched, of course)


Steven
Participant
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If you see a crime committed and don’t report it you are guilty of a crime (something called a felony misdemeanor if I remember correctly).

That’s only true in a few states, I think. For instance, in 2000 California made it a misdemeanor to not report a violent or sex crime against someone 14 years old or younger. Bystanders are otherwise free to ignore crimes. That article mentions that just six other states have similar laws (PA not included).

Here’s a more recent article, from 2009: “Misprision of felony is an old common law tradition that makes it illegal not to report a witnessed felony. For various reasons, including the above suspicions, it has disappeared from most jurisdictions.”

On the bike trails, pavement issues usually get a white diamond shape spray-painted around them (diamond being the standard shape for warnings). That seems to work fine.

But I don’t see how stencils will cause the city to change how it repairs streets. City council is having enough trouble doing that.


fungicyclist
Participant
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Steven: Misprison of felony “has disappeared from most jurisdictions” because it’s Federal Law, Title 18, Chapter 1…

Having flags on the minefield may not speed their removal, but it sure helps keep folk from stepping on them.


Steven
Participant
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Interesting. Since it’s federal law, though, wouldn’t it only apply to crimes that are felonies under federal law? That would exclude traffic-related stuff, wouldn’t it?

Also, I see the Wikipedia page on this offense says the federal law “requires active concealment of a known felony rather than merely failing to report it”, and cites a 1977 decision to that effect.


fungicyclist
Participant
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Don’t know the case law, and it’s irrelevant to the accuracy of what was stated: “If you see a crime committed and don’t report it you are guilty of a crime…” However the law is, or is not enforced, however it has been interpreted by the latest court decision, as long as it’s on the books, one has broken that law by concealing and failing to make known that crime to the proper authorities.

As Misprision of Felony only applies to felonies, I’m not sure it has any applicability to traffic law violations, which are mostly misdemeanors. I suppose an overzealous US DA could make some tenuous argument that since Federal funds supplement the state and local highways, they too fall under Federal purview, and maybe even get some drunk jerk-off Judge to buy that argument, but how does it matter?

(Besides, with the “Patriot Act” there’s no need to charge anyone with Misprision of Felony anymore. Hell, there’s no need to charge anyone with anything really, just say they made terroristic threats and they can be whisked off to indefinite detention.)

I believe the point was that we have civic duties as citizens, and the Misprision of Felony statute suggests that is a proactive responsibility, however unenforced and unpopular that sentiment may be right now. Also unpopular seems to be “asking not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”, civil disobedience, and highlighting epic numbers of life threatening potholes. Times change?


orionz06
Participant
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What about chalk drawings on the street? Where to they rank in terms of things that people can get away with? I imagine a message or two would not take long to write but would definitely be talked about. Nothing profane, but concise and clear.


Ahlir
Participant
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I’m starting to think that a stencil might be overkill (as well as implying the ability to plan ahead). The alternative would be some easy to draw sign (a couple of strokes?).

in plastic bag. Should fit right into that pannier.

I found some place selling microbeads for $30/50lb (!)


dwillen
Participant
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If you got this one, you wouldn’t even have to dismount:

Think of how easy it would be to damage those potholes!


Pseudacris
Participant
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NYPD Intelligence Op Targets Dot-Matrix Graffiti Bike

http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/04/kinberg_0410.

Ahlir, I support your idea, but be aware of “legal” consequences in Post-911, Post-G20 Pittsburgh.

I’ve noticed helpful sprayed white borders on some holes and bulges along the asphalt path between station Square and the Terminal Building.


spinballer
Participant
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age 7 or 8, was flying downhill, my ass up in the air, face down low near the handle bars, for aeroadynamics you know… hit a pot hole, cracked my front right tooth in half. as if i wasn’t ugly enough already.

hate.pot.holes.


fungicyclist
Participant
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@pseudacris: Good article and on point; thanks for sharing. The artist used chalk based tech and was legal in every respect, yet still spent a day of his life in lockup. I’m heartened his life is not ruined and he’s been embraced by other social activists, but incredibly saddened that he’s not yet recovered his bicycle. They can’t find a 7′ long bicycle???


ieverhart
Participant
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I’ve noticed helpful sprayed white borders on some holes and bulges along the asphalt path between station Square and the Terminal Building.

I’ve seen these too, and appreciate them. I initially thought they were official “tags” of where Public Works was supposed to follow up, but I remember reading here that they were actually DIY safety markings.


Ahlir
Participant
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I finally got around to doing something about marking hazards. After thinking about it for a while (and considering posters’ comments), I decided on a sign that consists of a “Y” sprayed to delimit the hazard, like the following:

This particular hazard is a dimple in the asphalt that’s hard to see but it’s actually deep enough to produce a big shudder when you ride through it (or at least with 559×40 tires). It doesn’t look like a “pothole”, but it’s still dangerous if you hit it unawares. You can find it on Dallas, just east of the intersection with Penn.

Here’s some marks (tags?) along Hamilton, about two blocks from ELB:

I believe these particular hazards are generally visible and if you travel this stretch you know about them. Nevertheless they are nasty if you happen to ride through them.

And these are the water system access plates on Forbes, next to CMU. Where Nemesis once rode past me…

Here are the details:

— The Y is easy to spray; three strokes and you’re done. This is more convenient than fooling around with stencils or with complex designs.

— The upper arm angle of the Y is variable and can accommodate the size of the hazard; it seems to work best if it just spans the width of the defect. The lower tail is meant to be a (literally?) heads up warning that a hazard is coming up.

— The color is magenta. It’s generally available but it’s not a color used by roads and utility crews [yellow, blue, green, orange]; so it’s less likely to interfere with other legitimate markings. The stuff I used is readily available at Lowe’s/Home-Depot [Rust-Oleum ‘professional’ Inverted Marking Paint]. Just be sure you get the version designed for downward spraying (and don’t forget to shake the can).

Here’s the rationalization:

The authorities that maintain roadways are (at this point in time) primarily focused on the needs of motor vehicles. While the hazards that affect cars are very likely ones that also affect cyclists, there are additional hazards that are dangerous for bikes but that are not hazards for cars. In anticipation of the authorities developing in-house expertise in identifying such hazards, the cycling community can do its part by performing the service of marking hazards. I would be very happy if the roads authority hired some inspector(s) knowledgeable about cyclists’ concerns who could ride around the city (perhaps with an emphasis on major commuting routes) and identify critical hazards that need to be eliminated. And then have the roads authority act on it.

Finally, here’s my favorite hole-in-the-street (from that same stretch of Dallas):

Proving that even a lowly Pittsburgh street has the power to create art, on its own.


Nate
Participant
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I like that, seems very clear to a cyclist. The color is a good choice. I believe I know which aisle to find it in at Home Depot.


humblesage
Participant
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(I didn’t read the whole thread, so sorry if this has been mentioned.)

Not saying I ever did graffiti (eh hem). But… Dress up like a worker. Orange reflective vest, etc. And work when you’ve seen other worker’s work, and get a feel for the patrol beat of the area you’ll be working in. This isn’t like bombing a billboard and this kind of graffiti wouldn’t get you in much trouble, although you could probably just get it permitted.

Keep in mind, fluorescent paints aren’t the most lightfast (will fade in sun over time), so take photos and MAKE the press coverage yourself. Funny how an anonymous, “look someone is trying to help us” post on the Trib’s site, etc. will generate enough interest to possibly make something happen.

Just my 2 cents. Be careful, and if I didn’t have to keep my nose clean right now, I’d be out there with you. Probably on Penn inbound from East Liberty. ;)


mark
Participant
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there was a person in pittsburgh in the past that rigged up a trailer on their bike with a triggerable spraycan on it facing down, if they found a particularly challenging set of potholes or other obstacles they would ride it a few times and figure out the smoothest way through, and then ride one last time with the paint can triggered leaving a path… seems like a good solution to the same problem, or at least a nice addition to the current solution… here are the potholes and this is a good way to navigate them


humblesage
Participant
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^this.


ejwme
Participant
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hmm… a la Protractor Art, I could see how talking to the Trib could get the attention of almost the right people in a very wrong way, if not… finessed carefully.

thank you for your work Ahlir!


humblesage
Participant
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@ejwme: Any of *this* could go wrong. Been there, done that.


ejwme
Participant
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just advocating learning from recent past and proceding with extreme caution… though I do admit at times I’m paralyzed by an obsessive need to completely analyze all the “what ifs” before acting. luckily Ahlir is braver than I am – I hope he’s craftier too!


HiddenVariable
Participant
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good work. i saw the markings by cmu on my way into work today. it looked official, and i wondered if someone official had noticed. this is the next best thing.


wojty
Participant
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humblesage is spot on. The amount of things I have ‘gotten away with’ while wearing a reflective vest makes me feel like it’s the best type of camo out there.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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IIRC Ahlir was seriously hurt after hitting those water line access boxes by CMU, and couldn’t ride for several weeks.

If there was a road hazard that caused cars to wreck, that road would be shut down in an hour and kept shut down until the repairs were made. By comparison, a stripe of paint that makes the road safer is a good thing.

Putting on my anarchist cap again, I’d say general public safety trumps the law, in this case. Maybe the law is wrong. Or we are simply ahead of the law, doing the right thing *before* it’s legal. Or maybe this is another “no good deed goes unpunished” situation.


Pierce
Participant
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I’m imagining them sending out crews to whitewash this “graffiti”


reddan
Keymaster
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Best way to eliminate these unsightly brightly-painted blemishes on our fair city’s roadways is to bury ’em under a nice smooth layer of asphalt. IMHO.


humblesage
Participant
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“just advocating learning from recent past and proceding with extreme caution… though I do admit at times I’m paralyzed by an obsessive need to completely analyze all the “what ifs” before acting. luckily Ahlir is braver than I am – I hope he’s craftier too!”

He seems to be handling it fairly well. Thumbs up from me. I would seriously do this all over the East End (where my current contract is), but I don’t think there’d be any street left. ;)


humblesage
Participant
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“The amount of things I have ‘gotten away with’ while wearing a reflective vest makes me feel like it’s the best type of camo out there.”

Isn’t it though? I mean cops even drive right past and wave. But, like I said, not that I’ve been there.


Nate
Participant
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