The out-of-town news thread
Colorado to invest $100 million in cycling over a 4-year period:
Cleveland’s been installing a bunch of new bike lanes, but…
— Angie Schmitt (@schmangee) September 17, 2015
I can't think of one good reason for this design. If the buffer isn't protecting cyclists, then why even have it? https://t.co/m42BpN5Xmj
— Michael Marks (@michaeldmarks) September 17, 2015
Some of them don’t make a whole lot of sense.
Bike Cleveland has details, and the city engineer’s baffling excuse for why they’re being installed that way: http://eepurl.com/bzlmtL
Massachusetts Bikeway Guide –
I’ve been following a Facebook thread discussing this, which includes the man behind this supposed goof-up. It actually makes a good bit of sense, if you’re into building bike lanes.
Here is the reasoning: The approval was given to put the road on a diet and install a buffered bike lane. The plan was to put the striped buffer between motor traffic and the lane, but this was intentionally switched. Why? Because the approved plan would put cyclists up against the curb, where glass, debris, carrion, etc., accumulate, an inherently unsafe place to ride. So, painting the “debris lane” causes cyclists to stay away from the curb. Meanwhile, cyclists will naturally stay a ways away from moving traffic, if they can. Second meanwhile, motorists will tend to stay in their own lane. Cyclists will generally ignore the stripe paint in terms of navigation, and ride along the left edge of the striping, placing them both away from moving traffic and the debris zone, which also makes them a bit more visible to cars entering the roadway from driveways and parking lots.
The inherent problem with this and any bike lane is at intersections, where there is a much greater chance of being right-hooked.
You can bike on paint. You can’t bike through parked cars. And getting flats on broken glass sucks.
Notable about the Facebook thread, if you can see it, is that it contains several diagrams describing how to, and how not to, design bike lanes.
^ great logic, except that broken glass rarely kills people.
in a world of terrible non-intuitive design, they’re claiming that there’s a debris lane (rather than sweeping/maintaining the road) and so they put the bike lane next to the cars? So we’re buffering the cyclists from trash and not from automobiles? Hoping the cyclists will ignore the stupid design and look out for themselves?
I want some of what they’re smoking. On second thought, maybe not.
Quoting one of the comments on the Fb thread, “As the cyclist in the photo demonstrates, there’s a monochrome buffer on the left, and a two-tone bike lane on the right. It’s not backwards, it’s just a different color scheme.”
Glass can indeed kill you. A blowout of a front tire at some speed can cause you to lose control, topple left, and immediately get crushed by a passing car. So they should get left, some, but not all the way over into the “monochrome” area.
More succinctly, the entire width of both is effectively the bike lane, and cyclists will and should use the line they are most comfortable taking. We should not be talking about this so much as the intersection transitions, which are far more important than the width or color of the edge space.
After cyclists staged a “Stop-In” to oppose the SFPD crackdown a few months ago on ticketing cyclists for stop sign violations, A proposed ordinance from Supervisor John Avalos would make cyclists who yield at stop signs the lowest enforcement priority.
Lampooned by one of my favorite blogs:
‘Wiggle Stop-In’ Cyclists Bring San Francisco Traffic To A Standstill:
He rode almost 900 miles from Chicago to Richmond VA to watch a bike ride. He may RORO back.
The article says he came through Pittsburgh on his way here. Does anyone recall seeing him?
the latest in SF bicycle issues with stop signs:
SF Cop Known For “Bike Crackdown” Rolls Through Stop Sign
Alleged LOTOJA drunk driver pleads not guilty
“Troopers reported that Williams blew a 0.193 on a portable breath test, more than twice the legal limit for blood alcohol content while driving.” …
Starting this school year, all second graders in Washington, D.C. public schools will be learning how to ride bikes in their gym classes.
Commenter Nate Cazier on the Lotoja article has one of the better summaries of how drivers get away with criminal driving and how journalists help with that:
How is this not attempted vehicular manslaughter? She was drunk. She hit a cyclist with her vehicle. She then _flees_ the scene and is only apprehended because a Samaritan was good enough to follow her until the police catch her. AND SHE’S ONLY CHARGED WITH MISDEMEANORS? I’m no fan of legislators – but I can’t believe this isn’t a felony.
Also, would Ms. Breysse be so kind as to define “minor injuries” for me? Because if being hit by a car so hard that you have to be stretchered off onto an ambulance and to the hospital is “minor,” I’d hate to see what constitutes “major” injuries! Also, where is the cyclists’ side of the story? Simply reporting that the drunk driver “felt really, really sorry” (for almost killing a woman) turns this into more of a tabloid piece than any sort of informative journalism.
The cyclist had the right to use the entire roadway if she wanted. After the tragedy on that bridge in 2012, I wouldn’t blame her if she did. But even if the cyclist didn’t choose to take the full lane, Patricia Williams was required to give her 3-feet of space while passing. But I guess Ms. Williams didn’t care. You know, because she was drunk. And to be honest, she probably doesn’t care that much right now either – because without any legitimate penalty for the attempted murder, there’s no reason for her to stop drinking and driving into people.
This legal disdain for cyclists is abhorrent. Hopefully the DA’s office treats this as seriously as it is, refuses any plea, and starts protecting cyclists’ lives.
California Highway Patrol: Driver who crossed centerline, ran over oncoming cyclist not at fault because she was passing another biker on her own side safely.
— Andy Boenau (@Boenau) September 30, 2015
Community meeting about cars cutting through neighborhood after road diet on main road.
From Janette Sadik-Khan’s Twitter feed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/10/01/the-hidden-inequality-of-who-dies-in-car-crashes/
Car crashes disproportionately kill the less educated. Something to consider when people say bike infrastructure, transit, and redesigned streets discriminate against the working class.
bike lane opponents in Coronado, CA making ridiculous arguments against them. Late Late show to the rescue.
Teaching kids to ride bikes in DC: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/10/03/443108414/for-d-c-second-graders-its-all-about-the-bikes
From the Outspokin’ Wheelmen, Youngstown, Ohio:
As you may remember, the Ohio Bicycle Federation has been working with the Ohio legislature to pass House Bill 154 and the identical Senate Bill 192. These bills would do two things:
1) Specify a minimum passing distance of three feet whenever a motor vehicle passes a bicycle; and
2) permit any vehicle operator (including a bicyclist) to treat as defective a traffic light that fails to turn green because it fails to detect the waiting vehicle. This allows the operator to proceed when safe, rather than waiting a long time for someone else to trigger the green light.
These are simple and practical changes to Ohio law that will improve cycling in Ohio. It’s time to contact your state representative and senator once again, to ensure that they know these laws are important to us.
To do this, you can start by going to each of these sites:
Clicking your home’s location on those maps should open a window showing your representative or senator. Clicking the person’s name will take you to his or her web page.
(Note that House District 59 is now represented by John Boccieri, since Gerberry was removed from office. Gerberry never responded on bicycle issues anyway!)
From your representative’s or senator’s web page, you can click “Email xxxxx” and send a message on the form that appears.
Tell them why you support these changes to the law, and ask for their support. Remember, they take such messages seriously! They figure that for every voter serious enough to contact them, there are many other voters who also like the idea. So please, do your part to help the Ohio Bicycle Federation’s efforts!
Thanks in advance for your help.
– Frank Krygowski
Fellow OSW Members:
More about Senate Bill 192!
Yesterday, I asked OSW members to help the Ohio Bicycle Federation’s efforts to pass House Bill 154 and the identical Senate Bill 192. These bills would require three feet clearance for cars passing bicycles, and allow safe and responsible behavior at defective traffic lights.
I learned today that the Senate version of the bill has been assigned to the Senate Transportation, Commerce, and Labor Committee. It’s very important that the committee approve the bill and send it to the full Ohio Senate.
It turns out that Capri Cafaro is the ranking minority member of that committee! I know many OSW members are in Ms. Cafaro’s district. If that includes you, your email to Capri Cafaro is especially important. Please do contact her and ask her to support these rational changes to Ohio laws.
– Frank Krygowski
With bike safety in mind, Montgomery County’s sheriff plans to place hundreds of roadway signs throughout the county reminding motorists of Pennsylvania’s “Four Foot Safe Passing Law.”
We have 250 signs that we’re going to make available,”
FYI Montgomery count PA is just north of Philly
Clearly the PA legislature et al. need to work on their new-law distribution efforts. Nearly three and a half years after it became part of the vehicle code, even the sheriff of the third-most populous county in Pennsylvania “was not aware of” the four-foot passing law. WTF?
One more time: If people had to take a written test on changes to the law as part of their license renewals — even if we supplied an answer card they could look at while they took the test — then people, including sheriffs, would know what the law actually said.
Fat guy hits rock bottom, decides to ride a bike across the country; http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/08/fashion/fat-guy-across-america-eric-hites.html
Is riding a bike across the country a step even further down, or is it a step up?
Oh, wait: it involves a blog, a GoPro, and GoFundMe. So I guess that answers that question.
A few lessons that could probably be applied here….
Atlantic CityLab: “How Montreal and 27 neighboring municipalities came together to coordinate city planning”
(only 27?! well, the actual headline, rather than the twitter edition, says “In the Montréal Area, 82 Municipalities Begin to Think and Act As One” …though that’s still 1/4 less than Allegheny County, in a much larger geographical span… )
For some perspective, Grand Montreal is actually huge. I looked at the maps.
Imagine an area extending from Beaver to New Stanton, and from Washington to Kittanning. (Or perhaps half the surface area, accounting for shape and the St. Laurent.) There’s *way* more than 82 municipalities around here. Our region is one of the politically most fragmented in the country. (Also, a couple of decades ago, the Quebec government was aggressively consolidating towns into larger units.)
This is not necessarily bike related – but it’s very disturbing & could easily have been bike related at any point
Lakeland Police Department: Woman arrested after drunken driving, streaming live video on Periscope
D.C. church says a bike lane would infringe upon its constitutional ‘rights of religious freedom’
It should also be noted that a few churches here in Pittsburgh have been complaining about bike infra too. Yet the Pope rides a bike.
Newcastle UK gets a Pocusset treatment.
San Francisco May Let Bicyclists Yield at Stop Signs. City government will probably vote on an “Idaho Stop” bill in December. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/21/us/san-francisco-may-let-bicyclists-yield-at-stop-signs.html
All told, cyclists fatally struck 10 people in NYC in 14 years, compared to 2,418 pedestrians killed by drivers, making cyclists accountable for .4 percent of pedestrian deaths.
Does anyone else think that 10 deaths seems improbable? It would be interesting to know the details.
There were two incidents last year where people crossing streets in Central Park were hit by roadies training at high speed. Commenters, however, are saying that those are the first they can remember since 2009, when a pedestrian was hit by a wrong-way food-delivery rider in Midtown.
This article, written shortly after the second Central Park incident last year, quotes a similar number: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/east/2014/09/23/341363.htm
“From 1996 to 2005, 11 pedestrians across New York City died after being struck by bicyclists, according to a report by four city agencies.”
Putting people in the hospital for an overnight stay seems a better measure of cyclist culpability than deaths. People dying is a level removed from that, and due in great part to the efforts of medical treatment. OTOH, whether you die or not, if you got busted up badly enough to spend a night in the hospital, from being run over by a bike, that would be a more accurate measure.
You could be trampled by a horse and suffer serious injury or death, too.
I think a little less than one death per year from bicyclists in a city as large as NYC seems to be in the right ballpark.
It’s quite possible for a cyclist to hit somebody and kill them, for example if the person who got hit suffers a major concussion and dies as a result.
Who needs trains when you have bicycles: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34602208
Migrants cycling into Norway from Russia.
Weirdly, they’re riding across the border because they’re not allowed to walk for some reason. So they take a taxi there, then ride across.
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