Daily Archives: March 12, 2009

Personal views on the NCTCOG public meeting

I won’t bore you with the mountains of minutia from the meeting (one handout had 41 pages of small print), but I will relate what happened during the part of the Q and A session that followed the formal presentation.

I had the first questions so I asked if there were any plans about what will happen when the oil runs out and the current domination of the private motor vehicle as the transportation mode of choice has to change. After 5 minutes of verbiage the answer boiled down to “no”. I also asked about the Veloweb, a system of limited access bikeways like the current highway system that surrounds and permeates the Metromess that has been in planning for at least 20 years, but as of yet is only a few isolated trails. My third question was about the inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian facilities in current projects.

Well the answers to the last 2 questions were interesting. Basically while highways for cars are funded by the state and federal governments, highways for bicycles and pedestrians are solely the responsibility of local governments, which is why the Veloweb is not getting built. As for bike and pedestrian facilities, well you can’t just make people give up their cars, nobody could live then. I kid you not, those were his exact words, the reason why we don’t have bicycle and pedestrian access is that if we did then people would have to give up their cars. That’s right, pe the logic used by the guy running the meeting (whose name I will withhold to protect his privacy) if we put in bicycle and pedestrian facilities then people will have to stop driving their cars, because you can’t have both. !? I don’t know what this guy was on, but I don’t want any part of it. What I do want is a transportation system that takes all forms of transportation into account, feet, bicycles, cars, buses, and big trucks. Right now only the last 3 are included, to the detriment of us all.

Billed @$.50 (it was a long ride to the meeting), Opus

Policeman killed on bicycle!

I’m not one to engage in what the Germans call schadenfreude, especially when someone is killed, but the big story today is a LEO who was killed when hit from behind in the bike lane with a Dodge pickup truck. What raises the irony level here is that the police force in question has a habit of ignoring such cases when they happened to just citizens, as well as assaults with a deadly weapon (bikeboxing) and other offenses against innocent cyclists, I will be interested in seeing how this shakes out.

The links Off-duty Tucson police officer killed as bicycle rear-ended and Off-Duty Police Officer Killed in Collision also Cyclist who died was an off-duty Tucson police officer Again, it will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. On the one hand you have a cop getting killed, on the other hand you have a cyclist that was killed, so which bias is stronger, the cop bias or the cyclist bias?

A bike ride from Austin to Corpus Christi for the injured soldiers from Bush’s war. Bike ride benefits injured troops Support this if you can either with a check or as a rider. Soldiers are not given the benefit of choosing their wars, that is up to the civilians in charge.

And an article from DC berating cyclists that choose not to wear a helmet. What’s Your Excuse? There was much anecdotal evidence but no hard facts for their crusade. Now I’m one of the guys that tell you to wear a helmet, but I’m not going to tell you it will save your life or prevent brain injury. It might save your life, if the vehicle that hits you is going slow enough, and it might prevent brain injury if the collision speed between your head and what you hit with or hits your head is low enough to be within the limited protection speed of the helmet. Mine saved my life but did not prevent brain damage, which cost me 7 years of employment as I had to search for a way to work without having to talk to people when I can’t or don’t want to. Try going just an hour without being able to use complete sentences in your verbal communications, with having the words in your head but unable to get them out of your mouth, concepts in your grasp but explanations eluding you. Try not to kill anybody in your frustration.

The rest of the Feed is from the UK, which means except for final adjudications there are nothing more than names (sometimes) and locations and sometimes the make and color of the cars or trucks involved in the wrecks. Cyclist injured in lorry accident and Cyclist involved in hit-and-run cover the usua reports.

The final adjudication is here. Loose chain blamed for cyclist’s fatal fall That’s a hell of an epitaph, “He died from chainsuck”.

And that’s it for the Feed.

Billed @$.02, Opus