Daily Archives: June 17, 2009

Lots of multiples and updates, The Feed

Lots of stuff going on on the Internet about bicycles. There are lots of infrastructure articles as bicycles are being phased back in as transportation rather than as toys. I think that’s our biggest hurdle to overcome with bicycles as transportation now, that bikes are fun to ride even as transportation. Cars are not fun to drive any more, and haven’t been for quite some time. They used to be fun when I was younger, but by the time I was about 30 driving other than in a sanctioned competition was more of a chore than entertainment. I stopped driving back in 1995 when I was only 36 years old, when the engine on my Hyundai was broken by a chunk of scrap iron laying in the road, as I could no longer get to SCCA sanctioned competitions on my days off, and the only time I drove was to or from work, and sometimes to take the kids to school on my days off. Those are chores, not entertainment. But when I started to ride my bike to work, commuting was fun again, at least most of the time. Going to the grocery store was a challenge, not a chore. Ditto taking a letter to the post office.

Another cyclist is hit in Boise, the 4th in as many weeks. Cyclist, motorist cited after accident in Boise and Police cite both driver and cyclist after collision also Both driver and cyclist cited for Tuesday morning crash in Boise From what I have been able to piece together from all the reports, the cyclist was riding on the sidewalk, riding against the flow of motor vehicle traffic (there is no “wrong way” on a sidewalk, but I digress), and the driver made a right turn without looking where he was going. The cyclist was ticketed for I think riding the “wrong way”, and the driver was ticketed for not looking where he was going and driving into someone that was in front of him that he should have seen before he turned. Now I do not condone riding on a sidewalk, sidewalks are segregated infrastructure reserved for pedestrians, but they are also bi-directional. You can’t go “the wrong way” on a sidewalk because they go both directions. But don’t ride there, anyway.

More on the crisis in Boise. Solidarity bike ride for Kevin Pavlis set for Wednesday at Boise’s Camel’s Back Park and Cyclists, motorists can co-exist: Kristin Armstrong, husband share safety advice From the comments sections I can see there’s lots of animosity on the part of drivers against cyclists for a variety of reasons, but drivers have to remember they are in control of deadly weapons, cyclists remember they are soft targets, and everybody should just chill.

Sentence is passed on a man who was driving stoned when he killed a cyclist. Putnam man gets up to 3 years for killing cyclist One to 3 years, and with prison overcrowding he would have to be a total putz behind bars to get the full 3 years. TANJ!

Someone shot a kid for riding his bicycle? Cyclist, 14, shot in head, dies after brief coma I don’t understand shooting a cyclist unless you’re a pedestrian. The only reason to shoot a cyclist would be to tell everybody you did this on purpose, that this was a deliberate killing. And there is a word for deliberately killing someone, murder.

Closer to my home a TX cyclist was hit from behind near San Antonio. Bicyclist killed in Atascosa County accident No word on if the cyclist had lights or reflectors (but if they don’t it’s always mentioned) but half the comments section didn’t think he did. And some thought it was funny that a cyclist was hit. Comments sections are worth what you pay for them I guess.

Another cyclist hit in CA. Girl injured after being struck by car on Quito Road OK the cyclist was definitely not riding by the rules of the road in this case. Ride with traffic, but if you read my blog then you already do that. People that read my blog are not the people I need to read my blog…

A MO town discovers a new revenue steam. Town takes aim at anti-bicyclist rage If the fine is low enough they could generate a steady stream of income. The trick would be to have the fine low enough that it doesn’t make a big impression but high enough to generate profit from imposing it. Or to come from the other direction high enough to make a profit but not high enough to change the behavior.

More RAAM articles. A race of epic proportion and Driven to compete: Two-wheeled warriors keep pedal to metal I wish all the competitors in the RAAM luck, and may the best man/woman/team win their respective division.

They’re thinking about putting up mirrors under the traffic lights in London. Boris Johnson planning traffic light mirrors to save cyclists from lorries and Safety boost for cyclists: junction mirrors to alert lorry drivers Trucks turning left across the bike lanes is a major (more than 75%) killer of cyclists in London, with cyclists getting killed after stopping at traffic signals, sometimes pulling up beside a truck and sometimes being there when the truck pulls up and the driver doesn’t look for a cyclist. The mirrors will help if the drivers use them.

And another article on the WHO report that most people killed by cars are not the ones that benefit from cars. Traffic Accidents Kill 1.27 Million Globally, WHO Says Cars R Coffins but most are not riding in them when they kill. And that doesn’t even consider the ones that die from pollution, much less global climate change. The irony of GCC is that while the Earth as a whole will get warmer some places will get colder…

And that’s all I have today, more later as I find it…

Billed @$.02, Opus

The NCTCOG and bicycles

This is what I know right now about what is going on with the NCTCOG and the stimulus (ARRA) money that is supposed to be spent on us.

As of the public meeting last week there was $180,000,000 +/- to be spent on non-motorized transportation infrastructure. Of that roughly $30,000,000 was going to be spent on a park over a freeway. Park. Over. Freeway. The only way I can see this as transportation infrastructure is they are building the freeking park over the freeking freeway in the middle of the freeking downtown Dallas Canyon. Aside from some walkways there will be no through bicycle access to the park, in other words the “infrastructure” we are getting for our $30E6 is a few feet of concrete walkways that will be mostly occupied by people standing around enjoying nature. Note that I am in favor of standing around enjoying nature, just not in spending $30E6 of scarce transportation dollars to pay for it, not when there were many more bike/ped projects that were ready to go that had all their funding pulled when recissions were made between 2002 and 2006 so that highways could be funded.

Parks are not transportation infrastructure. Parks can be built around transportation infrastructure as in many MUPs but 2 square blocks of greenspace over a freeway is not transportation infrastructure.

I am very angry and frustrated that the first dedicated money in TX for non-motorized transportation was diverted to build a park over a freeway. It was bad enough that we got “linear parks” that didn’t connect to anything as bicycle infrastructure before, but now that we have money that was supposed to build actual infrastructure building more freeking parks, well lets just say that limits exist and mine has just been passed. I have been writing my representatives and senators for years about bicycle infrastructure only to see transportation dollars for bicycle projects diverted to highways, and now I see transportation dollars with strings attached being diverted to parks and I just can’t stand it any more. I have been hearing about the Veloweb ever since I got to TX back when W’s father was still President, and I’m still waiting for a path that runs from near where I live to downtown Dallas and Fort Worth. It’s supposed to run less than 1 1/2 miles from my house and go all the way to Plano and from there to downtown Ft. Worth, and going the other way eventually to downtown Dallas. Right now all that exists are lines on a map. For most of the Veloweb all that has ever existed was lines on a map. I want those lines on a map to have counterparts in concrete on the ground, and I want the ARRA money that was designated for non-motorized transportation to pay for infrastructure, not freeking parks.

PSA, Opus