Daily Archives: January 27, 2011

Finally found that BikePortland article, and a possible research topic for someone

Well I finally finished fixing the computer glitch from yesterday that kept me from including a link to a BikePortland article on bike lanes, and I have a question that if someone could answer it we would have a massive increase in bicycle safety on the roads.

First, BikePortland poses the question of keeping cars from parking in the bike lanes so that people riding bicycles won’t have to suddenly merge from a standstill into 45-50 MPH traffic. Cars parking in bike lanes: How can we fix this problem? I suggested a direct approach, break a window and toss in a lighted road flare. Losing a few cars because they are parked in a bike lane would definitely get people to quit, but might make people a little antagonistic against bicyclists. Other people had less extreme suggestions, like citizens’ parking tickets, or just having the Parking Enforcement on speed dial on their cell phones. Your $0.02 is invited on the question as well.

Now the other question: What is it about bicycles that makes normally rational people homicidal maniacs around them? I know that part of it is the motor vehicle, people act crazy in cars without any bicycles there, this phenomenon has been documented by Disney Studios in the late 1940s short “Motor Mania” starring Goofy. So, we know part of the problem is cars themselves, but why does putting a bicycle on the road next to a car such a recipe for psychotic behavior? If someone could answer that we could then do something to reduce or eliminate cyclist deaths on the road.

Billed @$0.02, Opus


Infrastructure and Enn Zed, the Feed

Most of the articles from the Feed today are either Infrastructure! or from New Zeeland. That is mostly because people riding in this hemisphere at this time of the year tend to be either crazy, or super serious cyclists with tons of experience and savvy about cycling.

The one North American wreck we have is from GA. Cyclist critical after collision on Staley Avenue bridgeSimmons told investigators he was trying to retrieve a pair of eyeglasses that had fallen when his van struck Fife.” How would you like that for an epitaph? “Killed by someone fishing for eyeglasses”. This was obviously a hit-from-behind wreck, use the link at the top of my blog for protocols on how to avoid this, but in this case the cyclist was already in the shoulder, and being on a bridge he had no place left to go.

In Enn Zed, a driver that killed a cyclist tells the court that he intends to plead guilty to driving carelessly. Man appears in court over death of cyclist I think this was about the most lenient charge this driver could have gotten. I think when you hit someone from behind and kill them you have passed the “careless” stage and gone straight to the “stupid beyond words” stage, but as “stupid beyond words” is not a crime in New Zeeland I’ll guess that this is as good as we will get on this case, as hitting someone from behind absent the effects of drugs or alcohol is not enough to get you to the “dangerous driving” charge.

Next on the hit parade is a series of articles that show how a story evolves in Enn Zed. Cyclist killed in Canterbury Originally it wasn’t known what type of vehicle was used, so the all-inclusive “car” descriptor for the vehicle. Police speak to van driver after cyclist dies A van was at the scene, ask the driver what happened. Canterbury crash victim named Ah, the van driver did it. But what’s this? They are finding ways to blame the cyclist? According to LEO “initial inquiries showed Mr Townley was on the road but not on his bike when he was hit.” And “He was not wearing a helmet or high visibility clothing.” So it must have been the fault of the cyclist, who wasn’t even riding the bike when he was hit, but just standing in the street next to his bike in regular clothes. Shame on him.

Infrastructure! from the state that has killed more cyclists and pedestrians in the US than any other for 4 years running. Senate Trans Chair Puts Brakes on Most Driving Bills Lets see, one state accounted for 16% of the cyclists killed in the US, just 3 counties in that state killed 8% of the cyclists killed in the US, so there is obviously nothing wrong, right? I mean it must be just a fluke that one state has killed more cyclists than any other 4 years in a row, right? It can’t be anything to do with the laws or infrastructure being really bad combined with terrain and climate made for riding year round.

And even in the UK some people in the government are starting to acknowledge that at least some of their infrastructure is crap. Health and Safety fears reignited after two injured on Sutton High Street in a week Pity about the idiot in the comments section, though.

And that’s all the news that gives me fits.

Billed @$0.02, Opus