Daily Archives: April 28, 2011

Still fighting with plants, and the Feed

Still having to take generic Benadryl like Easter Candy because of the weather conditions, but things are improving. By taking the smallest dose possible and taking that more frequently, I can stay both symptom-free and alert. The trick is to take another dose before the first one wears off, so I’m doing 25mg about 3 hours after the first dose and then every 4 hours after that. For a guy my size 25mg is a tiny dose.

Up first is more on the Austin cyclist that was killed by a hit-and-run. Austin cyclist killed in hit and run Not a whole lot of new information in this one, except that there was a witness and that the cyclist definitely had lights. I hope they catch the perp and run his car through a shredder.

Some good news for a change, the LB cyclist that was injured in the hit-and-run by a drunk LBFD Fire Capitan, has been released from the hospital, and felony charges have been made against the driver. OC DA Charges LBFD Captain In Alleged DUI Hit & Run That Injured Bicyclist The information from this report is just shocking, “A Long Beach Fire Department Captain has been charged with severely injuring a cyclist in a mid-day hit-and-run crash while driving with a blood alcohol level of .24 percent, three times the legal limit. ” Two hours after the wreck he tested 0.24% BAC, he must have been nearly embalmed when he hit the cyclist. The only thing saving him from the death penalty is the survival of the cyclist, which was a miracle given the speed of the vehicle at impact. The erratic path and high speed made this wreck impossible to avoid for the cyclist

Still in CA, a woman riding on the sidewalk is injured when a truck pulls out without looking. Woman injured after bike, pickup collide in Tulare Lots of blame to throw around here, from the woman riding after drinking to the truck driver that violated her right-of-way when he crossed the sidewalk. Since they didn’t test the rider for BAC% she can’t be charged, but the driver that crossed a sidewalk without yielding R.O.W to people on the sidewalk can still get a ticket. And to avoid don’t drink and ride, have good SA around driveways, and stay off sidewalks unless that’s the only way to get to your destination or bike parking.

Moving up the coast a bit, a rider in suburban Portland OR is hit-and-run. Cyclist injured in hit-and-run, driver arrested From the description of the driver’s path there was no way for the cyclist to avoid this wreck. The fact the the wreck disabled the vehicle was instrumental in capturing the driver, as he couldn’t flee very fast or very far before the vehicle ceased running. Notice the bike lane in the picture of the damaged bicycle, the victim was riding in a area of the road restricted to non-motorized vehicles, and the driver crossed over that to hit the rider from behind and then send him over the van. I wonder what the driver’s BAC% is going to be? If there was no drugs or alcohol in his system then he should be charged with attempted murder or assault with a deadly, because from all appearances if he wasn’t drunk or stoned then he meant to do it.

A police blotter report on a minor bike wreck. Cyclist Not Injured in Motor Vehicle Accident Not a lot of detail here, but I am very glad the cyclist was not seriously injured. I added the seriously part because any time you hit the deck on a bike, you’re going to get hurt, some.

Aggravating news from VT about the legal repercussions of almost killing a cyclist. No jail for woman who hit Vt cyclist while GPSing If she doesn’t have any infractions for the next 2 years, she’s home free with no record.

Moving to the Great White North, prosecutors are struggling to put a killer behind bars. Lawyer wants ‘real jail’ for driver who hit cyclist Why is it always a struggle to get any kind of punishment for people that hit cyclists? Since there was no mention of the cyclist not having lights or reflectors and like most media outlets this one loves to blame the cyclist any time one is hit lights can be assumed to be in use. Also as a lack of helmet use was not mentioned and usage was the law for the victim, he had a helmet. The cyclist had done everything in his power to not get killed that night, but the driver negated all that, why is the driver not going to jail? TANJ!

An update on the cyclist killed in the Cayman Islands. Loved ones react to cyclist killed Nothing the cyclist could have done to avoid this wreck, again.

There is some mystery involved in the death of the UK cyclist that hit a parked car. Newington Green cycle death victim named The victim was a man used to unprotected collisions with both stationary and moving targets as he played UK football, so running into something on his bike shouldn’t have killed him unless outside influences were in play.

Infrastructure! news from our nation’s capitol. Research Bolsters Case for Cycle Tracks While AASHTO Updates Guide If you read last night’s late post you know my stance on this subject.

An irreverent look at the laws for cyclists in FL. Rules of the Road: For Starters, Don’t Bike Like an A-hole I don’t put it quite like that, but I share a similar sentiment.

And some stupid infrastructure from Canuckistan. Follow St. Albert on helmets And in the article is the reason why the law is a waste of time, money and reduces cycling with no real benefit for cyclists, “It’s also true that studies show helmet use does not reduce the incidence of death among cyclists, primarily because those cyclists are killed in collisions with motor vehicles.” So, you know this isn’t going to make any difference but you impose it anyway, because?

And that’s all I have today.

billed @$0.02, Opus

This just in…

Confirmed vehicular cyclist moves to segregated infrastructure side of argument.

I have been reporting on bicycle infrastructure without making comments pro or con, I have quoted from some articles in the past, but I tried not to come down on one side or the other. In my wreck avoidance techniques I used Vehicular Cycling as a guide on how to use the infrastructure as it is on the ground now.

Well, what we have on the ground now doesn’t work. I’m not going to say it can’t work or won’t work, but to make it work as it exists would take at least a generation, probably more, of education combined with really draconian legislation that would make hitting a vulnerable road user a major felony, with large fines, and prison time and possibly the death penalty for killing a vulnerable user. I don’t see that happening.

Start by making assumptions:
1. All bicycle trips are like car trips, most begin at home, go someplace and then come back home.
2. People on bikes want to go pretty much the same places as people in cars.
3. People on bikes want to feel safe as they go places.
4. People on bikes want the same access to places as we give to people in cars now.

Using the built environment we can satisfy conditions 1 and 2, but the rider has to have a great deal of experience as a VC and have a bit of MacGuyver in finding a place to lock up so that they will have a bike for the return journey. The built environment does not meet conditions 3 and 4 with any regularity, especially condition 3.

So, using the guidelines of permeability and segregation, how do we transform suburbs from next door to Hell to heaven on Earth? What I do see is creating a network of infrastructure that works as well as driving a car, that doesn’t cost as much to build as car infrastructure or anything close to the costs to maintain car infrastructure. Even here in the suburbs fromof Hell most of the existing infrastructure can be easily modified to work with all modes, by working on permeability and segregation. Permeability could be insured by using alleyways and cutting through cul-de-sacs (which would require condemning 6 to 8 foot wide strips of land between houses for access to alleys and streets on the other side that cars can’t use). Segregation could be insured by grade separation of bike paths from arterial streets, and also from pedestrian paths.

Thing is I’m not by any stretch of the imagination a civil engineer, I’m an enthusiastic amateur, entirely self-taught, mostly by observing what doesn’t work. One thing I know doesn’t work is narrow bike lanes squeezed in to high-speed arterials without taking any space, or as little space as possible, from motor vehicle traffic. Cyclists are better off with taking the lane than bike lanes like those. To use a culinary analogy, cyclists are like people with peanut allergies, and narrow bike lanes on high-speed arterials or taking the lane on high-speed arterials is like a choice of peanut-butter sandwiches or granola bars, either way sooner or later you’re going to die.

Another thing that doesn’t work but most likely won’t be seen where I live is squeezing the bike lane between a line of parked cars and moving traffic so the the bike lane is entirely in the door zone. Here in Garland there is less than 100 feet of parallel parking in the entire city, all of it on one block in Downtown Garland.

That is the thing that has to be guarded against: Bad bike infrastructure is as dangerous as no bike infrastructure.

One thing that has to be addressed early in the process is bike parking. As it is now cyclists lock their bikes to anything they can get a lock around that (hopefully) can’t be moved. imagine if this was the condition for cars, hoping to find someplace that you can get a car in and out of near where you have to go when you get there.

I don’t know what will work for transforming Garland into a city with transportation mode choice, I just know what we have isn’t working and very quickly will get much worse.

PSA, Opus