I know that on the scale of making a difference in the world there’s Ghandi at one end and bike bloggers at the other end, but I would hope I was close to the Ghandi end of the bike bloggers. Unfortunately I think I’m about in the middle of the bike blogger pack as far as actually making a difference in the world. I know what needs to be done, and I frequently put in posts what needs to be done (like nearly every day, sometimes several times in a single post), but what needs to be done is such a slow process that I can’t tell if I’m making any difference at all. In the nearly six years this blog has been going at many different blog services, I have seen a tiny bit of progress made in bicycle infrastructure in various places that had strong bike communities, but nothing outside those areas. It is like trying to move a mountain with a teaspoon as a shovel.
Up first is something from the same state as WoaB World HQ in the beautiful suburbs of Hell. Bicyclists injured in crashes involving SAPD cruiser, car Red lights and stop signs are part of the intersection protocols, the major part of them. Everything else is for when following that part of the protocols fails. Part of this is infrastructure that doesn’t “work” for people riding bicycles, like stop signs every block. Having to stop and start again is very tiring for cyclists, and for those that are bicycling to get somewhere and not primarily for exercise it’s enough to make them either stop riding or fail to stop at stop signs. And traffic lights that don’t change for a cyclist no matter how long they stand at the intersection are also training cyclists to ignore traffic controls. But that is still no excuse for running red lights with traffic coming, or stop signs. Yield at stop signs with traffic, that is stop until it’s your turn to go…
A pinball wreck takes out a kid on a bike. 8-year-old struck, killed riding bicycle in Skokie This was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, “wrong” being where an out-of-control car was going to be at the same time as the car arrived in that location, not that the kid was doing anything wrong. Aside from getting the infrastructure so that speeding cars are not anywhere near kids there is nothing anyone could do as a cyclist to avoid a similar wreck. The fool hit 3 parked cars in the process of killing this kid, could you predict that kind of path and avoid it, and still be able to use the street to get where you are going?
A drunk in SD hits not one, or two kids on bikes but a group of 3 on a gravel residential road. Authorities Say Drunk Driver Injures Kids On Bikes The kids did everything right in this wreck, there was nothing a cyclist could have done to avoid this wreck. To prevent, I think I mentioned something about requiring breathalyser interlocks on all motor vehicle ignitions earlier…
A cyclist is missing in LA. Mickey Shunick Missing As Police, Family Search For Louisiana College Student I suspect a hit-and-run that left the girl and her bike out of sight from the roads, or some other kind of wreck with the girl unconscious in a hospital without ID. or it could be like one of the comments left on the site, someone hit her from behind to incapacitate her then took her and her bike…
From the deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike, one that survived. Bicyclist injured in hit-and-run on U.S. 98 in fair condition The cyclist was in the turn lane and either waiting for oncoming traffic to clear to make a turn, or waiting for the car that hit him to pass so he could merge into the travel lane after making a turn. Either way this wreck was not in any way avoidable by the cyclist. Preventable with proper infrastructure including laws that make hit-and-run with serious injury a felony that gets serious prison time just like any other attack with a deadly weapon.
From CA, a person in illegal possession of a deadly weapon gets 2 tickets after hitting a cyclist and trying to flee in the damaged vehicle. Campbell Bicyclist Injured by Teenage Driver Not a lot you can do when you have the right of way and some jerk that should not be driving tries to drive right through you. To prevent get unlicensed drivers off the roads and impound their vehicles (in a crusher/shredder).
Update on an older wreck, the cyclist has been transferred from out of state back to his hometown hospital. Injured Cyclist’s Girlfriend Speaks Out This was a terrible hit-and-run made all the worse because the charges against the driver were so weak. There was nothing the cyclist could have done to avoid this wreck, and it’s doubtful that infrastructure could do much to prevent it, unless the driver was drunk. Then installing mandatory interlocks on all motor vehicle ignitions might work to prevent it, or maybe making driving while stupid a felony.
A wreck in AZ that was so violent LEO can’t tell if the bike had lights or reflectors installed when it was hit. Cyclist killed in crash on Ajo Highway; Driver and passenger arrested I hope they find lots of drugs and alcohol in the driver, because in AZ that is the only thing that gets real prison time in a wreck like this. No way for the cyclist to avoid at the speed the vehicle was traveling, and the only way to prevent it would be a barrier of some kind for the cyclist to ride behind when riding intercity.
In the Great White North a cyclist is hit by a train. Woman cyclist killed by Via train in Les Coteaux I would say that trains are easy to avoid by not riding where they are and also not trying to cross the tracks when the signals are telling you that a train is coming, but the article states the signals may not have been working and the rider is an experienced cyclist, so I don’t know on this one. It might have been a case where there was more than one train at the double track crossing…
Infrastructure! news from the most deadliest state to walk or ride a bike for 6 years running now. Key Biscayne Bridges To Undergo Safety Changes Rumble strips between the travel lanes and the bike lanes are a step up, but still not enough to stop a car or truck.
More infrastructure from CA. Lawsuit filed over fatal SR-56 bike path crash What is going to make or break this case is how predictable would it be that a vehicle could leave the highway and wind up on the bike path?
Infrastructure news from Oz. New Westgarth tram stop an accident waiting to happen, warns Darebin bike riders group I don’t know about this one, as it looks like they are trying to cram 2 pounds of stuff into a one pound sack, from the description. If they are trying to keep cars away from the street they could just make the area next to the tramway a bike lane and be done with it, or a bike-priority lane with double or triple fines for traffic violations.
Lifestyle news from the Twin Cities (someplace I would really like to live, with real seasons and summers that aren’t 110°F for days on end, and real bicycle infrastructure). Urban Assault Ride By: Jon Vick This looked like fun…
And another entry from the Twin Cities is this nice picture to give you a relaxing end to the post. Twin Cities Bike Picture of the Day: 5.22.12 Isn’t that nice?
And those are all the links that gave me fits today, and some that didn’t.
Billed @$0.02, Opus