I was up late last night waiting for the promised track cycling on the late-night Olympic coverage, but about 0230 I gave up and went to bed. I’m still waiting for the morning coffee to kick in and let me make a real headline to this post, as I type this I have a placeholder headline: “Insert witty headline here”. If that’s still the headline when you read this I never got over the foul feeling I had this morning and I did the whole post in a state of angry, tired, confusion.
I really need to get out of that condition because I’m going to talk to the new City Council tonight to give them a letter grade on their progress. Four years ago I gave the city an infrastructure grade of F-. That was because all the “infrastructure” we had for transportation was “Bicycle Route” signs on the side of a very few streets, and not many of those. We also had a PD that was not supportive of bicycle transportation to the point of blaming the cyclist in every wreck, even when the evidence was very strongly to absolutely pointing to the driver being at fault. Two years ago I upgraded that to an F, because there was a plan to actually create some on and off-street infrastructure that would take cyclists from Mesquite to Richardson, with funding identified to create it. Tonight that plan is still waiting to be implemented. There hasn’t been a bicycle wreck reported in our town in a year (I didn’t report my 3 non-injury wrecks, so I assume the same from other cyclists), so the current state of the PD as it relates to cyclists is unknown. while I have noticed more cyclists on the roads I also noticed that they tend to not ride on the actual road, with most staying on the sidewalks, and when I do see a cyclist actually using the road they seldom ride on the correct side of the road. IOW cyclist education is zero to negative (wrong information about rules of the road). Headlight and reflector use is spotty at best, which I attribute to people repurposing toys (BMX bikes) for transportation. One of the first things BMX trick riders do for safety is to remove all the reflectors from the bike because they can get caught in clothing and either spoil a trick or cause a crash. About the only reflectors I see on most BMX bikes are the pedals and the wheel reflectors. I see reflectors on most of the adult-sized BSO from the big-box stores, but seldom do I see headlights. So to get back to tonight’s letter grade, I’m going to give another F- for failure to make progress. If the City of Garland was a school they would be shut down and all the teaching and administration staff fired. If it was a business they would have gone out of business. There is still no publicly available Bicycle Master Plan. There is still no plan for educating people about the laws of riding a bicycle, either for drivers or for cyclists. There is still no interconnected infrastructure that takes cyclists from residential to retail and jobs. There is still no plan to allow bicycle parking to replace motor vehicle parking to meet codes requirements. There is still no plan to educate LEO on the finer points of bicycle law (most of the LEO I speak with know the general case of TX bike law, they don’t know that the “general case” only applies in less that 10% of the situations you will find bicycles).
Up first is a wreck in CA. LAPD hopes surveillance video helps ID truck that hit bicyclist and Cyclist Seriously Injured In Hit-and-Run South of Downtown also Cyclist Severely Injured In Central City Hit-And-Run and finally Pickup truck sought in South LA hit-and-run bike injury crash Intersection wreck, use the intersection protocols to avoid this wreck, and get the freaking infrastructure right to prevent another. At this point LEO either don’t know or are not saying which vehicle ran the red light at this intersection, because it doesn’t matter any more. The felony hit-and-run far outweighs the piddling red light violation. One of the comments in one link was to the effect that if the driver turned himself in he would face no consequences for hitting a cyclist, “questioned and released ” was the phrase the comment used.
A cyclist in CO gets literal insult added to injury. Cyclist Injured In Crash Gets Ticketed This is an update to a link I had yesterday.
A wreck in VA. Boy on bike injured after being hit by car in Va. Beach There was nothing in the narrative that made this seem like the cyclist’s fault except for the stating so. The cyclist was described as taking the lane and was hit from behind. I would say hit-from-behind protocols, but for that to be effective there must be a change in the legal infrastructure for LEO to recognize that cyclists have a right to the roads. So basically the only thing that can be done for this wreck is get the infrastructure right from laws and LEO on up.
More on the FL hit-and-run murders. Bike riders killed by fleeing suspect ‘loved bicycling’ and Miami Man Arrested For Killing Two Cyclists While Fleeing Cops more Cyclists To Drivers: “This Could Have Been Avoided” Nothing more I can say about this wreck.
LifeStyle in PA. Bicyclists ride with cautious exuberance Celebration after 2 cyclists die from hit-and-run wrecks. Not because they died, but because they were living. Also a just general celebration of cycling as a lifestyle.
And those are all the links that gave me fits today. (well actually there were lots more that gave me fits, but they had nothing to do with bicycles)
Billed @$0.02, Opus