Daily Archives: October 6, 2013

Going on a week without a government, and other musings on Wreck-Free Sunday

I’m really trying to stay away from politics that are not about transportation issues, and in many ways this is about transportation as the shutdown brings thousands of projects to a grinding halt. Basically anything that does not involve contractors pouring concrete or laying asphalt has been shut down with the government, which includes almost every non-motorized transportation project. My take on this is when projects for us people moving around are cancelled because of the shutdown a motorized project should also be cancelled, starting with the most expensive. I take this stance because projects for us non-motored people are mostly done for safety to save lives, while most projects for motorized people are to save minutes or seconds off a commute. In my math, lives saved>seconds saved, when they cancel a project intended to save lives a project to shave a few seconds off a commute has to go too.

The biggest example of huge projects designed to shave a few seconds off a commute is the Columbia River Crossing between Portland OR and Vancouver WA. This now cancelled project had a projected cost of $4.5 Billion. All of the bicycle projects for the last 12 years in the city of Portland come to rounding errors in this one project. I’m not kidding about this, every infrastructure project since the turn of the century for an entire city could be funded for the costs of the rounding just this one mega project that was intended to save at most a minute from the commute from Vancouver to Portland. Removing every transit and bicycle feature from the project (which would paradoxically erase all the time savings from the project for other commuters) only reduced the project costs by $.5 Billion. This is what eventually killed the CRC, making it car-only erased the time saving benefit from the project by increasing the number of cars that had to use the project.

Enough about politics, I had fun freezing my nether regions and fingers yesterday at D/FW Pagan Pride Day. I got Mrs. the Poet a Yule gift, and as I wrote yesterday I got caught up with all the people I used to hang out with years ago. The weather had a 38°F swing from Friday’s high to yesterday’s low. I turned off all the AC units last night and still had a lower morning temperature than we see during the summer except when one of the AC units has a thermostat glitch.

Something that needs to be done today is I have to pay the rent on the storage unit before I have to pay the late fee. So I will have to cut this post short so I can get that paid today. I also have to leave before seeing the winners in the various races today, the Indycar race from Houston, and the Sprint Cup race from Kansas. Darn it all.

PSA, Opus

Running late after D/FW Pagan Pride day and who stuck the thermometer in the deep freeze, and the Feed

I left the house early this morning, and then again later this morning, to attend the D/FW Pagan Pride event at Bath House Cultural Center in Dallas. I got a few minutes late start and missed the bus, which resulted in going home for a while and trying again on the next bus. When you’re running just a touch behind the bus is always early, but be way early and the bus will always be way late. Also we had a 30+ degree change in temperature between yesterday and today, seriously impacting my transit to the event as I waited on transfers. We went from 90°F for yesterday’s high to a current temperature of 52, and it was 57 on my way to the event. Seriously we went from shorts and T-shirt weather to long pants and a jacket weather in less than 24 hours and recorded the high for the day at 0005 this morning (that’s 5 minutes after midnight for those unfamiliar with the 24 hour time format) of 79°F. Oh and there was misting rain/fog all the way out the second time I left the house to go with the sudden drop in temperature, making me cold and wet. When I got to the Cultural Center scudding fog and low-lying clouds could be seen blowing across White Rock Lake while a hardy group attempted to conduct an outdoor ritual, the third of the day as I understand things. There was an opening ritual done before I got there, a Sumerian tradition ritual done after that, and some kind of ritual where the ritualists smacked each other about the shoulders with brooms and pool noodles accompanied by music and dancing by those selfsame ritualists. It looked a little like Morris Dancing, but not much. I checked in to see if they got my e-mail about helping out, and they hadn’t, and checked to see if they had sufficient manpower for the event or if I could do anything to help and they did so not really. So I bought tickets to the raffle and wandered about the event site.

One of the things about a local event like Pagan Pride is the checking up on people you haven’t seen since the last event 3 years ago, and getting caught up on who had a heart attack and who has cancer, who is no longer a man and is now a woman and vice-versa, watching kids grow up, and finding out who has new grandkids. In that it functions kinda like a big family reunion, plus workshops and rituals. And I didn’t win anything in the raffle…

From a place that’s a 2 day bike ride away if you push it really hard from WoaB World HQ in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, a driver that was plastered drunk after taking whiskey shots and beers is convicted of the hit-and-run death of a cyclist, but not the more serious DUI homicide or murder because he left the scene of the wreck. Witness: Whiskey shots preceded fatal wreck with bicycle While I’m slightly happy to see the driver convicted and given 6 years of the possible 10 he could have gotten for the hit-and-run, had they been able to prove intoxication he could have gotten 30 years to life for the same wreck. This only goes to show that without significant overhaul of hit-and-run laws this will still be the best option for drivers who hit someone while DUI.

A NYC-area cyclist is killed in a hit-from-behind wreck. Cyclist, 63, killed in collision with car on Long Island and Cyclist hit by car, killed on Long Island And they forgot to say “No criminality suspected”. Protocols to avoid or to mitigate damages and move away from NYC to prevent because no LEO in that part of the state cares if a cyclist lives or dies as long as he makes his ticket quota on them.

An upstate NY cyclist is killed and the only one quoted in the article was the cyclist’s mother, who was not at the scene of the wreck. Family Remembers Accident Victim Intersection wreck, use the protocols, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A SWCC wreck in the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike for so long I lost track. River Ridge student injured as bike rides into path of pickup Cyclist made a left against the red? And how many times do you see people do that in a car? (I saw it 4 times on the way home tonight). Anyway, intersection wreck, use the protocols to avoid or to mitigate damages and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A MI cyclist is hit-from-behind while taking the lane in the dark. Bicyclist injured when struck by car Since any lack of lighting on the part of the cyclist has been ignored I have to assume the cyclist was lighted appropriately and legally, so we are potentially dealing with another blind driver. Protocols to avoid or to mitigate damages, and get the infrastructure right to prevent.

A cyclist in OR has an equalizer when a road-raging driver gets out of the light armored vehicle to continue the attack up close and personal. Police: Bicyclist stabbed road-rage driver who attacked him I don’t put carrying a weapon high on my lists of things cyclists should do, especially one as limited as a knife, but when things get personal like this a knife is still self-defense.

More on the Amelie Le Moullac death investigations as the SFPD is looking worse and worse. Cyclists Make Allegations Of SFPD Anti-Bike Bias And Misconduct In City Hall Hearing What is angering local cyclists is that when a cyclist killed a pedestrian there were 22 detectives combing for security camera footage for miles upstream from the wreck looking or prior evidence of traffic infractions, but for this wreck with a dead cyclist not one cop could be bothered to cross the street to ask if there was any recording of the wreck. I’m not saying that the pedestrian killed by the cyclist was not worthy of the 22 detectives, I’m saying that everyone killed by a motor vehicle (or bicycle) is worthy of a complete investigation. Also San Francisco police look to improve relations with cyclists and Report: Most Fatal SF Cyclist, Pedestrian Crashes Result in No Charges And by “charges” they mean “tickets”. Still more Cyclists complain of anti-bike bias in SFPD investigations

Update on a wreck in the Great White North. Police trying to identify cyclist fatally struck in Ajax Another example of why wearable ID is vital for cyclists in the US and Canada. More Public’s help needed after cyclist killed in Ajax

A writer discusses driver behavior and how it impacts cyclists in this link. Cyclist Says You Will Kill Someone If You Don’t Change Your Driving Habits This is the inverse of this blog. Where I try to help you survive with drivers and the infrastructure as they are now, this guy is asking drivers to stop hitting cyclists.

A NH writer has pretty much the same thing to say as the preceding paragraph. My Turn: Cyclists have a right to ride on the road in safety

Another NH writer singing the same song, different verse. Biking: Road anxiety

A UK driver is sent to jail after killing a cyclist. Drink-driver jailed over hit-and-run cyclist death The driver had two previous DUI convictions, kills and still only gets a ban for 8 years (which means he can re-test in 5 and still get his license back). Of course it will be difficult to take that test because he will still have nearly 2 years left on his jail sentence.

From Enn Zed a driver is found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon after repeatedly trying to hit a cyclist after chasing him up on the sidewalk. Driver chased cyclist, then ran over bike Really, repeated attempts to commit mayhem and/or murder, and that’s all she got? Perhaps the sentencing hearing will be a bit more fruitful for the cyclist, whose bike was destroyed in the altercation.

Infrastructure! news from Houston. A cyclist’s dream: Bayou to become much more bike friendly — even the danger bridge is being replaced If I read this correctly, this bike path was first planned for in 1912, so it has only taken a century to start construction… I hope the next project is a bit quicker off the drawing boards than this one.

A ghost bike in ID. Treasure Valley cycling community to honor cyclist killed on State Street This was the cyclist killed by a drunk driver hit-and-run.

And those are all the bicycle links that gave me fits.

Billed @€0.02, Opus