Tag Archives: Houston

I really am a scatter-brain, and the Feed

I left a ton of stuff out of yesterday’s post, specifically stuff about that lump on the back of my neck. Since I can’t recall exactly what I said and did not say (and I’m too lazy to open another tab and read it, I know that’s bad and I’m lazy) I’ll just go through the list. First of all this lump has been there for many years, at least 5 if not longer. Second there was some imaging done when I first noticed it by the Lab Rat Keeper to make sure it wasn’t something that was going to kill me (it isn’t going to kill me, it’s just really annoying now). Third the person checking me out yesterday was concerned that it has grown over the vertebrae on my neck and around the side of my neck and is concerned it may have become invasive. Fourth, it isn’t a sebaceous cyst because those are painful when poked they way I got poked during the exam yesterday, and not as firm as the lump on the back of my neck. So the thing they are really concerned about is that it might be invasive somehow and removing it might be a problem, and that it pretty much has to be removed sooner rather than later. The MRI is to determine how invasive it is and to positively identify what it is so that it can be removed without surprises when the operation gets done.

And with all that walking my feet hurt pretty bad when I got up this morning. 😛

Up first because The Onion is not the strangest source I have today. ‘What If No One Travels Anywhere Ever Again?’ Wonders Panicked Transportation Secretary Yep, nothing like a little existential angst to get the blood pumping in the morning.

Down the road from the Beautiful suburbs of Hell. I Can’t Even Why some people think we “need” a toll road through the middle of what was sold to the public as a park when the bonds were passed nearly 20 years ago now. No park, just a highway where there were pictures of people sailing little boats in tiny lakes in the brochures promoting the bond issue. Lakes that were never in the “official” bond proposal.

This note is TX-specific. Action Alert: Ask your representative to vote YES on HB 80 Since texting is a 21st Century blight upon humanity (and no I’m not just being old, I text when appropriate) it is only fair that TX should get in the 21st Century and ban it while driving.

Another TX specific paragraph on infrastructure. Texas House Takes Center Stage I like this one, because putting a designated portion of the general fund into transportation means we can demand a designated portion be put to non-motorized transportation. I suggest that $3 Billion be apportioned by fatalities for improving the safety for cyclists and pedestrians. I don’t meant that 16% of that $3 Billion should be put aside for cyclist and pedestrian infrastructure, I’m saying that 16% of the transportation budget up to that $3 Billion should be set aside for cyclists and pedestrians since this is a non-car source of funding.

And even in Houston they see the benefits of greater density in development. Houston Feels Downtown’s Lively Enough to Stop Development Tax Break The tax break had an initial cutoff of 2500 housing units that was quickly extended to 5000 when it was discovered that there was enough demand to support them, which is also about to get topped out years ahead of projected dates.

An experiment that worked out so well they wanted to make it permanent. Banning Cars Can Be Good For Business Whodathunkit? Giving more space to people instead of cars is good for business.

Our Daily Ted is really good today. (Late) Morning Links: Griffith Park road under attack, more on Sunday’s CicLAvia, and stupid Scot cop tricks

Would you like a secure lightweight lock for your crabon wunderFahrrad? LITELOK®: Lightweight, flexible and super secure bike lock. The mix of fibers in the braid that replaces cables and chains requires different cutting methods to separate, making one mode take way too long to get through and leading to thieves getting caught red-handed.

MPLS is getting serious about connected bicycle infrastructure. Minneapolis protected bike lane list for 2015 swells

What do you do when the air becomes dangerous to breathe? Ban cars for a day. Half of Paris just took a mandatory day off of driving OK ban half of cars, with the option to ban the other half the next day if needed.

Someone does not understand the concept of woonerf. 6 Places Where Cars, Bikes, and Pedestrians All Share the Road As Equals Woonerf are places where the motor vehicle is tolerated as something that has to be there but people would prefer not to be there, or basically a rowdy guest that has to be on its best behavior or get tossed out.

An e-assist bike for military use, when sometimes it is critical to be able to move faster than 20 MPH. Trefecta DRT: The $25K high-tech, military-grade electric super bike

And I’m all out of links again. I’ma have a little lie-down for my leg now.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

I’m back in shorts and a T-shirt, and the Feed

Well the headline pretty much says it all concerning life here at Casa de El Poeta, the outside temperature has risen to what the heating system was designed to cope with (low 40s-high 30s at night) so I’m back to wearing shorts and a T-shirt in the office, and Mrs. the Poet is still wearing her sweatshirt over a T-shirt and long pants. I am comfortable in a very wide range of temperatures wearing the shorts and T-shirt, and do much better than Mrs. the Poet when things get really cold, mostly because I have real cold-weather gear because I hung on to my issue cold-weather gear when I left the Army, and bought more of it when it hit the surplus market. Mrs. the Poet hates mil-surplus clothing because of the way it looks, but I’m the warm one in winter. And I have a selection of gear that I can wear riding a bicycle as well, so I stay warm on my bike. Or I would be warm if I could actually ride my bike.

Up first is some good news from Brownsville, as they discover that they can stuff a lot of bicycles into the space that used to house just one car. Brownsville installs downtown bike corral They replaced one car spot with 14 bike spots, greatly increasing the revenue potential for that parking spot. Sure shoppers that arrive by bike don’t spend as much money per trip, but they make 2-3 times as many trips and now they have the potential to serve 14 times as many customers.

Pedestrians are still getting killed same as they always were with Texas right out there in a battle for the “lead”. Pedestrians killed at about the same rate last year as they were in 2013 This mirrors UK statistics showing cars are getting more forgiving about bad driving, what with air bags and crumple zones and being required to have doors that open after running into a concrete wall at 35 MPH, but drivers are just as crappy as they always were if not worse now that the consequences for them are so much lower.

More on the Houston bike cops going undercover to get drivers who drive poorly around cyclists. Undercover Houston Cops On Bikes Are Nabbing Drivers Dangerous To Cyclists Houston passed a law against buzzing cyclists in 2013 when they discovered how many cyclists were getting knocked down by cars passing too close, then instructed bike cops to run stings against the drivers breaking the law. Nobody is getting ticketed for passing between 2 and 3 feet away (just warned), the (big) tickets are going to the ones passing less than a foot (300 mm) from the cop. So far no word on how many cops have been hit doing these stings, but you know it is just a matter of time before some Bubba decides to “teach a lesson” to one of the undercover cops and misjudges how wide his F-150 really is, like the guy who broke his mirror off on my elbow a few years ago.

Why is this news in NYC? Cops Are Giving Out Speeding Tickets To Drivers Who Are Speeding Really now, cops giving tickets is “Man bites dog” rare in NYC?

If you have a young-looking bike-riding friend in SF please check on his whereabouts and if you can’t find him call SFPD. Young cyclist unconscious, and police don’t know his name The wreck was early Monday morning to give your young man a time frame to be missing, if you saw him after 0800 or so on Monday it is pretty much guaranteed that this is not the same guy.

They have some bad infrastructure over in NOLA, so bad it kills people. Cyclist death shines light on dangerous intersection And cue the H8ers complaining about cyclists taking the lane for visibility when this was a crossing wreck at an intersection and LEO admit they have no way of knowing who ran the light. Check out the comments section.

When the state refuses to act in AZ municipalities take charge. San Luis to enforce ban on cellphone use for drivers It seems there are certain people in the AZ legislature blocking driving while using cell phone bills from getting to the floor, not naming names because I don’t know who is doing it, just that the bills never seem to get a vote.

It seems that providing even barely usable bicycle infrastructure has a positive effect on car ownership (if you are trying to reduce traffic congestion). Multnomah County car registration is down 8% since 2007, and isn’t rebounding They had a steep drop during the recession but people discovered they didn’t need to have a car for everyone so the number of people replacing cars sold during the recession has been very low. Also there is the possibility that they are just not registering their deadly weapons like they are supposed to.

Along the same lines just up the coast a bit. The Remarkable Drop in Car Commuting to Downtown Seattle They expect to see even further reductions when their bike infrastructure gets built all the way into the Downtown area.

Another link to that SD bill that would require drivers to not hit cyclists they are trying to pass. Bill Aiming To Keep Cyclists Safe On The Road 3 feet at 35 MPH and under, 6 feet on faster roads. And the bill has passed the Senate and goes on to the governor to be signed into law.

Cyclists in the Emerald Isle are discovering that protecting the head just seems to move the injury to some other part of the body. Soaring popularity of pedal power leads to 200% rise in spinal injuries That energy has to go somewhere, and when you protect the skull the next thing in line is the neck, which this report seems to indicate is the part taking the abuse.

And whadda you know, crap infrastructure is crap. Are Southend’s roads safe for cyclists? If you have to ask, then the answer is probably “NO!”.

I think I’m done taking Boris Johnson seriously. Cyclists should wave like Simon Rattle to avoid being hit, says London mayor Really, get out in front of a heavy truck and wave your hands around in the vague hope that the driver will see you and not run you over? And how is that begging for your life at the base of the guillotine working out for you, Boris? 😉

Speaking of stupid things in the UK. Cyclists vs motorists – 3 STUPID acts committed by the frustrated car driver

Dealing with the rather arcane legal infrastructure in Oz. TAC admits cyclist claim rules are confusing after host of anomalies in rules exposed If I had to deal with a mess like this with my wreck I would be pushing a walker or a wheelchair still.

This is stupid, bike 4 months, skate 4 months, and 4 months transition when you can’t safely do either. Canadian ‘freezeway’ could let residents skate to work And what about people who can’t skate, like yr fthfl srvnt blogger? Aside from the fact that I’m 2027 miles from Edmonton by bike that is.

The kind of lifestyle article I like to link to, because nobody had to die first. For injured veterans, bike ride helps heal body

Our Daily Ted was a little late posting, but I got it. Morning Links: Endorsing Ramsay and O’Grady in CD4; and a blind bike rider needs your help to regain his sight

Some infrastructure news out of Dallas as they debate adding a bypass Interstate (I 345) or enhancing the existing grid. Why the Grid Has More Latent Capacity Than a Highway The thing about I 345 that I object to is they are putting it through existing neighborhoods, unlike its northern counterpart I 635 which was built on what was mostly semi-rural farmland (there is still an active Future Farmers of America at Garland HS in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, which is located outside the 635 loop).

And a Texan I would be proud to share the designation with. 76-Year-Old Man Bikes 300 Miles To Raise Money For Planned Parenthood

I’m outta here.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

I like myself better doing things this way, and the Feed

That headline takes some explaining, and I’m just the guy to do that. I mean it’s my blog, I’m the only one with the password, and I’m the guy that typed in the headline. I’m literally the only one that can explain that headline…

OK comedy aside, since I quit reading the wreck reports every day I feel better about myself, a little more every day. I mean it hasn’t helped much against my PTSD, but it has helped with my depression to not read about people getting killed or injured several times a day. I still get a wreck sometimes in the infrastructure links, but this is not anywhere near as bad as it was just a few weeks ago when I quit doing the wrecks.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: The Times says every driver should ride a bike, and cops throw the book at a Hawthorne rider Not to be confused with our other Daily Tedd.

From the same area, some people can’t tell the difference between a sidewalk and bicycle infrastructure. San Jose enacts partial ban on sidewalk bicycle riding downtown Just FYI “sidewalks are not bicycle infrastructure” is a tag that has been in use a long time in this blog.

And a little closer to home we get another case of inadequate infrastructure. One year after cyclist’s death, safety of Houston streets remains unclear ahem Unless something is done to tame the multi-ton killing machines, Houston’s streets will remain killing fields. Or deadly streams, the simile kinda breaks down there. But the problem is entirely that of the motor vehicle, unless severely restrained, kills indiscriminately.

A NJ town mourns a principal architect of their bike plan as he is killed riding a bicycle. Death of a bicyclist in a bike-friendly town

Difficult as it may seem now, motor vehicles only exist because bicycles did first. We are the architects of our own destruction. The Secret History of Cars Begins With Bicycles I find it fascinating that Hitler hisself tried to eliminate the bicycle from the history of the motor vehicle, leading to a new way to invoke Godwin’s law with bicycle-haters: “You know who else hated bicycles? HITLER!”

A little Lifestyle from the most deadliest state in the US to walk or rode a bike. Teen killed in bicycle crash remembered as brilliant student RIP

As much as I hate to admit it this might be the best cycling accessory to become available this century. PEZ Test: Fly6 Camera Review Get one, with bike camera video becoming accepted as evidence in wreck prosecution they may be the key to getting the idiot driver that hits you off the roads. The idiot driver that hit me took himself off the roads with a drunk driving wreck.

And I finally ran out of links and reasons to avoid reading them and posting them. I’m done today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Recovering from the first dose of allergy medicine for the year, and the Feed

I’m now on my third dose of allergy meds for the year, but that first one always knocks me on my butt for some reason. Usually I’m smart enough to just sleep it off and continue with my life after I have adjusted to the stuff, but yesterday I persisted in trying to write a blog post while semi-stoned on medication. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but then many people say that about a lot of things that turn out to be really bad ideas. I feel much better today.

Up first is a confusing hit-from-behind wreck in the Rio Grande Valley. Truck hits, kills bicyclist north of Edinburg If I’m reading the narrative right, the cyclist wasn’t actually on the road but possibly on the shoulder or riding in the dirt beside the road, and the truck in question went off the road first then hit the cyclist and then a tree. In case you were wondering the Interstate has parallel access roads where the cyclist could ride legally that are pretty much the only through route north and south in the area which have to be used to access a legal crossing for anyone trying to go east or west from one side of the Interstate to the other. If the truck was on the Interstate and hit the cyclist on the frontage road the driver was seriously out of control of either the truck or himself.

A little closer and a lot less deadly is this wreck in Houston. Houston bicyclist seeks driver who fled after striking him Since the cyclist’s lighting or lack of was not mentioned in the article we have to assume the cyclist had at least a rear reflector, and most likely a good light, so that part of the protocols has been met. Not known if the driver was going slow enough to execute the “dive to the ditch” portion of the protocols, but getting the infrastructure right would definitely prevent a wreck like this.

Next up is a supposedly stop-sign running cyclist in Shreveport. Shreveport cyclist seriously injured when hit by car Looking at the Street View of the site this is a two-way stop with extremely limited sight lines but only a 25 MPH speed limit. Even so this is an area that would require extreme vigilance on the part of the cyclist to stay safe. Intersection protocols to the max here, and get the infrastructure right to prevent wrecks like this.

Update on that weird wreck in OR. Critically injured Portland cyclist expected to survive I don’t know how this one happened yet. The only picture I have access to does not show the damages visible in the only picture I have access to are completely at odds with the written description of the wreck.

A UK cyclist dodges a very big bullet. Cyclist speaks of moment he was hit by rolls of paper as lorry overturned on Chester Road Not anywhere close to a typical wreck, avoiding this one was a matter of pure luck.

The Big Story is a cyclist hit by a truck in Oz. Cyclist dies in truck collision also Man charged over double fatal Vic crash and even Cyclist killed in crash with truck Hit from behind but “Why?” is still not known with the driver of the weapon vehicle hanging around to talk with LEO. Infrastructure to prevent, that much is sure.

Anther wreck in Enn Zed. Cyclist knocked from bike Not much information forthcoming from LEO on this one. It looks like it might be a hit-from-behind or buzz job. The cyclist was reported to have been part of a group ride which makes anything resembling a SMIDSY (the UK, Oz and Enn Zed version of the blind driver) extremely unlikely.

Our first Infrastructure! link comes from Houston. Bicycle safety Houston has said that they want zero cyclists killed per year. That is an ambitious goal for a town that kills an average of 4 cyclists a year, with 3 of those being completely compliant with the law at the time of their deaths. That leaves 2 ways of reaching that goal, draconian driver enforcement, or Dutch-style infrastructure that completely removes cyclists from conflict points.

Even a scarlet state like OK can see the benefits of normalizing cycling as a mode of transportation. Cycling on the rise in downtown OKC; provides economic, traffic benefits And they still miss mentioning the health benefits.

Two links about dangerous infrastructure in the UK leading to a semi passing a cyclist at less than arm’s length. VIDEO: Cyclist posts HGV close-pass helmet cam footage to show driver ‘he could have been killed’ and Cyclist’s fury at HGV driver

This is as much crap drivers as it is bad infrastructure. VIDEO: Terrifying near misses for cyclist at Deptford ‘nightmare’ junction A near-constant stream of turning drivers repeatedly cut off the cyclists in the videos. The real “infrastructure” needed here is LEO capable of issuing tickets for failure to yield, or assault with a deadly weapon.

Still in the UK dealing with potentially deadly infrastructure we get this article full of possible triggers of anxiety. Injured cyclist calls for pothole repairs after serious accident That’s one seriously messed-up dude.

Ted was busy today with two links to show for it. Bypassing busy traffic on 7th Street, notes from the LAPD bike task force, and Beverly Hills bike lanes redux and A little light Morning Linkage for your Cesar Chavez Day

And those were all the links that gave me fits and giggles.

Billed @€0.02, Opus