Tag Archives: Steaming piles of infrastructure

What bicycle infrastructure is like, an analogy

I have been seeing an uptick in cars parked in bike lanes in social media. So I’m going to construct an analogy that puts cars and car users in the same kind of peril as bicycles and cyclists.

Imagine that people are allowed to own howitzers, really big howitzers, and somehow getting things done required shooting your howitzer in random directions and at all hours. Now imagine that getting things done also required driving around pretty much like we do today, except with random artillery shells impacting everywhere, but not the exploding kind. This analogy is horrific enough without shrapnel in the equation. So, you’re trying to go about your daily business except there are large metal objects moving at high speed everywhere and every so often somebody gets hit and either killed or seriously injured. This is the situation cyclists face now without separated infrastructure.

OK now let’s say someone says that this is not a sustainable situation with people getting hit with artillery all the time, and too many people are getting killed. So they set up areas that are artillery-free zones so that people can do their thing without getting hit by cannon fire but there isn’t much separation from falling cannon rounds and it’s highly dependent on the good aim of the people shooting the cannons to not land rounds where the people are. And there really isn’t much room in the zones so that it’s pretty much single file between free-fire ranges, until someone decides they need to put their howitzer in the no-fire zone, completely blocking it and forcing people into the free-fire zone right next to it. And blaming the people leaving the no-fire zone for getting hit in the free-fire zone, because howitzers rule, SUVs drool, and if you get hit it must be your fault somehow. And even when there is a place to put your howitzer a few feet away from the no-fire zone, because for some reason you want/think you need to put your howitzer there in the no-fire zone. This is the equivalent of parking in a bike lane.

Let me put this in a separate paragraph, parking in a bike lane is like forcing people in cars to drive in a free-fire artillery range because it’s more convenient for them. And the person doing it is such a sociopath and narcissist that they don’t care they are forcing you to risk your life for their convenience.

I still have the lump on my neck, and the Feed

I had to call and cancel my MRI because we don’t have the co-pay. So I had to put off the MRI to a point late in April when I should have money to cover the co-pays for everything. The co-pays on this policy are out of proportion to income. Seriously, the ER co-pay is like 50% (+/-) of my monthly budget without medical expenses. The co-pays for a visit to the PCP, the MRI, the consult with the surgeon, and the surgery itself combine to about 2 months of my income, about half of which will not apply to my Out Of Pocket (OOP) maximum. This is one of the results of Gov. Goodhair deciding that Texans would not get expanded Medicaid. Rick, I hope you can sleep at night knowing that there are people who will die because of your decision, that’s all I have to say.

After that heavy intro, something light. The bike lanes in NYC are some of the heaviest used in the US. Including this guy. Ain’t he a hipster?

And as always there is one law for the plebes and another law for the elite. De Blasio’s Position On New Car Idling Bill Remains Hazy

Our Daily Ted almost didn’t make the post today. April Fool-free Morning Links: Maintaining Griffith Park for the many; traffic planning problems in Calabasas Those pedestrian crossing flags are about the stupidest thing I have ever seen, not because they aren’t needed, but because someone thought they were.

Simpsons ride many bikes. #ciclavia

What’s worse, losing $341,000 a year in parking meter revenue, or killing a cyclist or pedestrian a year? Comm. Ave. bike lane plan draws ire: ‘Outrageous’ loss of parking

Portland is using every source to embrace Vision Zero. Bike/walk advocates unveil plan for Oregon to zero out road deaths

And even car-crazy Houston can haz bike lanes. Biking through downtown Houston just got easier thanks to new protected green lane

One of the more dangerous places in NYC is getting an overhaul. “Boulevard Of Death” Will Get Protected Bike Lanes, Pedestrian Walkway

Sounds like this woman missed her Pikes Place latte that morning. Seattle Driver Blocking Bicycle Lane to Cyclist: “I Literally Don’t Give a Fuck About Anything You Say” And instead of just moving one car width to the left to get into the parking lane, the bike lane parker drives off without doing whatever it was that made her park in the bike lane in the first place as she leaves in shame.

Well, what do you know? Finnish drivers don’t yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk either. Police step up surveillance of pedestrian crossings And they also don’t yield to cyclists using the crossings when there are MUPs connected to the marked crossings. Yep, they’re drivers alright.

London’s financial elites are switching from sedate golf to more active cycling, but the roads are still a problem. Bankers swap golf for bicycles but still fear London’s roads

And one of the reasons why they are uneasy “sharing” the roads. Stars’ fashion designer deliberately knocked cyclist off bike after he kicked her Audi TT She cuts off a cyclist, cyclist kicks in the side of her car, she chases down the cyclist and commits assault with a deadly weapon, measured and reasonable responses to the situation. /s

Is it really “bike friendly” if it’s only friendly to commuters? The Web Monkey Speaks: A “Bike-Friendly” city? Let’s redefine that

I liked the comment someone made about this stuff on another link: Like a fraternity selling rape whistles. Cyclists Shine at Night Courtesy of New Reflective Spray This is victim-blaming, pure and simple. It enables drivers to drive faster than they can stop in the distance they can see clearly at night.

All you graphic designers who participated in my tattoo contest might want to get involved in this. IT’S BACK … USA PRO CHALLENGE OFFERS FANS CHANCE TO DESIGN OFFICIAL COMMEMORATIVE POSTER FOR 2015 RACE AND WIN VIP RACE PACKAGE Yeppers, a $50K or more design contest with a grand prize worth a few hundred to a couple grand tops, travel not included… Well if you were going anyway, might as well enter the contest.

Moots restores one of their bikes involved in a fatal wreck. Forever Forward: Sally Bell’s bike rides again If it was anybody else’s bike it would have been scrapped.

And I’m outta links again tonight.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the (very poor) Poet (I’m still an unkillable badass though)

We has munnie now on Grocery Day, and the Feed

We got paid this week here at Casa de El Poeta, so we re-stocked the pantry, to the tune of about $140. We rebuilt our stores of breakfast cereal, and Pop Tarts, but that was mainly because we had the combination of an outrageous deal on 12-packs with a coupon that took a dollar off three boxes of any count that combined to net a cost of $0.148/pastry. The breakfast cereal restock was also a combination of a sale and a coupon. We also had to buy a bunch of meat to replace consumed supply. we missed the french fry deal because of lack of space in the cart and the back of the car, but they will be on sale even bigger tomorrow and I have a backpack. I will also be picking up supplies for the sole employee of WoaB, security cat Bryan. Just because he’s a trusted and valuable employee does not mean that I won’t pinch a penny to get his preferred payment (besides, what is a cat going to do with money?).

And more good news the property hearing has been set so I can get back Blue. The bad news is it will be 0900 on 03/04. I’m not up that time of day, normally. I will be for Blue, though.

Up first it turns out that there is solid data on not running your tires as high a pressure as it says on the sidewall. Tire Pressure: Data and Details This is a summary of a much longer print article. It may pay to do a coastdown test with different air pressures on your bike.

Hub or crank assist on your e-assist bike? Hub Motor Hills Testing, February, 2015 It looks like when you have significant hills the crank drive has the advantage. I’m not entirely sure there will be any significant difference when it’s just flat riding, but most people don’t have e-assist for flat rides.

A CA rider gets a little extra because fighting the lawsuit was judged to be a lost cause. City settles lawsuit from injured cyclist The defendant in the case would have spent almost as much if the case went to trial and still would have to make the rest of the payment, so the settlement was the more sound fiduciary decision.

On other legal fronts, I wonder if this driver’s 8 year driving ban starts before or after his 2 year prison sentence? Vernonia man sentenced to 2 years in prison for cyclist’s Highway 30 death At least he might spend most of a year in prison for running over a cyclist.

Can I like this? Judge puts the brakes on scientific defense of school-zone camera ticket In this case the owner of the car used the known length of the vehicle and the stated time between exposures to determine his wife was not exceeding the speed limit by any appreciable amount. The problem is, was the stated amount of time between exposures the actual time? That is literally a state secret…

Another memorial ride for Milt Olin, killed while riding in a bike lane by a texting deputy sheriff. Cyclists to rally in Calabasas

More on the bill proposing mandatory adult helmet wearing in CA. Lawmakers consider making bike helmets mandatory for adults I strongly question the validity of their 91% “helmetless” fatality rate as there is no corresponding helmet rate for people just riding and not getting hit. If there was a large difference either way then that figure might be significant. Otherwise it is just a meaningless number.

Another example of using data-driven corrections to infrastructure, data collection phase. Maps Show Where Thousands of S.F. Cyclists, Pedestrians Hurt or Killed The data is shocking when you remember that every one of those dots and circles represents an injured cyclist or pedestrian, the “x”s represent a severely injured person, and the skulls and crossbones represent a fatality.

Round one of Our Daily Ted. Afternoon Links: Kicking cars off H’wood Blvd, silly season for bike laws, and MyFig now a year behind schedule

And here’s round 2. Update: 17-year old bike rider killed by DWP truck in Granada Hills

Moving from CA to GA. Pedal Medal Award Celebration honors those who make Savannah better for bicycling Let’s celebrate people making a difference for cycling wherever they are.

Cyclists and the civil rights movement have a lot of parallels. Selma-to-Montgomery bike ride a way to #seizethedays Not sayin’ bike riders have it anywhere near as bad as African-Americans just that there are parallels between the middle of the previous century and the beginning of this one, one was a fight for the right to vote, the other is a fight for the right to travel without getting killed indiscriminately.

They are starting to get “riled” about the money being spent to make crap infrastructure in the UK when it doesn’t cost much if any more to do it by the book (CROW Manual). EXCLUSIVE: ‘Cyclists are an afterthought’ Campaigners outrage at road safety standards

Similar sentiments across the straights in Eire. Record level of cycling injuries and How cycling injuries are spiralling – a medic’s view

Still in Ireland, they are having some problems setting up their latest bike share. Cork bike-share scheme starts with a rattle I see some of the problem as they are putting in the infrastructure required to support mass cycling while trying to maintain motor vehicle dominance and that ain’t going to work when there is barely room for a single car on most of the streets, where they could be bi-directional if they were bicycle-only.

Back to the UK, more pointless twaddle about cyclists hitting pedestrians. Legal Eagle: If a cyclist injures a pedestrian, do they face the same penalties as a driver?

More on the debate on a 1 meter passing law in the “down under” WA. Cyclist safety: renewed calls for safe passing law in WA

Last link, what if your e-scooter had 4 wheels and 4WD and tilted? EV4 four-wheel-drive electric scooter leans into turns It has similar problems about crashing sideways if it loses traction as a 2 wheel scooter, but less likely for that to happen with twice the contact patch.

And it’s time for me to hit the hay, it has been a busy day for me.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet (and still an unkillable badass)

The rain is helping my allergies, and the Feed

The weather has turned cold and rainy, and the drizzle has the side effect of washing the pollen out of the air so I can breathe without drugs. I wish all those climate change deniers would buy me a 100 count bottle of diphenhydramine so I can breathe normally all the time and get to sleep at night. Do you know how hard it is to sleep when you can’t breathe through your nose? My throat and mouth get so dry it hurts, I can’t speak when I wake up, and I sound like a truck load of gravel for several hours until I get my throat properly hydrated. All because of what a former president of the board at my church calls “plant bukkake”.

Up first a meaningless gesture at “justice” from NYC. DMV Revokes License Of Driver Who Killed 3-Year-Old In Crosswalk As nobody cares about driving on a suspended license, even if he kills again there will be no consequences to this death. And until death by motor vehicle is treated like death with any other kind of deadly weapon this will continue to happen.

Another hit-and-run in America’s most deadliest state to walk or ride a bike gets a protest ride. Family members of bicyclist killed near Key Biscayne reflect on loss and Cyclists Ride In Honor Of Man Killed In Causeway Crash This is as much an infrastructure problem as a drunk driver problem. When the only way on or off the island was built there was a small walkway sheltered by a concrete barrier but nothing for cyclists except what was the breakdown lane is now a paint-“protected” bike lane. The wreck happened when a drunk driver veered into the bike lane at speed hitting both cyclists from behind. The long and straight bridge looks like a freeway to a drunk driver so they just put the pedal down and just GOOOooo!

There are some really low-class people out there. Thief stole cyclist’s bike as he lay injured in road after Leeds crash and How low can you get? Callous thief steals bike from injured rider after car crash This story comes less than 2 weeks after people robbed both the driver and the cyclist in a wreck in CA while the driver was providing first aid to the cyclist… I’m reminded of something my elder daughter used to say, “I hate people!”

Another memorial ride, this time in AZ. Prescott College holds memorials for alum killed while riding bike

More infrastructure news from the Feds on local infrastructure. DOT head challenges mayors on bicycle, walking safety Ultimately all infrastructure is local even when serving a national purpose.

UK infrastructure is examined and declared to be “not good”. ‘A cyclist is going to get killed at some point’ I think that headline is the epitome of “not good”.

Wounded Warrior gets a bit of a financial boost. World T.E.A.M. Sports Welcomes DuPont Fabros Technology as Face of America Sponsor

\Last link is sorta ironic for this old hot-rodder. America’s best-selling cars and trucks are built on lies: The rise of fake engine noise Basically, they program an MP3 player to play different tracks based on engine load and speed, pipe it through the stereo system and use sound shaping technology to “aim” it at the driver, because modern cars are sound like crap.

And I’m out of links today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet (still an unkillable badass)

More Stupid stuff than you ever thought possible. and the Feed

Well you might think I would be all written out after the previous post, but I am an endless barrel of exposition . No, seriously, I can keep writing for days, weeks even. I just take Saturdays off so I can have some semblance of a social life. I have all the ideas I need to keep writing forever except for the bouts I have with aphasia, and needing to sleep once in a while.

Main reason why cyclists break traffic laws? Because the laws were written for 1+ ton vehicles with much higher power-to-weight ratios than bicycles, and following laws written for those vehicles can get cyclists killed. Let’s talk seriously about why cyclists break traffic laws

Remember what I keep saying about helmets never preventing a wreck? Study: What Puts Cyclists at Greatest Risk? It’s Not What You Wear Apparently they don’t do much to prevent injury, either.

Have problems finding bike parking near your favorite store or mall? There might be a reason for that. SHOP BLOCKED Unless I absolutely have to I no longer shop stores without bike parking.

More on the MD bike tragedy as it has affected infrastructure discussions and the bicycle Lifestyle in MD. On Palermo tragedy, ‘Agony in the Garden’ and the Next Baltimore The event has had a major impact on the Episcopalian community of MD if nothing else. And Boys Latin students were first to stop to help injured cyclist Palermo

One NV town is determined to make cycling work within the narrow proscriptions of state law. Taking ‘Bike-Friendly’ to a whole new level

Infrastructure news from America’s Amsterdam. New striping on Vancouver Ave is a ‘SAFE’ hotline success story

If you happen to be in KY in March… National American Handmade Bicycle Show 2015

What is it about cyclists that drives people to act as if we don’t count as human beings? Attack on cyclist: Staffordshire police witness appeal The cyclist was attacked by someone in a car but not driving, WTH?

I am so jelly on this. You’re about to get really jealous of these cool bike paths Yes, I used “jelly” in an unironic mode meaning “jealous”, so sue me.

Not so “jelly” about this steaming pile of UK infrastructure. Embassy response to Crystal Palace Parade junction improvement scheme Another plan to speed up drivers with a bit of crappy bike infrastructure thrown in to comply with laws and spend budget without actually giving anything useful to cyclists. There is something useful in this scheme, protected left turns for cyclists (which would be the same as protected rights for here in the US) so maybe “steaming pile” is a little harsh? On further review “steaming pile” is if anything too lenient.

And I’m all out of links today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet