Tag Archives: stupid politicians

Snow in the morning and high 40s in the afternoon, and the Feed

Never has the expression “Don’t like the weather in Texas? Wait a few minutes” been more apropos than today. We had about an inch of snowfall this morning, and nearly 50°F this afternoon. I mean, really?! Snow followed by 20°F above freezing temperatures? Whose idea was this anyway? (I know, nobody had the “idea” for this weather, it just happened as a result of natural forces at work)

Up first is a “What were they thinking?!” report from Enn Zed. Ad covering truck window could have caused cyclist death and Advertising blocked truckie’s view in cyclist death Really? The damn trucks are nearly blind to the passenger side anyway, so you make it worse by covering the passenger side window? Did your parents have any children that lived? Because that is about the stupidest thing I have ever read. This is on a par with removing safety railings from a catwalk or finger guards from dangerous equipment.

Back to the US for another pair of links on the guilty plea of a hit-and-run cyclist killer. Motorist Pleads Guilty in Death of Bicyclist, Leaving Scene and Motorist pleads guilty in death of bicyclist, leaving scene I had some other links to this yesterday. I’m still of the opinion that the driver was treated much too leniently for the attempted coverup of the crime.

Another bad day for Ted Rogers in Our Daily Ted. 89-year old bike rider killed in San Diego; police blame the victim

Maybe if a few “captains of industry” are nearly killed cycling something will get done about bicycle infrastructure? Millionaire entrepreneur explains why cycling — and not golf — is the new sport of choice for young professionals I see what the guy is saying, but I can’t relate to it. One of the comments helped in understandistuping the difference, golf requires a mostly-fixed long length of time to participate, including getting there which may take two hours of driving each way, then 4-5 hours on the course, with very little actual exercise during the whole exercise.

And I’m hoping the sudden change in direction doesn’t cause emotional whiplash, but for some reason in spite of 10-20 cyclists a year dying mostly because of crappy infrastructure the people in charge can’t manage to spend more than half of their budget. Revealed: London’s most dangerous junctions for cyclists – as transport chiefs under-spend £50m road safety budget The fact that they only spent £29 million of £82 million in their budget with a number of known hotspots that desperately needed fixing with several that had killed cyclists repeatedly over the last few years, well there are words that I can’t use and keep the “SFW” rating on this blog.

Still in Jolly Olde relatives of victims ask their government for punishments that are more in line with the seriousness of events when drivers kill. Family of Ross and Clare Simons – killed riding tandem bicycle in Hanham – to meet PM David Cameron The killer in question for this article killed two people while driving illegally and will only spend less than 10 years total on prison.

Still in the UK, the peril of using bad statistics when talking about bicycle safety. Insurance giant’s cycling ‘study’ shows the perils of poor statistics Somehow they got from an official government statistic of 2% of bicycle wrecks involving “no lights” to the 1 of 3 wrecks caused by a lack of lights, so what other bad information did they use?

And over in Ireland, someone won’t let the tragedy of a cyclist getting killed go away. Flowers and stars for tragic cyclist killed in Limerick

And in “late to the party” news, Forbes discovers the “safety in numbers” theory of bicycle safety. The More Cyclists In A Country, The Fewer Fatal Crashes – Report [Infographic]

My short little legs are not the target audience for this article, but I found it fascinating never the less. Building the Next Dirty Sixer This is a buildup article on a bicycle with 36″ diameter tires. The standover height for this bike is roughly 6″ greater than my inseam.

Last link, if you’re getting a custom bike built like the one in the previous paragraph, it pays to have a good working relationship with your mechanic. Here’s how. AngryAsian: Things you should never say to your bike shop mechanic

And those were all the links I could wade through today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

One of those days, and the Feed

Today is one of “those” days where I feel like strangling a politician, making it a good thing there aren’t any in reach. The Feed had a number of proposed bills for cyclists that did not actually do anything to protect cyclists but did make people feel like they had “done something”. Also Mrs. the Poet was out in the garage complaining about my stash of used bikes that I use to make art bikes and recumbents from. Then she started getting into some of the things that keep me from actually being able to use those bikes as I intended to when I got them, all the other people’s junk that keeps me from being able to get to my tools and workspace in the garage. Lots of cussing about that coming from the garage whilst I was trying to filter links.

Up first is one of those “What were they thinking?” laws I was reading about. Bill would require neon clothes, government ID for cyclists There are some things that would be a great idea, and others not so much. Rear lights, good idea, government ID, not so much. I see this bill being used mostly as a way to bludgeon the poor and homeless, not as an effective tool for bicycle safety.

A really bizarre case in NYC gets even weirder. Bag Of Rats Offers New Evidence In Fatal Williamsburg Hit & Run They recovered a plastic bag of “live frozen” rats from the weapon vehicle at the scene, with the defendant’s fingerprints on it. Also the defendant has a criminal history that includes killing people. The weapon vehicle was doing almost 70 in a 30 MPH zone when he hit the cab.

Another off-the-wall scene in an NYC court. Mother Of Unlicensed Teen Driver Who Killed 4-Year-Old Lashes Out In Court She’s lucky her unlicensed son was not charged with illegal possession of a deadly weapon.

Using mind-reading helmets to plan lower-stress cycling in NYC. NYC bike map based on riders’ brainwaves tells you which routes are the most stressful or relaxing How about building some Dutch-quality infrastructure for making low-stress routes?

Why has building infrastructure for active transportation become a political football? Koch-funded groups coalesce around axing all federal funding for walking, biking and transit and Koch-Funded Groups: Cut All Federal Funding for Walking, Biking, Transit I looked at the proposal and all it does is lock in transportation planning from 50 and 60 years ago to the exclusion of every other alternative, basically “Cars über alles”.

More on technical means of keeping drivers from running over cyclists and pedestrians. Here’s How Car Makers Are Trying to Make Streets Safer for Bicycle Commuters Some car-makers are using passive sensors that don’t require anything from the cyclist or pedestrian other than being there and potentially moving into conflict with the motor vehicle, while others are requiring vulnerable users to carry devices that warn the car of their presence, path, and velocity so the car can then warn the driver. If you don’t have these devices then the car doesn’t tell the driver you’re there…

Infrastructure news from America’s Amsterdam, Portland OR. Novick says PBOT will use state study to address speeding, lack of bikeway on Barbur The lane closures from the construction did not seriously affect the non-rush traffic except to slow it down slightly under the posted speed limit.

Some infrastructure news from OR. City issues bike parking code violation to Jantzen Beach Home Depot I am in awe and totally jealous that they even have a bike parking code. I have been lobbying the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell for a bike parking ordinance for almost 10 years now. We still don’t have one.

More infrastructure from across the Columbia from Portland OR. Damaged sections of waterfront trail reopen

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: January was a good month for SoCal cyclists, walkability survey and still more bike events

Still in SoCal we get this lifestyle event. SLAIN CYCLIST HONORED AT ORANGE COUNTY MEMORIAL RIDE RIP rider…

Struggling to provide a connection for two trans-continental bike routes. PLEASE SUPPORT BICYCLE ROUTE 66 This is a vital connection for both the Southern Tier bike route and the Heartland bike route. BR66 is also a potential major tourist bike route. Having a big unrideable gap like that just east of LA just cuts too many people off from the rest of the country.

And I seem to have run out of links again.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

Post! or something and the Feed

Making beans today because we are having a guest and my beans and rice were requested. I have red kidney beans instead of the small reds I had before, so slight change in texture from the usual, but the flavor should be about the same as usual. And good news, one of the people here without a job is at a job fair. I have a job, actually several jobs even if you don’t include this blog, so I’m speaking in the third person non-ironically. I’m still having computer issues related to the latest versions of Flash and Chrome OS but there is a ticket out on that so maybe soon I won’t get crashing while I’m working? Please? The issue of the wandering cursor is getting worse, too, and appears to be related to the number of Flash ads I have in tabs or open windows, so back to the first problem.

Up first is another article that puts blame on the infrastructure for placing cyclists next to fast traffic when a cyclist was killed by a driver who was DUI and texting. A driver killed Tom Palermo in Baltimore, but road designers deserve some blame, too Specifically blamed are multiple wide lanes of traffic and a median that looks like a highway to a drunk person with the cars on the wrong side of the bike lane to prevent the drunk driver from hitting the cyclist.

Bicycle deaths in the Windy City more than double. 7 Chicago cyclists died in auto-bike collisions in 2014, up from three in 2013: data Actually 2013 was an anomaly, 7 dead cyclists a year is an average year, and 2014 is one less than 2012.

From ABQ is a report that bad infrastructure hurts lots of people even when only one is actually physically injured. One injured bicycle rider, many victims Looking deeper this is another “I ran over a cyclist, now I’m a victim, too!” from someone safely enclosed in a light armored vehicle.

More on the SF truck driver who killed a cyclist being found “negligent” after escaping criminal prosecution. Truck Driver Who Killed Cyclist Amelie Le Moullac Found Negligent Just like OJ, he got away with the criminal charges (because of a wimp PD and DA rather than from having a good lawyer) but was not able to escape the civil courts.

Updates on infrastructure spending in WA. WSDOT Report: Bike/Ped and & Safe Routes to School Projects up for state funding in 2015-17 In a nutshell, about 20% of the projects that need to be built “yesterday” are getting funded, with some of those needing to be built “last week”, not just “yesterday”.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: CicLAvia comes to the Valley, bike confusion east of Barstow, and why our roads are dangerous

A Facebook group devoted to bicycles not just as transportation but as a transformative force for good. Bikemuters – Public Transformation

“Not enough room” to build bicycle infrastructure? Once again, ask the Dutch. Dutch Suburbs Are Like America’s, and Protected Bike Lanes Work Fine There The trick is not to just assume that people will drive everywhere if that’s the only alternative to staying home. Give people a choice and they might choose to ride a bike. Hell people are choosing to ride a bike even when that really is not a viable choice because of a lack of infrastructure. Just look at the number of people riding bicycles in Garland, TX, the literal “Beautiful Suburb of Hell” where WoaB is located. Garland is one of the most car-dependant towns in the US with an average annual mileage of 19+K miles a year. And in spite of this there are people other than me who live without motor vehicles, riding bikes and taking transit where they need to go.

Dude, when you get assaulted with a motor vehicle and then assaulted for a second time when the driver gets out of the vehicle while you’re on the ground, and you have a camera recording the event, take it to the police, don’t just post it to YouTube. Police issue cyclist appeal on Twitter after shocking ‘van assault’ video is shared on YouTube

And last link is a collection of e-assist devices that were all destined to “change the world” by being cheaper and easier to install on your bike. All-In-One E-Bike Motors For An Environmental Commute Swap out the front or rear wheel, run the wire to the throttle or the pedal speed sensor, and wallah! electric power to aid your legs…

And those are all the links I have today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

The computer crashed and I lost everything… on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Flash and Chrome OS have not been playing nice lately and I have had several mild computer crashes lately, but I had one last night that just wiped a bunch of stuff off my little Chromebook and put me dead in the water for hours when I got up this morning. Seriously, every site was asking for something to show I had been there prior or my password(s), none of my subscription sites were responding (those will take a pair of e-mails to get me back on) all because I had 3 tabs open with multiple Flash advertisements in them.

Now compound that with a sinus headache because I have been dealing with an allergy attack (during January in the Northern Hemisphere!) and got a secondary infection in the old snot factory, and things just got miserable. I have been up twice so far today, about 1100 for some hydration and pain meds and about 1600 because I was sick of being in bed. But not being in bed is so uncomfortable I might just end this post at any moment and go back to bed. Then again we are having spaghetti and meatballs for dinner in a few minutes…

Oh, yes, the original topic for today was supposed to be… POLITICS. Specifically with one side being so opposed to anything resembling bicycle infrastructure in the US, why haven’t I made more noise about that in this blog? One reason is because of gerrymandering the people who do this are quite literally in a lifetime office that is theirs until they either die or decide to leave it. My Congressional district goes almost to Texarkana but a couple of miles away that district goes out by Paris, and a few miles in the other direction the district goes out past Terrell. My area is strongly Democrat, but we have been “represented” by the GOTP for almost 15 years now. There are almost 40% of Texans who are Democratic, but the people that make up our “representation” in Congress are 25 GOTP and 11 Dem, not even close to the population. And I’ll give you 2 guesses as to which group thinks (actually says out loud when they think people are not listening) that bicycle infrastructure is “inspired by Satan”. Yep, the people who are “representing” me.

At the moment there ain’t much I can do about this situation. The current state legislature is if anything gerrymandered worse than the Congressional Districts which had to be drawn under Federal approval prior to the Voting Rights Act being gutted by the SCOTUS. The Texas legislature was not as subject to the pre-approval process and we ended up with small areas that were packed with blue voters in the middle of urban areas getting attached to rural areas with less than 1/20th the population density with the zoning lines going down the middle of a street but not extending to the buildings on either side until they got to strongly GOTP but sparsely populated areas where they were unlikely to encounter anything except livestock and Republicans.

And all the “feel good” I had built up prior to the spaghetti is now rapidly leaving my body as I have been out of bed almost 3 hours now and I want to go back to bed and watch the episode I recorded of Mythbusters.

And TV and a warm bed sounds better than posting to a blog, sorry.

PSA, Opus

I’m really tired of seeing the same links 4 times a day, and the Feed

Yep, getting really tired of seeing the same links 4 times in the Feed for one day, especially when they were there 4 times yesterday. And I’m really frustrated when they are wreck links, because I really really stopped doing wrecks here last month. I have seen the same links to a wreck in Lubbock at least 6 times, and maybe 4 more times from another media outlet in Lubbock. And the only witness to the wreck was the driver of the weapon vehicle, as the cyclist died at the scene… so naturally the cyclist was at fault for the wreck. But I don’t do wrecks any more so I will put those links out of my mind…

Up first, did you know cycling made more jobs in Europe than cars? Cycling is a bigger job creator in Europe than anything we are doing here in America Oh yeah, also than anything in the US. Sorry ’bout that, chief. And pop culture bonus points for knowing where that came from, and who played the “Chief” referred to.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: The Times looks at the need for real bike data; and a crowded weekend calendar of bike events

A link that also appears in the Daily Ted, if you don’t know what the numbers were before, how do you know you made an improvement after? Getting a firm grasp on L.A.’s bicycling data

This is a little dense reading but worth the time. Systematic review and meta-analysis of reduction in all-cause mortality from walking and cycling and shape of dose response relationship tl;dr: Active transportation infrastructure saves lives and money at a far faster rate than the money spent for it.

Tone deaf PSA from major metropolitan transit agency times 3. MTA Warns Cyclists Not To Crash Into Buses Considering the number of cyclists injured running into the backs of buses = 0, number killed by right hooks = unknown because transit agency will not allow numbers to be released; this is beyond tone deaf. As called out in this tweet

As if anyone needed an excuse to heat up the car-bike conflicts anywhere. Hamilton car-bike conflict heats up after cyclist charged in collision

Paris is starting to get a handle on what is causing their air pollution. Paris plans to ban cars from its city center

Other parts of France don’t seem to have as great a grasp of reality. France plans crackdown on rogue cyclists Is it just me or do the English news outlets in France have pretty much the same anti-cyclist bias as the majority of media outlets in most Anglophone countries?

And those were all the links I could stomach reading to use to create a link here.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Answer to pop culture question: Get Smart Edward Platt

Well, it isn’t an infection, and the Feed

I don’t know exactly what is making me sick, but I’m pretty sure that I don’t have an upper respiratory infection (yet). So far everything coming out of my nose is water-clear, and depending on my hydration it has about the same viscosity as water. So, no infection, but not sure exactly what it is. I just know that when I take allergy medicine it doesn’t help much. A little, but not much. It slows down the drip but does nada for the aches and pains. I don’t quite feel like I was hit by a truck this time, but maybe a motorcycle? Lots of aches and pains there…

NYC has a massive infrastructure problem, but nobody wants to admit it. NYPD: 1,399 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, 16 Killed in Traffic in October 1415 dead and injured people in 31 days tells me that the infrastructure is not optimized for anything but motor vehicles and that mode is not really optimized. The 15 dead pedestrians are almost twice the number killed by bicycles in NYC since 2001. Stop and think about that for a moment. Motor vehicles have killed almost twice as many people in 31 days as bicycles in 15 years. And yet people keep insisting the bicycles are the problem?

Still in NYC they deal with the lack of space for bicycles and pedestrians by permanently making 2/3 of the roads permanently off-limits to anything except cars? Eyes on the Street: The Part of Central Park That’s Only for Cars Yep, they be nucking futs.

And just how nucking futs are they? For Traffic Violence Victims, Cy Vance’s “Moneyball” Still a Field of Dreams Yep, really nucking futs.

And from CA why we have so many hit-and-runs against cyclists. Hit a cyclist, help a cyclist? These readers aren’t so sure Yep, hit ‘em and leave ‘em in the street to die because you saw a cyclist riding salmon once, or running a stop sign (nevermind that everybody runs stop signs in CA hence the sobriquet “California Stop” applied to slowing to bicycle pace and rolling the stop sign if it is clear), or riding in the middle of the lane…

More of the same from 3/4 of the way across the country. Bikers vs. Drivers: Chattanooga is ‘bike-friendly’, but there is tension between cyclists, drivers Yep, forcing a driver to lift his foot off the gas for a few seconds is a death penalty offense. Enforcible immediately upon slowing the driver down. The graphic that goes with the article is really scary. I hope they got the ISP addresses of all those threatening comments, because if one of those dudes hits a cyclist it will prove premeditation.

Pantani (was/wasn’t choose one) murdered… Doctor debunks murder theory in Pantani death investigation Seriously now, the dude was poisoned without a physical struggle, that can mean only one of two things. First was that he did it on purpose. Second that he didn’t know what was in that drug cocktail he took, because someone changed the drugs he was using… And they still haven’t established this fact one way or the other.

A little Lifestyle north of the border. Salim Aoudia, cyclist killed in Griffintown, remembered with ghost bike

From the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike, an opinion. Guest commentary: Cars and cyclists safely sharing the road Thing is it should be easy, but for most drivers, it ain’t.

Back to CA for our last link. Bike Bakersfield to Light up the Night by installing free bike lights for cyclist

And again I have run out of links before I have run out of things to say about links.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

That freaking lawnmower still won’t start, and the Feed

One of the places they saved money on the lawnmower we bought was the carburetor. It has absolutely no controls or adjustments, and basically does not work when ambient temperatures fall much below 60°F and is really iffy below 70. I mean once you get it started it runs fine, the hard part is getting it started the first time because of the lack of controls. There is a choke lever on the side but it isn’t connected to anything…

I got an update on a pedestrian fatality I wanted to share if the URL will work. Breaking News: After 47-Second Hearing, Driver Who Ran Over 3-Year-Old Is Found ‘Not Guilty’ If anything exemplars the “Motors Uber Alles” mentality amongst LEO this one does it. The victim was crossing the street with the crossing signal for several seconds holding her grandmother’s hand when the killer made a left turn across the crosswalk the victims were using, hitting the grandmother and running over the head and torso of the little girl. There is video evidence of this from someone with a dashcam pointed at the crosswalk in question, and still the tickets were dismissed. I have heard rumors that mob hitmen are now waiting for their targets to cross the street so they can be run over and publicly killed without any repercussions. I guess it all depends on do you want the victim dead, or do you want the victim dead and a message sent.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Mealy-mouthed Mobility Plan goes to Planning Comm; pope raffles bikes to feed homeless Anyone in Rome want to take my €10 and buy a ticket?

The depiction is still more convenient for pedestrians than an actual city. Brilliant visual illustration of how much #publicspace we have given to #cars I mean think of it, you can walk across one of those planks any time, crosswalks require waiting for cross vehicle traffic to clear before you can hurry across and hope a turning vehicle doesn’t run you down.

Cyclists in Oz are facing a quandary. Injured cyclist’s $1.6 million payout sends ACT riders scrambling for insurance There is only one vendor for bicycle insurance in Oz because until now there was almost no need for it.

There is a reason why there was a school of art called “the Dutch Masters”. This Dreamy, Glow-in-the-Dark Bike Path Was Inspired by Starry Night I mean if you have a glow-in-the-dark bike path to work with why wouldn’t you make Art from it? Isn’t this cool?

And those are all the links today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet