Fatality on Montreal cycle track | John S. Allen's Bicycle Blog
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Perhaps you've noticed the "Adult Content" warning when you try to access Cycle*Dallas. Several readers have inquired (some may have been disappointed). An explanation is required.
The simple explanation is just that these posts require a certain maturity to read. Information must be processed. Thought about. Decisions reached. These are the markings of an adult.
Children, on the other hand, demand instant gratification, need their hands held when crossing the street, and require/seek the services of a nanny.
As a bonus, the warning logs into the internet filters of governmental nannies.
Oh, and just so you won't feel misled (you know who you are)...
...and it gets better.
Enforcement is a two way street, enforcing the laws with both motorists and bicyclists. Enforcement would be a better solution to the scofflaw cyclists and joggers who run blindly across Knox Street at the Katy Trail, instead of taking away the money that was meant for (among other things) the re-striping and SLM (sharrow) placement on Mockingbird Lane at White Rock Lake. As a bonus, enforcing the law would actually help with the City of Dallas' budget problems (maybe even pay for the extra police patrols that are needed along the Katy Trail for citizen safety).
The old Five Es of Bicycle Advocacy were Education, Engineering, Enforcement, Encouragement, and Equity, but they fade farther and farther into distant memory. The new LAB's Five Es are: Enable, Encourage, Enable, Enable, Enable.
Enforcement meant police action to protect bicyclists from motorists, but also from themselves. While there have been attempts to twist the data (see Cliff Cox's post below), the vast majority of serious injuries suffered by cyclists are the result of their own careless actions. In the substantial majority of car/bike collisions (the kind that are too often fatal to the bicyclist), the cyclist is at fault (this does not take into consideration bicyclists misconstrued notions about proper lane position, and how most "over taking" collisions are a direct result of that). Running stop signs, wrong-way riding, failure to yield and reckless operation are the primary causes of bicyclists' serious injuries (and death). These can all be addressed by enforcement. But it needs to be informed enforcement, where the police officer understands and respects the legal rights of bicycle operators.
But it may be asking too much for police to respect bicyclists' right to the road when "cycling advocacy" groups are so intent on stressing they don't, thereby enabling the very behavior that lands them in the emergency room.
Monday, August 06, 2012
|The City of Richardson's innovative car parking/bike lane combo|
CycleDallas reader, Richardson resident, longtime GDB member, and Lifetime LAB member Cliff Cox dropped us an email. He brought up enough good points that we thought it needed a wider audience. With his permission, it is posted below.
I just got my July/August LAB magazine. In his "viewpoint" page, the League's Chief Lobbyist writes about a survey from Americabikes which states that "83 percent of Americans wants federal funding for sidewalks and bike ways to be maintained or increased." However, if you look at the numbers, 53 percent do NOT want an increase.
The biggest problem I have with this survey is that they lumped sidewalks in with bike paths and bike lanes. This implies to me that they think that cyclist are more like pedestrians then driver of vehicles. How can this be good for bicycling?
This is like calling Richardson bicycle friendly because of the combo bike and parking lanes. Last year I talked to both staff and police about these lanes. I was told that there was a problem with the "bikers" not obeying the traffic laws and just getting in the way of "vehicles". The lanes were installed to keep the "bikers" in their place and make it better for drivers.
If we consider everything that is used for both roads and sidewalks (base, gravel, and concrete), isn't the depth of the road about three times as thick as a sidewalk? Even with a sidewalk on each side of a multi-lane road, doesn't the road need at least 50 times more fill then the sidewalks? So two percent is not too small an amount of the budget to spend on the sidewalks. If I am correct then why is there a need to complain?
About the survey, I wonder how many people voted for an increase just to keep bikes off the road?
The problem I have with LAB and their new breed of cyclists is that they are promoting pedestrian cycling at the death of cycling seen as a real form of transportation. This was reflected by the conversations I had last year with the City of Richardson about the combo lanes. It seems first and foremost these are extra wide car parking lanes. This means that a driver can take the whole lane. If there is not enough room for a bike to safety go between the car and the travel lane, that is not a problem for the driver. But that is something else for the cyclist, who must then come to a full and complete stop. Only after making sure that the travel lane is clear can the cyclist enter. After passing the "vehicle" the cyclist must return to the parking lane. I was told this was for the cyclist's safety.
Years ago if you acted like a vehicle driver you were treated like a vehicle driver. But because of groups like LAB and Americabikes, many cities are becoming "bicycle friendly." Too bad they forgot how to be cyclist friendly!
|Compact car door blocking a "bike lane"|
The whole conversation with the City of Richardson started because I also drive a motorcycle. The addition of the sidecar to my motorcycle makes it wider than many cars. I wanted to know how much room was required for bicycles. I was transferred back and forth between staff and the police. Everyone was really nice and polite and seemed concerned with my questions.A few weeks later I noticed that below some "right turn only" signs there were "except bicycles" signs. When I called the City to ask if that was a requirement, I was treated differently s a cyclist than when they viewed me as a motorist. I was told that the changes was for done for me, and I was asked why didn't I want to go straight in a right turn only lane. I explained some of the conflicts that could happen. However, each time I kept getting the same questions.Finally, I asked if I would get a ticket if I went straight after getting out of the right lane and into a straight only lane. I was told that that was up to the officer who saw it. I then asked if that meant that I (as a bicyclist) was required to go straight from a right turn only lane, as opposed to my moving into the normal traffic straight-through lane. Again, I was asked why I didn't want to use the right lane because it was done for me. I never did get an answer.
|Truth in traffic signs|
What I find interesting is that in talking the the Richardson Police and Traffic departments, when I was viewed as a motorist I was treated with respect, but when I was viewed as a bicyclist, I felt like a five-year-old being asked why I won't eat my veggies.
Like I said, bike friendly policies are not really bicyclist friendly.
- Cliff Cox, Richardson Texas, lifetime member of The League of American Cyclists and the Greater Dallas Bicyclists
Sunday, August 05, 2012
The Desegregated Cyclist: Bicycle Infrastructure Studies: Since the idea that bicycle infrastructure increases safety is pretty widely held, I've compiled a list of studies of bicycle infrastructure...