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Lee Watkins IV
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you have 33K deaths in cars every year, mostly due to head injuries. Seems to me it's the folks in cars that should be wearing helmets. It's the #1 cause of death under the age of 30! Where are you on that one AAA? Mandatory helmets in cars would save tens of thousands of lives every year.
Sorry about killing those people, but what I was distracting myself in a socially acceptable manner so there's only a small fine (or no fine at all) and no charges.
I bike all my trips EXCEPT going to work (too far away). Guess I don't count then.
Toggle Commented Dec 1, 2010 on Gary Imhoff, still wrong at TheWashCycle
"bike commuting rate dropped from 2008 to 2009. Theories?" how about gas prices? $4.26 / gallon average for regular, July 2008. $2.64 / gallon average July 2009.
every time I read that there is a pedestrian or cyclist death that's in the suburbs, I check to see if it happened near the intersection of a cloverleaf highway exit and a shopping mall. Because 9 times out of 10, that's exactly where it happened. Guess what - rt.214 & rt. 202 cloverleaf at the Kettering/Largo shopping center is the next intersection over. and 95/495 w/ 202 is the next intersection over from that. Imagine that! Putting a shopping mall next to a cloverleaf is aparently a cyclist/pedestrian machine of death.
yeah, DC and Montreal don't have a problem with mass car-burnings either. On the other hand we do have a much higher murder rate.... Paris has a very high unemployment rate disproportionately shared by poor minorities who live on the outside of the city - this has made mobility a major issue of protest for the poor. Paris also has a culture of protests that involves property destruction. In North America it's usually the other way around - with the poor living in the more urban areas, so it's a different dynamic.
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2009 on This time the Vandals invade Paris at TheWashCycle
I think people like to pretend that the helmet thing is a rational decision, but really it's a cultural decision. More than anything it's a statement about how we think cycling is viewed in society. It is an image that we have been sold on by bicycle shops run by racers as well as by concerned family memebers. In Nascar auto racing, the drivers wear helmets, special clothes, shoes, gloves, etc.. However the same drivers do not wear helmets and fancy outfit when they are driving to the supermarket down the street - even if they will be going 70mph on the highway, still no helmet or fancy clothes. If the Nascar driver wore his helmet when he drove to the supermarket, people would have a different expectation about the way he would be driving, and he would also have a different expectation. Suppose he also make his daughter wear a helmet when she drove a car to the supermarket. And his perents, etc. His family would then have a different expectation about driving. Suppose that the only people who have been drivign for the last 50 years or so have mostly been racers from Nascar. And suppose anytime these Nascar people went to the dealer or repair shop for their car, they were sold on racing helmets and racing clothes, shoes, gloves, etc. that you must use anytime you are driving. Everyone who drives would say you are crazy not to wear a helmet. but of course everyone on the highway is driving like a Nascar rally. It's not a rational decision, it's a cultural cue. you don't need a helmet and fancy clothes to go to the supermarket. It might be safer, but it's not practical and it changes the culture.
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2009 on The Helmet Thing at TheWashCycle
two facts that don't add up - impact on the right side the car - but the cyclist was in the center of the lane. This would clearly indicate that the motorist was attempting to pass by crossing the double yellow. As this is the case, we can safely assume that she did see the cyclist prior to the impact. She passed to closely. In addition - Come on, you know hardly anyone goes 40 in a 40mph zone. Odds are she was going at least 45-50mph. or more! Helmet isn't going to do you any good when you get mowed down from behind at 45-50mph... What might have helped is a big LED tail light, like say the B&M 4D toplight. Plus a blinkey. Also the shoulder is pretty narrow, but I would have used it anyway.
the cycle tracks are going to have the noticable effect of getting women, people with kids, elderly, all the "other people" to bike places rather than drive who otherwise wouldn't - same effect they always do. This effect will only increase as the cycle tracks are extended and become more inter-connected. Especially when we get bikeshare at a higher density on/around the cycle tracks, that's when it's really going to start taking off. So much potential....
Toggle Commented Oct 7, 2009 on DC Going Beyond Bike Lanes at TheWashCycle
Distracted Driver. or excessive speed. what other explanation could there be?
So much potential with Silver Spring in particular. Also a few protected bike lanes in Silver Spring would go a long way. Dupont Down-under would be a slam dunk. L'Enfant Plaza - also sensible I agree.
it is quite interesting that not a single person can come up with a cyclist death where the bike had no brakes. The term "risk compensation" whereby individual people may tend to adjust their behaviour in response to perceived changes in risk. Other studies have shown that alertness vs. distracted driving (or cycling) has a greater effect on safety than any other factor. The other largest effect on cycling safety is safety in numbers... it is also possible that trendy fixies are phenomenon of higher-bicycle mode-share locations, where a greater safety in numbers effect is already taking place.
the point of striping lanes is not to increase safety, but rather to encourage the road to be used closer to capacity. without the lanes drivers will naturally provide more buffer between vehicles. What is the goal in striping bike lanes? Striped lanes DO however make drivers and cyclist FEEL safer, and feeling safer means more cyclists, and more cyclists means more overall safety than if you had less cyclist... the number of cyclists is a more powerful safety tool than the actual design of the road... at least if you get enough cyclists to pass that minimum threshold. Now, just because you are striping lanes doesn't mean you can't also provide some actual protection like say bollards, jersey barrier, parked cars, etc... which would actually make the cyclists safer in their bike lane, on top of also making it more popular.
RE: ontarioroader Yes RE: ohmypolarbear Yes RE: SJE pray Is it me or does there seem to be less and less patience lately for bikes (especially beaters) locked up in public? I've had the sema problem in Baltimore lately... except in Baltimore they don't do notices - they simply respond to any "abandoned bike" complaint by cutting the lock and sending the bike to charity without looking for the owner.
Somehow I get the impression that if the parking structure was larger, Cato would be writing the exact same article anyway. Their main sticking point seems to be that gov't money was spent on bicycles, as if that was somehow incompatible with Cato's ideological principles.
meanwhile in denmark... http://www.flickr.com/photos/16nine/2414569778/ ...the simple act of parking a bicycle is elevated to a symphony of grace, poetry and elegance... (this is just a fraction of the bikes... large numbers of bikes left in public space is taken for granted... notice they don't even lock to a pole!)
Toggle Commented Sep 21, 2009 on Ghost Bikes Gone Again at TheWashCycle
to me it wasn't about Alice after the first one. many ghost bikes in the past (and others even now) are not memorials to individuals, but rather simply reminders to watch out for cyclists. It became more about cyclists wanting to see some progress at the intersection and not wanting to be forgotten. that is a fight that will continue. Someone should organize a ghost cyclist protest for more/better bike facilities... it can be ghosts of cycling future - the women and children and elderly who don't ride now because we haven't built the infrastructure to make it posssible yet.
Toggle Commented Sep 21, 2009 on Ghost Bikes Gone Again at TheWashCycle
i'm amazed how much attention a pile of bikes gets. Embedded in that reaction is a circular argument for the status-quo arrangmenet of space for automobiles, bike, and cars. 22 bikes adds up to about 1/2 the space taken up by one SUV - since you can fit about 40 bikes into one parking space. to be fair should we not spend twice as much attention on each car that parks in dupont circle and/or disobays a parking regulation? the fact that the level of attention is not proportional highlights how out of balance the perception is. the amount of space that is is considered acceptable for bicycles to occupy is at the very core of the public confrontation. how much space is it acceptable for parked cars to use - and for how long? If every car owner instead kept 22 bikes out in the street in a big pile - it would still take up only 1/2 as much space as the cars do now.
Toggle Commented Sep 18, 2009 on Ghost Bikes have been piled up at TheWashCycle
try that in copenhagen or amsterdam sometime - police report! there are spray-painted bikes all over the place! it must be some kind of protest! we try to remove them, and more keep showing up! hah... If the city make the kinds of serious infrastructure changes for bikes that those cities have, then some day the city will look like this protest every day.
for a second it seemed counter-productive and annoying, and then I thought about it for a second... suppose in 1910 or so someone parked 22 cars out at the curb, painted white, in protest of automobile safety (which was just starting to be a big rallying cry at the time). They protested, and the infastructure got better. Now the curb is full of cars every day...... yes it's a bit annoying if you're not used to seeing that many bikes here, but consider this - if a lot more people were using bikes - as we'd encourage them to, the street would probably look exactly like this anyway.... and one day maybe it will. the safety improvements like separated lanes are necessary in order to get more people to ride bikes, and when they do, it will look just like the protest here every day. in light of that, it's amost amusing that there is a police report.
love the handlebars. very chic!
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2009 on Happy Labor Day at TheWashCycle