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Friday, July 25 2014 @ 05:16 AM UTC
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Massachusetts Official: Boston’s Winter Cyclists “Living in the Wrong City”

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

Bostonians making polite requests for a clear path on one of the city’s key bike routes were met with disdain from the state agency responsible for maintaining the paths.

Here’s how one unnamed official from the Massachusetts’ Department of Conservation and Recreation responded in an internal email thread to a message from a Boston resident asking for better snow removal on the Southwest Corridor, an important off-street bike path. The leaked email was published on the Boston site Universal Hub (emphasis ours):

Frankly, I am tired of our dedicated team wasting valuable time addressing the less than .05% of all cyclists who choose to bike after a snow/ice event… We should not spend time debating cyclists with poor judgement [sic] and unrealistic expectations, and stick with [the staffer]‘s recommendation that they find other transportation. If someone is completely depending on a bike for year-round transportation, they are living in the wrong city.

Bikes advocates in the Boston region didn’t take those remarks lying down. The Boston Cyclists Union, working with Allston-Brighton Bikes and Southie Bikes, asked local cyclists to share photos of themselves on social media with the slogan “I am the .05%” to demonstrate their numbers and their normalcy. Local cyclists also took to tweeting under the hastag #winterbiker to explain why biking in cold weather months is their best option.

Those efforts appear to have found their target. The Boston Cyclists Union and MassBike are reporting today that DCR has agreed to meet with local cyclists to discuss their concerns regarding snow and ice clearance on bike paths.

And, for the record, cold weather cities that put real effort into making it safe to bike see little drop-off in cycling during the winter. Copenhagen, for instance, retains 80 percent of its peak-season bike traffic in the cold months

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/02/19/massachusetts-official-bostons-winter-cyclists-living-in-the-wrong-city/

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Naples police to enforce three-foot law

News you will not see in MarylandBy Jim Spiewak, ABC-7

NAPLES, FL -
Bicyclists are still getting hit and a law protecting them is still not being enforced. In light of our investigation into why the three-foot law is not widely enforced, the Naples Police Department is now cracking down in a unique way.

During the last three years only three tickets have been issued by all law enforcement agencies in Southwest Florida for violation of the three-foot law. That's where drivers must give cyclists a three-foot buffer when passing. The Naples Police Department hasn't issued even one such ticket.

But Officer Buddy Bonollo thinks that's about to change.

"If we're going to see firsthand we have to be part of this," Bonollo said.

Wednesday, Buddy turned in his uniform for riding gear and joined a group for their 30-mile ride. Cops can only write a ticket for the three-foot law if they see it. With Buddy along for the ride, now the Naples police can.
...

http://www.abc-7.com/story/24768808/naples-police-to-enforce-three-foot-law#.UwYl_PldWYC
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[B' Spokes: When was the last time you saw a police officer on a bike or on foot prepared to address issues you care about as a cyclists or pedestrians?]
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Be careful, deer

Biking ElsewhereBy CHARLES MAROHN, Strong Towns

Three deer have been killed recently in collisions with automobiles in a five-block stretch on Belliare Boulevard in Houston, Texas, within the past month. This has prompted Houston Police to urge the deer to be extra cautious when walking along the city streets.

[Picture of] Deer crossing the stroad without the aid of a crosswalk. Houston police are encouraging an end to this reckless behavior. (Click for license.)

Police officials say so far this year, there have been 15 crashes where deer were killed, a roughly 11 percent increase from the same time frame in 2013.

Department officials outlined a number of precautions the deer should take. Among them are:

* Do not walk across the street unless you are at a crosswalk.
* Take the extra minute or two to walk to a crosswalk.
* Obey traffic signals of Walk / Don't Walk.
* Look before you step.
* Do not assume vehicles will stop. Make eye contact with a driver; don't just look at a vehicle.
* Dress to be seen. Wear light colored clothing if walking at night and carry a flashlight, if possible.
* Do not wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while walking across the street.
* Be especially careful in construction zones.

Houston is spending considerable wealth in an effort to relieve automobile congestion, increase the flow of traffic and improve travel speeds. There is no word from City Hall on whether or not Houston is reevauating priorities and shifting resources to address the safety issues of deer within the community.

[Picture] The designated sidewalk is two blocks over yet this deer is found walking along the edge of the stroad. Houston police have issued caution to deer. (Click for license.)

All I can say is, thank goodness I'm not a deer. Imagine if I had to try to walk through these auto-dominated areas with only this sage advice to protect me. Wear light colored clothing indeed! Have you ever seen a deer talking on a cell phone while walking? Totally reckless behavior -- they are almost asking for it. Save that stuff for when you are driving.

Let's never forget, the forgiving design concepts standardized by the engineering profession apply to cars, not deer. We need to design to forgive the common and casual mistakes of drivers, ensuring that those routine and easily anticipated mistakes do not result in collisions or, worse, fatalities. There is no way we can apply this thinking to the ungulates among us. We engineers should not be expected to design places that take into account the normal and predictable behavior of deer and plan for their safety. That's not only beyond our professional charge, it may simply be impossible (without slowing down the cars).

Come on, deer. Take that extra minute or two to walk to the crosswalk. And look before you step. Nobody wants to see that messy venison on the side of the road during their morning commute.

http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2014/2/19/be-careful-deer.html#.UwVRxPldWYA
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[B' Spokes: I hope you get the point, people need to be accommodated along desire lines, this is true for obvious safety reasons. Saving fast cars two seconds while making people on foot travel 5 minutes or more makes no sense, people are people and everyone has a right to public space.]
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Lifting the Veil on Bicycle & Pedestrian Spending

Biking in Marylandimage
image

Via http://www.advocacyadvance.org/docs/LiftingTheVeil_AllStates.pdf
[B' Spokes:
D- DESCRIPTION CLARITY This is a big bugaboo for a sampling see My Comments for the 2014 – 2017 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) How are we are supposed to comment on projects that have virtually no description? And if there is such a general effort and general acceptance of detailed-less hohum projects then of course we are going to have a hard time making progress because the reality is we need more stress on the details then on the money. Money is really only needed to make up for projects that forgot about the bike/ped detail.]
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HISTORIAN UNCOVERS THE FORGOTTEN U.S. PROTECTED BIKE LANE BOOM OF 1905

Bike PathsBy Michael Andersen, Green Lane Project staff writer, People for Bikes

...

'Had it been successful, a separate sidepath system would have changed American history'


Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, in 1894. Photo: nycgovparks.org.

...

http://www.peopleforbikes.org/blog/entry/historian-uncovers-the-forgotten-protected-bike-lane-boom-of-1905
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Congratulations Proteus Bicycles

Biking in the Metro Areaimage

Via Proteus Bicycles
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A short History of Traffic Engineering

Biking ElsewhereimageAttribution Some rights reserved by Mikael Colville-Andersen

Via The Copenhagenize Guide to Liveable Cities (And my friend Bob)
[B' Spokes: Because we all know the fast need to go faster and the slow don't mind going even slower. :/ ]
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Chris Boardman: "Helmets not even in top 10 of things that keep cycling safe"

Biking ElsewhereBritish Cycling policy advisor says it's time to stop distracting helmet arguments and concentrate on real safety issues

by John Stevenson, Road CC

...
Talking to road.cc at the London Bike Show, Boardman said, “I think the helmet issue is a massive red herring. It’s not even in the top 10 of things you need to do to keep cycling safe or more widely, save the most lives.”

You’re being shot at, put on body armour

Boardman returned to an analogy he has made before, and which even he admits is a bit melodramatic, though it gets the point across

“It’s a bit like saying ‘people are sniping at you going down this street, so put some body armour on,’” he said.

Government encouragement to wear helmets was therefore “a big campaign to get people to wear body armour, by the people who should be stopping the shooting.”

Widespread use of helmets, he said, sends the wrong message.

“Once you see somebody wearing body armour, even if there’s no shooting, you think ‘Christ I’m not going down there if they’re wearing body armour to go down that street.’ It scares people off.”
...

http://road.cc/content/news/111258-chris-boardman-helmets-not-even-top-10-things-keep-cycling-safe
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Announcing the best Complete Streets policies of 2013

Biking in the Metro Areaby Smart Growth America

...
Fifteen agencies led the nation in creating comprehensive Complete Streets policies in 2013. These policies are a model for communities across the country. They are:
...

#6. Baltimore County, MD
...

http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/2014/02/18/announcing-the-best-complete-streets-policies-of-2013/
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[B' Spokes: Now to see if they follow through or if this is just lip service.]
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Worst Drivers By State

Biking in MarylandIn this report by Car Insurance Comparison Maryland did very good overall, that is till you look at the Careless Driving table... and oh look Maryland comes in the top ten (worst) states. :(

StatePedestrians KilledPedacyclists KilledPopulation (Thousands)"Pedestrian Fatality Rate per 100,000 Population""Pedacyclist Fatality Rate per 100,000 Population"Total (Pedestrians + Pedacyclist)Rank
Florida490125190582.570.663.2351
South Carolina1131546792.410.322.7350
Arizona1472364832.270.352.6249
Louisiana881845751.920.392.3148
New Mexico41420821.970.192.1647
Delaware1809071.9801.9846
California625114376921.660.31.9645
North Carolina1602596561.660.261.9244
Nevada46427231.690.151.8443
Maryland102558281.750.091.8442
Hawaii23213751.670.151.8241
Mississippi47729791.580.231.8140
Texas42143256751.640.171.8139
New Jersey1421788211.610.191.838
New York28757194651.470.291.7637
(This rest is continued in the read more.)

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