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Wednesday, September 03 2014 @ 02:07 AM UTC
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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT (OCSD)

Biking ElsewhereDear Orange County Sheriff’s Department,

On 5/31/2014, Bryan Larsen’s life was threatened, endangered and assaulted as he bicycled along the PCH in Dana Point, California. Having lived and raced in Europe, this individual is an accomplished Junior National Champion, a Category 1 Professional Cyclist. His resume reveals his experience to ensure his personal safety doing everything he can to protect himself; from wearing a helmet to being educated of the laws governing bicyclists, & adhering to the “Rules of the Road”.

Pulling out his cell, Bryan obtained video footage of the verbal harassment he’d been receiving from a passing motorist. He recorded more than just the license plate, additionally capturing video of the passenger throwing a potentially deadly projectile (full Gatorade bottle) from the moving vehicle. Not only did the driver fail to give a 3’ clearance to the cyclist, but can be seen swerving out of his lane, threatening to run the cyclist off the road. Concerning, Bryan immediately shared the video with OCSD. He was told he could pursue personal charges of assault, but that was it. Despite the video, OCSD would not do anything for reason of not being present to witness the incident.

Uncertain what to do next, Bryan shared this video with LOOK! SAVE A LIFE / Arizona. The goal of the organization is to humanize all road users by promoting a greater sense of safety and more respectful relationship among all who utilize our public byways. The mission is to foster an environment of safety through educating laws governing our roadways, developing a mutual respect and innovate transportation systems to better incorporate vulnerable users. Awareness is the key. Through awareness, suffering will be alleviated, injuries avoided, and lives will be saved.

We immediately shared his video on FB, which went Viral with over 130k views in less than 48hrs. This captured attention of local news reporters who investigated the story. Per KCAL9, “A sheriff’s spokesperson said detectives are investigating the incident as an assault & battery.”

It has been well over a month and still no word on justice being served. Both the driver and passenger of the assaulting vehicle have not been held accountable for their reckless and endangering actions. These incidents against cyclists are not only a problem for Southern California, but are becoming a National and Global Epidemic. There have been many similar, but far less serious recorded incidents throughout the country which have garnered significant attention to hold those responsible, accountable for their actions.

* Recently, an Alabama motorist recorded & posted to social media his own actions, assaulting cyclists. Per the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, Keith Maddox was arrested for his actions on a warrant for reckless endangerment depicted in the videos endangering cyclist in our county.
* In 2012, Colorado State Patrol issued a citation to James Ernst, 75, of Erie, CO for harassment, impeding flow of traffic & improper use of a horn or warning device.
* In 2010, two men in Canton, Mississippi were arrested after recording and posting their “smoke out / rolling coal” of a cyclist on the Natchez Trace. In that incident, both driver & passenger faced federal and state charges stemming from this action.

There may be times a report is filed without a vehicle description or lack of evidence to hold accountable those responsible. On behalf of cyclists everywhere, I am kindly pleading for you to take necessary action to put a stop on these disgusting actions against cyclists. We need a clear message that such disturbing acts will not be tolerated or go unnoticed. Please thoroughly investigate this story to bring those responsible to justice!

If you would like to voice your concern, Please Contact The Orange County Sheriff’s Department or The Orange County Sheriff’s Department governing Dana Point.

“Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility”

Brendan Lyons
Founder of: Look! Save A Life / ARIZONA
A Son, Brother, Boyfriend, Friend, Cyclist, Motorist, Student, Firefighter, EMT

http://looksavealife.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/an-open-letter-to-the-orange-county-sheriffs-department-ocsd/
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You’re Going to Kill Someone

Biking ElsewhereBy Albert McWilliams

...

It’s not if it’s when. You are going to kill or seriously injure someone. You are. Someone’s father, brother, mother, daughter - you are going to end their life, forever, like permanently dead. You’ll be a murderer.

...

You can save those lives. You need to do two things:

  1. Slow down.
  2. Move over.

A few facts you might not be aware of:

  • When you pass a cyclist without crossing the yellow line you are breaking the law.
  • When you pass a cyclist while oncoming traffic is present you are breaking the law.
  • When you pass a cyclist in a no-passing zone you are breaking the law (this should be obvious yes? Because it’s called a “no passing zone.”)

...

http://albertmcwilliams.com/post/54015994028/youre-going-to-kill-someone
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The More Walkable a City Is, the More Money It Makes

Biking ElsewhereBy Alissa Walker, Gizmodo

A focus on dense, walkable development allows cities to pack more economic punch per square foot, according to a new study. In Washington DC, deemed the most walkable U.S. city, the most walkable areas in the city take up less than one percent of the total acreage, but represent almost half of the most wealth-generating square footage for the whole city.
...

http://gizmodo.com/the-more-walkable-a-city-is-the-more-money-it-makes-1591945350
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Amtrak to welcome bicycling passengers by end of the year

Biking in MarylandBy Jon Schmitz / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Amtrak said it will begin to introduce new baggage cars equipped with bicycle racks on all of its long-distance trains, including the Capitol Limited serving Pittsburgh, by the end of the year.

“This is a service and amenity that we want to make sure we can offer,” Amtrak spokesman Craig Schulz said Tuesday.

“It’‍s great to have Amtrak understanding how important the bike tourism industry is,” said Linda Boxx, board member and former president of the Allegheny Trail Alliance, who has worked for years to persuade Amtrak to provide better accommodations for bikes.
...

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2014/06/25/Amtrak-to-welcome-bicycling-passengers-by-end-of-the-year/stories/201406250033
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Cacophony

Biking Elsewhereby John Biggs, Tech Crunch

If you’ve ever nearly ended up under an SUV or been doored by a sleepy minivan-driver, you’ll appreciate the MyBell. Designed by the folks at MyBell.co in Brooklyn, the $99 horn allows you to add up two digital audio files and multiple custom light patterns that will blast drivers with 105 decibels of noise and 110 lumens of light. The resulting cacophony should keep you out from under anyone’s wheels.

The team, Peter Pottier and Valentin Siderskiy, are avid cyclists. Siderskiy is an electrical engineer as well and they’ve hired Steve Remy to manage the mechanical engineering. They are in prototype stage right now but they aim to ship the horns to backers by February of next year. Early birds can get the street blasters for a $99 pledge.
...

http://techcrunch.com/2014/06/23/ring-mybell
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NTSB Recommends Truck Side Guards to Protect Pedestrians and Cyclists

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

Semi-trucks may soon be required to come equipped with side guards that help protect cyclists. Photo: Systemic Failure

Tractor-trailer trucks may soon be required to come equipped with side guards that prevent pedestrians and cyclists from being crushed. Photo: Systemic Failure

...

Death rates of vulnerable road users involved in collisions with tractor-trailers were high: 152.8 per 1,000 involved pedestrians/cyclists and 119.5 per 1,000 motorcyclists. In comparison, death rates were 2.0 per 1,000 involved tractor-trailer occupants and 10.9 per 1,000 involved passenger vehicle occupants.

...

http://streetsblog.net/2014/06/25/ntsb-recommends-truck-side-guards-to-protect-pedestrians-and-cyclists/
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Riding Two Abreast - Bike Law Peter explains...

Biking ElsewhereBy Peter Wilborn, Bike Law

...
Visibility:

Driver’s inattentiveness poses the greatest threat to cyclists (and to pedestrians and other motorists). In most of the wrongful death lawsuits that I have handled, the common drivers’ refrain is that “I didn’t see the cyclist.” In too many cases, the motorist has simply run over a cyclist in front of them. A group of riders riding two abreast, however, is far more visible to drivers. A frustrated driver is at least a driver who is aware of the riders on the road and realizes that he must slow down until it is safe to pass.

Easier Passing:

In one tragic case a few years back, a truck driver attempted to pass a long line of single-file riders. But in the middle of his maneuver, an oncoming car forced the truck back into the pace line, killing a young girl. Long lines of cyclists can pose a more difficult challenge to passing drivers. A more compact group of two-abreast cyclists can make passing easier and more predictable. A two-abreast formation is approximately the width of a car, and cars should pass them as if they were passing a slower automobile.

Enough Room to Pass:

Cyclists often maintain a two abreast formation because they can see something the trailing drivers cannot: it is unsafe to pass here. Whether because of a blind curve, a double yellow line, approaching traffic or a narrowing road, by riding two abreast with others, the cyclists are asking the motorist to cool his jets and wait. The driver’s safety is important, too. Too many times, drivers improperly assume that there is ample room to pass a single line of cyclists, and end up hitting them or dangerously forcing them off a too narrow road. Two-abreast riders prevent this from happening until there is adequate room for a motorist to pass.

Most cyclists exercise common sense. With thousands of miles of experience, they know when to ride next to each other and when to ride single file. For example, on heavily traveled roads with adequate lane width for passing cars, most riders I know will ride single file. And most riders already do what critics suggest; they take prudent steps to allow cars to pass safely and efficiently.

The situation can and will improve. As more folks ride, and as more roads across the country get dedicated bicycle lanes, and we as we continue to educate cyclists and drivers alike, frustrations will lessen. Until then, we will continue to encourage common sense and basic courtesy.

http://www.bikelaw.com/2014/06/18/riding-two-abreast/
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Something is not always better than nothing

Biking in BaltimoreVia The WashCycle

image


(President St @ Pratt St)
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More politicians on bikes please

Politics
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Think Bicycle Commuters Are Good Citizens? You're Probably A Democrat

Biking ElsewhereBy Christine Matthews, Huffington Post

Last week, Pew Research released a survey of 10,000 voters focused on partisan polarization. In their survey, Pew also collected data about lifestyle polarization. For example, Liberals want to live in smaller houses within walkable communities; Conservatives prefer bigger houses with an ability to drive to places of interest.

This reminded us of a survey we conducted late last year that explored partisan attitudes toward bicycling and bike lanes. We were inspired to ask these questions by the bike lane wars we had seen erupting in communities, including in nearby Alexandria, Virginia.

In theory, most respondents to a HuffPost/YouGov poll tended to agree with the concept of bikes and cars sharing the road. Three-fourths of voters agree that roads should accommodate both cars and bikes, while a minority (18%) thinks roads should be for cars only. While Democrats more widely support dual use (85%), Republicans (72%) and independents (70%) also strongly support the idea.

A majority of voters (53%) think policies should be put in place to make it easier (53%) rather than harder (6%) to commute by bicycle. Nearly three in ten say what we're doing presently is fine -- no changes -- and 14% aren't sure.
...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-matthews/cycling-politics-poll_b_5500546.html
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