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Saturday, November 22 2014 @ 01:34 AM UTC
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In TN there is no legal obligation to see a cyclist

Bike LawsIt\'s funny I had thoughts about this last night on how our legislatures reacted to the 3\' safe passing bill and the removal of mandatory shoulder use law. One issue seems to be the problem with cyclists appearing out of nowhere as if we are some sort of specter that can be invisible till the last minute leaving motorists no time to react to our presences. Leaving cyclists baffled on the how and why\'s we can\'t be seen even when wearing some of the gaudiest clothing on the planet, well I have a thought about that.

Let\'s say I am driving in a car with a friend down a 35mph street so we are doing the acceptable 50mph, the road is fairly straight with good sight lines and then out of nowhere an illegally parked car appears, my freind gasps \"We are going to crash!\" and I say \"Slow down a bit and change lanes when its safe to do so.\" \"But why should I be inconvenienced when they are not doing the speed limit?\" So we crash and tell the officer that we just did not see the parked car so its not our fault, if it is anyone\'s fault it should be the one not doing the speed limit, giving no time for people \"lawfully\" using the roadway time to react.

The problem here is that this story would appear to be a totally bogus to most people but if we replaced parked car with a lawful cyclist the story has suddenly gained believability among a large portion of our society. Why is that? Well this is my theory: Cyclists are admonished to ride to the right of the road to facilitate passing of faster traffic. So by riding to the right we are essentially saying that it is safe to pass within the same lane and don\'t pay me any more heed then a telephone pole on the right side of the road, there is room for you to pass. It is my belief that it is the awareness of not having enough room to pass is what \"suddenly\" appears out of nowhere not the cyclists.

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Cycle Facility of the Month April 2009

Biking Elsewhereimage
The 10 mph limit on the Yorkshire approach to the Humber Bridge could cause significant delays to faster cyclists. In order to bypass the speed limit, the cycle route has been diverted onto the pavement [sidewalk in US] on the opposite side of the road. This innovative cycle lane has been set out to enable cyclists to maintain full speed as they swerve across the path of traffic in complete safety.
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Road Witching

Biking in BaltimoreI have been fascinated by the concept of civil disobedience to invoke change ever since I was a kid. We see examples all the time in our society where people willfully and arrogantly disobey laws to create a change they want to see. Depending on the subject this willful disobedience to laws is either accepted or met with scorn.

Now many in our society don\'t see any form of civil disobedience as acceptable nor do they see civil disobedience going on daily and that to me is the real shocker. Since we talk a lot about bicycling on this site you might be thinking I am talking about bicyclists running red lights, well that is not were I am going with this but I do want to point out that much of cyclists disregard to laws is the result of the lack of accommodations for bicyclists, this has been supported by studies. So civil disobedience by cyclists is a protest about the lack of accommodations for the general public on public streets. This form of protest is just as valid if not more so then motorists protest against speed limits.

Somehow through civil disobedience the legally defined maximum speed limit has been redefined as the minimum speed limit and you are a inconsiderate jerk unless you are diving speed limit+15mph. Through civil disobedience most public roads have become as expressway like as possible (accommodating fast through travel, high speed turning lanes and prohibiting [in spirit of design] bicyclist and pedestrian traffic.) As a society this is what we demand with one and only one exception, the road in front my house but I should be allowed to go fast as I want on the road in front of your house. It is within this self-centeredness of the protest for car only roads that things are starting to fall apart but we still have a long ways to go.

So the problem is how to successfully protest against a successful protest? Well Ted Dewan has ideas about \"spontaneous mischief\" and other guerrilla traffic calming concepts, in one case he paints a crosswalk on a street where pedestrian fatalities have occurred complete with painted flattened bodies and smashed pumpkins for heads. In this 20 minute video there are some very entertaining ways presented that could help change peoples mind about what is the purpose of the \"space between houses\" (formally known as a road.)
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Bicycle Safety.

Biking in Maryland[From Maryland State Highway Administration]

The primary impetus for paved roads was for the safe travel of bicycles! More and more people are taking to two-wheel rather than four for recreation, exercise and daily travel. Bicycles are entitled to Maryland’s non-interstate roadways, just as cars are! Bicycles are subject to the same laws and need to obey the same traffic devices as vehicles.
Tips for Drivers

* Leave at least three feet of passing space between the right side of your vehicle and a bicyclist.
* Reduce your speed when passing a cyclist, especially if the roadway is narrow.
* Children on bicycles are often unpredictable in their actions. Expect the unexpected.

For the cyclist

* Ride in the same direction as traffic.
* Cyclists are subject to the same rules and regulations as motor vehicles.
* Obey all road signs and signals.
* Wear your helmet correctly – at the front of the head and not tilted back.
* Wear reflective gear after dark and have a light on your bike.
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Through the end of April - bike safety bus back ads

Biking in the Metro Areaimage


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Rollerblade Man's Entire Body Covered in Wheels (Video)

Biking ElsewhereWe're big advocates for all things human-powered, but we really really like to see this particular efficiency put to use for transportation. Enter with a flash "Rollerblade Man" who's keeping all his options open by covering his entire body with a suit of wheels allowing one to travel up to 60 miles-per-hour while maintaining any position found in the Kama Sutra. More about Rollerblade Man after the jump and as always, please note well: he's wearing a helmet.
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Biking Elsewhere-> "If there's a supermarket in your zip code, you’re 10% less likely to be obese. If there are a lot of intersections in your neighborhood -- a sign of street connectivity and continuity -- you’re less likely to be obese. And, not surprisingly, the more time people spend in their cars, the more likely they are to be obese"
-- Russ Lopez, Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Public Health

-> "Although the U.S. has improved traffic safety in many ways, we're not doing as well as many other countries. Prior to the mid 1960s, the U.S. enjoyed the greatest level of traffic safety in the world by any measure; whereas today, the U.S. has fallen behind most of Western Europe in terms of fatalities per mile driven, and ranks near the bottom of the OECD in terms of traffic fatalities per capita. The evidence suggests that these countries have achieved -- and are still achieving -- greater safety gains than the United States. Experts believe this is because they are willing to set more ambitious safety performance goals than we are, and because they are willing to do more to achieve them."
-- J. Peter Kissinger, President and CEO, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
"Improving Traffic Safety Culture in the United States - The Journey Forward" 2007 (2.5mb pdf)

-> "A lot of people like the freedom and individualism of the private car. But I think the difference you find in Europe is that people do own cars, they're just not enslaved to them for any and every trip. They're much more judicious and selective when they use the car or don't."
-- Robert Cervero, Director, University of California Transportation Center

-> "Travel on all roads and streets declined by 3.1 percent (-7 billion vehicle miles) in January 2009 as compared with January 2008. Travel for the month is estimated to be 222.4 billion vehicle miles. Cumulative travel for 2009 was down by 3.1 percent (-7 billion vehicle miles)."
-- Traffic Volume Trends: January 2009, FHWA

-> "The Canadian Medical Association Journal has estimated that the annual economic burden of physical inactivity is $5.3 billion ($1.6 billion in direct costs and $3.7 billion in indirect costs). As one example, Environment Canada estimated the average medical costs associated with a hospital admission for respiratory illness at $3,000, with an additional $1,000 in lost wages and worker production."
-- "The Links between Public Health and Sustainable and Active Transportation," Transport Canada
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US Transportation System Revealed to be Giant Ponzi Scheme

Biking Elsewhere

Roads are being built to nowhere, causing the need to build more roads.

Much of the wealth invested in the US transportation system has disappeared. The Obama Administration's Government Accountability Project has revealed that Americans have been paying into a system of transportation that has actually been stripping wealth from communities and degrading the American quality of life for decades. While the findings are a shock to the country, the Obama administration is using this crisis as an opportunity to shift investment into a new system of transportation.

The transportation investments, meant to help get people to places they want to be, have created places where no one wants to be.

Gary Toth, Director of Transportation Initiatives at Project for Public Spaces, confirmed the anomaly while reviewing State DOT proposals for stimulus funding. He found that much of the money was not actually improving access for Americans. "Much like drug addiction, investments in high speed highway capacity led to a temporary high but were quickly followed by a craving for more," said Toth. "Each addition of road capacity created sprawl and degraded the very destinations the system is meant to connect people with. In the end, the funding was simply supporting driving more and more and accomplishing less and less."

The scheme has even sucked children in, making it impossible for them to get to school without investing in the system.

Toth said he became suspicious after examining all the money that had gone into the transportation system over the last fifty years, and realizing how little had come out of it. "All that money, and things just became worse!" he explained.


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Biking Elsewhere-> According to a Feb. 25th news release, \"INRIX(c), the leading provider of traffic information, today released its second annual INRIX National Traffic Scorecard, revealing a 30 percent decline in traffic congestion in 2008 during the peak periods on major roads in urban America. Overall the report found that 99 of the top 100 most populated cities in the U.S. experienced decreases in traffic congestion levels in 2008 as compared to the prior year...

\"The report cites turbulent fuel prices and a struggling economy as sources for a consistent decline in overall traffic volume. Detroit, where the jobless rate climbed past 21 percent in 2008, saw the second largest decrease in congestion nationwide. Additionally, Riverside, Calif., which ranked third-highest in the nation in foreclosure activity during 2008, saw the highest drop in congestion of the nation\'s larger regions...\"
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Biking Elsewhere-> According to a Mar. 26th news release, \"Funding is now available to communities interested in making their environment more \'walkable\' for residents. The Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) is seeking proposals from up to 10 communities or neighborhoods to pilot test the use of a newly developed guidebook on how to improve pedestrian safety in neighborhoods. Each selected site will be provided $2,000 as well as technical assistance from pedestrian safety experts.

\"Only government agencies and other not-for-profit organizations and neighborhood groups (such as PTAs, homeowner\'s associations, advocacy groups, etc.) are eligible to apply. Project funds are not payable to individuals. HSRC will conduct a pre-award conference call on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 1 PM ET to offer applicants an overview of the RFP as well as answer questions from applicants.\"

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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