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Tuesday, April 21 2015 @ 09:01 PM UTC
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Why motorists get so angry at cyclists — a psychologist's theory

Biking ElsewhereBy Susan Perry, MINN POST

A study issued earlier this year found that motor vehicle drivers and cyclists are equally responsible for car-bike collisions in Minneapolis. But, as comments to media reports of that study demonstrate, the finger pointing continues, with bicyclists blaming aggressive drivers for most collisions and drivers blaming “inconsiderate and stupid” cyclists.

The anger from motorists toward cyclists seems especially raw. So I read with interest British psychologist Tom Stafford’s latest Neurohacks column for BBC Future in which he offers his theory for “why cyclists enrage car drivers.”

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Biking Elsewhere-&gt; According to a July 9th Mobility Lab article, &quot;... Interestingly, Arlington gives as much attention to bike parking as it does auto parking. As bike ridership numbers rise in D.C. (and nationally), so does the demand for bike parking. The county currently requires developers of site-plan buildings to construct one bike parking space per 2.5 residential units. John Durham, transportation demand management planner for Arlington County Commuter Services (ACCS), believes that number may be too low because 50 percent of all households in the county own at least one bicycle.
&quot;Not only are quality bicycle-parking facilities an effective way to encourage and influence bicycle-ridership numbers, but they also are a more efficient use of land and maximize resources. One automobile parking space can accommodate 10 bikes, according to Durham.

&quot;Mounting research suggests that bike facilities pay off economically to business owners. In D.C., businesses located near Capital Bikeshare stations appear to benefit economically. Similarly, protected bike lanes in New York City have been shown to increase retail sales by 49 percent. Just as Arlington County is focused on moving people instead of cars, some businesses are recognizing that cars don't buy things, people do. Particularly in areas of density with scarce parking generally, it can make sense to provide bike parking as a complement to (or replacement for) car parking. The goal is to maximize foot traffic...&quot;

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from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling &amp; Walking.
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Survey Request: Biking to Campus; Jumping the Hurdles

Bike Maryland updatesVia Bike Maryland

From the research team at Morgan State University:

You are invited to participate in a survey of students, faculty, and staff in colleges and universities in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. This survey is conducted by a research team from Morgan State University. The objective of the survey is to identify barriers of bike-to-campus. Your responses will help us to understand your concerns on biking, and find desirable policies to overcome hurdles and improve rate of biking. Completing the survey would take about 10-15 minutes. This survey is completely voluntary. There is no risk associated with your participation. Your responses will be anonymous and confidential.

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Europe's cycling economy has created 650,000 jobs

Biking ElsewhereBy Arthur Neslen, the Guardian

Europe’s cycling industry now employs more people than mining and quarrying and almost twice as many as the steel industry, according to the first comprehensive study of the jobs created by the sector.

If cycling’s 3% share of journeys across Europe were doubled, the numbers employed could grow to over one million by 2020, says the ‘Jobs and job creation in the European cycling sector’ study which will be published next month.

Kevin Mayne, the development director at the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) which commissioned the paper, said that it had a very simple message for governments and local authorities: “You know that investing in cycling is justified from your transport, climate change and health budgets. Now we can show clearly that every cycle lane you build and every new cyclist you create is contributing to job growth. Investing in cycling provides a better economic return than almost any other transport option. This should be your first choice every time.”

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9 Things Drivers Need to Stop Saying in the Bikes vs. Cars Debate

Biking ElsewhereBy Adam Mann, Wired

1. Cyclists always break the law
Sitting on a bike seat doesn’t somehow turn you into a monster anymore than getting behind the wheel does.
2. Roads are designed for cars
3. Cyclists are dangerous
4. There’s not enough room for bike lanes without causing gridlock
5. Cyclists just want everyone to stop driving
6. Drivers pay for roads so they should get priority
7. Cycling is a fad
8. There’s a war on cars
9. People absolutely need cars to get around

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THIS: Driving instructors get on their bikes [UK]

News you will not see in Marylandby Mark Sutton, Bike Biz

Video and training course about cyclists' road positioning to help driving instructors educate next generation of drivers.

A video about cyclists' road positioning, and a training course on the same subject, are reaching out to driving instructors in an attempt to educate the next generation of drivers. Cycle Training UK  of London has started to offer a Cyclist Awareness Course for Driving Instructors. Lambeth Council commissioned the course to help driving instructors understand what new drivers need to know about sharing the road with cyclists, and it is to be rolled out to other areas. Driving instructors and cycle trainers compare teaching techniques and methodology, and driving instructors get a practical experience of riding bicycles on road and discuss key points that drivers need to know to ensure low risk interactions on the road.


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American Insurance Association Opposes Contributory Negligence in DC

Biking in BaltimoreVia The WashCycle

Contributory Negligence Bill unlikely to get out of committee. Expanded to include peds and wheelchair users.

From the Post 

Council members Tommy Wells, chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, and David Grosso (D-At-Large), the bill’s main sponsor, said at a press conference Thursday that the bill is long overdue. They acknowledge the bill is unlikely to advance out of the committee — this is the third time it has been introduced –and already were talking about trying again next year.

Ward 6 CM-elect Charles Allen has already promised to support it.

When introduced, the bill only covered cyclists, but since its September hearing, it has been expanded to also cover pedestrians and people with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs.

Another amendment is likely to be added that protects joint and several liability . Why won't it pass?

But the American Insurance Association says the change is unnecessary and would result in significant cost increases to D.C. drivers.

Where is the all-powerful bike lobby when you need it?
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Cause of anti-cycling bigotry

Biking in Baltimore[B' Spokes: Lets look at society as a whole and what it thinks what safe cycling looks like, ride against traffic, ride with traffic and ride on the sidewalk. We have all seen cyclists do all the above but somehow when motorists speak they avoid the most basic "controversy" and go right to the "indisputable" facts... hold it right there, every mode of transportation flouts the law, people are people. The problem is the lack of traffic enforcement. And don't tell me motorists are lawful, I drive the freeways at the speed limit, I stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, l stop before making a right on red and so on but I rarely see my fellow motorists being as lawful.

I just want to scream at all this blaming the victim stuff when motorists and they way they drive kill, I mean kill a lot. Cyclists are not a major problem, motorists are. If and only if the police start doing crosswalk stings and on our side, start doing some 3 foot violation stings then maybe start enforcing our laws but in the mean time we are all just trying to survive in a sea of lawlessness.]


Bicyclists Belong In The Traffic Lane
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PSA: why the heck don’t cyclists stay right?

Biking in MarylandBy Jack Cochrane, Cycle MoCo

Wouldn’t it be great to air a public service announcement saying why cyclists don’t stay right all the time?  After all, this blog can’t reach everyone.  How’s this?

[Sound of driving]
MAN: Hey, there’s a bicyclist.  Why is he riding so far to the left?  Shouldn’t he move over?
WOMAN: Not if he wants to be safe.  There are a lot of cars parked along the street.  Cyclists should always stay well away from parked cars because a driver might suddenly open his door.
MAN: Even if there’s a bike lane?
WOMAN: You bet.  A cyclist might also leave the bike lane to avoid leaves or potholes or to get ready to turn left.
MAN: I get it.  Look, there’s another bicyclist up ahead.  There’s no parking but he’s in the middle of my lane.
WOMAN: That’s because the lane is too narrow for cars to pass him in the same lane.  But some drivers will try anyway and it’s very dangerous.  If the cyclist rides in the middle of the lane, drivers will have to change lanes to pass or else wait until there’s more room.  Everyone is safer.
[pause with more sound of driving]
WOMAN: And one more thing Mike.  Drivers must always keep at least three feet to the left of cyclists when passing.  That’s the law.
MAN: Wow.  There’s so much I didn’t know.  I’ll definitely keep an eye out for cyclists in my lane now.

To be honest it should be broken up into a couple shorter PSAs.  For the next couple installments, maybe this:  1. Why aren’t cyclists using the bike path? (and what’s the difference between a bike lane and a bike path).  2. What are those funny bike markings with arrows in the middle of the road?
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Biking Elsewhere[B'Spokes: Previously l have been critical of LAB's involvement in this case but now it looks like that they are doing something, which is a good thing. Now don't take this the wrong way but I still would love to see more public service announcements that put to shame the kind of thinking behind the charges against Schill. And I'll take this time to give a special thanks to the Eldersburg police who rode behind me on Route 26, l assume for my safety when they could have been like the police in Schill's case and ticketed me. There are two ways police to react to something they perceive as unsafe, they can improve everyone's safety or start handing out tickets. We need to encourage more of the former!]
by Ken McLeod, Bike League

imageThis week, my colleague, Steve Clark, wrote about his experience riding with Cherokee Schill and the conditions she faces while biking to work in Kentucky. As he detailed, she confronts numerous difficulties while riding and faces both official and unofficial harassment for riding in the road.

Her fight for her right to road reflects our society’s decisions about how we create roads, how we create laws for those roads, and the culture of safety we choose to create for our roadways.

So what's the legal background for her fight? And are their signs of hope for Kentucky’s future? Keep reading...

The Legal Problem with Bikes in Kentucky

imageKentucky, like several other states, does not provide clear rules for bicyclists, or the motorists who share the road with bicyclists. The basic problem is that Kentucky does not address bicycles as their own type of vehicle — and this leads to rules that are not made for the situations that bicyclists actually face.

A bicycle in Kentucky is a vehicle, because the Kentucky Statute that defines "vehicle" does not exclude those propelled by muscular power. However, a bicycle is never actually defined in the Kentucky Statutes or Administrative Regulations that create Kentucky’s traffic laws.

While a bicycle in Kentucky is not defined as a motor vehicle, it is required to operate in the same manner as a motor vehicle with three limitations. But, unlike 48 other states, Kentucky does not give a bicycle rider the rights of an operator of the vehicle they must behave like.

How does failing to address bicycles as their own type of vehicle affect bicyclists in Kentucky?

One of the major differences between Kentucky and other states is that it doesn't have a law that tells bicyclists specifically where to ride. Instead, as in five other states, bicycles are treated as slow-moving vehicles. This by itself isn't necessarily problematic — but it does have practical repercussions.

In states where laws dictate where bicyclists are supposed to ride the vast majority provide numerous exceptions to the requirement to ride to the right. These exceptions help to remove interpretation about what is as far right as “practicable” and give bicyclists a positive right to move left (into or further into the travel lane) when facing common situations such as the need to make a left turn, hazardous road conditions, narrow traffic lanes, and right turn only lanes. You can find out more about these laws and common features in my Bike Law University article on Where to Ride laws.

In Kentucky the slow-moving vehicle statute (Kentucky Revised Statute [KRS] 189.300) does not reflect the situations that bicyclists face. In fact, it does not give a slow-moving vehicle, including a bicycle, any situation in which it is okay to move left — other than it not being “practicable” to keep to the right-hand boundary of the highway. This “practicable” standard leaves a lot of discretion to law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges, who may not understand safe cycling practices or believe that bicyclists should be treated with the same respect as other road users.

In Kentucky, the slow moving vehicle statute is especially problematic for bicyclists for two reasons:

  1. It requires bicyclists to keep to the right-hand boundary of the “highway,” which includes the entire right of way. In 43 other states, bicyclists are required to keep to the right of a “roadway,” “way,” or “highway” that excludes portions of the right of way, typically the berm, shoulder, sidewalks, or portions not ordinarily used for vehicle travel. This creates a situation where officials interpreting the law can find that what is “practicable” pushes bicyclists out of the travel lanes.
  2. The Kentucky Administrative Regulations for bicycles (601 KAR 14:020) permit bicycles to be operated on the shoulder of a highway and require bicycles to use bicycle lanes, where marked. While it isn't bad that bicyclists are given the opportunity to use the shoulder of a highway, this helps create the conditions for interpretations of the law that require the use of the shoulder.

A bicyclist, like Cherokee Schill, who chooses to not use the shoulder, is forced to identify why the shoulder was not “practicable” to use even, though it is within the right-hand boundary of the highway and a place that a bicyclist explicitly can ride. Bicyclists must also fight the idea that a shoulder is set aside for their use, and not the use of motor vehicles, just like the bike lanes they're required to use when they are marked. This is a difficult task and without exceptions to the “practicable” requirement the court does not have to accept that the existence of a particular condition, like a debris-filled shoulder, made the use of that shoulder not “practicable.”

Making laws that recognize bicycles as their own type of vehicle allows legislatures, or the officials who make traffic law regulations, to recognize the conditions actually faced by bicyclists. In Kentucky, Cherokee Schill is caught fighting laws that did not anticipate her situation and do not give clear guidance to the officials interpreting them. We can only hope that her appeal goes well and that Kentucky enables safe cycling going forward.

A Failure of Laws and Culture

Cherokee Schill was also convicted of violations of KRS 189.290, which requires vehicles to be operated “in a careful manner, with regard for the safety and convenience of … other vehicles upon the highway.” She was convicted for taking the lane, rather than riding as far to the right of the highway as “practicable,” and prioritizing her safety. By charging Schill, and not the motor vehicles that erratically react to her or harass her, the officials of Jessamine County are prioritizing the convenience of motorists over the safety of bicyclists.

It's both a legal and a cultural failure that we have laws, and enforcement, which prioritize the safety and convenience of motor vehicles over the safety and convenience of bicyclists and other persons who are more vulnerable than the occupants of motor vehicles with whom they share the road.

What happens next?

For Schill, she has an upcoming appeal of her convictions for failing to ride as far right as “practicable” under KRS 189.300 and for failing to operate her vehicle carefully under KRS 189.290.

For Kentucky, there is a proposed amendment to 601 KAR 14:020, which would substantially deal with the issues brought up by Schill’s case. The two major statutes at issue in her case have not been updated since 1942 and the regulations have not been updated since 1994. The proposed amendment could be better, but it is a reasonable first step.

The League is sending a letter in support of the amendment to the members of the Kentucky Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee, which has postponed considering the amendment until Schill’s case is resolved.

Stay tuned for another post tomorrow, from League President Andy Clarke, on what's next...

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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