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Tuesday, September 30 2014 @ 09:54 PM UTC

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Only cyclists run red lights... right. [video]

Biking Elsewhere
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A loud bell-ding of approval for Australia’s first cyclists party

Biking ElsewhereAustralia’s first political party dedicated to cyclists is up and riding. I welcome this move: it’s high time we had a party defending us

By Gary Nunn, The Guardian

The “terrorists in lycra” have organised and now, they want your vote.

Australia’s first political party dedicated to cyclists and their interests has launched a membership drive. May I be the first to whip off my biking gloves to applaud. Its launch website asks: “Why has cycling been demonised, politicised and criticised so often in the media and by government officials?”
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http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/15/australia-cyclists-party
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The value of high visibility clothing on fast roads [video]

Biking Elsewhere
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Scottish Parliament to debate 'Strict Liability' usage

Biking Elsewhereby Mark Sutton, Bike Biz

Cross party support for law which places onus on motorist to prove they were not at fault in a collision with cyclists or pedestrians
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The motion reads: "That the Parliament believes that the number of fatalities and injuries to pedestrians and cyclists on Scotland's roads, including in the Lothian region, is unacceptably high; recognises that the Scottish Government has funded a number of national cycle safety initiatives; notes that versions of a strict liability rule exist in the civil law of many European countries; notes that a number of walking and cycling organisations support the introduction of such a law in Scotland; understands that a petition by Cycle Law Scotland on this topic has secured over 5,000 signatures; considers that a stricter liability rule could have positive benefits for the safety of more vulnerable road users as part of a package of measures, and would welcome further debate on this proposal."
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http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/scottish-parliament-to-debate-strict-liability-usage
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For the price of a mile of highway, you too can have a bike-friendly city

Biking ElsewhereBy Elly Blue, The Guardian

Cars. They're noisy and ugly. They smell terrible and cause disease on an epidemic proportion. They move way too fast, take up an extraordinary amount of space, are a leech on the economy, and have a propensity to run people over, especially kids. What's to love?
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For one thing, there's money. Cars are a major source of household debt – and unlike other investments like houses, they depreciate, costing more the longer you own them and the more you use them. For most US families, car ownership is one of those damned-either-way propositions. According to the federal Consumer Expenditure Survey for 2012, the average US family of four spends about $10,000 a year on transportation – more than they spend on food. This isn't reasonable or affordable. But the alternative can be far worse, depending on where you live, work, send your kids to school, school, shop, get healthcare, go to church, and all the other things we do in our daily lives.

Then there's the cost of roads – building and maintaining them. Our gas taxes cover this, is the myth. Unfortunately, this hasn't been true since 1956, ...
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As I've written elsewhere, emissions from cars are implicated in nearly all the chronic diseases that are currently hurting our population, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and even autism. That's to say nothing of the other health impacts of a car-oriented society, such as the lack of opportunities to exercise, zoning that encourages big box businesses and fast food consumption, stress, and social isolation and depression (pdf).
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http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/28/price-mile-highway-bike-friendly-city

[B' Spokes: I really wanted to copy the whole thing, it's that good.]
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Distracted Driving Is Claiming the Lives of More Pedestrians and Cyclists

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

image
Pedestrian fatalities attributed to distracted driving increased significantly between 2005 and 2010. Image: Public Health Reports

Total traffic deaths have declined nationwide in recent years, but the same has not held true for the most vulnerable people on the streets: cyclists and pedestrians. In 2011, 130 more pedestrians were killed in traffic than the year before, a 3 percent increase, while 54 more people lost their lives while biking, an increase of 8 percent. The same year, overall traffic deaths declined 2 percent.

As for the reasons why, good data has been scarce, but that hasn’t stopped major media from blaming victims for “drunk walking” or “distracted walking.” Now a new study published in Public Health Reports, the journal of the U.S. Public Health Service and the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, reveals that distracted driving — particularly driving while texting — partially explains the rising death toll.

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http://dc.streetsblog.org/2013/10/23/distracted-driving-is-claiming-the-lives-of-more-cyclists-and-pedestrians/
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FOUR WAYS PROTECTED BIKE LANES BENEFIT BUSINESSES

Biking Elsewhere-> According to a Sept. 19th StreetsBlog article, "The question isn't whether your city can afford to build high-quality bike infrastructure anymore, say our friends at the Green Lane Project. It's whether your city can afford not to. The Green Lane Project has been working with the Alliance for Biking and Walking on a study examining the different ways protected bike lanes help local businesses. Blogger Michael Andersen classifies the economic benefits into four basic categories:
Protected bike lanes increase retail visibility and volume...
Protected bike lanes make workers healthier and more productive...
Protected bike lanes make real estate more desirable...
Protected bike lanes help companies score talented workers..."
Source: http://bit.ly/19CZEkx

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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The Safety Paradox: How an Irrational Culture of Fear Endangers Us All

Biking ElsewhereBY Chris Bruntlett, Hush

The United States Postal Service caused an uproar earlier this month when they released a series of stamps designed to encourage physical fitness among their nation’s chronically inactive children. In the end, they were forced to destroy the entire run of fifteen stamps over outcry about some of the ‘unsafe’ activities that they depicted. These include the wild and irresponsible acts of performing a cannonball into a swimming pool, doing a headstand without head protection, and skateboarding without kneepads.
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In reality, there is far more safety in numbers than Styrofoam, which is why cities around the world with the highest cycling rates are also the safest, irrespective of helmet usage. Furthermore, the mistaken sense of invincibility provided by safety gear drastically changes the dynamic between road users, and not in the favour of the cyclist. Armoured cyclists have been statistically documented to indulge in ‘overcompensation’, taking additional risks, riding quicker and more recklessly than they otherwise would. Similarly, in a scientifically proven phenomenon known as the Mary Poppins effect, motorists also conduct themselves differently around cyclists dressed in protective equipment, leaving less space when passing, and travelling notably faster around them.
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Once, just once, I’d like to see a police or medical professional courageously call for the taming of the bull in society’s china shop, not just the bubble wrapping of our fine china.

Underlying each and every one of these issues is an obesity epidemic that shows no signs of slowing down. 93% of Canadian children do not get the recommended hour of daily physical activity. One in three are either overweight or obese, a vicious cycle that proves difficult to break as they enter adulthood. By 2040, almost three quarters of Canadian adults will be overweight, significantly increasing their risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and costing us over $100-billion per year in treatment and accommodation. Sadly, this generation of children will likely be the first in the history of Western Civilization to live less healthful and shorter lives than their parents.

Despite all of this, the message from our so-called ‘health authorities’ is broadcast loud and clear: you are safer at home on the couch than exercising outdoors without the obligatory padding. The remote possibility of a traumatic injury trumps the overwhelming chance of a lifestyle disease, every single day of the week. They may mean well, but by fixating on the emergency room, these fear-mongering, headline-chasing ‘experts’ perpetuate a safety paradox, which makes matters much, much worse.
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http://hushmagazine.ca/social-commentary/the-safety-paradox/


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Another cyclist dies because North American trucks don't have sideguards

Biking ElsewhereBy Lloyd Alter, Tree hugger

I wasn't going to write about this. It's just another cyclist killed in Toronto by a truck, where the 25 year old woman was pulled under the wheels of a trailer and had her lower body crushed and took almost a week to die. There are only so many posts you can write about the need for sideguards on trucks, about how little they cost and how easy it would be to do yet the government doesn't demand them, even though in Britain they reduced deaths by 61%. Even China insists on them. I was looking for analogy; Toyota is recalling millions of cars right now because there might be spiders in the airbags even though nobody has been hurt, but are they recalling trucks even though dozens have been killed? Of course not.
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http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/another-cyclist-dies-because-north-american-trucks-dont-have-sideguards.html

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B' Spokes: there is also the commercial driver training that is woefully lacking in detail on common mistakes drivers of large trucks make and what should be done to compensate.
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Why Bicyclists should be allowed on some trails in some Wilderness*

Biking Elsewhereby Jim Hasenauer, Wilderness Bicycling

Mountain bicycling is a human powered, environmentally sustainable, outdoor recreation that is compatible with the philosophy, history and future of Wilderness. Mountain bicyclists are drawn to wild places, to exploration, to self sufficiency and to traveling under their own power through challenging terrain.

The ban on bicycles in Wilderness is philosophically and historically flawed. It harms a significant number of bicyclists who are being discriminated against. It weakens the environmental and outdoor recreation communities and therefore reduces protection of wild places. Lifting the system-wide ban and creating regulatory language that would allow bicyclists on some trails in some Wilderness is the best public policy.
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Historical Justification

Some people think that bicycles are banned from Wilderness because they are machines, but the legislative and regulatory history does not bear that out. Bicycles are machines, but (as is discussed on this site) only in the way that oarlocks, hiking poles, ski bindings, some climbing equipment, kayak rudders or even soft-soled shoes are. They lever human effort, but ultimately they are human powered, not “propelled by a non-living power source” as 1966 Wilderness regulations define “mechanical transport”.
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http://www.wildernessbicycling.org/bikesbelong/bikesbelong.html

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