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Monday, September 01 2014 @ 11:13 AM UTC

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Complete Streets Save NYC Taxpayers Money

Biking Elsewhereby Stephen Miller, Streets Blog

Each year, the city comptroller issues a report on claims settled for and against the city, showing how much New York spends on personal injury and property-damage judgments. Every year, there’s a similar story: Damages from crashes involving drivers of city vehicles rank as one of the top money-losers for taxpayers. A report issued this week by Comptroller Scott Stringer [PDF] is no exception, singling out complete streets as a tool to reduce claims.

While claims against the city have held mostly steady since 2003, motor vehicle claims are down 13 percent to $91.2 million during fiscal year 2013. One potential factor: street design. “NYC DOT has been a national leader in working to transform our roads into ‘complete streets’ that serve a variety of users,” the report says. ”This is not only smart transportation policy, it is also an intelligent way to drive down claims costs.”

Stringer cites a 2006 Federal Highway Administration report on risk management: ”With every passing year, the courts become less and less sympathetic to agencies that have not understood the message: bicyclists and pedestrians are intended users of the roadway.”
...

http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/07/11/stringer-complete-streets-save-city-money/
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Why isn’t LAPD ticketing drivers in the crosswalk?

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I wonder if this is our problem as well?]
********************************************************
Via Los Angeles Walks

Earlier this year, we published a response to the LAPD jaywalking crackdown asking officers to please focus their energy on ticketing drivers who were blocking or in some cases blatantly driving through a crosswalk while pedestrians were present—something we saw and documented as a far bigger safety issue on downtown streets. Two weeks ago, Melanie Freeland was verbally berated and nearly hit by a driver who purposely sped through a crosswalk, then dismissed by a police officer who saw the entire incident. We asked Melanie to share her story, as well as the letter she sent to LAPD.
...

He said, “I did. Did you hear me hit my PA?” I said no, at which time he asked if I was okay and why I was “blocking traffic.” To be clear, he specifically asked if I was on any medication.

I explained I was in the crosswalk to cross the street with a clear walk signal—he was at the same red light waiting—and that the car nearly hit me, then threatened me verbally and threatened me with his vehicle. He explained that he had seen the driver lean out the window but couldn’t hear what he said or the events preceeding, that so had assumed I was blocking traffic, thus why he had hit the PA.
...

He told me that unless someone was injured then a ticket could not be issued. I requested a follow up and left him with my information and the information of the car and driver.
...

http://www.losangeleswalks.org/why-isnt-lapd-ticketing-drivers-in-the-crosswalk/
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"Bicycle Bully" Column Prompts Protest at Post

Biking ElsewhereVia CSN Baltimore

Dozens of bicyclists protested outside The Washington Post Thursday over a Courtland Milloy column that they say incited violence against them.
...

"I thought the article was an incitement to violence," said Jim McCarthy, a D.C. cyclist. "I'd like to see Milloy be fired. I thought the article was totally irresponsible."
...

Mike Forster, the protest organizer, said that the protesters "don't want to be characterized by lazy opinion writers."
...


http://www.csnbaltimore.com/article/bicycle-bully-column-prompts-protest-post
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Four surprising ways a video camera could be your most valuable riding partner

Biking ElsewhereBy Bob Mionske, Bicycling

I call it the SWSS, or Single-Witness Suicide Swerve: A careless driver injures a cyclist, then claims that the rider careened into his or her car. With no witnesses, it's difficult for the cyclist to prove what happened. Sometimes the rider is knocked unconscious and has no recollection of the collision, and the driver's version of the story is the only one that ends up in the police report. Then there's that minority of drivers who use their automobiles to bully and assault cyclists. Unless there are independent observers, calling the police on these motorized criminals likely won't accomplish anything; officers usually will not file charges against a driver if it's a case of the cyclist's word against the motorist's. But if you bring a video camera along for the ride, the balance of power may change. Here are four compelling reasons to hit "record" the next time you hit the road.
...

http://blogs.bicycling.com/blogs/roadrights/its-playback-time
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Bicyclist bullies try to rule the road in D.C.

Biking ElsewhereAn unbelievable anti-bike rant in the Washington Post, that leaves me speechless. But the responses so far have been wonderful.


"I wouldn't expect to see something this bad on the worst yahoo message board. Despite this, the city's flagship newspaper ran this article. That's the part that's most frustrating." - WashCycle

A point by point rebuttal by WashCycle:
Courtland Milloy and the irrational fear of others (in this case Millennials)
http://www.thewashcycle.com/2014/07/courtland-milloy.html


"I hope that if we can find the right venue for conversations, the readers of Greater Greater Washington, and of Milloy's column, will participate, not to point fingers at another side or deride their misconceptions, but actually to learn from each other and let understanding win over hatred." - David Alpert

We need empathy and understanding, around bicycling, gentrification, and much more
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/m/post/23512/we-need-empathy-and-understanding-around-bicycling-gentrification-and-much-more/


"The “egregious” behavior Milloy cites is simply slowing his car’s progress between stoplights." - Shane Farthing

"This piece of rhetoric is both irresponsible and incorrect. Encouraging, or at least condoning, acts of violence has no place in civil discourse, and I am appalled that our hometown paper has published such a statement. " - Shane Farthing

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT RE: MILLOY’S “BULLIES”
http://www.waba.org/blog/2014/07/setting-the-record-straight-re-milloys-bullies/


UPDATE: Post transportation reporter and avid bicyclist Ashley Halsey III published this response Wednesday to this column from the Post’s Courtland Milloy.

"Here’s my bias: No matter how you go — bike, car, bus, train, boat or plane — I want you to get there safely."

It’s time to tone down the tirades against bicyclists
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/its-time-to-tone-down-the-tirades-against-bicyclists/2014/07/09/950a98b4-077b-11e4-8a6a-19355c7e870a_story.html
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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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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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