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Monday, May 30 2016 @ 06:42 AM UTC

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Traffic Engineers Still Rely on a Flawed 1970s Study to Reject Crosswalks

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

"When St. Louis decided not to maintain colorful new crosswalks that residents had painted, the city’s pedestrian coordinator cited federal guidance. A 2011 FHWA memo warns that colorful designs could “create a false sense of security” for pedestrians and motorists."

"That may sound like unremarkable bureaucrat-speak, but the phrase “false sense of security” is actually a cornerstone of American engineering guidance on pedestrian safety."

...

"In 1972, a researcher named Bruce Herms conducted a study of crosswalk safety in San Diego. He found that intersections with marked crosswalks had higher injury rates than ones with unmarked crosswalks. He concluded that marked crosswalks should only be installed where they are “warranted” because they can give pedestrians a “false sense of security,” encouraging risky behavior."

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2016/02/12/traffic-engineers-still-rely-on-a-flawed-1970s-study-to-refuse-crosswalks/
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PROJECTED 10% JUMP IN PED DEATHS IN 2015 + STATE-BY-STATE DATA

Biking Elsewhere-> The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) estimates a 10% increase in the number of persons on foot killed in traffic crashes in 2015, compared with the prior year. This annual "GHSA Spotlight on Highway Safety Report, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State: 2015 Preliminary Data" (http://bit.ly/1Udpeaz) provides the first look at 2015 pedestrian fatality trends, based on preliminary data reported by all 50 state highway safety agencies and the District of Columbia. This report also analyzes recent trends in pedestrian fatality data and discusses state and federal efforts to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries. Along with the increase in pedestrian fatalities, pedestrians now account for a larger share ? about 15% of all motor vehicle crash-related deaths ? compared with 11% a decade ago. http://bit.ly/1UdoQZJ

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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An angry driver...

Biking ElsewhereVia The Invisible Visible Man Blog

"The designs betray a profound confusion in public policy. There’s a vague instinct that cyclists can’t be entirely denied better facilities. But that goes hand in hand with cowardice about the idea that promoting cycling is a public good. There’s no sense that sacrifices to encourage cycling might be worth everybody’s while. The unspoken sense is that cyclists should take up no space, have no momentum and cause no-one else to modify any part of their behaviour."



"My sense is that the incident might partly reflect police officers’ genuine conviction that it’s a cyclist’s job to avoid traffic turning across his or her path, not a driver’s job to yield."


http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.com/2016/04/an-angry-driver-on-8th-st-two-tragedies.html?m=1
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"Everyone Plays a Part in Chainsaw Safety"

Biking Elsewhereby Bob Gunderson, Dearest District 5 Blog

"Everyone plays a part in chainsaw safety, from the people wielding chainsaws, to the people scurrying in fear around chainsaws."
...

Chainsaw merchants say it's only coincidence that people running through the city with chainsaws contributed to the uptick in chainsaw injuries & deaths.
...

Randy has been wielding a chainsaw on Market Street ever since he can remember, and he's not about to stop "just because some idiot hurts themself on my chainsaw."
...

Randy Smith, head of the "San Francisco City Chainsaw League" said,"It's my God given right to juggle chainsaws while running through downtown. It's my preferred method of travel. People just need to make sure to educate themselves and their children to watch for people with chainsaws. It's about mutual respect. Besides, if you don't want someone coming at you with a chainsaw, travel around with a chainsaw, for safety."
...

http://dearestdistrict5.blogspot.com/2016/04/everyone-plays-part-in-chainsaw-safety.html
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The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: You all heard these arguments before but maybe you need to be reminded of just how absurd it is that we use a 3 ton steel cage for personal transportation at the expense of other modes of transportation. The automobile, the ultimate in lazy decadence, the leading cause of death for the ages 1 to 39 and after that the lack of physical exercise is the leading contributing factor in the cause of death.]

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/absurd-primacy-of-the-car-in-american-life/476346/?utm_source=SFFB
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Follow the rules, bikers

Biking ElsewhereBY CHARLES MAROHN, Strong Towns

We need to rethink our urban areas. They need to be redesigned around a new set of values, one that doesn’t seek to accommodate bikers and pedestrians within an auto-dominated environment but instead does the opposite: accommodates automobiles in an environment dominated by people. It is people that create value. It is people that build wealth.
...


“Why do cyclists deserve special treatment?” “Why should they have their own standard?” “This is a civilized world, after all.” “If you don’t like it, take a car.”

To say that I find this hypocritical and somewhat maddening is stating it lightly. First, drivers don’t follow traffic laws.
...


And there is the other rub; we are treating traffic regulations like they were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. If people actually understood the haphazard way traffic control devices were developed and the random way in which they are applied, they would not hold them in such majesty.
...


We need to rethink our urban areas. They need to be redesigned around a new set of values, one that doesn’t seek to accommodate bikers and pedestrians within an auto-dominated environment but instead does the opposite: accommodates automobiles in an environment dominated by people. It is people that create value. It is people that build wealth.
...

http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2014/5/19/follow-the-rules-bikers.html
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Inside the Latest “Distracted Pedestrians” Con

Biking Elsewhereby Charles Komanoff, Streets Blog

Hospital records from 2014 showed that distracted walking accounted for 78% of pedestrian injuries throughout the United States.

— Daily News, Sunday, March 27, 2016

A report released in 2015 by the Governors Highway Safety Association found an increase in pedestrian fatalities, and cited texting while walking as partly to blame. Nearly two million pedestrian injuries were related to cellphone use, the report said.

— Philadelphia Inquirer, Friday, March 25, 2016

Attempts to repress human-powered movement invariably arise from three elements: a penchant for victim-blaming, officials’ “windshield perspective” that marginalizes and devalues people outside cars, and dubious statistics.
...

Rebutting the claim that distracted walking accounts for 78 percent of U.S. pedestrian injuries

... Unremarked in that sentence, however, is that the study in question was not looking at all pedestrian injuries, but only pedestrian injuries related to mobile phones. We thus have the unremarkable finding that most pedestrians who were using a mobile phone when they were injured in traffic crashes were talking or texting — as opposed to, say, switching playlists or posting on Twitter.
...

Rebutting the claim that nearly two million pedestrian injuries a year involve pedestrians’ cellphone use

...

Here’s where it gets weird. ...

That could be the wildest extrapolation you’ll see in any peer-reviewed journal this decade. “Only” 66,000 pedestrian injuries a year are recorded in official U.S. traffic crash data, yet the AA&P authors speculate that there may be 30 times as many attributable to mobile phone usage alone.
...

“Victim blaming is a subtle process, cloaked in kindness and concern,” wrote sociologist William Ryan over four decades ago. Battling victim-blaming along with the pervasive windshield perspective is hard enough without having to contend with bogus “statistics” as well. The Governors Highway Safety Association and Accident Analysis & Prevention have some soul-searching to do.

http://www.streetsblog.org/2016/03/31/inside-the-latest-distracted-pedestrians-con
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AAA study finds 'widespread indifference' to unsafe driving habits

Biking ElsewhereBy Rose-Ann Aragon, Pat LaFleur, WCPO

Ninety percent of American drivers admit to risky driving practices, such as drowsy or drugged driving, running red lights, or texting while driving, according to new data released by AAA Thursday.

Ninety. Percent.

And it’s not just that they admit it, AAA said. It’s also that they don’t really care.
...

http://www.wcpo.com/traffic/aaa-study-finds-widespread-indifference-to-unsafe-driving
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NASCAR drivers pedal from St. Augustine for bike safety

Biking ElsewhereBy Allison Shirk, News Journal Online

...
Among the nearly 40 riders were NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson and Trevor Bayne, and IndyCar drivers Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti. The pack of cyclists took about four hours to pedal from St. Augustine, down State Road A1A and to the Speedway.

Johnson said he's outside as much as possible and rides his bike three or four times a week.

"I think the message is just awareness," Johnson said after the ride. "People on these bikes are moms, dads, children, and sometimes motorists let their frustrations get the best of them and don't realize they're putting somebody in harm's way."
...

http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20160217/NEWS/160219519?Title=NASCAR-drivers-pedal-from-St-Augustine-for-bike-safety&tc=ar
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Traffic engineers still rely on a flawed 1970s study to reject crosswalks

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt, Greater Greater Washington

"the phrase "false sense of security" is actually a cornerstone of American engineering guidance on pedestrian safety."

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/29768/traffic-engineers-still-rely-on-a-flawed-1970s-study-to-reject-crosswalks/
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