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Saturday, November 01 2014 @ 03:51 AM UTC

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Why 12-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Disastrous for Safety and Must Be Replaced Now

Biking ElsewhereBy JEFF SPECK, City Lab


States and counties believe that wider lanes are safer. And in this belief, they are dead wrong.
...

When lanes are built too wide, pedestrians are forced to walk further across streets on which cars are moving too fast and bikes don't fit.
...

"Yeah, you've got your studies that say that 10-foot lanes are safer than 12-foot lanes. But I've got a pile of studies this high," he insisted, waving at his hip, "that say the opposite."

"Wonderful," I said. "May I see them?"

"No. They're from the early days. I threw them out."
...

http://www.citylab.com/design/2014/10/why-12-foot-traffic-lanes-are-disastrous-for-safety-and-must-be-replaced-now/381117/
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Many drivers ignoring crosswalk law: study

Biking ElsewhereBy Jon Hilkevitch, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Most drivers tracked in a new Chicago-area survey failed to comply with a state law requiring them to stop for pedestrians, a finding that the research's backers attribute to inadequate police enforcement and education on traffic-safety laws.

But the results suggest that driver compliance with the must-stop law may be significantly improved if more visual warning cues are placed at crosswalks.

The survey, conducted by the automobile-alternative advocacy group Active Transportation Alliance, concluded that motorists in the area disregard a state crosswalk protection law more often than they comply with it in many circumstances.

In the observational survey conducted at 52 locations in Chicago and nearby suburbs, 61 percent of motorists did stop for pedestrians at painted crosswalks that also had other safety features, including in-road "stop for pedestrians'' signs, brick or stone crosswalks, raised crosswalks or flashing beacons, according to the alliance, which carried out 208 individual trials, four at each of the locations.

But compliance with a four-year-old statewide law requiring drivers to stop whenever a pedestrian has entered a crosswalk was only about 18 percent on average when the pedestrians attempted to cross a street in a traditional painted crosswalk, the survey found.

And the compliance rate plummeted to almost 5 percent at unmarked crosswalks. Under the law, a crosswalk is present whenever a sidewalk leads into the street, regardless of any markings present.
...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/hilkevitch/ct-crosswalk-survey-getting-around-met-0908-20140907-column.html
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Do Drivers Cover the Cost of Roads? Not By a Long Shot

Biking Elsewhereimage

Via http://streetsblog.net/2014/09/26/do-drivers-cover-the-cost-of-roads-not-by-a-long-shot/
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Good cities need more streets that “fail”

Biking ElsewhereBY DAVE CIESLEWICZ, Wisconsin Bike Fed

How do we measure a successful street?

Well, traditionally we’ve allowed traffic engineers, focused on moving cars, to create that measure. They’ve developed a grading system for streets called “Level of Service” or LOS.

But here’s the problem. If you look at a LOS map of many of the downtowns and neighborhoods that we love the best you’ll see almost nothing but level of service “D” and “F”. In other words, by the measure of moving cars our streets are failing or nearly failing. And if you ranked streets by friendliness to bicyclists and pedestrians the maps would look very different.

At the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference in Pittsburgh last week I heard a compelling argument to forget about LOS in most urban environments altogether. After all, a city is not a place for cars to move efficiently. And if you make it that you’ve almost certainly lost all the things that make your city a good place to be. You’ve destroyed your city in order to save it.

We need to start thinking of cities as something more than impediments to the smooth movement of traffic. MIT engineer Jeff Rosenblum presented a study of one street in Cambridge, which was treated with a road diet – fewer lanes, broader sidewalks, bump-outs at pedestrian crossings, wider terraces. That street moved 20,000 cars a day before this treatment. And afterwards? It still moves 20,000 vehicles a day. By restricting turns and timing stop and go lights the street was made more efficient for cars just as it was made more welcoming for biking, walking, hanging out and just living.
...

http://wisconsinbikefed.org/2014/09/19/good-cities-need-more-streets-that-fail/
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The obesity era

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I thought this was an interesting read. Can I make a point that exercise is more important than ever after reading this?]
####################################

As the American people got fatter, so did marmosets, vervet monkeys and mice. The problem may be bigger than any of us

http://aeon.co/magazine/health/david-berreby-obesity-era/
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Congress Approves Bill That Will Offer Free Automobiles To Welfare Recipients

Biking Elsewhere"Earnest said in the briefing that the campaign is intended to help unemployed Americans find secure employment, and ultimately will cause the unemployment rate to drop significantly. “Every American deserves the right to possess the ability to get themselves to a good job. Public transportation is very limited for most of the unemployed, especially in rural areas. "

http://empirenews.net/congress-approves-bill-that-will-offer-free-automobiles-to-welfare-recipients/

[B' Spokes: Yes this satire but I think it makes the point if you prioritize just cars and treat everything else as second class this could very well happen in the future.]
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Almost Every Way Of Getting To Work Besides Driving Is Better For Your Mental Health

Biking Elsewhere"Three researchers who tracked more than 17,000 British commuters in surveys over a period of 18 years found that those with active modes of transportation fared better on a scale of well-being."

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3035700/almost-every-way-of-getting-to-work-besides-driving-is-better-for-your-mental-health
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Please help, this could happen here next

Biking ElsewhereThe story: Woman charged again after she rides her bicycle on busy U.S. 27 (and note the picture of her biking, the gravel is clearly seen.)

The appeal for money: Appeal fund by Cherokee Schill

Note: To date she has not received any help from the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), which I find ironic in that they helped get rid of our mandatory shoulder use law. I sort of understand the reluctance in the past not to represent anything less then "the ideal" case. But is that the case here? What cyclist would support:
  • Not ever sweeping a shoulder along a route we use frequently
  • Rumple Strips along a section of road were we are expected to jump on and off the shoulder?


I will strongly assert it is the state that is guilty of "wanton endangerment". So please help her and maybe an encouraging note to LAB to stand up for our rights.

It could happen here: I don't go to the Towson Bike Party much because I don't like biking Charles. Not that I think any part is unsafe but (for one example) it is the consent bugging me do I use the too narrow three foot shoulder or take the lane? Neither feels exactly right because of the other so I just don't bike there often, but what if I had too? At one point yesterday when using this shoulder I had to come to a near full stop because of some piss poor road patch in the shoulder. If i was taking this every day, you are darn straight I would be taking the lane early to avoid that spot. And if there was a rumble strip preventing my return to the shoulder.., I hope you see my point, a reasonable cyclists is not always on the shoulder, nor is it the law.

And as you may have heard I have been fighting the issue of bikes as slow moving vehicles must ride right. But still there is a position in MDOT that is very similar to the judges in this case

District Judge Bill Oliver found that Schill had violated ... three counts of a law requiring slow-moving vehicles to move as far to the right "as practicable."

This is disturbing because Kentucky is clearer than Maryland that bikes are not considered "slow-moving" vehicles and like us bikes are not required to use shoulders

189.810 Definitions.
(1) "Slow-moving vehicle" includes farm machinery, including animal-drawn vehicles, highway construction and maintenance vehicles, and any other type of vehicle except bicycles, capable of a rate of speed no greater than twenty-five (25) miles per hour.




So please help in anyway you can.
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One Dad’s Twitter Photo Essay on His Daughter’s Perilous Walk to School

Biking Elsewhereby Tanya Snyder, Streets Blog

“So who’s up for a long rant/photo-essay about kids walking to school and urban design on this fine back-to-school Thursday morning?” asked Canadian author and journalist Chris Turner on Twitter this morning. And so began a numbered tour of the hazards encountered on his 9-year-old daughter’s walk to school.

It was partly inspired by this Yehuda Moon cartoon:

cartoon

But Turner wasn’t satisfied with the cartoon’s cheeky conclusion that parents are making bad decisions. “Too often, these discussions blame PARENTS,” he tweeted, “not URBAN DESIGN.”

...

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/09/04/one-dads-twitter-photo-essay-on-his-daughters-perilous-walk-to-school/

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The automobile = Less time with the family

Biking Elsewhere-> "U.S. history shows that any time you make driving easier, there seems to be this inexhaustible desire to live further from things. The pattern we've seen for a century is people turn more speed into more travel, rather than maybe saying 'I'm going to use my reduced travel time by spending more time with my family.'"
-- Ken Laberteaux, Toyota, at the Automated Vehicles Symposium, 2014

http://bit.ly/XSWMC1

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