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Wednesday, November 25 2015 @ 11:40 PM UTC


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Sprawl Costs the U.S. $1 Trillion Annually

Biking ElsewhereBy Liz Camuti, The Dirt

"Excessive vehicle use should be discouraged by creating streets that include adequate sidewalks and crosswalks, bike infrastructure, and bus systems."
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Cycling has a higher risk of fatality than driving or walking, mostly because of men

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I'm sharing this reluctantly. I dabble in statistics and I find this report suspect.
1) It would be darn hard to find any meaningful random sampling of what exactly is a "typical" cyclists exposure to calculate comparative risk from.
2) "2001 National Household Travel Survey was used to estimate traffic exposure" - Oh, lets use "main mode of transportation to work" which represents ~ 25% of all trips as the way to calculate exposure. One way to throw off this calculation is if cyclists did more other trips than riding to work as their motoring counterparts. (See ref#1 for more information on trips)
3) Since we are dealing with small numbers (in comparison) small errors can lead to large errors in the conclusion. For example: If you hear that Baltimore's cycling population has increased 300%, while that is a good thing it is still a lot smaller then other cities its size. Small numbers can change dramatically in terms of percentages but still are basically meaningless when looked at in a different light. ]

You can read Washcycle's take more at face value here:
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Hey look, that flawed Texas A&M traffic study is back and grabbing the usual headlines

Biking Elsewhereby David Alpert, Greater Greater Washington

The Texas Transportation Institute today released another one of its periodic reports on traffic congestion. This one ranked the DC area first in delay per car commuter. The last report, in 2012, came under considerable criticism for its flawed methodology, and the new one doesn't seem to have changed much, though its author sounds a little more sophisticated about possible solutions.

The report, from Texas A&M University, looks at only one factor: how fast traffic moves. Consider two hypothetical cities. In Denseopolis, people live within 2 miles of work on average, but the roads are fairly clogged and drivers can only go about 20 miles per hour. However, it only takes an average of 6 minutes to get to work, which isn't bad.

On the other hand, in Sprawlville, people live about 30 miles from work on average, but there are lots and lots of fast-moving freeways, so people can drive 60 mph. That means it takes 30 minutes to get to work.

Which city has worse roads? By TTI's methods, it's Denseopolis. But it's the people of Sprawlville who spend more time commuting, and thus have less time to be with their families and for recreation.
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A Wonderfully Clear Explanation of How Road Diets Work

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: Excellent video showing how to include bicycle facilities with NO impact on road capacity nor travel times. I will also point out 10' lanes are safer! Hear that SHA? You are requiring unsafe widths both for cyclists and motor vehicles and I will assert against State Law which requires best engineering for cyclists not best engineering so motorists can comfortably pass a bus traveling the speed limit.(State Law repeated in the Read more section.)]
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“Daylighting” Makes San Francisco Crosswalks Safer

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: One major thing lacking for pedestrian safety in this area is this concept of daylighting. Parking, landscaping, business signs and even traffic control boxes all help to block the view of cars at intersections. And in Maryland pedestrians are over represented in our traffic fatalities.]

By Ben Jose, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

It’s a simple pedestrian safety measure with a memorable nickname: “daylighting.” And it’s a solution that will help San Francisco move the needle on our Vision Zero goal of zero traffic deaths by 2024.

Daylighting is a straightforward improvement that makes everyone on the street easier to see at intersections. It requires removing visual barriers within a minimum of 10 feet of a crosswalk or intersection.
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Study confirms that 10-foot lanes make safer intersections SSTI

Biking ElsewhereBy Chris McCahill, SSTI

Side impact- and turn-related crash rates are lowest at intersections where average lane widths are between 10 and 10.5 feet, according to a study presented at the Canadian Institute of Transportation’s annual meeting last month. This challenges the long-held, but often disputed, assumption that wider lanes are safer.
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New Report Finds Drivers Pay Less Than Half the Cost of Roads

Biking ElsewhereVia U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund

The new report comes with just a month left before expiration of the federal transportation act, and with the federal Highway Trust Fund on the brink of insolvency. Revenues from gas taxes and other user fees this year are expected to come up $16 billion short of the level needed to maintain current federal transportation spending, leading to the need for urgent congressional action.

“Congress is stuck in an endless loop,” said Phineas Baxandall, Senior Analyst at U.S. PIRG and coauthor of the report. “Either Congress will have to raise gas taxes to the high levels that would be needed to fully pay for the costs of highways or it will have to admit that the ‘users pay’ system no longer exists and needs to be reformed.”

“Congress faces important choices about transportation,” Baxandall continued. “Playing make believe about where our transportation dollars come from shouldn’t be an option.”

General taxpayers at all levels of government now subsidize highway construction and maintenance to the tune of $69 billion per year – an amount exceeding the expenditure of general tax funds to support transit, bicycling, walking and passenger rail combined.

Regardless of how much they drive, the average American household bears an annual financial burden of more than $1,100 in taxes and indirect costs from driving – over and above any gas taxes or other fees they pay that are connected with driving.
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It’s Time to Stop Sharing the Road

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes:Read this in light of Baltimore County Bike Plan expansion.]

Via Rebel Metropolis

You’ve heard it ad nauseam: Share the Road – a mantra adopted much by cyclists and not at all by motorists. It’s become a passive petition: vulnerable bicyclists begging for enough street space to not be run over and killed from drivers largely indifferent due the empathy-crushing confines of the metal machines they drive. Even worse, groups like Please Be Kind to Cyclists have taken this kind of Stockholm Syndrome to absurd extremes, using language that would embolden any bully, ceding them power over their pleading victim.

The PC urban professional crowd you see on their corporate sponsored, helmet-required tours will shun assertive language and cling to a vocabulary of non-confrontationalism. For them, reputation and obedience are more important than responding to clueless motorists and their lethal driving habits with equal and opposite force. Whether in the streets or in our ongoing discourse, the tendency is to back down, to let the oppressor define the rules of engagement and debate. That kind of power dynamic has gotten us basically nowhere.

The burden of mortality is always on the person riding a bike, yet the burden of responsibility for using a car to kill or maim a person virtually never falls on the driver. If that pisses you off, it’s time to start acting like it. We’ve come to a point where all the soft-ball pitching of our needs has failed to deliver streets that are safer. Asking for permission to ride without fear doesn’t work – motorists don’t care, or they can’t hear you. It’s time to start adopting principles of two-wheeled liberation.
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America's Cities Are Still Too Afraid to Make Driving Unappealing

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes:l wanted to note that when l lived in Brooklyn, NY and midtown Manhattan all three modes of transportation took the same amount of time so traveling by car was the last thing you wanted to do. People use whatever mode that is well accommodated.]
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Traffic Accidents Top Cause Of Fatal Child Injuries

Biking ElsewhereBy Brenda Wilson, NPR

Nearly a million children worldwide die every year as a result of unintentional injuries, and the biggest killer is traffic accidents, according to a report from the World Health Organization.
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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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