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Tuesday, July 29 2014 @ 10:42 AM UTC

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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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Riding Two Abreast - Bike Law Peter explains...

Biking ElsewhereBy Peter Wilborn, Bike Law

...
Visibility:

Driver’s inattentiveness poses the greatest threat to cyclists (and to pedestrians and other motorists). In most of the wrongful death lawsuits that I have handled, the common drivers’ refrain is that “I didn’t see the cyclist.” In too many cases, the motorist has simply run over a cyclist in front of them. A group of riders riding two abreast, however, is far more visible to drivers. A frustrated driver is at least a driver who is aware of the riders on the road and realizes that he must slow down until it is safe to pass.

Easier Passing:

In one tragic case a few years back, a truck driver attempted to pass a long line of single-file riders. But in the middle of his maneuver, an oncoming car forced the truck back into the pace line, killing a young girl. Long lines of cyclists can pose a more difficult challenge to passing drivers. A more compact group of two-abreast cyclists can make passing easier and more predictable. A two-abreast formation is approximately the width of a car, and cars should pass them as if they were passing a slower automobile.

Enough Room to Pass:

Cyclists often maintain a two abreast formation because they can see something the trailing drivers cannot: it is unsafe to pass here. Whether because of a blind curve, a double yellow line, approaching traffic or a narrowing road, by riding two abreast with others, the cyclists are asking the motorist to cool his jets and wait. The driver’s safety is important, too. Too many times, drivers improperly assume that there is ample room to pass a single line of cyclists, and end up hitting them or dangerously forcing them off a too narrow road. Two-abreast riders prevent this from happening until there is adequate room for a motorist to pass.

Most cyclists exercise common sense. With thousands of miles of experience, they know when to ride next to each other and when to ride single file. For example, on heavily traveled roads with adequate lane width for passing cars, most riders I know will ride single file. And most riders already do what critics suggest; they take prudent steps to allow cars to pass safely and efficiently.

The situation can and will improve. As more folks ride, and as more roads across the country get dedicated bicycle lanes, and we as we continue to educate cyclists and drivers alike, frustrations will lessen. Until then, we will continue to encourage common sense and basic courtesy.

http://www.bikelaw.com/2014/06/18/riding-two-abreast/
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Think Bicycle Commuters Are Good Citizens? You're Probably A Democrat

Biking ElsewhereBy Christine Matthews, Huffington Post

Last week, Pew Research released a survey of 10,000 voters focused on partisan polarization. In their survey, Pew also collected data about lifestyle polarization. For example, Liberals want to live in smaller houses within walkable communities; Conservatives prefer bigger houses with an ability to drive to places of interest.

This reminded us of a survey we conducted late last year that explored partisan attitudes toward bicycling and bike lanes. We were inspired to ask these questions by the bike lane wars we had seen erupting in communities, including in nearby Alexandria, Virginia.

In theory, most respondents to a HuffPost/YouGov poll tended to agree with the concept of bikes and cars sharing the road. Three-fourths of voters agree that roads should accommodate both cars and bikes, while a minority (18%) thinks roads should be for cars only. While Democrats more widely support dual use (85%), Republicans (72%) and independents (70%) also strongly support the idea.

A majority of voters (53%) think policies should be put in place to make it easier (53%) rather than harder (6%) to commute by bicycle. Nearly three in ten say what we're doing presently is fine -- no changes -- and 14% aren't sure.
...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-matthews/cycling-politics-poll_b_5500546.html
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NEW BAGGAGE CARS COMING SOON - Amtrak

Biking Elsewhereimage

Read more: http://blog.amtrak.com/2014/06/new-baggage-cars/
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STREETFACTS #4: Children Have Lost the Freedom to Roam [video]

Biking Elsewhere

STREETFACTS #4: Children Have Lost the Freedom to Roam from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

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A hypothetical decision tree for when to stop - LOL

Biking ElsewhereVia Willamette Week

image
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THE BIKE LAW INTERVIEW: ANN GRONINGER, BIKE LAW NORTH CAROLINA: ON RAISING THE NEXT GENERATION

Biking ElsewhereBy Bob Mionske, Bicycle Law

I recently had the opportunity to talk with North Carolina bicycle accident lawyer Ann Groninger. Ann had recently written a well-received article about being buzzed on a morning ride. Or I should say, it was well-received by cyclists, all of whom have had similar experiences on the road. But some motorists had a different reaction, expressing their disdain for “scofflaw cyclists” (despite the fact that Ann had been riding lawfully, and was nearly hit by a “scofflaw driver”), or worse, expressing a thinly-veiled intent to assault cyclists with their vehicles. Before writing about her own brush with near-disaster, Ann had written another excellent article asking “Are bicycle crashes accidents?” Ann had also written about personalizing the consequences of bicycle crashes—in this case, the impact that a negligent driver had on the cyclist she hit, and on his widow.

It was clear from Ann’s articles that she wants drivers to understand that, in her words, “these stories personalize the consequences of taking unnecessary risks when driving”… “what I want to talk about is the value of human life and how people can take it so lightly…by riding my bike on the road, especially alone, I am putting my life in the hands of people who don’t care about it and are willing to take pretty big risks with it.” For Ann, these stories “should be a daily wake-up call” for anyone with a conscience.
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Ann: Riding a bike was such an important part of my childhood, and I think most peoples’ childhoods. For many reasons – safety, more indoor options, more organized activities - I think it’s tougher for kids these days to just get out and ride. A lot of them will miss that unique feeling of freedom a bike gives you, which is sad.

Also, young kids today are tomorrow’s drivers. If we can teach our kids respect for the road while riding their bikes they will hopefully carry that respect over to driving a car.
...

http://www.bicyclelaw.com/blog/index.cfm/2014/6/13/The-Bike-Law-Interview-Ann-Groninger-Bike-Law-North-Carolina-On-Raising-The-Next-Generation
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Ikea to sell electric bicycle called 'Folkvanlig' (poll)

Biking ElsewhereBy Joseph Rose, Oregon Live

Is there any activity that helps people of all languages discover new curse words more than assembling Ikea furniture?

Well, put on your bike helmet and get out the swear jar: The Swedish-based home furnishings company is getting into the bicycle business.

Meet the Folkvänlig, an $1,000 electric bicycle that it hopes will get more commuters out of their cars in cities worldwide. The product's name is derived from the Swedish words for people and friendly.

Here are the details (or "detaljernas"):

  • The frame, which holds the rechargeable lithium-ion battery, is aluminum; the front fork is steel.
  • The electronic "pedal assist," which gives riders a boost when they start to run out of gas, er, steam, is powered by a 250-watt motor with a range of 37 to 45 miles. (Not bad at all.)
  • A Shimano transmission provides six different "driving" modes.
  • It's 60 pounds, which is typical for e-assist bikes.
  • All of the bike's parts (including the mysterious extra piece that will inevitably be left over after you've assembled it) come with a two-year warranty.
  • There are models for men and women.
  • Ikea Family members get a $150 discount.
...


http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2014/05/ikea_to_sell_electric_bicycle.html
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Study finds mode of transportation affects how we feel

Biking Elsewhere“We found that people are in the best mood while they are bicycling compared to any other mode of transportation,” said Eric Morris, lead author on the study and assistant professor in Clemson’s planning, development and preservation department.

http://newsstand.clemson.edu/mediarelations/study-finds-how-mode-of-transportation-affects-how-we-feel/
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What Makes Some Intersections More “Elastic” Than Others?

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt. Streets Blog

Of all the places we encounter throughout the day, intersections have perhaps the most strictly prescribed rules. But the way people actually behave at intersections differs a great deal, depending on the mode of transportation, the place, the time of day — all sorts of factors.

Adonia Lugo at Urban Adonia says she’s seen observance of these rules vary wildly from city to city, and it got her thinking about why people negotiate some intersections differently than others:

There are laws, there are stripes, there are bollards, and then there are all these randos doing what they think is best. As a street ethnographer, I have observed that some intersections are more “elastic” than others, and this flexibility comes from people’s attitudes rather than road design.

When I first started bike commuting in Portland, the heart of Law Abiding Cyclist Country, I got really jazzed about always stopping at stop signs and red lights. It made sense to me that I could make drivers take me seriously by behaving predictably. I’d grown up in a place where jaywalking meant running across the street, because pedestrians having priority was more theoretical than real. So it followed that, using this new mode of transport, I should do what the signs told me to do…

Now I’m in Washington, D.C, and wow, I look like a country mouse when I hesitate at intersections. Every time I pull up on a bike or on foot at a corner, others stream past me. The signals here seem to be more suggestions than anything else. Drivers, too, inch forward as much as they can, sometimes being halfway through the intersection before the light turns green.

Since I’ve observed so many other bike users and pedestrians, and as I noted, even motorists, making the point, it’s hard for me to ignore the logic of pressing forward into empty space. Traffic signals should guarantee right of way, from a predictability standpoint, but should they impede the flow of people when there’s no right of way to protect?

I know that a lot of our road design standards have been developed through years of liability lawsuits and efforts to control safety. It’s just weird to me that the reality, as seen from the everyday scale of ethnography, is a lot more pragmatic. If we really want to promote active transportation, shouldn’t we legitimize the greater elasticity walking and biking afford? Does it really make sense to limit these modes according to the car-based paradigm of traffic engineering?



http://streetsblog.net/2014/05/27/what-makes-some-intersections-more-elastic-than-others/
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