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Tuesday, September 16 2014 @ 01:23 PM UTC


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AA uses naked cyclist to launch #thinkbikes wing-mirror campaign

Biking ElsewhereB' Spokes: I laughed at this.
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‘The Pied Piper for sustainable transportation’ and his radical idea: Put people first

Biking ElsewhereBy CHRISTINE MCLAREN, The Globe and Mail

He has also lived his message: Mr. Penalosa, 57, helped to transform Bogota when he served as the Colombian capital’s commissioner of parks and recreation in the late 1990s. He has since become an evangelist for livable cities that put people, not cars, at the centre of planning. As the executive director of Toronto-based non-profit 8-80 Cities, he has worked with more than 150 cities on every continent, convincing them that rapid improvements to mass transit, bike lanes and pedestrian walkways are not as impossible as they may think.

Many politicians are also “timid,” he adds. “The minute they’re elected, they’re thinking about how to get re-elected, and the way to get re-elected is to do more of the same. Maybe a little bit better but more of the same. But unfortunately now we not only have to focus on doing things right, but also we need to focus on doing the right things.”

“It’s not about walking or cycling or parks or sidewalks,” he says. “Those are the means. The end goal is how to create a vibrant city with healthy communities, where the citizens are going to be happier.”
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1 mile of a protected bike lane is 100x cheaper than 1 mile of roadway (Chart)

Biking ElsewhereB' Spokes: Before I share the following article I thought I would share some other absurdisms working against us.

1) Speed of travel is the ultimate priority.
Which would be like saying I know someone with a Ferrari who zips around town, I would like to zip around town too so I need a new Ferrari and my 10 year old car is no longer good enough.
So freeways and freeway like roads are like Ferraris, expensive and really not practical for everyday use.

2) We have a huge backlog of car centric projects that total billions of dollars. So if we don't accommodate bikes and peds over a hundred years we'll saved enough to get one year of car centric projects for free.
This is like trying to afford a Hawaiian vacation by squeezing the last drop out of your toothpaste tube. Sure you are saving money by doing that but the reality is what you can purchase from that kind of savings plan cannot be anywhere near the cost of the toothpaste or the cost of the road project. We are skimping on road projects to appear frugal while buying a Ferrari. Does that make any sense?

3) The greatest need is based on what's the most expensive.
This would be like the government analyzing your food budget and seeing that you spent a lot on steaks saying you need to cut out fruit and vegetables so you can purchase more steaks. Now go ahead and try to refute the argument that most people like steaks so this is fair (like the argument that most people like to drive.)
This is a false argument that we are forced into, the argument is what is the best balance for what we can afford.
By Zachary Shahan, Tree Hugger

One of the most hilarious (or, hilariously illogical) attacks on expanding bicycle infrastructure that I've seen repeatedly pop up over the years is the idea that "bicycle infrastructure costs too much." It only takes a few moments to reflect and put such costs into perspective.

For one, bikes are clearly much smaller and lighter than cars or trucks. So, the space needed to accommodate bicyclists is obviously much smaller, and the repairs needed from deterioration are also smaller. Furthermore, as you attract more people to bicycling, that pulls people out of their cars, reducing the deterioration and eventual repair costs of the car lanes. Naturally, the benefits improve even further when we think about bridges.

See the article for the chart and be prepared to do a lot of scrolling to see where the cost of car projects ends.

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Take Action: Bicyclist Safety MUST Be a Priority

Biking ElsewhereB' Spokes: Why this is important for Maryland:

Source: FARS States | Pedestrians

And note that bike/ped fatales make up 22% of Maryland road fatalities. image
Source: FARS States

And our ranking with bicycling and pedestrian fatality rates combined:
StatePedestrians KilledPedacyclists KilledPopulation (Thousands)"Pedestrian Fatality Rate per 100,000 Population""Pedacyclist Fatality Rate per 100,000 Population"Total (Pedestrians + Pedacyclist)Rank
South Carolina1131546792.410.322.7350
New Mexico41420821.970.192.1647
North Carolina1602596561.660.261.9244
Source: Car Insurance Comparison

Even the U.S. Transportation Secretary says he won't tolerate 'crisis' in bicyclist deaths

Additional info about your representatives from LAB:
In the House (Chris Van Hollen did a lot better than the others.)
In the Senate (With Ben Cardin standing out a bit better.)
From League of American Wheelmen, Inc.

Once again, bicyclists have been left out.

This morning, the federal government released a traffic safety proposal that turns a blind eye to the rising number of bicyclist and pedestrians deaths.

Last week, 700 participants at the National Bike Summit visited their members of Congress and asked them to sign on to a critical bill that would require the U.S. Department of Transportation establish a specific target to improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. Months ago, we mobilized bicyclists behind this bill because we knew DOT was unlikely to do this on their own.

Today, unfortunately, we were proven right.

The DOT just issued a proposed national traffic safety goal that doesn't include a specific target or goal for reducing the number of bicyclists and pedestrians killed on our roadways.
We know that without a specific target to focus the attention of state DOTs and USDOT on reducing bicyclist and pedestrian deaths within the overall number -- we get lost in the shuffle. At a time when cities like New York and San Francisco are adopting bold targets like Vision Zero, we believe the federal government should be expecting the same thing of themselves and state transportation agencies. 
Please ask your members of Congress to sign on to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act: HR 3494 / S 1708. If you just attended the National Bike Summit, it's the perfect excuse to follow up your meeting with a "Thank you" and a reminder of your request. If you weren't at the Summit, it's a great way to make your voice heard on this important issue. 
Next week, we'll ask for your help in responding directly to the DOT's proposed safety target. Today, please join us in making sure your member of Congress supports a national goal to reduce the number of bicyclists and pedestrians injured and killed on our roads.


Andy Clarke
President, League of American Bicyclists

Click the Take Action button at the bottom of this page.
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A cool game...

Biking ElsewhereVia Dinosaur Comics

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Murder Machines: Why Cars Will Kill 30,000 Americans This Year

Biking ElsewhereBy Hunter Oatman-Stanford, Collectors Weekly

There’s an open secret in America: If you want to kill someone, do it with a car. As long as you’re sober, chances are you’ll never be charged with any crime, much less manslaughter.

Within a decade, the number of car collisions and fatalities skyrocketed. In the first four years after World War I, more Americans died in auto accidents than had been killed during battle in Europe, but our legal system wasn’t catching on. The negative effects of this unprecedented shift in transportation were especially felt in urban areas, where road space was limited and pedestrian habits were powerfully ingrained.

Eventually, the term spread to all types of automobile drivers, along with pejoratives like “vampire driver” or “death driver.” Political cartoons featured violent imagery of so-called “speed demons” murdering innocents as they plowed through city streets in their uncontrollable vehicles. Other editorials accused drivers of being afflicted with “motor madness” or “motor rabies,” which implied an addiction to speed at the expense of human life.

"The Safest Place" 1935 Chevrolet Film About Car Safety
[Note: I get from this is that your "living room surrounded by steel" would be the safest place to be if it were not for other drivers... So that's why we are so laxed of traffic law enforcement?]
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I want to be a nurse that keeps hitting cyclists with my car.

Biking ElsewhereB' Spokes: My headline here is over the top but we need to do something about the cavalier culture surrounding the so called right to drive regardless of the consequences. The last time I checked over 20% of all bike/ped fatalities was a hit-and-run. This needs to stop!

Rachel Anna Buckler, 23, entered an Alford plea to have her sentence from a 2011 hit-and-run and death of Port Tobacco cyclist Thomas Roepcke reconsidered.

Read about it here:
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It's about transportation

Biking Elsewhereimage

This is not about recreation; it's about transportation--about people using their bikes to get where they need to go. We're talking about making sure, when someone’s only or best option to get to work is a bike, that they have an option to ride it, and ride it in safety.

Transportation Secretary
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We all need silly stuff [video]

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: A little girl on a bike and a cat riding around her neighborhood, you can't get cuter than that. But it makes me wonder why so many are working to make such imagery a thing of the past. Now kids to be safe stay inside and play your video games. :/ ]
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Why Clearing Sidewalks Isn’t a Priority Like Plowing Streets

Biking ElsewhereB' Spokes: First some Maryland data to put this in context.

Where Maryland stands compared to other states with their pedestrian fatality rate.

How Maryland pedestrian fatalities by month rank for pedestrian fatalities.
Fatal Crashes1061109710395102100

It seems to me that Maryland has a winter time pedestrian problem.
by Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

If where you live is anything like where I live, the sidewalks are a mess right now. People are walking in the streets and getting summarily blamed by the press when a driver injures them.

Plows are out all night salting and scraping the streets, but sidewalks are a private responsibility, and compliance with shoveling laws is haphazard enough to make mixing with SUVs seem like the best option for a lot of pedestrians.

To their credit, community leaders in Akron, Ohio, have been debating how to keep children safe when they walk to school. On his blog Notes from the Underground, Jason Segedy, head of Akron’s metropolitan planning organization, AMATS, wrote about the relative lack of concern for kids who walk:

The immediate, specific, and tactical answer to the question of “Why don’t we make safe and accessible sidewalks a priority?” has to do with a panoply of thorny and interrelated fiscal, legal, and property issues.

But the holistic, general, and strategic answer to that question is simply this: our culture does not value or respect people on foot the way that it does people behind the wheels of cars. To be clear, this cultural orientation is not the result of conscious antipathy toward pedestrians, or an intentional organized conspiracy to disenfranchise or disrespect the marginalized and the poor. Instead, it’s simply the way that our society has evolved over the past 60 years, as the automobile has achieved near complete dominance as a mode of transportation – at least for the affluent majority.

I discuss this issue with people all of the time, and often hear people say “Why waste the time or money on this? No one walks anyway.” My translation: “I don’t walk anywhere, no one that I know walks anywhere, and since I occupy a place of privilege in society, I really don’t notice anyone that does walk.”

In addition to being patently false, the generalization “no one walks anyway” misses the point entirely.  Social equity and fairness in transportation is not about a tunnel-vision view of the needs of the majority that drives, considered in a vacuum; but rather, about looking out for the needs of the minority that does not drive.


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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

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