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Sunday, May 03 2015 @ 10:50 AM UTC


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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

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from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling &amp; Walking.
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Passing distance vs distance from curb

Biking Elsewhereby Richard Masoner,

Study shows gutter bunnies get squeezed; for maximum passing distance, ride three to four feet from the curb.
The Florida Department of Transportation published a study [PDF] in which highway researchers measured how much room car and truck drives gave cyclists on Florida roads.

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Just living close to Walmart makes you fat

Biking Elsewhere&quot;According to the report, broad, multi-laned streets, characteristic of suburban sprawl, are linked with higher levels of obesity and diabetes. Same goes for “big box” stores, which are associated with 24.9 percent higher rates of diabetes and 13.7 higher rates of obesity. The reason? Both factors indicate that the neighborhood is less friendly to pedestrians.&quot;

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Cities Need Traffic Laws Recognizing Cyclists As The Most Important People On Earth

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: First the streets were public places, then came the car and with that streets became unsafe for everyone but cars. But that is a lie, car on car killing of people is at an outrageously high level but no one bats an eye at all the death. They play lip service in &quot;improving&quot; safety for pedestrians with crosswalks, like two thin and faded lines are going to make an improvement. They play lip service to improving bicycle safety by first telling cyclist not to ride close to parked cars and then installing a mandatory use bike lane in that very space they told us not to ride in. It seems to me they are doing &quot;safety washing&quot; by saying something is done for &quot;safety&quot; but the reality is it either encourages more speeding cars or does nothing to slow them down, all and all the streets remain &quot;unsafe for all but cars&quot; or at least that is the general perception.

We need to get the streets back from cars, we need streets as public spaces and bicyclists are the best to make that transition. Bicyclists are in a way half car, half pedestrian, the perfect intermediary to make this transition. Bicyclists are the indicator species of a happy healthy society, we need to see more kids on bikes... do I hear you interrupting with &quot;But the roads are uns...&quot; Stop! Stop right there, what you are really saying is &quot;The roads should be unsafe so I can drive fast.&quot; This is wrong! Drive fast on the interstates, fine but on the local streets we need a new attitude, a new cyclists first attitude.

Maybe the following article goes a bit overboard with the cyclists first attitude but I think it is a conversation we should be having, at least to get better compromises then what we are currently seeing.]

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For Cleaner Air, Get Out of the Car

Biking ElsewhereLondon study finds that bike commuters are exposed to less air pollution than drivers

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The solution to too many cars.

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Just because drivers complain does not make it illegal

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I am Traffic
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Why US Pedestrian Safety Remains Elusive

Biking ElsewhereBy Klaus Philipsen, Community Architect

Even though overall traffic fatalities continue to fall, pedestrian deaths not only stayed stubbornly high, they even increased in some areas. How come?

The first guess may be technology. While improved vehicle safety protects the life of the driver and passenger better and better, those outside the vehicle, primarily bicyclists and pedestrians, are left out. Even worse, the bigger, faster, and quieter that cars and SUVs have become, the more they have mutated into effective killing machines for those who are in their way. The safer the roads are made for driving (curves, straightened, sightlines improved, trees felled etc.) the more drivers are lulled into a false sense of security and the faster cars can safely go – both possibly to the detriment of the pedestrian.

That the pedestrian carnage isn't an immutable price one has to pay for technological progress becomes obvious if one realizes that there are significant differences in pedestrian safety between different countries and states, between rural areas and cities, and between the various &quot;cultures&quot; of how to plan and design villages, towns, cities and suburbs. My home state Maryland has 1.75 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents, a fatality rate almost twice that of Massachusetts (0.88). In fact we are among the most unsafe states: only Florida, New Mexico and Puerto Rico are significantly worse. What are the safer states doing that the others are not? What can be done to make walking safer and what have those states with the low crash rates done right?

Some think that education is the answer. In the Baltimore area, a current billboard campaign advocates &quot;smart walking,&quot; with drastic images showing a person lying in the street in front of a car. The flaw of this campaign is obvious – the message seeks to address the problem by placing the blame on &quot;dumb&quot; walking, a clear case of blaming the victim, a strategy well know from campaigns that try to curb violence against women. Ironically, those billboards for &quot;smart walking&quot; are placed along arteries for the benefit of drivers who, peering through their windshields, probably don't identify themselves as the intended target. Thus, the blame is even further shifted from where the real responsibility lies: the drivers. While education is always good, it needs to address the root cause of the problem which is likely not just the wrong behavior.

Maybe it isn't dumb walking as much as dumb street design that lies at the heart of the matter. The low pedestrian fatalities in some areas are likely not caused by brighter pedestrians that just walk smarter; it is equally unlikely that the drivers are just smarter there.

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Pushing buttons gets pedestrians nowhere in downtown Dallas

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: Can you imagine as a pedestrian being accommodated automatically at intersections just like a car? (I will note this is similar to my request on the Reisterstown streetscape,) Phase out pedestrian &quot;beg buttons&quot; makes a lot of sense as this article points out.]

Many other cities, including New York and Boston, have gone to pre-timed lights or similar systems that they say ensure a safer and more consistent traffic flow at crosswalks. Doing so means the push buttons become purely decorative or, as described by a New Yorker, “mechanical placebos.”

He said busy intersections would have push buttons deteriorate faster. And if they’re mechanical buttons, that could happen in a little over a year.

Majumdar said the city might get complaints about the nonworking buttons [they are not fixed unless someone complains] But he said the pre-timed signals are safer for pedestrians.

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Let's stop calling the killing of cyclists by negligent drivers "accidents"

Biking ElsewhereBy Lloyd Alter, Treehugger

Rising Canadian squash star Adrian Dudzicki was murdered yesterday by Aleksey Aleksev, while riding his bicycle to practice in Toronto. The weapon was a 1992 BMW 325; Aleksev has been charged with dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing death.

Yet Canada's most respected newspaper, the Globe and Mail, has the headline Star squash player killed in accident while cycling in Toronto and the copy starts:

&quot;One of Canada’s top squash players has died after being hit by a car while cycling in Toronto.&quot;

&quot;Squash Canada confirmed in a release that Ottawa’s Adrian Dudzicki died from injuries sustained in an accident on Wednesday when a vehicle struck him as he rode his bicycle to the National Squash Academy.&quot;

Interesting language. If a driver is charged with criminal negligence causing death, is it an &quot;accident&quot;? Did the BMW kill Adrian or did Aleksey Aleksev?

&quot;Words are powerful. They shape the way we see the world around us.&quot;

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