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Thursday, May 25 2017 @ 10:36 AM UTC

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The case for bicycles' inevitable triumph over cars

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: Between not enough parking to too much traffic and let's not even get into the cost of infrastructure, cars are a passing fad. Especially since electric bikes and bike share are making bike more popular and more assessable.] Inspiration

http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/05/technology/bikes-disrupt-cars/index.html
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Side guards: New push to make safety devices on trucks mandatory

Biking ElsewhereB' Spokes: It amazes me that something that is standard in Europe, saves lives and improves gas mileage can't get done here. Even more (not talked about in the video), truck side guards can save pedestrian and cyclists lives as well as they help prevent "fall under rear wheel" deaths. It is outrageous that the trucking industry can remain negligent so long on this issue.

http://www.today.com/video/side-guards-new-push-to-make-safety-devices-on-trucks-mandatory-871637059838
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Not all trails are created equal. Here’s how to tell the gold standard from the imitators

Bike PathsBy Bryan Barnett-Woods, Greater Greater Washington

[B' Spokes: Just headlines (and my comments.)]

Be separate from automobiles
Be wide [B' Spokes: Too many local trails are 8' wide and not the 10' wide as recommended here.]
Have paved or hard surfaces
Connect to other trails or destinations
Accommodate both transportation and recreation
Be a project that’s realistic to build now or sometime soon
Follow uniform design standards [B' Spokes: And I'll add getting on or off a trail should not require that you pull out into traffic and make two sharp 90° turns. i.e. Falls Road to Jones Falls Trail going south.]

https://ggwash.org/view/63011/not-all-trails-are-created-equal.-heres-how-to-tell-the-gold-standard-from-
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The Way we Talk about Traffic Deaths is All Wrong

Biking in BaltimoreVia Moving Beyond the Automobile

...
Given the significant potential for harm associated with driving and the inequity in deaths, one would expect a high degree of responsibility and accountability to be placed on drivers. The unfortunate reality however is that driving is so pervasive in our culture that when a tragedy occurs on our streets, we as a society are often quick to protect the drivers, rather than the most vulnerable.

To see what I mean, carefully read the following news headline from the Toronto Star on a tragic fatality that occurred last month in Scarborough:

“A 6-year-old boy has died after being struck by a vehicle while walking home from school in Scarborough Friday afternoon, Toronto police said.”

Notice anything peculiar? Probably not, because this is the phrasing that is commonly used by the media when reporting road deaths. If you read carefully though, you’ll notice that the sentence doesn’t actually mention the driver of the vehicle.

Technically speaking, a vehicle did strike and kill the 6-year-old boy, but the vehicle did not act on its own. That vehicle was operated by a human being – a driver – trusted with the responsibility of operating a 2,000-pound potentially-lethal machine in our public streets, which are ripe with hazards and vulnerable users. Was the driver at fault for the boy’s death? That doesn’t matter – the point is that the driver was operating the vehicle which caused the death, making them directly involved in the incident.
...

https://mattpinderblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/the-way-we-talk-about-traffic-deaths-is-all-wrong/
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We are the bicycle lobby. We are coming for your parking.

Biking Elsewhereby Comrade Rosovvy, City Pages

[B' Spokes: A bit tongue and cheek but has a point.]

...
Where once you could park eight feet in front of a business to purchase a hanging plant, we sons and daughters of the morning star will force you to walk one additional city block on sidewalks like a poor person. Your spirit will be crushed and your very feet will cry out for mercy.
...

http://www.citypages.com/arts/we-are-the-bicycle-lobby-we-are-coming-for-your-parking/422843924
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- COUNTDOWN PEDESTRIAN SIGNALS WITH AND WITHOUT THE FLASHING HAND FIELD STUDY

Biking Elsewhere(http://bit.ly/2jw8c9X): This study found statistically significant decreases in pedestrians who were still in the crosswalk when cross traffic was released at three of the four sites when the Flashing Don’t Walk was removed from the clearance phase. An increase in the number of pedestrians running was detected at some of the sites during the Countdown Pedestrian Signal alone condition. Removing the FDW signal from the CPS could result in an increase in the number of pedestrians who reach the opposite side of the crosswalk without interfering with cross traffic.

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

[B' Spokes: So basically the flashing (don't walk) hand that comes on too early for most pepole (so most ignore it) doesn't work as well as a simple count down.]
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PED SAFETY ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS GUIDE

Biking Elsewhere-> The “Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations: A How-To Guide“ (http://1.usa.gov/1GYHe2B) provides tips and guidance on how States and communities can effectively deploy pedestrian safety enforcement operations to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities. It includes a summary of promising practices, guidance on planning and implementing an operation, a discussion of several considerations and variations, recommendations regarding the evaluation of pedestrian safety programs, and a series of case studies. The guide also contains an Appendix with sample forms and other useful information.

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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WIDER LANES MAKE STREETS MORE DANGEROUS

Biking Elsewhere-> A new study (Narrower Lanes, Safer Streets: http://bit.ly/1AJVv2q) reinforces the argument that cities need to reconsider lane widths and redesign streets accordingly. In a paper to be presented at the Canadian Institute of Traffic Engineers annual conference, author Dewan Masud Karim presents hard evidence that wider lanes increase risk on city streets. Looking at the crash databases, Karim found that collision rates escalate as lane widths exceed about 10.5 feet. Roads with the widest lanes — 12 feet or wider — were associated with greater crash rates and higher impact speeds. Karim also found that crash rates rise as lanes become narrower than about 10 feet, though this does not take impact speeds and crash severity into account. He concluded that there is a sweet spot for lane widths on city streets, between about 10 and 10.5 feet. [http://bit.ly/1eOgWVR]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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COURT FINDS WI DOT USED INFLATED FORECASTS TO JUSTIFY ROAD EXPANSION

Biking Elsewhere-> On Friday, the U.S. Eastern District Court upheld claims in a lawsuit filed by 1000 Friends of Wisconsin and cut off federal funding for the beleaguered Highway 23 road expansion project between Fond du Lac and Plymouth. The Court agreed with the land use organization that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation used unsupported, inflated traffic forecasts to justify the project. The Court ruled that the project is ineligible for federal funding until documented accurate traffic forecasts can be made that justify expanding the highway. The state can now either go back to the drawing board and do verifiable forecasting or scrap the expansion plans. The ruling does not stop the state from building the project using only state funds. [http://bit.ly/1Q6pdoX]

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Why are cities allowing bicycle theft to go virtually unpunished?

Biking ElsewhereBy Tom Babin, Los Angeles Times

...
In Los Angeles and virtually every city in North America, bicycle theft has almost become a crime without consequence, so widespread that it is treated less as a problem and more like one of the costs of urban life. Thieves can quickly cut locks on a target that serves as its own getaway vehicle, sell their ill-gotten goods to fencers for pennies on the dollar, and rest assured they will almost never be busted. Law enforcement officials, busy with other priorities, rarely commit to sustained campaigns to bust theft rings or even pursue arrests.

Accurate data on bike thefts are difficult to come by. The FBI reported 210,905 bike thefts in the U.S. in 2014, a number that likely severely undercounts the true scope of the problem. An analysis by the Oregonian in Portland found that arrests occurred in just 2% of reported bike thefts in that city. The same study found as few as 70% of thefts are even reported. Cycling advocate J Allard spent several years researching bike theft and couldn’t find a single person in North America who had a full-time job dedicated to stopping the problem.

Despite this general apathy, there are serious consequences to bike theft. A 2014 federal government survey found the most likely group of people to ride a bike to work are those earning less than $10,000 a year. For such working poor who have no other means of getting around, bike theft is more than an inconvenience: It can wipe out a livelihood.
...

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/livable-city/la-ol-bicycle-theft-20170421-story.html
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