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Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 12:20 PM 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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The myth of the beleaguered Boston driver

Biking ElsewhereBy Dante Ramos, Boston Globe

IF YOU’RE DRIVING in a crowded city, it’s your job not to hit anybody. Not cyclists, not pedestrians, not even pedestrians wearing headphones.
...

The problem isn’t that Walsh thinks pedestrians and cyclists should pay attention to their surroundings. (Shouldn’t everybody?) It’s that, in his comments, the mayor seemed to accept the myth of the beleaguered Boston driver who’s at the mercy of unpredictable bikers and walkers.

When a car hits a bike in the Netherlands and some other countries, laws generally presume that the person driving the two- or three-ton metal box is responsible. Here in Boston, we’ve all internalized the idea that driving is how human beings naturally get around, and that everything else in city life — our transportation plans, our development rules, our circadian rhythms — must bend to accommodate it.
...

In practice, though, the city’s bicycle lanes are regularly blocked by delivery trucks, passenger vehicles, and even police cars. All too often, city government still sends this message: Real people use cars; all that other stuff — the bike lanes, the climate planning, the official paeans to transit-oriented development — is OK only if doesn’t bother drivers.
...

It’s easy to blame crazy cyclists or headphoned jaywalkers for getting hit by cars, but the victims are often children and elderly people. Calls for personal responsibility also mask the underlying issue: Many streets and intersections in Boston aren’t properly designed for the mix of people using them.
...

The other possibility is that, when throngs of transit commuters pour out of South Station every morning and jaywalk across the street, they’re sending a message of their own: We’re focusing too closely on the needs of motor vehicles, and not enough on all the people around them.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2017/05/20/the-myth-beleaguered-boston-driver/LEpqqu6VVeVUDnh2gybNzJ/story.html
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How Sweden Has Redesigned Streets To Route Around Bad Human Behavior

Biking ElsewhereBY CHARLIE SORREL, Fast Company

...
Belin is one of the creators of Vision Zero, a Swedish policy instigated in 1997 that has the aim of eliminating road deaths. But unlike almost every other scheme to make roads safer, Vision doesn’t try to blame the victim or the perpetrator. Instead, it tries to design the system itself to be safer. And it’s working. Since its beginning, Vision Zero has more than halved road deaths, to below three fatalities per 100,000. Compare that to the U.S., where the figure is 11.6 per 100,000.
...

https://www.fastcompany.com/3066435/how-sweden-has-redesigned-streets-to-route-around-bad-human-behavior
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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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