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Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 02:57 AM UTC

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Why you should care about other modes now

Biking ElsewhereBy Maggie Awad, Mobility Lab

...
After I arrived at my destination and the adrenaline cooled, a thought I’ve had for the last few months, came bubbling up to the top:

The vast difference in driver education and biking/pedestrian education is what causes this rift between modes.

And the sad reality of it all is that you’re not likely to care about another mode (especially if you don’t use it yourself), until someone you know is injured or worse.

So What Can We Do?

A lot of things, actually.

1. Equal Education
...
2. Change Safety Messaging
[B' Spokes: MD's Street Smart ad campaign is an example of what NOT to do.]
...
3. On-Demand Education for On-Demand Services
[B' Spokes: Profesional drivers (for Uber to name one) need more professional training than your run of the mill driver who does limited routes for a limited time.]
...

https://mobilitylab.org/2017/08/01/care-modes-now/
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AMBIENT LIGHT & TRAFFIC COLLISIONS W/ PEDS AT PED CROSSINGS

Biking Elsewhere [B'Spokes: Wait, did he just say peds were safer not crossing at an intersection?]

-> Accident Analysis & Prevention published a paper that considered biannual clock changes resulting from transitions to and from daylight saving time were used to compare road traffic collisions (RTCs) in the UK during daylight and darkness but at the same time of day. Results suggested there was a significantly greater risk of a pedestrian RTC at a crossing after-dark than during daylight, and that the risk of an RTC after-dark was greater at a pedestrian crossing than at a location at least 50 m away from a crossing. This increased risk is not due to a lack of lighting at these locations as 98% of RTCs at pedestrian crossings after-dark were lit by road lighting. "The Effect of Ambient Light Condition on Road Traffic Collisions Involving Pedestrians on Pedestrian Crossings" http://bit.ly/2fOlnGo

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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SAFETY IN NUMBERS & PED & CYCLIST RISKS OF BEING HIT BY DRIVERS

Biking Elsewhere-> The Roadway Safety Institute reports in a recent project in which University of MN researchers evaluated whether a phenomenon known as "safety in numbers" was observable in crash data collected for Minneapolis, MN—one of the few cities that currently has a sufficiently rich dataset of pedestrian and bicyclist counts to allow for meaningful safety analysis. (Safety in Numbers? Accessibility, Traffic, and Safety of Nonmotorized Travelers: http://bit.ly/2fP7bNB) Researchers found that safety in numbers played a positive role: 1) pedestrians were at a lower risk of being hit by a driver at intersections with more pedestrian traffic, and individual drivers were at a lower risk of hitting pedestrians at intersections with more car traffic, and 2) intersections with more vehicles and cyclists exhibited lower crash rates. http://bit.ly/2fPyzeh

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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WEST MIDLANDS, ENGLAND: ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CLOSE PASS DRIVERS

Biking Elsewhere-> BikeBiz reports the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on the roads of the West Midlands, England has dropped by 20% since the regional police force last year launched an operation targeting so-called "close-pass" drivers. Motorists who overtook cyclists too closely can "expect prosecution, not education," said a strongly worded statement issued by the West Midlands Police Traffic Unit. The statement added that it was motorists mostly at fault in road crashes involving cyclists and said the force has a "zero tolerance approach for any offence involving a vulnerable road user." http://bit.ly/2fLvQPA

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Undercover operation to catch drivers too close to cyclists praised

Biking Elsewhere...
Since the operation began in 2016:

20% reduction in cyclists killed or seriously injured on the roads.
178 drivers pulled over and given a lesson in safe overtaking.
>350 prosecutions made using footage given to them by the public.
...

We've seen a significant change in driver behaviour across the region as a result of the operation and the campaign...hopefully that's going to have a profound impact on the amount of people we have killed or seriously injured on our roads in the coming years.

– PC MARK HODSON, WEST MIDLANDS POLICE
...

http://www.itv.com/news/central/2017-09-18/undercover-operation-to-catch-drivers-too-close-to-cyclists-praised/
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MDOT Announces $20 Million for 43 Bicycle & Pedestrian Projects

Biking in MarylandNovember 29, 2017

HANOVER, MD -- The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced $20,395,834 in grants to support improvements for bicycle and pedestrian safety and connectivity across the state. Three separate state and federal grant programs will provide funds to transportation agencies, local jurisdictions and non-profit organizations for 43 projects. The announcement includes: $2.1 million in State funds from the Maryland Bikeways Program; $478,000 in federal funding from the Recreational Trails Program, and $17.8 million in federal funding from the Transportation Alternatives Program.
...

http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/News/Releases2017/2017_Nov_29_MDOT_Announces_Bike_%20and_Pedestrian_Grants
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Vision Zero is so 20 years ago. It's time for Moving Beyond Zero.

Biking ElsewhereBy Lloyd Alter, Treehugger

In North America, even when cities talk Vision Zero, they don't really mean it. They don't really want to understand it because it goes against what they really care about, which is making the world safe for cars. So they make up their own version.
...

In true Vision Zero, there is one cardinal rule: “Human life and health are paramount and take priority over mobility and other objectives of the road traffic system.” This differs from North America, where deaths on the road are the cost of doing business.

Vision Zero uses a "safe systems approach" that assumes that people make mistakes on the road, and that if there are crashes, it is a design problem. And one design problem they had in Sweden is that sometimes design solutions that worked with cars made life harder for cyclists.

This is a problem and seeming paradox that should be borne in mind. On the one hand we have the noble goal of zero fatalities, but on the other we have to ensure that a road safety intervention does not act as a barrier to active healthy modes of transport like cycling and walking, even if the road safety intervention is effective.

@TheOnion
Study: 90% Of Bike Accidents Preventable By Buying Car Like A Normal Person https://trib.al/V4XfT9G
...

One thing that has changed since Vision Zero started is bike technology, and in particular the use of what they call Electric Power Assisted Cycles (EPACs).

EPACs are providing users, including the elderly and disabled, with much-needed daily exercise, extending and increasing their quality of life. It is, however, in the field of commuting that the potential for EPACs is being most realised. Longer distance car journeys can now be substituted by active bicycle use in the form of electrically assisted bikes.
...

One in four persons in the EU suffers from a mental health condition during their lifetime. Cycling’s contribution to better cardiovascular health delays dementia. Cycling can improve brain function and mental health. It also helps counter cognitive declines including memory, executive function, visuospatial skills, and processing speed in normally aging adults.

Promotion of cycling also improves cities; it gets people out of cars, making the roads better for everyone.

Studies have shown that initiatives that support active transport in urban areas decrease traffic mishaps while improving people movement and encouraging commerce and employment. But cycling investments don't just benefit cyclists. Bus routes can run 10% faster and with greater punctuality, and traffic mishaps can be cut by 45%, as examples from Copenhagen show.
...

https://www.treehugger.com/urban-design/vision-zero-so-20-years-ago-its-time-moving-beyond-zero.html
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New cars increasingly crammed with distracting technology

Biking ElsewhereWASHINGTON (AP) — The infotainment technology that automakers are cramming into the dashboard of new vehicles is making drivers take their eyes off the road and hands off the wheel for dangerously long periods of time, an AAA study says.

The study released Thursday is the latest by University of Utah professor David Strayer, who has been examining the impact of infotainment systems on safety for AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety since 2013. Past studies also identified problems, but Strayer said the “explosion of technology” has made things worse.
...

“It’s adding more and more layers of complexity and information at drivers’ fingertips without often considering whether it’s a good idea to put it at their fingertips,” Strayer said. That complexity increases the overall amount of time drivers spend trying to use the systems.
...

https://apnews.com/62ae17477d3a49fa849a42e932e64ae7
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How Ethical Is Your Driving?

Biking ElsewhereBy Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

Americans 16 and older spend almost an hour a day on average behind the steering wheel, according to AAA — more time than they spend socializing with other people [PDF]. That works out to 290 hours a year, or a little more than seven 40-hour work weeks.

Perhaps because driving is so routine here, we tend not to give it much thought. For most Americans, driving is an unremarkable activity. It’s easy to turn the ignition and let our mental autopilot take over.

But we’re still making weighty decisions behind the wheel — we’re just not very aware of them. Our driving behavior can be a matter of life or death for ourselves, our loved ones, and total strangers. Around 40,000 Americans were killed on the roads last year, and millions more were injured.

Serious crashes aren’t so frequent that people have to confront death and injury on a daily basis. And that can lull us into overlooking the potential for severe consequences when making decisions that feel mundane. Decisions like whether to hit the gas or the brake when approaching a yellow light. Or whether to reach for your cell phone on the passenger seat while you’re cruising down a familiar street. Or whether to do a shoulder check for pedestrians and cyclists before making a turn.
...

Nothing alerts you to the extent of driver inattention, carelessness, and aggression quite like walking with little kids. I have learned, for example, that drivers aren’t necessarily more cautious around people who are visibly pregnant or have a baby in a stroller. But some do seem to at least slow down when they see you crossing the street with an unrestrained toddler.

I think I’ve also become a more considerate driver. It’s not enough to merely take care not to hit pedestrians (which is still a higher bar than a lot of drivers meet). I try to drive in a way that puts people outside the car at ease and won’t register as a potential risk to them.
...

Many people set out on a driving trip with one goal: to make it as short as possible. But the idea that we can control our travel time through our driving is mostly an illusion. Speeding, even on very long journeys, isn’t the time saver we might assume.

What we can control, to a much greater degree, is the potential for harm caused by our driving.

In his book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What it Says About Us), Tom Vanderbilt writes that the act of driving distorts human behavior in a few important ways. One is that it insulates us from feedback. If you do something anti-social while driving, there is no mechanism to receive the kind of negative reinforcement you would in a face-to-face setting. You might get honked or cursed at, but soon enough you’ll be on your way.
...

That’s part of why driving is so morally weighty. It has the power to cause great harm, while also shielding people in a cloak of anonymity. This is a great temptation for some people — maybe most — whose urge is to see how much they can get away with. Resisting this urge means thinking outside yourself and applying some ethical calculus to the situation.
...

Now, speed-related collisions are responsible for about as many deaths each year — 10,000 — as drunk driving. We need to change how people view what’s right and wrong when they’re behind the wheel. What would it take for people to start thinking of common behaviors that pose grave risks — like texting and driving, or speeding, or failing to pay attention to people walking and biking — in the same moral terms that they now view drunk driving?

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/07/14/how-ethical-is-your-driving/
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'Bike theft is not inevitable': Vancouver rolls out a cycle crime revolution

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: I'll acknowledge Baltimore police have a lot worse problems than bicycle theft but that too is a problem. To perpetually let bike thievery go unpunished is not a solution. I will also assert that this issue plays a part in our bike share issues. If people learn that the police are not concerned about bike thefts then the problem expands to all bikes. My idea is to get Baltimore police to focus on this issue at least once a year, that would be a start.]

Bike theft is the scourge of cyclists around the world, with riders, manufacturers and the law struggling to coordinate a response. That was until city cop Rob Brunt and Xbox pioneer J Allard devised Project 529

By Tom Babin, The Guardian

...
The experience rattled him. Not only did he feel victimised, he was bothered by the lacklustre police response. He started to look into why bike theft had come to seem like a problem without a solution, accepted by so many as an unavoidable part of urban life.
...

“I just couldn’t accept the answers to the questions I was asking after my bike was stolen,” he says over a beer at a Vancouver pub. “I reject the notion that getting a bike stolen is just part of riding a bike.”
...

But bike theft is rampant in cities all over the world. In London, about 20,000 bikes are reported stolen every year; 72 went missing from Milton Keyes station alone last year. Theft costs Portland $2m (£1.5m) a year, and that’s just the bikes which are reported stolen. A 2015 report by the Netherlands’ Central Bureau of Statistics stated that the 630,000 thefts reported to police constituted only about 30% of the total that went missing.
...

https://amp.theguardian.com/cities/2017/nov/07/theft-bike-app-vancouver-project-529-j-allard-xbox
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