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Friday, September 22 2017 @ 04:37 AM UTC
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SEATTLE, WA DOT: TRUCK SIDE GUARDS TO PROTECT PEDS & CYCLISTS

Biking Elsewhere-> City Lab reports The City of Seattle DOT will put side guards on its trucks to protect cyclists and pedestrians. Side guards, or panels on both sides of a truck reduce the risk of serious injury or death by preventing pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcycles from being caught underneath a large truck in a side collision. Of all vulnerable road users killed by large trucks, nearly half of bicyclists and more than one-quarter of pedestrians first impact the side of a truck. These guards also improve fuel economy by up to 7 percent. The Cities of New York, Boston, Cambridge, and San Francisco have taken steps to make truck side guards standard equipment on city vehicles. http://bit.ly/2k11x6V http://bit.ly/2k12ufJ

(See Resources section for 3 papers related to truck side guards and bicyclist and pedestrian safety published by Volpe in 2016.)

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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LONDON, ENGLAND: UNDERCOVER BIKE COPS TO ENFORCE SAFE PASSING

Biking in Baltimore-> CityLab reports this spring, London, England's Metropolitan Police are sending undercover officers out on bikes to monitor and enforce more careful driving around bikes, and reprimand drivers' behavior. The main goal is to crack down on so-called close passing—that is, drivers overtaking bikes at a distance of less than 1.5 meters (just under 5 feet). Motorists caught engaging in driving that compromises cyclists' safety will be given the choice between prosecution or a 15-minute roadside safety training session. http://bit.ly/2jyGf3J

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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VIDEO ANALYTICS TOWARDS VISION ZERO

Biking Elsewhere-> "Video Analytics towards Vision Zero" report describes how Microsoft, the City of Bellevue, WA, and the University of Washington are using video analytics and machine learning to make roads safer without waiting until there are enough crash reports filed to trigger a "High Accident Corridor" designation. This new technology offers unprecedented ways to map, manage, and analyze near-miss data in real time to predict where collisions could happen, and provide essential information so that governments can evaluate the effectiveness of current safety programs and pinpoint interventions. http://bit.ly/2kqWUap

CAMERAS & COMPUTERS TRACK NEAR MISSES, INFORM COUNTERMEASURES
-> Next City reports the traditional way to attack traffic safety is to identify places with a high number of crashes, then make changes at those places and wait a few years to see if the changes reduce crashes. Traffic engineers agree that you need a baseline of around three years of crashes to have statistically significant results. Now "computer vision and automated safety analysis" uses off-the-shelf cameras, or cameras that are already installed in an area, to film a given intersection. Computer algorithms track cars, bikes, people that move through the intersection and knows whether the moving blip is a person or a car, how fast they're going, how close they got to hitting another road user. This system has already helped Edmonton, Canada reduce collisions by 92 percent at one intersection. http://bit.ly/2jVcbw4

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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IT'S NOT JUST AN ACCIDENT

Biking ElsewhereBY NATHANIEL M. HOOD, Strong Towns

Car-centric policy dominates our legal system and the way police conduct business. And it's not holding people truly responsible.
...

[A bunch of horrible things.]

You would expect the police to pull out the handcuffs and drag the 65-year old into the back of the squad car. If you thought this, you’d be mistaken. The police determined the woman seemed fine and let her go without issuing a traffic citation, more or less criminal charges. No charges were filed and her driver’s license has not been suspended. It was just an “accident.”

As City Pages reports:

[The jogger’s] injuries left her hospitalized for more than a month, and since her release she's been wheelchair-bound. Her life has been forever changed, says her lawyer … and it doesn’t appear as if police ever investigated the incident further.
...

This is the system we've created; one that favors drivers at nearly every level. It's unfortunate that car culture dominates our system and law enforcement so much that it doesn't hold people responsible. And until it truly does, we're not going to see as much progress as we need. Changes to laws and public mindset must happen in tandem with changes to the design of our streets. We need to reorient our understanding of transportation to value the safety and rights of pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users just as much as drivers.

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2017/1/24/its-not-just-an-accident
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Copenhagen uses this one trick to make room for bikeways on nearly every street

Biking in BaltimoreBy David Alpert, Greater Greater Washington

https://ggwash.org/view/43010/copenhagen-uses-this-one-trick-to-make-room-for-bikeways-on-nearly-every-street

[B' Spokes: I would like to add one thing I saw in Tempe Arizonia, a very bike friendly place and downtown the streets are narrow and being a college town also a very vibrant with lots of busness. So how did the remove on street parking? One trick they used was to make a property a parking lot. And then they hid it behind landscaping. So the pedestrians were not swimming in a sea of parked cars. So I was thinking Baltimore and it's initiative to remove apondoment buildings maybe some of them could be turned into parking lots to get rid of on street parking for bikeways. Just an idea.]
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Baltimore to get $200,000 annual grant to support bike infrastructure

Biking in Baltimorehttp://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-bike-grant-20170124-story.html
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Why are so many pedestrians getting killed in our roads?

Biking ElsewhereBy Lloyd Alter, TreeHugger

...
Or as Brad Aaron of Streetsblog has noted,

"If your transport system has zero tolerance for anyone who isn’t a fit adult, the system is the problem, and ... By casting blame elsewhere you assume everyone is like you — can see, hear, walk perfectly. Arrogant & extremely unhelpful.”
...

http://www.treehugger.com/walking/why-are-so-many-pedestrians-getting-killed-our-roads.htm
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The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life

Biking ElsewhereConsidering the constant fatalities, rampant pollution, and exorbitant costs of ownership, there is no better word to characterize the car’s dominance than insane.

By EDWARD HUMES, The Atlantic

The car is the star. That’s been true for well over a century—unrivaled staying power for an industrial-age, pistons-and-brute-force machine in an era so dominated by silicon and software. Cars conquered the daily culture of American life back when top hats and child labor were in vogue, and well ahead of such other innovations as radio, plastic, refrigerators, the electrical grid, and women’s suffrage.

A big part of why they’ve stuck around is that they are the epitome of convenience. That’s the allure and the promise that’s kept drivers hooked, dating all the way back to the versatile, do-everything Ford Model T. Convenience (some might call it freedom) is not a selling point to be easily dismissed—this trusty conveyance, always there, always ready, on no schedule but its owner’s. Buses can’t do that. Trains can’t do that. Even Uber makes riders wait.
...

Accounting for all costs, from fuel to insurance to depreciation, the average car owner in the U.S. pays $12,544 a year for a car that puts in a mere 14-hour workweek. Drive an SUV? Tack on another $1,908.14
...

[Even more examples on waste and absurdities of the Automobile.]
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/absurd-primacy-of-the-car-in-american-life/476346/

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Crashes are NOT accidents

Biking ElsewhereBy Chris Bortz, Kansas Department of Transportation

...
I don’t believe that people get behind the wheel and say, “I think I will injure or kill someone in a car crash today.” Just because it was not intentional, doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been prevented. Most drivers rate themselves as great drivers and will say the problem is the other driver(s). However, driving is a privilege, not a right. You are sharing the road with all drivers and it is important for you to drive as if your life depends on it. Oh wait, it just might.
...

http://ksdotblog.blogspot.com/2016/09/crashes-are-not-accidents.html
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MT DOT: LOWER SPEED LIMITS THAN ENGINEERING RECOMMENDATIONS

Biking Elsewhere-> A Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) study examined the safety and operational effects of posting speed limits lower than engineering recommendations. (Speed Limits Set Lower than Engineering Recommendations: http://bit.ly/2eRZTpv) It involved a comprehensive literature review, a survey of other state transportation agencies, the collection of speed and safety data from a variety of Montana roadways, and an analysis of these data. MDT concluded that setting posted speed limits 5 mph lower may result in operating speeds more consistent with the posted speed and have overall safety benefits, while posting limits 15 or 25 mph lower does not appear to produce operating speeds consistent with the posted speed limit or provide safety benefits. http://bit.ly/2eS09o7

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

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