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Tuesday, February 21 2017 @ 12:36 AM UTC
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ARE AMERICAN FIRE TRUCKS TOO BIG?

Biking Elsewhere-> As fire apparatus has become super-sized in the United States it has also has become more expensive. The average price of a Type I engine costs $400,000 to $600,000 and a 100-foot aerial ladder is over $1 million. With traffic congestion and rush-hour gridlock plaguing many of large metropolitan areas and winding streets littered with parked cars common in suburbia, there is now another aspect for public discussion regarding super-sized fire apparatus: how wide should the streets be in our cities? Do we need big and expensive trucks on the road for mostly medical calls and car wrecks? Fire apparatus used in Western Europe are highly maneuverable on the narrow, winding streets, and have a much smaller apparatus footprint than American rigs. Fire departments in Europe and Asia are using smaller rapid response vehicles as primary tools in their urban firefighting deployment strategies. http://bit.ly/1LxFbHv

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

[B' Spokes: And because of these too big trucks some fire departments are actively engaged in fighting bike lanes and safer narrow travel lanes.]
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How the human body would have to be built to survive a catastrophic car crash

Biking Elsewhere[B" Spokes: I will maintain that the perception that cars are safer than cycling is only valid for cycling speeds. Rev cars up to 40 mph or above and the human body has a hard time coping with the forces in a crash... That is unless you are designed like this fellow:]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3700578/Victoria-s-new-road-safety-ambassador-Graham-body-survive-car-crash.html
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Murder Machines: Why Cars Will Kill 30,000 Americans This Year

Biking ElsewhereThere’s an open secret in America: If you want to kill someone, do it with a car. As long as you’re sober, chances are you’ll never be charged with any crime, much less manslaughter. Over the past hundred years, as automobiles have been woven into the fabric of our daily lives, our legal system has undermined public safety, and we’ve been collectively trained to think of these deaths as unavoidable “accidents” or acts of God. Today, despite the efforts of major public-health agencies and grassroots safety campaigns, few are aware that car crashes are the number one cause of death for Americans under 35. But it wasn’t always this way.
...

http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/murder-machines/

[B' Spokes: A very good overview of the history of the automobile and the battle for public space. Not to mention how speed was put ahead safety.]
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What if young people had a say in planning?

Biking Elsewhere"Young people feel a lot of issues very viscerally, because some issues directly impact their everyday lives. I recall one situation where some high school students became very interested in zoning once they realized that it determined whether they could get somewhere without their parents. They were interested in making sure that there were things of interest to them that would be within walking distance."

—Susan Santone, founder and executive director of Creative Change Educational Solutions on the value of engaging youth in planning processes. Planning Magazine: http://bit.ly/2aayNty


from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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Sometimes the Safer Street Design Option Is the Less Expensive One

Biking Elsewhereby Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

...
One idea is as simple as enhancing crosswalk visibility with paint, instead of the expensive, hard-to-see treatments at some Dallas intersections: [B' Spokes: Even our red brick crosswalks are expensive and there is nothing that shows they improve pedestrian safety over something like bold hatched crosswalks.]
...

http://www.streetsblog.net/2015/02/02/sometimes-the-safer-street-design-option-is-the-less-expensive-one/

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BikeMore's New Advocacy Arm

Biking in BaltimoreVia BikeMore

It’s frustrating how far behind other cities Baltimore has fallen in building walkable, bikeable, transit friendly neighborhoods. It’s often difficult to believe change is possible, that we can actually expand opportunity for residents while encouraging investment and growth.
...

Right now, City Council is working to pass Transform Baltimore, a much needed update to our antiquated zoning code that will promote walkable, bikeable, mixed use neighborhoods. We need your support to ensure harmful amendments that will set back our neighborhoods don’t make it into the final bill.
...

Our New Advocacy Arm

Our #IBikeIVote campaign was a tremendous success this primary season. But our members wanted more. You asked for candidate score cards, endorsements, and direct, critical or complimentary feedback on candidates and their platforms. Our 501(c)(3) status limited our ability to deliver on those requests. Now we can.

Your financial support of Bikemore’s new 501(c)(4) advocacy arm won’t be tax-deductible, but it will allow Bikemore to be more direct in our influence. Our advocacy work will be far more effective, and our victories will be easier to obtain.

We are moving away from the traditional membership model at Bikemore. Anyone invested in our mission will be considered a stakeholder in our work. Rather than spending staff time and resources tracking down member perks and schwag, we’ll focus on policy and infrastructure wins—which we believe to be the core reason anyone invests in Bikemore’s work. In turn, we’ll need people invested in our work to give, and to give significantly, to ensure we have the resources to deliver those wins.
...

http://www.bikemore.net/news/baltimores-critical-juncture
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AAA: Most Drivers Have Engaged in Aggressive Driving

Biking Elsewhereby TOM COSTELLO, NBC News

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"We've all heard the old adage, we all say things we don't mean when we're angry. Well, when you're behind the wheel, you do things you wouldn't otherwise do when you're angry," said Jake Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy and research with AAA.
...

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/aaa-most-drivers-have-engaged-road-rage-incidents-n608836

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The idiocy of traffic studies

Biking ElsewhereVia Urban kchoze

...
This approach basically views congestion, even during the peak hour of the day, as a catastrophic failure in a way similar to a bridge falling down. It also assumes that there is no externality to overdesigning an intersection, of using longer traffic signals, of having a higher number of wider lanes, wider medians, the only drawback is the cost...
...

The result is that such an intersection forms a barrier to pedestrian and bicycle travel. The resulting roads that accompany these intersections are often large enough to make mid-block crossing a dangerous proposition to say the least, confining pedestrians to crossing only at rare intersections, often necessitating detours taking 5-10 minutes on foot... just to get on the other side of the road.

These externalities are ignored, it is considered to be "conservative" to spend more on a road with better vehicle capacity no matter the impact on quality of life of residents, on alternative modes of transport and on the financial sustainability of developments. This approach and the assumptions that support it make traffic studies a self-fulfilling prophecy: over-designing roads while neglecting non-car travel ensures that almost all trips in the area will be made by car, confirming the initial assumptions of quasi-universal car use, because cars are the only mode of travel the road design caters to.
...

http://urbankchoze.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-idiocy-of-traffic-studies.html
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SURVEY: "SHARE THE ROAD" SIGNS INEFFECTIVE

Biking Elsewhere-> Delaware got rid of its "Share the Road" signs about two years ago. They were widely misinterpreted — by both motorists and cyclists — as an exhortation to cyclists to stop "hogging" the road, or as a recommendation that drivers and cyclists share a lane (leading to tight squeezes and close passes). The state dumped the confusing message in favor of a less ambiguous one asserting that bicycles "may use full lane." A new survey (Bicycles May Use Full Lane" Signage Communicates U.S. Roadway Rules and Increases Perception of Safety: http://bit.ly/1ivTM8x) confirms that Delaware had the right idea. In all 50 states, cyclists have a right to the road — including the center of the lane, if that's the safest place for them to be. Turns out "Share the Road" had no effect whatsoever in leading people to respect cyclists' right to occupy a full lane of traffic. A sharrow helped a little. In the survey, by far the clearest indication that cyclists have an equal right to the road was a sign stating unequivocally that cyclists "may use full lane." http://bit.ly/1O0b4YA

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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FIT BEFORE FLICKS: Tours de Federal Hill

Biking in BaltimoreVia Race Pace

Join us for relaxed evening bike rides before #Flicks!

When: Thursday, July 14 AND Thursday, August 4
Starts: 6:30pm @ Race Pace Bicycles (1410 Key Hwy)
Ends: ~ 8pm @ AVAM (800 Key Hwy)
Cost: FREE to ride!

AVAM & Race Pace Bicycles are teaming up once again for the annual Tours de Federal Hill bike rides – offered on 2 different Flicks nights! See the local sights & scenery from the seat of your 2-wheeler on these relaxed, evening rides. Each night, we'll meet at 6:30pm at Race Pace Bicycles (1410 Key Hwy), then pedal through the historic neighborhoods & parks of Federal Hill, ending at AVAM around 8pm – just in time for you to visit the museum & catch the free Flicks From The Hill movie at 9pm! Bring your own bike, or rent one from Race Pace Federal Hill (please call ahead to reserve as supply is limited: 410-986-0001); helmets, lights & locks are encouraged too. After the ride, take a stroll through our current exhibition: The Big Hope Show, as the museum is OPEN & FREE from 5pm to 9pm on Flicks nights. Then grab a blanket and relax under the stars while you enjoy the free outdoor movies on Federal Hill – part of AVAM's critically acclaimed, free outdoor film series: Flicks From The Hill.

http://www.avam.org/news-and-events/events/flicks-tours-de-fed-hill.shtml

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