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Wednesday, February 22 2017 @ 05:22 PM UTC
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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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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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UN CALLS FOR 20% OF TRANSPORT BUDGET FOR WALKING & CYCLING

Biking Elsewhere-> In a new report, the UN Environment Program calls on countries to invest at least 20 percent of their transport budgets in walking and cycling infrastructure to save lives, reverse pollution and reduce carbon emissions, which are rising at over ten per cent a year. (Global Outlook on Walking and Cycling: Policies & realities from Around the World: http://bit.ly/2fcs8h9) Lack of investment in safe walking and cycling infrastructure is contributing to the deaths of millions of people and overlooking a great opportunity to contribute to the fight against climate change. The report surveyed the progress towards safer walking and cycling infrastructure in 20 low- to middle-income countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, where compared with high-income countries, twice as many more people die in road traffic accidents. For example, in Malawi, 66 percent of all road fatalities were pedestrians and cyclists. http://bit.ly/2fcqgVz

from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
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The way Baltimore install pedestrian "beg butons" is wrong

Biking in BaltimoreBy B' Spokes

National Association of City Transportation Officials released this information: Fixed vs. Actuated Signalization http://nacto.org/publication/urban-street-design-guide/intersection-design-elements/traffic-signals/fixed-vs-actuated-signalization/

The first thing I noticed there is no separate mention of actuation for cars and actuation for pedestrians. There's a world of difference! Automatic detection for cars and try to find the hidden, hard to get to push button for pedestrains. Nor is there mention to mix things up like set timing for cars but make pedestrains be detected. The latter is from what I can tell is something the city standardizes on, unbeiveable.

Now for some quotes and then comments:
"In general, fixed-time signals are the rule in urban areas for reasons of regularity, network organization, predictability, and reducing unnecessary delay. In certain, less-trafficked areas, actuated signals (push buttons, loop detectors) may be appropriate; however, these must be programmed to minimize delay, which will increase compliance."

I have witnessed the city "fixing" a trail crossing button that once pushed would give cross traffic a yellow light to requiring 90 second delay before the yellow light. The funny thing is cross traffic was so light that a good break in traffic would always happen before the 90 seconds was up so you would cross anyway without the light. In comparison a ped signal to cross York Road mid block I have yet to wait more than 45 seconds, Half the time with a lot more traffic (ADT). Basically the city does not accommodate pedestrians so pedestrians do not use accomidations. The city traffic engineers what pedestrians to play the "Mother may I" game so they can laugh when they don't get normal and expected acomidations.


"Actuated signals in general are not preferable because of the maintenance requirements and upkeep of the detection on the street."

Beg buttons have a life of so many pushes and I will assert since there is no acknowledgment that you pressed the button, you bang it again reducing it's useful life in half. I will also mention that this is a complete failure in human design interface. The next issue is does the city have a good maintece in place or is it still relying on complaints from citizens on the 311 system? There was a time when about half the buttons I pushed never worked. That's a crazy number and shows the city needs to do more to keep the buttons they have working.


"Drivers and others at downstream unsignalized intersections benefit from a series of fixed-time signals, as they produce routine gaps in traffic that may be used to turn onto or cross the street. Fixed-time signals help make pedestrians an equal part of the traffic signal system by providing them with regular and consistent intervals at which to cross."

I will note allowing right-on-red a known major source of pedestrian death also reduces this down stream benift. One day I hope they realize for every one the give extra convenience to also delays more than one person, so the net gain is negative. Back to point, there is a benefit to giving pedestrians green walk signs before they pressed a beg button and before making them wait 90 seconds after pusshing. Think of needing to cross two legs of an intersection crosswalk (often required in Marlyland) but crossing one side than the next is not automated so one extra light signal maybe required to complete your journey. Which is fine I guess because it does not violate the traffic engineers rule "The fast mode must go faster and slower modes do not mind going even slower."


"Many existing traffic signals controllers have the capacity to reduce delay, but remain in coordination rather than a free setting. Coordination, paired with long signal cycles, can result in delays of 80 seconds or more, reducing pedestrian compliance, increasing risk-taking behavior, and creating the impression that a push button is either non-responsive or malfunctioning."

And I believe Baltimore standardizes on a delay of 90 seconds for pedestrians. Someone needs to get BDOT unstuck from the 1960s. Oh and stop blaming pedestrians for risky behavor, BDOT is doing all they can to encourage this.



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Miserable at work? Your commute might be the culprit

Biking ElsewhereBy Tania Kohut, Global News


People who cycle to work or school are likely to have sunnier dispositions than those who drive or take transit, according to a new study out of McGill University.
...

“We need to start having much stronger programs to encourage people to cycle,” said El-Geneidy.

“In some cases, cycling is not the best — not everybody is going to cycle in the winter — but let’s try for the rest of the year.”

Parents can start by encouraging their children to cycle, said El-Geneidy. Meanwhile, it’s a no-brainer for employers to offer incentives for employees to bike to work.
...

http://globalnews.ca/news/3150222/miserable-at-work-your-commute-might-be-the-culprit/
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