Today we announce a campaign to address the problem of close calls and the punishment head on. We are joining others and calling it “End the Punishment Pass.”
At Bike Law, we are devoting significant and on-going resources to do what we can, across the country, to bring attention to this problem, and offer tools to punish those criminal drivers that persist in endangering our lives. Our goal is that this inhumane behavior is recognized for what it is, prevented, punished, and ultimately eliminated.
We have been working on this for months so far, and in the coming days and weeks, we will release more about our campaign to End The Punishment Pass.
from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
from CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.
In every car versus bike collision, it is the same loser every time: the bicyclist.
In a well-meaning effort to reduce such collisions, a number of states have adopted a “Share the Road” campaign. Since 1997 the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (the ‘MUTCD”) has approved the use of the Share the Road sign in conjunction with the bicycle symbol. The MUTCD is the road signage “bible” used by road authorities across the country. The intention is all good but I hate that slogan.
I HATE THE SHARE THE ROAD SIGN
Why? Because it is so open to interpretation. Many motorists take it to mean bikes and cars can be side by side in the same lane or that bikes should share the road in the sense of getting the heck out of the way of the car. That is bikes should never “take the lane.”
The signage is basically intended to alert motorists that they should expect bicyclists on that road. It really implies that somehow motorists “own” the road or lane and have a choice to not share to other road users.
BICYCLES MAY USE FULL LANE
I think the new effort to get signs that read “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” or “3-feet to pass” signage is far better and more useful.
[B' Spokes: I'll note there is a section titled "10 WAYS BICYCLIST CAN SHARE THE ROAD..." that is completely bogus IMHO, like cyclists are the main offender in not sharing the road. If anything cyclist are too giving to motorists. If you are one of the few that is not, well then maybe those 10 ways can help you but for most they are not all that helpful.]
Heart Disease and Cancer 1 in 7
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease 1 in 28
Intentional Self-harm 1 in 95
Unintentional Poisoning by and Exposure to Noxious Substances 1 in 96
Motor Vehicle Crash 1 in 114
Fall 1 in 127
Assault by Firearm 1 in 370
Car Occupant 1 in 645
Pedestrian Incident 1 in 647
Motorcycle Rider Incident 1 in 985
Unintentional Drowning and Submersion 1 in 1,188
Exposure to Fire, Flames or Smoke 1 in 1,498
Choking from Inhalation and Ingestion of Food 1 in 3,461
Pedacyclist Incident 1 in 4,486
On June 1, the U.S. Climate Mayors—a network of more than 300 city leaders, including the mayors of the country’s five largest cities—published a commitment to “adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement.” The cities would carry out the promises Donald Trump had abandoned.
I have bad news for this feel-good caucus. Want to fight climate change? You have to fight cars. In the nation’s largest cities, cars account for about a third of greenhouse gas emissions. Nationally, transportation is now the single largest contributor to carbon emissions.
Increasing road capacity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will backfire
Time for another episode of City Observatory’s Urban Myth Busters, which itself is an homage to the long-running Discovery Channel series “Mythbusters” that featured co-hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman using something called “science” to test whether commonly believed tropes were really true.
Today’s claim comes from the world of transportation. As we all know, transportation is now the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Here, when confronted with the need to do something to address climate change, the highway lobby likes to point out that cars emit carbon, and when they’re idling or driving in stop and go traffic, they may emit more carbon per mile than when they travel at a nice steady speed. And of course, they have a solution for that: spend more money expanding capacity so cars don’t have to slow down so much. That’ll be great for the environment, or so the argument goes.
In place of the now retired duo of Adam and Jamie, we’ll turn this question over to Alex and Miguel–Alex Bigazzi and Miguel Figliozzi, two transportation researchers at Portland State University. Their research shows that savings in emissions from idling can be more than offset by increased driving prompted by lower levels of congestion. The underlying problem is our old friend, induced demand: when you reduce congestion, people drive more, and the “more driving” more than cancels out any savings from reduced idling.
Just a few minutes ago, Delaware's state legislature passed, and sent to the Governor, the "Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act" which makes a number of changes to Delaware's Rules of the Road including, and especially, creating the "Delaware Yield" exception in state law permitting safe yielding by cyclists at stop signs.
Delaware becomes the first state in 35 years to figure out how to duplicate Idaho's 1982 passage of the "Idaho Stop".
The Bicycle Friendly Delaware Act also defines bicycle traffic signals in state code; prohibits honking at cyclists; and requires motorists to change lanes when passing when travel lanes are too narrow for side-by-side sharing (making "Three Foot" passing a requirement only in the special case of wide lanes). "As close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the roadway" (the dreaded "AFRAP") also disappears from state code (replaced by " far enough to the right as judged safe by the operator to facilitate the movement of such overtaking vehicles unless the bicycle operator determines that other conditions make it unsafe to do so") and, again, only as a special case for wide lanes.
Delaware is distinctive for a number of unusual advocacy wins over the last 6 years:
2011: Dedicated State Funding For Bicycling Beyond Transportation Alternatives ("Walkable Bikeable Delaware")
As I type this, there are huge cranes in the river just south of Wilmington building part of Delaware's largest-ever cycling project: ~$20 million undertaking to complete the "Wilmington-New Castle Greenway", a 7-mile paved bikeway between our largest city (Wilmington) and our colonial capitol (New Castle). This is only the most spectacular example of the state's radically increased funding for cycling since the passage of Walkable Bikeable Delaware in 2011.
2013: Goodbye "Share The Road"
Academic research has revealed that "Share The Road" just doesn't work. Delaware was the first state to get rid of this sign (and still is only one of two).
2016: Bicycle-Friendly Development Law ("Bikes+Transit")
Walkable, bikeable, transit-served, mixed-use, and entrepreneurial communities advance multiple priorities: public health, affordable housing, ageing in place, and reduced air pollution. Delaware's "Complete Communities" law, passed in 2016, created a mechanism for state and local governments to align these priorities and to jointly enable the development of bicycle-friendly communities.
2017: "Delaware Yield"
Delaware is the first state since Idaho in 1982 to permit safe yielding by cyclists at stop signs.
Road safety is something that benefits us all and should not be a polarizing political issue. Period.
One myth is that bicyclists don’t pay for the roads. Local and state road maintenance is primarily funded by user gas taxes, but new infrastructure is primarily funded by federal funds in which less than half of that comes from gas taxes. Property taxes are a key portion of road funds too. Furthermore, it would take 17,059 trips by bicycle to equal the damage caused by an average car. The reality is that 99% of Montana adult bicyclists own vehicles (and many own homes too) meaning 99% of all state residents riding bicycles are paying just as much in taxes as your average motorist and cost a miniscule fraction in damages. Bicycling benefits us all.
Another myth is that bicyclists don’t contribute economically. Visiting bicyclists spend nearly $400 million each year in Montana; 40% more than the average motorized tourist. These are real dollars impacting real Montanans and local businesses every day in communities like Ovando, Libby, Butte, Big Timber, Glasgow, and Red Lodge. Bicycle tourism benefits us all.
Appetition in Seattle is calling on the city to do away with “beg buttons” and automatically give pedestrians a walk signal at every traffic light in its “urban villages” — areas that are walkable and transit-oriented.