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Sunday, June 25 2017 @ 12:11 AM UTC

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The Science Is Clear: More Highways Equals More Traffic. Why Are DOTs Still Ignoring It?

Biking ElsewhereBy Angie Schmitt, treats Blog

Numerous studies have documented the phenomenon known as induced demand in transportation: Basically, if you build highway lanes, more drivers will come. And yet, transportation agencies rarely account for this effect when planning road projects.

In a recent paper published by the Transportation Research Record, author Ronald Milam and his research team reviewed the various studies documenting the induced demand effect.
...

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/06/21/the-science-is-clear-more-highways-equals-more-traffic-why-are-dots-still-ignoring-it/
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Why Do We Put the Onus for Traffic Safety on Kids?

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: Another in cleaning out my mail box.]
By Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

...
The fact is, even children who follow the rules are not free from risk, because drivers travel at dangerous speeds and fail to yield the right of way when they should. But for some reason we hold children to awfully high standards while tacitly absolving all kinds of dangerous driving behavior.

It doesn’t help when official powers contribute to this false equivalence, implying that the licensed adult driver with the capacity to kill and the vulnerable child trying to get to school are equally responsible for preventing traffic injuries and deaths.
...

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2016/10/05/why-do-we-put-the-onus-for-traffic-safety-on-kids/
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The Definitive Rules of the Road for Urban Cyclists

Biking Elsewhere[B' spokes: Lots of good advice here including the quick stop and instant turn. f they are not part of your riding skills maybe it's time to add them.]

https://www.citylab.com/navigator/2017/05/urban-cycling-how-to/526500/
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Op-ed: The National Motorists Association's drive toward alternative facts

Biking ElsewhereBy Randy LoBasso, News Works

[B' Spokes: Some helpful arguments that may come up as Baltimore move toward more automated traffic enforcement.]
...
First, let's understand what the National Motorists Association is: an extremist fringe group that thrives on emotional explanations to reason that humans should be able to drive cars without consequences.

Their representatives have actually argued that hit-and-run drivers should not be penalized for leaving the scene of a crash in which pedestrians are murdered.
...

Blaming all victims who are not motorists for their own demise is heartless at best and cruel at worst. People may make mistakes, but no one deserves to die because they stepped into or rode a bike on a street. Especially when it is so totally unnecessary.

The facts are this: Most fatal and severe crashes are caused by motorists driving at excessive speed. According to the Pennsylvania State Mayors Association, Pennsylvania has most speed-related traffic deaths in the United States, after Texas and California. That’s a problem.
...

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/opinion-and-essays/item/101231-op-ed-the-national-motorists-associations-drive-toward-alternative-facts
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The bicycle, 200 years old today, was a timely response to an environmental crisis

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: From the 12th but still an interesting read, at least I didn't know this.]

https://www.treehugger.com/bikes/happy-200th-birthday-bicycle-timely-response-environmental-crisis.html
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Drivers are overwhelmingly at fault in collisions with cyclists — should we assume they are liable?

Biking ElsewhereBy Soufiane Boufous, UNSW, ABC News Australia

...
A report released last week by the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia found that in 195 out of 277 crashes between cars and bicycles (just over 70 per cent) the cyclist was not at fault.

To keep our cyclists safe, it may be time to adopt the approach of many European nations by introducing legislation that, in civil cases, presumes that car drivers caused a collision unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Shifting the burden of proof to drivers — who must prove they didn't cause a crash — has been highly successful in other nations, along with other measures, in keeping cyclists safer and reducing accidents.
...

Under current laws, cyclists and pedestrians involved in collisions with cars on Australian roads are required to claim on motorists' insurance.

If the insurance company contests the claim, the injured cyclist or pedestrian has to take the case to a civil court.

Surely the burden of proof should shift onto the more powerful road user, especially given that the research suggests they are more likely to be the one at fault.
To do so, we need a presumed liability law that protects vulnerable road users.

Similar laws have been introduced in Canada and in many European countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and France.

Under these laws, sometimes also referred to as "reverse onus" or "strict liability" laws, drivers must prove that a collision with a cyclist or a pedestrian was not their fault.

These laws affect civil cases only and do not remove the presumption of innocence. In criminal law, drivers in collisions with vulnerable road users remain innocent until proven guilty.

It's also not about always blaming motorists. For example, if a cyclist ran a red light and caused a collision, they would obviously be at fault and would not receive compensation.
...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-14/cycling-collisions-should-drivers-be-held-legally-liable/8613858
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Can You See Me Now!? Winning the Fight for Visibility.

Biking ElsewhereBy Chris Carmichael, CEO/Head Coach of CTS

[B' Spokes: Just the headlines:]
How High Vis Falls Short
How to Stay Safe
FOLLOW TRAFFIC LAWS
RIDE WHERE OTHERS RIDE
MAKE EYE CONTACT
WATCH THE WHEELS
FIND YOUR VOICE
RESIST THE URGE TO GET ANGRY
MAKE YOURSELF VISIBLE

http://trainright.com/cycling-visibility
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The Rich Drive Differently, a Study Suggests

Biking ElsewhereBy Benjamin Preston, New York Times

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Now scientific research supports the unwritten and broadly circulated theory that people in BMWs are lacking in road manners. Paul K. Piff, a researcher at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, has conducted a study linking bad driving habits with wealth.
...

https://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/12/the-rich-drive-differently-a-study-suggests/
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The Today Show Completely Botched Its Coverage of America’s Pedestrian Safety Crisis

Biking ElsewhereBy Angie Schmitt, Streets Blog

...
A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that nationwide, there were nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016. That’s a 25 percent increase since 2010 and the highest number in two decades.

That was enough to get news outlets like the Today Show to pay attention to pedestrian safety for once. But the Today segment was a victim-blaming disaster, writes Joseph Cutrufo at Mobilizing the Region:

If you ask the Today Show, it’s distracted pedestrians who are to blame, a point they illustrated by showing a video clip of a person being struck by a driver while standing on the sidewalk. The whole segment seems utterly ridiculous, but then again, in a country where more than 90 percent of households own at least one vehicle and more than three-quarters of commuters drive to work, maybe the Today Show’s audience is actually buying it.
...

We’ll never make progress on pedestrian fatalities if so many streets look like the highway where Sanders stands at the beginning of his report. We need streets where motor vehicles travel at non-lethal speeds and people can cross without taking their lives in their hands.

We should be asking why the United States is doing so much worse than other nations on traffic safety:
...

In the United Kingdom, not only are the streets much safer than in America, but the pedestrian death rate is falling even faster than the overall traffic fatality rate. In other words, British streets are getting safer for walking and driving, but especially for walking.

So instead of another segment blaming people on foot for their own deaths, how about a trip to the UK to investigate how they made a transportation system that’s so much safer than ours?
...

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/03/31/the-today-show-completely-botched-its-coverage-of-americas-pedestrian-safety-crisis/
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Why America’s roads are so much more dangerous than Europe's

Biking Elsewhereby Norman Garrick, Carol Atkinson-Palombo, and Hamed Ahangari, Vox

...
Even before that spike upward, per capital traffic fatalities in the US were already the highest in the industrialized world. No other developed country tolerates the level of carnage on their roads that we do. This national failure has been overlooked for far too long. Studying short-term variations in our safety record is important, but it can also distract us from investigating the forces contributing to our horrendous safety record compared to our peers.
...
In other words, since 1970 we have gone from leading the pack in traffic safety to being at the rear of that pack.
...

[B'Spokes: And they even get a little analytical as to why America road fatalities are so high.]

https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/11/30/13784520/roads-deaths-increase-safety-traffic-us
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