ROCK HILL -- "Bike Baiting," a new and affordable initiative at Winthrop University, is staving off campus bike thefts and leading to arrests.
So far, the program has led to five arrests, Winthrop Police Chief Frank Zebedis said.
Police started attaching GPS devices to three "bait" bikes in September 2010, placing the bait bikes among students' bikes around campus, some locked, some left unsecure - as college students often leave them, Zebedis said.
Once a thief takes the GPS-equipped bike beyond a certain range, the GPS device begins tracking the bike, sending its location to police, who begin their pursuit.
Before baiting, bikes were more difficult to recover. In 2009, 20 bikes were stolen, and police recovered one bike and made one arrest.
Throughout 2010, 16 bikes were stolen, including the eight bait bikes. Since September, police have recovered all the stolen bait bikes.
Police twice recovered the bikes without a suspect, who likely saw police responding, dumped the bike, and ran off, Zebedis said.
In each arrest, the suspects were adults, which came as a surprise, Zebedis said.
"I really anticipated that juveniles would have been on these bikes."
At less than $1,500, including materials and monitoring, the program has been a success, he said.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man accused of trying to steal a bicycle from the Ohio State campus allegedly tried to use mace on a safety officer before jumping into the Olentangy River in an attempt to elude authorities.
The ordeal began at about 12:30 a.m., when two safety officers spotted a man trying to steal a bike from a dorm.
As the officers approached the man, he allegedly sprayed mace at them and fled, Ramos reported.
The man eventually jumped into the Olentangy River.
After an hour of searching with dogs and boats, authorities located the man in a wooded area near Cannon Drive, Ramos reported.
He was taken into custody and charged with theft. Additional charges were possible, police said.
The man's identity was not released by police.
Content provided by Rachel Ehrenberg, Science News
To achieve this rare bliss, traffic lights usually are controlled from the top down, operating on an "optimal" cycle that maximizes the flow of traffic expected for particular times of day, such as rush hour. But even for a typical time on a typical day, there's so much variability in the number of cars at each light and the direction each car takes leaving an intersection that roads can fill up. Combine this condition with overzealous drivers, and intersections easily become gridlocked. Equally frustrating is the opposite extreme, where a driver sits at a red light for minutes even though there's no car in sight to take advantage of the intersecting green.
"It is actually not optimal control, because that average situation never occurs," says complex-systems scientist Dirk Helbing of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, a coauthor of the new study. "Because of the large variability in the number of cars behind each red light, it means that although we have an optimal scheme, it's optimal for a situation that does not occur."
"It's a paradoxical effect that occurs in complex systems," says Helbing. "Surprisingly, delay processes can improve the system altogether. It is a slower-is-faster effect. You can increase the throughput -- speed up the whole system -- if you delay single processes within the system at the right time, for the right amount of time."
The flexible self-control approach reduced time stuck waiting in traffic by 56 percent for trams and buses, 9 percent for cars and trucks, and 36 percent for pedestrians crossing intersections. Dresden is now close to implementing the new system, says Helbing, and Zurich is also considering the approach.
Beacon placed on narrow, busy section of SR's Montgomery Drive activated by passing bikes
BETH SCHLANKER / PD
A new bicycle beacon is triggered by cyclists and alerts drivers that they are on the road. The light is located on Montgomery Drive near the intersection of Spring Lake Court.
"The 3D image will look like an indistinguishable mark from far away, but by the time the driver is within 30 metres, the image of the girl and ball will become clear.
“You’ll see this image start to rise off the pavement and it will look like a little child is crossing the street. As you get closer to the image, the image recedes into the pavement,” Mr. Dunne said."
A plan that would vastly expand the availability of bicycle lanes and sidewalks in Middle Tennessee has won a national award from the Planning Council of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
It’s the first time that a group has won the “Best Project” award without addressing motorized vehicles, according to a news release from the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The plan calls for 1,100 miles of on-road bicycle lanes, as well as sidewalks to be added on all major roads. It’s designed to address both traffic congestion and obesity. Tennessee has the second highest obesity rate in the country.
Read more: Bike, pedestrian plan wins national award - Baltimore Business Journal
An Atlantic City man was arrested after he stole a bicycle police put out on the Boardwalk as bait in response to complaints of thefts, police said Tuesday.
Sgt. Richard Halverson put a bicycle out on the Boardwalk, locked it with a cable lock at about noon Monday, and waited a short distance away, police said. Within an hour, a man rode up on his own bicycle, cut the lock on the bait bike, and rode off on it, leaving his own bicycle behind, police said.
Halverson went after the suspect for several blocks while back-up officers arrived, police said. Halverson stopped the man on the 1700 block of Arctic Avenue, and the suspect got off the bicycle and ran away on foot. Officer Robert Dessicino arrested the suspect after a struggle.
Frank Forrest Jr. 53, of North Maryland Avenue, was arrested and charged with theft, resisting arrest, vandalism and possession of burglary tools, police said.
Police said they will continue to conduct stake-outs around the city in areas where residents complain of thefts. People are asked to call police when they see any suspicious people or activity.
As Streetsblog readers are well aware, New York City pedestrians and cyclists are seriously injured or killed by vehicular mayhem on a daily basis, but in the vast majority of cases, the motorist remains free to get right back behind the wheel. Even on crowded city streets, it's exceedingly rare for drivers who maim or kill to face consequences more serious than a traffic ticket.
One reason prosecutors hesitate to bring charges is that the standards for proving criminal negligence or recklessness can be difficult to meet. Hayley and Diego's Law, sponsored by Dan Squadron in the State Senate and Brian Kavanagh in the Assembly, creates an intermediate charge -- a traffic violation called careless driving -- which prosecutors can use in cases where criminal convictions seem unlikely. Motorists found guilty of careless driving will have to complete a driver education course and face fines up to $750, jail time up to 15 days, and license suspensions up to six months -- or a year for repeat offenders.
"We expect that the NYPD and District Attorneys are always looking at all the different options to hold people accountable for actions that lead to injuries and deaths," said Transportation Alternatives' senior policy advisor Peter Goldwasser. "With this law, we expect that they will be able to do that to an even greater degree and create a deterrent effect."
[Reading the full article is recommended.]