Maillot Jaune: A California cyclist was hit in a right hook. In the civil trial that followed [the driver] "admitted that, immediately prior to turning, she had not looked in her rear or side view mirrors, nor had she looked over her right shoulder. When asked why she did not check her mirrors, Goodell stated that she did not see or pass any bicyclists while driving down Mission and therefore had "no reason . . . to believe there would be a cyclist" on her right hand side." Two witnesses and the cyclist contradicted parts of the driver's testimony. But the driver's laywer argued that "if we had a video camera on every driver in Southern California, you probably wouldn't see one who turns around and looks over at the curb and behind them. Why would you? There's no reason to, okay?" and the jury agreed. On appeal, the cyclist argued that the witness instructions were flawed and lost there too.
Podium - Tom Vanderbilt has a must-read article on bicycle-car road rage in Outside magazine. For a local element, it makes mention of Natasha Pettigrew.
Here's one sample:
In one study in which drivers were asked how they feel about cyclists, one of the recurring labels was "unpredictable." When asked to elaborate, drivers often blamed the "attitudes and limited competence" of the cyclists themselves, rather than the "difficulty of the situations that cyclists are often forced to face on the road." When asked to describe their own actions or those of other drivers, however, they blamed only the situation. Psychologists call this the "fundamental attribution error."
So drivers, perhaps already stressed out from being late for work or stuck in traffic, then have to negotiate their way around a vehicle they essentially don't understand, causing even more stress, which they tend to attribute to something about cyclists. It's a vicious cycle—most vicious, in terms of actual harm, for cyclists.
Podium - The mayor of Seattle had his bike stolen. Something like that could never happen here. I feel like I wrote a post about all the mayors who've had their bike stolen, but I can't find it. It's a surprisingly large club.
Podium - The Bicycle Film Festival is seeking submissions for 2011.
Maillot Vert: Boston is working on a 600 bike, public bike system. We should root for that to be a Bixi system, since DC members will likely be able to use those bikes with their existing keys, and Boston members use ours. There is quite a bit about DC's system in the article.
Chris Holben manages the Capital Bikeshare program for the Washington DC Department of Transportation... Holben said that, since launching in September, 169,000 trips have been made on CaBi bikes (1-1.5 trips per bike per day), mostly by CaBi’s 5,500 annual members. The average trip takes 12 minutes, and covers a little over a mile. Holben expects the number of trips to jump as the weather comes around: “We have had 1,200 day users, which is pretty low compared to cities that launched in the summer… We haven’t captured the day-use market yet.”
“I do see it as a game changer,” agreed Holben, citing the greater number of bikes on the road and the visual impact of CaBi’s bright red bikes. “I think cars see them more because they’re unique… Once the spring season hits they’re going to be everywhere.”
CaBi has tried to address this challenge through education and working with local shops to offer users a discount on helmets. This strategy seems to be working. “We haven’t had a lot of blowback on it.”
Maillot a Pois Rouge: The velodrome for the 2012 London games is the first facility completed. "London 2012 organizers are predicting the track will be the fastest in the world." You can see video of it at the link.
Maillot Blanc: The 2009 FHWA Traffic Safety Facts report for Bicyclists and other cyclists is available. As reported earlier, cyclist fatalities are down to 630 from 718 the year before, but as a percentage of total traffic fatalities they remain at 1.9% higher than any other time in the last decade. All traffic fatalities are down 17% and crashes down 13% since 2000, even as vehicle miles traveled have risen by more than 8%.
- 70% of bicycle fatalities occur in urban areas, and 67% at non-intersections.
- Night-time fatalities make up 27% of the total and are down as a percentage from 2008.
- The average age of killed cyclists is 41, up from 35 in 2000. Children now make up 13% of cycling fatalities, down from 28% in 2000.
- 87% were male.
- 28% of bicyclists killed had a blood alcohol concentration of .01 grams per deciliter (which means they had been drinking) and 24% were at .08 grams per deciliter (which means they were visibly drunk). In 40% of fatalities, either the cyclist or driver were drinking and in 33% of them one of the two was drunk.
- Virginia (1.5%) and DC (0%) had cyclist fatality rates below the national average of 1.9%. Maryland was slightly higher (2%).
Lanterne Rouge: Moving Beyond the Automobile: Bicycles...