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" in contrast to most English speaking countries, some European countries, including Germany, France, Denmark, Belgium, and the Netherlands have defined liability legislation.Thus there is a legal assumption that motorists are automatically considered liable in law for any injuries that occur if they collide with a cyclist"

I guess Brian Pate is looking at a tough reelection battle over the Hine issue. So not only is there a risk that a NIMBY could take his place, but his opponent probably is not going to do much to make the neighborhood better for cyclists either.

The Eureka Alert article didn't do much for me, so I went hunting. Finally, I dug up the UBC's site describing more about the study, “Bicyclists’ Injuries and the Cycling Environment”: http://cyclingincities.spph.ubc.ca/injuries/the-bice-study/. They link to the paper: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2012.300762?journalCode=ajph.

Given my route is Rockville Pike. I've been trying to quantify the comparative risk of on-road, around traffic, low-probability but always at risk for collision, versus periodic (perhaps even frequent?) high-probability but-not-constant risk crossing at intersections by riding on sidewalks. I look forward to more data.

More like Assault & Battery Lane, amirite?!

There are a lot of variables to consider in the comparative risk assessment you seek. Sight lines, for example, are often at least partially obscured in sidewalk crossings.

The dynamic with the sidewalk travel in general that is so problematic is that unlike roadway travel, where drivers expect to see moving objects and so a cyclist more easily "registers", with sidewalks, drivers entering and exiting do not expect to see objects moving at speed on the sidewalk--their attention is entirely on objects in the roadway--and accordingly the sidewalk cyclist often does not "register."

That should be Park Lane, not Ave. (The news item has it wrong.) Here's the cited intersection:

I'm surprised, too. And it should happen more often; people should be allowed to settle differences that arise out of day-to-day social friction without involvement of the authorities, as long as a major assault (maiming) does not occur. We would have a much more civil society if the average idiot didn't think he had a great chance of getting away with being an average idiot. You WILL think twice if you know there is a chance you could be in for an immediate and painful correction.

re: Walter Reed and NIH.

A lot of WR people live in Silver Spring, as it is near both of the old sites. The best bike route from SS to the new WR site is the Georgetown Branch Trail, and then along Jones Bridge Road. Of course, GBT is not well maintained, and JBR is not ideal for bikes. If Maryland wants people to not drive to the new WR site, they could surface the GBT and make JBR more bike friendly, with just a fraction of the money they were going to spend on the Purple Line.

Shorter version: if Maryland wants people to ride, bike share, etc, don't make the routes hostile to bikes.

@SJE -- I agree 100 pct. They also need to go the last mile and make all the perimeters of the Walter Reed and NIH campuses bikeable (and walkable). Currently, the NIH perimeter has narrow sidewalks and a narrow "shared use path." The Navy Medical/Walter Reed side has a narrow sidewalk along 355, unsuitable for sharing. Still, there are times of the day when a cyclist can get down or up 355 on the sidewalk much faster than the cars can go on the road.

There is a lot they can do in that entire area. I focus on JBR because there are a lot of kids 8-11 who travel along JBR to North Chevy Chase Middle School. Making the route better for bikes would aid the kids and the many employees of WR, NIH, USUHS etc.

A video about how to encourage mass cycling though better bike "paths"..

To the road safety point, that's why the GA Ave lane from DC line to Discovery Channel would be wretched. You have heavy heavy volume plus parked cards and buses. It's like asking to be doored.

T: I agree that GA Ave is unfriendly to bikes as currently configured. But why not reconfigure it? Add a bike lane, for example. Why should cars be permitted to park on a busy highway versus a bike lane?

why are cycle-tracks better than off street bike paths?

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