Considering all the studies coming out now showing that millenials are driving less, because, in part, they have cell phones and the internet so they don't need to drive as much; this ad seems to miss the connection. The kid in Europe might be fine with the trade...
Here are a few tidbits about what some Maryland advocates did over the summer.
Jack Cochrane is known as the key bicycle advocate in Montgomery County, but he is also a summertime advocate in western New York. Until recently, Route 394 had a door-zone bike lane as it passed through one of his favorite towns. He wrote the state department of transportation:
But after resurfacing, the line separating the parking area from the bike lane has not been repainted (all the other lines were repainted). This creates a wider parking area at the expense of the bike lane. The bike lane symbols are gone too. Please leave it that way. Now bicyclists are free to ride in the travel lane (safely away from parked cars) without drivers getting upset at them for not riding in the bike lane.
He wanted to urge the state to place "Use Full Lane" (R4-11) signs there, but New York State explicitly decided not to adopt the sign.
Another Maryland advocate persuaded the police on Long Beach Island (New Jersey) to change the text on a variable message sign from "Cyclists obey traffic laws. Stop at red lights and stop signs" to "Walk to the left, bicycles ride right." When a driver wrote a typical letter to the local paper urging a police crackdown on scofflaw cyclists, he wrote a letter commending the police.
Clueless drivers ... threaten the lives of cyclists and pedestrians...So many drivers park on the sidewalk that one must assume that most drivers do not know what a sidewalk is... So many drivers fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks that one would assume that many drivers do not know what a crosswalk is...So many drivers speed that one must assume that drivers mentally add 10 mph to every posted speed limit—not so different from cyclists who run red lights and stop signs (5 mph instead of 0 mph)...Almost all drivers make illegal right turns on the bike lanes along Atlantic, Beach, and Long Beach Boulevard south of Beach Haven....Many drivers illegally honk their horns at cyclists riding in the center of the lane for their own safety...Fortunately, the Long Beach Township police are trying to educate drivers and cyclists on how to be safe.
Finally, the Maryland Department of Transportation's director of bicycle and pedestrian affairs spent some time in the cooler climate of Calgary, Alberta. The Calgary Heraldreported
Today, the conference heard from a delegate from Maryland named Michael Jackson, who examined schools in his state that have actually banned students from walking or riding a bike to school. It seems absurd, but it’s not uncommon, and it’s hard not to think poor understanding of cycling drives some of those prohibitions.
(Jim Titus is a bicycle advocate from Prince Georges County, Maryland)
"D.C. needs to coordinate its road closures and publicize them more. It took me an hour to try to get over near Meridian Hill Park and I gave up and returned to my friend's at 9:15 am. Missed an opportunity to meet my friends visiting from China."
Dr. Bikelock: Yes. It would be great if DDOT had some way to inform people about these kinds of events. Some people got burned on WAGBRAD by bridge closures related to the Army 10 miler. I guess more could be done, but I just assume that if I need to be someplace on a weekend morning that there will be roads closed some place.
"Good afternoon Good Dr. I am a semi-regular bike commuter, riding 2-3 days a week from Kemp Mill to White Flint. This is a thank you to the drivers who treat us with courtesy. I try my best to follow the rules of the road. I do not run red lights. I stay as far to the right as safe. I try to remember to signal all my turns. And I will readily admit that I am not 100% perfect. So Thank You to the drivers who give me 3' of space when they pass. Thank you to the drivers who follow the standard rules at 3 and 4 way stops so I don't have to guess when it is safe to go. Thank you to the drivers who let me move to the left when I signal that I will be making a left turn at the next intersection. All of us thank you."
Dr. Bikelock: Agreed. Safe, courteous drivers are awesome.
Dr. Gridlock: Thanks, and I'm sorry that so often these forums involve travelers separating themselves into categories and criticizing the behavior of other categories of travelers.
New Belgium Brewery is offering CaBi members a case (twelve 22oz.bottles) of New Belgium Brewery beer for $25.99. Show up at Wagner's Liquor (1717 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, 20007) from Wednesday, October 26 through Tuesday, November 1 and show your membership key.
I just reported the August numbers for CaBi, but September was down a bit too. "There were 127,418 trips in September 2011 and 2,501,313 minutes of use. The number of trips decreased 7% from August." Fewer tourists, cooler weather, football season...many theories as to why.
One way to make bike/car interactions uglier is to start throwing around racial slurs - in case you were working on that. This is, by the way, the second time today that I've read an article about someone being called a "cracker". I guess the term is making a comeback.
A man in Florida came home to find another man standing in the doorway of his garage with hands on his bike. He confronted him and the man said that he had been told about the bike and that it looked like one he'd had stolen, but that it wasn't. He walked away. The police were called and he told them the same story. He was found guilty of burglary. The law states that "where a defendant is tried on a burglary charge, evidence that the defendant entered a particular structure or conveyance 'stealthily and without consent of the owner or occupant thereof is prima facie evidence of entering with intent to commit an offense.'" The case was overturned because of jury instructions. I tend to believe the guy, but it is good example as to why one should limit their own investigations and instead call the police, and it's another reason why it helps to report stolen bikes.
This is a bit after the fact, but last weekend there was a tour of downtown condos for sale. It was done by bike. Bike-based real estate tours are not new, but a condo one is - for me at least.
Candidates for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Braddock District, include bikes or trails in their statements to the Gazette.
John C. Cook: "TRAFFIC/INFRASTRUCTURE:...There are additional needs for parks, libraries, trails, and other county buildings."
Janet S. Oleszek: "TRAFFIC/INFRASTRUCTURE: Long term we need to be focused on modes of transportation other than cars. To that end ... Land use decisions need to consider public transit and pedestrian and/or bicycling routes. One simple solution for Braddock residents is to link the Burke VRE station to the over 75 miles of bike and pedestrian trails that exist within a 3-mile radius of the station."
Carey C. Campbell: "Greatly expanded rail should be accompanied by bike lanes, and pedestrian friendly communities. The new bike rental program that is so successful in Washington D.C. and Arlington must be expanded across Fairfax County."
Eloquent argument for stronger distracted driving laws "In Dubai, traffic accidents fell 20 per cent from average rates on the days BlackBerry users were unable to use its messaging service."
New York City - Cyclists in New York City (and everywhere really) are using their cameras to film what goes on on the streets. Although, almost no one is actually using film (I guess I should say record) and it isn't just cyclists. And it isn't just on the road. Also, CNN gets in on the bikelash story, albeit a bit a late.
Minnesota - A guy bought a Huffy bike at a Target, attached a motor to it and then when his friend was riding it, the front fender caught on the wheel causing him to crash. It does sound like the fender was the problem, not the motor, but the courts still have to decide. Also, Huffy is bankrupt, which I did not know.
Oregon - An Oregon doctor is making house calls via bicycle. "Callahan said the impression he makes when he shows up on a bike helps establish rapport with the chronically ill and disabled people he cares for" Perhaps he should change his practice to deal with all the cyclists being attacked by birds."Riders in Pendleton, Ore., told the East Oregonian that a male hawk is dive-bombing them because they're too close to a nest he's guarding in an old cottonwood tree."
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA - The Army is promoting bike commuting, not a bad idea for an employer who requires regular physical fitness tests.
United States - "The thing is that it's not really that hard to ride a bike in heels" And according to the poll at the time of this writing - it's chic. What about riding in beat-up cargo shorts I bought 5 years ago at Old Navy and a sweaty gimme T-shirt (or as Mrs. Washcycle calls it my "uniform")? Is that chic yet?. Also, noseless saddles for your perineum. “When you sit on a regular bike saddle, you’re sitting on your penis.”
The methods vary, but the mission is clear — to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.
She goes on to accuse traffic engineers of 'tormenting" drivers and being hostile to cars. But she never actually finds anyone saying that this is the goal (making people miserable when driving so they will instead switch to something else). Instead what officials say in her article is that they'd like people to drive less and own fewer cars and to do that they are primarily trying to make walking, biking and transit better. That it makes driving worse is usually a byproduct. She even notes that people refer to Munich as a "walker's paradise", but not a "driver's Hell".
As examples she cites places where some streets are closed to car traffic, "car lanes" losing space for bike sharing, removing pedestrian tunnels, giving trams light priority and limiting driving speeds. That each of these things is primarily designed to promote walking, biking and transit is secondary to the secondary in her mind to the impact of slowing down drivers. And the safety benefits of slowing down drivers is secondary to the real, unstated goal of making drivers miserable.
One rule she mentions is a rule limiting clean cars only in certain parts of towns. So allowing drivers to behave as normal as long as they have a clean car is inducing misery?
The only things that come close are congestion zones and parking limits, but even these items aren't about misery but rather pricing congestion.
She almost backs up her point is this
As he stood watching a few cars inch through a mass of bicycles and pedestrians, the city’s chief traffic planner, Andy Fellmann, smiled. “Driving is a stop-and-go experience,” he said. “That’s what we like! Our goal is to reconquer public space for pedestrians, not to make it easy for drivers.”
that is, until the last line when he states what their actual goal is, and it isn't to make driving miserable.
It often takes extreme measures to get people out of their cars, and providing good public transportation is a crucial first step.
Yes, that does sound like the first step is all about making driving miserable. Oh wait, no it isn't.
Bicyclists need to stay off the roadway and ride on the sidewalk where they belong.
If bicyclists want respect, they need to show respect and follow the rules of the road.
Bicycles are vehicles – just like cars, motorcycles and trucks. I have the right to ride on the road.
The "Share the Road" sign means it’s okay for me to ride on roads. Vehicles are supposed to make room for me.
These articles come on the heels of a heavily criticized blog post by DOT Secretary Ray Lahood announcing a collaboration between NHTSA and AAA on National Bike Safety Month, which ignored most key points of safe cycling while recycling old canards. Apparently they listened to the feedback posted on the DOT web site.
(Jim Titus is a member of WABA's Board of Directors from Prince Georges County. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the official view of WABA.)
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.
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.
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...