The family of the cyclist shot and killed in DC last year is suing the District for $20M in a wrongful death suit. "The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court in D.C., alleges that the accused shooter was a juvenile criminal offender who was in the custody of the city's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services at the time of the shooting."
The WB&A and South Shore trails in AA County might move forward soon. As Jim pointed out in his post at GGW, one thing to focus on now is making sure that the ROW on the Two Rivers property is left untouched. If it's built on, that can probably never be undone.
This is driving me crazy. I know I've had brilliant ideas for bicycle research proposals that I've shared here, but now that the FHWA is actually asking for ideas I can't think of any. And I'm pretty sure the best idea wins pie. Anyway if you want pie that may or may not exist, and have a good research idea you can submit it here.
Readers want to know: Where can one buy a bakfiet?
I don't know if it's humanly possible to drive 15 miles per hour. I've tried it. You almost have to tap your brakes repeatedly. To have a blanket speed limit like that would almost make traffic worse in the District of Columbia and may lead to more road rage.
I do know of one road in DC where the speed limit is 15mph - the illegal route to the Barney Circle underpass and based on the drivers I see using it illegally he may be right. No one seems to be able to drive that slow, or keep themselves from using a road that is for authorized vehicles only.
And if it would "almost" make traffic worse, then it wouldn't make traffic worse.
A driver in central Virginia was found guilty of failure to yield to a cyclist. The crash that resulted from this failure led to the death of the cyclist - well-known competitive cyclist Michael J. Fawell. But the driver did not get off scot free. He had to pay a $30 fine. To be fair, Fawell had no lights or reflectors and was riding in the rain before sunrise. But he was also riding on the paved shoulder.
RAGBRAI leads to a scientific discovery about Parkinson's and exercise. Can WABGRAD ever aspire to such heights? The discovery is that forced exercise - where the participant doesn't control the speed - show fewer symptoms of the disease. "Dr. Alberts suspects that in Parkinson’s patients, the answer may be simple mathematics. More pedal strokes per minute cause more muscle contractions than fewer pedal strokes, which, in consequence, generate more nervous-system messages to the brain. There, he thinks, biochemical reactions occur in response to the messages, and the more messages, the greater the response."
John Hendel at TBDonFoot thinks WABA is "kicking open a hornet's nest of driver rage with" the Assault of Bicyclist Prevention Act of 2011. I don't think most drivers will care.
Frederick, MD has a new section of a multi-use trail stretching across the downtown area. I was just there for Oktoberfest - if only I'd known. They have plans to connect to other area trails - including the C&O Canal - in the future.
Alta and the city will first target optimal service areas using detailed data models and public suggestions, then approach community boards that govern these areas with at least three possible locations, and last allow the neighborhoods themselves to make the ultimate decision.
Much of this article feels vaguely familiar as DC went through this period not so long ago - it even goes into the details of the Lincoln Park station debate. "In October of 2010 a contentious debate emerged over where to place a station near Lincoln Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C., with a host of passionate locals expressing fears about traffic and child safety, vandalism, and general appearance."
They do get a technological leg up on us. "The stations will run on wireless solar power, so they won't need access to direct sunlight, which allows for locations beside tall buildings."
But this line is far too optimistic "In the off-chance, hopefully, that someone encounters a completely full or empty station..."
The map of how little of NYC will actually get bike share in Phase I, despite the number of bikes, is pretty shocking.
A Georgia Tech master's student is doing his thesis research on bike lanes, sharrows, bicycle priority lanes, bike boxes, and other innovative roadway treatments for bicycles. The goal of is to detremine how well bicyclists understand these different types of facilities, and how much they would use them if implemented. The goal is to gather valuable information about these different techniques to pass along to government agencies and other decision makers so that they can make better informed decisions about the expansion of bicycle lanes and facilities. The more bikers I get to take the survey, the better the research becomes!
If advancing the cause of science and helping out a student don't do it for you, all respondents will be entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card to REI!
Richmond - Richmond, VA is one of the final two bidders for the 2015 World Road Cycling Championship. "Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones is leading the delegation to the Swiss headquarters of Union Cycliste Internationale, which is expected to announce its choice for a host city in September."
Georgia - A new law makes cycling in Georgia better. "The law recognizes bicyclists' right of way in dedicated bike lanes, establishes design guidelines for bike lanes, and defines three feet as the minimum safe passing distance for vehicles when passing a cyclist...Other changes include legalization of the sale and use of clip less pedals and recumbent-style bicycles,"
Los Angeles - In contrast to yesterday's link about a man teaching his son to ride a bike on the MVT, this woman spent a month training before she hit the Venice Beach bike trail. The article also includes a quote from Glen Harrison of WABA, which has taught more than 200 adults in the metropolitan D.C. region since 2008. “Lots of folks seem to have learning to ride a bike on their list of 100 things to do."
United States - The prevalence of "any biking" on a given day remains unchanged between 2001 and 2009. About 1.7% of people reported getting on a bike on the day they were asked. About 18% did "any walking". But the types of trips have changed. "it was found that the percentage of utilitarian versus recreational bicycle trips rose from 43 percent to 51 percent from 2001 to 2009."
Bike sales are up 9% since last year, and road bike sales are up 29%. "Regular riders tend to be low-income who cycle to save money or affluent who bike for fitness, Clarke says. Relatively few bike for environmental reasons, he says....Upper-income leisure cyclists are unlikely to bike to work unless gas hits at least $6 a gallon, says Jay Townley of the market research firm Gluskin-Townley Group."
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is looking to build on the Bicycle Commuter Benefit with the Commuter Relief Act. For cyclists it offers a "parking cashout" - allowing them to take cash in lieu of free parking, allows them to combine the bike commuter benefit "with other transportation fringe benefits as long as they fall under the $200 cap (for example, individuals can use the $20 bike credit and still collect up to $180 of their public transit fringe benefit)" and increase the bike benefit from $20 to $40.
A new device will warn drivers of potential collisions with pedestrians or cyclists.
World - A study contradicts the idea that wearing seatbelts makes people drive less safely. "In fact, they drive more carefully when more stringent seat belt laws are in effect, and this leads to less involvement of pedestrians in accidents. These results show that the offsetting effects do not exist when all accidents, including fatal accidents, are considered."
The United Nations' WHO has kicked off a Decade of Action on Road Safety. "The global initiative is an effort to educate the public and prevent the 1.3 million deaths that are a result of a road traffic collision—more than 3,000 deaths each day." And "More than 90 percent of traffic fatality victims are in the developing world, and half are motorcyclists, bicyclists or pedestrians."
San Francisco - The bikelash is spreading to San Francisco. "The city recently reversed plans to remove 199 automobile parking spaces along 17th Street in the Mission to make way for a bike lane. Some merchants worried that removing parking would hurt business, and they objected to how they had been informed." Meanwhile, the Golden Gate Bridge Safety Committee recommended a 10mph bicycle speed limit for pedestrian safety. That limit would drop to 5mph in places. Cyclists, who are now the ones complaining they weren't informed beforehand, are unhappy. "According to the Berkeley-based firm Alta Planning + Design, there were 165 bicycle crashes from 2000 to 2009, and speed was cited as a factor in 39 percent of those accidents. Over that same time period, there were 235 reported vehicle incidents, including anything from a fender-bender to a more serious collision, said bridge district spokeswoman Mary Currie."
United States - First AASHTO wanted US Department of Transportation to weaken their guidance on accommodating bicyclists and pedestrians, but now they've withdrawn their request. "This will give AASHTO an opportunity to meet with bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups on May 19 to discuss this issue. It will also allow time for AASHTO’s Board of Directors at our annual meeting in October to discuss this issue and provide policy direction on how best to deal with it."
International- a new study calculates that the head injury risk reduction from wearing helmets is "43 percent, as compared to the previous research finding of 60 percent." Even more damning, the author states that "recent studies show that when head, face and neck injuries are counted together, there is "no net protective effect" from wearing a helmet, because they actually increase the risk of neck injuries." Speaking of head injuries, does using a cell phone cause brain damage? It does if you use it while driving.
Japan - The earthquake showed the resiliency of bicycles and has led to a mini-boom in cycling. “There were many, many people who bought a bike on their way home,” said Kenji Tanaka, secretary general of a bicycle retailers’ association in Tokyo. “Many stores went empty that night.” It just feels good on the bike, generally,” rather than being squeezed into a train, he said.
Molino, FL - The driver who struck cross-country cyclist Roger W. Grooters from behind and killing him had his license suspended for 6 months and paid a $1160 fine. Grooters was biking cross country to raise awareness about the plight of oil spill victims. He was riding on the shoulder when hit.
Portland, OR - Demand for bike corrals in Portland has exceeded the city's ability to install them. Meanwhile the excellently-named Elly Blue has an article on bike parking and how much cheaper and better it is than car parking.
United States -
The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) thinks requirements to consider bicycle and pedestrian amenities in new facilities are too high, and they asked DOT to weaken their guidance. Bike League wants cyclists to push back.
We've had some nice weather this week. I was biking in short sleeves on Monday.
And that nice weather resulted in higher trail use, according to counts from the Custis Trail.
The CCT's River Road trail plaza seems like, after a decade of false starts, it is finally ready to break ground. "The project is estimated to cost up $150,000 and the coalition has committed $75,000, Tripp said. The other half of the money will be raised from donors....An adjacent business owner offered to fund improvements to the trail near River Road in exchange for free parking on the county-owned land, Gray said. The owner never followed through with his offer and has since relocated his business.....Once a stormwater management permit is obtained, a hearing with the Planning Board will be scheduled."
WABA Board Member Mark Blacknell writes about the importance of sharing the road. "You know that’s who’s in the car behind you, the bike next to you, or crossing the street in front of you, right? A human being. It could be your neighbor, your lawyer, or the guy that makes your sandwiches at lunch."
When the ICC opens, it will include a section of trail according to Melinda Peters, ICC Director. I'm guessing it's the 3.3 miles of "path" in Contract A or the "2.7 miles of new bike paths, with additional bike facilities located along MD 182 that will improve access to Layhill Local Park and Northwest Branch Parks." in Contract B. Has anyone seen this trail/path or been on it? We should go and ride it on opening day.
Last night was the "inaugural" Alexandria Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meeting.