I caught Ira David's Pedal America on PBS last night. I had a friend who worked for Discovery Channel and I used to jokingly pitch a TV show to her in which I would travel around the world riding my bike and drinking beer - all with a supermodel sidekick. Like "Wild On", but with bikes and a middle-aged, balding white guy. She never took me up on the show, and now no longer works in the TV business. Coincidence? Anyway, this show was a significantly classier version of what I proposed.
"Join MORE on July 21 at the Rockburn Branch Park for our annual summer picnic"
"Bike-share users, who in addition to having low injury rates also tend to have lower-than-average rates of helmet usage, are great proof that encasing your skull in case you crash is just one factor among many that affect bicycle safety. There are several other steps riders can take that may be more important."
At NoMa's July 4th bash "Awards will be given to the best decorated bicycle, tricycle, 4-wheeler (wagon), and dog. There will be a Parade Decoration Station with materials for children to decorate their bicycles" You can also bike to the Palisades Parade with Tommy Wells and BicycleSpace.
Virginia may develop the air rights over I-66 near Rosslynn and East Falls Church Metro stations. These developments could represent opportunities to improve the Custis and W&OD Trails in those areas. "Arlington County is currently undertaking a review of the Rosslyn Sector Plan. As part of that process, development over I-66 in the northern and eastern edges of the Rosslyn Metro Station area can be evaluated. While there are no existing mixed-use development rights over the I-66 right-of-way at either Rosslyn or the East Falls Church Metro Station location, the East Falls Church Area Plan currently supports mixed use development on VDOT and WMATA's property next to I-66." Here's more with pictures of the areas.
Cindy Sheehan's cross-country bike ride, the "Tour de Peace" wound up coming into town across the Memorial Bridge at the same time that the pro-gun rights "Toy Gun March" was crossing the same bridge. "I didn't even know about another march across the street," said anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan with a laugh.
In Montreal, many apartment leases start on the same day of the year (July 1), leading to a shortage of moving trucks. So what does one do? "Aside from people simply carrying their worldly goods by hand down streets, some novel solutions to the congestion and cost have emerged. Claire Poirier said she was skeptical after learning that her two daughters had hired bicycle-powered movers to supplement two family cars for their move. But as family members looked on, the movers, Yohann Mouchboeuf and David Pelletier, piled and strapped two couches, a box spring, a bed frame, two mattresses, a large bookcase, a stove and full-sized refrigerator on two bicycle trailers before pedaling off. "
“The pods have landed, only they've landed with the racks, and they're coming with allies called bicyclists. The activating force behind all of the fury was the racks, instruments of aesthetic torture.”
"I realized this is the stuff of your darkest aesthetic dreams. There is nothing human about the racks. Not even when people get on the bikes.”
"This whole program is like something dreamed up in a North Korea re-education camp, designed by terrorists and carried out by the jackbooted bike reich to destroy New York."
“I have a strong feeling that about a year from now many politicians are going to be spending a lot of time distancing themselves from the bike-share program,"
"I'm talking about the much less recognized world of entitled, middle-class and upper-middle-class riders in the city who think they are serving a noble cause. It's basically their very identity that they are special people, that they're helping the environment, and nobody has ever instilled any notion in them of the necessity of following a traffic rule.”
“Unless I was having too much wine after dinner, I actually saw somebody on a bike stop at a red light. Once. That may have happened. If it happens more than once, I will submit myself to psychiatric examination on the grounds I'm having a delusion."
"We survived 9/11, but I'm not sure we'll survive this."
"there is this religious zealotry attached to the riding of bicycles in this city that tells you everything.”
To her credit, if you're going to be wrong, be quotably wrong.
Also, I looked in numerous dictionaries for a definition of "totalitarian" that was close to "utopian scheming" and I couldn't find any. There are some ideas out there about totalitarian utopias like in "Walden Two" but if you take the word utopia out of it, it's just the idea of a government that has total control over all entities.
"There's this kind of basic illiteracy in the reading population, they don't know the meanings of words,” she said.
I suppose few know the secret meanings of words that exist only in Rabinowitz's head.
The lack of a helmet requirement in New York’s month-old Citi Bike program...has some experts predicting a disastrous increase in injuries and fatalities.
so far, through more than 500,000 rides, such predictions haven’t come true, with just three minor accidents and nothing more serious than some scrapes and bruises.
John Pucher is the only expert they cite [unless you count comedian (and former roommate of my former boss) Jon Stewart or the AAA-New York spokesman as experts], and while I certainly think he's a knowledgeable guy, they don't actually have a quote from him and they lump helmets in with other possible causes.
A lack of a helmet requirement, blocked bike lanes and inexperienced cyclists hitting the road are all reasons Rutgers University public policy professor John Pucher cited in predicting that the number of cyclist injuries and fatalities will double or even triple in Citi Bike’s first year.
And near the bottom of the article they have a study that seems to contradict this.
The Mineta Transportation Institute in California studied 14 bike-share programs and found relatively low accident rates, averaging 1.36 serious or fatal accidents in 2011. In the same year, there were 22 fatalities for bicyclists in New York.
The fact that DC and Boston have been relatively safe isn't even really mentioned. They do pull out the discredited claim that
in 97 percent of bike fatalities from 1996 to 2005, the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet.
The statistic itself is somewhat daming in isolation, but no more so than pointing out that 100% of bike fatalities in the same period were not wearing rainbow colored suspenders. They don't give a citation, but it is likely this report which also notes that only about 13% of New York cyclist were even wearing helmets during that time. Add in the fact that often the helmet use was unknown and that the reporting of helmet use in fatalties is frequently reported wrong and this statistic is just above junk status. That's not to say that helmets aren't useful, only that this statistic makes them look more useful than they probably are.
The Pucher reference most likely comes from this article, but they wildly misread it. Pucher does mention that having more cyclists on the road increases total risk - just as the number of Segway related deaths has gone way up since the 1980's when there were none. But he does not in any way attribute that to helmets
"The problem with requiring helmets with bikesharing systems is they're generally meant to be for very short trips," says Pucher. "Let's say you get off the subway or Metro, and you just need [a bike] to cover maybe, say, ten blocks. It's unlikely you're going to carry with you a helmet to use for that ten-block ride."
Alternatively, he says, bikesharing programs would have to take on the difficult task of figuring out how to dispense one-size-fits-all helmets at every station.
Short trips also generally make for less risk than longer trips. And while they may not do so for safety purposes, bikeshare systems encourage shorter trips within their pricing systems. Capital Bikeshare, for example, ramps up the price after 30 minutes of riding.
While there is an argument that helmet laws are unnecessary, Pucher points out that more riders on the roads, particularly when new bikeshare systems open for business (like New York's Citi Bike, which launches in July), naturally leads to greater risk.
Then the money line - which isn't even really a prediction, it's a fear.
"All of a sudden, you've got these 7,000 bikes, which anyone with a credit card can use. ... My guess is the people using those bikes are far less likely to be experienced cyclists," he says of New York's new system. "What I fear is you're going to have indeed a spiking--and it could be a doubling or a tripling--of injuries and fatalities, both of cyclists and pedestrians."
So he's talking about inexperience cyclists - not helmets. He's also talking about pedestrian injuries spiking.
The majority of people (66%) in the DC area approve of "Washington D.C.'s effort to increase the number of bicycle lanes on major roads." Only 26% Disapporve. Oddly support was lower in DC than in Maryland and Virginia. But that may be because bike lanes had much lower support (57% as opposed to 71%) among African-Americans. Still, there wasn't a single group that didn't approve by a wide margin. In addition, local residents think
Post article on reduced congestion barely mentions biking "Although 75 percent of area commuters get there by car, the survey revealed that commuters are open to alternatives. By about 2 to 1, there was a preference for options other than roads. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they approve of the District’s expansion of the bike lane network."
In April, "street markings and signs on the 9th Street S. and 12th Street S. side of the bike boulevards" that parallel Columbia Pike were to be placed in "late Spring." Now they're saying "in the next 6 weeks."
the Montgomery County Planning Board approved construction of the North Branch Hiker Biker Trail. It will go from Lake Frank in Rock Creek Regional Park to Bowie Mill Park on Bowie Mill Road, connecting to the ICC Trail along the way. Future extensions will take the trail into Olney. A developer of a residential subdivision is building part of the trail on that land. It will be placed on the 2015-2020 capital improvement plan, meaning that it should be built by 2020. See map below.
"The only thing standing between where we are and the kind of infrastructure in Arlington and DC is the will to act....But in many ways, the true highlight of the trip was our meeting with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)"
Good article on CitiBike. I like this "could one use my iPhone’s speaker to tell me which bike stations have empty docks as I approach my destination?"
"There's no direct translation for randonnée (pronounced ran-don-NAY) — it can mean a long outing or trip, or a ramble in the countryside. For its practitioners, called randonneurs, it's easier to define the event by what it isn't: a race. There are time limits, which means riders can't go too slowly — but they also can't go too quickly."
I had the day off yesterday, and so took a few hours to ride the CCT/GBT/MBT loop. Things have really changed since I last did it 2 years ago - especially on the CCT. So many new buildings going up. I rode the new bike lanes on Hamilton and there is a very odd bike lane at one of the intersections that I would've taken a photo of if my phone had not died. The real event on Hamilton was that I was nearly struck by lightening. I think it hit the chimney of the house next to me. A few cars had their car alarms go off and I felt what I can only describe as a push, like a sudden gust of wind. Let's just say that my bike shorts suddenly got warmer on the front. Scary stuff.
August 1st is reportedly the opening date for the new 0.1 mile section of the Met Branch Trail behind the Monroe Street Building.
Alexandria's ordinance making sidewalk cycling legal has some people upset. DCist really knows how to sell the change "Sidewalks throughout Alexandria could become a lot more crowded and difficult to navigate with the latest decision by the city's leaders." Well, that is one thing that COULD happen, but it almost surely will not. There will be a slight uptick in the number of sidewalk cyclists and the impact will be trivial on most people.
"The Virginia state government has issued a call to the private sector for ideas on improving Interstate 66 outside the Capital Beltway" How about extending the Custis Trail?
Chicago's bike sharing system, Divvy, start tomorrow; while LA's bike sharing system by Bike Nation hits a snag. They were going to use ad revenue to pay for it, "But advertising on a bicycle kiosk in Los Angeles falls under a city contract with CBS Outdoor and JCDecaux, which jointly hold the rights through 2021 to sell advertising on "street furniture," which includes bus stops, public toilets and newsstands." Does that sound familiar?
I didn't make it to the BicycleSpace ride on Friday because my wife surprised me with dinner reservations and baby sitters but I bet it was a good ride with good ice cream.
The DC area bicycle heat map, based on data from cycling GPS devices. With this and the existing bike counters in Arlington County, you could almost extrapolate counts elsewhere (though it would skew to places where those who have (read:can afford and care to buy) such devices ride).
The DowntownDC BID and DDOT plan to double the number of bike racks downtown over the next three years. "the BID is focused on providing short-term parking in public space for visitors to buildings, shoppers, and restaurant patrons, while continuing to work with buildings to provide secure, commuter bike parking inside for their tenants. The first installation phase will begin in mid-July and will target the blocks between 6th and 11th streets because of the high level of use in this area. About 200 racks are planned for installation during this first phase, and the majority of work will take place overnight, except where adjacent to residential buildings or hotels."
Montgomery County Councilmember Robert Berliner is concerned that the MCDOT design for Old Georgetown Road between the current Executive Boulevard alignment and Rockville Pike does not include bike lanes or a sidepath as called for in the Sector Plan. "In order to meet the Plan's mode share goals, we should implement multi-modal, complete streets on the front end, not at the end stages of the Plan"
There was a meeting of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority on June 20th to get input on how to spend $190 million for transportation. "Perhaps the most scrutinized debate will be how many funds are devoted to transit projects, pedestrian or bicycle projects, and how much will simply be devoted to increasing capacity on the roads network....The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority will hold another public hearing July 24 at the Fairfax City Hall before adopting the final fiscal 2014 funding list."
"A plurality of MT readers (33 percent) picked the road lobby as the most effective in the transportation world. Public transit snagged 17 percent and the railroads took 16 percent. Don’t tell Dorothy Rabinowitz, but only 2 percent said the bike/ped lobby was the best."
"People using New York City’s new bike-sharing program have logged more than a million miles in less than a month." At this rate, they'll have had more total miles than CaBi by the end of year 1.