What’s Behind the Rise in Cyclist and Pedestrian Deaths? | Streetsblog.net.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is out with traffic fatality data for 2011, and the news is not good for cyclists, pedestrians or, for that matter, anyone who uses U.S. roadways.
While motor vehicle deaths declined to a still mind-numbing 32,000, cycling deaths were up 8.7 percent, and 3 percent more pedestrians were killed. The increase represented a break with recent trends, and folks all over the Streetsblog Network and the news media had different theories on the cause.
Read the full article here: Streetsblog Network
Reducing Traffic Fatalities for Cyclists and Pedestrians – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.
Room for Debate:
Making Cities Safer for Cyclists and Pedestrians
An article in The Atlantic Cities this month lamented the lax enforcement of traffic laws in New York City, even in cases in which a pedestrian or cyclist is killed. The author calls for a crackdown on traffic violations large and small, emulating the “broken windows” approach to suppressing crime in the 1990s.
Would this be effective? Are there other ways to make cities safer for pedestrians and cyclists?
Read the discussion here: The New York Times – Room for Debate
Killed While Cycling: Why So Few Fatal Bike Crashes Lead to Arrest in NYC | Transportation Nation.
“We as a society have chosen to drive these big cars. And we also as a society have chosen not to criminalize every single small mistake that just has a dramatic consequence because your driving a car. […] There are times where the factual situation that is presented to us doesn’t rise to a crime. And it’s important to realize that the reason it doesn’t rise to a crime is that society has made that decision that it doesn’t want it to be a crime.”
Joe McCormack, assistant District Attorney for the Bronx, whose job it is to prosecute traffic crimes
Read the complete story here: “Killed While Cycling: Why So Few Fatal Bike Crashes Lead to Arrest in NYC”
Dutch Kids Pedal Their Own Bus To School | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation.
In the Netherlands, bikes abound. And now, they even take kids to school. Behold, the bicycle school bus.
The Dutch are bicycle fanatics. Almost half of daily travel in the Netherlands is by bicycle, while the country’s bike fleet comfortably outnumbers its 16 million people. Devotees of the national obsession have taken the next logical step by launching what is likely the first bicycle school bus.
Built by Tolkamp Metaalspecials, and sold by the De Cafe Racer company, the bicycle school bus (BCO in Dutch) is powered entirely by children and the one adult driver (although there is an electric motor for tough hills). Its simple design has eight sets of pedals for the kids (ages 4 to 12), a driver seat for the adult, and three bench seats for freeloaders. The top speed is about 10 miles per hour, and features a sound system and canvas awning to ward off rainy days.
Read the full story here.
Now that’s something that needs to be copied here in the US!
Thanks to Betty of the Four-Blue-Hills Blog for drawing my attention to this innovation.
This morning I got the following e-mail from the “Rails-to-Trails Conservancy”:
Some are calling the draft multiyear transportation bill being considered in the U.S. House of Representatives “the worst bill ever.”
It’s hard to disagree with this regrettable distinction from a trails, walking and bicycling perspective. We need to stop the bill, now!
The bill as it is currently written would:
- Eliminate dedicated funding for trails, walking and bicycling;
- Destroy long-term dedicated funding for transit created by the Reagan Administration;
- Do away with the rail-trail eligibility category in the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program;
- Put our children in harm’s way by eliminating the Safe Routes to School program;
- Fail to maximize its job creation potential, since trail, walking and bicycling projects create substantially more jobs per dollar than do highway projects;
- Increase America’s dependence on foreign oil; and
- Contribute to our growing health and obesity crises.
The bill could come to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in the next few days. Since it is beyond possibility of repair, we need to ensure that it does not leave the House floor.
We have no time to lose. Ask your representative right now to vote against the bill.
I’ll be doing everything in my power to ensure this bill is defeated in the House. I truly hope you’ll join me.
Even as we are working feverishly to defeat this House bill, please note that a Senate bill–which also fails to preserve dedicated funding for trails, walking and bicycling–will likely come to the Senate floor for debate and a vote next week as well. (When it rains, it pours!) We’ll be messaging you about that, too. Apologies in advance for so many messages from us in so short a timeframe, but please know that we wouldn’t write you so much if it weren’t absolutely necessary.
Thank you much,
Vice President of Policy and Trail Development
I urgently ask my readers here to do everything possible to stop that bill and contact their representatives.
After I had not been on the bicycle since Oct. 30 last year, having missed my goal of 3,560 kilometers [an average of 10 kilometers per day], or 2,268 miles, by far [I only managed, for a variety of reasons, 2,194 kilometers or 1,363 miles], I started this year quite nicely, with a 23-mile ride [at an average of 14.4 mph] out of Normanna/TX with the Beeville Stingers bicycle club. It was a gorgeous afternoon [they start their Sunday group rides at 3 p.m. – at least in the winter season, when it gets dark early – which suits me very well as I’m not a morning person], with bright sunshine from a cloudless blue sky and temps in the lower sixties still. It was a tad breezy, with winds of around 15 mph from the north, but that was not too bad, especially as our ride took us out towards the east and then looped back, so that we had the wind from the side for most of the time. The roads were good – a tad more hilly than I had expected in southern Texas. But fortunately the climbs of up to 8% were short. The total ascent was 1019 ft. Now let’s hope that 2012 continues in this vein and that I’ll be able to meet my goals this time or do better even.
Check the ride out here: RideWithGPS, Normanna(2)
Filed under Bee County, Beeville Stingers, bicycling, Cities, clubs, GPS, maps, Normanna/TX, personal, Ride with GPS, rides
… how to bicycle:
After a long break [my last ride was on July 27] for various reasons [heart problems in the heat and humidity as well as being reluctant to ride after a friend of mine was nearly run over by a driver not paying attention and serving onto the shoulder] I finally got onto my bike again today and did 20 miles at an average of 15.5 mph and I really enjoyed it. Well, to tell the truth, my butt didn’t actually enjoy it. But I really felt fine otherwise, and I’m happy I can still – without overexerting myself – do that average after such a long pause.
Bicyclists, pedestrians crash on Brooklyn Bridge path – NYPOST.com.
Last Updated: 10:16 AM, August 15, 2011
Posted: 2:18 AM, August 15, 2011
The Brooklyn Bridge just ain’t big enough for the both of ’em.
An all-out turf war has erupted between speeding cyclists and picture-snapping pedestrians over a narrow pathway that’s too close for anything but a collision.
The skinny strip smack in the middle of the bridge — meant to be shared equally by bikers and walkers — has been the site of several recent smashups and so many near-crashes that some have sworn off it forever.
The problem is compounded by a 300-foot-long patch of construction work that’s shrunk parts of the already narrow corridor to a mere 10½ feet wide.
Read the full story here: The New York Post
Can Tabloids Save NYC From “Maniacal” Cyclists Terrorizing… – StumbleUpon.
Can Tabloids Save NYC From “Maniacal” Cyclists Terrorizing Brooklyn, Manhattan Bridges?
Should cyclists be banned from the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, or just rounded up and deported en masse to Portland? It seems like only the latter outcome will placate the NYC tabloids, which have recently escalated their war on bike lanes with matching editorials slamming cyclists who ride recklessly over the bridges. Today the NY Post revisits the age-old bike battleground on the Brooklyn Bridge, which really is a terrible bridge to bike over if you’re trying to make an efficient commute. The Post finds that the situation is even worse now that there’s construction that’s shrunk parts of the path to just 10½ feet wide. It’s a “war path!”
Read the full story here: Stumble Upon
The US could learn some lessons from Europe on biking | Environment | guardian.co.uk.
The US could learn some lessons from Europe on biking
Yale Environment 360: To create a thriving bike culture in America’s cities, people must begin to view bicycling as Europeans do — not just as a way of exercising, but as a serious form of urban mass transportation
By Elisabeth Rosenthal for Yale Environment 360
guardian.co.uk, Friday 15 July 2011 16.16 BST
This spring, curiosity propelled me onto a New York City subway bound for Prospect Park West in Brooklyn, where a new bike path along the edge of Brooklyn’s largest park had angry residents worked up into a lather.
For those not familiar with the territory, Park Slope is one of New York City’s most prosperous and progressive neighborhoods, home to the famed Park Slope Food Cooperative and liberal U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. And yet… the creation of a simple green bike path — the kind that edges dozens of streets in Barcelona or Paris or Copenhagen — at the expense of one lane of car traffic and a few parking spaces evinced the kind of venom normally reserved here for The Tea Party.
I expected to find a diversity of opinion about the bike path, which was created last year by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. I did not. Almost everyone
I interviewed began with the following introduction: “Don’t get me wrong I love bikes, I ride all the time…” and then segued into a barrage of objections: The path was a hazard for old people and mothers with baby strollers crossing to enter the park. Riders pedaled too fast. They should just ride inside the park. The loss of a lane made parking worse and traffic slower. It made it harder to stop to drop kids at school. It was unsightly.
Read the full story here: The Guardian