Tag Archives: safe bicycling

What’s Behind the Rise in Cyclist and Pedestrian Deaths? | Streetsblog.net

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

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Cyclists are annoying: Why you think they’re a menace on two wheels. – Slate Magazine

Cyclists are annoying: Why you think they’re a menace on two wheels. – Slate Magazine.

[…]

The fact is, unlike me, most bicyclists are courteous, safe, law-abiding citizens who are quite willing and able to share the road.

[…]

Read the full article here: Slate Magazine

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Bicyclists Using Cameras to Capture Accidents – NYTimes.com

Bicyclists Using Cameras to Capture Accidents – NYTimes.com.

WASHINGTON — When Evan Wilder went flying onto the pavement during his bicycle commute one morning here, he didn’t have time to notice the license plate of the pickup truck that had sideswiped him after its driver hurled a curse at him. Nor did a witness driving another car.

But the video camera Mr. Wilder had strapped to his head caught the whole episode.

Read the full story here: The New York Times

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Pedal Push – TIME

Pedal Push – TIME.

Jeff Frings has a talent for attracting insults. Soda bottles have been hurled at his head without warning. He’s been called unprintable names by people who don’t know his actual name. He’s been sideswiped and rear-ended and run off the road more times than he can count. Red Sox fans wandering through Yankee Stadium have been subject to less abuse from complete strangers than Frings has on the streets of his hometown, Milwaukee.

So what’s his problem? It’s simple: he’s an avid bicyclist.

Read the full story here: Time Magazine

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FROM THE TOP | Road Bike Rider

FROM THE TOP | Road Bike Rider.

The Case for Helmet Cams, Driver Education

Not long ago, on an otherwise unremarkable day, I received an email from an RBR reader about a New York Times article noting the use of helmet cameras as a possible deterrent to motorist harassment, and worse, against cyclists.

The reader wrote of the article: “Interesting development. Wearing a camera was suggested to me last week after I was sideswiped by a driver (almost certainly intentionally). Bruised and bloody but nothing broken. I was lucky under the circumstances.”

The day became remarkable when I received two additional emails on the very same topic, one noting the New York Times story, and another referencing a Time magazine article.

Read the full story here: Road Bike Rider

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Reducing Traffic Fatalities for Cyclists and Pedestrians – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com

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

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Filed under bicycling, bicycling & politics, Cities, in the news, laws & ordinances, legislation, New York, New York Times, police, safety

For Good of San Antonio, Free City’s Pedicabs – San Antonio Express-News

For good of San Antonio, free city’s pedicabs – San Antonio Express-News.

For good of San Antonio, free city’s pedicabs

Updated 11:42 p.m., Wednesday, April 11, 2012

[…]

For years, the city has imposed silly, overly strict regulations on pedicab drivers, who peddle people in carriages to and from downtown locations on bicycles.

The three laws that bug them the most: They can’t work after midnight; they can’t stop peddling unless they’re dropping people off or picking people up; and they can’t peddle at all on Commerce, Market, St. Mary’s or Navarro streets, or on César Chávez Boulevard.

[…]

In November, Julian and others in the pedicab industry began working with the city’s Transportation Advisory Board to craft a more rational ordinance for consideration by City Council.

The concessions they won were significant: The curfew was extended to 3 a.m.; they were allowed to stop in commercial loading zones; and they were allowed to work on all downtown streets.

Then the bike cops caught wind of it, complained and kicked the ordinance back to the TAB.

[…]

Here are a few other candid gems:

“Once traffic gets messed up, and you have situations, then you throw in additional horse carriages or pedicabs, it makes our job a lot harder.”

[…]

Again, the recalcitrant lieutenant: “One reason I know is, after 12, that’s when things start picking up for bike patrol, especially on weekend nights. Things start happening, and we don’t need additional work.”

[…]

Read the full story here: San Antonio Express-News

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Filed under bicycling & politics, Cities, in the news, laws & ordinances, legislation, police, safety, San Antonio, San Antonio, San Antonio Express-News

Killed While Cycling: Why So Few Fatal Bike Crashes Lead to Arrest in NYC | Transportation Nation

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”

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Bicyclists vs. drivers

Bicyclists vs. drivers.

Why can’t we just get along?
Monday, June 20, 2011

At 7:20 a.m. on Memorial Day, we were cycling along Butler Street just past the Highland Park Bridge. A driver seen weaving through traffic at a high rate of speed hit one of us, Robert Noll, the lead cyclist, and seriously injured him. He remains hospitalized, recovering from two full days of surgery to repair his many broken bones.

[…]

We realize that cycling is a dangerous sport. We call on every cyclist and motorist to make every effort to obey the laws of the state and to use common sense. Many cyclists wear helmets, ride in single file and obey traffic laws, as we do.

To those who complain about cyclists disobeying traffic laws, we ask if they ever exceeded a speed limit, or drove through a red light or rolled through a stop sign.

It’s distressing to see cyclists without helmets (that’s as foolish as drivers not wearing seat belts). We call upon our fellow cyclists to lead by example and demonstrate responsibility by obeying traffic laws. We call upon all motorists to pass us with care, giving at least 4 feet of room when doing so.

Let’s stop the vitriol about how cyclists deserve to be injured because some of them disobey traffic rules. We must be reasonable and treat everyone on the roads — cyclists, pedestrians and drivers — with respect and care.

Read the full story here: Pittsburg Post-Gazette

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11 L.A. Bicyclists Injured

11 bicyclists were injured, one of them critically, when a car slammed into a group of ca. 100 bicyclists stopped on the road at 2 a.m.

For the full article, click here: L.A. Times, online edition, June 16, 2011

Read more details here: Huffpost Los Angeles

What I gather from the above articles and the San Antonio Express-News is that a group of about 100 bicyclists had gathered for a middle-of-the-night ride, something that has become increasingly popular as at that time there’s  not that much traffic. The riders seem to have stopped in a traffic lane – maybe under a streetlight that was out – to wait for others to catch up. Some of the riders are reported to have dismounted to chat. The car turned from a blind corner and ploughed into the group, injuring 11 of them. It is not quite clear yet if the driver was texting and/or intoxicated at the time of the accident.

Even if – or rather because – I am an avid bicylist, I cannot but find fault with that group of bicyclists for recklessly endangering themselves. That is definitely not meant to say that I want to exonerate the driver, especially if she was either texting or intoxicated or maybe both. But I must maintain that any (responsible) bicyclist should know better than stopping in a traffic lane, especially at night – and, as it seems to be the case – in the dark and just beyond a blind turn. That means courting disaster. Even for a conscientious driver it might have been difficult to avoid a collision in these circumstance. If we bicylists want to be respected by drivers, we need to behave responsibly, too.

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Filed under behaviour, bicycling, distracted driving, in the news, laws & ordinances, Los Angeles Times, police, safety, San Antonio Express-News