Right on, ride on

Ceci n'est pas une vélo

Recently Fallen: Two Area Cyclists Struck Yesterday; Hit and Run Suspect Attempts Cash for Clunkers Trade-In

Posted by @teeheehee on 20th August 2009

I have some sad stories to share, but I think they are relevant with the current bike-car-pedestrian unfriendliness currently abuzz in the Boston area.

The first is a TreeHugger article which spreads the story of an alleged hit-and-run driver who killed a cyclist, then tried to trade his car in as part of the Cash for Clunkers program as an attempt to get rid of the evidence. An astute dealer didn’t buy Timothy Kissida’s tale that he had hit a javalina (a medium sized, pig-looking animal) and decided to follow up with a call to the police. The make, model, color, and area of damage to the car was all consistent with the hit-and-run the night before.

Next are a few articles about a Marshfield man who was struck and killed yesterday. Another boston.com article also mentions a cyclist hit in Lowell. I have not been able to find any information on the current state of the Lowell-area, I hope he does not succumb and he makes a complete recovery.

My condolences to the families of 52-year-old Charles Waldrop and 69-year-old Charles L. Campbell; my thoughts go out to the 41-year-old man struck in Lowell.

Update, August 21st:
More sad news folks, the cyclist from Lowell succumbed to his injuries. More info here.

Posted in news media, sad, wtf | 2 Comments »

Road Design: Boston.com op-ed, MassBike response

Posted by @teeheehee on 19th August 2009

You, my few readers, may recall the recent Boston.com article on Boston’s unruly riders, or the op-ed that left a particular vomit-taste in any cyclist’s mouth. Finally we may have something sane to consider and discuss: roads are designed to kill (which is another op-ed.) Excerpt:

I took a photograph of the scene where I had found the runner. When I showed this picture to friends from Sweden they asked, “This is where you live? This is your neighborhood? Your streets are designed to kill people.’’ They said that the thin painted white lines at the intersection could not be seen at dawn, nor was there a raised bump to or a narrowing of the road to demarcate the intersection and slow down traffic. They said the speed limit should be 30 kilometers per hour (about 18.6 miles per hour) or less if we wanted pedestrians to have much of a chance of surviving. They also said traffic lights increased the number of deaths because people often speed up when the light turns yellow.

 

When Sweden removed red lights from intersections and replaced them with traffic circles or rotaries, death rates at these intersections fell by 80 to 90 percent.

This is the closest article I’ve yet seen that seems in line with Liveable Streets: the engineering is directly related to the use of the system. The usual discussion page is also available.

In addition to this op-ed there is a letter in response to the Unruly riders article as written by MassBike. (Here is the discussion page.) Concluding excerpt:

By all means, let us build better roads, which lead people into safer behavior by design. But each of us can help make everyone safer now, today, by more often following the rules of the road whether driving, bicycling, or walking.

We need more of this!

Posted in news media, traffic | No Comments »

Boston Bike Sharing Vendor Selected

Posted by @teeheehee on 12th August 2009

Just got this link from a coworker: Vendor selected for Boston area bike-sharing program. For a peek at what we might expect, check out their website for the Montreal program.

With a vendor selected I wonder how long it will be before we start to see some bikes on the streets.

Posted in bike friendly, news media | No Comments »

Boston Bike Sharing

Posted by @teeheehee on 29th July 2009

There’s an article today on Boston.com introducing a bike sharing proposal. (There’s also a sweet video with Nicole Freedman performing a small track stand in rainy conditions while waiting in traffic.)

From the article:

Over the next few weeks, officials expect to name the company with which they would negotiate a contract on how to run the system. They hope the program will lead to tens of thousands of people saddling up in Boston daily.

Bike sharing is the next step. The city envisions making available between 1,000 and 3,000 bikes at stations 300 or 400 yards apart, located at subway and bus stops, main squares, tourist sites, and across city neighborhoods.

This makes me wonder, would I ride my bike around as much if there were publicly accessible ones available? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, either way I’ll be very happy that a program like this will be made available.

Posted in bike friendly, news media, personal view, traffic | No Comments »

Boston Globe items

Posted by @teeheehee on 24th July 2008

Here are three pieces found recently in the Boston Globe. Tip o’ the hat to Shane Jordan being mentioned and quoted in the second link.

Look Ma, no car!

Only one question remains for many area commuters: Is it possible to bike to work and get there alive? Boston has a horrible reputation on the national bicycling scene and for three good reasons: lousy roads, bad drivers, and car-centric civic attitudes.

Re-cycling effort

Getting on a bike for the first time since she was 16 years old, 42-year-old Priscilla Power rode 5 miles to her Wakefield office as part of her company’s “Bike to Work Day” last month. Though she remembered how to pedal, the inexperienced biker detoured through a Dunkin’ Donuts’ parking lot to avoid a busy intersection.

10 tips for cycling commuters

In Cambridge alone, the number of people bicycling has risen 70 percent, according to this recent story.

Posted in bike friendly, news media | No Comments »

Bicyclist stops car that hit a pedestrian – who was driving?

Posted by @teeheehee on 23rd July 2008

Looks like somebody in D.C. hit a pedestrian while driving and took off. A nearby bicycle commuter witnessed and obliged himself to catch up and halt the offending car and stopped them. As it turns out, the driver was Bob Novak.

A quote Mr. Novak made previous to this incident:

Novak explained to the paper: “He was crossing on the red light. I really hate jaywalkers. I despise them. Since I don’t run the country, all I can do is yell at ’em. The other option is to run ’em over, but as a compassionate conservative, I would never do that.”

Thank you David Bono for being an upstanding citizen and model cyclist in our country’s most political city.

Update 20080729

Bob Novak is in a Boston hospital after recently falling ill on Cape Cod and being diagnosed with having a brain tumor.

Posted in bike friendly, news media, safety, traffic | 1 Comment »

Shifting Gears

Posted by @teeheehee on 23rd March 2008

Oh, hey! Bikes Not Bombs and Bostonbiker.org got a mention today in an article from Boston.com. Check it out. After reading this I find myself wanting to read more things by Ethan Gilsdorf already.

The article goes on to introduce Shifting Gears, a regular column Ethan will write that will focus on Boston’s stated goals of becoming a world-class bicycle-friendly city. This kind of attention is precisely what we need to help keep the motivation from collapsing into apathy as can happen with governments not kept in check.

Best of luck, Ethan! Your work is supported!

Posted in bike friendly, news media | 2 Comments »