Right on, ride on

Ceci n'est pas une vélo

Chicago Bicycle Program Presents: Share the Road – Buses and Bicycles

Posted by @teeheehee on 18th March 2010

Take the twelve minutes and watch this video put out by the Chicago Bicycle Program geared towards their city’s bus drivers and cyclists.

Share the Road – Buses and Bicycles from Chicago Bicycle Program on Vimeo.

Via: Treehugger.

A couple of questions:

  • I don’t know any riders from the area, are the public transportation buses as accommodating as they appear to be in the video – can anyone share their experience?
  • Is the video effective – have you spotted something you didn’t know before that now makes you feel more understanding towards your fellow bus driver or cyclist counterpart?
  • Does the city of Boston and/or MBTA have any equivalent bicycle educational videos for their staff? If not, should they?

Posted in bike friendly, film, safety, traffic | 2 Comments »

Bike Lane Removal in NYC – huh?!

Posted by @teeheehee on 9th December 2009

As an act of civil disobedience, some cyclists in NYC have remarked a bike lane on Bedford Ave that was recently sandblasted away.

One of the controversies about this is that the lanes were possibly removed at the request of the Hasidic community living in the area and who may have taken issue with the (type or lack of) garments being worn by (female) cyclists. It doesn’t help that the same NYPost article says “[a] source close to Mayor Bloomberg said removing the lanes was an effort to appease the Hasidic community just before last month’s election.”

Really? This is what our safety is weighed against?

Show ’em how it’s done, people:



Posted in news media, safety, wtf | No 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 »

Weekend Roundup 20080209

Posted by @teeheehee on 9th February 2008

I am sporadic with my posts, and every interesting thing I see won’t warrant its own article from me, so I’m thinking I’ll try and lump things together in smorgasbord fashion.

Here’s what I saw this week that looked interesting.

A picture depicting how we, humans, get ourselves from one place to another all over the world. The most popular vehicle? The bicycle, natch.

An article on the sustainability of cycling and using alternative transportation (buses, trains, carpools.) The article is an excerpt from the book Seven Wonders. I might pick this up some time, once my book queue becomes more manageable. (Which reminds me, I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, and I’ve read it on at least one adjacent blog; read The Art of Urban Cycling.)

Art of Urban Cycling

Two links from BoingBoing – someone over there likes the bike! An old safety video for kids where everyone who loses is a monkey and dies (blog link.)

Then there’s one on building bike frames from bamboo in Africa. (Direct link.) This was also shared on the Make ‘zine blog over here.

Bamboo Bicycle

Posted in bike friendly, safety | No Comments »

On wearing a helmet

Posted by @teeheehee on 25th January 2008

Wounded Pride

It took my sister’s scorn to get me into the habit, but once I started wearing a helmet I feel naked riding without it. Some might say riding naked is liberating (I’m sure it is,) but the helmet is one of the most important safety devices a rider has. After all, everything about riding starts by firings in the brain, all senses get processed there, all decisions get made there. Common sense trumps style.

My sister’s device for persuading me was familiar to anyone with a sibling. She made me feel bad, wounded my pride, even managed to use my own words against me. She was earnest in trying to make me do something that I already knew was a good idea. I was trying to be rebellious, to be free of the imposition that I am mortal. I was, of course, being stupid. And I knew it.

I really hate to be ‘that guy’ that knows to do things a certain way and does them contrary to that for no decent reason. So I changed my ways. So long as I live I hope I continue to do the same. It can hurt to have your pride wounded, but pain is inevitable. Suffering is an option. Suck it up, learn, adapt, and move on.

Knocking Sense into People

Last night a few friends of mine got together at my apartment for poker. I learned today that one of them got clipped by a car while riding back to his place.

Holyfuckingshit!

My friend was going straight and riding to the left of a car that ended up taking a left hand turn in the intersection. He didn’t see any indication that the car was intending to do this, and he was riding aggressively. His rear wheel got clipped while both he and the car that hit him were going at normal traffic speeds. In the end he was extremely lucky, no major body damage (or none discovered so far.) Pretty much he walked away with a wrecked bike and a badly shaken ego.

I have not been in that situation. I have been in other kinds of accidents, but every one can be unique to the situation. Walking away from an accident, any accident, is a blessing. Then comes the troubling period of dealing with what happened so that future occurances can be avoided.

My friend was riding with a warm hat on to stave off the chill. This event has scared him into making two safety purchases: a helmet and a very bright front light. It’s a start. I’ll be loaning him my copy of The Art of Urban Cycling once I get it back from another friend. I don’t know if he was in the wrong being where he was, but being to the left of a car isn’t usually a good position to be in.

I am the Nag

I don’t like being the Nag, which my roommate no doubt recognizes I am at times, but I’d rather not lose friends to disaster. It’s not my character to sound scornful, so I’ve never become adept at reflecting someone else’s risk-taking at them in a way that shows the bravado for the silliness it usually is. And who am I to preach when I have faults of my own?

But that doesn’t stop my gob from flapping. Wear a helmet. It’s a good idea. Get some lights going on you at night, put on something reflective, and ride safely. You a tough guy? You a crazy girl? Fine. Okay for you. Kindly remember: if something bad happens and it could have been avoided, well, that looks pretty bad, too.

To each their own in the end. Ride however you like, take whatever precautions you feel you must. I do my own thing and I find it works for me, and hope it continues to. To my friends I caution: do not die on me, especially for something stupid, or I will use you as an example when I share your tale of woe and despair. But I’d rather not have to share that story.

Posted in personal view, rant, safety | No Comments »