Saturday, February 04, 2017

Bike News Roundup #1

Since I'm the only consistent critic of the great bike revolution here in Progressive Land, it's my duty to keep my readers up to date on that issue.

Last week a group of mountain bikers threatened the Marin County Board of Supervisors:

“The RTMP[Road and Trail Management Plan] is a failure, and its implementation must be modified or destroyed. We stand alongside Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Access4Bikes in demanding more trail access, but do not think the current tactics have gotten us the access that we need. We will be as disruptive as possible, acting within the guidelines of the law.” (Marin bicycle activists demand better trail access, threaten disruptions)

The many comments to this Independent Journal story are a must-read.

What they want: access to single-file hiking trails so they can practice their juvenile speed/thrill hobby that threatens hikers and equestrians. They already have complete access to the extensive fire road network in the county. These jerks have been busted in the past for carving out their own trails in Marin's open space. They have the same attitude as the Critical Mass movement that's been bullying San Francisco for more than 20 years.

From Matier & Ross last week:

David Aro of Millbrae had to double-check his math after reading our item Monday about the $25 million that officials are spending on a four-year test of a bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Assuming the bridge averages 100 riders a day over the four years, Aro said, that works out to $171 per ride. “No wonder this country is going broke!” Aro said.

$25 million is peanuts compared to putting a bike lane on the Bay Bridge, which could cost as much as $1 billion. Back in 2011 the Bicycle Coalition's Leah Shahum thought $550 million was a reasonable price for that project. Fortunately, it's not going to happen any time soon.

Last month Streetsblog's Roger Ruddick pondered the idea of getting a camera attached to his bike. Then if a driver hits him he'll have a record to use in court: was the recent incident I had with an Uber driver in San Diego that finally got me to give up my personal objections to mounting a video camera on my steed. It wasn’t that the run-in with the Uber driver was worse than the other incidents. I was on the way to visit my mother for the holidays. When I got to her house and told her what happened, she said: “Did I raise an idiot! All the reporting you do…are you going to get a camera after somebody hits you!” Moms have a way of cutting to it (Legal Update and Getting a Bike Camera for Peace of Mind).

Actually, Mom didn't cut all the way to it. If riding a bike is so dangerous, why do it in the first place? Having a video as vindication after you are hit---assuming you survive the experience---will probably be small consolation.

On a more positive note, bike medics are making good use of bikes:

Across the country, bike medics patrol airports, sports arenas, downtown entertainment areas and special events such as festivals, concerts and marathons. They are especially useful when roads are closed or congested, said Mike Touchstone, past president of the National EMS Management Association, a professional association of EMS managers. Medics on bikes can navigate crowded streets and sidewalks swiftly and go up and down stairs, escalators and elevators. “You have easier access to patients and can get there more quickly than you can in an ambulance when there is a crowded event,” said Touchstone, a paramedic who is also regional director of the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Medical Services. “That makes a big difference if someone is having a heart attack or a stroke.” (Bike Medics Bring Speedy Emergency Care To Patients)

After the Bicycle Coalition and City Hall create traffic gridlock in San Francisco with their anti-car policies, bike medics will be essential here.

People in the bike movement are trying to change the language so that it reflects their anti-car agenda (8 Transportation Engineering Euphemisms That Should Be Tossed Out). Odd that this Streetsblog story doesn't mention a favorite of local cyclists, "car storage" instead of "parking." But "collision" or "crash" instead of "accident," is included, a change in terminology that's the rationale for Vision Zero, which is based on the fantasy that all traffic accidents are preventable

I was disappointed that "death monster," a term coined by Steve Jones when he wrote for the Bay Guardian, wasn't recommended instead of "motor vehicle" or "car." Funny, when I tried to link the Guardian article wherein Jones first used the term, I couldn't even find Jones's name on the list of "all writers" in the updated Guardian/48 Hills archives. Jones and all his writing for the Bay Guardian have apparently been flushed down Orwell's Memory Hole. [Feb. 7: Jones's name has now been added to the Guardian archives. His first use of the Death Monsters term is in this 2007 article.]

The folks at Streetsblog were bummed when they learned that people in China were giving up their bikes and getting cars. But bikes are making a comeback in a polluted and gridlocked China.

And Jim Herd wonders if the city's opposition to Bluegogo is all about preventing competition to Bay Area Bikeshare: 

"So how many millions have we spent on this program, the one what’s Yelp-rated at less than 2 stars even though it’s heavily subsidized by John/Jane Q. Public?"

Good question, one that I asked last year and of course got no answer.

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