Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bike News Roundup #3

Human Streets

Instead of trying to do individual posts about the bicycle fantasy, I'm doing occasional "roundups" with all the items in one post:

"Human Streets," the name of Bryan Goebel's blog, says it all: bike advocates apparently think that people won't be fully human until they start riding bikes and give up using those wicked motor vehicles. Goebel was the editor of SFStreetsblog before Aaron "No Accident" Bialick took over. Since merely reporting for KQED apparently didn't satisfy Goebel's anti-car fervor, he was compelled to do that blog.

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Hoodline's recent traffic story, adorned with the ridiculous picture I wrote about the other day, reads like a warmed over MTA press release (Move Over, Wiggle: More Pedestrian- And Bike-Friendly 'Neighborways' In The Works). Only a MTA source is quoted and MTA information used. Not much difference between the Hoodline puff-piece and the one on the MTA's blog: same silly Wiggle picture, same propaganda about creating "calmer, more liveable streets."

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The San Jose Mercury News confirmed last week what I've been saying about riding a bike, though it emphasizes the danger motor vehicles pose to cyclists, when in fact most cycling accidents are "solo falls." Not surprising that the Merc tells us that commuting by bike in San Jose is not very popular: "Between 2011 and 2015, the percentage of people biking to work increased from 3.8 percent to 6 percent in Mountain View. In San Jose, it climbed from 0.9 to 1 percent, almost a rounding error."

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One of my favorite online photographers is a bike guy. He manages to make the subject almost interesting with When the Bike was King. See also Rip Van Walmart.

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Streetsblog USA gives us Busting the Myth of the “Scofflaw Cyclist.” Oddly, in spite of the hed, even the writer admits that it isn't a myth:

Among people who drive, nearly 100 percent said they exceed the speed limit, text behind the wheel, or break other laws; 98 percent of people who walk admitted to disregarding pedestrian signals; 96 percent of people who bike said they disregard stop signs and traffic lights.

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Short of tearing up the tracks, it's not clear that there are "solutions" to the danger rail tracks pose for cyclists. Surely even narcissistic city cyclists don't expect that to happen in San Francisco. 

This is a hazard well-known to cycling experts:

Ask around among any group of experienced cyclists, and you will find that more than a few have been felled by a railroad track. The most dangerous tracks are of two basic types: wet tracks and diagonal tracks. Railroad tracks that are both wet and diagonal to the cyclist's direction of travel are probably the most unforgiving of all possible forms of surface obstacles. Riders who wreck on such tracks report being slapped to the ground in a split second...Railroad tracks cause quite an ugly brand of fall. The rider doesn't have time to get the arms out or prepare in any way (Robert Hurst, The Art of Cycling, page 53).

An experienced cyclist died on Market Street in 2015 after slipping on streetcar tracks. 

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