Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When Cold Things Happen to Good Warm Cyclists.

In London, more cyclists are being ticketed than motorists.  To remedy this, I suggest we crowd-fund a remedial physics class for the Metropolitan Police Department.  Then they will understand the scientific reasons why a person on a bike is no menace when compared to an articulated lorry careering down Baker Street.  Interested funders are welcome to comment.
Stop Killing Cyclists. Rory Jackson

While the Met PD was ascribing written blame to the victims, the new cyclist-created website launched a campaign to increase awareness of the dangers presented to cyclists by motorized vehicles.  The group uses posters that depict open-eyed, dead faces of "cyclists" who have been killed by vehicles.  The images are haunting and you can download the posters to support your own bicycling campaign.  Rule Britannia once again on this one.  The posters will give you nightmares, so pass them on to friends with big cars and don't look at them too long yourself.  
The group makes 15 reasonable demands, including:
  • £600 million spent per annum on cycle safety by TfL;
  • 10% of the Boroughs transport budgets to be spent on cycling infrastructure;
  • 2 TfL Board members representing cycling; and,
  • A fully integrated segregated cycle network within 5 years.                                                    

There has been much Internet sharing of images of the cycling super highway in London that will cost 225 pound sterling.  It is not pictured above, in case you were confused, Dorothy.  It's hard to imagine that the highway alone would solve the problem, but it would certainly raise the cool factor for cycling there.  And the discovery that the wizard is no more than that little man behind the curtain can probably guide those seeking solutions to life's cycling problems from old men living alone in castles with colored horses and hot air baloons.

Perhaps can download the design manual for bike infrastructure and pass it on to the relevant people who would help them achieve their goal of a cycling network in five years.

We take a slightly different, less oozing corpse-filled approach to messaging here in the former colonies.  Dear Motorist on Youtube nicely implores drivers to pay attention to cyclists.  Dear motorist contains personal testimony of loved ones of those cyclists who were killed by motorists, with good lighting and no dead eyes.  Whether it is as effective at stopkillingcyclists I am not so sure.

These U.K. issues beg a question.  Was last year's high rate of cycling deaths in London a statistical anomaly or something else?  Like the predictable result of angry drivers, inadequate road conditions and a city that is in the last throes of its misplaced passion for cars?  

Perhaps the Brits can take a tip from a bike haven in Netherlands where the government studies bike accidents and tries to improve conditions for safety.   

Or perhaps, Pippa Middleton's interest in biking will raise the numbers of young women who take to the road atop two wheels.  This sort of thing often forces predatory politicians to seek ways to protect and interact with young cycling gals. #perceivedspoilsofsuccess

Or perhaps the key to fixing the problem of cycling deaths lies in a close look at Portland, Oregon, which reported zero cycling deaths last year.  Yup zero.

In New York, despite freezing and snowy conditions, over 3,000 bike rides were reported on Citibike as snow falling.  Those hearty New Yorkers, getting on with life through blackouts, snow, bridge scandals the fault of suburbanites, and doddering, wealthy, matrons who would seek to destroy bike sharing in their neighborhoods.

Also in New York, emails now show that now-former-mayor Bloomberg's friends tried to get him to put Citi bike docks away from their coops.  The more amusing part of the story is how Bloomberg fobbed these quibblers off on his transportation director, Jeanette Sadik-Kahn, who has been described by many as a bike visionary.  Hahahahahhaha.  Gasp.  Snort.  Recover.  Fan face.  There does not appear to be any clear evidence that any docking station was moved for the sake of Thurston or Lovey Howell.
Business Insider

Perhaps these largely passive investors would like to consider the impact of cycling on our spending.
Elsewhere in the United States, a new study has shown that houses within 150 feet of a bike path sell for $8,800 more than homes further away.  How bike docking stations may enhance the value of a coop along The Park is not part of the study unless I missed something.

You certainly have a lot of things to deal with in New York, but at least you do not have to despair if you break down on your bike there.  A new vending machine for bike parts might just rescue you.

Rather than viewing bike sharing stations as the biggest threat since fluoridated water, consider the benefits.  Research reveals cyclists spend more money at local businesses than motorists.  Bike share docks seem to help that spending.

In Europe, car sales are down, bike sales are up.  Electric bikes are way up.  

Kind of the reverse here in the U.S., sadly.  But the tax break for electric bikes has expired in the United States.  I resent this since I never knew it existed in the first place.  

In a random note of outrageousness, police in India now admit that last year's Calcutta cycle ban was not based on any data suggesting it would help traffic.  Who needed to hear the confession to know that?

I must have looked at this too quickly, but I thought this post said something about stiletto heels for cycling.  I was crushed to see it referred to Spada stiletto wheels.

As a high-heeled rider I was dazzled to see that American Katie Compton won Cyclo-cross World Cup.  She would clearly have detected the Spada stiletto wheels note for what it was, not what I wanted it to be.

So, if I see you cycling along in the cold in the bike lane, let's be extremely, insufferably smug . . . but only when it warms up and we can have a conversation without fear that our noses are running.
Elisa P.

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