Bike News Roundup: The Man Who Lived on His Bike

Um, your boss just called me and said you should stop whatever you’re working on to read all the great stuff in this week’s Bike News Roundup. Then you should leave early and take a spin on the newly-reconstructed Burke-Gilman Trail, which opened at noon. Your boss is the greatest!

First up, no matter how much you like bikes, you probably don’t like them quite as much as this guy:

THE MAN WHO LIVED ON HIS BIKE from Guillaume Blanchet on Vimeo.

Pacific Northwest News:

National and Global News:

And, finally, here’s a promo for a new Vancouver show: To Catch a Bike Thief

This is an open thread.

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8 Responses to Bike News Roundup: The Man Who Lived on His Bike

  1. DrGeoduck says:

    52-year-old Olympia bicyclist dies from injuries in crash; no charges filed

    Rather surprised not to see any Seattle media, including this blog, mentioning this story.

    Is Olympia *that* far away from you?

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Such a sad story. I posted about it on Twitter and meant to post about it in this roundup. Thanks for remembering.

    • Al Dimond says:

      It always bothers me that in stories like this the journalist always reports whether the cyclist was wearing a helmet, or riding “as far right as possible” (as another recent story did). As if a driver plowing the cyclist from behind is something the cyclist should have prevented, as if a helmet actually matters in this sort of collision, as if riding as far right as possible is a good thing, and as if you can know much about a dead cyclist’s lane position based on statements from the driver (or maybe a half-assed accident reconstruction performed by a police department that’s already decided not to file charges). Journalism on bike-car collisions is a joke and unworthy of the word.

      Where’s the report/speculation on what the driver was doing during the crash? The driver has an absolute legal obligation to keep a proper lookout, and to exercise due care. The journalist could report that the driver “passed” the cyclist in a flagrantly illegal manner, making clear the contrast between his criminal actions and the lack of consequences, but I’ve never seen a mainstream journalist do this.

  2. Morgan Wick says:

    Great, now no one in the Cleveland area will ever bike to work in a million years. ;)

  3. Al Dimond says:

    Open thread? Time for a note on my favorite subject: signage!

    I went for a nice ride today that took me through part of Renton. Logan Ave. has a bike lane, and then a two-way side path, for most of its length. At lots of intersections there’s a sign saying “Bike Lane Ends”. That’s sort of true… the bike lane basically runs straight into a pedestrian island and then restarts again on the other side of the intersection; the “Bike Lane Ends” sign gets me to do the right thing: merge back into traffic to get through the intersection, then get back right when the bike lane begins again (some people might prefer to take the crosswalk, and that’s fine too, as long as they’re polite to pedestrians and go slow enough to be safe there). It’s definitely not the right signage heading into the side path — it indicates that I should merge back into traffic, instead of staying right for the side path, whose imminent beginning was totally unmarked.

    It shouldn’t be so hard to ride a bike straight down a major road. And all a designer has to do to get the signage right is to ride through it once on a bike and take note of the experience. Or find someone unfamiliar with the area to do it. On that note, if anyone that reads this blog designs bike facilities and has the latitude to make good decisions about signage, I am willing to ride any road in Puget Sound-polis and tell you what’s wrong with your signage. I’ll do it for free, all I ask is that there’s a real chance something can get done about it. Just respond to this comment.

    (Overall I wonder if a bike lane like this, which is seriously compromised and feels like an afterthought, is even worth having. Today, with so little traffic I could have just taken the next lane right and avoided lots of merges. In heavier traffic taking the lane would have been less comfortable but all the merges might have been even worse. The crosswalk option is, of course, extremely lousy in all traffic conditions, requiring a substantial slowdown/speedup, several tight turning maneuvers, going on and off two raised curbs, crossing right-turning traffic in the intersection, and crossing two different groups of right turning traffic. Elsewhere in Renton, with no bike facilities, I had no issues with confusion. On the other hand… it’s possible that the intent shown by adding bike facilities, even lousy ones, helps people decide to get out there and ride, join the community, learn what works and what doesn’t, and ultimately build political will to make better bike stuff.)

  4. Al Dimond says:

    Oh, here’s another thing I was thinking about on my long ride. Boulevards with green space in the middle. They tend to have really wide and often confusing intersections, sometimes have funky, irregular bike facilities (see Ravenna Blvd, the stretch of Beacon with a median pathway), and commonly have people trying to walk down the median.

    So what if we re-made these boulevards? Take Ravenna, which is pretty darn wide. What if one side was a two-way street for general-purpose traffic, and the other side a two-way bikeway? You’d need to have some kind of local access for people with driveways on the bike side… so maybe it’s more like a bike boulevard. Or maybe you provide a one-way, local-access-only lane for cars on that side. You’d lose a lot of street parking, so it’s probably impossible politically (to me, losing free street parking is a feature, not a bug). But I’m interested mostly in safe design for cyclists. It seems to me you could design something like this that would have fewer bad conflicts for cyclists than other designs (you already have to stop and yield to turn across the opposite side of a boulevard, which helps with the conflict problems some other two-way sidepaths have). How about it?

    • Doug says:

      What about a bike path down the middle? I learned on the Seattle Archives Flickr that Ravenna once had two car lanes down the middle in addition to the two on either side. In reality I’d rather they did something to fix the godawful intersection on the north end by the lake. It’s miserable for everyone, not just bikes.

      • Al Dimond says:

        If you want to try a path in a median, there’s one in the median of Beacon Ave from Barton through Myrtle. My guess is you won’t like it much. I haven’t biked that path, but I’ve used boulevard medians as a runner and found it a bad experience. I just biked Beacon yesterday, and it didn’t look like they’d really solved the intersection problems.

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