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:
- Ride of the week: Light up the Night! « Cascade Bicycle Club Blog
- DIY bikey Valentine | Hub and Bespoke Blog
- Hub and “Be mine” spoke cards | Hub and Bespoke Blog
- Legalize Couchsurfing | Sightline Daily
- West Seattle Blog » Update: Bicycle rider collides with car door, taken to hospital
- “What kid doesn’t like a good adventure?” « Cascade Bicycle Club Blog
- BikePortland.org » BikeCraft: Coming soon to an online storefront
- Bike-Sexuality — a call for submissions | Taking the Lane
- Filmed by Bike » Programs – Several Seattle submissions!
- Plan for oil-barrel ‘tax’ dies; Olympia mulls other road fees | Seattle Times Newspaper
- Should it take decades to build a subway? – Salon.com – No! Only like one decade…
- Two internships at Cascade « Cascade Bicycle Club Blog – Unpaid
- Road rage incident ends in sledgehammer attack | Seattle Times Newspaper
- Proposal to link Market, aquarium may be too ambitious for Seattle | Seattle Times Newspaper – A walking and biking bridge is too ambitious? But a giant $2 billion car tunnel isn’t…
- Mayor McGinn: Is Seattle starting to see him differently? | Crosscut.com
- License suspensions for minor traffic tickets could be slowed | Crosscut.com – I like that this bill separates license suspensions from serious traffic violations from suspensions for things like poor people not paying parking tickets. Obviously, those are two very different offenses and should be treated differently.
- Ballard Bridge painting update » My Ballard
- Go Means Go! » DIY Wednesday. Nice rack.
- HistoryLink.org- Seattle’s anti-highway movement was awesome
National and Global News:
- Lunchtime Quickie: Internet Trolls, This Is What They Look Like! | Slog
- Lebron James says no big deal commuting by bicycle | kgw.com Portland – He’s amused that people were so shocked to see him biking to work. He does it all the time!
- Bike 2015 Plan Tracker – Chicago website tracks progress on their bike plan (I like!)
- Bikeyface » So Ladies… – On bikes, fashion and the cycle chic “stereotype”
- Developers Eye Garages and Parking Lots – NYTimes.com – You know who’s got it bad? People buying luxury condos in Manhattan. There’s just nowhere to park! ;-(
- Miss Manners on sidewalk bike bell etiquette
- Landmark diesel exhaust study stalled amid industry and congressional objections – Study linking diesel exhaust to cancer could have serious public health ramifications, so Congress did the responsible thing for their constituents… they blocked its release!
- Jobs and the Transportation Bill | Taking the Lane – Bikes and bike infrastructure are serious job creators.
- Biking Bis – Alberto Contador banned in doping case; loses 2010 TdF and Giro titles – In case you missed it. Big news in the road racing world.
- Bikeleague.org Blog » Road Diets now proven safety measure; Q&A with FHWA Associate Administrator Furst – Now, City Council, let’s give SDOT the authority to install them without costly red tape!
- A Bay Area Experiment in Electric Bike Sharing – NYTimes.com – Linked with car sharing. How about it, Zipcar?
- Activists Fight Green Projects, Seeing U.N. Plot – NYTimes.com – Depressing that people this crazy actually slow and even stop legitimate projects. Though it would be cool if the UN sent me a paycheck for writing this blog… hmm…
- Super Bowl Smackdown: Host Indianapolis Makes Dallas-Fort Worth Look Like a Bunch of Chumps – Walkability!
- Road Wars: The Bike vs. Car Question Continues | Does 3 Feet to Pass pass muster? | Boise Weekly – The law is in place, but almost tickets have been given (one reason why a three-foot law is not very high on my list of needed legislation)
- Paris cyclists given right to break traffic laws – Telegraph – Kind of a half-Idaho stop law.
- Bike theft on the rise at BART stations | UTSanDiego.com
- City may raze site tied to Wrights – Wright Bros (the actual ones, not the Fremont shop) original bike shop could be demolished. That’s right, aviation owes a lot to the bicycle.
- Sisterhood of the traveling bikes | Zev Yaroslavsky – San Diego group sets goal of doubling the number of women biking in five years (I think we should aim for 3 years!)
- BikePortland.org » ‘This is not a drill’: National advocates mount effort to kill HR7 – Seriously.
And, finally, here’s a promo for a new Vancouver show: To Catch a Bike Thief
This is an open thread.
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?
Such a sad story. I posted about it on Twitter and meant to post about it in this roundup. Thanks for remembering.
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.
Great, now no one in the Cleveland area will ever bike to work in a million years. ;)
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.)
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?
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.
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.