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Bike News Roundup: Biking through the hurricane

It’s time for the weekly bike news roundup! As always, this is an open thread. Have any bikey Halloween plans?

First up, New York’s Casey Neistat biked around the city during Hurricane Sandy and shot the following video. Our best wishes go to all dealing with the aftermath of the storm:

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Pacific Northwest News:

Halftime show! Here’s a video about Bike Works produced by Reel Grrls (two great organizations!):

National & Global News:

About the author:

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9 responses to “Bike News Roundup: Biking through the hurricane”

  1. biliruben

    I’ve seen it before, but I’m very curious what the reason is that multi-use paths are so dangerous. I would guess it would be the crossings, but I’d love to drill down into the data or, even better, replicate the study here in Seattle with detailed questions on type of crash for each type of infrastructure.

    1. Gary

      According to “Effective Cycling” its in part because other trail users check their brains at home when using a “cycle path.” Bicyclists run into pedestrians because they are so much faster and bike paths are rarely wide enough or delineated so that people stay to the right so you can pass etc.

      The other problem of course is that cyclists cross streets at speed and with their vision blocked can’t see cars approaching. Same for the cars. The fix of course is loops in the path to trigger lights for the crossings, such that bicyclists get priority and cross traffic cars have to stop!

    2. I think there are a lot of factors conflated with infrastructure type that aren’t inherent to the infrastructure type itself itself but tend to be. Factors like design standards, ROW history, and location.

      An example that comes to mind is sight lines. A lot of MUPs are built on former rail ROW and have poor sight lines at intersections because, you know, the train ain’t stopping for anyone. Cycletracks are typically newer, built along congested urban streets, and have better designed intersections with better sight lines.

      For that reason, I don’t think you can look at this study and claim that simply allowing pedestrians on a bike path suddenly makes it super dangerous, because it’s not at all clear that’s what’s being measured. The Burke and the Interurban Trail wouldn’t get that much safer if you just kicked off all the pedestrians, and the Linden Cycletrack wouldn’t get that much more dangerous if pedestrians were allowed on it.

  2. Matthew

    That parking ticket revenue article is mind-boggling. If the city needs more revenue from parking fines, I could take them on a tour of my neighborhood and we could easily raise $5000 by noon without even trying. And these would be fines for the kinds of infractions that decrease my safety: parking too close to intersections, blocking crosswalks and curb-cuts, blocking fire hydrants. If we wanted to cast a wider net, we could include all of the parked cars violating the 72-hour ordinance, the increasing and illegal use of “collector” license plates for old junkers, the widespread flaunting of the “no parking 2-5am” zones.

    There is no revenue problem. It’s either a lack of manpower or a lack of willpower.

    Why this city is so lax about parking enforcement is something I just don’t get. It was frankly shocking, moving here from the east coast, where illegal parking almost ALWAYS results in a ticket, if not a ticket-and-tow.

    1. biliruben

      It’s not a manpower issue. They’ve been hiring meter maids like crazy, because, at least in the more dense areas, they pay for themselves several times over.

      I’m guessing that might not the case in less dense areas, however. Fewer tickets per man-hour might make regular patrolling there uneconomical.

      You used to regularly “help” the meter-maids/masters out by pointing them to illegally parked cars at the north end of that short pike trail above I-5 on capital hill. I don’t they bothered to get over there much.

      I was also trying to help out the car owners, because some bikers get pretty peeved coming down a dark hill right into a parked car. I saw lots of scratched paint and mangled wipers.

      1. biliruben

        “I” used to. Don’t know about “you”. ;)

    2. Andres

      Echoing the east coast thing… When I lived in Boston (well, actually Cambridge), what caused me to get rid of my car was the parking tickets. I didn’t even own a bike at the time. Getting several parking tickets per month was stressing me out to the point of just wanting to be rid of the thing.

      1. Tom Fucoloro

        That’s not unique to the coasts. Parking tickets were a big impetus for me selling my car in Denver. I rarely used it, and it makes sense that it would cost me money to store this big thing on a public street. It was frustrating at the time, but I can see now that it was wise of the city to be vigilant.

      2. Gary

        Also as a suburban shopper when I drive into town I want to be able to find a parking spot close to where I want to shop. Pay for it and then leave. As for using transit, yeah if I’m alone it pays off, but when I go with a group the time/cost benefit is driving….

        That means cars have to be kept moving in/out of the available parking. Still I can see where having an App to give you a heads up and let you pay for an additional hour vs getting a ticket would be nicer for the driver in the spot but not the one looking for an open spot.

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