Bike News Roundup: The most suspenseful minute of video you will see all week

It’s time for the weekly Bike News Roundup!

Warning: Anybody with a heart condition should consult their doctor before watching this video:

Pacific Northwest News

Halftime show! What do you think of this video, just in from Caspar Babypants?

We’re So Green from Seattle OSE on Vimeo.

National & Global News

This is an open thread.

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10 Responses to Bike News Roundup: The most suspenseful minute of video you will see all week

  1. Joseph says:

    Re: The FedEx driver. Why should it be any surprise that a FedEx driver (or UPS or any other delivery driver) does this. They commonly “park” in turning lanes or commonly just stop in the middle of a street to make a delivery or drive in bicycle lanes. It seems as if delivery drivers are exempt from the rules that the rest of us have to follow and it appears that the police don’t care too much about it.

  2. Al Dimond says:

    I totally do not get the “one way streets are bad for walking” thing. To the contrary. Fewer possible turning movements at each intersection means fewer “turn phases” needed in traffic signals and more walk time at every intersection. You can still walk two ways on a one-way street!

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Its not really an “always” thing. But a two-lane street is easier and safer to cross if there one lane in each direction instead of two lanes in the same direction. Ped signal waits are not so big a deal when mid-block crosswalks can be created safely.

      The problem w/ Seattle’s downtown one-way streets is that they operate as pipes to get cars to and from the freeways and quickly as possible, all other users be damned. My guess is that the best option is to have a mix. Some streets could become two-way (like maybe Seneca or Madison?), while others should stay one-way. But having them ALL be car pipes is just a bad idea.

      • Al Dimond says:

        Whether a street is a car pipe or not has nothing to do with whether it’s one-way or two-way. Here’s an example near a much-discussed intersection. 34th west of Fremont Ave is one-way, and not a car pipe (it’s more like a parking lot aisle, and could be improved, but it’s certainly not a car pipe). Two-way Fremont Ave is a car pipe. And the most dangerous part of their intersection is uncontrolled left turns off of the two-way street.

        FWIW, the Mercer project will be an improvement when it’s finished, but mostly because they’re completely tearing out Broad Street, reducing overall traffic lanes, and intentionally improving pedestrian and cycling connections. It’s a unique case where Broad was such an obstacle that getting rid of it should be worth widening Mercer from “very wide” to “ludicrously wide”.

        If we don’t want streets to be car pipes, we should just make them narrower, not add a bunch of dangerous, inefficient left turns to them. If getting rid of one-ways means consolidating pedestrian barriers by converting car pipes into non-car-pipes that’s great. But a one-way non-car-pipe is as good as a two-way one, or maybe even better.

  3. Matthew says:

    An update (or lack thereof) on the hit-and-run involving the young girl bicycling on the sidewalk in Kent in November:

    According to Kent police, the case is now in the hands of the King County prosecutor’s office, and they have still not made a decision about whether to file charges against the driver. The driver claims to have thought she hit a muffler or hubcap, but of course she actually struck a bicycle and dragged it, along with its rider, into the street.

    I don’t have any contacts at the King County prosecutor’s office, but if anyone does, perhaps you could give them a call and try to figure out what the holdup is. I can’t imagine they are waiting on any new information at this point.

    • A says:

      No new information required. Public agencies like that are only concerned with protecting the status quo. Anything to do with motor vehicles is considered a necessary evil in America today and no politician alive is going to take us down the path of insisting car culture USA take any kind of responsibility for the damage it inflicts on our society.

  4. JJ says:

    I am wondering when bicyclists are going to stop placing drivers in danger of living the rest of their lives with the guilt that they killed someone because the cyclist ignored a traffic law, stop sign, red light, or did something else equally as stupid and selfish which placed them, and the driver of the automobile in danger. I commute in a car to work every day and am, and have always been very respectful of cyclists on the roadway, even though the majority are not equally as respectful and courteous (passing a line of cars stopped at a red light on the right hand side and then taking off seconds before the light turns green in order to get ahead of the line of cars that traveled for several blocks at 5 mph behind the bicyclist until they pass without endangering the cyclist – you know, thinks like that). The other night, while NB on 6th Avenue leaving downtown, I slowed to turn right at the King Theater. I moved to the right, came to a stop, and waited for someone to cross the street. I had my right turn signal on, and looked in my mirrors before I began my turn. I have a new car with very good visibility and bright turn signals. Just as I started to make my right turn, a cyclist who was obviously a regular commuter, came blasting past me, on the right, in the bicycle lane, totally without regard to the fact that I was about to make a right turn. I came within inches of hitting him. And this is not uncommon. When are cyclists going to learn that sharing the road with bicyclists does not mean that just because they are saving a little gas, they can do anything they want, and everyone else has to just get out of their way?

    • LWC says:

      If the cyclist was in the bicycle lane, he or she had the right-of-way, and was not breaking any laws (see SMC 11.53.190). If you didn’t see him or her approaching *while in the bicycle lane*, the fault is clearly with you.

      As for the general problem you mention — cyclists passing drivers at a light/stop sign, and then slowing them down once the light turns green — that also is completely legal (though I opt not to do it myself). It really boils down to an infrastructural problem, not a behavior problem.

      Given that both specific cases you mention involve cyclists following and respecting the law, I wonder if your general rant about cyclists being “stupid and selfish” is equally misguided.

  5. sue says:

    bike lane or not what cyclist in their right mind would think it okay to try and ride THROUGH a car in FRONT of them that is clearly going to turn across their path?

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