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Just a reminder: 99% of bicycle fatalities involve a collision with a motor vehicle — and bike helmets do not protect against that type of impact. If you don’t want to take my word for it, then here is Eric Richer, Giro’s Brand Development Manager, explaining it:

“There are many misconceptions about helmets, unfortunately,” says Giro’s Richter. “We do not design helmets specifically to reduce chances or severity of injury when impacts involve a car. As mentioned earlier, the number of variables is too great to calculate – the speed of the car, the mass, the angle of impact, the rider, the surface, the speed of the rider, did the driver or rider swerve a little or hit the brakes before impact. All of these variables and more are unique in every instance, and there is no way to accurately predict what is going to happen or the forces involved.

“What we do is work to make riders more visible, create helmets that provide relevant coverage so that riders wear them whenever they ride, and advocate for better infrastructure to help reduce the chances that you’d encounter an impact with a car.”

 

Common sense prevails in Tacoma:

Tacoma will no longer require people to wear helmets when bicycling, skateboarding, roller-skating or riding a scooter in the city limits. Tacoma City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance on Tuesday that in part repeals a section of city code requiring helmets for certain modes of transportation.

The changes come after the city completed its micro-mobility pilot program, which began in 2018 when the city entered into an agreement to allow companies Bird and Lime to deploy scooters and bikes on Tacoma streets with the intent of evaluating new and environmentally friendly transportation options.

“This code review was spurred by our team’s work on micro-mobility; however, as we dug into the Tacoma Municipal Code as it relates to active transportation, it quickly became apparent that there’s some outdated, inconsistent code language that doesn’t align with best practices or city and state policy.

 

Work crews are putting the finishing touches on a short cycletrack along Adeline, just north of the Ashby BART station. It runs for a few blocks before dumping bikes out into this mess of an intersection:

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Berkeley has now built three cycletracks, all of which have this problem. They run for a few blocks, then abruptly stop — right at the most dangerous location. If you notice, there is a cyclist riding out in the parking lane, because who in their right mind would use the roadway.  The entrance to the BART station is just beyond the traffic light, so this is a critical gap in the bike network.

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Fulton cycletrack is another half-assed job. It inexplicably comes to an abrupt halt 2 blocks from the traffic diverter at Dwight Way

 

 

 

Here is an RFI update from MBTA, for a proposed EMU upgrade of their commuter rail:

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There is “no consensus” on whether to use lightweight trains vs. FRA-compliant tank-trains.

 

Never let a good crisis go to waste. Hawaii is going to install facial recognition cameras at its airports….to stop the virus:

Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara said the Airports Division reached out to seven potential vendors about installing thermal scanning equipment to screen passengers at the Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, Kahului and Lihue airports. He said five companies “responded and will participate” in a pilot program at the Honolulu airport.

“Companies will begin installing both temperature screening equipment and facial recognition cameras next week,” Sakahara said, and added the pilot program will continue through June 26.

According to Sakahara, DOT will study the capabilities and functionality of the thermal screening and facial recognition technology, the cost and other factors, such as local tech support.

 

By now you may have heard about an Alameda resident arrested for “dancing” in the street. Here is the police cam footage of the incident. The confrontation was far worse than what was described in those initial headlines, which gave the impression the man was drunk or jaywalking. It is especially disconcerting that the officer reprimands the gentleman for not being on the sidewalk — even though social distancing rules require persons exercising keep at least 6′ distance from pedestrians on the sidewalk.

Walnut Creek celebrates the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square with this re-enactment.

source: https://twitter.com/RetiredMaybe/status/1268169533996650498

Closed Again

This is really getting annoying.

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Both the Richmond Bridge and Bay Bridge bike/ped paths routinely get closed — for no apparent reason and with absolutely no notification. I passed dozens of cyclists and joggers on the way to this closed gate.

State Law requires maximum feasible public access to the Bay. The BCDC needs to step in and begin enforcement action on Caltrans/MTC.

Hurrah! Oakland and San Francisco Slow Streets are now on Google Maps (but no Alameda?).

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Anaheim has its $200 million ‘ARTIC’ station. San Francisco has its $2+ billion Transbay Terminal. But the award for most expensive and useless intermodal station project will surely go to San Jose, for its $10 billion (yes with a “b”) Dirion makeover.

There is a lot that can be said about problems with the project, but this one picture from a recent presentation sums it up:

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The Caltrain/HSR platforms are on the elevated structure, and the VTA LRT stop is proposed to be re-located underground. Note that the layout we have today has both the LRT and Caltrain platforms at-grade alongside each other. So after spending $10 billion, they’ve made the transfer worse — even though convenient “intermodal” transfers was a design goal. With the Caltrain tracks elevated above grade, it would be simple to continue the LRT line at-grade through the station area, with a stop directly at a station entrance (preferably the north concourse side on Santa Clara St).

What’s bizarre is that a group of stakeholders were sent on a junket to study European train stations, including this one in Rotterdam –which as you can see has the trams located at-grade directly outside the station:

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