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Archive for the ‘bicycling’ Category

The Santa Monica Beach Bike Path is a popular place for riding bikes. However, the city has now decided to prohibit bikeshare bikes from the path. To be clear: they are banning bikeshare bikes, but not regular bikes:

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 6.18.53 PM

Perhaps this is just a typo, as there is nothing (that I can find) in the administrative record about banning human-powered bikeshare from the bike path. But it is interesting to note that there are private bike rental firms along the path which benefit enormously from this rule.

 

 

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This video like something out of a Hollywood movie. A bus driver hauling school kids goes flying up Mount Diablo Rd like a bat out of hell, crossing the double yellow line dozens of times, going around blind corners and running cyclists off the road. Will the Park finally take seriously the safety concerns of cyclists?

The good news is that the videos grabbed the attention of state Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, and Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-Dublin, who have called for meetings to discuss vehicular safety on the mountain.

“These videos clearly show unsafe conditions for cyclists and bus riders,” Glazer wrote. “These are unacceptable circumstances and the parks department and highway patrol must give this matter urgent attention.”

State parks spokeswoman Gloria Sandoval admits “there is a public safety issue.” The bad news is that the person who should be leading the charge, park Superintendent Ryen Goering, generally dismisses the concerns. As he has with past safety issues, Goering drags his feet, resisting change.

The Mount Diablo Cyclists wants 40′ buses banned from the narrow park roads, and more work to improve road safety around the blind corners.

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If only the DMV required vision tests for getting a driver’s license. Then bicyclists and pedestrians wouldn’t have to wear hi-viz clothing whenever they went out…

 

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btwd_ford

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Limebike, the dockless bikeshare service, is sprouting up in the East Bay. But one exception is Berkeley:

limebike

This image above is what users saw a month ago.  The dire warnings have since been removed from the app, but there is still a gaping hole in service within Berkeley city borders. Limebike has been trying to reach out to Berkeley to start service, but to no avail:

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The irony is that Limebike was begun in Berkeley, at the Skydeck incubator center. Just goes to show how anti-environmental and anti-business Berkeley has become.

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According to Australian mainstream media, Bicycle Network is that country’s one and only group for representing the interests of cyclists. This is the organization which, for the past 30 years, promoted mandatory helmet laws. With friends like that who needs enemies?

But now, I guess in an attempt to stay relevant, Bicycle Network has been conducting a highly publicized survey on the issue of mandatory helmet laws. The good news is that the survey result showed agreement on repealing Australia’s mandatory helmet laws. However, a substantial number of respondents (40%) want to retain the law for children.

This survey result is typical, especially when the bicycle gearheads discuss helmet laws on the internets. Children, it is argued, need to be protected because they are more vulnerable to traumatic head injury. Like everything else involving helmets, that argument is based on superstition instead of hard data.

Children are actually not all that vulnerable to head injury. In fact, if there is one age group extremely vulnerable to traumatic head injury it isn’t children but the elderly. Rates of head-injury deaths in the US were highest for those aged 75 and older. Similar results are seen in Europe. From a safety standpoint, it is ludicrous to single out the age group least at risk:

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TBI-associated death (Eurostat)

Now to be clear, this data is for all TBI-related fatalities, not just ones involving a bicycle. The point here is to show that children do not have some biological issue that requires special head protection.

And of course, we already know that mandatory youth helmet laws is ineffective by looking at places that implemented such laws, including California and parts of Canada. Oh, and Australia.

 

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UK Roads Minister Jesse Norman doesn’t think enough is being done to dissuade cycling. He is conducting a safety review that may result in some new laws:

A review into cycling safety announced last month would be broad, possibly including whether cyclists should be forced to wear helmets and high-visibility clothing, Norman said. But he promised any conclusions would be led by evidence.

On possible laws for helmets and high-visibility clothing, Norman said the review would “ask very general questions and if the feedback is that we should consider that stuff, then we’ll look at it”.

He added: “Obviously there will be some people who feel very strongly that there should be hi-vis, and there will be plenty of people who think very strongly the other way. It’ll be the same with helmets. The literature on risk is quite a well developed one, I don’t need to tell you.”

Norman’s safety review was triggered by the tragic fatality of a pedestrian, Kim Briggs. She was struck by a cyclist as she crossed against a light. The cyclist was jailed because his bike lacked front brakes. Norman has proposed increased penalties for what he calls “dangerous cycling”.

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