Cycling Infrastructure Should Not Be Subject to Public Approval

April 1, 2014

Public approval. It sounds fair. Should not local business owners, homeowners, and long term residents of a community have a say in how it is designed?

Of course.

However, but only to a point.

I have come to believe that one stealth way that the powers that be sabotage cycling infrastructure is by subjecting it to public approval.

Why is this so bad?

In order to answer this question, we need to go the Unbound source that we trust the most; Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ochlocracy

I was doing some political research for my Dungeons and Dragons adventures, and I stumbled on an article on Ochlocracy or Mob Rule.

Is this just a scary word for democracy by elitists who are of a totalitarian, we know better, opinion.

No.

From the source:

“The distinction between “good” and “bad” [government] was made according to whether the government form would act in the interest of the whole community (“good”) or the exclusive interests of a group or individual at the expense of justice (“bad”).”

I’d argue that the people who dominate local community meetings are, at times, self-serving. Certainly there are those of us in communities who are too terrified to ride bicycles but would like to. If we don’t accommodate these people, then we are putting the exclusive interests of the motoring community over all the rest.

How do we ensure that the motoring community doesn’t create situations where they happen to literally kill others (and each other) in the community?

“The threat of “mob rule” to a democracy is restrained by ensuring that the rule of law protects minorities or individuals against short-term demagoguery or moral panic.”

Demagoguery in the motoring community? Yes, it comes in the form of the calm and rational arguments that there is a conspiracy which is perpetrating Agenda 21 and its war on cars. It comes in the form of moral panic where cyclists are chastised for not “knowing how to share the road.”

While this talk is good in a back woods bar, it doesn’t make for sane, rational nor safe road conditions. At times, it’s easy for a few demagogues to derail a community meeting with chants of “Agenda 21″ and “USA”. Making the process more “democratic” lets those who are not sympathetic to cycling and walking to do institutional violence against their own community members. And it’s sold as making the government more responsive to its community, but in fact, by not making all modes of transportation equally efficient, inexpensive, and accessible, it’s actually making the government less responsive to the community as a whole because there are always going to many members of the community who can not or do not wish to drive everywhere. Not only that, but the non-motoring community is often under-represented in these meetings for many reaons but one of them is because often the meetings are inaccessible to those who don’t have a car!

And yet, the its claimed that these meetings “represent the community”. What a joke.

As I stated earlier, from a moral perspective, all members of the community need to get around safely and easily and to say that “nobody bicycles” is to advocate for a “tyranny of the majority”.

A good and sane society protects all of its members and it rewards people for making sensible, economically prudent, and healthy choices.

Cycling infrastructure is the only means to give a large number of people their right to freedom of movement and even their right to life itself. These fundamental rights should not be give up to the mob to veto.

Inner Ape Cycling

March 20, 2014

I’m reading an excellent book called _The Inner Ape_.

In it, I found some parallels to cycling advocacy.

One of the them is more detail on how a young upstart chimp challenges the tribe’s alpha male. He doesn’t have to attack the alpha. Just refusing to bow and maintain the proper level of deference will often enrage the alpha male who will later single out the disrespectful upstart for violence.

Similarly, those who ride bicycles must defer to the all powerful transportation alpha, motoring, by paying them the proper level of kowtowing.

Thus, instead of doing what’s intelligent and sensible, and making motoring safer, those who oppose cycling LOVE cycling helmets as the panacea for all road danger. This is because donning a helmet, to a primitive part of the motorist’s brain, is kowtowing. As is wearing neon yellow.

This why “share the road” will NEVER work. There’s an unspoken, and too often spoken, notion that a motorist can kill a cyclist. Until we totally emasculate our normal human minds, the powerful will take advantage of the less powerful.

This also explains why many people have no idea why one would ever want to ride a bicycle. Why roll with the beta class transportation when you are a credit check and a monthly payment away from alpha status?

We can rise above animal instincts through logic and reason, but we must do so in the city planning stage and NOT while cruising through space at 50 MPH plus.

The punishment for not kowtowing, aka not wearing a helmet is the same for not kowtowing in the ape world: the threat of violence. The only difference is that for cyclist’s the threat of violence is veiled. We don’t want cyclists to die, they get hit by “accident”. But if you notice the readiness that anti-cyclists are quick to point out a cyclist’s potential risk, without consulting statistics first, you can see that the violence against cyclists isn’t to be mitigated, it’s to be relished. It needs to be a constant reminder.

We need to constantly hear the danger that cyclists are in because this way, we can keep the threat of violence alive.

I have seen this happen time and time again during debates where I’d flip the script, and I point out that most children die INSIDE cars.

The same people who are quick to protect my poor brain from a high speed car with a piece of Styrofoam are so disinterested at the thought of their own vulnerability, they completely ignore it. This is because the notion of safety is actually a masquerade of subtle threats to control cyclist’s behavior. To dominate. To keep the alpha mode in alpha place.

One who truly cares about safety, as I do, will focus on: triage (the biggest number of deaths need to be focused on first), statistics (bike haters don’t know and don’t care), good design (bike haters blather about “not invented here” nonsense). The jury is in the solutions have been found, but this will restrict motoring a little bit, and as I said above challenge the alpha. Taking away parking isn’t merely refusing to kowtow, but it’s a punch in the face to the motoring ape brain.

Like nearly every other American, I motor, too. But I realize that the only way to win the struggle is by aiming for the heart of the alpha transportation beast. And this means directly attacking the notion that all is well in motoring, We need to stop concealing from ourselves the massive direct carnage and the even less noticeable but more pervasive destruction of human health that is a result of our kowtowing to the motoring alpha.

Thus, to win, we must be able to make people uncomfortable, to put up with some bad feelings, to argue, and yes to “fight”.

Unlike anti-cyclists, who continually blame the victim in an attempt to terrorize the rest of cyclists to start motoring, only, cyclists fight by pointing out the hypocrisy of the government that has money to make the streets dangerous and to victim blame, but not to make cycling safe. We fight by publicizing the shameful amount of deaths that those who design the roads would rather brush under a rug. And we fight at the ballot box. All of this is democratic, civil, legal, compassionate, and moral unlike the underhanded and unethical (and potentially illegal) tactics that anti-cyclists use daily at our places of work, at parties, and on comment forums. How many times are we going to read that “roads are for cars”? This is alpha muscle flexing and yes, a subtle death threat.

The beta who bows and refuses to raise one’s voice and refuses to fight is the eternal beta. The advocate who act beta and urges “peace at any price” sabotage it for the rest of us; they are worse than do nothings; they are counter-advocates.

Put on a helmet. Wear neon. Share the road. (sic)

Lies That Anti-Cyclists Tell Us: Part I

March 5, 2014

For years, I have been trying to get anti-cyclists to speak up and tell us, the normal people of the world who hold rational and balanced views on cycling, what the anti-cycling fuss is? Why so much hate over a guy with a piece of metal between his legs?

All the reasons that anti-cyclists give for their opposition to cycling infrastructure turns out not to be true.

So what is it?

This post won’t answer this question, but it will go over a few lies that anti-cyclists tell us.

1. The biggest lie is that “I’m in favor of cycling, but…” Again, I can only speculate on why people say this.

My best guess is that they consider themselves nice people who don’t want to be called out on their bullshit.

The thing is that while they smile, they’ll stab you in the back with their anti-cycling daggers.

See the word “but” often negate what is said before it. If there’s a but, we don’t hear the first part.

Thus, if you say, “I’m in favor of cycling” the next bit you should say is that for real infrastructure experts to build the infrastructure. That’s it.

Easy.

Is that what these “cycling lovers” do?

Hell no.

The proceed to take back all they gave us.

“I’m in favor of cycling, but I won’t give up a single parking space.”

“I’m in favor of cycling, but I won’t give up a single travel lane.”

“I’m in favor of cycling, but I listen while I tell a story that makes cyclists out to be criminals.”

“I’m in favor of cycling, but I don’t favor better legal protection.”

“I’m in favor of cycling, but I’d like them to register their bicycles and wear helmets.”

And so on.

Guess what?

This is lie number one. Those who oppose things that will make cycling safer, more convenient, or more comfortable are anti-cycling. Also, those who want to make cycling more difficult, more dangerous, more expensive or less convenient are also anti-cycling. This includes mandatory helmet laws, increased cycling ticketing, and even “education” which tells cyclists how to ride. (I’m looking at you Cycling Saavy/VC/LCI). This does NOT include education which helps someone who isn’t confident to ride such as the courses taught in SF because they are voluntary and they don’t use the existence of their classes to blame people for their deaths. (If he only took the lane). (sic)

Terrifying LA Times “Opinion” Piece aka an Anti-Cycling Hatched Job Cloaked as a PSA

February 26, 2014

Yesterday, I read what I thought was a piece of bizarre horror by someone with Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadistic_personality_disorder.

Before I continue, I’d like to say that I’m not a doctor and I don’t pretend to be one. However, I can read and do simple pattern matching which is what we’re doing in this article. I choose to go the medical route as it’s the most objective and kindest. I do believe, however, that people who promote violent, dangerous, and borderline criminal behavior in print ought to be shamed for it. Or worse. I can only wish that the federal database of those who promote terroristic and other violent behavior has a place for those who promote violence against American citizens who sometimes ride bicycles.

It turned out, I might have been mistaken and it was actually an LA Times Opinion piece.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-road-rage-cyclists-20140224,0,3954098.story?track=rss&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=80756

What is SPD?

“Individuals possessing sadistic personalities display recurrent cruel behavior and aggression.”

Why do I feel this way?

Let’s start with the title: “Some advice for cyclists: Being self-righteous can be dangerous”.

While it appears that this is a “warning” message or good advice, it’s actually a thinly vieled threat of violence when you realize why, exactly, the feeling of self-righteousness is dangerous.

I have been self-righteous, on and off, for decades, and I was never in any actual danger. I’m self-righteous right now. I’m waiting for something bad to happen.

Zzz….

Nothing bad happened to me.

From the article:

“In theory, I love the idea of a population that is fit and nonpolluting on its two- (or even three-) wheelers. When I encounter them whizzing down hiker-only trails, though, it takes a measure of self-control not to stick my walking staff through their spokes.”

WTF?

I believe that this would qualify as “cruel” and “aggressive”.

It also makes me wonder if the author, Karin Klein, later “accidently” hits a cyclist, the article can be used as evidence of premeditation and criminal intent. She clearly expresses, in a public newspaper, the intent to maim or kill. Why this is OK, is really bizarre to me. It’s like people writing, freely, about wanting to hurt “those people” and everyone sits there like it’s OK.

More from the article:

“State law says drivers must take maneuvers to leave a safe space between their vehicles and bicycles, but it doesn’t specify what that space needs to be.”

For the three feet skeptics, still think that this law is ambiguous or confusing?

“The [Three Foot Passing] law strikes me as a little nuts.”

Um, as we have all ready figured out that Karin’s a SPD (or at least acts like one in print), this isn’t surprising at all. She seems to be totally devoid of any form of human compassion or even common sense.

“So should a whole line of cars slow down to 20 mph or so to leave 3 feet of space between them and a cyclist for miles on end?”

The answer is that the road is badly designed and ought to accommodate all vehicles. Until then, the motorists have a moral and perhaps legal responsibity to not hit anything. They should take any common sense means necessary to protect human lives. This simple notion is not only incomprehensible to Karin, but “nuts.”

Wow.

“Sometimes even well-meaning motorists will make errors around bikes”

I disagree.

Karin had all ready confessed to having criminal intent to harm cyclists. She also all ready thought that normal safety precautions are “nuts.” Once you go down the rabbit hole of crazy, you don’t get to make mistakes. At this point, my first guess is assault just as she had fantasized about a few paragraphs up.

“And the driver might have been within the law.”

No. I’m pretty sure that deliberately running people over with one’s car is totally illegal. I’m not a lawyer or anything. At any rate, I’d have to say that it [running someone over] is immoral.

I really believe that Karin is a good person at heart and can be helped, but I don’t think that she should be writing any articles.

I wouldn’t be surprised if someone runs over a cyclist then cites this article as proof that this is OK. Karin basically gave vehicular assault her stamp of approval. And the LA Times as well by printing this horrible article.

As a piece of fiction, I find the article to be delightful as I am a big fan of the horror genre especially when you find an everyday person go bezerk. Really cool.

As a work of journalism, this is not.

I suggest that the LA Times retract this article and print an apology. Out of all the articles I have read, the only one which was as bad was by Josh Board from the SD Reader. The Reader did retract the article, apologized, and shortly after Josh left [The Reader].

I suggest that Karin get some therapy and that the LA Times let her go and not print anything from her again until she goes on meds or something.

May you all, even Karin, be happy.

[Minor edits for grammar and comprehension were made.]

Absurd Hair Splitting Continues Part I

February 20, 2014

Here we go again.

LTRs, this is a total waste of time so you may safely skip.

First of all, I really would like Cycling Savvy to succeed. I really do hope that each United States city is a VC utopia with at least 30% of its citizens riding where they are “respected and expected”. I hope that everyone always obeys the laws. I hope that we solve global warming, that we stop being so selfish and greedy, and that they will make a season 9 of Entourage.

But let’s deal with reality.

Before going further, I have to say that I love and respect Ted Rogers and can only think good of him. He’s a bigger person than me which is why he allowed this post:

http://bikinginla.com/2014/02/17/guest-post-taking-the-lane-a-bicycling-instructor-offers-in-depth-look-at-cyclingsavvy/

“On this site, Ted Rogers wrote: “A St. Louis cycling instructor claims that bike lanes are dangerous with no evidence to back it up.”

With lightning speed these words made their way to me (that instructor). I was indignant. I never said that bike lanes are dangerous. I said that riding in a bike lane is more dangerous than riding in the flow of traffic. I complained to Ted that he misquoted me.”

Note, the misdirection? The argument is over a crack in the sidewalk. Does it really matter if bike lanes are actually dangerous or _riding_ in bike lanes is dangerous as for normal people the two statements are equivalent. To say otherwise is an insult to Ted. Ted didn’t mean that if I stand next to a bike lane, the asphalt will rear up and eat me.

Note that we are far away from the original point which is that Karen didn’t have to prove her point!

We don’t see an evidence that _riding_ (emphasis mine) in a bike lane is dangerous.

Next statement:

“As I’m sure is true for all of your readers, I was heartbroken when I learned of the death last December of Milton Olin Jr., the entertainment industry executive who was struck and killed by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy on routine patrol. Milton Olin was riding in a bike lane on Mulholland Highway.”

Note the appeal to emotion?

The clock is ticking and we still have not seen the evidence that Ted had asked for.

“We need to recognize a simple fact about bike lanes. They tend to make the people in them irrelevant to other traffic. When you are not in the way, you are irrelevant. At low speed differentials, irrelevancy might be OK. But at high speed differentials, the slightest motorist error can be devastating.”

I can be, but how often?

Again, we have to know whether you’d be more likely to be killed by a car while in the travel lane than in the bicycle lane. This does not answer this question.

Also, notice the strange usage of the “irrelevant”? Emotional manipulation. Not stopping the flow of traffic makes you safer not irrelevant. We are talking about safety, but instead of answering a simple question with a peer reviewed study or ten they begin to repurpose the English language. Not a very efficient use of space and time…

“The last place a cyclist should be irrelevant is on a high-speed arterial road.”

Now that we have established a specious and emotionally driven use of the word, we begin to use it to bludgeon our opponents.

“On roads with good sight lines—typical of most arterial roads—cyclists who control their travel lanes are seen by motorists from 1,280 feet away. Cyclists who ride on the right edge of the road—where most bike lanes are—are not seen by motorists until they are very nearly on top of them—about 140 feet away.”

This is bullshit. Every motorist is different. They have different reaction times and abilities. There are many motorists on wide, high speed road that I do not see and they are in cars. If I can’t see a large car, how am I going to see a small cyclist?

So, behind the wheel of a car, this is totally false for me. I will not have the time to stop if someone gets in my way while traveling at 50 MPH.

I’m guessing they are going to tell me that they are now better experts on my vision than i am. Haha.

“Most of them, however, don’t believe us—until we take them out on the road and show them.”

How can you show me my own visual abilities? Climb inside my head and look out of my eyes?

When traveling at high speeds in a car, I can’t see small things, like bicycles, in front of me.

“I would rather give those motorists the opportunity to see me from a quarter-mile away, rather than 140 feet!”

Apples and oranges.

If you are in the travel lane, you are going to need every motorist to see you. Thus, you are going to be biased towards studies that show that motorists can see far ahead and dismiss people like me who tell you flat out that while eating and driving, I can barely pay attention to what’s in front of me.

I someone is in the bike lane, I just need to keep my car going straight and I don’t notice him! Whether I see the cyclist or not to protect him is IRRELEVANT. Haha. I used the word a different way.

“Being “in the way” works. Even the multi-tasking French fry eaters change lanes to pass.”

Except when they don’t. Ted had all ready said above that his experience is different. Instead of LISTENING to what the man says, we argue.

Also, note the clock is ticking away. Original question is long forgotten:

Is “riding in a bike lane is more dangerous than riding in the flow of traffic?”

Distraction disinformation campaign is a success.

But we keep plowing forward:

“Last fall one of my favorite arterial roads was put on a “road diet” and striped with bike lanes.”

Zzzz.

[Picture truck blocking bike lane.]

“Does this bike lane look encouraging? People who are afraid to ride in traffic don’t want to ride here, either.”

Notice that this is a total distraction. First, they complain that bike lanes, I mean _riding_ in bike lanes, are dangerous. Then they complain that the bike lanes that they don’t ride in are always blocked. Who cares?

It’s like saying that I had chicken and when I go out to eat they are always out of chicken.

Next we start up the whole noise about the few times they rode in bike lanes and were almost killed.

By this time, anyone who was mildly curious about riding a bicycle, in a bike lane, from home to work has changed channels. Those who actually ride in bike lanes are shaking with anger due to lack of empathy from the VC POV as well as disbelief that someone can be so callous and stupid at the same time. Finally, the masses of VC DBs are shaking their head and doing that “um hum” noise like they’re in church.

OK, here’s some more:

“We cannot ignore the danger of getting “doored,” another terrible feature of many urban bike lanes. Keri Caffrey has done a brilliant job illustrating the reality of space in a typical bike lane.”

This is funny b/c of this quote from the other “co-founder”:

“Dooring is a relatively rare event in metro Orlando, as there are relatively few commercial arterials and collectors with parallel, on-street parking. Most of our area developed during the 70s, 80s and 90s when on-street parking was not considered to be a normal (let alone desirable) street function. I can only think of three doorings (that I’ve been made aware of) in my 27 years here. One in which I witnessed the aftermath (cyclist on the pavement, with fortunately minor injuries). Another reported to me by the victim (who did not report it to the police) that took place in a door-zone bike lane (also minor injuries). The third involved a passenger-side door opening into that same door-zone bike lane (which was reported to the police).”

http://cyclingunbound.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/more-on-orlando/

So coming from Orlando this is a bit strange. One might suggest that they are over stating the risk of dooring to scare people to riding in the middle of the lane.

Using fear to get people to act and think like you want them to, hmmm, where did I see this before? :)

More nonsense:

“Traffic engineers would not dream of manufacturing conflict between two lanes of motor vehicle traffic by placing a right-turn lane to the left of a through lane. Why is this acceptable when one of the lanes is for bicyclists?”

There are many collisions between automobiles per year. I am not sure if a traffic engineer would admit to “manufacturing conflict” but, sigh, this emotional language is par for course for VCism.

“An engineer friend who is painfully aware of the quandary presented by bike lane design argues that municipalities have a responsibility to warn users of their unintended risks, much as the pharmaceutical industry already does regarding the potential side effects of their products.”

Yet more nonsense since the biggest killer for those under 34 years old are motor vehicles and we don’t (yet) see warning labels on them.

Also, a flawed analogy which implies that riding in a bicycle lane is actually as acceptable as taking medication from a drug company which is the opposite of the above thesis.

Also, after all this verbosity, I don’t see a link to a third party study which was the whole point of this article.

“When we are on roads with bike lanes, being aware of the “platoon effect” allows us to use the regular travel lane and ride happily along at our normal speeds. We typically cover a city block or two without having any motor traffic behind us. When a platoon approaches, we move over to the bike lane and go slow, very slow if it’s a door-zone bike lane. It takes only a few seconds for the platoon to pass.”

But I thought that they ignored bike lanes? Now they actually have a use for them. And also, if they are an expected part of traffic why are they ever leaving the safety of the high speed travel lane for the perils of a bicycle lane? This contradicts the whole thesis above.

“Because bicycling is very safe, accidents are rare, even in bike lanes.”

Hey, I agree! Probably because we have no agreed upon definition for “safe” but still, I do agree.

“But the next time you hear about a motorist hitting a cyclist, pay attention to the details. Where was the cyclist on the roadway? Was the cyclist on the right edge of the road?”

Probably because almost nobody “takes the lane” on a high speed road around here. Thus, it’s unlikely they were foolish enough to sit in the travel lane. This does not mean that the travel lane is safer but rather that statistically, if there’s something that almost nobody does then there would be unlikely for people do die doing so. My rabbit foot works the same way. Because nobody else replaced their helmet with a rodent’s foot, statistically it appears that rabbit feet are safer than helmets. Total nonsense.

“We who care about bicycling want more people to choose bicycling, especially for transportation.”

Awesome. Then we should build dedicated infrastructure.

“But how do we get there? Professor Andy Cline argues that we are making a grave mistake in our attempts to channelize and “segregate” cyclists from motorists. Indeed, as we are reframing U.S. roadways to accommodate bicycling, he warns that we must avoid “surrendering our streets.” This is what we are doing when we ask for cycletracks or special paint markings on the edge of the road.”

This cow left the barn long ago. We have seen examples of many people using sweet infrastructure, but I have not seen their goal working anywhere.

[Photo of douchy family deliberately blocking traffic just--well just because.]

The above photo will only irritate and anger those who motor but are sympathetic to cycling. But hey, they have the “right to the road” so let’s assert it.

I liked their “allowing people to pass” stuff above. From the photo it seems impossible for motorists to pass safely. But then again, what do I know. I am unlicensed in their cycling stuff and I have poor eyesight.

OK, I’m stopping here. There are about 40 more pages. I’ll deal with this another time.

Sustainable Safety Management

February 13, 2014

https://www.asse.org/professionalsafety/docs/BerndFreibottArticle.pdf

“Nonetheless, for the next 100 to 150 years, it was considered an usually of not just inevitable collateral effect of any that accidents would happen and that people would be injured.”

We’re _still_ here when it comes to transportation planning.

Finally, we’re getting rid of the word “accident” from our lexicon for crashes. This is a great step forward.

It’s not just about words, but about how we think about safety.

“The objective was essentially this: something that has happened should never recur, and everything should be done to prevent accidents from repeating, to diminish the danger to which employees are exposed and to reduce the risk of operations.”

LTRs know that in San Diego at least, cyclists get killed in the same locations, over and over, through no fault of their own. In many of the deadly collisions there were warnings from the community that were totally ignored even after people are hit. Yet, these areas are “up to code” which is a meaningless phrase in terms of real world safety.

“Learning from real incidents and accidents is only a small part of what is needed. It is like chip-ping off little pieces from the top of an iceberg. It will have an effect, but the change will not be great.”

This the exact conclusion that I came to while reviewing crash data. That’s why I break out in hives when I see the notion of a counter-measure.

“The first challenge is to get a better understanding of what is happening in the company, what is the reality.”

For cycling this means looking at the whole transportation network and not thinking in terms of segmented lanes which start here and end there. Think of when you’re in a bike lane halfway to your destination and there’s a sign which says “Bike Lane Ends”. A holistic approach wouldn’t have any begin nor ending signs.

 

Speed Kills Myths

January 27, 2014

Speed Kills Myths

http://jalopnik.com/this-is-the-best-takedown-of-the-speed-kills-myth-you-1302382244

It starts out by admitting that actually speed does kill. Then it back pedals to talk about how speed limits are too low for “conditions”.

In many ways I agree, I think “conditions should change”.

That is, in contrast to those who made this video, I am 100% against enforcement of speed limits. I think all speed limit signs should be removed and enforcement should only be done when the motorist “exceeds conditions” which is a judgment call for the police officer. This is one of the standards for enforcing the speed limit now so this isn’t really a big change.

So I actually agree with the sentiment of the video, but, as usual, my videos are a lot less milquetoast than their’s.

This policy would educate communities that in order to slow people down, they should use traffic calming.

However, my dreams are not reality and the makers of these videos are not advocating anything that’s feasible. In fact, they get a lot of their “facts” wrong.

For example, I don’t know the laws in Canada, where the video was made, but in the United States, according to the 85% percentile, and a law that has no basis in safety, requires continual raising of speed limits by law. This is one law that, at least in the US, that we refuse to bend. Knowing this, it’s absurd to think that “speed limits are too low.”

They didn’t get by a minute and a half before they dropped the “socialist” canard. All ready they are admitting every fact that I agree with but trying to emotionally manipulate one to doubt them.

Then it goes on to whine about speeding tickets. What happened to the law? Do we just routinely ignore laws that we don’t like?

I won’t repeat the links to where it shows that motoring speed is directly proportional to traffic deaths. This is the basis of “speed kills”. The video can not refute this fact.

Here’s the thing that really got me:

“I don’t want to ruin the crux of the story and the evidence, but the use of actual facts and logic to get rid of the notion that lower speed limits is mind blowing,”

Wow!

To me what’s mind blowing is the sheer level of carnage and the total level of callousness this video and post has to the millions of people who die in motor vehicle accidents. You’d think that they would even mention this fact since it’s the most salient part of the entire debate!

Instead they have law breakers, criminals in other venues, whining that they have to pay for breaking the law. The only reason that they are not arrested and incarcerated for their anti-social behavior is because the breaking of the laws is so common and flagrant that we don’t have enough jails to put people in. Also, because this is one of the few cases where “the public” overwhelming supports the killers of innocent people.

I suggest a better use of the brilliant “facts and logics” minds of those who made this video would be instead of whining about proper and just law enforcement, they should figure out how to stop motorists from killing so many people.

I suggest traffic calming, but I’m sure that these people would rather like to drive recklessly without any consequences even when they kill people. Then we’ll hear the same old insulting Motoring Trinity about “cyclists running traffic signs”, yellow vests, and helmets.

Do Vision Problems Kill More People Than Alcohol?

January 23, 2014

There was a blog post not long ago who talked about how he was passed,
safely, by thousands of cars a year while cycling. So clearly all
these people saw him. Thus, he was visible. That is established fact.
Otherwise they would not have gone around him. Since he was visible
and a driver hit him anyway that means that CYCLIST VISIBILITY is NOT
the problem.

Otherwise, we would have been all dead long ago. This is awesome b/c
it kills off the whole yellow vest bullshit once and for all.

Not only that but since we are visible and aren’t seen and a motorist
says “they didn’t see us” this should mean a vision test at the scene.
Officers all ready conduct field sobriety (psychology) and breath
tests (analytical chemistry) why not optician (eye tests)?

Not only that but we need to collect stats on how many drivers say
phrases like “didn’t see him” and “came out of no where”. I suspect
that motorist reported vision difficulty kills more cyclists than
drinking and driving.

If so, then we need to seriously address vision as a problem and deny
people licenses when they report vision problems.

Cycling Safety: The Good and the Bad

January 21, 2014

I have been thinking about cycling safety interventions and some of them have appealed to me more than others.

Until now, I have not had the time to sit down to ponder why this is. Now I have.

Public safety interventions regarding cycling should make cycling more comfortable, more convenient, and more appealing. If they do not do so, then they are not intended to help cyclists at all.

Let’s look at interventions that make cycling more appealing

1. Separated direct routes. These interventions will connect neighborhoods and make cycling more fun on high speed streets. I don’t need to know that a street will suck to bike on. It probably all ready does. I still need to have them since San Diego traffic engineers decided to abandon the grid in favor of a strict separation of useful and easy arterials.

I can all ready ride safely and comfortably on side streets, so not only do they not need any improvements, but I usually they don’t go where I want.

2. Minimum sentencing for motoring infractions. We need to get the bad apple motorists off the road.

3. Proportional fines. Fines are regressive by nature unless they are proportional to assets.

4. Mandatory alternate transportation. Judges often allow dangerous motorists to keep motoring because “there’s no other way for them to get around.” If we built alternative places to live then we wouldn’t have this problem.

5. Economic incentives for cycling. Instead of “free” parking at grocery stores those who cycle will get a small discount on all purchases.

Stuff that does not help cyclists.

1. Side street improvements such as bicycle boulevards. Like I said above, the improvements are often superfluous and the notion of taking a round about way to get anywhere is an insult and will increase travel time and thus discourage cycling.

2. Mandatory safety gear. This is just more junk to worry about and thus will discourage cycling. Also, it’s doubtful whether a motorist who is dedicated to personal irresponsibility will see me in a yellow vest if she’s not looking at the roads.

3. Cycling “safety” classes. Cycling is safe all ready. Motoring not so much. More classes for cyclists won’t protect from irresponsible motorists. Also, some of the safety techniques are actually less safe than how I ride all ready. This is all ready documented elsewhere.

4. PR/Awareness Campaigns. In general these are both insulting, useless, while a minor bit of the advice is actually wrong or harmful. If PR campaigns were effective we’d use these to reduce congestion: “Please don’t drive so much.”

5. Bad infrastructure. A few years ago, I would not have put this because there were too many VC DBs would take this out of context and call _all_ infrastructure bad. By bad, I mean bike lanes that in the gutter or near driveways where cars pull into them without looking. I also mean round about cycling infrastructure that avoids arterials. I could go on. There’s a very, very bad example of infrastructure on Central Street near my house that has too many problems to list here.

6. Police crackdowns on cycling. You’d think this was obvious but it’s not. I consider these campaigns to be spiteful and malicious because it criminalize and discourages an activity that is safe, helps the local economy, is fun, and is healthy. Thus, those in power who stand by and let this happen, have betrayed the public and have show incompetence that should result in immediate termination of their position.

Collectivized Transportation

January 12, 2014

I find it to highly hilarious that the party of “rugged individualism” has collectivized transportation in terms of motoring by building Soviet Style Transportation Architecture.

What!

I thought bicycles were for commies?

Um, no. Cycling is almost universally hated. Thus, it has to be done by someone with a thick skin who doesn’t swing the way of the masses.

So here are some reasons that motoring, as it is done in the United States, is Soviet Style.

1. Soulless architecture. Just like the massive concrete blocks that serve as housing, the US motoring industry takes our beautiful environment and turns it into miles and miles of straight and wide concrete that looks the same no matter where you are America. Just like the Soviets wanted to melt all the nations into a gray amorphous mass, the motoring industry homogenizes the landscape of our once beautiful country.

2. Use of mental illness as a way of dealing with criticism. In the Soviet Union, dissidents were put into mental hospitals to discredit them. Under the motoring regime, we constantly hear how cyclists are “crazy for riding with the sharks.” In reality, cycling is a sane decision that is demonstrably superior to motoring in a vast majority of the cases where it’s given minimal support by the powers that be. Thus, the system needs to maintain the illusion that cycling is dangerous and crazy and we are denied all but the most rudimentary and sometimes insulting of resources.

3. Appeal to the masses over the individual. Roads and parking are made everywhere, whether we want them or not. Similarly, for the most part, provisions are made for motoring at the expense of all other modes of transportation.

The language used for this is to deny the rights of the individual and to marginalize one’s personal choices. “Everyone drives anyway” is a way of taking money and public space from individuals to give to the motoring collective.

4. Forced collectivization. In the Soviet Union, farms were taken by the government from individual farmers in order to build massive collective farms which were controlled by the state.

Our once vibrant and variable streets were taken by the Motoring Collective and turned into uniform areas under their control which is in the form of “standards”.

5. Totalitarian decision making. We never vote on freeway expansion or free parking minimum requirements. The only time we get to vote is to vote AGAINST cycling. Again, this is not done by individuals but by party members such as Small Business Owners. The safety of the individual is sacrificed to the motoring masses.

6. Massive propaganda programs. In the Soviet Union, people started to catch on that their lives sucked and that people’s lives were better elsewhere. In order to stave off dissent, the citizens were bombarded by the incessant messages that communism is best. Every time you hear someone say that there are “no alternatives to driving” or that “cycling is done by arrogant people”, you are hearing messages that are encouraged by the propaganda machine. Despite this massive public brainwashing, a few individuals assert their minimal rights to get around by cycling.

7. Government sponsored looting. In the Soviet Union the government took money away from individuals and pooled it in the hands of party members. In our Motoring Collective, the profits for cars and their maintenance take money away from each individual and give it to the very few profit holders in the motoring industry. Since motoring is all but mandated by the government, this is government enforced looting of the individual in order to give to Motoring Party Members.

In contrast, I have saved thousands of dollars each year. Instead of praising this individualism, I’m often told that I am a leech on society who “does not pay the road tax.” This silly phrase doesn’t take into account that the expensive road is necessary due to the massive costs of motoring. Thus, the “road tax” would not exist in its form if motoring were not so heavily subsidized by forced looting.


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