Another Idiot Study Examined

LTRs know that I really love data and I think that we should do as many studies as possible on cycling. I am in the process of preparing some studies myself actually, though since I have no funding, we won’t do them. But I’ll make them available for people to see what a good study looks like.

Here’s a shitty study. I wanted to thank the washcycle website and it is well done both as a blog post generator and as a resource for information. I’m extremely grateful for this high quality site. I don’t want people to think that I am mocking the washcycle. I’m not. I am mocking a study that they posted:

http://www.thewashcycle.com/2013/02/bicycle-crash-study-2010-2012.html

“The information obtained from TARAS contained a …total of 754 locations involving bicycles crashes. Since the total numbers were a broad amount, a narrowed list was selected based on the locations with a higher crash occurrence.”

Overall, the idea of looking for intersections is a good one.

OK, all ready this report is starting to piss me off:

“Performing this Report led to a prioritization of which locations needed improvements in the District of Columbia. It is clear after reading each Detailed Narrative of the PD-10 Forms, Field 179, a very high percentage of the crashes were a result of an inadequate behavior of the pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. This concludes human behavior was the main crash contribution factor when those crashes occurred.”

Since we all agree that deliberately stepping out in front of a speeding car, running a red light, or running into someone is all “inadequate human behavior” would this make almost all collisions, BY DEFINITION, due to inadequate behavior. What is the other cause? All I can think of is some kind of road or mechanical defect. So we are defining things a certain way then wondering why we keep matching up with what we just defined. This is tautological and that these researchers can be PAID to do such shoddy work breaks my heart.

The question is WHY were they inattentive? Why do they need to be attentive. Can’t I take a fucking walk without always being attentive? People like to wander and not think too hard all the god damned time. So this is a pretty harsh, totalitarian system. PAY ATTENTION OR WE WILL KILL YOU.

I’m absolutely horrified that we care about pedestrian inattention.

Pedestrians walk in front of my bicycle all the time. Do I get mad? No? I am prepared to stop at any time. The person could be a child or a confused elderly person. To say that these people are inattentive ignores some basic realities of the human species and dehumanizes the most vulnerable people. This whole paper is a vast system to mitigate the blame, as much as possible from dangerous motorists who drive way too fast. It also excuses poor design which mixes pedestrians with high speed traffic then blames the pedestrian for NOT PAYING ATTENTION.

But this paper is starting to go from bad to worse.

They actually suggest “additional signage” to prevent future collisions. WTF?

Next huge mistake is that they seem to be OK with shitty facilities if there’s any drugs or alcohol. They also have no changes for FREEWAY RAMPS. What?! These are the objectively most dangerous places for pedestrians and cyclists. This paper is aggravating.

Finally, on page 13, we get a small whiff or reason: “there was no consistent pattern.”

YES!!

If you look at crash data enough, there usually is no real pattern. People get hit from all directions. The crash rates are pretty much spread out in all categories. There’s no one huge category that dominates all the rest. There are just too many ways to die and humans seem to have embraced them all.

Here’s another plan this paper has. No joke. “Implementation of brochures”

I move to fire these stupid, stupid people. They have not a single clue about safety. This paper was a total waste of money and they are a waste of space.

I wish in the future, if they did a traffic study, they would have a way of testing actual improvements rather than make stupid remarks and even dumbed and wasteful “solutions.”

PEOPLE WILL NEVER PAY ATTENTION ALL THE TIME. THAT’S NOT HOW THE HUMAN MIND WORKS. IF YOU MEDITATE FOR FIVE MINUTES, YOU’LL FIND YOU MIND WANDER A FEW HUNDRED TIMES. IMAGINE TRYING TO DRIVE FOR A FEW HOURS IN A WARM CAR WITH A RADIO ON WHILE STARING AT THE SAME ROAD. THE WHOLE NOTION OF AWARENESS IGNORES BASIC FACTS ABOUT THE HUMAN MIND.

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