Dallas Texas: A Cyclist-friendly Community


If you’ve only seen Dallas from the driver’s seat of a car, you don’t know what you’re missing!

A year ago, I knew nothing of Dallas except what I’d read: it’s one of our nation’s most sprawling, low-density, car-centric mega-metros; its many freeways are enormous and clogged with traffic; its arterial roads are jammed with impatient hostile drivers in huge vehicles; it’s the worst city for cycling in the U.S. (according to Bicycling Magazine).

Upon discovering CycleDallas last summer, I was presented with a different image of Dallas: a pleasant, livable, inner ring with a dense mesh of quiet streets; up to a 12% biking and walking mode share in the inner city (although low overall); an 800-lane-mile signed bike-route system (and map) using cyclist-selected roads; a besieged bike-ped coordinator who steadfastly refused to buy into symbolic, potentially-dangerous bike facilities in that already-rideable urban core.

Last week, LisaB and I got a chance to go to Dallas. As our unique travel plans would have it, we were able to launch rides from various parts of the city and surrounding suburbs.

Our Rides

bikeroutesignWednesday we explored in Downtown. Lisa and I cycled on parts of the bike route system, the inner neighborhoods, the downtown business district and some larger thru-roads (here’s the route).

Aside from some construction detours and a few confusing one-way streets, we found downtown cycling extremely easy. We rode into downtown via bike routes 220 and 65 (PM Summer gave us a printed map book Tuesday evening). The streets were quiet and scenic, perfect for any level of rider who can balance a bike and follow the rules of the road. Downtowns always feel intimidating to novices, but most are actually excellent cycling environments. Downtown Dallas traffic was more docile than most big cities I’ve ridden in (including Portland, OR). Riding down Elm street between high-rise buildings, we found ourselves alone on the road behind a platoon of cars, arriving at traffic lights just as they turned green. Riding back out of town we took bike route 190, then deviated onto Abrams, a busier thoroughfare, to sample the experience. We certainly had a lot more traffic interaction on Abrams, but we claimed our lane, motorists changed lanes to pass and our passage was easy and pleasant.

Thursday we were staying at the Four Seasons in North Irving. Lisa was busy at a conference all day, but I was on vacation. I planned to take Trinity Rail Express (clued in by Steve A, who we met for dinner on Tuesday evening) into Dallas from Irving, but I puttered too long and then discovered that the trains stopped running regularly after 10 AM. Concerned that I might miss the train, I looked at the DART bus schedule. I have to admit, I’m transit retarded after two decades in Orlando. The express bus station was a mile north and the train station was 4 miles south. I had to make a decision. The DART website was somewhat confusing, so I decided to ask the conceirge.

It was a total brain fart for me to think the concierge at the Four Seasons would have a clue about mass transit! She, of course, didn’t. She managed to offer lots of information I did not need or ask for and waste enough time that I had no choice but to head for the bus. That’s one way to make a decision.

I arrived at the bus station as the bus I wanted was pulling out.  I then discovered that the next bus would not depart for an hour, contrary to what the concierge told me. I certainly wasn’t going to sit around a desolate transit station for an hour, so I called PM Summer and asked for route advice to ride from Irving to downtown Dallas.

PM gave me a direction to head, then got to work on a route for me as I started riding. He then emailed turn-by-turn directions which I followed with help from the GPS on my iphone (pulling over to memorize 4 or 5 turns at a time). It was an excellent adventure! I experienced just about everything—industrial, commercial, suburban, residential, urban, 2-lane, 4-lane, 6-lane, wide and narrow lanes, a construction zone… and a loose pit bull.

Besides the dog, everyone else I encountered was respectful and courteous. I was passed safely by hundreds of cars, SUVs, pick-up trucks and heavy trucks. I was never honked at, endangered or mistreated in any way. In fact, I was surprised to find most motorists reduced their speed when passing, even on multi-lane roads. On 2-lane roads with wide lanes, many waited for the oncoming lane to clear so they could give additional clearance, despite my lane-sharing position. This unusual experience has been corroborated by other vehicular cyclists in Dallas and can be seen in the Dallas Run videos shot by Brian DeSousa.

After a long lunch with PM, I took the Trinity Rail Express (TRE) back to South Irving and rode back to the conference hotel. That was the first time I’ve had a chance to take a bike on a train. The train didn’t have bike cars like the one in San Jose, instead cyclists use the wheelchair car.

The TRE was a great way to traverse 10 miles in 18 minutes! Bike-friendly transit is such a huge asset for extending the range and usefulness of the bicycle. Here’s my route for the day (the TRE line is between the RR icons).


The readers and bloggers of CycleDallas join us for happy hour.

Friday Lisa and I moved to a hotel located on the service road at the High Five interchange of U.S. 75 and I-635. This became a starting point for several more rides.

Friday evening, we used the DART rail line to meet the CycleDallas gang for happy hour. The DART station is on the opposite corner of the High Five from the hotel. That intersection is an example of how emphasis on high-speed auto travel can destroy connectivity for other modes. It is not possible for a pedestrian to travel efficiently from the hotel to the DART station, even though it is only 1/2 mile away. PM gave us a 2 mile bike route that was easy to ride, but would be intimidating for the uninitiated. There is an infrastructure solution in the works for that interchange.

Returning from the festivities, my lack of transit skill put us on the wrong train. We ended up about 6 miles from the hotel. Always up for an adventure, we decided to ride the bikes rather than backtrack on the train. The route consisted of 6-lane roads and freeway service roads. We felt just as safe and respected at night as we had during the day.

Bike on Bus

Every single bus in the DART system has bike racks.

Saturday we decided to ride to a DART Bike&Ride event at White Rock Lake. To get there, we used the White Rock Creek trail, which is accessible a mile west of the hotel. It’s a river trail with very few street crossings and the potential to be a quiet oasis away from urban noise. It has several immediate problems. One is that it is only 8 feet wide—uncomfortably narrow for 2-direction bike traffic, let alone other users in the mix. That is being corrected as the older paths are being reconstructed to current standards. A less-correctable problem is that the creek floods, covering the path in mud. A recent flood had left a layer of now-dry silt on the path. It wasn’t hazardous but it coated our bikes, legs and water bottles as we rode.

While lack of intersections is desirable for speed and ease of use, it also means lack of connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods. This is a problem we have with many recreational trails in Orlando. They are not being built as utilitarian facilities to enhance the road system, but as places for people to play with toys.

Personal safety is another concern with remote greenways. I would never ride such a trail at night or times when there was no other trail traffic. Aside from the obvious crime aspect, if a cyclist were to suffer a solo fall and be incapacitated, he might not be found for many hours. Even on Saturday morning, we didn’t see many cyclists on the trail until we got to the White Rock area. As one would expect, there were lots of cyclists on the White Rock Lake loop trail.

The DART event was great fun! We both enjoyed the opportunity to practice putting bikes on the bus bike rack.

To return to the Richardson area, we decided to explore more of the bike route system. Following the signs for Routes 73, 270 and 45 took us to within a mile of the hotel. Most of the roads were quiet, residential streets with just a few sections of 30 mph 4-lane roads. We again found excellent cycling conditions and cooperation from motorists. (here’s a map of our Saturday ride)

True friendliness

Keeping score, I’d say the majority of motorists were attentive and cooperative. We had no negative encounters, no territorial behavior and nothing that suggested oblivious driving. I had a handful of positive interactions in which motorists were exceptionally courteous and accommodating. They also thanked us for little courtesies like allowing them room to turn right on red and acknowledging their right-of-way at 4-way stops. We graciously declined a number of wave-throughs and the motorists always responded with smiles and friendly waves. It was clear that in the White Rock area motorists expect cyclists to violate their right of way and were pleasantly surprised when we didn’t.

Doing things right for cyclists

The Dallas bike route system is an amazing resource! It was created decades ago by principled cycling advocates who examined all possible facility types and designed a system utilizing the ones best for cyclists.

Dallas had excellent infrastructure to begin with—a grid street system with miles and miles of easy-to-navigate, quiet streets. This kind of system is a nursery for smart cyclists. It allows novice cyclists access to destinations without having to brave traffic. It allows them to learn to ride according to vehicular rules and principles that translate to any road and traffic situation. The combination of such an asset with enthusiastic cycling advocates who knew what they had and how to maximize it is a rare and beautiful thing in America.

The devil is in the details

On our first day of riding, Lisa and I noticed how smooth the speed humps were on the traffic-calmed bike-route streets—especially in contrast to the hideous, bone-jarring domes Orlando uses. I mentioned it to PM. He told me the story of how the speed humps were tested by cyclists before a design was approved! The details of traffic calming are grossly overlooked by “bike advocates” who are more obsessed with slowing motorists than making sure the devices don’t punish cyclists for the sins of speeding motorists.

Paradise in peril

The city of Dallas can’t control how the surrounding cities and suburbs develop. It can’t control the extreme low density and long travel-distances of its metroplex. What the city can do, and has under the leadership of PM Summer, is maximize its assets to serve utilitarian cycling. The Dallas bike plan should be studied as a positive example of cycling advocacy and accommodation, but instead it has been derided as “bike unfriendly” because it didn’t include bike lanes.

In the years since the bike plan was developed, several destructive forces have chipped away at cycling in Dallas.

Nationwide social norms regarding cycling have steadily deteriorated because industry-driven advocacy has focused on symbolic accommodation and ignored fundamental social and access issues. Those influences have permeated the Dallas bike culture, like every other. As a result, the new generations of mostly-recreational cyclists don’t recognize the assets they have, so they clamor for the kind of symbolic “solutions” popular culture says they need. It’s such a tragedy that national advocacy movements have sought to dumb down bicycling by catering to misperceptions rather than lift it higher with education and empowerment.

In addition, misguided advocates have fed the mythologies of danger with their myopic focus on safety devices vs safety skills. It is widely recognized that helmet laws decrease cycling, yet the city of Dallas passed an all-ages mandatory helmet law.

In recent years, political forces manipulated by land speculators and planning firms seeking government contracts have brought pressure upon the public works department to abandon its principled approach and implement symbolic “accommodations.” These forces have managed to manipulate naive cyclists and ignorant politicians, but their motives are not for the safety and well-being of cyclists.

If the city can find the political will to throw off the parasites and nurture its assets through low-cost solutions, it can become a shining example of a “better way.” Encouragement, which most advocates think must be painted on the pavement, can also be achieved through intelligent social marketing… for a lot less money. Education, too-often shunned by so-called bike advocates, overcomes all inadequate infrastructure solutions by providing recipients with the skills and confidence to reach every destination. The choice is so simple. Spend millions of taxpayer dollars on symbolic facilities what won’t make cycling any easier, or spend a lot less money on education and encouragement to show people how to use the existing assets with confidence.

It remains to be seen if Dallas can save a good thing from destruction. If it can’t, a real treasure and learning opportunity will be lost.

27 replies
  1. fred_dot_u
    fred_dot_u says:


    It almost makes me want to pack up and move there! I don’t have any real problems with traffic in Daytona Beach, FL, but your description is simply pleasant to read.

    I’m not surprised to see a well-balanced “report” with fair descriptions of the good with the not-so-good.

    So…, was the pit bull discourteous and disrespectful?

  2. Keri
    Keri says:

    The pit bull was intent on taking a bite out of my calf. I am most grateful for my fast-twitch sprinter’s build. It took quite a sustained surge to get out of his territory.

    There was no barking, just nails on the pavement behind me.

    He came after me after I had passed him, so I was at a disadvantage to try getting off the bike. I ended up sailing past my left turn because I couldn’t turn. Once he gave up, I walked back to my turn (via the adjacent highway) and saw that there was at least one other pit bull with him.

  3. Bobbentbike
    Bobbentbike says:

    Too bad they didn’t have bike lanes. I’m sure the pit bulls would have respected your priority there. 😉

  4. danc
    danc says:

    Thank you for the cycle-travelogue, a practical, insightful view versus the “Bike to Work” blather, banter, BS which the media and political hail.

  5. Steve A
    Steve A says:

    My experiences in Tarrant County are similar to those Keri reports, so it’s more than just what Dallas has done as a city. A big factor is the overall road network of North Texas. Dallas just had the smarts to take official notice & advantage of what they already had & not mess it up.

    That’d make me optimistic that N Texas will remain a good place to ride, despite what crazy stuff Dallas may do in the future – except Dallas sets the example for “me too” suburbs – and even (though they’d never admit it) Fort Worth!

  6. P.M. Summer
    P.M. Summer says:

    I think the issue is not that Dallas is “bike-friendly”, as much as it’s not “unfriendly”, whereas many attempts at so-called “bike-friendliness” end up with situations that are unintentionally (or maybe not so unintentionally?) unfriendly to bicyclists.

    Basic traffic engineering that accepts the legitimacy of bicycles as a viable part of the transportation mix. That’s all I have ever asked for (or ever will). Well designed signal detectors, appropriate lane widths, NO PARALLEL DRAINAGE GRATES (I’m talking to you, Portland), all designs (like road humps) designed with bicycle traffic in mind.

    But we’ve witnessed a paradigm shift of cataclysmic proportions. We’ve seen LAW/LAB move from protecting cyclists’ access to roads, to LAB trying to protect cyclists FROM roads.

    We’ve gone from promoting bicycles as viable, legal vehicles, to promoting bicycles as extensions of childhood adolescence… as toy-vehicles for transportation play and fashion.

    We’ve gone from a reality-based outlook on how a bicycle can best function as part of a diverse transportation mix, to a Disney World-like approach of a manufactured and forced faux-reality.

    We’ve gone from integration to segregation, and yes, I know how loaded those words are. Just because Jim Crow was wrong, doesn’t mean that some policy-makers didn’t think it was best (and the only way).

  7. Ed W
    Ed W says:

    That was a thoughtful, well-written piece, Keri. I especially like the last bit, Paradise in Peril, and I’ll likely be quoting parts of it.

  8. Jim Wilson
    Jim Wilson says:

    Great article- thanks for visiting the region.

    Orlando is my home town, although its been a very long time. Fort Worth is home now. DFW does need work, we must continue to foster the understanding that safer access and recognition that a true intermodal system includes peds and bicycles at all levels is vitally important.

    There has been, and continues to be a forward and increasing levels of progress… in Dallas, Fort Worth, and many of the surrounding smaller cities. However, rated against others, or simply against real needs- we’ve still got a long way to go.

    The article’s closing comments and Mr. Summer’s posts come close to calling “Bike Lanes” a bad thing. I hope that is not the case. Bike Lanes are not A) appropriate in all situations and B) not possible on many of North Texas’ narrow right-hand lanes; however, Bike Lanes are one more “Tool in the Toolbox” and I don’t believe we should ever eliminate any of those tools.

    We must continue to work to include bicycles as a viable commuting option. Recreational cyclists will of course benefit from such commuter options as well. To that end, those “A, B, and C” experience level cyclists need options. Bike Lanes, Bike Routes, Bike Trails, and buses/trains providing Bike Transport all provide for a truely intermodal option.

    Thanks again for the vist- come see us on the west-side of DFW next time.

    Jim Wilson

  9. ChipSeal
    ChipSeal says:

    Mr. Wilson said; “The article’s closing comments and Mr. Summer’s posts come close to calling “Bike Lanes” a bad thing. I hope that is not the case. Bike Lanes are not A) appropriate in all situations and B) not possible on many of North Texas’ narrow right-hand lanes; however, Bike Lanes are one more “Tool in the Toolbox” and I don’t believe we should ever eliminate any of those tools.”

    The trouble is, Mr. Wilson, bike lanes don’t seem to be a tool among many, but the only tool ever used. How many of the existing bike lanes would you estimate as being implemented appropriately to the situation and to a high enough standard to avoid being an attractive nuisance? One in seven? One in ten?

    What does the ABC cyclist do when the bike lane ends? What tool is available for him then? Why do bicycle “advocates” never address how to deal with the end of the bike lanes?

    We don’t need “toolboxes” filled with a single tool. We need better bicycle advocates.

  10. pmsummer
    pmsummer says:

    Hi, Jim!

    The problem with bike lanes is NOT bike lanes (I have have fought for their installation in certain situations), it’s the use of them for purposes they weren’t design for that’s the problem. The promulgation of the idea that they provide increased safety in unconscionable in face of the clear evidence that they do not (and actually increase risk in too many applications). The common idea that they make cyclists “feel” safer should never be promoted by a transportation professional as a warrant for their application.

    How someone “feels” about a traffic engineering application is an area for psychologists to ponder. How it “functions” in the real world is far more important, and the concern of traffic engineers and like-minded planners (some planners are closet psychologists).

    The more streets are striped off for segregation of bicycles away from other vehicles, the more both cyclists and non-cyclists come to believe that’s the only place where they belong. The unwitting complicity of cycling advocates to achieve the goals of motorists who don’t want bicycles on the road is very dangerous to both cycling and cyclists.

  11. pmsummer
    pmsummer says:

    Hi, Jim!

    The problem with bike lanes is NOT bike lanes (I have actually fought for their installation in certain situations), it’s the use of them for purposes they weren’t design for that’s the problem.

    The promulgation of the idea that they provide increased safety in unconscionable in face of the clear evidence that they do not (and actually increase risk in too many applications). The common idea that they make cyclists “feel” safer should never be promoted by a transportation professional as a warrant for their application.

    How someone “feels” about a traffic engineering application is an area for psychologists to ponder. How it “functions” in the real world is far more important, and the concern of traffic engineers and like-minded planners (some planners are closet psychologists).

    The more streets are striped off for segregation of bicycles away from other vehicles, the more both cyclists and non-cyclists come to believe that’s the only place where they belong. The unwitting complicity of cycling advocates to achieve the goals of motorists who don’t want bicycles on the road is very dangerous to both cycling and cyclists.

  12. Jim Wilson
    Jim Wilson says:

    Thanks folks,
    That we talk about and move forward with bicycles as part of our transportation system is a real bonus.

    I agree the use of Bike Lanes is often in-appropriate, and certainly they often end with no further application for the cyclist to utilize.

    However, when used correctly, where conditions allow, they certainly do provide greater access which promotes greater safety. And if greater access promotes a “feeling” of greater safety which promotes more cycling commuters- that in it self promotes greater safety. Simply, more cyclists equals greater awareness by our motor-vehicle population and that directly impacts safety. Additionally, greater use equates to greater ease in acquiring funding for greater access.

    Bike Lanes are not the only solution, nor are they always correct- but they are not always a bad solution either. New plans for FW include Lanes, Routes, Trails, Linear Parks, and simply ensurring we re-build or newly build using extra wide outside right lanes. That there is conversation on this topic, and forward progress in DFW on this need is a great thing in and of it self!

    I thank each of you for your efforts to further a true intermodal and shared solution for our public roadways. Regardless of some differences regarding best practices or best “tools” I truely appreciate your efforts.

    Jim Wilson

  13. Pedro
    Pedro says:

    You been flim-flamed, conned, suckered I tell you. Dallas is the most bike unfriendly place I’ve ever lived. I don’t care what PM says, the city wont put in bike lanes because they are worried about liability. Many of the so-called bike routes are on busy streets. The rednecks here don’t care if the route is marked with a little blue sign, roads are for cars! The only way to educate the ignorati here is to carve off some territory for bikes. Riding in New York City traffic is safer than riding on street in dallas.

  14. Keri
    Keri says:

    PM Summer hired all those motorists to follow me around for a week and make sure I was insulated from the Real Dallas motorists. Yeah… that’s what happened.

    And the Dallas Run videos. A solid, unedited hour of video without a single honk. It was all staged. It wasn’t really on the streets of Dallas, it was a Hollywood set!

    Yeah… that’s the ticket!

  15. BobBentBike
    BobBentBike says:

    Pedro, Why do you think your ignorati will respect a stripe if they don’t respect little blue signs? If you have a different experience than what’s been demonstrated in video, maybe you can change your experience by modifying your own behavior.

  16. P.M. Summer
    P.M. Summer says:

    The interchange between Pedro and Keri is illustrative. Cyclists who ride in the gutter have horrible experiences as they constantly assume the subservient position to other vehicles, and never even begin to understand the dynamic, instead finding meaning in victim status.

    Cyclists like Keri make the decision to control their lane in traffic, and to exchange the life of a traffic victim for that of being a full partner.

    There are none so blind as those who will not see. Nor so sad.

  17. Eric Snyder
    Eric Snyder says:

    As a long-time Dallasite who grew up here and has only recently started to get more into biking, I found that upbeat article rather amusing. I still think it’s pretty unfriendly. I’ve cycled to work a few times, Richardson to Walnut Hill and Central. There’s a good path most of the way, but when there’s not there is no way I want to be on the street with Dallas car drivers, some of whom (3 kids) drove by me a couple of blocks from my house on a very sedate street with no traffic and very angrily yelled at me to “get on the sidewalk, m_____”

  18. pmsummer
    pmsummer says:

    Hi Eric.

    I know you didn’t really mean to call out Keri on your post. What you experience and what she experienced are directly related to two things, one primary and the second ancillary.

    PRIMARY: Like most beneficiaries of “safety education”, I’ll bet you ride a bike “as far right as possible” in the roadway. That’s not what the law requires, and it isn’t safe. To be able to experience the freedom and hospitality of “bicycle driving” like ms. Caffrey does, I’d recommend you take advantage of this opportunity to “re-learn” basic bicycle traffic skills. It’s easy, it’s simple, and I’m even going to show you how to get a discount. Just follow this URL:

    ANCILLARY: Sadly, your city of Richardson has begun installing some very poorly thought-out bike lanes that ignore every accepted design standard. Even worse (and this is well documented in other US cities… including Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas), the introduction of these segregated facilities communicates to the hooligans in your neighborhood that you have no right to be on the street.

    I encourage you to take the Traffic 101 course, learn its principals, and then enjoy the streets. True, there are always going to be a few assholes. The number of serious incidents and injuries on trails like the White Rock Creek and Katy Trail attest to the fact that assholes jog and ride bikes, too (and cause serious harm).

  19. Curious
    Curious says:

    I’ve lived and ridden in Dallas for 36 years and I have to admit I’m a bit shocked by the misrepresentation of our city in this article…how can one safely occupy their lane when 85% of Dallas drivers are texting as they drive…it’s not that they would intentionally run you down…it’s just that everyone here is more focused on their phone…maybe we just need to accept that “occupying ones lane was killed by the cell phone”

  20. R Wharton
    R Wharton says:

    Curious – I’m really sorry that you feel this way about Dallas, though I did raise my eyebrows in skepticism at your claim about 85% of Dallas drivers and texting.

    However, I do want to offer my services as a Dallas cyclo-commuter and recreational cyclist who is trying to help enlighten his own species about myth vs. reality. The cycling culture itself perpetuates the perception that the roads are ‘unsafe’, and that all motorists want to do is kill, either intentionally or inadvertently. I’d like to perhaps meet with you at the Starbucks on Knox, or another one at a location that is convenient to you, and go for a ride together, after a discussion about what does and doesn’t constitute fear, safety, and antagonism, as well as a refresher on road rules.

    Dallas really IS a great place to ride a bike. You just have to know HOW to properly ride your bike. Would you want your taxes to go up for miles of bike lanes that will be unused, unsafe, and un-maintained, yet expected to be there when one is present?

    Let me offer my time and services, and we’ll both look at it from your eyes. I can be reached through www dot cyclingcenterdallas dot com, or you can email me directly at whareagle at gmail.com. While you’re at it, head over to bikedfw dot com and sign up for a Traffic Skills 101 class. You’ll be impressed. I guarantee it.

    Thanks to Keri for hosting and being such a perpetual advocate for real cycling.

    • Curious
      Curious says:

      I know how passionate you are about your view on this topic so I’m not going to get into it with you here. I will say that I’m a very experienced cyclist and commuter and I’ve been hit three times on the roads of Dallas (while following safe cycling guidelines and riding defensively). I just don’t understand how we are to believe we can occupy our lane when drivers are not focused on driving (and unfortunately who can honestly say that they have never been distracted by their phone while driving?).

  21. R Wharton
    R Wharton says:

    And how many times were you NOT hit? That’s the thing. It’s really a numbers game that is truly in our favor. What’s wrong is that the ‘they’ out in the world, want you to believe that it IS dangerous. Every day, thousands of cyclists in and around Dallas, throw a leg over their bikes, and complete a ride from one point to another, or they ride a circuit somewhere and back….. and nothing happens. It’s the anecdote that bleeds, leads, and reads. I’m sorry you’ve been hit, but I bet that there are ways or routes we could figure out together that would mitigate the chances of encounter, and maximize both your safety and effectiveness as a cyclist in Dallas. Act like a vehicle, make yourself as visible as possible (that means controlling your lane among other things), signal your intentions, and act just like everyone else in traffic, blackberries excluded. You’d be surprised at the goodwill you’d foster, the respect you’d gain in the shared-road community, and again, you’d be surprised at what doesn’t happen.

    The guy in FW that was killed several months ago was 5 to 6′ over on the right hand side of the shoulder… He was in a de facto bike lane… The white stripe didn’t help him… The distracted motorist who killed him should be held criminally culpable.

    Let’s go over each one of the three accidents you had, deconstruct them and reconstruct them, and see what went wrong, and what you MIGHT have done to improve your odds. We might both learn something. Again – no need to hide behind a pseudonym. You know who I am, and you know how to reach me. Come on out – let’s go for a ride.

  22. danc
    danc says:

    @ Curious said “85% of Dallas drivers are texting”

    Where did that number come from?

    Where do bicycle accidents happen? At the intersection, turning or crossing movement over > 83% while only ~4-6% happen from behind, overtaking by motor vehicle This is not “that is not downplaying fear from the rear” rather prioritizing hazards, conflicts.

    “Fear from the rear” is an irrational public fear and distracted driving associated with more driver electronics (i.e. cell phone/texting, PDA and GPS) may aggravate the situation but it does not legitimatize the fear. Cyclist have more control of their safety than than they believe.

    Consider “Fear of Traffic from the Rear.” This paper key point “getting hit from the rear can be just as easily avoided as getting hit from the front, but the cyclist has to be a little more actively involved than to just be maintaining a good lane position.” “Being move visible” by assertive lane position sound counter intuitive but I agree it works.

    2001 AAA study of “Role of Driver Distractions in Traffic Crashes” developed the following crash cause categories and percentages (I’ve excluded cell phone stats):

    28.1% Outside person, object, event
    14.1% Adjusting radio/cassette/CD
    11.8% Other occupant
    3.5% Moving object in vehicle
    1.6% Smoking related
    17.1% Other distraction
    16.7% Unknown distraction

    The problem of “distracted driving” has been around a long time. What about banning radio/cassette/CD? Other occupant? I have no idea what the heck “outside person, object, event” means.

    A 2009 NHTSA Traffic Safety Notes: “Examination of Driver Distraction as Recorded in NHTSA Databases”. Here is the key part of summary:

    “Measuring driver distraction in the field is difficult and potentially imprecise because of self-reporting and timing of data collection. Due to differences in methodology and definitions of distraction, each study or survey conducted may arrive at different results and conclusions with respect to the involvement of driver distraction during a crash.”

    Honestly anyone driving a car is distracted, but it is momentary not continually otherwise more cars, trucks or trains or planes would be in the ditch.

  23. Ed W
    Ed W says:

    R Wharton offered some excellent advice. Crash analysis is the best way to avoid and prevent further crashes, so if at all possible, please follow up with him. But another consideration involves all those cold statistics. The whole subject of crashes, particularly those involving motor vehicles, is fraught with emotionally charged arguments that overwhelm the rational, statistical ones. The very best way to determine the utility of those cold stats is to ride with someone who can demonstrate basic lane positioning. Honestly, it’s a truly emotional experience that can change the way you think about bicycling in traffic. Please consider taking up his offer of a ride together.

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