I’m working on several posts that take time to construct. In the meantime, here are some odds and ends from here and there.
Changing the Plan
Transit-oriented development is all the rage. But what if you build it the exurban development before the transit, they come, then they don’t want the transit after all?
Does helmet cam video make cycling seem more dangerous? Be careful what you show, to whom.
We have discussed the use of video for this before. I think it’s good to capture outrageous behavior for political purposes (to increase enforcement, influence policy-making or report commercial drivers). For example, Jason captured an excellent example of incivility over a group of us ignoring the 3ft-wide faux bike lane on Tuscawilla Rd. I’ve experienced that kind of abuse many times in similar situations, but video tells a much more powerful story about why striping substandard gutter lanes is detrimental to bicycling.
Unfortunately, many people who capture crashes and road rage incidents want the shock value of showing the world about the horrible conditions they have to face. This form of victim advocacy is so damaging because, as the article says, it comes completely out of context. Road ragers represent one in hundreds, or thousands, of uneventful encounters. They are abhorrent and should not be normalized with “see, see, I told you these streets were mean” framing. Likewise, when a crash is shown in the media you can guarantee there will be no analysis of what actually happened to cause the crash or how it could have been easily prevented by smarter cycling.
See Road rage videos do more harm than good on Bike Biz.
No Safety in Numbers
A new comprehensive interactive map shows all reported crashes in San Fransisco. That in itself is interesting to play with. But it also shows that bike crashes have grown 8% in the past two years. Ridership has grown only 3%. Oh and, keep in mind that reported crashes are typically the tip of the iceberg. For every reported crash, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of minor crashes and close calls.
Here’s another thing to ponder:
But [San Fransisco cycling] also rife with “anger, misunderstanding, and mistrust between motorists and cyclists,” according to a report issued last year by a San Francisco Civil Grand Jury, which investigated the implementation of the city’s bike plan.
Us v them tears the community apart and reduces the quality and safety of cycling. It doesn’t have to be that way. This is a product of modern American bike advocacy.
Also worth noting are the top three crash causes: #1 speed (hello, steep hills); #2 turning conflicts; #3 dooring. Yet in a recent article (including a video so misguided it could warrant a post of its own), the ED for the bike coalition called for more segregated bike lanes for safety. Splain me how segregated bike lanes fix those crash causes.
See San Francisco Bike Accidents Rise Faster than the Rate of Cycling; Bay Citizen Maps Crash Data on Transportation Nation
Mighk and I were invited by John Alexander to speak to the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers about the CyclingSavvy curriculum design, teaching methodology and the unique challenges we faced in creating it. In the process, we inadvertently educated a room full of motorists. The result was very positive. The Q&A included a lot of discussion about how we could get this information into driver’s ed programs. This is from motorists, mind you, not cyclists. But the best quote ever came from a woman who raised her hand and said:
“First, I want to apologize because I think I’ve seen you on Maguire and yelled at you for being in the road. Now I understand!”
Effective education is good advocacy. There was no us v them in that discussion.
Hat tip to Brian DeSousa and Dan Gutierrez for the news stories.