Urban Velo

Cyclists and Drivers Share Blame In Accidents In Minneapolis

Last month the Star Tribune reported on a recent study in Minneapolis looking into the causes of bicycle/auto traffic accidents.

A new analysis of 10 years of crash data has found that drivers and cyclists are almost equally at fault in the 270 reported bike-motor vehicle crashes that Minneapolis averages annually.

Biker actions contributed to the crash in 59 percent of collisions, compared to almost 64 percent for drivers, according to the study presented Tuesday to the City Council. Sometimes both were judged at fault by investigating officers.

The city’s Public Works Department plans to use the data to target education campaigns at drivers and bicyclists as well as to improve bike features such as lanes, bike-triggered traffic signals and other accommodations.

David Meyer, who rides and works at the Hub Bike Co-op, said the shared fault makes sense to him. “It’s all people — just taking different modes of transportation,” he said.

Nick Mason, chairman of the panel that advises the city on bike matters, called the study “definitely the most thorough analysis we’ve seen of crashes.”

“It’s so great to know that our crashes are not all random … and there are things we can do to prevent crashes,” he said.

The report urges that the city continue such practices as striping bike markings through congested intersections to guide cyclists or using dashed lines to signal to drivers when they can cross a bike lane for a turn.

Read the entire article at www.startribune.com

Bike Fixtation and Green Guru Partnership

BikeFixtation4 Bike Fixtation manufactures work stands, pumps and vending machines for public bicycle repair access. Over the years I’ve had no shortage of conversations with people about bicycle vending machines near trail access points or outside of the shop for off-hours tubes and lube, and we’ve all dreamed of the fantasy land of a bike repair station at the bus terminal or outside of the grocery store. Bike Fixtation makes it happen — I’ve seen a number of these around the country, and always walk away impressed with how it makes bikes as transportation that much more accessible. Now Green Guru and Bike Fixtation have paired up to offer bicycle tube recycling paired with tire inflation at certain stations, giving your old tube new life as a repurposed product. Badger your local public transportation management and grocery story chains and maybe you can find one of these in your town before too long.

Aspen Considering Idaho Stop Law

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The Aspen Times is reporting that city officials are considering adopting the “Idaho Stop” law that allows cyclists to yield at stop signs and proceed if the intersection is clear.

Aspen Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn said the “stop-as-yield approach” has proven to work in states such as Idaho, which changed its law allowing cyclists the option to yield some 30 years ago. A 2008 study by a University of California at Berkeley researcher showed that in Idaho, police and motorists have accepted the measure as public policy that makes sense.

“If people are already doing it for practical purposes, and it’s not causing a wave of traffic crashes around town, why don’t we at least discuss the possibility of changing the law and allowing people to do it legally? It removes the guesswork for the motorists,” he said.

Read more at www.aspentimes.com

The Long Haul

The Bicycle Works is nestled along Bicycle Route 20 in the Town of San Anselmo, California—just north from San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge. Bicycle Route 20 is one of the major East/West bicycling corridors in Marin, a county famous for Redwood Trees, Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Ranch, plenty of expensive imported cars, and being the birthplace of the mountain bike. Hundreds of people ride past The Bicycle Works daily—and more often than commonly seen, on cargo bikes. The Bicycle Works has been a hub of cycling activity for the past three years, serving the community and doing pioneering work on electric cargo bikes.

Read more.

A Sober, Data-Based Approach to Bicycle Advocacy

CityCyclingFrom The Atlantic Cities:

In their new book, John Pucher and Ralph Buehler come right out and state their belief in plain English: “Cycling should be made feasible, convenient, and safe for everyone.” The editors of City Cycling, just published by MIT Press, aim to further that cause by gathering together as much data as they could find to support their case that “it is hard to beat cycling when it comes to environmental, economic, and social sustainability.”

Read more.

Safe Streets Not Slowing Emergency Responders

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FireTruck-300x217 “Think of the children…” is a common refrain when trying to preserve the status quo. When it comes to resisting bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure there is usually someone making an argument that complete streets improvements hinder emergency vehicles by creating pinch points in otherwise open, traffic-free streets. Streetsblog.org is reporting that response times in NYC in 2012 were lower than in previous years, and this with more bike lanes and pedestrian improvements than ever before.

A data set released by the city Wednesday blows another hole in what has always been a weak and cynical criticism. At an event on Randall’s Island yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano announced that in 2012, FDNY achieved the fastest average EMS response time in the city’s history. Fewer civilians died in fires last year than ever before, which the mayor and fire chief attributed to another near-record low average response time.

Read the entire article along with links to previous arguments against walkable infrastructure improvements at www.streetsblog.org

2012 Washington DC Bicycle Count Summary

The Washington DC Department of Transportation just released their 2012 bicycle count summary and it shows a 175% increase in peak-hour cycling from 2004-2012 that goes along with a 300% increase in the number of bike lanes in that same time. Washington DC is quickly becoming known as one of the most bike friendly US cities, and the ridership numbers don’t lie. See more at www.ddotdish.com

Take Your Lane Illustration

This illustration was created for a cyclist who was pulled over by a police officer who claimed that the 12ft lane he was in was shareable. I offer it to anyone who needs to make the case that a 12ft lane is not wide enough to share and is thus exempt from any FTR requirement. The lanes is too narrow to share and riding too far right compromises the bicyclist’s safety.

Read more and see other illustrations on the Commute Orlando Facebook page.

Bike lanes, cars may be on crash course…

Bike lanes, from the SF GateFrom the SF Gate:

The good news is that there have never been more lanes dedicated to bike traffic in San Francisco. The bad news is bikes and automobiles are still crashing into each other.

Part of the problem is simply sharing the street. But there’s also a concern that the green bike lanes may actually be encouraging collisions.

Read more.


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