You are not logged in.

#1 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Shoal Creek, part trois (?) » 2019-09-21 20:30:30

I don't think "protected" means they're suggesting that it's impossible for a vehicle to hit us, just far less likely for them to do so.  I applaud "far less likely".

It's also an efficient use of limited funds.  They can improve way more miles of bike lanes with plastic posts than they could with concrete.  I'll take it.

#2 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Shoal Creek, part trois (?) » 2019-09-20 18:55:16

The City reports that they've installed the protected bike lanes between Foster Lane and 183, and are trimming trees for the lower part of Shoal Creek Blvd.

https://mailchi.mp/austintexas.gov/prot … and-us-183

f1a0f667-6d90-4c5d-8d01-ca6dc246bf9c.jpg

#3 Organizations » NoHelmetLaw.org free to a good home » 2019-09-19 18:53:42

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 0

I registered NoHelmetLaw.org in 2006 when Austin toyed with bringing back the adult helmet law for bicyclists.  Thankfully, they didn't bring it back, but anyway, I've been sitting on this domain name now for 13 years.  I try to live by a 10-year rule, that if I haven't used something in 10 years, I get rid of it.

So, I'm looking to give away the domain name to a good home.  I wrote to the Australian bicycling advocacy group, the only group I could find actively fighting a helmet law, but I didn't hear back from them.

So, any takers?  And what would you do with it?

#4 Re: Other » Temporary parks in parking spaces » 2019-09-19 16:24:27

Of course Effective Cyclists oppose it.  They oppose everything, sometimes seemingly for no other real reason than to be oppositional.

#6 Organizations » Local bicycling icon Fred Meredith passed away in April 2019 » 2019-09-06 14:18:05

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 1

This is dated but it's the first I've heard of it.  Many of you knew or knew of Fred Meredith, whose bicycle advocacy was broad and deep.  He was one of the very first members of this forum back in 1993 when it started as a Critical Mass email list, and was one of its most prolific contributors.  He was also an all-around great guy, I never hear anyone have a bad word for him.  He will be sorely missed.

[See the obituary.]

#7 Justice Issues / Collisions » Amazon deliveries yield carnage on the road, abuse of drivers » 2019-09-03 09:48:35

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 1
BuzzFeed wrote:

Two drivers for a different delivery company operating in the Los Angeles area said they were forced to skip meals, ordered to urinate in bottles rather than stop for bathroom breaks, and advised to speed and not wear seatbelts to ensure they delivered more packages in less time.....

Public records document hundreds of road wrecks involving vehicles delivering Amazon packages in the past five years, with Amazon itself named as a defendant in at least 100 lawsuits filed in the wake of accidents, including at least six fatalities and numerous serious injuries. This is almost certainly a vast undercount, as many accidents involving vehicles carrying Amazon packages are not reported in a way that can link them to the company. And in some states, including California, accident reports are not public.

The deaths have included victims as old as Escamilla and as young as a 10-month-old baby named Gabrielle. Often with little training, and at times piloting vans in dangerous states of disrepair, Amazon drivers have crashed into cars, bicycles, houses, people, and pets. And under constant pressure to deliver ever more packages, drivers have piled parcels so high on their dashboards that they couldn’t see out the windshield — causing at least one serious collision.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ca … ery-deaths

The article is amazingly and impressively comprehensive, like something you'd expect from The Atlantic, the quotes above just scratch the surface.  Definitely worth a look.

#9 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Shoal Creek, part trois (?) » 2019-08-09 19:14:32

Work on Shoal Creek to begin mid-August.  https://data.austintexas.gov/stories/s/ … akeholders

I'm not wild about the two-way bike lane, but it's certainly better than cars parked in the bike lane.

I haven't ridden on Shoal Creek Blvd. in years, but I might venture over to check it out once the new work is done.

#10 Justice Issues / Collisions » # of U.S. pedestrian deaths highest since 1990 » 2019-08-08 19:30:53

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 0

Takeaways:
• 6227 deaths in 2018.

• 35% increase in ped deaths in the last decade

• Five states are responsible for almost half of all ped deaths (AZ, CA, FL, GA, TX).


Factors:
• Increase in SUVs and trucks, more likely to kill peds
• Texting while driving
• Population increase

https://www.npr.org/2019/02/28/69919521 … eport-says

#12 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » The Scooter Thread » 2019-06-22 15:41:59

Austin Chronicle wrote:

A study commissioned by Austin Public Health in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control found that about 20 scooter riders were injured for every 100,000 trips taken during a there-month period lat fall in Downtown Austin.

That number seems pretty high, and not at all surprising.

https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/20 … -can-hurt/

#13 Justice Issues / Collisions » 12,000 hit and runs per year in Austin (30 per day) » 2019-06-22 15:22:41

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 0

I know I made a post about this before, probably 2015 or 2016, but I can't find it.  Maybe it got erased somehow.  So I'll take another stab at it.

According to this article, there were 10,560 hit-and-runs from Jan. through Nov. 2015, which would be 11,520 a year, or 32 per day.

Of those, 424 (463/year, 1.3/day) were failure to stop and render aid.

Austin is such a nice place.

#14 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Drivers never yield at bike and ped crossings » 2019-06-06 02:04:44

Jack wrote:

For these messy intersections, why not direct right turning traffic to the right side of the road (where it belongs)  earlier and forward-traveling cyclists to the left of the right turning traffic (where they belong)?

Agreed.  I just took an aerial view of the area in Google Maps and there's indeed enough space for both a straight-through bike lane and a right-turning bike lane.

Seems like I recall that eastbound *used* to put the straight-through bike lane between the straight-through car lane and the right-turning car lane.  Is my memory correct, or did I do too many drugs in the 60s?

#15 Bike Lanes / Facilities » Surprising neighborhood support for white hockey-stick barriers » 2019-06-05 01:55:58

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 1

On Nextdoor.com, a neighbor complained about the vertical white plastic barriers the City put in the street near some intersections, separating the car lane from the bike lane, saying they were an eyesore.  Surprisingly, most neighbors disagreed with him, saying they enhance cyclist safety.  Or maybe not so surprising:  while the *general public* has a disdain for cyclists and their safety, people on Nextdoor.com are more likely to be community-minded, by definition.

Here's the original complaint:

Ian McEnroe wrote:

New stupid street nonsense in your neighborhood
Let's put little white poles obstructing turns at the intersection! Come see what nonsense our idiot city planners have added to Threadgill and Zach Scott. Now it's impossible to turn onto Zach Scott from the side street. And it's an eyesore as well. Stay tuned as the city ruins our streets, one block at a time.NOTE***BICYCLE LANES ARE NOT THE PROBLEM HERE...we have had safe lanes on our street for many years.. this is about implementing A BAD SOLUTION TO A NON-EXISTENT  PROBLEM***

And selected, excerpted responses:

Brendan Wittstruck wrote:

Here's the nuance I think is lost here: another tragedy is the number of people who *aren't* riding bikes because they're too afraid for their safety.  I'm a grown adult competent rider comfortable on a street in traffic.  An elderly person on a bike might not be so comfortable; a person with a disability might not be so comfortable; a novice right might not, and so forth.  When we opine the aesthetics of bike lane hockey sticks, we should do so only after first considering what it is like to be a parent teaching their child to ride a bike in that lane.  What may seem a nuisance to you is a world of difference in opening up access to the city for so, so many.

The above comment got 21 Likes, while the OP's got only 5

Jonny Steets wrote:

This is a good addition.  I've witnessed plenty of cars driving in the buffer and in the bike lanes themselves!  If the drivers can't obey the lines, it's time for a gentle reminder.

I drive Zach Scott every morning and evening and haven't had any issues turning.  I'm assuming you are trying to turn at a speed higher than the turns are designed.

Allison Griffey wrote:

As someone who often bikes, walks, runs, whatever through Mueller, I gotta say, the number of cars who almost hit me every. single. time. is rather astounding.  And it is mostly because people in their cars will fly through right turns without looking to their left and will almost mow down anyone who might be coming and who assumes they are safe because they are in a neighborhood and have the right of way where they are.  Anything to make a neighborhood safer, and that might make a driver look around a little more than they might usually do... especially in a place with so many people out walking and bike riding, is a good thing.

Clay Olmstead wrote:

There are a lot of kids in Mueller; some of them may be riding for pretty close to their first time. Anything that makes it safer for them is a good thing. If it means the rest of us have to slow down a little - well, that's an even better thing.

John Nordstrom wrote:

I’d be willing to bet that the unfettered freedom to breed is worse for traffic control than the city....

Maroof Kahn wrote:

People who never ride bikes have no ground to comment on how bike safety measures are an "eyesore". I never ride much myself. But every person riding a bike to work, is 1 less car on the road. Given Austin's ridiculous traffic, that's a good thing. If you are in a car and get into a minor accident, it will most likely be harmless. Cyclists don't have that luxury. An accident for them is very likely to be fatal.

Star Salzman wrote:

Not all of the responses were anti-OP and pro-bike safety, but most of them were.  That's a far cry from what you'd see at, say, the end of a Statesman article.

#16 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Drivers never yield at bike and ped crossings » 2019-06-04 23:29:26

I'm a well-known pessimist, but I don't think the city put in the crossing as a CYA move, I think they were generally trying to improve the situation.  It does seem like an improvement over the nothing that was there before.  I think the fact that's not working is drivers' fault, not the City's.

Jack, to use your idea of riding to the left of the crossing, that means when going westbound I'd need to be in the car turning lane, which isn't wide enough for a car and a bike to share side by side.  When I'm *driving* in that lane going close to the speed limit, drivers tailgate me and show impatience/frustration that I'm not going fast enough.  I can't imagine how pissed off they'd be if a bike were blocking them, especially when there's a well-marked bike lane on the right side of the ride that I wouldn't be using.

At some point, a straight-bound cyclist is gonna have to cross the path of the right-turning cars.  I don't know how to do that in a way that drivers will actually respect, short of my idea of having a sensor notice bicyclists and trigger a railroad crossing-style arm to lower.

#17 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Drivers never yield at bike and ped crossings » 2019-06-03 21:29:29

That's quite a project, btrettel.  What do you plan to do with your data?

Those crossings are why my wife stopped biking.  After the umpteenth time that she tried to enter the crossing on her bike only to have a driver lay on their horn as they sped through it, forcing her to slam on her brakes, she gave up.  The last time she came home crying and shaking, almost catatonic, staring into space, just muttering over and over again, "He tried to kill me!"  She didn't move for hours.  Right after that I bought a car.

The irony would be if the drivers, as they're honking and speeding through the crossing, yelled out their windows, "Bicyclists have to follow the law if they want respect!"

My wife says if we win the lottery, she wants to fund a camera like the red-light cams that would automatically mail tickets to drivers.  My own fantasy is a sensor that lowers a railroad crossing-style arm when a bicyclist approaches.

In theory, the City did their part:  Only a few years ago there was nothing there (I biked through it for decades), but now they've marked the crossing with green paint, put in separator flags, and YIELD TO BIKES signage.  In a reasonable world that would be enough, but this is Austin, where drivers are more selfish even than average.

Your vest looked British to me, and then on closer inspection I see that the site selling it is indeed in England.  If that's working here, then maybe any safety vest would work (which I used to wear).  Whenever I'd bike to Home Depot and walked in with my vest, people would always start asking me which aisle products were on.  (I'd always just tell them, since I know the store well.)

#18 Justice Issues / Collisions » Drivers never yield at bike and ped crossings » 2019-06-01 02:59:05

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 12

I don't bike much any more, but when I do, drivers fail to yield to me at the green bike crossings at Dean Keeton (where the signs instruct them, YIELD TO BIKES), 100% of the time.

Today when I was driving, I stopped at a crosswalk where a ped looked like he was about to enter it, and the driver behind me laid on his horn.  That's a pretty frequent occurrence.

A few years ago I biked through the marked crossing on the I-35 service road at 4th St., forcing the driver to stop who clearly didn't want to.  He and his wife/girlfriend simultaneously both flipped the bird with both hands (4 total).  I'll never forget the look of disgust on her face.

But, you know, cyclists have to follow the law if they want respect.  (Applies only to bicyclists.)

#19 Re: Other » Why no contiguous paved trails? » 2019-05-31 21:25:24

Jack, you're right that those kinds of facilities are expensive, but they're also not just for rec cyclists (depending on where they're located).

There *is* the Walnut Creek Trail.  That's pretty long.

#20 Re: Other » Why no contiguous paved trails? » 2019-05-30 19:42:46

Well, the short answer is that Austin really *isn't* a bike-friendly city.  See the "Austin NOT a Top 10 cycling city!" link in the sidebar.

#21 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Ignore your rights and they will go away » 2019-05-30 05:55:44

Thanks for posting this.  I think the original didn't make it to the email list when you first posted it on 5/23, so I just set it to post manually.

I've been meaning to buy a camera ever since you first turned me on to CVE, even though I don't bike so much any more, but this is the kick in the pants I need to finally do so.

Though it sure is disheartening though to see all the cases on CVE where police blow off the cyclists' video evidence.  We certainly need a revolution, somehow.

I hear you about Bike Austin.  Their website is never updated, and a while back a former director tried to pressure me to remove a bit on my website where I pointed out that a local attorney was also a DWI lawyer.  (The lawyer happened to be a major donor to Bike Austin.)  The lawyer actually threatened to sue me (for reporting the truth!), then backed down once she realized I wasn't an idiot.

#22 Cars / Gas / Energy » Texas law would let teens get licensed without a DMV road test » 2019-05-30 05:35:27

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 0

The proposed bill would let parents give the test:

https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driv … g-test.htm


So, bad drivers are going to award driver's licenses.  20% of drivers admit to drunk driving at least monthly.

When driver's licenses are given out like candy, the result is obvious.

#24 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » UT claims no liability for its driver hitting cyclist April Garner » 2019-05-20 15:38:41

Of course, if UT had simply accepted responsibility, there wouldn't *be* any pending litigation.

Also, it's interesting that the chief of staff at one of the best-known institutions of higher learning in the United States cannot spell "lawsuit".

Board footer

1.5.9