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#1 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » City cracks down on parking in bike lanes (Jan. 2020) » 2022-06-17 17:35:35

I floated the idea to the City about 30 years ago to somehow deputize citizens to be able to ticket cars illegally parked in bike lanes, but it was a non-starter.  Bounty system seems to get around their concerns.  But even though bounty system is an easier sell, I think that 30 years ago they still wouldn't have gone for it.

#2 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Need help with finding and making a ghost bike » 2022-05-13 20:40:34

Chuck, I'm very sorry to hear about your loss.  I can't imagine how heartbreaking that must be.

#3 Justice Issues / Collisions » Drunk driving judge arrested for drunk driving » 2022-05-13 02:14:33

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 0

Today in "You can't make this sh!t up", Judge John Lipscombe was arrested for drunk driving.

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local … fe1c253be2

#4 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/ » 2022-05-02 16:40:15

sevenspurs wrote:

nice humble brag, i don't recall asking you for your SAT scores.

It was because until today, nobody has ever questioned my reading comprehension.

In any event, I'm not sure about the answer to your question.  Certainly a normal-width bike lane will always be one-way, but you're asking about a lane that's large enough to accommodate a bus.  I'm guessing that even though it's wide enough for two-way bike traffic, it's still not allowed, but that's just an educated guess.

#5 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/ » 2022-05-02 12:37:29

sevenspurs wrote:

And if my first post was nonsensical, that is with the reader of the post.

Well, sevenspurs, given that I got the highest possible score on the SAT Test of Standard Written English, I beg to differ.  And somehow you failed to notice that the first person who replied to your post likewise couldn't conclude exactly what you were asking.

Possibly what you meant to ask was, "Can a single-lane bike lane be used in both directions?"  It certainly wasn't clear.  It's still not.

#6 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » W 5th Street: Bye bye buffered bike lane, hello bus lane :-/ » 2022-05-02 11:24:10

sevenspurs smells like a bot or spammer to me, with the nonsensical question, as the very first post, with no introduction about the poster, and which hijacks an existing thread, and an IP address from Dallas.

So let's try a Turing test:  sevenspurs, how come time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana?  That might ferret out a bot, though not a human spammer, though hopefully no human spammer would come back to the forum to spam after reading that the admin is actually monitoring posts on this forum.

#7 Other » Casino offered pedicab service a quarter-century ago » 2022-04-03 20:42:55

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 0

Just came across this article from 1999, about a Las Vegas casino that offered pedicab service to shuttle guests to their cars in the huge parking lot.

https://lasvegassun.com/news/1999/nov/0 … o-casinos/

#8 Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » Pawn shops pretending that stolen bikes aren't? » 2022-03-20 11:14:47

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 3

Came across this review for Mustang Pawn.  My understanding is that pawn shops are required to give the serial numbers of their bikes to APD so APD can match against reported bike thefts.  The bike owner here claims that Mustang intentionally gave the wrong serial number of his bike to APD.  While intent is hard to prove, the bike owner also says that Mustang forced him to sue to get his bike back, which isn't likely something he'd make up, and if Mustang is that shady, then the idea of the intentional misrepresentation of the serial # to APD gets more believable.

"They knowingly misrepresented the serial number from my bike that was stolen. I went to the store because they had posted it for sale on Craigslist. When I went there to claim my stolen bike, they said it was a mistake that they wrote the serial number down incorrectly on their inventory report to the Austin police. Even with the proof that it was my bike, they made me sue them to get my bike back. However, when it came time to go to court they didn't even bother to show up because they knew they were wrong."

#9 Justice Issues / Collisions » Two pedestrians killed by hit-and-run drivers in early 2022 » 2022-03-19 11:31:00

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 0

Zelibanos Mekuria Sean, 30, at 1000 E. Anderson Lane, on 2/20/22.  Welmer Moises Aquino Lopez (26) arrested. (KVUE)

Ricardo Alvarado, 68, at 7th & Pleasant Valley, on 2/27/22.  Suspect at large. (CBS Austin)

I know I'm a broken record on this, but I'm gonna say it anyway:  Whenever I read about cases like this, what rings through my head is "Bicyclists have to follow the law just like drivers if they want respect."

#10 Justice Issues / Collisions » Woman charged with hit-and-run death of cyclist in Kyle (3/14/22) » 2022-03-14 20:38:11

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 0

Seems like the rural police are more on the ball than the big city police.

Charged with Accident Involving Injury or Death, the max she could have been charged with, a second-degree felony, with a penalty of 2-20 years in jail, and possibly a fine up to $10,000.

https://www.kvue.com/article/news/local … 46589e8235

#11 Bike Lanes / Facilities » City cracks down on parking in bike lanes (Jan. 2020) » 2022-03-05 18:44:40

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 3

Catching up on my reading, I came across a couple articles from Jan. 2020 about the city cracking down on cars parking in bike lanes.

I'm floored that the City cares about this now.  It's a big change from the old days.

https://communityimpact.com/austin/nort … ove-safety

#12 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Death Count 2021 » 2022-03-03 18:59:08

Thanks for sharing that, trentsky.

I remember Amy Babich said something similar about the ethics of choosing big SUVs to be the victor in a collision.  It might have been in Bike Like U Mean It.

#13 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Death Count 2021 » 2022-03-03 09:50:55

Traffic deaths increased 26% in Austin from 2020, and 32% from 2019, mirroring national trend.

https://communityimpact.com/austin/nort … k-ongoing/

And VisionZero thinks we can achieve zero traffic deaths.  Not in a culture of selfishness, we can't.

#14 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Go car-free and save $1.5 million » 2022-02-19 03:44:50

Nice to know that I beat Salon to the punch by over a decade.

#15 Re: Getting started with biking » To turn, you have to steer in the opposite direction » 2022-02-17 08:30:32

Interesting.

I read on Wikipedia that Sheldon Brown advised that the cheapest solution is just to remove the pedals from an existing bike, rather than buying an entirely separate training bike (which becomes useless as soon as someone's learned how to ride).

#16 Justice Issues / Collisions » Drunk driving culture » 2022-02-15 18:29:39

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 0

Drunk driving isn't something that's done by just a small percentage of people, it's deeply ingrained as part of the culture.

Percentage of drivers who drove impaired in the last year:
    * 42% (% driving impaired among those who use both alcohol and marijuana, Columbia University, 2022)
    * 18.9% (The Zebra, 2020)
    * 17.3% (The Zebra, 2021)
    * 9.1% (MADD, 2013)

Percentage of adults who drove drunk in the last 30 days.  2% (CDC, 2012)

Frequency of driving impaired.  Alcohol-impaired drivers drove 147 million times in 2018.  That's about one time for every two people in the U.S. (Forbes, citing CDC)  CDC's table says 111-159M times a year, for 1993-2014.

Enforcement.  Drivers drive drunk an average of 80 times before their first arrest. (MADD)

Best DWI Lawyer Award.  Our local "alternative" weekly, in its Best of Austin issue, had a category for "Best DWI Lawyer".  They didn't print the letter I sent to complain about that. (Bicycle Austin, 2017)

Includes actors at all levels of government.  Drunk driving is committed by police (who are supposed to be enforcing drunk driving laws), by District Attorneys (who are supposed to be enforcing drunk driving laws), and legislators (who are supposed to be making drunk driving laws). (Bicycle Austin, 2019)

Fatalities not improving.  Drunk driving fatalities have been flat between 2010-2019, at about 10,000/year. (Bankrate)

Share of crashes.  28% of 2018 traffic fatalities and 19% of 2019 crashes involved alcohol-impaired drivers.  (Forbes, citing NHTSA)

Texas vs. U.S.  The drunk driving rate is 10% higher in Texas vs. the U.S. (CDC)

#18 Train, Bus, Transit » Councilmember Harper-Madison's stinging rebuke of car culture » 2022-02-10 08:48:01

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 0

I'm catching up on reading old issues of the Chronicle.  In the 5/14/21, Councilmember Harper-Madison's op-ed contains this gem:

"When you make walking, biking, and public transit an afterthought for nearly a century, it shouldn't be a surprise when walking, biking, and public transit are second-class modes of transportation."

We might take it for granted now that local elected officials are pushing for auto alternatives, but given that I can remember a time when such ideas were considered lunacy, hearing a councilmember attack the car culture is nothing short of startling.

As a vegan in the 80s I was also very much an outlier.  Now you can't throw a carrot in this town without hitting a vegan.

#19 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » KXAN to the rescue » 2022-01-24 23:27:35

Indeed.  Reminds me of an article I wrote over 20 years ago, still linked in the Justice menu above about how the media fails us.  I'd have a gazillion more examples if I'd kept it current.

#21 Bike Lanes / Facilities » New facilities to protect pedestrians » 2021-12-29 13:04:43

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 0

"A pilot to alert vehicles when a pedestrian is about
to cross the street in East Austin began in November.
The program, monitored by the Austin Transportation
Department, is at two crossings on Rosewood Avenue:
Angelina Street and Navasota Street. The technology
for the project runs on solar power and is provided by
TAPCO and Siemens.

When a pedestrian pushes the signal, it alerts oncom
ing drivers who have vehicles connected to wireless
networks, or connected vehicles, that someone is
trying to cross. It also provides an alert if the driver
is about to run a red light. In addition to displaying
messages for connected vehicles, the crosswalks also
have rapid flashing lights that will go off."

Community Impact

#23 Helmet Laws/Other legislation » Bruce Todd, former mayor who championed a helmet law, dies » 2021-12-27 10:45:35

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 0

Austin had a brief, unpopular all-ages helmet law in 1996.  It was amended to be kids-only after public blowback.

In 2006, former mayor Bruce Todd tried to bring the helmet law back, without success, possibly because cyclists packed City Hall to protest.  I remember bemoaning how energized cyclists were for that effort, which I couldn't get anyone on board the same year to help advocate for car-free bike lanes on Shoal Creek Blvd.

Anyway, Bruce Todd just passed, at age 72.

#24 Getting started with biking » To turn, you have to steer in the opposite direction » 2021-12-04 18:21:14

MichaelBluejay
Replies: 6

This video shows that to turn left, you first have to steer right, and vice-versa.

I didn't know this.  It blew my mind.

Who knew this already?

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