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#1 Re: Traffic Laws » Bikers running the intersection » 2012-09-05 16:18:58

It probably wouldn't do any good.  I did this once and I got a response that started with "F" and ended in "you".  And unfortunately it's cyclists like him that motorists remember, not cyclists like you and me.

#2 Re: Commuting/Routes » McNeil between 183 & Parmer - Extend those bike lanes?? please! :) » 2012-07-13 12:13:09

I work in that office park and know exactly what you mean.  I get the feeling here at work that people are hostile to cyclists because we "slow down traffic".  Also a lot of drivers use this office park as a cut-through and to them it's just another road placed for their convenience.

But to answer you question, I don't know if/when they'll extend the bike lane.  I believe McNeil Dr was a little wider where they added the bike lane.  Maybe it's not easy to add it the rest of the way?

FWIW based on the markings on Lake Creek Parkway between RM-620 (and beyond?) and US-183 I think they're adding a bike lane there.  It would be nice to have a bike lane all the way to the Lakeline transit station.

#3 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Bicyclist warns motorists about speed trap -- and gets arrested » 2012-06-30 11:29:22

savanni, if this board had a LIKE button I'd like yours.  ;-)

Spedding *IS* a crime and *IS* dangerous.  I don't like the term "speed trap".  It implies a citizen is doing nothing wrong and is illegally detained by police.  The truth is far different.

#4 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » APD plans to slow down traffic fatalities » 2012-06-29 17:04:11

Maybe it's just my perception as I'm 42 now and was 16 then.  Back in the 1980s I swear traffic enforcement was much more stringent than it is today.  The speed limit was 55 mph and even a little over would get you pulled over.  My mom was in Colleyville, TX and was ticketed for driving 47 in a 45.  I was with a friend in the Atlanta area and he was ticketed for not staying in his lane during a left turn.  I hate to admit, but about 20 years ago when I was back in Florida I was ticketed for 39 in a 35.

Is it the "leave me alone" Tea Party mentality?  Was there a court ruling somewhere along the line making it harder to convict drivers?  Is it just part of the whole deregulation mentality across the board?

#5 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Bicyclist warns motorists about speed trap -- and gets arrested » 2012-06-29 16:58:37

Yeah, I *NEVER* warn drivers about police patrols.  If a driver is speeding they need to be pulled over.  I'm not going to warn them.

However, isn't this a free speech issue?  I know in many places it's illegal to flash your lights and that's generally what a driver is cited for.  I suppose they could consider this obstruction of justice, but who knows?

#6 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » APD plans to slow down traffic fatalities » 2012-06-28 14:06:45

I couldn't agree more.  It still makes my jaw drop when I see drivers run red lights or stop signs right in front of a cop and the cop does nothing.  Usually talking on the phone, playing on their laptop, etc.

#7 Re: Other » Found a bike » 2012-04-17 22:31:10

Thank you for your honesty and effort to track down the owner.  Is it in rideable condition?  Is there a serial number on the bike?  No, it's not mine in any case.

#8 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Higher gas prices don't cut driving that much » 2012-04-06 16:39:34

I spend a lot of time in Malaysia.  There's a 100% import duty on cars.  Malaysian-built cars in theory should be half the cost of a comparable import, but they aren't, it's more like 75-80%.  Their annual road tax is steep depending on the engine size.  A 1.9 liter engine has a tax of RM330 (USD 110) but a 2.7 liter engine is RM1,380 (USD 450).  A 6.8 liter Ford Excursion would run you RM19,230 (USD 6,275) over there.  However petrol is subsidized and set at RM1.90/liter (USD 2.35/gallon).  There's virtually no free parking, at least in Penang, but it's cheap, just a ringgit or two for several hours.

They're more car crazy there than we are.  Bicycles are for poor people and the buses drive around empty.

In the end, driving is more expensive over there than here.  And considering their wages are lower than here, that makes driving even more of an expense.  But everyone has a car it seems and traffic is a freakin' nightmare (yes, I do drive while I'm there).  I'm told the number of motorbikes has declined steeply in the past 10 years as the country becomes more affluent and more can afford cars.

Doug, I'll have to ask my English teacher wife, but I think "The Netherlands" and "rising gas prices" are both singular.  ;-)

#9 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Higher gas prices don't cut driving that much » 2012-04-06 12:47:14

I rereading all of my grammatical errors and spelling mistakes makes me wonder if I ever mastered the language.

#10 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Higher gas prices don't cut driving that much » 2012-04-06 08:09:10

I don't have the exact numbers right in front of me.  But I remember reading about The Netherlands versus the UK.  The Dutch have an enormous number of commuters who bicycle while in the UK it's around 1%.  Gasoline prices are roughly the same in both countries.  I personally thing it takes more than high gas prices.

Maybe it's speaking English that causes lack of bicycle ridership.

#11 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » APD sting to catch drivers not yielding to peds » 2012-03-21 13:20:23

Chuck, I really disagree.

It's not about money.  By the time the city has paid the officers, the courts have processed the ticket, etc. there's not much left over.  Back in the 1990's states started doubling the fines in school and construction zones.  The reason was because they needed to prevent people from even going a few mph over the speed limit, but with fine structures it would actually cost the state money to write a ticket for a few over the speed limit (i.e. the costs of enforcing the law and fining the driver was greater than the fine). 

In an ideal world people would do the right thing and we wouldn't need police enforcement.  But time and again we see they do not.  The roads have gotten quite lawless.  I started driving in the mid-1980's and police enforcement was tough.  And it wasn't just because I was a 16 year-old kid, my parents thought so too.  Today up in NW Austin where I live stop signs have more or less become optional.  Time and time again I've sat at Lake Creek Pkwy and US-183 and watched drivers blow though red lights in plain view of police who are usually on their cell phones and playing on their laptops.

I'm personally not too keen on just leaving everyone alone.  If our roads were generally safe then I would agree with you.  But there's obviously a problem out there and I'm tired of the police not enforcing the laws of the state on reckless drivers.

#12 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Fantastic Statesman article on ped & cycling deaths » 2012-03-19 10:09:18

I might have mentioned this before, but I'll say it again just in case.

I lived much of my life in Florida.  I reported an aggressive driver and was told in no uncertain terms by a deputy that he was not allowed to compile reports on such drivers because it would violate their civil rights.  I thought it was pathetic excuse.  Certainly they collected information about other criminals, right?

But perhaps not.  In another part of the state I reported what was very obviously drug activity in my apartment complex and they told me there was nothing they could do.  I suggested they send someone over in plain clothes to buy drugs and I was informed that was entrapment.  Huh?

If the local police would enforce traffic laws instead of yacking on their cell phones some of this would change.

#13 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Driver gets 25 years for killing ped at CapMetro bus stop » 2012-03-04 15:14:56

I too do not like the word "accident".  It implies it was a situation beyond anyone's control and therefore no one should be held responsible.  I'm willing to bet most collisions are the direct result of someone making a choice to do something careless.

#15 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » 6-year-old killed by SUV in parking lot » 2012-02-26 05:24:49

That's why I was asking.  One way to make our streets appear to be safer would be to change how data is reported.  I'm glad to hear I was told wrong in the past.

#16 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » 6-year-old killed by SUV in parking lot » 2012-02-25 00:40:40

Does anyone know if this is true or not?  I haven't been able to find anything either way.

I remember hearing once that some states, Texas included, don't include pedestrians or bicyclists in car crash statistics.  They only count people inside motor vehicles.  So if a drunk driver plows into a school bus stop killing 8 kids, but the driver walks away, the crash resulted in zero deaths as far as statistical reporting goes.

My point being here if this is true, then car fatality numbers are certainly higher than "only" 40,000 per year.

#17 Re: Commuting/Routes » Getting kids to bike to school » 2011-11-15 12:45:32

I agree with Lynn.  School zones are the worst part of my bicycle commute.  They're clogged with traffic and inattentive drivers taking their kids to school in their land yachts.  Like half our traffic laws, the cell phone ban in school zones does little good.  The odds of being caught are nil, so parents chat away as they drive.

#18 Re: Rides and Events » Where's the list of the Social Rides? » 2011-10-31 23:03:00

One more thing to consider.  The ride list should be viewable without a login so search engines can find it.  A newcomer to Austin or even a long-time resident, might not think to check Facebook.  He/she will just use Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

I suppose if a page can be made public on Facebook then there's no real harm.  For me it's not a Facebook issue, it's a "I have to register and provide personal information and login" issue.

I agree the TOS issue is a weak argument and I seriously doubt anyone would get their account closed.  And if it did happen just create a new one.  I'm taking the high road saying no one should have to break the rules, regardless of how ridiculous the rules are, just to see an online calendar.

#19 Re: Rides and Events » Where's the list of the Social Rides? » 2011-10-31 17:04:44

I agree with Michael.  We shouldn't insist people have a Facebook account to learn about rides.  Posting information on the "wild" web for all to see without having to register or provide personal information has served us well for nearly 20 years. 

I disagree that the "general public" is on Facebook and even so we're not the "general public". 

Yes, we can join Facebook with false information but A. that violates their TOS and the account is subject to termination and B. it's a completely unnecessary step.  Surely someone can set up a wiki somewhere allowing registered users to add/edit rides while allowing everyone to view it.

#20 Re: Helmet Laws/Other legislation » Who do we want on the City Council? » 2011-05-24 22:52:07

MichaelBluejay wrote:

Okay, but let's try to keep this discussion focused on what to ask the City Council candidates.  Is there a specific question here you'd like us to pose to the candidates?

Agreed.  I was trying to put the conversation into perspective about why things are the way they are.

#21 Re: Helmet Laws/Other legislation » Who do we want on the City Council? » 2011-05-24 20:44:18

bizikletari wrote:

I agree that it may not be a priority at this point.
But I wish in the future, AISD either builds something academically useful on those parking lots or return the land to the city.
But, if no one else thinks large parking lots on public schools are an obscenity, I'll keep mum so we can move forward with the questionnaire.

My son attends McNeil High School on McNeil Drive.  Nothing wrong with the school, but the planning that went into it just reeks.

It's located on the wrong side of Parmer Lane.  What do I mean by this?  Most of the kids who attend McNeil live on the other side of Parmer while the kids who live near the school off McNeil Road (not Drive) attend Round Rock HS.  I know what happened.  They needed cheap land, didn't want to take prime real estate off the tax rolls, and the NIMBYs didn't want a monstrous high school in their backyard.  So what we have is an eyesore of a high school that looks more like an insecticide factory than a center of learning located in a place making it impossible for students to get to it in anything but a motor vehicle.  For parents its easier to hand a 16 year-old car keys and have them drive through the dangerous Parmer/McNeil intersection twice a day than it is for them to drive the kids there.

I would prefer seeing much smaller schools located in the neighborhoods with limited parking knowing students could more easily walk or ride bicycle.  But we've seen the Walmartization of education and it's more cost effective to mass produce students in 4,000+ megaschools than smaller neighborhood schools.  Smaller schools also dilute the football talent, the reason it took so long for Georgetown ISD to build a second high school.

#22 Re: Other » Advocacy towards people who only remember "stupid" cyclists » 2011-05-03 15:21:49

As a driver I find most cyclists are reasonable and cautious on the road.  As a cyclist I find most motorists are reasonable and cautious on the road.  Sadly both drivers and cyclists only remember the bad examples and they either don't see or forget about the good examples.

#23 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Speeding correlated with small penis size? » 2010-07-21 22:05:37

This is funny and all.  And I do believe there is a correlation between lack of self-confidence and aggressive behavior.  But I think it's a stretch to connect Wyoming speeding tickets to this.  My guess is Wyoming issues more tickets per capita because it has the smallest population of any state and has major Interstates running through it (translation: drivers from out of state run the numbers up) and penis size compared to other states is probably statistically insignificant.

Doug, you might be thinking of Montana.  I know their speeding fines are next to nothing.  Wyoming could be the same, I really don't know, but I do know Montana's tickets are a bit of a joke.  That was the state that had "reasonable and prudent" as their Interstate speed limit for a little while.

However I would like to point out I drive a small car, usually bicycle, and tend to drive under the speed limit.  Just saying.  :-)

#24 Re: Commuting/Routes » Showers at the State Capital » 2010-06-07 18:09:57

There are hundreds of thousands of showers in the state capital.  I have two in my house in fact.  If you mean the Capitol, then I don't know.  :-)

#25 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Miles per gallon from bicycling » 2010-04-21 22:01:32

I didn't take you as a hater.  :-)

For me personally, a motorized scooter wouldn't give me any advantage over a bicycle, but would add a lot of negatives.  Just give me a plain old bike.

John

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