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#1 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » South Austin neighbor says bike lane curb to blame for tire blowouts » 2022-07-06 17:09:40

Well, in terms of promoting safety, I had wonder whether putting an obstacle in the roadway that can so damage automobile wheels and tires is that good an idea. Isn't there a fair likelihood that a driver may lose control of the vehicle when that happens?  Can a cyclist or motorcyclist run into or over the obstacle and stay upright?  Does the obstacle actually help improve safety for cyclists?  Studies vary in results.  Note this study:  https://www.iihs.org/topics/bibliography/ref/2193  It tends to endorse heavy separation, with the necessary cautions about safety results only when avoiding frequent intersections and the resulting conflicts and avoiding high speeds (such as not having barriers on downhill portions) .

#2 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » City cracks down on parking in bike lanes (Jan. 2020) » 2022-06-17 15:26:21

Bounty system is a good idea.  It has worked pretty well, I understand, for the NYC anti-idling program.

#4 Re: Getting started with biking » To turn, you have to steer in the opposite direction » 2022-02-18 13:23:20

I, for one, think that Sheldon Brown was almost always right on the bicycling subjects he addressed. 

I understand that some adult-sized balance bikes are available to Bike Austin instructors.

#6 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » KXAN to the rescue » 2022-01-26 17:33:26

Darron wrote:

"end of their neighborhood as they know it."

I didn't realize street striping and parking are what defines a neighborhood!

Turns out that Austin neighborhoods are made entirely of slippery slopes.

#7 Re: Getting started with biking » To turn, you have to steer in the opposite direction » 2021-12-08 16:24:40

RedFalcon wrote:

I have seen both pro and con on balance bikes, but it seems that balance bikes are the way to go. They allow kids to get the hang of the balance without worrying about the pedal motion.  Both my grandkids learned quickly on balance bikes.

I think they are a great way to go too.  My grandnephew learned quickly and well on one and I've seen lots of kids ride them around.  In contrast, a friend's father bought his grandson a coaster brake bike with training wheels when the kid was 2-1/2, an age I've seen kids learn balance biking quickly.  Not only was it functionally a tricycle for steering, but he could back pedal to use the coaster brakes only when he was thinking about it--and every time the bike got going fast, he quit thinking about how the brakes worked and couldn't stop himself.  It was the darnedest thing to watch.  After that, I had thought 2-1/2 too young for learning to ride, but after seeing kids on balance bikes, that's a good time to start them off.

#8 Re: Getting started with biking » To turn, you have to steer in the opposite direction » 2021-12-05 18:40:45

MichaelBluejay wrote:

Who knew this already?

It's why training wheels teach kids the opposite of the right way to steer a bike.  Without training wheels, one learns to do it without thinking about it.
 
Understanding the principle can, with some practice, save your life.

  http://www.bamacyclist.com/articles/QuickTurn.htm 

http://www.seattlebicycleclub.org/membe … dodge.html

#9 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Stassney Ln. BIKE LANES survey, deadline is this SUNDAY (1/19) » 2021-11-01 10:06:46

The Stassney bike lane project has evolved over time and now has "protection" in the form of pylons and Austin's own monster-sized "Bots dots" concrete bumpers.  That's a usual route for me on weekends, so I've ridden it quite a number of times as it has evolved. 

Stassney was good to ride on in the pre-bike-lane-era.  Bike lanes didn't hurt.  Might have helped.  The pylons and barriers as configured, IMO, have made it worse than it ever was. 

Watch the confused behavior of motorists on that stretch.  They pull out across the lane and stop before making turns right or left on to Stassney. The pylons and bumpers prevent drivers from doing as they should and safely merging to the curb before making right turns from Stassney to side streets or curb cuts to parking lots.  The pylons leave following cyclists in the driver's blind spot--praying, I suppose, that the driver will signal the turn.  As flatau put it, above, "A fundamental design guideline for bicycle facilities is to not require drivers to do anything different."

On Saturday, the Stassney "protection" pylons operated as predicted.  I came up on a large number of branches in the bike lane that had been felled by the recent winds, well-hidden in the shade of the remaining branches above, so there was little warning about the problem ahead.  Had the pylons not been there, I easily could have checked over my shoulder for overtaking traffic, and safely gone left around the branches.  With the pylons, my only option was to brake hard and make complicated maneuvers through and around them--the pylons made a simple situation pretty dangerous.  A "person who rides bikes" cannot watch out for pylons ahead and watch out for traffic behind at the same time.   

And a kicker--now I see a lot more "salmon" riding-- people contraflow in those lanes.  It seems the pylons send a message to a significant number of people that the rules of the road don't apply there.

Branches, glass, dogs on long leashes, motorists pulling out across the lane or turning across the lane, pedestrians crossing the lane, joggers in the lane, "salmon" riders--all of these hazards require a "person who rides bikes" to have more skill and more situational awareness to handle the "protected" bike lane than they would without the "protection."


(edited to add:  it hasn't been a problem for me because of my usual routes, but the pylons and bumpers are a real problem for a cyclist who wants to make a left anywhere along the stretch)

(edited to add:  The pylons are a problem for those westbound motorists wanting to turn right into the DQ parking lot--evidenced by my nearly being right-hooked on Nov. 11--An F-250 driver (not signalling) barely noticed me at the last instant because he was having trouble looking behind into the bike lane and looking ahead to avoid the pylons.  Had I not anticipated the problem, it could have turned out badly.  What else would you expect by forcing right-turning traffic to cross the path of forward-moving traffic in the driver's rear blind spot?  The "protected" bike lane requires expert skills from riders. )

#10 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Manor Road re-do, red bus lanes » 2021-10-29 10:47:02

There is good reason for your preference.  From the p.o.v. of one interested in cyclists' safety for those using Manor or Cherrywood to get around, decades of experience globally shows that this sort of shared-use side path is more dangerous than no cycling accommodation at all, and more dangerous than the current configuration as well.  From the p.o.v. of one interested in pedestrian safety, it looks like a fine plan, but only if it were modified to keep the bikes off the path.  How much is the city spending to make it worse?  What does it take to show that a cyclist is not some type of pedestrian?

#11 Other » Living Streets Program Info » 2021-10-26 10:35:51

Jack
Replies: 0

Article about new Living Streets Program, expanidng the Healthy Streets program:  https://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2 … g-streets/ 

City site on that:  https://www.austinlivingstreets.com/home

#12 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Woman cyclist & dog hit & run'd on Manor Rd., 9/28/21 » 2021-10-11 12:43:02

No argument. 
Neither account has the detail of whether it was a matter of hit from behind or right hook, for instance, so it's hard to get a picture. 
It is odd that this garbled account seems to treat the cyclist as a pedestrian with a vehicle at the same time.

#14 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Woman cyclist & dog hit & run'd on Manor Rd., 9/28/21 » 2021-09-30 15:13:21

Sad news.  Manor road's protected bike lane?  From memory, not sure where Alexander is.

#15 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » What does it take to be charged with killing a non-driver? Being black » 2021-09-27 17:44:59

dougmc wrote:

I was just looking into Lance's aggressor -- he wasn't just charged -- he was convicted, got 10 years.

Strangely enough, the court gave 10 years for the celebrity, and one year for the non-celebrity, even though both cyclists were assaulted in the same way at the same time --

Carter was convicted of felony aggravated assault on Armstrong, for which he was given the 10-year sentence, and misdemeanor deadly conduct against cyclist David Averill, for which he was given the one-year sentence.

Apparently the driver's one act that affected two different people got a different charge for each affected person based on the consequences of the act, if this story gives the pertinent details.
(Armstrong crashed, Avril changed course)
(10 years in prison (presumably for the felony); 1 year in county jail (presumably for the misdemeanor))

**
The Associated Press

AUSTIN (AP) - The driver of a pickup truck convicted of trying to run down world bicycle racing champion Lance Armstrong and another rider has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and a year in county jail.

Carl Michael Carter II, 37, was sentenced Thursday following a day of testimony in which jurors heard how he has had an unpredictable and often violent temper that he unleashed on his previous wives, his children and most recently, two strangers biking on a country road.

A judge will decide Feb. 18 whether the sentences will be served one after the other or at the same time.

Carter was convicted of felony aggravated assault on Armstrong, for which he was given the 10-year sentence, and misdemeanor deadly conduct against cyclist David Averill, for which he was given the one-year sentence.

Armstrong and Averill testified that they were riding side by side on a road in western Travis County on March 31, 1998, when Carter's pickup truck sped by within inches of Averill's shoulder.

The cyclists made an obscene gesture at Carter, whose pickup then screeched to a halt in the middle of the road, according to their testimony. Carter and the cyclists got into an argument, which they said led to Carter speeding off, making a U-turn and driving at them.

*Averill rode up a driveway. Armstrong steered his bike into a ditch, flipping end over end and landing on his back.* A telephone repairman who witnessed the incident testified that he believed Carter would run over the bicyclist.
**

#16 Re: Organizations » Bike Austin opposes Proposition A about police staffing (2021) » 2021-09-22 11:56:40

If true, I'd say it's mistake for Bike Austin to enter any fray that is not about bicycling and only bicycling.  Harms the
brand.

#17 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » The Bluejays will buy a car and give up bicycling » 2021-09-17 11:07:49

"3) You correctly surmised that my commute to work (or anywhere else I go .. your prompt for self evaluation pointed out to me) was probably circuitous. It is! I bike just over 9 miles, but whether I take Lamar or Burnet or MoPac then the car distance is 7 miles. My advice to those getting on bikes to go somewhere is to consider the tradeoffs: You can lower the weight given to reaching a destination in the minimum amount of time and raise the weight of a path that might yield some sort of feeling of pleasure (often that will be to envision lemonade when if I sense that lemons are part of the decision information). I work full time (my embraced choice) and the remaining time in a day is reduced by about 30-40 minutes due to the difference in going and returning by car as opposed to by bike. That time is up for assessment of how to spend one's life. Such assessment fluctuates a lot, even over just a few hours, but DOES HAVE IT LIMITS (one weight -> 0 .. another -> maximum)."

My compliments on how well you put this. 

I find my commute to work (done these days far less frequently in the work-from-home era) by car annoying and frustrating--even though it is about 15-20 minutes faster each way than going by bicycle, which I find fun and mostly pleasant.  Sometimes (b/c of traffic conditions hard to avoid by car but far easier to avoid bicycling) the driving takes as long as the riding usually does.  My biking route is slightly shorter in distance than the fastest driving route and sometimes I go a different way to get in a bit more riding/a bit more exercise, something I'd never do in a car.

I suppose I could choose a drive to work/90 minutes in the gym lifestyle, but . . . yeech.

#18 Bike Lanes / Facilities » Three views on separated two-way protected bike lane in Columbus, Ohio » 2021-09-17 10:15:11

Jack
Replies: 0

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nipFKh … 0Icc5/view  Review of Columbus Summit St bike lane by Patricia Kovacs, 1/4/2021
This paper provides a review of the Summit St 2-way separated by parked cars bike lane on a 1-way street. The  review includes risk information and descriptions of crashes that occurred on the path.  [you can see a contraflow cyclist using the lane "properly" crash into a cross-traffic motorist here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k6-AI_X1qE&t=10s  ]  [Columbus post on the project can be found here:  https://www.columbus.gov/publicservice/ … ike-Lanes/ ]

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20180429/ … ated-lanes  Article in THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH newspaper

http://www.carlesscolumbus.com/2018/05/ … lanes.html  "Carless Columbus" blogger who thinks the city is "learning from its mistakes."  (seems to me that it could've adequately learned from mistakes made elsewhere decades ago instead)

#19 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » Remembering Reed Murray and Fred Meredith » 2021-09-15 16:52:45

Thanks for that.  Fred was a heck of a nice guy and made huge contributions to cycilng in this area and even nationally.  I miss seeing him around and miss his newspaper.

#20 Re: Justice Issues / Collisions » The Bluejays will buy a car and give up bicycling » 2021-09-14 16:01:39

MichaelBluejay wrote:

I don't know how anyone bikes in this country without becoming misanthropic.

-!-
Sorry to hear that. Cycling has the opposite effect on me.  It's driving that makes me hate people. 
I'm reminded of an Andy Singer cartoon which illustrates the notion that drivers are enemies and cyclists are friends.
Wish I could locate it.  https://politicalcartoons.com/cartoonist/andy_singer

#22 Bike Lanes / Facilities » Discussion of cycling facilities and safety on "Here and Now" » 2021-06-22 12:58:27

Jack
Replies: 0

Broadcasted today on KUT and I think can be played again at kut.org, today's "Here and Now" had a good, balanced discussion of cycling facilities and safety. See also:  https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2021/06 … ision-zero

#23 Re: Traffic Laws » Lisa Torry Smith Act » 2021-06-19 09:48:05

Yesterday, the bill was signed by the governor and will take effect 9/1

#24 Re: Roadway hazards » Delivery robots to use the bicycle lanes » 2021-06-16 10:18:56

Maybe monied business interests will get us better data on "protected" lanes and such. 

OTOH, since so much of "bike safety" is "get the bicyclists out of the way of cars," maybe we should expect "how can we get the bicyclists out of the way of the pizza delivery robots?" to be the next burning question.

#25 Re: Other » Any data on the increase in cycling due to the pandemic? » 2021-06-14 14:20:02

The report here  https://thebikeadviser.com/bike-commuti … ed-states/ 
shows a significant increase in bicycle commuting over the period 2000-2019.  All too early for pandemic increases to be included, but in case that is interesting . ...
While there was an increase over 2000-2019, the peak occurred in 2014, and there was a 5.9% drop from 2010-2019.

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