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Jean Dublin

Guidelines on what to or not to share online? (RE: 51km/h fall that went viral on Spanish media)

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11 hours ago, Jean Dublin said:

Actually, in Ireland in many places the bicycles share the same lane as the bus, going at 25km/h is not that safe in this case.

Yeah, it's a slippery slope... in Spain it's similar: bicycles are meant to ride in bike lanes, but in the absence thereof, always on the road--never on the sidewalk. It's about speed and not endangering pedestrians (and endangering themselves instead by sharing the road with 1.5 tonne cars and 6 tonne buses..).There's something about the hazard involved in the weight ratio and kinetic energy difference that doesn't fit any standards of common sense:

  • Bike hitting pedestrian:
    • Weight proportion of an 80kg cyclist riding a 15kg bike vs a 50 kg pedestrian: The pedestrian's weight is 52% of that of the bike and rider combined
    • Kinetic energy: if the cyclist is travelling at 15 km/h and hits the pedestrian, who's standing still, that would be 0.5 x 95kg x (4.167m/s)2 = 824J
  • Car hitting cyclist:
    • 1500kg car vs. same cyclist > Cyclist's weigh is roughly 6% of the car's (lazy calculation, as the bike's weight works against the cyclist...)
    • Kinetic energy (medium-sized car travelling at 50 km/h): 0.5 x 1500kg x (13.889m/s)2 = 144,678J
  • Proportionately,  the cyclist's kinetic energy is about 0.6% of the car's; it's pretty obvious the car poses a much bigger threat to the cyclist than the cyclist does to the pedestrian. All the same, cyclists are expected to assume a far greater risk so as to not cause a ridiculously lower danger to pedestrians.

(BTW, feel free to correct my calculations...it's been a long time since high schools physics classes... :efee612b4b:)

I guess what I'm trying to say, aside from the fact that legislators clearly have their head up their ass, is that EUCs have a considerable advantage over bicycles in both cases:

On the sidewalk, we're able to manoeuvre much more easily than bikes, and should we lose balance while riding at walking speed (I'm not advocating for speeding on sidewalks), the outcome (upright riding position, etc.) is likely to be much less dramatic than in the case of a bicycle (for the riders and bystanders alike).

On the road, our acceleration and top speed are higher (depending on the wheel, of course) than that of a bicycle, so we can "fit in" more easily and pose less of a nuisance to drivers (supposing that's what s**t-for-brains legislators had in mind when they banned us from riding on the road here in Spain).

I bring this up because Spain (in its majority) is most definitely not prepared for bicycles, and bike lanes are the only place EUCs are allowed to ride--nowhere else. Yesterday I went for my first ever urban ride. The city I went riding in (30km south of Barcelona) does have a few bike lanes, but they often end abruptly with no warning, forcing you to continue either on the road or the sidewalk (both of which are illegal) until you reach the next stretch of bike lane (maybe 3km further down the road...). I chose the sidewalk, and did a 10 km test ride to the outskirts, where the malls are, and back, and found that it was a royal pain in the ass: There were at least 20 sidestreets and intersections just on the way there, meaning having to cross, in every instance, along pedestrian crossings where there's no ramp, just straight-angle, 15cm curbs (I'm not exaggerating). After the first 5, it starts to get pretty annoying: stop, pick up the wheel, carry it across the pedestrian crossing (pulling out the trolly every 100m gets old fast), ride for another couple hundred meters max., and repeat. <_<

I can see how after doing that a few days in a row, I'd be tempted to ride on the road. Personally, I think that's extremely dangerous on a road with no hard shoulder, rusty metal crash barriers on one side, and the way people drive here (driving at 80 km/h in 50 km/h areas); but I also feel one should have right to choose, if that's a risk they're willing to take.

On another note (more in line with the original object of this thread), it seemed like I was the only EUC-rider in town. I rode courteously on the side-walk, and found an equally courteous attitude from pedestrians, who moved to the side in narrow sections to let me pass, and from cars, who saw me approaching pedestrian crossings and stopped to let me cross (something they're infamous for not doing, even for pedestrians) :eff05cf9bc::efee612b4b:

It might be a good idea to mount my action camera on my helmet the next time, and then publicise a real-life example of harmonious EUC-rider, cyclist, pedestrian and car coexistence :)

And having said that, enough of my rambling. One of the side effects of being a freelancer who works from home, and having no work this morning...:efefa6edcf:

 

 

Edited by travsformation
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11 hours ago, Mono said:

I guess you mean like bicycles are considered "a problem for other vehicles". I think this attitude should change and it likely will change.

Unfortunately they are in many people's mind, you only need to check online for car drivers complaining about bicycles.
I agree, it needs to change, but it hardly will as there is always many people who are always in a rush and impatient, who can cause a danger for others, mainly people with less protection as pedestrians, bicycles and other small vehicles.

 

10 hours ago, Mono said:

So do you have any idea how many cyclists have died last year in Ireland, because they went "too slow" and were hence run over by a bus?

It is a simple empirical question for which we currently have a large real life study running in Europe. Which e-bikes are safer, pedelecs with a speed limit of 25km/h or speed-pedelecs with a speed limit of 45km/h and mandatory helmet. I believe the data suggest it is rather the former, but as we may not have enough data as of now (fortunately not enough people died), we can probably be more assertive about it in a few years from now.

There may not be "lots" of deaths, but enough of them. However there definitely is lots of accidents (+ those not reported), mainly when the speed difference between car vs cyclist is greater. Here an article about 2017 and historical data:

https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/irish-cycling-accidents-a-graphical-guide-1.3492008

A lot of it could be avoided with proper cycle lanes, so I won't say "I know" it is due to speed.

 

@Scatcat good points, I wish all buses and cars respected the safety distance. Most times when they want to over take you they won't change lane until they are a few meters behind you, which isn't good.
If a car/bus runs me over due to keeping a too short safety distance, I may be dead, so I don't really mind that much about if it's their fault or mine.
Segregated/Separated Cycle lanes are the best solution.

About pedestrian crossings, I agree that sometimes cars stop. However in areas where there is less pedestrians, cars are used to go fast and don't stop.
I had this issue daily on a roundabout crossing on my commute. I walked carrying the wheel at fast walking pace, but cars went out of the round about downhills very fast and didn't even slow down, many times it being a short miss (they enter the roundabout after I started crossing, while looking in the other direction for incoming traffic on the roundabout and leave it almost hitting me, even when they see me).
Only because of this I was thinking of getting a camera, to have evidence so that if I ever got hit they could not say I was "riding that wheel thing" which actually I was carrying.

Edited by Jean Dublin

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2 hours ago, travsformation said:

Yeah, it's a slippery slope... in Spain it's similar: bicycles are meant to ride in bike lanes, but in the absence thereof, always on the road--never on the sidewalk. It's about speed and not endangering pedestrians (and endangering themselves instead by sharing the road with 1.5 tonne cars and 6 tonne buses..).There's something about the hazard involved in the weight ratio and kinetic energy difference that doesn't fit any standards of common sense:

  • Bike hitting pedestrian:
    • Weight proportion of an 80kg cyclist riding a 15kg bike vs a 50 kg pedestrian: The pedestrian's weight is 52% of that of the bike and rider combined
    • Kinetic energy: if the cyclist is travelling at 15 km/h and hits the pedestrian, who's standing still, that would be 0.5 x 95kg x (4.167m/s)2 = 824J
  • Car hitting cyclist:
    • 1500kg car vs. same cyclist > Cyclist's weigh is roughly 6% of the car's (lazy calculation, as the bike's weight works against the cyclist...)
    • Kinetic energy (medium-sized car travelling at 50 km/h): 0.5 x 1500kg x (13.889m/s)2 = 144,678J
  • Proportionately,  the cyclist's kinetic energy is about 0.6% of the car's; it's pretty obvious the car poses a much bigger threat to the cyclist than the cyclist does to the pedestrian. All the same, cyclists are expected to assume a far greater risk so as to not cause a ridiculously lower danger to pedestrians.

(BTW, feel free to correct my calculations...it's been a long time since high schools physics classes... :efee612b4b:)

 

 

Well think about this for a second. There are two big reasons why bikes belong on the road

1) Who pays who in case a bike hits a pedestrian and pedestrian gets injured? There’s no insurance there. 

Cars mandatory have insurance so if they hit a cyclist the damages are covered. Cyclists hitting cars isn’t really a concern. 

2) Pedestrians are unpredictable. cars on the other hand are very predictable and can’t swivel on axis. With today’s smart phones, almost everyone is walking looking down at their phones and not paying attention. They don’t follow normal “traffic patterns” of locomotion: they can come to a dead stop in the middle of a sidewalk, they can take a left or right turn on a dime with no prior motioning or signaling, and they are ALWAYS drifting to the left or right while walking and the correcting themselves. Moving between cars is like moving through traffic cones, easy, but pedestrians is completely different with a much greater chance of hitting someone even at slow speeds.

Edited by Darrell Wesh
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54 minutes ago, Jean Dublin said:

Unfortunately they are in many people's mind, you only need to check online for car drivers complaining about bicycles.
I agree, it needs to change, but it hardly will as there is always many people who are always in a rush and impatient, who can cause a danger for others, mainly people with less protection as pedestrians, bicycles and other small vehicles.

 

There may not be "lots" of deaths, but enough of them. However there definitely is lots of accidents (+ those not reported), mainly when the speed difference between car vs cyclist is greater. Here an article about 2017 and historical data:

https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/irish-cycling-accidents-a-graphical-guide-1.3492008

A lot of it could be avoided with proper cycle lanes, so I won't say "I know" it is due to speed.

 

@Scatcat good points, I wish all buses and cars respected the safety distance. Most times when they want to over take you they won't change lane until they are a few meters behind you, which isn't good.
If a car/bus runs me over due to keeping a too short safety distance, I may be dead, so I don't really mind that much about if it's their fault or mine.
Segregated/Separated Cycle lanes are the best solution.

About pedestrian crossings, I agree that sometimes cars stop. However in areas where there is less pedestrians, cars are used to go fast and don't stop.
I had this issue daily on a roundabout crossing on my commute. I walked carrying the wheel at fast walking pace, but cars went out of the round about downhills very fast and didn't even slow down, many times it being a short miss (they enter the roundabout after I started crossing, while looking in the other direction for incoming traffic on the roundabout and leave it almost hitting me, even when they see me).
Only because of this I was thinking of getting a camera, to have evidence so that if I ever got hit they could not say I was "riding that wheel thing" which actually I was carrying.

There’s an interesting thread here and YouTube videos that show that crosswalks without dedicated lights are the WORST place to cross especially at interections. Car drivers are just scanning the road ahead looking for a chance to go and not about any pedestrians trying to walk across. You should always walk behind cars and even then you risk getting hit on the far end of the crosswalk by incoming traffic that can’t see you behind the car you walked behind. 

I noticed an interesting trend while riding my Dualtron scooter around town. Cars either trail really far behind you or always feel the need to overtake you even if you’re going 10mph over the speed limit. If it’s a four lane road, I can be going 35 mph in my lane in a 25mph and cars will be going 40mph passing me even though they know cops regularly patrol the road. When I’m in my car, cars always respect the speed limit however. It’s like they HAVE to be going faster than the PEV no matter what the speed is. 

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3 hours ago, Jean Dublin said:

However there definitely is lots of accidents (+ those not reported), mainly when the speed difference between car vs cyclist is greater.

I couldn't find the source supporting this, can you give the pointer? In Ireland in 2017, (only) five of the 15 deadly accidents were inside of a 50km/h speed limit (where the bus lane scenario is that you have been describing as unsafe). A known problem is the higher traffic speeds in itself, but I have never heard that cycling at 50km/h in 50km/h zones is particularly safe. Encounters with busses constitute 1% of all bicycle accidents in Germany.

Edited by Mono

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9 hours ago, Unventor said:

The biker has the foot on the ground. Looking at the marking proberly at a traffic light. 

Looked too quickly it seems :facepalm:, you're of course right... :D 

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7 hours ago, Jean Dublin said:

@Scatcat good points, I wish all buses and cars respected the safety distance. Most times when they want to over take you they won't change lane until they are a few meters behind you, which isn't good.
If a car/bus runs me over due to keeping a too short safety distance, I may be dead, so I don't really mind that much about if it's their fault or mine.
Segregated/Separated Cycle lanes are the best solution.

I absolutely hate it when the drivers of cars and buses feel the need to creep up within arms length of me. That is true on a EUC, but also if I go on a bike or scooter.

If something happens, and I fall. It may be a pot-hole, ice, a crack in the road or whatever, I'm screwed. The odds of the driver behind me managing to react quickly enough to avoid even bumping me in that situation is slim to none. Going 30kph he/she would have to react and get the car stopped in about three tenths to half a second.

I don't get that behavior, they just about never do it with a car in front of them. It's like I'm harmless to their car, so they don't have to care. I see them doing the same to bikers both pedaled and motorized, it's so goddamn bloody stooopid!

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4 hours ago, Scatcat said:

 

I don't get that behavior, they just about never do it with a car in front of them. It's like I'm harmless to their car, so they don't have to care. I see them doing the same to bikers both pedaled and motorized, it's so goddamn bloody stooopid!

It is for this reason that I find not wearing a helmet while carrying a baby to be the optimal way of riding with autos.#7d871f694859https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2018/11/14/motorists-punish-helmet-wearing-cyclists-with-close-passes-confirms-data-recrunch/#7d871f694859

Walker believes the wearing of personal protection equipment (PPE) is the least effective option for dealing with potential hazards, with PPE to be employed only once efforts to neutralize the hazard through elimination, substitution, engineering, and administrative controls have failed. He prefers the Dutch approach: keep motorists and cyclists separate. Cycleways rather than helmets. (Dutch cyclists, by and large, do not wear helmets when cycling, and yet there is no epidemic of head injuries in the cycle-mad Netherlands.)

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18 hours ago, Mono said:

I couldn't find the source supporting this, can you give the pointer? In Ireland in 2017, (only) five of the 15 deadly accidents were inside of a 50km/h speed limit (where the bus lane scenario is that you have been describing as unsafe). A known problem is the higher traffic speeds in itself, but I have never heard that cycling at 50km/h in 50km/h zones is particularly safe. Encounters with busses constitute 1% of all bicycle accidents in Germany.

10 out of 15 were on the top speed 80km/h roads.

The graph shows something like 900 accidents in 2015, growing a lot each year (I assume it kept growing and that not all accidents are reported, mainly when nobody is hurt).

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9 hours ago, LanghamP said:

I read an article before about his 2007 study. Very interesting.

They think that for wearing a helmet we are "more experienced and predictable" or even protected from them running us over.

Edited by Jean Dublin

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9 hours ago, LanghamP said:

It is for this reason that I find not wearing a helmet while carrying a baby to be the optimal way of riding with autos.#7d871f694859https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2018/11/14/motorists-punish-helmet-wearing-cyclists-with-close-passes-confirms-data-recrunch/#7d871f694859

Walker believes the wearing of personal protection equipment (PPE) is the least effective option for dealing with potential hazards, with PPE to be employed only once efforts to neutralize the hazard through elimination, substitution, engineering, and administrative controls have failed. He prefers the Dutch approach: keep motorists and cyclists separate. Cycleways rather than helmets. (Dutch cyclists, by and large, do not wear helmets when cycling, and yet there is no epidemic of head injuries in the cycle-mad Netherlands.)

Yeah, I think there's something to that. I actually called the company that makes "Hövding", the self inflatable helmet, to ask about its usefulness for scooters. They told me that they were sorry, but that the trigger mechanism firmware was tuned very explicitly to the specific geometry of a bicycle fall. They had studied the mechanics of thousands of such falls, to make sure it would ALWAYS trigger when needed, and NEVER when not. So they could in no way guarantee that it would work as intended on any other vehicle than a bicycle.

Otherwise that would have been a fun and viable alternative, that also would make the car drivers a bit more wary.

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@Scatcat well done asking them.

The funny thing is that there's a video on YouTube of one of those opening inside a shop, when someone sort of almost falls. 

But I guess that a fall like a Faceplant may have less shake, meaning it would not open. It probably would also happen faster than a bike fall.

 

Edited by Jean Dublin
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On the subject of bicycles, I often find myself on the "condemning" side of the fence. To go from my town to the next (or any other), there are nothing but curvy mountain roads with tons tight bends and hairpins. In spring an autumn, they fill up with morons in spandex on road bicycles. Honestly, I find that they're a hazard to themselves and everyone else, even though they have the legal right to ride there. Go around a curve doing 60 km/h and find a cyclist struggling up the hill at 10 km/h with no lights or reflective gear, it's a recipe for disaster...

I'm cautious and don't overtake unless it's absolutely safe to do so, but other drivers are less cautious, get impatient after a a few minutes at 10 km/h and end up doing stupid shit that endangers everyone on the road. There must be some spandex aficionados in the high courts of the land, because cyclist are allowed to ride side-by-side, taking up the whole lane, anywhere (except on highways, where they're not allowed at all). On roads where the speed limit is 90 km/h, for instance, that seems like a ridiculously stupid thing to do, regardless of legality. Riding in a single file seems like the obvious thing to do in terms of self-preservation, respect for others and plain old common sense. I'll admit that I've found myself a number of times wishing I could reach my arm out and slap them on the back of the head as I drove by them, mainly because of the despotic attitude behind it: a lot of these spandex-clad morons are self-righteous defenders of cyclists' rights when on their bike, and reckless drivers who can't stand to be held up for a single second when they're behind the wheel...

In the city (or at least here), things aren't much better. Bicycles disregard every traffic rule in the book and try to take advantage of the "best of both worlds": Ride on the road, but when it's convenient, hop onto the side-walk at speed and use pedestrian crossing to avoid having to stop at a red light, then swerve back into the road without even bothering to check whether someone's coming. I couldn't even begin to count how many times I've had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting a kamikaze cyclist (which can be anything from a teenager to a middle-aged woman or elderly man). Same goes for mopeds and scooters: After a while, one learns to see the patterns in their riding and their behaviour becomes predictable, but all the same, it's EXHAUSTING to have to check both side-view mirrors constantly, maintain a mental image of the 360º contour of your car, trying to guess whether the moron passing between your car and the car to your right is going to cut you off with no warning, and slowing down preventively so that if he does, you don't have to slam on your brakes, causing the scooter right on your bumper to ram into the back of your car.

My point being, regardless of where or what type of vehicle one's driving/riding....safety education, legislation, traffic laws, authority and the threat of sanctions don't appear to be a decisive safety factor (Bonus points for counting how many cop cars a certain fedora-wearing unicyclist from NYC rides past while weaving between lanes on the KS18XL). I'm of the opinion that In the end, it all boils down to human nature and personal choices. Ride safely or not? Take risks or not? Wear protective gear or not? Take the safety of others into account or not?

Ultimately, there'll always be as many different stances as people on Earth...I just hope safety and common sense will prevail among EUC-riders, as this community contains a wealth of information and we're all lucky to be able to learn from others' knowledge and experiences and open up our minds to ideas and scenarios we hadn't contemplated thanks to the variety of differing opinions.

 

 

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7 hours ago, travsformation said:

On the subject of bicycles, I often find myself on the "condemning" side of the fence. To go from my town to the next (or any other), there are nothing but curvy mountain roads with tons tight bends and hairpins. In spring an autumn, they fill up with morons in spandex on road bicycles. Honestly, I find that they're a hazard to themselves and everyone else, even though they have the legal right to ride there. Go around a curve doing 60 km/h and find a cyclist struggling up the hill at 10 km/h with no lights or reflective gear, it's a recipe for disaster...

In my opinion, the solution is simple and easily implemented. Split the present road into three lanes for autos, bicycles, and pedestrian, while placing concrete barriers between all of them.

For autos and pedestrians that don't fit, place them on a diet.

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9 hours ago, travsformation said:

My point being, regardless of where or what type of vehicle one's driving/riding....safety education, legislation, traffic laws, authority and the threat of sanctions don't appear to be a decisive safety factor

There's a certain driving culture in each country or city. But that develops in dependence of these things. E.g. if nobody every gets punished, of course people ignore the rules. If there are good bike lanes, many conflicts don't even happen. And so on. I don't think driving behavior is inherent to someone or somewhere.

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2 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

There's a certain driving culture in each country or city. But that develops in dependence of these things. E.g. if nobody every gets punished, of course people ignore the rules. If there are good bike lanes, many conflicts don't even happen. And so on. I don't think driving behavior is inherent to someone or somewhere.

I'll admit my views are based on the Spanish situation, where e you might get randomly pulled over on a Tuesday at 3 PM and fined for now having an extra headlight replacement, but can get get away with reckless driving because the cops can't be bothered with the paperwork it involves to file a major offence...

Plus, we have no decent bike lanes. Or non-kamikaze car or bicycle drivers. Which is why it pisses me off so much that all of a sudden we have such strict laws for EUCs (because NO ONE obeys the law, and no one gets punished for it, but since we're the novelty, we're getting pulled over left and right). In the end, the only option we have is to be respectful, hope for the best, and even if we're not doing anything near as dangerous as other drivers/riders, run for it if the cops try to stop us (why obey their authority when they're not pulling over buses with 40 people on board doing twice the speed limit? F**k it...I'll follow my own moral code...)

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14 hours ago, travsformation said:

I'll admit my views are based on the Spanish situation, where e you might get randomly pulled over on a Tuesday at 3 PM and fined for now having an extra headlight replacement, but can get get away with reckless driving because the cops can't be bothered with the paperwork it involves to file a major offence...

Plus, we have no decent bike lanes. Or non-kamikaze car or bicycle drivers. Which is why it pisses me off so much that all of a sudden we have such strict laws for EUCs (because NO ONE obeys the law, and no one gets punished for it, but since we're the novelty, we're getting pulled over left and right). In the end, the only option we have is to be respectful, hope for the best, and even if we're not doing anything near as dangerous as other drivers/riders, run for it if the cops try to stop us (why obey their authority when they're not pulling over buses with 40 people on board doing twice the speed limit? F**k it...I'll follow my own moral code...)

Even so, visiting Barcelona I noted that the traffic bothered me a lot less than I thought it would. I have vivid memories of Rome and Paris in the 80s, where you had to have a bloody approach radar passing a street to avoid risking your life.

A few positive things about Barcelona, is that they seem to have (albeit imperfectly and non-conformely) have adapted some of the "mega-block" ideas. What I'm talking about are the clear differentiation between motor traffic arteries that are wide and often with overpasses for pedestrians and cars, and small streets with sparse to almost no traffic. If I compare it to Gothenburg where I live, it seemed a lot more friendly to scooters, bikes and pedestrians. That doesn't mean bicyclist have to have any less kamikaze tendencies, I see those here too.

In theory, Gothenburg should be a great town for bikes, e-scooters and EUCs. There are bike-lanes in a lot of places and I can (mostly) go anywhere without sharing the road with cars. The problem is that Gothenburg is built on soft clay ground, which means regular road maintenance is twice as important. The roads crack, pot holes appear from nowhere, the asphalt around the tram tracks sometimes sink down close to the tracks and so on. The politicians have no handle on the situation, spending their energy more on hare-brained projects than infrastructure management. Right now there is a "big dig", $3-4B project called the "west link", that makes bad worse and consumes every cent that could be used on actually making the infrastructure work well.

What I would like to see are working roads, a mega-block structure, and bike lanes physically separated from pedestrians.

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On 12/4/2018 at 5:21 PM, meepmeepmayer said:

Haha, looks like you're stuck in your neighborhood. High time for a 1600Wh wheel;)

Hahaha Am finding alternative routes to "expand my horizons" and get the most out of the ol' V8 while I wait for my much needed new wheel. Taking the long/scenic route to the town centre and the short way on the way home (Avg. speed: 22.8 km/h), a 15km route on this type of terrain (mostly downhill on the way there, almost all uphill on the way back) leaves me with about 30% battery when I get home. With these hills, I can't squeeze much more than 5 extra km out of it before I get to sub-15% battery...

 

Edited by travsformation
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On 12/5/2018 at 4:34 AM, travsformation said:

Yeah, it's a slippery slope... in Spain it's similar: bicycles are meant to ride in bike lanes, but in the absence thereof, always on the road--never on the sidewalk. It's about speed and not endangering pedestrians (and endangering themselves instead by sharing the road with 1.5 tonne cars and 6 tonne buses..).There's something about the hazard involved in the weight ratio and kinetic energy difference that doesn't fit any standards of common sense:

  • Bike hitting pedestrian:
    • Weight proportion of an 80kg cyclist riding a 15kg bike vs a 50 kg pedestrian: The pedestrian's weight is 52% of that of the bike and rider combined
    • Kinetic energy: if the cyclist is travelling at 15 km/h and hits the pedestrian, who's standing still, that would be 0.5 x 95kg x (4.167m/s)2 = 824J
  • Car hitting cyclist:
    • 1500kg car vs. same cyclist > Cyclist's weigh is roughly 6% of the car's (lazy calculation, as the bike's weight works against the cyclist...)
    • Kinetic energy (medium-sized car travelling at 50 km/h): 0.5 x 1500kg x (13.889m/s)2 = 144,678J
  • Proportionately,  the cyclist's kinetic energy is about 0.6% of the car's; it's pretty obvious the car poses a much bigger threat to the cyclist than the cyclist does to the pedestrian. All the same, cyclists are expected to assume a far greater risk so as to not cause a ridiculously lower danger to pedestrians.

 

In my opinion this is the goddamned post of the year. It's insane that people, bicyclists even, will say bicycling on the road is safer than the sidewalk. Ludicrously, it's in every club cycling and DMV handbook out there.

It is the equivalent of asking someone if they would feel safer having a one pound weight dropped on their head or a 200 pound weight dropped on their head.

I would go so far as to invite bicyclist into my lane space as a pedestrian because it's immoral to expose a bicyclist to cars at great risk versus the slight risk to me.

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1 hour ago, LanghamP said:

In my opinion this is the goddamned post of the year. It's insane that people, bicyclists even, will say bicycling on the road is safer than the sidewalk. Ludicrously, it's in every club cycling and DMV handbook out there.

It is the equivalent of asking someone if they would feel safer having a one pound weight dropped on their head or a 200 pound weight dropped on their head.

I would go so far as to invite bicyclist into my lane space as a pedestrian because it's immoral to expose a bicyclist to cars at great risk versus the slight risk to me.

Please read my post where I quoted and responded to this. How useless would a bicycle be in a sidewalk where pedestrians would mandate a crawling speed to avoid collisions. 

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1 hour ago, Darrell Wesh said:

Please read my post where I quoted and responded to this. How useless would a bicycle be in a sidewalk where pedestrians would mandate a crawling speed to avoid collisions. 

After riding for several years through crowded college campuses, parks, as well as the urban areas, I do not think bicyclists and pedestrians should be separated most of the time.

I personally place pedestrians at the top with the most rights. Pedestrians should be able to wander aimlessly without the fear of a vehicle running them over due to impatience. It's easy to give pedestrians enough berth so they don't hit you. I admit I had been knocked off once due to a running erratic pedestrian.

Then, the dedicated bicycle paths we see are anything but dedicated. To me, a dedicated path of anything only allows one type of transportation; every single bicycle path I've seen allows car drivers and pedestrians to freely enter them. Invariably a bicyclist collides with either of those two. Either make the bicycle path a true dedicated lane, or banish the bicycle path. Few things are more dangerous than thinking you're safe from something when you really are not.

Also, if you're passing people then you're not crawling, are you? My observation is that I go between 10-12 mph on moderate pedestrians areas on my EUC, and 6 mph on my less manuverable bicycle (the bicycle isn't a zero radius or backwards vehicle like an EUC).

Pedestrians get no love, and yet pedestrians don't kill themselves; they get run over and killed by something else. Same thing with bicyclist; they also get killed by something else. While bicyclist hit pedestrians somewhat frequently, it's more of a bump, and somewhat interestingly often turns into a friendly social interaction. How often do you see drivers do that? 

Driver to pedestrian collisions are two orders more magnitude than bicycle to pedestrian collisions. Drivers are lethal; one wonders if they should come with a cigarette warning as well as just one color so they can be more easily seen by others (seems ass backwards to dress pedestrians and bicyclists in visible clothing while vehicles are acceptable as black).

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1 hour ago, LanghamP said:

Driver to pedestrian collisions are two orders more magnitude than bicycle to pedestrian collisions. Drivers are lethal

Amen to that!

It just seams like common sense to me, based on weight ratio and kinetic energy. The whole "pedestrians are distracted and unpredictable" argument falls shallow: before the advent of smartphone, people actually looked where thy were walking...

And in terms of legal liability/insurance: is that really the most important factor to take into account when legislating? Of course, it varies from country to country, but in Europe we have universal healthcare, and a lot of countries have bicycle and EUC liability insurance. My point being, shouldn't legislation focus on safety more than anything else?

Moreover, I've been doing some urban riding lately and have found, as you said, @LanghamP that bike lanes are decoration to pedestrians and, unless appropriately separated, ignored by drivers. I'm not advocating for anything in particular, just common sense, especially considering that (here in Spain), pedestrian traffic on bike lanes is no different than on the side walk; riding on the side-walk causes plenty of hollering from pedestrians, and riding on the road is both illegal and extremely hazardous in this country. Yet bicycles have been around for longer and are tolerated regardless of where they ride (at least here); what bothers me is the discrimination, especially considering that we're more agile at slow speeds on sidewalks and, with top-shelf wheels, we can outspeed bikes on the road...

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29 minutes ago, travsformation said:

Amen to that!

It just seams like common sense to me, based on weight ratio and kinetic energy. The whole "pedestrians are distracted and unpredictable" argument falls shallow: before the advent of smartphone, people actually looked where thy were walking...

And in terms of legal liability/insurance: is that really the most important factor to take into account when legislating? Of course, it varies from country to country, but in Europe we have universal healthcare, and a lot of countries have bicycle and EUC liability insurance. My point being, shouldn't legislation focus on safety more than anything else?

Moreover, I've been doing some urban riding lately and have found, as you said, @LanghamP that bike lanes are decoration to pedestrians and, unless appropriately separated, ignored by drivers. I'm not advocating for anything in particular, just common sense, especially considering that (here in Spain), pedestrian traffic on bike lanes is no different than on the side walk; riding on the side-walk causes plenty of hollering from pedestrians, and riding on the road is both illegal and extremely hazardous in this country. Yet bicycles have been around for longer and are tolerated regardless of where they ride (at least here); what bothers me is the discrimination, especially considering that we're more agile at slow speeds on sidewalks and, with top-shelf wheels, we can outspeed bikes on the road...

We just live in two different worlds haha. In the USA, no cars can be in bike lanes. Strictly for bikes, scooters or PEV’s. 

Also, there is no free healthcare in the USA as you already know 😓 And you can sue anyone for anything in the USA, like that bicyclist who hit you on the sidewalk and gave you a sore shin!

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I think bike lanes should be marked off by a special color to make them more noticeable.  Here in America, where the only two colors are yellow and white, things blur together.  How about green?  Bicycles are green, aren't they? (If you see where I was going with that ...)

Re biker riders riding in the center of the road versus the side, I wouldn't be surprised if it were safer in the middle, especially when there are multiple riders to provide a larger visual cue.  Someone on the side of the road provokes the question:  Can I squeeze by?  And one or two other dangerous ones besides.  Some drivers are arrogant, some are ignorant, some love a challenge.  But all are provoked by the questions into the possibility of doing something foolish or even deadly.

Now, riding in the middle may avoid a question entirely, to the doom of the biker.  If you don't notice a biker because you're only looking for other cars, he has no chance of coming out on the right side of a decision you make or gamble you take.  You're just running over him before the chance of a decision even comes up.

Then again, riding on the side of the road doesn't make you visible either.  You're still largely subject to the same mistake.

Which is more dangerous?  I don't know, but I can say that when on a bike I have often felt safer driving in the middle of a lane than on its side.  I don't think I was ever bumped in thousands of miles .. but I was forced into a ditch more than once when riding on the side, and damn scared many more times.  

Honestly, I try to have sympathy/empathy whenever possible.  But I simply don't agree that car drivers have a tremendously urgent need to get wherever they are going as quickly as possible.  If your car is an ambulance, fire truck, or cop car, I understand. That most anyone else is in as much of a hurry as they think they are, for any even halfway good reason, I'm confident is pure baloney.  You got up late and now you're late for work?  Whose fault is that and why should that be anyone else's problem?  Try getting up on time.  You're going to jeopardize other people because of it?  Now you're an even bigger idiot.

That like all people grown into adulthood they have all sorts of rage and confusion to deal with and that far too many take it out on the road or on whoever they feel might be too weak or incapacitated to stop them?  Now THAT is a story I can believe.  

The rest of you, slow down, control yourself, be a human being already.  If not now, when?  

You and your car are not an emergency, a special case, or a priority.  Nobody is impressed with yet another self-involved dimwit or road-rager not giving a crap about anyone else.

Wherever the bikers are, slow down.  Your schedule is of extremely minor importance compared to their lives.

Edited by Dingfelder
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12 hours ago, Dingfelder said:

Which is more dangerous?  I don't know, but I can say that when on a bike I have often felt safer driving in the middle of a lane than on its side.  I don't think I was ever bumped in thousands of miles .. but I was forced into a ditch more than once when riding on the side, and damn scared many more times.  

I've thought about this, and if it was before 2008 then I would say take the middle part of the lane, but today I would say take the right and expect to be blown into the ditch.

The reason I say be in the right side of lane is because 2008 is the widespread adoption of the smartphone; over the past ten years we've seen a 40 to 60 % increase (and pedestrians doubled!) in collisions and fatalities even though Americans are driving less miles and autos are safer. Drivers are looking downward into their phones instead of eyes on the road, and so there's a lot of these huge hit from behind collisions that did not used to be so common.

So while pre 2008 you'd piss off a driver, at least he'd see you, but now in 2018 we have drivers simply running you over because they did not see you. To me, it makes more sense to stay to the extreme right, because being run off is a better chance that being rammed from behind at 45 mph+.

Interestingly, I count Memphis as one of the cities I want to visit most in the USA, because in ten short years Memphis has pushed extremely hard to put bicycle lanes everywhere, and prides itself on being able to reach most places via a dedicated bicycle lane. Memphis is one of the very few cities to embrace and encourage eScooters; the owner of one movie theater reckons he's seen an increase of about 50% in clientele, and from all demographics. That sort of makes sense, as one would get onto the scooter with no particular destination in mind, and simply stop when one sees something of interest. The mayor of Memphis cited bicycle paths as reducing traffic congestion.

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