Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


Dan Koeppel on the Pasadena-LA elevated bike highway

The crowd cheered. Bugles rang out. Within a year, Dobbins promised, something similar to Columbus’s short route to the Orient would rise above the hills of the Los Angeles basin. His “Cycleway” was designed to swiftly and conveniently transport people between a pair of key urban centers: the old colonial plaza in Downtown Los Angeles, and Pasadena, the burgeoning, modern suburb to the north that then rivaled the older city in size and ambition. The Dobbins route—which neatly anticipated and presaged the automotive freeways that now stretch across the region—would be a modern marvel. It would boast a state-of-the-art toll-collecting system. It would be elevated fifteen feet above the ground; the limited access would ensure that traffic flowed smoothly. “It can be said,” wrote the Los Angeles Times of the ground breaking, “that none of the new Southern California enterprises will …be more certain of financial success. The wheel must have a path of its own between these two cities.”

via An 1899 Plan to Build A Bike Highway in Los Angeles (And Why It Failed).



Friedersdorf on Rabinowitz

That’s right, Friedersdorf.

There is no one in America who objects more consistently than me to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s initiatives: This is a man who favors stop-and-frisk, racially profiling and spying on innocent Muslims, restricting the size of soda New Yorkers can buy, salt limits, a trans-fat ban, and a pervasive surveillance state. Left up to me, no one like Bloomberg would ever exercise political power. My disdain for his paternalism and disregard for civil liberties is what inclines me to defend his bike initiative. It is the least “totalitarian” major initiative that Bloomberg has undertaken, yet is denounced with some of the strongest language. If the critics were merely expressing their personal displeasure at the prospect of cities better suited to bike travel (or doubts about the efficacy of a particular policy aimed at making cities more bike friendly) that would be fine. Instead they co-opt the language of freedom and oppression, as if orienting cities toward automobiles is natural and libertarian, while bike shares and bike lanes are harbingers of tyranny. 

That is vapid, paranoid, philosophically incoherent nonsense. By frivolously trafficking in it, I fear that Rabinowitz and friends will diminish all warnings about liberty and government overreach. Even the boy who cried wolf was invoking the specter of an actually frightening creature.

via The Paranoid Style in Bicycle Politics: A Bicoastal Freak-Out – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic.



hit-and-run city

Denver’s traffic not following national trends.

Denver’s auto-pedestrian accidents were up 46 percent for the first eight weeks of 2013 over the previous two years. Another grim statistic also stands out: Last year, the city had 13 hit-and-run fatalities, more than the previous three years combined.

[…]

After two years of averaging about 31 auto-pedestrian incidents a month, the average jumped to 44 a month in January and February, according to Denver police statistics.

Hit-and-run cases averaged 8.5 a month in January and February — after 4.8 per month in 2011 and 6.1 in 2012.

[…]

Over the past decade, about 1,600 accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists were reported every year, according to a study by the Denver Regional Council of Governments.

In the 10-county region, 17 percent of all fatalities were pedestrians, and 3 percent were cyclists.

via Spike in Denver's auto-pedestrian cases has officials seeking answers – The Denver Post.

These “jumps” are based on a mere two months’ of accidents. Gotta keep an eye out to see if it continues.



E-bikes vs. bikes

Pedelec. A new word to me.

In a vote at the European Parliament today, MEPs have decided to keep the original European Commission proposal; only pedelecs with a maximum speed of 25 km/h and 250 watts power will remain exempt from motorbike regulation. Europe’s cycling organisations have welcomed the move, seeing it as a clear separation between bicycles and motorbikes

via European Cyclists' Federation – 20.11.2012- EU Parliament Backs ECF And Bicycle Industry Campaign To Protect Future Of Cycling.



Bike of the Day: This Old Raleigh

Upon closer inspection, looks like a recipe for disaster.



Former Denver Councilman and mayoral candidate Linkhart hit by truck on Bike to Work Day

He was my favorite mayoral candidate. He has almost no TV charisma, which is a major plus for a public official. He would have made a fine mayor. He liked libraries.

Fortunately, he’s fine, but the incident did prompt a conversation between council members and the mayor about road safety regulations and the interactions between cyclists and vehicles.

…During which, of course, scofflaw bicyclists somehow came out the villains, and education and/or reprogramming of scofflaw bicyclists was re-hurled to the tippy top of the bike safety priority list. This even though Linkhart’s crash (1) did not involve a scofflaw bicyclist and (2) car-bike crashes involving adult bicyclists typically do not. The most likely scenario for an adult bicyclist is to be caught out by another road user’s looked-but-failed-to-see error while riding lawfully. But hey, we’ve all seen bicyclists run lights right? People like Mayor Hancock make no attempt to understand the truth about urban cycling safety. Why bother — everyone knows it’s “common sense.” Common sense is good politics. Let’s not let any facts get in the way of our “common sense” about bicycle safety.

According to Linkhart, he was heading west on 23rd Avenue — on a bike route — approaching Downing Street when a pickup truck went to make a left turn and collided with him.

“I was going straight. He turned left in front of me, and…hit me across the side, and I fell down,” Linkhart recalls.

… Linkhart was scraped up badly, his bike got a bit bent and he had to get several stitches in his leg.

“I kinda went flying,” he said. “I kind of plowed into the sidewalk. I had a helmet, which didn’t help.”

Linkhart, going straight, had the right of way over the pickup truck, which was turning left.

23rd and Downing is classic left cross territory. I’ve been through that intersection a hundred times. Got to ‘keep your head on a swivel’ so to speak.

via Westword Doug Linkhart, ex-councilman, hit while cycling to Bike To Work Day event – Denver News – The Latest Word.



Bike of the Day: Mike’s Waltworks 29er




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