Author Topic: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!  (Read 11259 times)

RapmasterD

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Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« on: October 27, 2014, 04:43:53 PM »
Ummm....if you don't wear a helmet and if you're drunk. Being male helps too.

LINK: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/10/27/359369894/study-bike-deaths-up-16-in-just-two-years

Runge

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 05:04:53 PM »
Haha, thought this was funny:

Commerter 1: "Unlike kids, we ride for transportation, not for fun. Also, we don't get ourselves killed, we get killed by lousy drivers. You need to slow down and get used to seeing more and more of us on the road. The law is on our side. Deal with it."

Commenter 2: "Get off those bicycles and walk. It's healthier. They need to increase the minimum speed on all main roads."

sol

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2014, 05:08:29 PM »
Also, we don't get ourselves killed, we get killed by lousy drivers.

This article headline might as well have said "Murder rate up 16% last year, murder victims blamed."

gimp

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 05:33:44 PM »
inb4debateonpersonalresponsibilitywhilebikingandbaddriversandbikers

scottish

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2014, 06:16:27 PM »
I especially like the comments from "Vern Wells":

Quote
You might want to consider using a wheelchair. You could be even more obstructionist of traffic if you did. But far be it from me to suggest you have a little consideration for others. It doesn't matter how many people you inconvenience with your toy as long as you get to play with it in traffic.

who then goes on to say

Quote
It extracts the cost from others who are trying to get where they're going. It impedes normal traffic.

holy sense of entitlement, batman.

MoneyCat

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2014, 07:58:49 PM »
Fewer people would probably get killed on bicycles if cyclists actually followed the law and stopped at red lights and stop signs.  A guy in fancy expensive cycling gear whipped past my bike at a red light yesterday and nearly got killed by an oncoming SUV.  After reading that article, I wonder if he was drunk.  At least he was wearing a helmet.

GuitarStv

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 06:18:46 AM »
Quote
Notably, current yearly deaths of bicyclists are among the lowest since 1975, when FARS data were first compiled. The highest annual total (1,003) occurred in 1975. Yearly deaths averaged 933 from 1975 to 1979, 889 in the 1980s, 792 in the 1990s, and 696 from 2000 to 2012. The 621 deaths in 2010 were the lowest in the 38 years of FARS. Motor vehicle deaths in general have decreased over this period, and the percent of deaths that are bicyclists has not increased since 1975. Bicyclists have accounted for about 2 percent of total fatalities each year, ranging from 1.5 to 2.3. In 2012 they represented 2.2 percent of all motor vehicle-related deaths.

Talk about cherry picking data from that report.

Runge

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2014, 07:02:31 AM »
Quote
Notably, current yearly deaths of bicyclists are among the lowest since 1975, when FARS data were first compiled. The highest annual total (1,003) occurred in 1975. Yearly deaths averaged 933 from 1975 to 1979, 889 in the 1980s, 792 in the 1990s, and 696 from 2000 to 2012. The 621 deaths in 2010 were the lowest in the 38 years of FARS. Motor vehicle deaths in general have decreased over this period, and the percent of deaths that are bicyclists has not increased since 1975. Bicyclists have accounted for about 2 percent of total fatalities each year, ranging from 1.5 to 2.3. In 2012 they represented 2.2 percent of all motor vehicle-related deaths.

Talk about cherry picking data from that report.

So I took a gander at the FARS website. Really interesting stuff to look at for those who like numbers. Not trying to start a narrative here or anything, but I noticed that in 2012, out of 726 cyclists killed, 10.2% were under the influence (74), tied with  "not visibile" mind you. The only three categories that were higher were, in order, Failure to yield right of way (198/27.3%), No related factors reported (158/21.8%), and unknown (112/15.4%). Also, it's good to note the "note" at the bottom of their table: "The sum of the numbers and percentages is greater than the total pedestrians killed as more than one factor may be present for the same pedestrian." It's also interesting that FARS records cyclist (or pedalcyclists) as pedestrians.

theknitcycle

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2014, 02:07:16 PM »

franklin w. dixon

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2014, 02:59:01 PM »
Governors Highway Safety Association is a right wing front group that agitates in favor of cars cars everywhere gotta have more cars which is why their data presentation is so crappy. At one point a while back they implied that pedestrian fatalities were Michelle Obama's fault because she told kids to exercise and now they're all out running around in the street getting crushed by God's chariot, the private automobile. Very kind of NPR to not mention any of this and instead pretend that GHSA is some kind of neutral third party.

GuitarStv

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2014, 06:26:23 AM »


This picture bothers me for a few reasons.

- the cyclist on the left has radial spokes
- the cyclist on the right has no water bottle. . . and wtf is he doing with his left hand?  Admiring his manicure?
- Why is the larger cyclist on the smaller bike?

Runge

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2014, 09:08:48 AM »

This picture bothers me for a few reasons.

- the cyclist on the left has radial spokes
- the cyclist on the right has no water bottle. . . and wtf is he doing with his left hand?  Admiring his manicure?
- Why is the larger cyclist on the smaller bike?

Well...the guy on right right is probably reaching for his down-tube shifters. And yeah, I don't get why the bike on the right is so much bigger for a smaller dude. Also, neither of them are wearing clipless pedals. :D

SisterX

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2014, 11:28:30 AM »
Fewer people would probably get killed on bicycles if cyclists actually followed the law and stopped at red lights and stop signs.  A guy in fancy expensive cycling gear whipped past my bike at a red light yesterday and nearly got killed by an oncoming SUV.  After reading that article, I wonder if he was drunk.  At least he was wearing a helmet.

Fewer cyclists would also get killed if drivers followed the law.  I could give you plenty of anecdotal evidence about how unsafe drivers are too, but I won't because that doesn't matter really.  Don't pick on cyclists as if we're the only ones who don't properly follow the rules of the road.

GuitarStv

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2014, 11:36:10 AM »
The beauty of the 'crazed rule breaking cyclist' phenomenon is that it's self correcting.  Either the cyclist figures out the error of his/her ways, or is killed.

Goldielocks

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2014, 12:58:18 PM »


This picture bothers me for a few reasons.

- the cyclist on the left has radial spokes
- the cyclist on the right has no water bottle. . . and wtf is he doing with his left hand?  Admiring his manicure?
- Why is the larger cyclist on the smaller bike?

I don't understand this graphic,  they seem to be communicating that 84% of cyclists in 2012 died.
Obviously wrong,  is there a different, reasonable way to read it? 

As an engineer that needs to communicate numbers often and quickly, this graph is exceptionally poor.

I can't get the link to load.

FIPurpose

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2014, 01:08:19 PM »
I believe that it's trying to say that a much larger percentage of bicycle fatalities are increasingly older bikers instead of just children, but yes it is a poor graphic, at best only terribly misleading.

Last week I was turning right onto a street that I had a green light for. Didn't see the biker that was riding straight through a red light. He thankfully swerved out of the way, but goodness did it scare me. Please do not run red lights as a biker. Do not try and beat yellow lights. You are a biker; yellow lights are timed for car speeds not bike speeds.

Goldielocks

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2014, 01:24:15 PM »
I believe that it's trying to say that a much larger percentage of bicycle fatalities are increasingly older bikers instead of just children, but yes it is a poor graphic.

Do not try and beat yellow lights. You are a biker; yellow lights are timed for car speeds not bike speeds.

I think a % added in front of the title would therefore help communicating this idea a lot, or" versus young riders".. But that becomes a lot of words.

As to your second comment -- that is the heart of the commuting cyclist problem.  I can understand that motorists are blind to motorcycles and cyclists alike, but the *!darn! Yellow lights when you just get up to speed!


APowers

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2014, 01:29:18 PM »
Last week I was turning right onto a street that I had a green light for. Didn't see the biker that was riding straight through a red light. He thankfully swerved out of the way, but goodness did it scare me. Please do not run red lights as a biker. Do not try and beat yellow lights. You are a biker; yellow lights are timed for car speeds not bike speeds.

I'll sometimes run red lights or stop signs while riding my bike, but ONLY with the assumption that no-one sees me or will yield. That means no riding in front of cars. My working principle when riding a bike is "I'm 200lb, they're 6,000lb. I don't get in their way and I assume they don't see me." I see this as the safest way to use the road as a cyclist.

johnny847

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2014, 02:15:23 PM »
Last week I was turning right onto a street that I had a green light for. Didn't see the biker that was riding straight through a red light. He thankfully swerved out of the way, but goodness did it scare me. Please do not run red lights as a biker. Do not try and beat yellow lights. You are a biker; yellow lights are timed for car speeds not bike speeds.

I'll sometimes run red lights or stop signs while riding my bike, but ONLY with the assumption that no-one sees me or will yield. That means no riding in front of cars. My working principle when riding a bike is "I'm 200lb, they're 6,000lb. I don't get in their way and I assume they don't see me." I see this as the safest way to use the road as a cyclist.

This is exactly the kind of attitude that adds to drivers' resentment towards cyclists. If you want the right to ride on the road, follow the laws of the road. Period. End of story.
If you think it's unsafe for you to follow the law and ride on the road, then consider a different route or get off your bike.

GuitarStv

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2014, 03:58:27 PM »
This is exactly the kind of attitude that adds to drivers' resentment towards cyclists. If you want the right to ride on the road, follow the laws of the road. Period. End of story.
If you think it's unsafe for you to follow the law and ride on the road, then consider a different route or get off your bike.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me, I say the same thing to cars every day.  It's the kind of attitude that adds to cyclists resentment towards drivers.  If you want the right to drive on the road, follow the rules of the road.  Period.  End of story.  If you've ever exceeded the speed limit just because you thought you could get away with it, because you thought the speed was set too low, or because you forgot about it . . .well . . . you need to consider a different method of transportation entirely.

johnny847

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2014, 04:05:56 PM »
This is exactly the kind of attitude that adds to drivers' resentment towards cyclists. If you want the right to ride on the road, follow the laws of the road. Period. End of story.
If you think it's unsafe for you to follow the law and ride on the road, then consider a different route or get off your bike.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me, I say the same thing to cars every day.  It's the kind of attitude that adds to cyclists resentment towards drivers.  If you want the right to drive on the road, follow the rules of the road.  Period.  End of story.  If you've ever exceeded the speed limit just because you thought you could get away with it, because you thought the speed was set too low, or because you forgot about it . . .well . . . you need to consider a different method of transportation entirely.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but are you implying that a cyclist can break the rules because drivers break the rules? I never said that just cyclists should abide by the rules - of course drivers should too.
The bigger point here is that a cyclist can't have it both ways - you can't expect to have the right to be on the road and then select which rules to follow. The same goes for drivers - and if I'm not mistaken, in most states with enough moving violations within a given time frame, you get your license suspended.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 04:19:20 PM by johnny847 »

SisterX

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2014, 05:33:05 PM »
This is exactly the kind of attitude that adds to drivers' resentment towards cyclists. If you want the right to ride on the road, follow the laws of the road. Period. End of story.
If you think it's unsafe for you to follow the law and ride on the road, then consider a different route or get off your bike.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me, I say the same thing to cars every day.  It's the kind of attitude that adds to cyclists resentment towards drivers.  If you want the right to drive on the road, follow the rules of the road.  Period.  End of story.  If you've ever exceeded the speed limit just because you thought you could get away with it, because you thought the speed was set too low, or because you forgot about it . . .well . . . you need to consider a different method of transportation entirely.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but are you implying that a cyclist can break the rules because drivers break the rules? I never said that just cyclists should abide by the rules - of course drivers should too.
The bigger point here is that a cyclist can't have it both ways - you can't expect to have the right to be on the road and then select which rules to follow. The same goes for drivers - and if I'm not mistaken, in most states with enough moving violations within a given time frame, you get your license suspended.

I think the point is that cyclists are no more likely to break the rules than drivers are, you just notice it more because ERMAHGERD CYCLIST!  At the same time, a cyclist breaking the rules is far more likely to realize that they're not only breaking the rules, but also in danger because of it.
Also, it is always worth noting that cyclists do not have licenses because we're not driving giant death machines around.  Yes, cyclists do injure and kill people occasionally in accidents with pedestrians.  However, such deaths are very rare.  Certainly more rare than car vs. cyclist, car vs. pedestrian, and car vs. car deaths.  If everyone bicycled, we'd have fewer overall deaths because cyclist vs. cyclist accidents don't cause nearly as much physical harm on average.  Though many people in this country think that driving is their right, it is in fact a highly abused privilege, and I for one would like to see people's cars and licenses removed a lot more frequently than they are.  I think it would make all of us much safer than focusing on "oh, those awful cyclists who sometimes run red lights because they can't get through them fast enough!"

johnny847

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2014, 05:42:08 PM »
I've sometimes wondered why cyclists don't have be licensed to ride on the road. I understand your point about cyclists in general are less likely to cause damage to others than drivers. But it seems contradictory to me that you are required to follow the rules of the road while cycling, but at the same time you're not required to prove that you understand the rules of the road. Now granted, I'm sure the vast majority of cyclists have a drivers license. But it just seems somewhat strange, because legally speaking, you can get a ticket for speeding, running a red light, etc. while on a bicycle (whether that's actually enforced is of course a different story). But what if a cyclist doesn't have a driver's license? How exactly would they get a ticket for moving violations with a bicycle? It doesn't quite add up.

And another thing - do any of you remember whether or not you had a question about bicyclists on your written test to get a driver's license? I don't think there was, but it's possible it was there and I forgot. But I think just asking the questions "Are bicycles allowed on the road?" and "Are bicyclists required to ride on the shoulder/to the right in the lane?" on written tests for getting your license would be helpful. I don't know, perhaps drivers wouldn't remember anyways. But I've had plenty of drivers yell at me to get on the sidewalk.

GuitarStv

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2014, 06:11:57 PM »
This is exactly the kind of attitude that adds to drivers' resentment towards cyclists. If you want the right to ride on the road, follow the laws of the road. Period. End of story.
If you think it's unsafe for you to follow the law and ride on the road, then consider a different route or get off your bike.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me, I say the same thing to cars every day.  It's the kind of attitude that adds to cyclists resentment towards drivers.  If you want the right to drive on the road, follow the rules of the road.  Period.  End of story.  If you've ever exceeded the speed limit just because you thought you could get away with it, because you thought the speed was set too low, or because you forgot about it . . .well . . . you need to consider a different method of transportation entirely.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but are you implying that a cyclist can break the rules because drivers break the rules? I never said that just cyclists should abide by the rules - of course drivers should too.
The bigger point here is that a cyclist can't have it both ways - you can't expect to have the right to be on the road and then select which rules to follow. The same goes for drivers - and if I'm not mistaken, in most states with enough moving violations within a given time frame, you get your license suspended.

Absolutely not.  Nobody should break the rules.  It's funny to me though, that many people who complain loudly about cyclists have no issue of any kind breaking the rules related to speed limits . . . Which is significantly more likely to lead to someone else's death than a cyclist running a red in an empty intersection.

The reasoning for going 1 mph over the speed limit is exactly the same as the reasoning for breaking the law while cycling, yet few even consider speeding breaking the law.  Virtually everyone who drives speeds.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 06:14:17 PM by GuitarStv »

BlueMR2

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2014, 10:33:19 AM »
The reasoning for going 1 mph over the speed limit is exactly the same as the reasoning for breaking the law while cycling, yet few even consider speeding breaking the law.  Virtually everyone who drives speeds.

However, people don't think it is.  I had someone follow me on a car trip not too long ago.  I warned him that I don't speed.  He said, "good, I never speed either, I hate it when people speed".  When we get to our destination he complained that I drove too slow.  Apparently his definition of "not speeding" is going 10 over the speed limit.  "Speeding" starts at 15 over.  *facepalm*

Gerard

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2014, 06:32:40 AM »
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but are you implying that a cyclist can break the rules because drivers break the rules?

Although it turns out that wasn't what was being implied, I think I would like to take this on. I actually do kinda think that cyclists should be allowed to break the rules sometimes. The rules are written for cars, and what they can do, and the damage they would cause by misbehaving. I'm fine with cyclists running red lights if there's nobody around, or popping up onto the sidewalk occasionally, or passing on the right (which they do all the time). In the same way that I'm fine with cars going 56 in a 55 zone. But, but, cyclists have to avoid running the red when there are cars coming the other way, and cars have to slow down when the roads are wet or visibility is poor.

johnny847

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2014, 06:59:18 AM »
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but are you implying that a cyclist can break the rules because drivers break the rules?

Although it turns out that wasn't what was being implied, I think I would like to take this on. I actually do kinda think that cyclists should be allowed to break the rules sometimes. The rules are written for cars, and what they can do, and the damage they would cause by misbehaving. I'm fine with cyclists running red lights if there's nobody around, or popping up onto the sidewalk occasionally, or passing on the right (which they do all the time). In the same way that I'm fine with cars going 56 in a 55 zone. But, but, cyclists have to avoid running the red when there are cars coming the other way, and cars have to slow down when the roads are wet or visibility is poor.

1) Would you run a red light in a car if there's nobody around? How is it any different? I have literally never seen a driver pull up to a red light, make a full stop, and then run the light (although I have seen drivers do that if, after waiting for a while, they realize that the sensor to trip the light is not working. While still not strictly legal, I'd say that's excusable). Not running red lights if the light is already red by the time they approach the intersection is pretty ingrained in drivers, at least I think (I realize I'm basing this based on my observations. If you want to contest this, then we can discuss that). So why do some bicyclists throw this out the window all of a sudden?
If a cop saw a bicyclist run a red light and actually enforced the law, you would get the exact same ticket. You can also get tickets for speeding on a bike, along with any other infraction.
2) I agree that people can be responsible about popping up onto the sidewalk (ie, they ride really slowly). But the law can't be written assuming that everybody will be a responsible person, they have to outline what is and isn't allowed. Otherwise, we might as well not have speed limits or just have suggested limits and not enforce them.
3) Passing on the right is idiotic because you run the risk of them turning into you. You leave yourself no escape route other than backwards (or perhaps jumping onto the sidewalk, but that's not really a maneuver that's easy to pull off), but unfortunately, there aren't any bikes that I am aware of that can reverse. I seriously don't know why anybody would do this.

I've said this before, but I'll say it again. You can't have it both ways. You can't get the right to ride on the road, and then not follow the rules of the road. If you feel unsafe while riding on the road, find a different route, walk on the sidewalk, or don't bike it. And this coming from a bicyclist who has virtually no use for his car anymore because he uses his bike for almost everything.

GuitarStv

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2014, 09:01:08 AM »
1.  No.  It's pretty common practice to do a rolling stop at a sign though, or to run reds/yellows tight as the light changes for both cars and bikes.  BTW, it's not possible to get speeding tickets on a bike.

2. Speed limits are really not enforced for cars.  That's why 99% of people speed.  Sure, you'll get pulled over for doing 10 over, but the 'limit' is really pretty fuzzy at best.

3. I think safety of this depends on a lot of factors.  I pass on the right all the time on my commute . . . We have very wide shoulders (6 ft) on some two lane roads that enable this.


I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  Cars get the right to the road even though nearly every automobile driver breaks the law.  Why do we need to apply a different standard to bicycles?

Gerard

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2014, 09:10:26 AM »
Hi Johnny, thanks for the pushback, especially from a fellow not-car type. First off, I freely admit that I *do* want to have it both ways, sometimes, because a bike is neither a car nor a pedestrian, and it can (generally safely) do some things that neither of those two can. I don't think bikes should have every right a car has (for example, to ride on high-speed highways), so I want some extra stuff in return.

1) Would you run a red light in a car if there's nobody around?

Yes. If I'm in northern Ontario, at midnight, in the middle of the deep woods, I'm not waiting for the light to change. The number of situations in which a bike can do this safely is far higher than for a car, I think. My most-used route hits many red lights on tiny side streets where I can see and hear any cars coming a block away, and make that determination while coasting up to the light.

2) I agree that people can be responsible about popping up onto the sidewalk (ie, they ride really slowly). But the law can't be written assuming that everybody will be a responsible person, they have to outline what is and isn't allowed. Otherwise, we might as well not have speed limits or just have suggested limits and not enforce them.

I'm okay with the law forbidding it, so that people who are evil or dangerous can be punished. But there are many situations where I believe I'm safer and nobody else is less safe if I take the sidewalk (around construction, for example). Maybe because I grew up in Montreal, where you seem to have fewer traffic jams because drivers work things out, legally or otherwise (once I was on a city bus that drove a block down the sidewalk).
And I think there are many situations where cops don't enforce speed limits. Like, almost all the time, if you're only 10 km/h over the limit.

3) Passing on the right is idiotic [...] I seriously don't know why anybody would do this.

I was thinking of in gridlock, or at red lights, or when six cars are backed up waiting for someone to turn left.

I acknowledge that some of the things I do (or want to do) are based on the fact that almost all my riding has been in Canadian downtowns, where streets tend to be narrow, many drivers are bike-aware, and average car speeds tend to be low or zero. I totally get that I would have to back off if I rode more on suburban six-lanes.

I imagine we're going to see a lot of rewriting of procedures and laws and social norms as the mainstream comes to terms with the existence of transportation modes other than "car" and "driver temporarily out of car". Bikes, mobility scooters, electric bikes, mopeds... there's definitely not gonna be one-size-fits-all answers. (Ain't that a grand wrap-up for what's basically a justification of my selfish riding practices?)

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2014, 09:11:56 AM »
This is exactly the kind of attitude that adds to drivers' resentment towards cyclists. If you want the right to ride on the road, follow the laws of the road. Period. End of story.
If you think it's unsafe for you to follow the law and ride on the road, then consider a different route or get off your bike.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me, I say the same thing to cars every day.  It's the kind of attitude that adds to cyclists resentment towards drivers.  If you want the right to drive on the road, follow the rules of the road.  Period.  End of story.  If you've ever exceeded the speed limit just because you thought you could get away with it, because you thought the speed was set too low, or because you forgot about it . . .well . . . you need to consider a different method of transportation entirely.

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but are you implying that a cyclist can break the rules because drivers break the rules? I never said that just cyclists should abide by the rules - of course drivers should too.
The bigger point here is that a cyclist can't have it both ways - you can't expect to have the right to be on the road and then select which rules to follow. The same goes for drivers - and if I'm not mistaken, in most states with enough moving violations within a given time frame, you get your license suspended.

Thank you for this response.  When it comes down to it, cyclists really need to follow the law for safety's sake, because, let's face it, we're not riding inside a metal cage with safety belts and airbags.  If we break the law and get hit by a car as a result, we are risking serious injury or death.

johnny847

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2014, 09:19:23 AM »
1.  No.  It's pretty common practice to do a rolling stop at a sign though, or to run reds/yellows tight as the light changes for both cars and bikes.  BTW, it's not possible to get speeding tickets on a bike.

2. Speed limits are really not enforced for cars.  That's why 99% of people speed.  Sure, you'll get pulled over for doing 10 over, but the 'limit' is really pretty fuzzy at best.

3. I think safety of this depends on a lot of factors.  I pass on the right all the time on my commute . . . We have very wide shoulders (6 ft) on some two lane roads that enable this.


I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  Cars get the right to the road even though nearly every automobile driver breaks the law.  Why do we need to apply a different standard to bicycles?

1). You still haven't answered my question. How is it any different? And yes, you can get speeding tickets on a bicycle (although in practice, I'm sure they're enforced at lower rates than cars) See http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2022149422_bicyclesspeedingxml.html  Try googling it, and you'll pull up plenty of anecdotes, as well as some news stories.
2). Just because something isn't enforced doesn't make it legal to break the law.
3). Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant by passing on the right. If you're on the shoulder, where varying by jurisdiction it is legal to do be on the shoulder, then sure, by all means, pass on the right. But be aware of the ability of cars turning right. I thought you meant pass on the right when traffic is stopped and there's like one foot of space to the right of the line of cars.

Drivers do not get the right to drive on the road if they have enough traffic violations within a certain timeframe - they will get their license suspended.

I'm not saying we should apply a different standard to bicycles. We should apply the exact same standard.

johnny847

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2014, 09:23:13 AM »
Hi Johnny, thanks for the pushback, especially from a fellow not-car type. First off, I freely admit that I *do* want to have it both ways, sometimes, because a bike is neither a car nor a pedestrian, and it can (generally safely) do some things that neither of those two can. I don't think bikes should have every right a car has (for example, to ride on high-speed highways), so I want some extra stuff in return.

1) Would you run a red light in a car if there's nobody around?

Yes. If I'm in northern Ontario, at midnight, in the middle of the deep woods, I'm not waiting for the light to change. The number of situations in which a bike can do this safely is far higher than for a car, I think. My most-used route hits many red lights on tiny side streets where I can see and hear any cars coming a block away, and make that determination while coasting up to the light.

2) I agree that people can be responsible about popping up onto the sidewalk (ie, they ride really slowly). But the law can't be written assuming that everybody will be a responsible person, they have to outline what is and isn't allowed. Otherwise, we might as well not have speed limits or just have suggested limits and not enforce them.

I'm okay with the law forbidding it, so that people who are evil or dangerous can be punished. But there are many situations where I believe I'm safer and nobody else is less safe if I take the sidewalk (around construction, for example). Maybe because I grew up in Montreal, where you seem to have fewer traffic jams because drivers work things out, legally or otherwise (once I was on a city bus that drove a block down the sidewalk).
And I think there are many situations where cops don't enforce speed limits. Like, almost all the time, if you're only 10 km/h over the limit.

3) Passing on the right is idiotic [...] I seriously don't know why anybody would do this.

I was thinking of in gridlock, or at red lights, or when six cars are backed up waiting for someone to turn left.

I acknowledge that some of the things I do (or want to do) are based on the fact that almost all my riding has been in Canadian downtowns, where streets tend to be narrow, many drivers are bike-aware, and average car speeds tend to be low or zero. I totally get that I would have to back off if I rode more on suburban six-lanes.

I imagine we're going to see a lot of rewriting of procedures and laws and social norms as the mainstream comes to terms with the existence of transportation modes other than "car" and "driver temporarily out of car". Bikes, mobility scooters, electric bikes, mopeds... there's definitely not gonna be one-size-fits-all answers. (Ain't that a grand wrap-up for what's basically a justification of my selfish riding practices?)

Well I think we're going to have to agree to disagree if you don't accept the premise of you can't have it both ways.
P.S.  At least in the US, most if not all states have a "minimum" speed limit on highways so long as there is not a traffic jam. By that logic, a bicycle wouldn't be able to get on the highway anyways.

GuitarStv

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2014, 06:15:27 AM »
1.  No.  It's pretty common practice to do a rolling stop at a sign though, or to run reds/yellows tight as the light changes for both cars and bikes.  BTW, it's not possible to get speeding tickets on a bike.

2. Speed limits are really not enforced for cars.  That's why 99% of people speed.  Sure, you'll get pulled over for doing 10 over, but the 'limit' is really pretty fuzzy at best.

3. I think safety of this depends on a lot of factors.  I pass on the right all the time on my commute . . . We have very wide shoulders (6 ft) on some two lane roads that enable this.


I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  Cars get the right to the road even though nearly every automobile driver breaks the law.  Why do we need to apply a different standard to bicycles?

1). You still haven't answered my question. How is it any different? And yes, you can get speeding tickets on a bicycle (although in practice, I'm sure they're enforced at lower rates than cars) See http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2022149422_bicyclesspeedingxml.html  Try googling it, and you'll pull up plenty of anecdotes, as well as some news stories.
2). Just because something isn't enforced doesn't make it legal to break the law.
3). Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant by passing on the right. If you're on the shoulder, where varying by jurisdiction it is legal to do be on the shoulder, then sure, by all means, pass on the right. But be aware of the ability of cars turning right. I thought you meant pass on the right when traffic is stopped and there's like one foot of space to the right of the line of cars.

1. I don't run lights with my car or my bike.  I'd argue that cycling is different for a few reasons though . . .
- In a car accident, you're way way way way way more likely to kill someone than in a bicycle accident.  The danger of running the light therefore is primarily to yourself in a bike.
- Traffic lights are designed for cars and don't always make sense for cyclists.  For example, on my commute there is a one way in each direction road with a bike path.  At one point there's a T intersection with a stop light.  I bike along the straight through part in the bike path, and the joining road is to my left.  There is no added safety when requiring my bike to stop there at the red.  Left turning cars turn into their lane, not the bike path.  I stop at the light, but it sort of pisses me off every time as there's no safety reason to do so.

* Kinda blown away by the speeding tickets to cyclists thing you're talking about.  Over here in Ontario you cannot be given a speeding ticket on a bicycle . . . because the highway traffic act defines all fines related to speeding in reference to motor vehicles.  A bicycle is not a motor vehicle (I suspect that an electric bike could thus get a ticket though).

As an extended aside . . . part of my commute is through a school zone with one of those flashing light signs that tells you how fast you're going.  It is a point of personal pride when it flashes up numbers indicating that I exceed the speed limit.  (There are few children heading to school at 6 am when I'm cycling past.)


2.  Kinda agree . . . but if something is NEVER EVER enforced, then it does make it OK to break the law.  Technically you're not supposed to break the speed limit, but if you are never given a ticket for drive 5-10 kph over the limit then the effect is the same as raising the speed limits.


3.  I do much of my cycling in busy city traffic.  When there's a line of forty or fifty cars waiting at a red light I'll often filter up the right slowly if there's room.  I don't try to sqeeze past big trucks or buses because they can't see me.  I'll stop in the space between cars a vehicle or two back from the light so there's no risk of getting in the way of someone making a right turn.

Drivers do not get the right to drive on the road if they have enough traffic violations within a certain timeframe - they will get their license suspended.

I'm not saying we should apply a different standard to bicycles. We should apply the exact same standard.

See, that's kinda what I was talking about above.  99% of drivers speed.  This is possible because the traffic violation for going 1 mph over the limit isn't enforced.  We currently do apply the same standard to bicycles . . . red light running is illegal . . . but it's rarely enforced.  (You also get the scenario where a cyclist knows that the sensors won't pick up his/her bike and thus regularly slows down, checks traffic, and runs a red light . . . which I kinda see as being OK to do.)

As far as requiring a license for cycling . . . what exactly is the point of enforcing rules for cycling?  When in an accident it's virtually always the cyclist who dies.  So, the rules for cycling are there to protect the cyclist.  The effect of enforcing a licensing scheme for cycling will be to reduce the number of cyclists on the road (due to cost and hassle).  Fewer cyclists means that that cycling becomes more unsafe (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/may/07/cycling-safety-york-calderdale).  Licensing therefore won't have the intended effect.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 06:20:00 AM by GuitarStv »

lemanfan

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2014, 07:27:11 AM »


* Kinda blown away by the speeding tickets to cyclists thing you're talking about.  Over here in Ontario you cannot be given a speeding ticket on a bicycle . . . because the highway traffic act defines all fines related to speeding in reference to motor vehicles.  A bicycle is not a motor vehicle (I suspect that an electric bike could thus get a ticket though).


In Sweden we have some areas called "pedestrian speed areas" - most kinds of vehicles are allowed, but pedestrians have priority and it's illegal to go faster than walking speed weather you're on a bike or in a car.  The maximum speed seems to be defined as 7 km/h  / 4 mph. One of the more famous of these areas is one of the main streets in Stockholm with lots of bikes and a steeeep downhill (Götgatan, Stockholm) and once the cops started ticketing the bikers going downhill, it got "a bit" of media attention. 

This is the sign for this kind of area:



johnny847

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2014, 08:27:28 AM »
1.  No.  It's pretty common practice to do a rolling stop at a sign though, or to run reds/yellows tight as the light changes for both cars and bikes.  BTW, it's not possible to get speeding tickets on a bike.

2. Speed limits are really not enforced for cars.  That's why 99% of people speed.  Sure, you'll get pulled over for doing 10 over, but the 'limit' is really pretty fuzzy at best.

3. I think safety of this depends on a lot of factors.  I pass on the right all the time on my commute . . . We have very wide shoulders (6 ft) on some two lane roads that enable this.


I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  Cars get the right to the road even though nearly every automobile driver breaks the law.  Why do we need to apply a different standard to bicycles?

1). You still haven't answered my question. How is it any different? And yes, you can get speeding tickets on a bicycle (although in practice, I'm sure they're enforced at lower rates than cars) See http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2022149422_bicyclesspeedingxml.html  Try googling it, and you'll pull up plenty of anecdotes, as well as some news stories.
2). Just because something isn't enforced doesn't make it legal to break the law.
3). Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant by passing on the right. If you're on the shoulder, where varying by jurisdiction it is legal to do be on the shoulder, then sure, by all means, pass on the right. But be aware of the ability of cars turning right. I thought you meant pass on the right when traffic is stopped and there's like one foot of space to the right of the line of cars.

1. I don't run lights with my car or my bike.  I'd argue that cycling is different for a few reasons though . . .
- In a car accident, you're way way way way way more likely to kill someone than in a bicycle accident.  The danger of running the light therefore is primarily to yourself in a bike.
- Traffic lights are designed for cars and don't always make sense for cyclists.  For example, on my commute there is a one way in each direction road with a bike path.  At one point there's a T intersection with a stop light.  I bike along the straight through part in the bike path, and the joining road is to my left.  There is no added safety when requiring my bike to stop there at the red.  Left turning cars turn into their lane, not the bike path.  I stop at the light, but it sort of pisses me off every time as there's no safety reason to do so.

* Kinda blown away by the speeding tickets to cyclists thing you're talking about.  Over here in Ontario you cannot be given a speeding ticket on a bicycle . . . because the highway traffic act defines all fines related to speeding in reference to motor vehicles.  A bicycle is not a motor vehicle (I suspect that an electric bike could thus get a ticket though).

As an extended aside . . . part of my commute is through a school zone with one of those flashing light signs that tells you how fast you're going.  It is a point of personal pride when it flashes up numbers indicating that I exceed the speed limit.  (There are few children heading to school at 6 am when I'm cycling past.)


2.  Kinda agree . . . but if something is NEVER EVER enforced, then it does make it OK to break the law.  Technically you're not supposed to break the speed limit, but if you are never given a ticket for drive 5-10 kph over the limit then the effect is the same as raising the speed limits.


3.  I do much of my cycling in busy city traffic.  When there's a line of forty or fifty cars waiting at a red light I'll often filter up the right slowly if there's room.  I don't try to sqeeze past big trucks or buses because they can't see me.  I'll stop in the space between cars a vehicle or two back from the light so there's no risk of getting in the way of someone making a right turn.

Drivers do not get the right to drive on the road if they have enough traffic violations within a certain timeframe - they will get their license suspended.

I'm not saying we should apply a different standard to bicycles. We should apply the exact same standard.

See, that's kinda what I was talking about above.  99% of drivers speed.  This is possible because the traffic violation for going 1 mph over the limit isn't enforced.  We currently do apply the same standard to bicycles . . . red light running is illegal . . . but it's rarely enforced.  (You also get the scenario where a cyclist knows that the sensors won't pick up his/her bike and thus regularly slows down, checks traffic, and runs a red light . . . which I kinda see as being OK to do.)

As far as requiring a license for cycling . . . what exactly is the point of enforcing rules for cycling?  When in an accident it's virtually always the cyclist who dies.  So, the rules for cycling are there to protect the cyclist.  The effect of enforcing a licensing scheme for cycling will be to reduce the number of cyclists on the road (due to cost and hassle).  Fewer cyclists means that that cycling becomes more unsafe (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/may/07/cycling-safety-york-calderdale).  Licensing therefore won't have the intended effect.

1). True, it's far more likely. But unfortunately you can find plenty of instances of bicyclists injuring or killing pedestrians. New York City turns up a lot of results, among other places. What proportion of those injuries or deaths are at red lights? No idea. I'm not sure if the statistics are even broken down that way.
I agree that at that kind of intersection, there's absolutely no danger in just running the light. I too have one such intersection on my way home from class. I still stop anyways, but agree it's stupid.
However, those kinds of intersections are the exception, not the norm.

Oh yea I know cyclists get proud if they can break the speed limit. One of my older friends was on some panel about putting up speed detector warning signs around a certain park in the area, and she said no don't put those signs on that road. Lots of cyclists go by, and if you put a speed detector there, cyclists will speed up for it, not slow down.

2). So hypothetically, if the police enforced speeding 1 mph over, you'd agree that the real speed limit is whatever the sign says?

3) I suppose. I actually haven't looked up the legality of such a maneuver in my area. I just know that one of the top ways cyclists die on their bike is being in the way when a car turns right. Although I agree fundamentally, if you're stopped at a light, you're fairly safe, so long as you don't advance too far, and you don't stop in a car's blind spot. You could still get doored, but I doubt you're moving all that quickly when you're doing this. However, it is pretty close to lane splitting, which is allowed by some countries and not others.

I didn't mean we should actually enforce licensing of bicyclists, I was just curious about it. Though certainly, any possible reduction in deaths, if any, could probably be achieved with less money by enforcing driving laws better. And I doubt that if it were implemented, cyclists would actually follow it anyway.

sheepstache

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2014, 08:30:34 AM »
As far as requiring a license for cycling . . . what exactly is the point of enforcing rules for cycling?  When in an accident it's virtually always the cyclist who dies.  So, the rules for cycling are there to protect the cyclist.  The effect of enforcing a licensing scheme for cycling will be to reduce the number of cyclists on the road (due to cost and hassle).  Fewer cyclists means that that cycling becomes more unsafe (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/may/07/cycling-safety-york-calderdale).  Licensing therefore won't have the intended effect.

We do (in the States) enforce a seatbelt law, so there is a precedent for laws that only protect oneself, I would imagine because car deaths result in higher municipal costs and traffic delays. (in addition to the argument that you might navigate a crash better if the first blow doesn't knock you out, but not relevant here)

I personally wouldn't like the hassle of licensing but I can absolutely see the advantage of everyone having to go through the same testing procedure. A lot of people are smart and well-intentioned, but intuitions vary, meaning bike behavior appears unpredictable. And people taking a lax approach to following the rules because they're new or think of biking as a recreational thing rather than a mode of transportation are bad for cyclists' image.

Plus, bikes can absolutely cause dangerous accidents. Idiot cyclist does something idiotic so car slams on brakes to avoid them, gets rear-ended. Or car is surprised by bike taking the lane and swerves into oncoming traffic. Standardization of practices would make things safer and licenses could only increase that. Perhaps you feel competency is as high among cyclists as it is among car drivers and it's just bias that causes drivers to remember the idiot cyclists. That's not my impression, but I grant it varies by area (in my area it varies a lot by weather).

I see the point about licensing possibly reducing cyclists and agree that would have a negative affect on safety. But there's a lot of variation of what licensing might look like. (Look at California where they've changed the rules about what ID you need to have a car license.)  I'm not picturing folks waiting hours at the DMV to get a bike license. It might just be an online test. Plus it seems like one of those things where no one's going to check unless you're making an ass out of yourself (which cops can do now with regulations about having lights, a bell, etc.), so the point is really to make everyone aware of the best practices.

3.  I do much of my cycling in busy city traffic.  When there's a line of forty or fifty cars waiting at a red light I'll often filter up the right slowly if there's room.  I don't try to sqeeze past big trucks or buses because they can't see me.  I'll stop in the space between cars a vehicle or two back from the light so there's no risk of getting in the way of someone making a right turn.
Well I think we're going to have to agree to disagree if you don't accept the premise of you can't have it both ways.
P.S.  At least in the US, most if not all states have a "minimum" speed limit on highways so long as there is not a traffic jam. By that logic, a bicycle wouldn't be able to get on the highway anyways.

This is something that I see varying a lot between areas. In the city, cars expect me to do this. They act like there's a bike lane even if it's not painted. Just over the bridge in suburbia, cars treat me like a car and politely give me precedence as though I've jumped the line. Most bikes in my city roll right up to the edge of the intersection so we can get a jump on the cars turning right because we accelerate faster than cars. If there's a dedicated right turn lane I try to go to the left of it but sometimes there's no room and sometimes traffic is fast so I can't merge.

This is where we have to start looking at the possibility that bikes are "separate but equal" and that, in a traffic system not designed for them, they should follow the same rules as all other bikes but that may not be the same as cars. 4-way stop signs are legitimate traffic patterns and the choice between a stop sign and a traffic light is made by the road engineers based on various factors (including the assumption that the traffic is cars). But why not say that all traffic lights can be treated as modified stop signs by bikes? Everyone with a green light gets right-of-way, but in the absence of other traffic, you can come to a stop and then roll through the red. That's how pedestrians are legally treated in cities that don't have jaywalking laws.  Pedestrians have to follow the rules, but not the same rules as cars. Or we might allow "filter past stopped traffic on the right" in certain cities, but not out in the suburbs. This might sound complex but it's preceded by other local rules such as in nyc you can't make a right on red.

So, essentially, I don't see that there's a practical problem with having it "both ways." In fact, the fact that bikes have the same rights as cars but not the right to get on a highway is another example of that.

johnny847

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2014, 08:43:55 AM »
As far as requiring a license for cycling . . . what exactly is the point of enforcing rules for cycling?  When in an accident it's virtually always the cyclist who dies.  So, the rules for cycling are there to protect the cyclist.  The effect of enforcing a licensing scheme for cycling will be to reduce the number of cyclists on the road (due to cost and hassle).  Fewer cyclists means that that cycling becomes more unsafe (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/may/07/cycling-safety-york-calderdale).  Licensing therefore won't have the intended effect.

We do (in the States) enforce a seatbelt law, so there is a precedent for laws that only protect oneself, I would imagine because car deaths result in higher municipal costs and traffic delays. (in addition to the argument that you might navigate a crash better if the first blow doesn't knock you out, but not relevant here)

I personally wouldn't like the hassle of licensing but I can absolutely see the advantage of everyone having to go through the same testing procedure. A lot of people are smart and well-intentioned, but intuitions vary, meaning bike behavior appears unpredictable. And people taking a lax approach to following the rules because they're new or think of biking as a recreational thing rather than a mode of transportation are bad for cyclists' image.

Plus, bikes can absolutely cause dangerous accidents. Idiot cyclist does something idiotic so car slams on brakes to avoid them, gets rear-ended. Or car is surprised by bike taking the lane and swerves into oncoming traffic. Standardization of practices would make things safer and licenses could only increase that. Perhaps you feel competency is as high among cyclists as it is among car drivers and it's just bias that causes drivers to remember the idiot cyclists. That's not my impression, but I grant it varies by area (in my area it varies a lot by weather).

I see the point about licensing possibly reducing cyclists and agree that would have a negative affect on safety. But there's a lot of variation of what licensing might look like. (Look at California where they've changed the rules about what ID you need to have a car license.)  I'm not picturing folks waiting hours at the DMV to get a bike license. It might just be an online test. Plus it seems like one of those things where no one's going to check unless you're making an ass out of yourself (which cops can do now with regulations about having lights, a bell, etc.), so the point is really to make everyone aware of the best practices.

3.  I do much of my cycling in busy city traffic.  When there's a line of forty or fifty cars waiting at a red light I'll often filter up the right slowly if there's room.  I don't try to sqeeze past big trucks or buses because they can't see me.  I'll stop in the space between cars a vehicle or two back from the light so there's no risk of getting in the way of someone making a right turn.
Well I think we're going to have to agree to disagree if you don't accept the premise of you can't have it both ways.
P.S.  At least in the US, most if not all states have a "minimum" speed limit on highways so long as there is not a traffic jam. By that logic, a bicycle wouldn't be able to get on the highway anyways.

This is something that I see varying a lot between areas. In the city, cars expect me to do this. They act like there's a bike lane even if it's not painted. Just over the bridge in suburbia, cars treat me like a car and politely give me precedence as though I've jumped the line. Most bikes in my city roll right up to the edge of the intersection so we can get a jump on the cars turning right because we accelerate faster than cars. If there's a dedicated right turn lane I try to go to the left of it but sometimes there's no room and sometimes traffic is fast so I can't merge.

This is where we have to start looking at the possibility that bikes are "separate but equal" and that, in a traffic system not designed for them, they should follow the same rules as all other bikes but that may not be the same as cars. 4-way stop signs are legitimate traffic patterns and the choice between a stop sign and a traffic light is made by the road engineers based on various factors (including the assumption that the traffic is cars). But why not say that all traffic lights can be treated as modified stop signs by bikes? Everyone with a green light gets right-of-way, but in the absence of other traffic, you can come to a stop and then roll through the red. That's how pedestrians are legally treated in cities that don't have jaywalking laws.  Pedestrians have to follow the rules, but not the same rules as cars. Or we might allow "filter past stopped traffic on the right" in certain cities, but not out in the suburbs. This might sound complex but it's preceded by other local rules such as in nyc you can't make a right on red.

So, essentially, I don't see that there's a practical problem with having it "both ways." In fact, the fact that bikes have the same rights as cars but not the right to get on a highway is another example of that.

I was saying you can't have it both ways in the sense that you can't ride on the road and then pick and choose which rules to follow. I'm all for changing the rules to make the roads more bike friendly. But what I think is wrong is for a cyclist to get on the road and then break the current rules because they think they're stupid or whatever.
Firstly, I'm not quite sure why a bicyclist would want to get on the highway, but let's suppose he or she did. Like I said, a bicyclist obviously can't reach normal highway speeds, and wouldn't make it legal for them to be on a highway. How is that rule any different from not allowing a car that can't go above say second gear on the highway because it can't reach highway speeds?

sheepstache

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2014, 09:26:00 AM »
I was saying you can't have it both ways in the sense that you can't ride on the road and then pick and choose which rules to follow. I'm all for changing the rules to make the roads more bike friendly. But what I think is wrong is for a cyclist to get on the road and then break the current rules because they think they're stupid or whatever.
Firstly, I'm not quite sure why a bicyclist would want to get on the highway, but let's suppose he or she did. Like I said, a bicyclist obviously can't reach normal highway speeds, and wouldn't make it legal for them to be on a highway. How is that rule any different from not allowing a car that can't go above say second gear on the highway because it can't reach highway speeds?

Right, I understood what you were saying but I'm saying there's a compromise where we can, as a group, pick and choose which rules bikes should follow; the importance is predictability.

My point with the highway is that's an example where we're already picking and choosing in a reasonable way. My point is that we often think of bikes' different abilities as reasons to curtail their rights. But thought of another way, cars' greater ability to go fast gets them additional rights, like the right to use a highway. By the same token, bikes' greater maneuverability could be used as an argument for giving them greater rights in applicable situations (e.g., right to lane split, etc.). (Sidenote: in some jurisdictions bikes do have the right to be on a highway if there are no other options within a certain distance.)

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2014, 09:32:25 AM »
I was saying you can't have it both ways in the sense that you can't ride on the road and then pick and choose which rules to follow. I'm all for changing the rules to make the roads more bike friendly. But what I think is wrong is for a cyclist to get on the road and then break the current rules because they think they're stupid or whatever.
Firstly, I'm not quite sure why a bicyclist would want to get on the highway, but let's suppose he or she did. Like I said, a bicyclist obviously can't reach normal highway speeds, and wouldn't make it legal for them to be on a highway. How is that rule any different from not allowing a car that can't go above say second gear on the highway because it can't reach highway speeds?

Right, I understood what you were saying but I'm saying there's a compromise where we can, as a group, pick and choose which rules bikes should follow; the importance is predictability.

My point with the highway is that's an example where we're already picking and choosing in a reasonable way. My point is that we often think of bikes' different abilities as reasons to curtail their rights. But thought of another way, cars' greater ability to go fast gets them additional rights, like the right to use a highway. By the same token, bikes' greater maneuverability could be used as an argument for giving them greater rights in applicable situations (e.g., right to lane split, etc.). (Sidenote: in some jurisdictions bikes do have the right to be on a highway if there are no other options within a certain distance.)

You say predictability is important, and that we as a group can pick and choose which rules to follow. But all of us, drivers and cyclists, would have to be aware of which rules rules to follow in order to be predictable. The only way to do that is to write it into the law - a cyclist, or a group of cyclists, can't just sit down and decide on their own which rules to follow and then be predictable.

Interesting, I didn't know you can be on the highway in some jurisdictions. And my response here is the same as above - we need to write that into law, not just decide to do things ourselves.

GuitarStv

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #39 on: November 03, 2014, 10:01:21 AM »
Quote
2). So hypothetically, if the police enforced speeding 1 mph over, you'd agree that the real speed limit is whatever the sign says?

Yep.  The only way that a law takes effect is through enforcement.  For example, Illinois has a state law requiring that a woman call her male companion "master" when out on a date.  (http://tjshome.com/dumblaws.php)  I don't consider that a real law.

I personally wouldn't like the hassle of licensing but I can absolutely see the advantage of everyone having to go through the same testing procedure. A lot of people are smart and well-intentioned, but intuitions vary, meaning bike behavior appears unpredictable. And people taking a lax approach to following the rules because they're new or think of biking as a recreational thing rather than a mode of transportation are bad for cyclists' image.

I like the idea of teaching bicycle rules/handling along with your driver's license.  This way not only do adults become educated as to how to bike safely on the street, but driver's also learn how cyclists should behave.  Safer for everyone, less guesswork for new cyclists, no guesswork for people driving around them.  Might even encourage some to try biking, thereby making things safer for all cyclists.

Plus, bikes can absolutely cause dangerous accidents. Idiot cyclist does something idiotic so car slams on brakes to avoid them, gets rear-ended. Or car is surprised by bike taking the lane and swerves into oncoming traffic. Standardization of practices would make things safer and licenses could only increase that. Perhaps you feel competency is as high among cyclists as it is among car drivers and it's just bias that causes drivers to remember the idiot cyclists. That's not my impression, but I grant it varies by area (in my area it varies a lot by weather).

The examples you've given of 'bike caused' accidents are entirely caused due to the actions of the drivers.  :P  In the first scenario you have a driver who has not given safe following distance to the car in front of him.  In the second scenario you have have a driver who is both impatient and an idiot.  The cyclist is responsible for neither.

There are many incompetent cyclists, just as there are car drivers.  Doing stupid things for long enough on a bike is more likely to permanently remove you from the equation, so it's somewhat of a self correcting problem.

sheepstache

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #40 on: November 03, 2014, 10:29:37 AM »
Plus, bikes can absolutely cause dangerous accidents. Idiot cyclist does something idiotic so car slams on brakes to avoid them, gets rear-ended. Or car is surprised by bike taking the lane and swerves into oncoming traffic. Standardization of practices would make things safer and licenses could only increase that. Perhaps you feel competency is as high among cyclists as it is among car drivers and it's just bias that causes drivers to remember the idiot cyclists. That's not my impression, but I grant it varies by area (in my area it varies a lot by weather).

The examples you've given of 'bike caused' accidents are entirely caused due to the actions of the drivers.  :P  In the first scenario you have a driver who has not given safe following distance to the car in front of him.  In the second scenario you have have a driver who is both impatient and an idiot.  The cyclist is responsible for neither.

There are many incompetent cyclists, just as there are car drivers.  Doing stupid things for long enough on a bike is more likely to permanently remove you from the equation, so it's somewhat of a self correcting problem.

Ah, what I'm trying to say is that people are wrong to talk about bike accidents and poor cycling as though they happen in isolation and are a danger only to themselves. That's nice that an incompetent cyclist took themselves out of the equation, but smearing himself all over the highway meant a lot of cars had to take evasive action. Same with a pedestrian suddenly stepping out into traffic. It's a punishable offense because it causes an unsafe situation regardless of the fact that a pedestrian can't directly do any damage.

johnny847

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2014, 08:49:37 AM »
Quote
2). So hypothetically, if the police enforced speeding 1 mph over, you'd agree that the real speed limit is whatever the sign says?

Yep.  The only way that a law takes effect is through enforcement.  For example, Illinois has a state law requiring that a woman call her male companion "master" when out on a date.  (http://tjshome.com/dumblaws.php)  I don't consider that a real law.
The trouble with unenforced laws is that it calls into question what laws are "real laws" and what laws are not. Sure rational people and sit here and agree that the call your male date master law is bullshit, but what happens when a less bullshit law walks the line of sometimes being unenforced? Such as speeding? Yes, virtually everybody speeds, and virtually every jurisdiction allows for some leeway in speeding. But what happens when a jurisdiction decides they want to meet a quota, or raise some more revenue, and enforce 1 mph speeding? They're still within the letter of the law.
The legal system lives on technicality, and unenforced laws oppose that. When a cop decides to enforce a previously unenforced law one day, then people cry foul.

Plus, bikes can absolutely cause dangerous accidents. Idiot cyclist does something idiotic so car slams on brakes to avoid them, gets rear-ended. Or car is surprised by bike taking the lane and swerves into oncoming traffic. Standardization of practices would make things safer and licenses could only increase that. Perhaps you feel competency is as high among cyclists as it is among car drivers and it's just bias that causes drivers to remember the idiot cyclists. That's not my impression, but I grant it varies by area (in my area it varies a lot by weather).

The examples you've given of 'bike caused' accidents are entirely caused due to the actions of the drivers.  :P  In the first scenario you have a driver who has not given safe following distance to the car in front of him.  In the second scenario you have have a driver who is both impatient and an idiot.  The cyclist is responsible for neither.

There are many incompetent cyclists, just as there are car drivers.  Doing stupid things for long enough on a bike is more likely to permanently remove you from the equation, so it's somewhat of a self correcting problem.

Ah, what I'm trying to say is that people are wrong to talk about bike accidents and poor cycling as though they happen in isolation and are a danger only to themselves. That's nice that an incompetent cyclist took themselves out of the equation, but smearing himself all over the highway meant a lot of cars had to take evasive action. Same with a pedestrian suddenly stepping out into traffic. It's a punishable offense because it causes an unsafe situation regardless of the fact that a pedestrian can't directly do any damage.

Agreed. While in most accidents involving cyclists, the cyclist is the most likely to get injured, it doesn't mean we shouldn't enforce traffic laws on them any less (or more).

fireferrets

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #42 on: November 24, 2014, 02:51:45 PM »
When I'm biking through an empty parking lot, I feel a little dumb stopping at stop signs, but honestly, drivers barrel around corners without looking and zoom right past me, so I'm glad I do stop. :D

WRT traffic laws and bikers, the worst thing I've seen is talking on the phone w headphones on or listening to music w headphones. Pretty sure it's illegal (b/c it's definitely illegal in a car!). Also, I saw a guy get pulled over for reading the newspaper while riding his bike. @_@

johnny847

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Re: Don't ride a bike -- it will KILL YOU!
« Reply #43 on: November 24, 2014, 03:54:27 PM »
WRT traffic laws and bikers, the worst thing I've seen is talking on the phone w headphones on or listening to music w headphones. Pretty sure it's illegal (b/c it's definitely illegal in a car!).
In some states such as Georgia, it's legal to have just one earbud in (according to a colleague).
Also, I saw a guy get pulled over for reading the newspaper while riding his bike. @_@
I don't even know how he'd do that....how'd he even look at the road?