“…90 percent of bike accidents could be prevented by buying a car like a normal person,” writes the lede of a totally fake news story by the satirical and totally not real news website The Onion.”
Most bicyclists are never going to look like this! But a lot of drivers would like all bike riders to just get off the roads.
Evidence and data show that speed is the biggest cause of car-related injuries and deaths- and speed is our focus here, particularly on the local level. Americans love their freedom, and nowhere is that more evident than in our car-centric culture. Whatever the reason, the highway is not where where most crashes occur:
“The overwhelming factor is speed,” says Leonard Evans, an automotive researcher. Small differences in speed cause large differences in harm. Other countries tend to have lower speed limits (despite the famous German autobahn) and more speed cameras. Install enough cameras, and speeding really will decline.
But it’s not just speed. Seatbelt use is also more common elsewhere: One in seven American drivers still don’t use one, according to the researchers Juha Luoma and Michael Sivak. In other countries, 16-year-olds often aren’t allowed to drive. And “buzzed driving” tends to be considered drunken driving. Here, only heavily Mormon Utah has moved toward a sensible threshold, and the liquor and restaurant lobbies are trying to stop it.
New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition
S2894- the bill NJBWC has been working on for a year now- is NOT on the schedule for Monday’s (Nov., 20, 2017) Senate Budget Committee vote.
This bill will require the MVC to include bike & pedestrian safety in the driver’s education curriculum, in the driver’s ed manual and on the exam. We need this bill posted for a vote on Monday in order to get it passed this session, otherwise, we must start all over.
Please share this post on the NJBWC facebook page to your networks. We need to flood these legislators with our requests!
Senator Paul Sarlo – (201) 804-8118
(Committee Chair)Senator Nia Gill – (973) 509-0388 (co-sponsor)
Senator Steven Oroho – (973) 300-0200 (co-sponsor)
Or contact them through this site:
Here is language to send to them:
Please post bill S2894- the bill requiring the MVC to include bike and pedestrian safety in the driver’s ed manual, in the curriculum and on the exam- for a vote at the November Senate Budget Committee meeting. Drivers need to be educated on bike riders’ and pedestrians’ right to the road, so that we can start to eliminate the senseless deaths and injuries to these road users on New Jersey roads.
Long neglected in transportation planning, popular jogging and biking routes are getting more attention thanks to new data collected by Strava.
Pedestrians and cyclists are notoriously difficult for transportation planners to count and map. This is beginning to change, though—not because of some quantum leap in surveys or sensors, but because of fitness-themed social media.
Last week, Strava, a social network for athletes, re-released its Global Heatmap with more data and better graphics. The interactive map depicts more than 1 billion journeys undertaken by Strava’s millions of members, 80 percent of whom are from outside of the United States. All of that data makes for a detailed global map of trips made on foot, by bike, and by other alternative modes of transportation. And all that info is starting to be put to work by transportation planners.
An 80-year-old cyclist from County Durham has been killed in a collision involving a Tesla car in what may be the first fatality of a bike rider involving a semi-autonomous vehicle.
It’s the first time we are aware of a cyclist being killed in a road traffic collision involving a car capable of semi-autonomous operation, certainly in the UK, and we suspect it may be the first such incident anywhere in the world.
It is not clear whether the car was in Autopilot, or semi-autonomous, mode at the time of the fatal crash, but concerns have been raised in the past over the safety of such vehicles, including around cyclists, with a robotics expert warning earlier this year that “bikers will die” as a result of the technology.
Last month we highlighted concerns raised in a review of another car with semi-autonomous operation – the new BMW G32 640iGT – around cyclists on the road.
> Semi-autonomous BMW ‘will fight’ driver to deliver close passes of cyclists
Infrastructure obviously needs a physical implementation strategy, but it should also include an engagement strategy that meets people where they are and helps move them, slowly and methodically, towards shared benefit. Careful communications can help.
Urban planners talk about two visions of the future city: heaven and hell. Hell, in case it’s not clear, is bad—cities built for technologies, big companies, and vehicles instead of the humans who actually live in them. And hell, in some ways, is here. Today’s US cities are dominated by highways there were built by razing residential neighborhoods. Few sidewalks and fewer bike lanes. It’s all managed by public policies that incentivize commuting in your car. Alone. Trapped in traffic.
But if humans no longer have to spend time piloting vehicles through traffic, what happens to cities? And what if autonomous vehicles actually make things worse? Yes, traveling will be easier, but that means everyone—even those without drivers licenses—will be able to do it. Maybe Americans will live farther apart, extending their commutes—no harm done when you can catch up with your shows instead of drive, right? The result could be a lot more trips and a lot more traffic. It would seem the old adage is true: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Which means cities need to start thinking now about how to incorporate AVs into future planning. To that end, on Monday, the National Association of City Transportation Officials, an international, 60-city organization of very serious transportation planners and engineers, published its own vision of the Promised Land, a 50-page blueprint outlining how to account for our autonomous future and build in flexible options that could result in less traffic for everyone, not just those riding on four wheels. “We don’t just need new software running on our streets—we need to update the hardware of the streets themselves,” says Janette Sadik-Khan, a former transportation head in New York City during the Bloomberg administration who now serves on the board for NACTO. “That’s why we need a new roadmap that puts humans first.”
A pernicious assumption may be at play here: the idea that any bike rack is better than no bike rack and really any metal contraption that’s bolted to the ground will do. Not so. In the same way that an urban business would never clear out a muddy field around their building and declare that they’ve provided a parking lot for drivers, installing low-quality bike parking can often times be worse than installing nothing at all.
Thankfully, making bicyclists feel welcome is easy and inexpensive for any business owner or landlord. I’ll break down the qualities of a good bike rack into five criteria: location and proximity, protection from the elements, visibility, volume, and form.
This bike rack fits a ton of bikes into a small space and protects them from the elements.