The silly unintended consequences of mandatory helmet laws

A bit off-topic from our snow focused posts lately, but let’s talk about something that comes up constantly and will be a subject as soon as snow melts.  HELMETS.  Kids on bikes under 17 are required by law to wear helmets.  In some states adults on bikes are required to wear helmets.  What do you think?  Should motorists be required to wear helmets?

Check it out.

“It is becoming abundantly clear there is far more safety in numbers than Styrofoam. Studies report that doubling the number of cyclists results in a one-third reduction in the number of car-bike collisions. And as Brent Toderian, a former Vancouver city planner and helmet law critic, stated at an SFU roundtable discussion last month: “There is no doubt that the safest thing for cyclists is more cyclists.”

Read more…

Let’s Talk About Trucks and SUVs

We Know SUV Design Kills Pedestrians, But We Still Let Carmakers Sell Them

“Why are companies allowed to sell mass market vehicles with such a huge blind spot in front that children are rendered invisible? Where are the regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?The specific dangers of SUVs have been out in the open for a long time, and it’s no secret that pedestrians are at particular risk.”

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Pedestrians: wear bright or reflective clothing, remove earbuds, make eye contact with drivers, cross only at crosswalks, never talk, text or use electronic devices in an intersection. Drivers: carry on.
A review of a BIG truck…

Inspiration! Calling for Sneckdown photos in AP!

Sneckdowns!  Neckdowns+snow.  This is the way streets need to be designed.  Take a walk around your neighborhood in Asbury Park and take some pics–pedestrians and cars moving about in the city more slowly.  Cars are slower and people are safer.  We have at least a week (or more) of cold weather to collect some great shots. Email your photos to and we’ll post them!

From Clarence Ekerson, dedicated director of Streetfilms.

Here’s about 90 seconds of inspiration for you to get out and document your streets after the snow has fallen to create – space that can be redistributed to pedestrians. With predicted low temps next week, they’ll be out there for days!

Check out the video:

Portland is Completely Overrated as a Bike City.

Even a city like Portland  that is lauded for bike infrastructure is deemed lacking by Mikael Colville-Andersen, .one of the most well-known bicycling and urban planning consultants in the world.”


He says, “It is a car city that squeezed some bike facilities in. Almost reluctantly, it seems.”

This doesn’t have to be the case in Asbury Park.

Harsh words for Portland after a visit over the holidays.

In an Instagram post yesterday, Mikael Colville-Andersen wrote that, “Portland is completely overrated as a bike city” and that “It is a car city that squeezed some bike facilities in. Almost reluctantly, it seems.”

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St. Louis Calms Traffic With Heavy Concrete Globes

Cities are finding cost-effective ways to calm traffic.  Not surprising that motorists are not happy, but people are safer.

“This particular configuration, where the bollards are placed in the roadbed to make car turns tighter and shorten crossing distances, is relatively new for St. Louis. Some people may not like the way they look, but the globes are a cost-effective solution to dangerously designed streets.”

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‘A rolling walking stick’: why do so many disabled people cycle

Riding a bike may be easier than walking for two-thirds of disabled cyclists, but they often remain invisible to society. 

In the context of an ageing global population, mobility experts are increasingly seeing cycling as a way to help people with disabilities move around cities independently. A bike can act as a “rolling walking stick”; yet looking at its owner you wouldn’t know they had a disability: around 40% of disabled cyclists simply use a regular two-wheeled bike.

For two out of three disabled cyclists, riding a bike is easier than walking, easing joint strain, aiding balance and relieving breathing difficulties. According to recent research by Transport for London, 78% of disabled people are able to cycle, while 15% sometimes use a bike to get around.

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Berlin’s Upcoming Bike Revolution

A new law could see the city’s cycling infrastructure completely transformed.

Last year, 33 Berliners died in collisions with motor vehicles; nine were cyclists. While a few decades ago, many Berlin streets seemed eerily traffic-free for such a major city, now its roads are clogged and bike lanes created simply by painting a roadside verge offer little protection. This is deterring people from getting on their bikes, fearing with some justification that the road plan itself is not tailored primarily to their safety.

To remedy this, the city has committed not just to creating an alternative cycle network in the form of separate segregated superhighways, which could cross the city using former rail corridors. It would also see the remodeling of dangerous junctions to protect cyclists still using the regular road system, with 10 remodeled in the first year, 20 the following, and 30 each year thereafter until intersections across the city are deemed safe. Meanwhile, the law plans to give non-private vehicles preference, by retooling traffic lights so that buses and streetcars get priority.

Read more…



Study: Cyclists Don’t Break Traffic Laws Any More Than Drivers Do

This is a research study and the findings are reported in the article.  There are some predictable responses from readers.  After reading the article be sure to read the comments, including  the one from Polli Heh Schildge on behalf of APCSC.

A study [PDF] commissioned by the Florida Department of Transportation provides new insight into how cyclists and drivers interact, and found that motorists and dangerous street design — not cyclist behavior — are the primary factors that put cyclists at risk.

Researchers from the University of South Florida gathered data from 100 bike riders in and around Tampa. Participants’ bikes were mounted with sensors, cameras, and GPS to record their movements for a total of 2,000 hours.

The results do not support the assumption that cyclists are reckless rule-breakers.