Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘3 feet please’

Terrorism? Cyclists don’t need T-word to combat driver animosity

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Commuting, Bicycling, Obama Bikes on August 20, 2009 at 7:11 am

Are car drivers anti-cycling “terrorists”? SeattleLikesBikes says yes, sometimes:

“Personally, my car was killing me before I started bicycling. The lack of exercise had me on track for a heart attack. I’ve made great strides, from being unable to climb 3 flights of stairs without being out of breath over 5 years ago to bicycling over 900 miles in the last couple months. The irony is that, despite my health gains, with the way some people drive the car may kill me yet.”

BikingBis discusses the horrific hit-and-run-with-dying-cyclist-on-board tragedy in Dallas, where a driver ran over a cyclist and then tossed the stricken victim into the back seat of his car: “The 27-year-old driver crossed the centerline, struck the bicyclist head-on, stopped, dragged him off his car and stuffed him onto the floorboard in the back seat.”

Cyclelicio.us asks if a Minnesota driver who “tried to run over a bicyclist with his pickup truck and then came at the cyclist with an ax” was engaged in terroristic threats, a felony. Good comments queue on Richard’s post.

These and innumerable everyday attacks on cyclists are indeed inhuman, cruel and even murderous. But terrorist? Probably not. The term should be used judiciously for repeated, conspiratorial and planned acts against humanity. The car culture in America may terrorize us cyclists in a general psychological way, but specific acts of violence against cyclists are more appropriately described and dealt with legally: Manslaughter, vehicular homicide, hit-and-run and so on.

The legal arena, in fact, is where there actually is room for expanded description and treatment of acts against cyclists. Legislation does not have to involve incendiary terms like “terrorism,” which takes the discussion into the realm of 9/11 and Oklahoma City, to provide an effective flashpoint of defense for cyclists.

One example: We at BikeIntelligencer believe that cycling should be considered for hate-crime status along with racial-, gender-, and sexual-identity-based aggression. In cases where there is a pattern of action against cycling or cyclists in general, and where perpetrators can be shown to carry severe antipathy toward cyclists just because they are riding a bike, the legal system should reflect a higher degree of prosecution and penalization.

The primary rationale for treating cyclists as a persecuted class would be to address the issue of driver animosity and raise our society’s general consciousness on the discrimination and aggression that cyclists face on a day-to-day, hour-by-hour basis. David Hiller, advocacy director for Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club, may well be right that drivers who hate cyclists are “people who hate people.” And there are a lot of the latter out there, as evidenced by the whackos waving swastikas and Hitler-moustached images of Obama at Town Hall meetings on health-care reform.

But people who hate people are a big problem for cyclists as well as for America. Passing enhanced legislation, as Hiller and other tireless crusaders for the cause of cycling are working to do, is the most effective means we have to further understanding, and protection, of people who ride bikes.

Most efforts now are focusing on 3-feet-please, legislation to expand the clearance that vehicles give to cyclists, and vehicular assault, laws that permit prosecution of drivers who act carelessly or aggressively toward cyclists. Several states are making strides, and even in cases like Texas, where Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a 3-feet-please law that had won an excruciatingly hard-fought victory in the state legislature, the seed has been sown. (A state legislator said she will reintroduce legislation after her cycling granddaughter was struck by a car.)

In Washington, vehicular assault and 3-feet-please legislation has been introduced in bills but never made it out of committee. As cycling continues to expand, both in recreational and transportation sectors, we need to continue to draw attention to anti-cycling behavior. Perhaps 2010 will mark the year when cycling makes encouraging inroads in the legislative arena to address the attitudes and hazards we all face on a daily basis.

Daily Roundup: Green bikes, Bellevue racks, BC Bike Race and more…

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Commuting, Bicycling, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on June 29, 2009 at 10:04 pm

SeattlePI.com: “With a $225,000 state trips-reduction grant, organizers handed out 200 free bikes, some gear and training lessons. About 265 people, who enlisted through 25 employers from King County, joined the program, which began last August.”

Seattle Times: New bike racks in downtown Bellevue. Believe it or not, bike rack shortages are the single most annoying thing about riding in any downtown.

Bicycle Retailer: REI Awards $10,000 to Adventure Cycling. Onward with the Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route!

Biking Bis: Louisiana governor signs 3-feet-please law, something Washington State, the No. 1 bike friendly state in the union, just can’t quite get done, alas.

Cyclelicio.us: The Bicycle Book is here!

If you don’t cycle, you might not get why bike lanes need to exist on streets paralleling bike paths. Here’s why, from SeattlePI.com and the Seattle Dept. of Transportation.

Bike magazine is covering the epic BC Bike Race

So is the Norona Life blog.

More bikes than cars in Amsterdam.

A cop driving a cruiser hits a cop riding a bike. All I wanna know is, was a citation issued?

Daily Roundup: 3-feet-please legal test, Texans with broken shoulders, Kidical Mass returns, and more

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycling, Mountain Biking, Obama Bikes, Rider Down on June 12, 2009 at 7:54 am

DrunkCyclist updates a Biker Down thread and legal test of 3-feet-please in Arizona. This is one to watch. See comments section as well. Key line: “He may not have meant to do what he did, but he is still responsible.”

BikePortland.org riffs on USA Today piece on Google’s move to put bike paths on Streetview. And reports on the Pedalpalooza kickoff.

Why can’t Seattle have something like Pedalpalooza? How come Portland gets all the cool bike events? I’m so jealous…

TechFlash: The cool thing about the iPhone is… if you want to bike it rather than drive it, there’s an app for that!

The Stranger: Dan steps out of his sheltered view of life and discovers what a real bike path looks like (these are coming to Portland as well and should have been on Stone Way North in Seattle before the city caved to business pressure…but I digress).

MyBallard.com: Kidical Mass returns tomorrow!

What you get when you talk trash about Obama: Right winger Texas Gov. Rick Perry broke his collarbone trying to ride a mountain bike. What is it with Texas politicians and mountain bikes? Bush spent 8 years in office riding like a banshee and did squat for the status of bicycling, mountain biking and alternative energy. Perry goes around talking about seceding from the Union and takes a header… wait a minute! Doesn’t Lance live in Texas????

To be fair, Lance supported Obama and still broke his shoulder.

Rick Perry talks about his accident. I have to hand it to him, he did the right thing. He protected his bike with his body.

Some kind words about mountain bikers in The Aspen Times: “Mountain bikers are nearly all courteous, and quietly move through the trail without disturbing other humans, wildlife or the trail itself, under their own power….”

Have a great weekend! Now get out ‘n RIDE!!

Daily Roundup: Bike to Work Day countdown, Texas 3-feet-please, Seattle’s Major Taylor Club, Dahon recall, Boonen finished?

In Bicycle Commuting, Bicycling, Daily Roundup on May 13, 2009 at 5:52 am

The weather outlook is good (sunny and 67) for Bike to Work Day here in Seattle this Friday. Here‘s Cascade Bicycle Club’s “Party from Dawn to Dusk” Guide. Come on out, it’s a rolling carnival on wheels! Elsewhere the countdown is on as well
: In the San Francisco Bay Area, where the San Jose Mercury points out “About 40 percent of Bay Area commuters live within five miles of their jobs, according to the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s Web site. If all those people biked to work Thursday, 60,000 vehicles would be off the road and tailpipe emissions would drop more than 150,000 pounds….”

Houston Chronicle on Texas “3-feet-please” bill banning “right hook,” the maneuver by motorists to speed up ahead and make a right turn in front of a cyclist. “Motorists could be charged with a misdemeanor offense if they don’t give cyclists at least three feet passing clearance in most circumstances….”

Seattle Times: Cycling clubs for disadvantaged get rolling. Great story exploring Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club efforts to involve kids in cycling.

Bicycle Net: Is Tom Boonen gone from cycling after his second positive cocaine test? My impression btw is that coke is not a performance enhancing drug (it just makes you think you’re better), but none of the articles I’ve read clarify this point. Here’s a pretty good discussion noting that if anything cocaine may actually impair performance.

Cyclelicious: Huge Dahon folding bike recall, with REI in the middle. Dahon make popular folding bikes — if you own one, be sure to have the recall done. Handlebar hinges are at potential fault and you don’t want to mess with steerage, especially on a foldie. (Handlebars are by design on the short and narrow end, and steerage is quicker than a typical bike.)

It’s still early in the Giro d’Italia, but Lance’s moment of truth has already arrived in today’s tough stage. Full results not yet posted, but he’s out of the Top 10 in general classification. Which is all OK. As we’ve been saying, the Giro and the Tour this year are kind of a big publicity tour for both Lance and the races, aimed at regenerating interest in the sport that waned after countless drug scandals. And so far, Lance is doing great at PR, with daily coverage in The New York Times and even network TV interest. Follow the Giro on Cycling News, which so far is beating the venerable Velo News at Giro coverage.

Daily Roundup: Catching up on 3-feet-please and Lance

In Bicycling, Daily Roundup on April 28, 2009 at 5:16 am

Traveling back from the hugely successful Sea Otter Classic and brought back to Seattle some digitally compressed California sunshine, 1,000/1 ratio enabling an entire afternoon of sunlight to be transported in a container the size of a bike water bottle. US Patent No. A3587468bbT It’s all in the algorithm. I have enough in store to last thru the week and the big Fluidride Cup race this weekend in Port Angeles.

Am sorry to hear from David Hiller at Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club that the 3-feet-please law died in the Senate transportation committee earlier this month. Colorado fared better and things are going down to the wire in Oregon. More wins than losses these days, though, and that means progress.

Wishing Lance all the best at Gila, but is it a warmup for Giro or…? Nothing much has been said recently about Lance competing in Italy and the Giro starts a week from Saturday. My best wild guess: Teammate Levi was sent out to consult with Lance, get a read on Lance’s conditioning, mindset, etc., and report back to Team Astana director Johan Bruyneel. Lance is probably all systems go but it may not be his decision to make. A ceremonial appearance may be the best compromise. I must say it’s remarkable that Lance is back racing already, albeit a bit risky if he’s truly counting on doing the Giro. Best of luck!

Good to be back!

Today’s Roundup: Bike haters, bike friends

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycling, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on April 16, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Cycling cam records crash. More cyclists are going to a helmet cam system for recording close calls and driver irresponsibility on the road. Here’s a video from Philly…

3-Feet-Please rule gets boost in Texas: “Ham says he supports a proposed bill, which would require vehicles to allow a safe distance of at least 3 feet when passing vulnerable people on the road…”

Davis CA to be home of Bicycle Hall of Fame: In my callow youth I rode the Davis Double, the leading 200-mile road ride at the time, several times in the 1980s. It was great fun and put Davis, a pioneering community in support of cycling, on the map, regionally and nationally. I’ll be eager to visit the Hall once it’s up and running, since Davis is right on my West Coast travel route for mountain biking. The Mountain Biking Hall of Fame is in Crested Butte, CO, of course, and worthy of a stop if you’re in that area.

Bicycle Hater of the Week: The award goes to the New Jersey Star-Ledger with an uninformed, needlessly antagonistic editorial against the 3-Feet-Please rule. Check out the comments…anyone on the Ledger staff care to speculate about why newspapers are losing readers? Who is served by such misinformed, arrogant baiting?

Bicycle Friends of the Week: On the flip side, Seattle’s newspapers feature some enlightened commentaries on cycling issues. In The Times, a King County manager discusses advances and challenges (his one boosterish miscue comes on the subject of bike sharing, which unfortunately hasn’t worked as well as we’d all like, with theft a huge problem). Over at the online-only PI, has columnist Joel Connelly, in the past not very sympathetic to cyclists, found religion? Connelly offers a thumbs-up review of Jeff Mapes’ new book, Pedaling Revolution.

Daily Roundup: How many drunks? 3-feet-please moves ahead, Days of Dirt teaser

In Bicycling, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking, Videos on March 18, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Not Your Average Bike Messenger: “Joking around, I changed my Facebook status to “How Many Drunks Will I Run Over Today With My Bicycle?” I got some funny responses throughout the day while I was riding, including “not enough” “extra points if they are wearing orange,” and “be a human pinball machine.”

Biking Bis:”A Washington state bill that would give bicyclists 3 feet of clearance from passing motorists has passed the House by a 63 to 32 vote. The legislation has been passed along to the Senate, where it was transferred to the Transportation Committee.”

Two killer trailers out on “Days of Dirt,” due in April. YouTube is below. PinkBike has a different, higher res teaser. Worth the look!

Daily Roundup: More on Sam Brown, 3 Feet Please, Naked Cyclists, e-Scooters, Road Bike Gains Internal Gearing

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Commuting, Bicycling, Daily Roundup, Mountain Biking on March 16, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Revelstoke Times: “We heard that he was in jail one minute and the next, he died,” said a soft-spoken Lou Brown, who indicated he has trouble understanding how his son ended up dead while in a ‘suicide-proof’ jail cell. “[The jailers,] they’re supposed to be responsible for your life.” We talked previously about the wild and wonderful Sam Brown. May his case find closure, and he rest in peace.

Washington’s 3-feet-please legislation continues to slog through Olympia. Here’s another update on how to give it a boost.

Leave it to the Aussies: “Nude bicycle riders take to streets of Melbourne for World’s Naked Bike Ride.” As the whole bicycling world knows, all naked cycling takes a back seat, if that’s the right term, to Seattle’s very own Fremont Solstice Parade.

Bicycle Retailer
: “The Taiwanese government wants 160,000 new electric scooters on the road over the next four years. The sheer size of this initiative may speed development of better batteries, standardization of connectors, and lift the level of testing to new levels, according to Bing Ming Lin of Industrial Technology Research Institute.” Here’s another place our taxpayer dollars could do wonders in subsidy funding.

Bike World News: By combining Shimano’s Alfine 8-speed hub with the new Versa integrated shift-brake lever for Shimano’s internal hub, Dynamic has found a way to blend the lightweight performance of a road bike with the inherent simplicity of internal gearing. The result is a bicycle that will appeal to road enthusiasts, commuters, light touring, and event riders alike.” Another boost for internal hub gearing. Watch this tech continue to take off in all cycling categories, including mountain biking.

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