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Friday, August 28, 2015

Why cycling in high-vis may be not as safe as you think | The Guardian

Bike blog : Silhouette of cyclist through car window splattered by rain
 High vis is a vexed subject for cyclists. Photograph: Arthur Meyerson/Corbis
A couple of years ago I took a condensed version of the training programme for cycle officers with London's City police, a process which began with my instructor following me to assess my riding as we pedalled through the busy streets. His verdict? Mainly fine, barring what he insisted on terming a "mistake" - that even in early afternoon on a bright April day I was not wearing some sort of high-visibility waistcoat or jacket.
High vis is a vexed subject for cyclists. Probably only helmets and light jumping cause more arguments. Ultimately, of course, what you wear on your bike is personal choice. Full Lycra gimp garb? Office clothes? Nothing at all? Go right ahead. Nonetheless, the debate merits an airing, for two reasons.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I belong on the road as much as any man. Male rage won’t scare me off my bike @guardian

Woman on a bicycle in London
 ‘As a female cyclist, you are all too often the target of a particularly unsavoury male aggression.’ Photograph: Steve Vidler/Alamy
“Please don’t try and knock me off.” It’s not exactly the rallying cry of Henry V. And yet, a video released yesterday by London Metropolitan police showing a woman getting pushed off her bike by a pedestrian in a grey hoodie after uttering these words has acted as a balefire to cyclists and their would-be murderers across the internet.
“Not justifying violence but as a London pedestrian who sees ignorant cyclists like this every day, I understand the rage,” commented @OffencePolice on Twitter. “I would have bitten her finger off,” added @yermastinks. “Most of you cyclist have no no respect to drivers that has to work and look after their family’s,” [sic] added @kelkoca, helpfully.

When a car ‘crash’ isn’t an ‘accident’ — and why the difference matters @emilymbadger @Wonkblog

An "accident" is, by definition, unintentional. We accidentally drop dinner plates, or send e-mails before we're done writing them. The word also suggests something of the unforeseen — an event that couldn't have been anticipated, for which no one can be blamed.
That second connotation is what irks transportation advocates who want to change how we talk about traffic collisions. When one vehicle careens into another or rounds a corner into a pedestrian — call it a "crash," they say, not an "accident."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Feds to Traffic Engineers: Use Our Money to Build Protected Bike Lanes @StreetsblogUSA

The feds say there’s no excuse not to use federal funding on designs like protected bike lanes.
The Federal Highway Administration wants to clear the air: Yes, state and local transportation agencies should use federal money to construct high-quality biking and walking infrastructure.
State and local DOTs deploy an array of excuses to avoid building designs like protected bike lanes. “It’s not in the manual” is a favorite. So is “the feds won’t fund that.”
Whether these excuses are cynical or sincere, FHWA wants you to know that they’re bogus.
Last week, the agency released a “clarifying” document that shoots down, on the record, some of the common refrains people hear from their DOT when they ask for safer street designs. This is a good document to print out and take to the next public meeting where you expect a transportation engineer might try the old “my-hands-are-tied” routine.
Here are the seven things FHWA wants to be absolutely clear about:

Paris Will Stop All Traffic, Literally, For One Day in September @forbeslife

Imagine any big city anywhere in the world without traffic just for a day. Now, if that city were Paris, imagine further the photographic possibilities, not to mention the visual, auditory and olfactory potential.
Imagine no more because on September 27th, that’s just what Paris is going to do: “Une Journée Sans Voiture” – A Day Without Car, for the first time in the city’s history.
City Hall calls it “a crazy gamble, but achievable.” No motorized vehicle, with a few exceptions like ambulances, will be allowed to drive the streets. As Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced in March: “Paris will be completely transformed for a day. This is an opportunity for Parisians and tourists to enjoy the city without noise, pollution and therefore without stress.”
Paris Without Cars
The Champs-Élysées as it, and many other streets, will be on September 27th.          Photo: Paris City Hall