BikePGH!

Another day, another cyclist hit. Another month, another cyclist dead.

This topic contains 168 replies, has 40 voices, and was last updated by  Swalfoort 9 mos, 3 weeks.

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paulheckbert

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Jul 20 2013 at 9:26pm #

jonawebb wrote:… I think they’re planning to put one in for testing at Shady and Dallas…

Do you mean Forbes & Dallas?


Drewbacca

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Jul 20 2013 at 9:37pm #

sierramister wrote:
I would be careful about getting excited about red light cameras.

Agreed. I’ve lived with red-light-cameras in both Seattle and Chicago… In either case, they were in money generating areas and did little if anything to improve overall safety. In fact, I’d say that the caused more accidents due to drivers being torn on whether to drive as usual or to be overly cautious at intersections with cameras. By overly cautious, I mean slamming on brakes at the last minute and being unpredictable to other near by drivers.

They could be used for traffic control quite effectively, but I’ve yet to see them used in this way.


paulheckbert

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Jul 20 2013 at 9:57pm #

Street protests, die-ins, etc helped the Netherlands get its bicycling infrastructure. In the 1960s and 70s, after the rising number of cars on Dutch streets resulted in over 400 child deaths by car per year, nationally, there were grass-roots protests that got the attention of the politicians. See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuBdf9jYj7o

Discussion of the video: http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2011/10/how-dutch-got-their-cycling.html

That graph (of all road deaths, not just cyclist deaths) from http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2011/04/netherlands-traffic-deaths-down-again.html


HiddenVariable

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Jul 20 2013 at 11:55pm #

Drewbacca wrote:In fact, I’d say that the caused more accidents due to drivers being torn on whether to drive as usual or to be overly cautious at intersections with cameras. By overly cautious, I mean slamming on brakes at the last minute and being unpredictable to other near by drivers.

the various studies that have been done at intersections with red light cameras have shown, after the cameras are installed, a slight increase in rear-end collisions, but a slight decrease in overall collisions, and a significant decrease in fatal collisions.


that guy

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Jul 21 2013 at 10:48am #

Another:

http://triblive.com/mobile/4396522-96/moon-police-struck


StuInMcCandless

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Jul 21 2013 at 11:48am #

We’re discussing the details of the Moon Twp / Sewickley Bridge fatality on this thread.


jonawebb

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Jul 21 2013 at 12:11pm #

Here: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/red-light-cameras-still-a-ways-away-in-pittsburgh-695882/


Pierce

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Jul 21 2013 at 2:51pm #

@jonawebb

Peduto could also make traffic enforcement a police priority from day one


salty

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Jul 21 2013 at 5:11pm #

I saw Bumper Bike Aaron today at Aiken & Centre, first I’d seen him in a while. What if we all followed his lead and all rode a fleet of bumper bikes around the city? It would certainly get peoples’ attention.


byogman

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Jul 21 2013 at 10:34pm #

Saw the video, quite a character.

Seems like an opportune time to share an idle thought I had a long time ago. How about a bunch of us riding with giant pool noodles affixed to the back of a bike with 4 FEET PLEASE in maximum size bold font and and an arrow on it?? Bonus for some hash marks actually measuring out 4 feet out to the left on the noodle.

Could be done infinitely better, but in most basic form, once you have the noodle or two, a few clear sleeves for 8 X 11s affixed, and a printer, you can say this or really anything else bike safety/respect on the roads related, and it would be seen.

I’ve not done this so far because of time, knowledge that I’d be alone, a lack of desire to highlight myself on the road (both safety and because I’d have to be better about stopping), uncertainty whether a driver hitting the noodle would cause me too much instability and endanger my safety on the bike, and because it would make parking the bike a bit of a pain.

But safety concern aside, and that may be overblown… these things are bendy foam after all, basically my thought is, one person doing it is a crank. 20 sends a message. 100 sends a message that can’t be ignored. So, for public consumption, feedback appreciated… would anyone else be up for this sort of thing?


StuInMcCandless

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Jul 21 2013 at 11:05pm #

Throw enough spaghetti at the wall and some piece will stick.


RustyRed

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Jul 24 2013 at 10:31am #

salty wrote:I saw Bumper Bike Aaron today at Aiken & Centre, first I’d seen him in a while. What if we all followed his lead and all rode a fleet of bumper bikes around the city? It would certainly get peoples’ attention.

I love this idea if it would get the media’s attention too.

With all the attention they’ve been giving bike-related issues, I wonder if the Post Gazette would be on board if we gave them notice, did it downtown (where a photog/writer wouldn’t have to travel too far to get shots) and at a non-rush hour time.


joanne

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Jul 24 2013 at 5:53pm #

I bought an extendable paint pole last week for the same purpose (my thought is that I can adjust it inward or outward, depending on where I’m riding).

I got a pointy looking red attachment that screws onto the end. Drivers are clearly not concerned about ending my life–but I’m thinking they will give me lots of space if they think my pointy pole will scratch their paint.

I just have to work out something that will offer some “give” if anyone actually hits it.


jonawebb

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Jul 24 2013 at 6:21pm #

There’s this:

Also tthis.
And, oh my goodness! US Patents 3945336 and 4116154.
Just from a quick search for ‘bicycle distance safety device”
I ignored the many devices that project an image of a bike lane etc on the ground, because I think they’re stupid. If drivers were looking for bike lanes we wouldn’t have this problem.


Vannevar

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Jul 24 2013 at 7:45pm #

Wow, Jon. That first pic is the CarShoo™
web http://www.carshoo.com/index.html
FB https://www.facebook.com/pages/Car-Shoo/223509194420882

I feel… a certain Fred-frisson.


Drewbacca

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Jul 24 2013 at 10:52pm #

I’m picturing giant foam hands with a middle-finger… I mean a pointer-finger and “4ft please.”


Benzo

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Jul 25 2013 at 8:52am #

I think it’s more dangerous to ride around with a bunch of weird stuff hanging off the sides of your bike for the purpose of making your bike wider than not doing that.

Stuff like the car shoo could probably be found in a sharper image catelog next to slimming waist bands, a computer mouse that looks like a bmw, and stairs that let your short dog climb up on to your bed.

I also think it is interesting that aaron rides a bumper bike, but I stop short at trying to encourage him to do so, I think it could be putting him in more danger.


byogman

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Jul 25 2013 at 9:34am #

Maybe there is traction then, at least on ideas similar to noodles. Let’s get concrete. Who all would jump in and split on the cost of a big pack of noodles? They’re real cheap bought that way.


Vannevar

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Jul 25 2013 at 2:31pm #

It’s a wonderful example of how I misread text-only communication without visual feedback or context. When Ben said “lets get concrete”, I thought he meant: skip that plastic pole stuff, let’s get cement jousting sticks. Later I realized he meant, let’s get specific.

I’m very apprehensive about sticking things out of bikes and daring/forcing/provoking/ people in 3500-pound vehicles.

And yes, this is my bike with the fold-out traffic flag, in the stowed position:

and this is the rear-view in the deployed position:

And yes, I did find that people gave me a more room when I rotated/extended/deployed that thing, it’s called a Herrman’s Safety Flag or a Lollipop Flag. (you could look it up) I think they gave me room because they thought I was crazy.

These Yinzer’s ain’t Brits n’at and I really wonder if the path you’re discussing is… sustainable.

(let’s get concrete…. I loved that)


paulheckbert

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Jul 25 2013 at 4:03pm #

If I were going to put a long pole on the left of my bike, I’d get the Bicyline device that @jonawebb found ($30 with shipping,
http://www.dinoinvdes.com/seguridad_bicisMgr.php). It looks like a nice design. It’s not as goofy looking as the Car Shoo, and you can extend it up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) while you pedal.

But I don’t plan to buy one for myself just yet. If someone else in Pittsburgh gets one, I’m interested to hear how it works out for them, however.


byogman

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Jul 25 2013 at 11:12pm #

I’m guessing anything that increases your visibility and acts as a deterrent to close passing for the overwhelming majority drivers from close passing is a net safety win. Though there is a tiny minority of drivers who would see that as yet another reason to feel aggrieved and possibly take it out on the cyclist. So maybe not.

Anyways, my recent thoughts have turned to it not really as a permanent bike fixture (I don’t filter much, but I prefer to have the flexibility), but as cheap protest enabler in the light of recent events (and sigh… maybe future ones). Plus, then you’ve got a pool noodle (ok, maybe not a plus for all, but I have three kids). Works best that way if lots of people do it. Plus, noodles are cheaper in a pack.


joanne

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Jul 26 2013 at 10:40am #

I’m just primarily looking at it as an experiment: if I mount something scratchy, will that finally tap into an area of concern for some motorists: their shiny paint jobs?


JaySherman5000

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Jul 26 2013 at 10:58am #

Regarding the practice of hanging stuff off your bike to promote safe passing, has anyone thought about the impact it may have on other cyclists?

If you are riding slower than me and I want to pass you, your little protection phallus forces me to pedal farther than I normally would into the lane, potentially exposing me to greater hazards. Granted, I should technically pass you with 4 feet of clearance, even when we’re both on bikes, but in practice, the use of the protection phallus just seems like a dick move.


jonawebb

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Jul 26 2013 at 11:03am #

@JS5000 I don’t think cyclists have to pass cyclists w/4 foot clearance. That’s just motorists. The all-powerful bike lobby wins again.
But I do agree, the protection phallus is sort of annoying for that reason. Also limits filtering.


buffalo buffalo

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Jul 26 2013 at 11:04am #

JaySherman5000 wrote:I should technically pass you with 4 feet of clearance, even when we’re both on bikes, but in practice, the use of the protection phallus just seems like a dick move.

Clearly, you should also have one–in fact, you should have one on both sides, and then y’all can joust.


buffalo buffalo

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Jul 26 2013 at 11:08am #

(I’m not sure how long @joanne’s paint stick is, but when i pass cyclists, I usually give them more room than at least that ‘car-shoo’ flyswatter seems to extend, and for the same reason I want a car to pass me wide—not merely to avoid scaring the other rider, but to give both of us ample room for any emergency maneuvers either of us may need to make… or just a simple momentary arm-twitch’s wobble.)


JaySherman5000

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Jul 26 2013 at 11:51am #

@jonawebb: Operating from memory only, I think the PA law states that cyclists have the same “rights and duties” as motor vehicles, and the 4 foot law* does not contain an exception for bikes. Unless the law says “when operating a motor vehicle and overtaking a pedalcycle,” you are required to give 4 feet, even when Cat 6-ing me.

*Tangential argument: can we please try hard to wipe out instances of people referring to this law as the “4 foot rule”? Using the correct verbiage in this case will remind people that it should be taken seriously. After all, I’d hate for people to start referring to a “don’t murder rule”.


joanne

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Jul 26 2013 at 12:06pm #

I haven’t finalized my design yet, but I’m thinking it will stick out a foot to 18 inches. Too much?


jonawebb

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Jul 26 2013 at 12:11pm #

@JS5000, PA 3303 (a) (3)
(3) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a pedalcycle proceeding
in the same direction shall pass to the left of the pedalcycle within not less than four feet at a careful and prudent reduced speed.


Mick

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Jul 26 2013 at 12:21pm #

@ jaySherman Tangential argument: can we please try hard to wipe out instances of people referring to this law as the “4 foot rule”?

?


reddan

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Jul 26 2013 at 1:05pm #

@JS5000, PA 3303 (a) (3)
(3) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a pedalcycle proceeding
in the same direction shall pass to the left of the pedalcycle within not less than four feet at a careful and prudent reduced speed.

Ya know, I never before noticed that the law talks about the DRIVER passing “within not less than four feet”, not the VEHICLE.


StuInMcCandless

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Jul 26 2013 at 1:09pm #

Oh, so since the driver is on the left side of the car, and already has three, three-and-a-half feet between him and the right side mirror, that means they can pass us legally with only six inches of space?


jonawebb

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Jul 26 2013 at 1:27pm #

This explains those PAT bus buzzings.


reddan

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Jul 26 2013 at 1:42pm #

This explains those PAT bus buzzings.

Exactly. All this time, we were the ones who didn’t grasp the intent of the law.


JaySherman5000

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Jul 26 2013 at 3:38pm #

@JAWs: thanks for clarifying, I was too lazy to look up the statute.

@Mick: In many articles, posts, and other discussions, I’ve noticed people referring to the four-foot passing law as the “4 foot rule.” I think referring to the statute as a rule instead of a law makes it sound like obeying is optional rather than mandatory. Breaking rules seldom has serious consequences, whereas breaking a law (usually) comes with legal and financial consequences. I consider this just as important as referring to vehicle collisions as such and not calling them accidents.


Mick

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Jul 26 2013 at 6:47pm #

Ok. So you wanted it referred to as a”Law”..

Your post was a head-scratching thing to me because you only referred to a complex of concepts you wanted to wipe out.

Don’t think of the color blue.


Vannevar

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Jul 26 2013 at 10:21pm #

I’m good with 4-Foot-Law.
I’m also good with “collision” and not accident.
+1


Vannevar

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Jul 28 2013 at 7:30pm #

Stopped to take a photo of the location and some flowers that have been placed. Had an unexpected experience: while I was taking the picture a driver stopped and waiting for the light rolled down the window and said, “Hey we’re real sorry about that”. I thought that was very gracious of them and I really appreciated it.


Marko82

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Jul 28 2013 at 8:19pm #

@V, I know speculation is frowned upon- but after seeing it in person do you have any insight into what could have gone wrong? I’m referring to light timing, signage, etc.

I hope we put a ghost bike up for this family. The tragic irony will be that it will probably be secured to the bike-route sign.


Vannevar

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Jul 28 2013 at 10:50pm #

Marko, I’m sorry – I guess I’ve posted in the Fatalities thread when there’s a specific thread elsewhere. My bad, I’m sorry.

I think that Swalfort and Stu’s comments
here and here are probably very close to the mark.

Yes, I agree about the ghost bike. A daily reminder that a lot of people would see. OTOH it might be difficult for the family, and there are younger siblings. We’ll see.

I’m also convinced that the Moon PD has done everything a cyclist could possibly want them to do, so kudos to them.

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