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Another PG bicycle letter – 21JUN13

This topic contains 162 replies, has 42 voices, and was last updated by  Marko82 10 mos, 4 weeks.

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jonawebb

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Aug 15 2013 at 7:23am #

Here we go:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/pedestrian-safety-is-jeopardized-by-unsafe-cycling-699372/

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/breaking-laws-699322/


paulheckbert

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Aug 15 2013 at 9:32am #

jonawebb wrote:Here we go:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/breaking-laws-699322/

In reply to the cyclist-running-a-red-at-Murray-and-Forbes one, I wrote:

The cyclist should have stopped or come to a near-stop before turning, especially if there were small kids nearby. On the other hand, I’m more worried about two ton vehicles driving 20mph around a corner and killing my daughter than a cyclist biking 10mph around a corner. Kinetic energy = mass times velocity squared / 2.

It’s not every day you get to use Newtonian physics on the PG letters page.


ajbooth

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Aug 16 2013 at 12:42pm #

paulheckbert wrote:It’s not every day you get to use Newtonian physics on the PG letters page.

I think doing so may have scared off the trolls. Or at least confused them.


Drewbacca

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Aug 16 2013 at 1:09pm #

ajbooth wrote:
I think doing so may have scared off the trolls. Or at least confused them.

These problems are usually written with the assumption of no friction, perhaps the trolls are just obeying the rules? :P


HiddenVariable

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Aug 16 2013 at 10:44pm #

being the sort of troll that *i* am, i very nearly posted that this was an oversimplification of the situation, and that such equations only seem to apply because we so rarely see objects moving at relativistic speeds, but i didn’t feel like coming up with the facebook code to properly display the lorentz transformations.


Marko82

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Aug 17 2013 at 8:50am #

Here’s a positive one – not too many trolls yet either:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/a-better-bike-ride-699658/


jonawebb

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Aug 19 2013 at 7:35am #

Cyclist vs walker:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/cyclists-and-walkers-699888/


paulheckbert

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Aug 19 2013 at 9:32am #

my comment on http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/cyclists-and-walkers-699888/

Cyclists and pedestrians need to learn to co-exist more peacefully, the same as car drivers and cyclists. If we had cyclist education in schools, in which every kid learns to ride a bike, learns how to properly handle a bike and learns the laws, then when those people grow up and they’re walking or biking or driving a car, there would be less ignorance of the law. Not only would it help cyclists to behave better and slow down where necessary, it would also help pedestrians know the importance of staying to the right when there are cyclists on a sidewalk or trail, and would help drivers to know how to give cyclists 4 feet of clearance when passing. You could think of bicycle training of kids as excellent preparation for driver training, later in life.

Better education of cyclists is increasingly important for several reasons: the growing popularity of bicycling, reduced car use among the young, high income disparity between rich and poor, greater awareness of the health benefits of bicycling, and a return from the suburbs to urban cores.


Mick

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Aug 19 2013 at 10:09am #

@ paulheckbert

Great letter, excellent idea!


sarah_q

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Aug 20 2013 at 6:38am #

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/two-wheel-texting-700015/

Ok, what is the deal with the PG? Because these letters get so many hits/comments they keep running them? The letters are totally pointless now.

Once I saw one person do a thing, therefore this has “empirical and sociological import”?

Well, once I saw a homeless guy in pre-Giuliani NYC eat his own poop. Did I wish this didn’t happen? YES. Did I write a letter to the ed @ NYT about “this vignette” and the societal implications? NO.


mjacobPGH

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Aug 20 2013 at 8:13am #

Does anyone else find it ironic that the PG is sponsoring one of the Pedal PGH bike rides while publishing this drivel at the same time?


smarchit

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Aug 20 2013 at 4:32pm #

But they aren’t sponsoring any of the car routes, just the Family Ride on the riverside trails. As long as all of the riders stay off of the roads, and don’t startle innocent pedestrians that are obliviously claiming the entire width of the trail while wearing environment numbing headphones, perhaps everybody can coexist for a few hours once a year. And oh yeah, better stay off the shared sidewalks too, lest you upset the loyal PG editorialists!


Benzo

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Aug 22 2013 at 3:28pm #

Important news (maybe NSFW):
Seemingly Mentally Ill Internet Commenter Presumably Functions In Outside World


Marko82

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Sep 7 2013 at 9:21am #

Bikes on sidewalks (9/07/13)

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/bikes-on-sidewalks-702322/


Ahlir

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Sep 7 2013 at 3:34pm #

This more recent crop of letters seem to be more civilized than in the past.

Out of curiosity, the familiar horde of trolls (what’s the proper collective noun for trolls?) seems to have disappeared.

Were they banned by the P-G?

Anyway, I sort of miss Stahls(meir)(?) and his merry band of Orcs. (Is there a collective noun for Orcs?)


ErinK

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Sep 7 2013 at 4:28pm #

The comments are actually much more civilized and diverse (more cyclists involved) than I remember seeing a year ago. I think the 4 foot law is getting people to think more about sharing the road.

A lot of these milder complaint letters are about things that cyclists do that piss me off too. I only read the beginning and end of this thread, but stuff like threading through repeatedly to the top of the stack in traffic only to get passed again and again and riding aggressively on the sidewalk are just not worth it in my book. They might be legal, but if it’s going to piss the other people off, is it really a good idea?

If you’re in traffic, be in traffic. Share the road fairly with the other vehicles. If you’re on the sidewalk, defer to pedestrians and move slowly and carefully.

You might be the only cyclist these people see all week – are you going to leave a good impression of us?


Drewbacca

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Sep 7 2013 at 4:55pm #

ErinK wrote:A lot of these milder complaint letters are about things that cyclists do that piss me off too. I only read the beginning and end of this thread, but stuff like threading through repeatedly to the top of the stack in traffic only to get passed again and again and riding aggressively on the sidewalk are just not worth it in my book. They might be legal, but if it’s going to piss the other people off, is it really a good idea?

It depends on overall visibility… I don’t move to the front for the sake of being first, I do it to be seen by traffic in all directions.


helen s

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Sep 13 2013 at 8:32am #

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/athletes-on-wheels-703192/

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/roadway-courtesy-703149/

Two today- and Matt commenting on both early.


RustyRed

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Sep 13 2013 at 8:34am #

Two today:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/athletes-on-wheels-703192/

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/roadway-courtesy-703149/


mjacobPGH

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Sep 13 2013 at 12:43pm #

I’m the Matt that comments on these. Who needs coffee when I can read these in the morning to get me started? ;)


jonawebb

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Sep 17 2013 at 7:13am #

Cyclist on a trail sends a runner flying and into the hospital: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/speeding-cyclists-703640/
Let’s slow down around pedestrians, OK?


edmonds59

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Sep 17 2013 at 7:36am #

Can’t argue with that.


scott

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Sep 17 2013 at 8:29am #

I rode the trail in my road bike on Sunday out to McKeesport and back on Sunday. Peds were very appreciative of my announcing “passing left” before I went by.


Benzo

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Sep 17 2013 at 9:22am #

scott wrote:I rode the trail in my road bike on Sunday out to McKeesport and back on Sunday. Peds were very appreciative of my announcing “passing left” before I went by.

Yeah, I’ve found that folks do appreciate it. I don’t think a lot of folks are conditioned to recognize the bell at this point from my experience. A friendly “pardon me, on your left” does seem to result in a positive response in most cases, even if you’re giving a warning ding ahead of time. Headphone users get a much more brief, and louder version of “oooooonnnnn your left”, most of the time they get it and acknowledge they heard.

When there are young kids riding or walking, making it a point to slow down so I’m not whizzing by and startling them or their parents is also much appreciated.


Mikhail

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Sep 17 2013 at 10:36am #

Interesting. I walk on EFT or SS trails during lunch hour. I yet to see a skater that warns me when passing. And I don’t have headphones.


byogman

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Sep 17 2013 at 10:43am #

I say “on your left” (btw I like “passing left”, will replace with that) in most cases but when I’m giving, like 7 feet of clearance, I don’t tend to. And I try to give that kind of clearance whenever possible, that’s really my most common solution.

Now, I also don’t tend to particularly slow down when I’m giving that kind of clearance (unless there’s little tykes involved), does that make me a bad guy? Not a mean spirited one, I just didn’t see the point. Is one? Conversely, when I can’t give wide clearance I slow down, often way down and not only say “on your left”, but tend to follow with, “have a nice walk/run/ride”.


mjacobPGH

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Sep 17 2013 at 12:18pm #

Here’s what’s good about this letter: it has actually encouraged bikers to have a real discussion about better practices when using trails. I doubt that the same can be said for motorists in response to LTEs.


jonawebb

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Sep 20 2013 at 8:13am #

Don’t agree with this one: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/letters/walkers-to-the-left-704113/


RustyRed

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Nov 20 2013 at 8:58am #

They’re back.

3 days ago:

http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2013/11/16/Please-cyclists/stories/201311160050

Awesome rebuttal today:

http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2013/11/20/For-drivers-with-tips-for-cyclists-here-are-a-few-in-return/stories/201311200015


jonawebb

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Dec 14 2013 at 11:22am #

This is interesting. Two anti-bicycling letters in reply to Mr. Sestili’s letter, one advocating we ride on sidewalks, the other advocating we keep off:

http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2013/12/14/Cycling-regulations/stories/201312140049

and

http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2013/12/14/Spinning-our-wheels/stories/201312140048

So, fun.


mjacobPGH

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Dec 14 2013 at 1:12pm #

Gary Evans has called me a “f***ot” on the PG commentary, but he is allowed back under the new commenting system. John Strahs threatened to run me over with his truck, but he is allowed back. Francis Killinsky is just a troll on every single article. John finally admitted he saw a biker stop at a red light after claiming to have never seen it once in his life…. so that’s progress?


Ahlir

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Dec 14 2013 at 3:21pm #

Well, Stahsmeier (“Stahs”) was banned from the comments for several months, I assume due to his repeated threats of violence. But he’s back, and much better behaved (at least for now). I’ll assume that things were explained to him.

Trolls are a fact of human society. Sort of like rats, or cockroaches. You just live with them (well, you keep trying to get rid of them but it’s a losing proposition).

I would say that the current P-G comments are pretty civilized as these things go. It’s work but we need to keep posting pro-bike comments. But remember that it’s not all that hard: just keep repeating the (obvious) facts and stay away from invective. Only losers need to resort to nastiness (since it’s all they have left). If anyone else actually reads this stuff, they’ll see the difference.


mjacobPGH

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Dec 14 2013 at 3:36pm #

He was banned from the PG because I e-mailed them pointing out where he specifically asked how tough I would feel “mangled in [his] rear tires.” I requested for the comments from them just in case, but never received that. While the commentary is more civilized, there is certainly no point in even responding to the commentary of Evans, Strahs, or Killinsky aside from the disclaimer that they are senseless, and often hostile, trolls.


Pierce

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Dec 14 2013 at 8:52pm #

I’m tired of the presumption that if there’s a conflict between cyclists and cars that cyclists should cede to the cars

As time goes on, our continued consumption habits are going to have an increasingly detrimental effect on the world. I.E. Global warming. It’s already resulting in more extreme weather events and contributed to the genocide in Darfur. As the climate changes, there will be more fighting, higher food costs, more food instability, etc, etc.

Riding a bike is one of several effective strategies for not killing people as a result of our careless consumption habits based out of convenience and familiarity. So if some chump chooses to drive and then is reduced to going 25 in a 35mph zone, instead of just riding a bike… tough shit.

Driving a car is a convenience and a wasteful and harmful one at that. It’s not as if by riding bicycles we’re taking oxygen out of their lungs or food out of their mouths. But our consumption habits, like driving, are literally taking the food out of other people’s mouths.

I was riding uphill on Blvd of the Allies by Schenely Park to go over to the new bike road and some prick honked at me. Like one lane isn’t enough. After he crested the hill he had to yield to other traffic (he was making a right towards Greenfield) That road towards Greenfield is probably another prime example of people speeding, which isn’t helped by the super wide unmarked lane.

Anyhow, as I pulled off on the newly bike-only Pocusset St, I gave the cars the finger. It was nice.


jonawebb

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Dec 14 2013 at 10:07pm #

Yeah. One of the things that struck me after reading Caro’s biography of Robert Moses is that none of the land use decisions Moses made are permanent. Cars use so much more space than mass transit and bikes that there is tons of space for stuff we want because it was reserved for us by the highway building boom. We just have to repurpose some of the bridges and right of ways allocated to auto infrastructure. And since mass transit and bikes make so much better use of the space the net result for motorists would be fewer traffic jams.


paulheckbert

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Dec 16 2013 at 10:08am #

The Boston Globe:

Conservatives’ new enemy: Bikes. The bicycle is emerging as a new conservative front in the culture wars.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2013/12/15/conservatives-new-enemy-bikes/NoLMjnocHg28jZ4hw3F4oI/story.html

Which makes me wonder: is hate of cyclists stronger than it was a few years ago?


StuInMcCandless

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Dec 16 2013 at 1:01pm #

I wouldn’t say stronger, just more focused, which is likely to be as bad a thing.


J Z

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Dec 24 2013 at 9:08am #

Here’s today’s

http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2013/12/24/Cyclists-must-pay/stories/201312240018

Just reiterations of old canards.


mjacobPGH

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Dec 24 2013 at 10:24am #

Could the PG have selected a more ominous title?


ericf

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Dec 24 2013 at 5:47pm #

mjacobPGH wrote:Could the PG have selected a more ominous title?

I thought it was supposed to be funny!

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