The out-of-town news thread, vol. II

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buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Continued, from http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/the-out-of-town-news-thread/, where Stu once wrote, “We have so many stories from out of town, so rather than have one thread for each, I thought I’d start one we can add to, every time we come across happenings from elsewhere.”

Mountain View Police pulled over a Google self-driving car yesterday after noticing a line of cars backing up behind it; it was doing 25 in a 35 zone, on a road with three lanes, so it’s unclear why nobody simply passed the damn thing. As noted in the department’s blog post, the vehicle’s actions were entirely lawful, so no action was taken by the officer.


Ahlir
Participant
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Perhaps TensorFlow (a.k.a Skynet) computed that the optimal speed for that street was indeed 25mph and simply used it. After all this brouhaha, it will probably train an LSTM that chooses just the right moment to vaporize speeding cars, using that 3d-printed laser stored in its trunk…


Mick
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I’m guessing it would have NOT been pulled over had it been going 45 mph.


StuInMcCandless
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After last week’s attacks in Paris, a man played John Lennon’s “Imagine” on a piano in a public square. He apparently towed the piano there via a bicycle.

Facebook link to video

Unfortunately, the video does not show the bike or towing apparatus.

ETA: Here is a photo.

Pianist @Klavierkunst carrying his piano by #bicycle to play Lennon's "Imagine" outside of #Bataclan theatre #Paris. pic.twitter.com/8b7En70RcR— Don Jacobson (@BigSurfDon) November 15, 2015

And here is more info about the man and how he thought to drag a piano around Paris on a bike.
link


jonawebb
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I saw that guy, while I was in Paris in August, playing on a bridge.


paulheckbert
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Commuters are turning to bicycles in Damascus, Syria, because buses are too slow. Buses must stop at many security checkpoints.

http://www.al-fanarmedia.org/2015/09/in-damascus-a-new-student-craze-bicycles/

See their facebook page for videos.


jonawebb
Participant
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Jan Heine was injured in a crash with a car in Taiwan.


paulheckbert
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Detroit has a fast-growing bicycle culture.

“Slow Roll Detroit, which was founded in 2010 by Detroit residents Jason Hall and Mike MacKool, meets weekly to explore different neighborhoods on their roughly 10-mile route in an effort to highlight new businesses and community projects happening around the city. What started as a few friends meeting informally now draws as many as 5,000 on a given week from all over the city and suburbs.”

Nice video: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/motor-city-bike-city-inside-detroits-bicycle-renaissance-n467316


edmonds59
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Cycling NEEDS backlash. This is from Britain, but good nonetheless; “If there is no backlash, then whatever it is you are doing is unlikely to make any significant difference. ” https://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/cycling-needs-a-backlash/


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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PennLive (Harrisburg): “Aggressive drivers cause more crashes than distracted and drunken drivers combined in PA”
http://j.mp/1PPKz9r


jonawebb
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18-Wheeler into Outback steakhouse


paulheckbert
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American cyclist Shannon Galpin has helped support women’s cycling in Afghanistan. The country is rated the worst place in the world to be a woman. Generally, women are not allowed to ride bicycles there, except as a sidesaddle passenger. Boys can get to school much faster each day, because they can ride bikes. A few women are bucking the system.


Marko82
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It’s the 2015 European Bike Stealing Championship!


Marko82
Participant
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ODOT to hold meetings to help plan new bike routes
http://www.heraldstaronline.com/page/content.detail/id/636688/ODOT-to-hold-meetings-to-help-plan-new-bike-routes.html?nav=5010

The agencies are hosting two identical public outreach meetings to solicit input and provide information about the state’s effort to establish a signed, Ohio bicycle network that will accommodate long-distance bicycling. Once complete, Ohio will have more than 3,000 miles of state and U.S. designated bicycle routes, according to officials.


paulheckbert
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Thanks, Marko82. If you want to email comments to those Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) people, there’s an email address here: http://www.dot.state.oh.us/districts/D11/newsreleases/Pages/112415.aspx
I urged them to create a bike route connecting the Panhandle Trail (Weirton/Steubenville) with the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath (Zoarville).


paulheckbert
Participant
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Research paper on bicycle use:

Tracking global bicycle ownership patterns

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140515006787

excerpts:
Over the past four decades, bicycle ownership has been documented in various countries but not globally analyzed. This paper presents an effort to fill this gap by tracking household bicycle possession.

Generally, bicycle ownership was highest in Northern Europe and lowest in West, Central and North Africa, and Central Asia. … We establish that at the global level 42% of households own at least one bicycle. … Burkina Faso had a high household percentage bike ownership (PBO) of 84.2%, while Armenia had a low value of 4%. … China, perhaps, exhibits the most dramatic variation [over time]. In 1992, China had a PBO of 97.2%, indicating that there was at least one bicycle available in almost every household. This statistic had dropped to 48.7% by 2007.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Dateline: Davidson, Maryland
Davidsonville man spared jail time for assault on cyclist after crash

link


dfiler
Member
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Rather than 16 hours of community service, it would be more reformative for the hit and run driver to cycle for 16 hours on the road. Not sure if I want our court system imposing creative fines like that. But the biker in me thinks it would be effective.


jonawebb
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“I think the majority of drivers don’t realize that cyclists have a legal right to use the road and the driver is required to give the cyclist 3 feet of space when passing, when safe to do so,” Korin said.

The wording bothers me here. I think he means the driver should wait until it’s safe to pass. But I think a lot of people will think he means you don’t have to give three feet if there’s oncoming traffic.


fultonco
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Delaware motorist sentenced to prison for killing cyclist:

http://www.middletowntranscript.com/article/20151123/BLOGS/311239996


RustyRed
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Cyclist hit by high speed train in Poland

(warning) The raw video is disturbing:

Local news waters it down:

http://www.wpxi.com/videos/news/worlds-luckiest-biker-gets-hit-by-high-speed-train/vDgBnM/


Marko82
Participant
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CINCINNATI
Proposal for 42-mile bicycle and pedestrian loop to be unveiled.
Under plan, urban loop would stitch together disconnected bike trails into one
http://www.wlwt.com/news/proposal-for-42mile-bicycle-and-pedestrian-loop-to-be-unveiled/36989598


buffalo buffalo
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California city loses lawsuit from family of bike rider killed on road with narrow bike lanes and no lighting
http://j.mp/1O9pbpA

“In June 2012, Dr. Gerald Brett Weiss, a nationally known neurosurgeon, was killed when he was hit from behind while riding his bicycle in the community of Indian Wells, CA. In mid-November of this year his family won a $5.8 million judgment against Indian Wells, claiming that the city was negligent in not providing sufficient width for bike lanes or lighting that would have prevented the crash.…

“Although the driver was allegedly drunk, the city was still found 35 percent liable and ended up responsible for the bulk of the judgment because the driver was underinsured. The city argued that the driver and the bicyclist himself were responsible for the crash, and that the road was too dangerous to bike.…”


RustyRed
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Columbus: “New bike lanes causing confusion north of Downtown”

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/12/13/new-route-doubt.html

Reading the article, it’s hard for me to envision what’s going on there, but I *really* like this:

“Frankly, it’s a corridor that has traveled at a much-higher-than-posted speed historically….
It’s specifically designed to help people travel at the appropriate speed.

Thoughts going through drivers’ minds:
“OMG, what’s going on here? I have to *slow down* and pay attention!?! I’m sooooo CONFUSED!!”


fultonco
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@rustyred

If that scooter driver received a ticket he would no longer be confused.


Marko82
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^ I think that if this was truly “good” infra it would be self evident of where you should ride/drive; and you should also know what speed to drive without needing signs to tell you.

IMHO, Complete Streets are more than just adding bike lanes (paint). There is soo much room to work with here, yet they failed to think beyond paint.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Portland considering raising meter rates in its Downtown. As always, concerns have been raised for low-wage workers who supposedly drive to work because their work hours start or end outside bus service hours.

Starbucks manager and chair of downtown retail council Craig Bush, speaking in favour of the proposal: Anecdotally, I’d like to also say…I have ten employees, seven would be considered ‘low-wage’, none drive….

Council member: How do your 4 a.m. workers get there?

Bush: They bike or they walk.

http://bikeportland.org/2015/12/18/starbucks-manager-endorsing-parking-rate-hike-says-his-low-income-workers-bike-anyway-170692


Marko82
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^Wow. That graph of who parks in downtown Portland (by income category) is pretty telling. I wonder if the data exists to do one for Pittsburgh. My gut would tell me that the graph would be similar.


fultonco
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@ Marko82

Yes. Also, if memory serves me correctly, there are some bike lanes in Ohio that allow motorized scooters to travel there also.

Near Cincinnati, I remember seeing a bike lane that has a red motor scooter “sharrow” painted in it, as well as the traditional bicycle sharrow.


StuInMcCandless
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I asked…

…and got a set of answers!
Reply #1

Reply #2

Reply #3

…and my reply

So, there’s the data, or at least the start of it.


Marko82
Participant
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Thanks Michael & Stu

It’s interesting that Pgh seems to drive more (as a percentage) within most wage brackets. I guess that’s due to Portland having a better transit system then us.


fultonco
Member
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Just thinking about where I work, on the Northside. There are less than a handful who bike in at all. The bus stops out front were eliminated, some time ago. The nearest stops are at least a mile or more away. The closest trolley stop is almost 3 miles away. The area is industrial in nature. Any neighborhoods close by are pretty rough. I’m guessing that the income bracket most fall into is in the $25-60K range. All drive in, daily. Some from long distances (Beaver and Westmoreland Counties). Many do the parkway crawl, both ways, every day.


paulheckbert
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@marko82: your graph has no axis labels.


Marko82
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Yeah I realized that shortly after i posted it but I had already closed my spreadsheet without saving it.

The Y-axis is percentage of single occupant driving into central business district, the X-axis is income. See Michael’s google-doc for details.


paulheckbert
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London cyclists have been fighting for more protected bike lanes (“bicycle superhighways”) and they’re having some success, despite opposition from mayor Boris Johnson.


paulheckbert
Participant
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In September 2015, 5-year-old Max Wyatt was riding a bicycle in Boise, Idaho, when he was struck by a car and dragged 40 feet, sustaining numerous injuries that prompted over two months in a hospital. The driver was charged with inattentive driving. This article focuses on the community reaction: fundraising and the successful drive to change Idaho driver testing:
http://www.boisebicycleproject.org/themax/


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Someone made a map of bike paths in the region around Washington D.C.


kieran
Member
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Worth a look from citylab on the 4 types of cyclists on US Streets

http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/01/the-4-types-of-cyclists-youll-meet-on-us-city-streets/422787/


paulheckbert
Participant
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Transporting deer carcass by bicycle, in Michigan:


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Toronto’s bike share system might be replacing some of its fleet.
link

While I’m on the site, I’ll also point out that the home page for the article linked above is to the Toronto equivalent of Bike-Pgh.

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