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  #1  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:09 AM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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Default Ninja Convention

8pm, every third bike on Clinton had no lighting.

If the PPD or Trimet wanted to do something about safety or visibility they should start working on unlit bikes (as required by law) instead of stop signs and reflective clothing.

One seizure creator too, but that was compared to about 10 ninja.
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2012, 09:36 AM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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"8pm, every third bike on Clinton had no lighting. ." Psyfalcon

I can't decide if you're being serious, or joking, with that number. Probably some of the latter. Out in Beaverton, I see unlit bikes frequently on 117th, near where I live. Generally later in the evening...10pm last night. Traffic isn't heavy then on this street, so their being there on this wide street with bike lanes isn't a big hazard.

In many other common situations in town; unlit neighborhood streets, sidewalks, big thoroughfares, unlit bikes are potentially big problems. I think that unless cops are assigned to a specific detail, such as 'being particularly on the lookout for unlit bikes', on a given shift, or unless they're looking for someone for which the bike being unlit gives them a pretext to stop, there's a good chance that goofs riding around their bikes without lights won't get stopped. Demand for cops to be elsewhere is too great to have self endangering vulnerable road users be a priority.

Last edited by wsbob; 10-09-2012 at 09:40 AM.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2012, 01:53 PM
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Default Ninja Convention - Bike without a light!

it's pretty common on Clinton... it's a low traffic bike street with lighting... there really isn't a need for bike lights... cars are rarely overrunning their headlights... and night-vision is often better than only being able to see a spot in front of you on heavy pedestrian streets like Clinton...

since the combination of the Kathryn Rickson incident and TriMet's "Be Seen Be Safe" message I'm starting to see how much we coddle motorists into thinking it's ok to drive into places where you can't see anything... bike lighting isn't an issue when you hold everybody accountable for those more vulnerable users in front of you...

vehicles shouldn't be going so fast that you can't see somebody in dark clothing in the middle of the street... walking around without lights and reflective gear isn't a crime...

cars: watch where you're driving... you're the low man on the totem and need to use extreme caution when operating that huge machine...

bikes: watch where you're riding... you're moving a little faster than peds so use extra caution... peds are just slow-moving bikes without wheels...

peds: watch where you're walking... don't run into each other... and make sure the road is clear before you step into it...

not seeing something that's there is never a good excuse... I don't care if it's pitch black and everyone is dressed like a ninja with no lights... in such a case you need to be barely moving and using extreme caution...
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:27 AM
Starkmojo Starkmojo is offline
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Spiffy,
I have to respectfully disagree. As someone who drives a lot for work (40k last year) and plenty of it here in town I know for a fact that given the right conditions a bike can be in your headlights and nearly invisible without lighting, and one of those conditions is the light/ shadow pools of places like Clinton st. Where your eyes are constantly adjusting to the varying light levels. I am all for responsibility for the weight we as drivers roll around, but we as bicyclists have a responsibility to have adequate lighting after dark. Also as a matter of self preservation I do not see why anyone would fail to take the sensible risk mitigation step of adequate lighting.

My pet peeve is inadequate lighting. I think those 1 led bulb handlebar candles are dangerous because they give the rider the impression that they are adequately lit when in reality they are not. I also think all adult sized bikes should have to come with lighting but that's just my opinion. We wouldn't let the big 3 sell a car without lights would we?
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2012, 12:00 PM
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q`Tzal q`Tzal is offline
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To dovetail upon Starkmojo's comments on inadequate lighting:
inadequate lighting is any lighting equipment that does not help to distinguish the cyclist from the objective visual background of a homo sapien. Our eyes are not perfect and biological shortcuts save on construction costs by assembling an image that is representative not accurate. Night vision is dependent upon contrast and that is what is sorely lacking.

Bike lanes in residential, industrial areas and MUPs are areas where the far background remains relatively dark and this works out fine for even unlit cyclists. Heavy traffic areas and busy retail streets with bright lit ground level signs are the worst at night: our eyes are adapting to dark while the mid and far field is flooded with hundreds of discreet +1,000 lumen automotive and advertising lights.
They are moving and blinking and in to this we toss a ninja or worse, a cyclist that thinks TriMet's or PBOT's 25 lumen - 1 AAA battery light is enough to make them safe.

I don't know about everyone else but I only notice these cyclists in the same manner in which Kirk and Sulu noticed a cloaked Klingon Bird of Prey in Star Trek 3: there is an unexpected background anomaly. All of a sudden you notice that car headlights, which do not normally blink, are blinking in a pattern consistent with a cyclist passing between you and the other car.

I'm not sure how to resolve the need for headlights without making all the roads luminescent.
With better and cheaper LED lighting we could legislate that advertising signs dim at night. Not just to save energy but to reduce the retinal overload that cyclists and more importantly PEDESTRIANS must fight to simply be seen.

Fun facts about how deficient the human eye is: http://xkcd.com/1080/ Visual Field.
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2012, 03:19 PM
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Exclamation stop driving where you can't see!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starkmojo View Post
one of those conditions is the light/ shadow pools of places like Clinton st. Where your eyes are constantly adjusting to the varying light levels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by q`Tzal View Post
Heavy traffic areas and busy retail streets with bright lit ground level signs are the worst at night: our eyes are adapting to dark while the mid and far field is flooded with hundreds of discreet +1,000 lumen automotive and advertising lights.
everybody needs to slow down when conditions insist on it... nobody wants to slow down... those in cars that are going the fastest need to slow down even more and are the least willing to slow down at all...

the love of cars has everybody in an unbending attitude of not needing to use enough care when operating their cars... people need to slow down and pay more attention... they're not going to like it, but it's going to have to happen if we actually want people to stop being murdered on the street by vehicles...
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2012, 05:54 PM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Excerpted:

Quote:
Originally Posted by q`Tzal View Post
To dovetail upon Starkmojo's comments on inadequate lighting:
inadequate lighting is any lighting equipment that does not help to distinguish the cyclist from the objective visual background of a homo sapien. Our eyes are not perfect and biological shortcuts save on construction costs by assembling an image that is representative not accurate. Night vision is dependent upon contrast and that is what is sorely lacking. ...
The above excerpt describes part of the problem for visibility, people on the road, biking without lights and/or other visibility gear present. Without something to make distinct contrast between themselves and the background upon which they're seen by other road users, people on bikes can visually disappear even when in plain view by road users that are traveling with consideration for the conditions and concentrating on the road ahead. Depending upon what they are or aren't wearing, and what their bikes are or aren't equipped with, the effective image they present to other road users can be like camouflage.

Riding on a street with lots of street lighting, making it possible to see the road ahead well enough to be able to see the road ahead without relying on a headlight does not necessarily mean ambient light is sufficient to allow other road users to be able to adequately distinguish bike road users on the road from the background they're seeing them against.

It's probably easier to see this phenomena as a passenger in a car than as a driver. Lately, I've had a few occasions to do exactly this. That experience strengthens my appreciation for cyclists that run more than the minimum state legal requirement of front light and rear reflector: such things as, adding rear tail lights, multiple lights front and back, reflectors and reflective material of a wide range of shapes and sizes...and of course, hi-vis colors. Any of those things help a lot to have someone on a bike be far more readily distinguishable from a roadway background than someone on a bike with the minimum required front light and rear reflector.
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2012, 08:28 PM
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q`Tzal q`Tzal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiffy View Post
stop driving where you can't see!

everybody needs to slow down when conditions insist on it... nobody wants to slow down... those in cars that are going the fastest need to slow down even more and are the least willing to slow down at all...

the love of cars has everybody in an unbending attitude...
You have valid points but seem fixated on the speed issue.
Let me expand your frame of reference: Unsafe at Any Speed.
It evokes Ralph Nader's book but I propose that under the conditions that the first automobiles drove at night (unlit country roads and city blocks) that high power long throw headlights were necessary and useful because they were unusual. As driving became commonplace (1930s) the power needed to see the road with other headlights aiming directly into your eyes drove the intensity of headlights higher.

This is a progression that can be traced back from its seed with the Model T coming to full bloom in an automotive ecosystem where the amount of light needed to drive safely around other automobiles precludes the safety of non-automotive road users.

Arguing that automobile drivers need to slow down misses the scope of the problem : there is no speed slow enough if someone is walking around in all black.
No valid scenario you say? Only people that would dress that way are pranksters? How about a full coverage burka, all black?

Between the things that can go wrong no matter how safe you are and the way the current system is evolutionarily rigged to make driving inherently unsafe for non-motorists we can truly say that driving is unsafe at any speed.

Until we can find a way to dismantle the current paradigm it borders on sociopathic to not at least try to mitigate the injuries and deaths of pedestrians and cyclists by any means necessary.
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2012, 08:55 PM
Alan Alan is offline
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I saw some guy a bit after 5pm today, still light out but rainy and gray with dusk coming on. He had some sort of light tubes mounted up front, in front of flat bars, about 1/2" thick and 10" long on each side of the stem. They were on, I think, but weren't very bright at all, just glowing a little, basically just looked like white tubes. Maybe the batteries were low? And then on back he had a typical low/moderate power red blinky, on steady, at the base of the seat post. Only he also had a plastic bag somehow tied to the bottom of his seat (he was coming back from a commercial strip), and the bag completely covered the blinky to the rear; I just caught a glimpse of it from the side. ::sigh:: (And then, when he noticed me walking on the sidewalk, he salmoned up a bike lane to mid-block where he swerved across a gap between two cars going his way to get on the right side.)

Well, not how I ride and I hope he gets better lights, but I'm still happy to see bikes around my neighborhood.
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2012, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by q`Tzal View Post
You have valid points but seem fixated on the speed issue.
Let me expand your frame of reference: Unsafe at Any Speed.
speed is a factor because if you're going 15 mph you'll be able to stop when you bump into something and not have a very high risk of killing it... you also have a lot more time to look around and see any potential conflicts...

but yes, cars mixed with other modes are just inherently dangerous...
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