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The Monday Roundup: Mandatory hi-viz, the ‘love affair’ meme and more

Posted by on February 2nd, 2015 at 9:14 am

People on bikes-34

Mandatory? Really?
(Photo: J Maus/BikePortland)

Here are the bike-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:

Mandatory high-viz: A bill requiring every bike user to wear reflective neon and carry a government ID has attracted six co-sponsors in the Wyoming legislature.

PR campaign: The phrase “American love affair with the automobile” dates to a 1961 TV program. Underwritten by the auto industry and narrated by Groucho Marx, it framed the then-controversial demolition of neighborhoods to make way for freeways and parking lots as the normal challenges of marriage.

Normalized danger: “You press a pedal and two tons of metal lurches down the city avenue; you pull a trigger and twenty enemies die; you waggle a button and cities burn,” reflects Adam Gopnik, who recently learned to drive at age 58. But zooming in concert down a road is also “civilization itself.”

What could go wrong? Tesla’s new electric sports car has an “insane” button that lets you accelerate from 0 to 60 in three seconds.

Policy begets culture: Dedicated pedestrian signal phases improve safety overnight, but it’s the cultural changes that follow, 10 to 15 years later, that will make Vision Zero possible, says New York City’s TransAlt.

Responsibility claimed: Nobody else in the media seems to be reporting this yet, but Seattle’s mysterious decision to throw the ball across the one-yard line last night has been explained:

Coincidence? According to this masterpiece of a pregame BuzzFeed post, Seahawks lineman Michael “I bike all the time” Bennett had the 7th nicest butt out of 48 in the Super Bowl.

Culture war: D.C.’s conservative Free Beacon newspaper added the label “government waste” to its story about the National Institutes of Health offering its employees a $20-a-month bicycling subsidy.

Gas-tax rebuttal: Don’t raise the gas tax to keep up with inflation, say the Koch brothers. The real problem is “projects that have nothing to do with roads, like bike paths and transit.”

London bikeway: Mayor Boris Johnson has retreated slightly from a plan that would have added 16 minutes to driving times in order to build a six-mile bidirectional protected bike lane through London’s central city. It’s down to six minutes’ delay after narrowing the lane to 5 feet wide in a few spots.

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Desert highway: The Adventure Cycling Association is asking for help getting bike access on Interstate 40 between Needles and Barstow, Calif.

Bike share equity: A Philadelphia-based project is setting out to incubate and spread the best practices for making bike sharing more useful to marginalized folks.

Two approaches: How much imperfection are you willing to settle for? That’s the difference between an incrementalist and a completionist.

Car-free bridge boom: Ten years ago, it was rare for a new bridge in the U.S. to even include bike lanes. Now the age of the biking-walking bridge has arrived.

Bike-detecting cars: The front seat of Jaguar’s experimental “Bike Sense” car will reach forward and tap you on the shoulder to let you know if someone is pedaling up behind you.

Misanthropy machines: The fundamental difference between driving and everything else, writes Bill Lindeke, is that when you’re in a car, other people make you sad, and the rest of the time other people make you happy.

Importing pollution: As California’s standards for truck emissions tighten, the owners of 350,000 high-pollution diesel rigs are looking to sell them, with Oregon as a top target.

Waterfront trail: West Vancouver’s path along the Columbia is repaired after four years of work.

Perverse calming: Narrow “pinch points” designed to slow people’s driving usually work, but they also make people feel unsafe biking, a British academic says.

Lifetime sport: Almost 90 years after fleeing pre-Depression Oregon, Octavio Orduno has died: “the oldest cyclist in Long Beach, if not the world.” He was 106.

And your video of the week is a bicycle-powered snowplow designed by a man in Lincoln, Nebraska:

If you come across a noteworthy bicycle story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

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Rick
Guest
Rick

Should pedestrians be required to wear reflective clothing and NASA space suits and helmets? Didn’t some town in the upper Midwest require this recently?

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Maybe in particular, people inclined to believe wild, word of mouth rumors without checking them out, should be required to wear the gear you’re asking about.

lyle w.
Guest
lyle w.

50% of car accident fatalities are as a result of head injury… I’m sure the people behind the laws to force cyclists to wear neon yellow, get licensed, pay fees, jump through hoops, pay a poll tax, pay a literacy tax, paint the hallways of our abortion clinics with non lead paint, etc… will also be literally running to their state capitals to sponsor a bill mandating everybody in a car wear helmets. I’m absolutely positive of it.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

You’re forgetting that when someone is injured or killed in a car crash, the car is clearly “not safe enough.” /s

caesar
Guest
caesar

Your cynicism is well justified. Case in point: despite overwhelming evidence that motorcycle helmets reduce head injury severity and fatality rates (and also save taxpayer dollars), many states simply ignore that in favor of acquiescing to well special interest groups touting “personal freedom” as a justification for not wearing a helmet. Facts don’t seem to matter; it’s mainly emotion-based legislating.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…will also be literally running to their state capitals to sponsor a bill mandating everybody in a car wear helmets. I’m absolutely positive of it.” lyle w

Should the day come when cars become just some wheels, and a frame with some seats on it, no passenger surrounding steel body with three point restraint belts and crash inflating impact bags, they may just do what you say.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Should the day come when cars become just some wheels, and a frame with some seats on it”
So am I interpreting what you are saying correctly, wsbob, that the reason people in cars don’t need to wear helmets—that a law mandating them would be silly—is because their car’s exterior already protects them adequately? Because that is pretty easily demonstrated to be false. Don’t several tens of thousands of people in cars die on our roads every year? Many of head injuries…

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…their car’s exterior already protects them…” watts

The car’s body and safety equipment offers people traveling in them, a measure of safety relative to that offered by the helmet some people wear while biking. Not ‘comparable’ to, but ‘relative’ to.

davemess
Guest
davemess

But the deaths/miles driven in the US has drastically gone down over the last 50 years and safety improvements in cars is likely a big factor of that decline.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

Lester Burnham
Guest
Lester Burnham

I love helping subsidize those $120,000 Teslas for the wealthy elites. Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling every time I see one of those monstrosities.

Rick
Guest
Rick

very true, Tesla got a $2,000,000 tax break

Mike Quiglery
Guest
Mike Quiglery

Is that the one Tesla got from the state of Nevada to build a plant they were gonna build anyway, and because they didn’t need the break they “sold” it to some other corporation?

soren
Guest
soren

We are subsidizing an 86 mpg zero emission vehicle that costs ~$64K. I don’t see why this is objectionable given that the subsidy for a ~$28K leaf is more than twice as large (on a percentage basis).

9watts
Guest
9watts

“86 mpg zero emission vehicle”
– that sounds like a bunch of advertising hype to me. Zero emissions? Until a few years ago more than half of our electricity in this country was produced by burning coal. Most of the rest is generated by burning natural gas. No zero emissions for those.

Matt Rogers
Guest
Matt Rogers

Here’s a neato interactive map showing Oregon’s grid source mix.
http://www.oregon.gov/energy/pages/oregons_electric_power_mix.aspx

soren
Guest
soren

agree with your general point but i and 110,000 people in the portland area buy/offset zero emission electricity.
comment image

9watts
Guest
9watts

I’ve been subscribed to those programs for going on ten years now. It is nice to have that option, but the math gets tricky quickly when you go down this path. There is only so much windpower out there, and adding wind or other renewables takes time, money, resources. If everyone with an electric car signed up for renewable power tomorrow, PGE would happily take their money, but I strongly suspect that not a single additional kWh of wind energy would enter the grid as a consequence.

soren
Guest
soren

that would be a very good problem to have!

9watts
Guest
9watts

Only if it led to the installation of more wind power, but my point is I’m not sure that is how it actually works, can work.

The present demand for electricity, without any appreciable share devoted to transportation, exceeds our ability to generate carbon neutral kWhs by more than an order of magnitude. If we add the demand for transportation into this mix (electric propulsion), the prospect of the share electricity produced with fossil fuels declining—as it surely must if we have any hope of meeting any climate targets—is to me inconceivable.

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

And we are enabling the creation of new technologies that will have real impacts on the development of vehicles that will help diminish transportation’s carbon footprint. Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Tesla gives electric vehicles that sizzle. Will most drivers buy Teslas? No, but a cool factor will spill over to lesser cars.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“the development of vehicles that will help diminish transportation’s carbon footprint.”

The only vehicle that I know of that will not just help but actually does diminish transportation’s footprint doesn’t need any subsidy and has been around for more than a century. What it could use though is to be treated (by our laws and infrastructurally) like adult transportation, rather than just what kids and people wanting exercise do.

Nick Skaggs
Guest
Nick Skaggs

Wyoming House Bill 206: “Bicycles On Roadways,” sponsored by:

Rep. David Northrup (R)
Rep. Donald Burkhart (R)
Rep. Hans Hunt (R)
Rep. Allen Jaggi (R)
Rep. Jerry Paxton (R)
Rep. Cheri Steinmetz (R)

Republicans: In favor of smaller government and less regulation!

Alexander H.
Guest
Alexander H.

Less regulation and small government does not apply when there’s a chance to stick it to liberals.

Nick Skaggs
Guest
Nick Skaggs

Yup. Note Wyoming doesn’t require helmet laws for motorcyclists.

oliver
Guest
oliver

That is cute isn’t it?

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Republicans: In favor of smaller government and less regulation!” Nick Skaggs

Ka-boom!! The Wyoming repubs set themselves up for that one.

Interesting to me, would be some info on why the Wyoming republican six legislators even thought to sponsor this particular bill. The following excerpt from the Jackson Hole News and Guide story, is telling:

“…The bill is sponsored by House Reps. David Northrup, Donald Burkhart, Hans Hunt, Allen Jaggi, Jerry Paxton and .

Steinmetz alone answered calls for comment on the bill. Asked to comment on it, she laughed for several seconds and declined to speak about the bill at that time. …” http://m.jhnewsandguide.com/jackson_hole_daily/local/bill-would-require-neon-clothes-government-id-for-cyclists/article_d53b9712-2e93-517d-9e33-8f13d693ba21.html?mode=jqm

Bikeportland readers that actually like to think some about what they’re writing, before they actually post it in bikeportlands’ comment section, may be starting to figure out the likely origins of the Wyoming bill. I’d say, this bill may not represent the views of the Wyoming six. Their sponsorship of the bill, may be similar in nature to the Oregonian repub legislators recent sponsoring of a constituent bill.

BG
Guest

Re: the “pinch point” story, I found this to be a perfect description specifically of NB Interstate Ave just north of Rosa Parks. The point where the curb extension takes away a space where it feels more safe (there is no bike lane here) and forces bikes into the road with accelerating traffic. I want things that slow aggro drivers but I don’t like the road design which pushes me into the lane to slow down traffic (particularly at night.

The quote from the link:
“Those include the anxiety that pinch points cause many riders, the additional risk posed at such locations by other factors such as poor weather, and incidents where cyclists felt themselves at risk or intimidated as a result of having to take primary position, including motorists acting aggressively towards them.

The spot on N Interstate:
https://www.google.com/maps/@45.570422,-122.68202,3a,75y,336.67h,82.76t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sEd7Sm39hcbdP5Sy5nc8yEw!2e0!6m1!1e1

Brad
Guest
Brad

The channeler islands on SE Spokane St in Sellwood-Moreland create pinch points without forcing the bike to veer into the travel lane. They work really well and don’t induce any anxiety since you have the option of veering into the side channel.

Blake
Guest

That’s better, but doesn’t seem completely analogous because there is not a crosswalk (the spot on Interstate is at a MAX station. There could probably be something similar used even with the differences. I am guessing this is what you are referring to: https://www.google.com/maps/@45.465036,-122.650999,3a,75y,92.32h,51.31t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sfCsQnnXASSJx46H264bSaw!2e0!6m1!1e1

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“Re: the “pinch point” story, …” BG

A pinch in the road, is essentially what the road diet some people are seeking for Barbur Blvd, except with the addition of bike lanes would result in for people driving. So a question: ‘Can a pinched road with bike lanes convert a road that people biking don’t feel save traveling on, to one they do feel safe traveling on?’.

Blake
Guest

Not exactly; forcing a merger of cars from 2 to 1 lanes and adding bike lanes is far different than forcing a person on a bike to merge into a lane of accelerating cars. The road diet result is more like *removing* a pinch point where people on bikes are forced to merge into a lane of high-moving traffic (that exists today on the bridges on Barbur).

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

On Barbur, the road diet wouldn’t remove a pinch point, but would instead, place a pinch point onto people driving, to provide room on the road for continuation of bike lanes across the two bridges. Whether this can be better for the feeling of and actuality of safety for people that bike, and for people that drive Barbur, is what I’m wondering.

Blake
Guest

A pinch point is different if you’re talking about merging cars with other cars. It’s a different situation. But on how it would affect drivers, I am sure that would be part of the study that ODOT refuses to conduct.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“A pinch point is different if you’re talking about merging cars with other cars. It’s a different situation. …” Blake

Using road configuration requiring motor vehicles to merge from two lanes to one lane in order to provide room for bike lanes across a couple relatively short bridges, is different than having bike traffic merge from the bike lane to the right main lane in order to cross the bridges.

The relative safety for people biking, driving motor vehicles, and for all road users, if that pinch type configuration is applied to Barbur, is what I’m asking about.

Blake
Guest

Looks like there might be an opportunity to have the change from 2 lanes to 1 on Barbur put into a safety study: http://bikeportland.org/2015/02/02/novick-says-pbot-will-use-state-study-address-speeding-lack-bikeway-barbur-132495

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Previous comment continued:

On a multi-lane road, thoroughfare or boulevard such as Barbur Blvd, a merging of those lanes into a smaller number of lanes, is a pinch point in that it forces a change in the dynamic of traffic flow, and a further draw on the skill and ability of the people using the road at the points on the road such a configuration is used.

Whether the road diet, pinch point for Barbur Blvd for continuation of bike lanes across the couple of bridges is justified, has yet to be adequately demonstrated.

MaxD
Guest
MaxD

BG, I totally agree! N Interstate was (I have been told) designed via a series of compromises with existing businesses and to execute a concept that between Killingsworth and Dekum the street would be a commercial central with traffic slow enough that bike lanes would not be necessary. Well, hundreds of low-car apartments are getting built along Interstate, and this concept has not worked well in reality! Interstate Ave needs continuous bike routes. The curb extensions in the way should be removed. If PBOT cannot fit bike lanes in, then the street should be sharrowed so cars understand what to expect. It is ridiculous and impractical to shunt bikes off the very road they are trying to use! IMO, INterstate has been seeing a lot of new bike users, and the significant safety concerns south of Fremont St (Kaiser) should be addressed right away. A large chunk of bike riders in North Portland rely on Interstate Ave to connect with the rest of the City.

Rick
Guest
Rick

curb extensions are to help blind, deaf, and many other people who are walking

Blake
Guest

And for that reason they are good, and I support them. But they need to also be installed with a thought of the impact on people riding bikes and not force people riding bikes to essentially act as human shields to slow traffic down and take crap from aggressive drivers.

Rick
Guest
Rick

an effect from the adjacent MAX line?

Champs
Guest
Champs

A continuous lane there comes at the expense of two staples, a proper sidewalk, and the cost of relocating a pole or closing the MAX station. I’m sure there is an unofficial mandate to serve every neighborhood center, so the Yellow Line’s most redundant station* is not going away. That is not an easy baby to split.

I agree that Interstate more or less sucks, at least northbound. When I lived in Overlook, the ultimate solution was to use Williams, Concord, or Denver, depending on distance and destination. I’m less keen on the ersatz cobbles of rough concrete on Michigan.

* sorry Arbor Lodge, but that stop saves no more than a quarter mile of walking and far less important than the Lombard or Killingsworth stations.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

What about that large, steel, power pole?

Blake
Guest

That would seemingly force a fix to involve removing the curb extension entirely, which probably means any fix would be of the minimal paint-based (e.g. sharrows) or an additional sign like Road Narrows / [bike] In Lane that was put in on Interstate between Tillamook and Larrabee and which I think is an ambiguous sign that doesn’t seem to do much to change driver behavior but which might work better here with the inclusion of sharrows.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Any time a bike lane is dropped, regardless of street type, sharrows should be placed in the travel lane.

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

The bioswale built on Stark @ the 80’s bikeway creates a pinch point where the bikelane drops off. This is what heppens when you build out one thing without planning for another…..the bike is forced into the travel lane or you end up in the swale.

paikiala
Guest
paikiala

Do you have a picture of what you mean, because the greenway is a shared facility and curb extensions don’t go into travel lanes?

Caesar
Guest
Caesar

I don’t understand the concern. There are Porsches, Maseratis, Corvettes and many other kinds of internal combustion sports cars they can do 0 to 60 in close to three seconds, usually around 4 to 5. Given that the Tesla at least doesn’t create emissions and that there are so few of them, this seems to me like just a publicity stunt. We should concentrate our outrage on the ubiquitous SUV gas guzzlers and embrace electricity as an better alternative to fossils for car power.
BTW, my puny-looking Nissan Leaf can pretty much smoke any car short of a high-end sportster in the 0-60 department, but nobody seems to care about that.

Rick
Guest
Rick

how do you recycle the batteries in the tesla?

caesar
Guest
caesar

Good question.
A brief search on the web yielded various potential solutions. The recycle/re-use technology for these batteries is in its infancy and advancing, so I don’t condemn EVs based on not having the perfect recycling solution now.

soren
Guest
soren

Tesla batteries are recycled or re-used for other energy storage uses.

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_batteries.html
Most components of lithium-ion batteries can be recycled.

Barney
Guest
Barney

A better question is where do they come from? The rare earth materials that virtually all electric car batteries are made from come from huge strip mines in Canada and elsewhere. If you buy an electric car you are supporting strip mining. But hey, you might as well get a fast one!

caesar
Guest
caesar

What you say is true.
But let’s not forget: If you post to bikeportland.org you are supporting strip mining. Because electric power generation in Oregon depends, to a significant degree, on coal. Coal that is extracted from…. well, you know where this is headed.
There is no free lunch.

soren
Guest
soren

I very much agree that there is no free lunch and this is why I *choose* to pay extra to buy/offset my electricity use from clean sources. Oregon has the largest such program in the nation and I’m sure that PGE would be happy to sign you up!

soren
Guest
soren

calling lithium a rare earth is so incredibly wrong.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

Plus, in the interest of maintaining the battery miles, you have to press an extra button. I’d say thats better than a random supercar* where the throttle mapping is exactly the same for city and drag racing.

*Most of them (and many lower end cars) do have separate throttle maps now.

Clark in Vancouver
Guest
Clark in Vancouver

That “Insane Button” worries me. I noticed that the camera in the video was only pointing back at the passengers and not facing front at whatever they might be hitting.
But you know, this more than anything else might be what causes more people to work toward woonerfs and other similar things if these cars with insane buttons are going to be going down our neighbourhoods while our children are walking around.

Caesar
Guest
Caesar

The Koch Bros. should be a national laughing stock. The scary thing is that so many seem to agree with them.

Paul
Guest
Paul

They represent a serious case of “Not My Problem.” As in “Not my problem, I shouldn’t have to pay (or be inconvenienced) for that!”

Pete
Guest
Pete

That’s because many of those in agreement are employed by them – or similar industries. When I work in the southeast I frequently see their TV ads touting how Koch Industries has done so much for America by adding so many jobs. They’ve launched a big publicity campaign to battle all the damage done by that evil left-wing liberal media engine.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Anyone bothering to actually read and think about the story this Roundup provides the link to, will know that because of all that it seeks to require, which would not be limited to use of hi-vis, the Wyoming mandatory hi-vis bill is likely to never make it into law.

I think a major reason it’s likely not to, is that the proposal wouldn’t just mandate that people biking use hi-vis, but would require also, rear bike lights, as opposed to just the standard required rear reflector. The real knife to the heart though, if it has one, may be that the bill would require people riding, to carry government-issued identification. All together, this is likely too much of a mixed grab bag for the bill to have a chance to pass into law.

Lynne
Guest
Lynne

“But the orange vest — I think that’s a little onerous,” Schilling said. “My 5-year-old kid, I don’t think her entire surface area is 200 inches,” he said.

Exactly. I am pretty sure that roadworkers’ safety gear generally doesn’t even have 200sq inches of hi-viz fabric.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…Exactly. I am pretty sure that roadworkers’ safety gear generally doesn’t even have 200sq inches of hi-viz fabric.” Lynne

Putting the square inches in terms more easily to relate to, helps to answer the question. 200 sq inches, is equivalent to eight, five by five squares of material. Say for example, four squares in front, and four in back. Or some other equivalent.

I’ve only read the Jackson Hole story, and not the actual bill. The story isn’t so great about specifying whether the bill calls for hi-vis or reflective hi-vis, or either or. Seems to be the latter, but mentions “neon”, as well. Typically, construction safety vests have a body of hi-vis color, on which reflective hi-vis strips are applied. The strips alone may not make up a hundred square inches to a side. The color over the entire body of the vest, would.

John Lascurettes
Guest

Considering a sheet of letter size paper is just under 100 square inches (93.5 sq in), you can easily see how a two surfaces about that big (front and back) could fit a most children able to ride a bike on their own. Still, it doesn’t justify the ludicrousness of the bill.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Ooooohhhhh Pretty!!! I want a Bike/Ped bridge between Oregon and Washington… Over by the Glen Jackson bridge.

Rick
Guest
Rick

Yes. I think at least three pedestrian bridges over the Columbia are needed.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

I think that Jaguar is on to something there… A clear recognizable sound (the bike bell), and the vibration might actually help motorists realize we’re there.

Rick
Guest
Rick

Jaguar has worked on pedestrian safety for their cars since 2004.

Dan
Guest
Dan

How about I agree to wear a reflective vest (in addition to using my light and carrying ID), and in exchange, if a driver hits me they will be charged with attempted murder? There would be no excuses left, am I right??

Wyoming is the worst state in the country for cyclist fatality rate. I don’t trust them to set the best example.

ed
Guest
ed

Yep and while they’re at it they need to ban all black vehicles since visibility is so limited at night. I fact, all autos licensed in the state of WY need to be dayglo colors only. Hey I’m just concerned for public safety! New state motto: “glo or go!”

ed
Guest
ed

What’s funny about the mandatory neon in WY is it’s in a notorious government hating state. Tea party wackos who think government should stay out of education, helping people, taxes, owning anything or any regulations on anything. So, the gubmint can’t tell you what to do with a gun… but ok tell you how to dress in the morning! Right wing logic and consistency at it’s finest 😉

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

RE: mandatory hi-viz, etc., the giveaway that bills like this are intended to be punitive, rather than increase safety, is that they pile on so many requirements at once—and make them either extreme, useless, or unenforceable, not to mention borderline unconstitutional:

(Here is the text of the bill for reference.)

— 200 square inches (extreme) of a particular color (kind of unenforceable—will police carry swatches to match colors and determine compliance? What happens when your formerly nice, new, fluorescent yellow jacket gets dirty?), but no mention of reflectivity (useless at night).

— Rear ‘light emitting device’ required, but no mention of color (unenforceable as I assume it was intended; could I use green? White? Blue?) or visible distance—I could clip an unlit green laser pointer to my seat bag and be in compliance, since there is no mention that the “light emitting device” has to actually be emitting light or be visible.

— Carry government-issued ID. Are you freakin’ kidding me? This wouldn’t be nearly as ominous if they had said something like “bicycle operator’s license”, and then went on to prescribe bicycle training as a prerequisite to getting your “government issued photo ID” and orange vest. Just saying that you can be stopped and asked for ID while otherwise riding legally is fascist nonsense.

If safety were truly the motivation of bills like this one, aspects of these ridiculous requirements that actually pertained to increased safety would have been specified: reflective requirements for night time, color and visibility requirements for rear “light emitting device”, and at least some training requirements prior to obtaining a government issued photo ID. Since these are lacking in this bill, I have to agree with wsbob that it has little chance of actually passing. However, the very fact that bills like this one repeatedly come up in multiple jurisdictions shows the disdain some of those in power have for people who use a bicycle for recreation or transportation. It is somewhat chilling how often bills like this are introduced, even if “just to start a conversation”. Eventually we won’t be able to guffaw at their ridiculousness and ignore them because somebody is going to pass one some day.

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

To me, this smacks of yet another way to minimize and marginalize homeless people, or the near-destitute. You know, the ones out collecting cans by bicycle. Odds are very high they won’t be able to maintain two lights, much less one. They may not have ID. Having the high-vis will allow the law to track them. Etc etc etc.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

I think some people commenting here, are taking too much of some parts of the Monday Roundup’s blurb about the Wyoming hi-vis bill proposal at face value. As I’ve just noted in an earlier comment here, at least one part of the Jackson Hole News and Guide story, likely suggests the real story behind the bill’s sponsorship:

“…The bill is sponsored by House Reps. David Northrup, Donald Burkhart, Hans Hunt, Allen Jaggi, Jerry Paxton and Cheri Steinmetz.

Steinmetz alone answered calls for comment on the bill. Asked to comment on it, she laughed for several seconds and declined to speak about the bill at that time.

Steinmetz did not respond to an emailed request for comment on the bill by press time.” Jackson Hole News and Guide

Got that? When asked about the bill, Steinmetz just laughed, and declined to offer to the press, any additional comment later. I may be surprised if any of the six Wyoming legislators either wrote this bill, or believe it’s worthy of being made law.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“I may be surprised if any of the six Wyoming legislators either wrote this bill, or believe it’s worthy of being made law.”

Notwithstanding your dismissal of its chances, the fact that it is always these mean-spirited, vengeful ones that see the imprimatur of being introduced points to a problem. When was the last time we saw a genuine, sensible bill introduced (=take away motor vehicle from anyone convicted of DUII; =require X% of police budget be spent on enforcing laws related to unsafe driving, etc.) that we might imagine has a similarly low chances of passing? Introducing bills like this with some frequency performs important work by legitimizing these attitudes, giving them exposure.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

RE: “incrementalist” vs. “completionist”:

Inasmuch as a complete, protected, connected system of bikeways cannot be dropped from the sky onto a city overnight, being a “completionist” is always going to leave one disappointed. Even a segment of “complete” bike infrastructure that connects poorly to surrounding areas is incomplete. In contrast to the example of corporate problem-solving quoted in the article, “incomplete” bike infrastructure kills people. Or at least ups their chances of getting killed or injured. We shouldn’t let perfect be the enemy of good, but we should make sure that “good” triumphs over “bad”.

Incrementalism I could really get behind would be of a legal nature, in which enforcement of dangerous driving increased, legal bias against bicycling and bicyclists decreased, and laws were changed to make bicycling safer and more convenient.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

As for the WY hi-viz bill … perhaps a committee can add some tweaks to the text: swap out “bicyclists” for “vehicle operators” or add “hunters, tractor operators, motorcyclists & equestrians” to those required to use a vest, assuming this is not already a state law.

Or since it is WY and their are a lot of narrow higher speed rural highways…just limit the hi-vis requirement to rural state highways with posted speed limits over 55 mph.

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

oops text error…”there” and not “their”.

gutterbunnybikes
Guest
gutterbunnybikes

Pretty sure I saw (pun intended) the Hi Viz legislation coming….

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Ah, but from how far away?

John Lascurettes
Guest

Regarding the Jaguar safety feature. Here’s what I wrote to a friend that shared it with me on Facebook:

One the one hand, I’m happy that something like this is developed.

On the other, if people just used cars (a piece of dangerous machinery) responsibly, we wouldn’t have this problem. Case in point, in the video, it is the driver’s responsibility to check his mirrors before opening the door. In Oregon (as it is most places), IT’S THE LAW to check the lanes next to the car before opening the door and yield to any type of traffic that might be outside – whether it’s on foot or on wheels. But how many people do?

I later followed that up with this:

I’ve long said driving wheels should have a spike on the steering wheel instead of a driver-side airbag – you’d see a HUGE change in the way people drive at that point. If drivers were at risk such as this they’d think about every action they took. This guy agrees with me: http://www.carbibles.com/nannycars.html

Karl Dickman
Guest

The spike is a cute idea, but the data seem to show that more dangerous cars simply lead to more deaths. Traffic fatalities peaked in 1969 at 26.4 per 100,000 population. In 2012 the rate was less than half that–10.7 per 100,000.

http://www.saferoads.org/federal/2004/TrafficFatalities1899-2003.pdf

Dan
Guest
Dan

1. More deaths to drivers or vulnerable road users? 2. There are loads of reasons why fatalities move up or down.

I won’t argue for or against spikes on the steering wheel, but I do think there are some areas where we try to make something safer and end up doing the opposite. Like building wider roads to make them ‘safer’. Wider roads encourage people to drive faster and pay less attention. A hi-viz vest may make one person safer, but takes away even more responsibility from drivers which could result in more inattentive driving, and removes cyclists from the road, which we already know results in higher fatality rates for cyclists.

Brad
Guest
Brad

Mandatory hi-viz only if drivers are required to paint neon yellow stripes on all cars too.

9watts
Guest
9watts

Thanks for finding that. Here are some highlights:
Pacific Power: >80% coal and natural gas
PGE: >50% coal and natural gas

9watts
Guest
9watts

= this was supposed to be a response to Matt Rogers, above. Didn’t nest.

Andyc of Linnton
Guest
Andyc of Linnton

Oh no, Groucho! Don’t shill for them!
Oh well, I bet that Harpo was a wandering pedestrian and a bicycle user. Even if he, you know, never said anything about it.

davemess
Guest
davemess

I’m curious how many on this site have been to Wyoming? I’m not saying I’m completely in support of this proposed bill, but there are some things that can make some sense in what is a pretty unique state.

I know it’s hard for many of us to get out of our cozy little urban bubble, but people need to remember that Wyoming has very little (almost no) “urban” areas (even Cheyenne and Laramie have pretty small downtowns and sprawled housing around them). As noted above it’s largely made up of a sparse population, with long, open, FAST roads.

Increased visibility with this in mind isn’t a completely crazy idea (granted I think they’re clearly pushing it too much with all the extra add ons: But even then having i.d. to allow for identification of cyclists after crash, isn’t a terrible idea (but I get that the “government” i.d. portion is the main issue people have with it).

I’m just saying that Wyoming is definitely NOT Portland, and has a bunch of unique problems and issues that might not be obvious to people who have never been there.

Dan
Guest
Dan

I lived there over 3 long summers, back when you could get a margarita in the drive through liquor stores. When driving there, you have to constantly be on the lookout for deer and other animals darting across the roads. It might not be so bad if they could just get the deer to wear vests.

SW
Guest
SW

there is a curb extension at SE122 & Glisan (in front of McDonalds) that sticks so far into Glisan that riders are forced out into traffic … dumb.

Pete
Guest
Pete

Here’s another article on using Connected Bicycles to tell drivers they’re about to hit us: http://readwrite.com/2015/02/02/smart-cars-meet-smart-bikes-cyclist-detection-collision-avoidance

But I have to say, Monty Python was WAY ahead of these companies with their self-ejecting tomato: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQsPenSt3x0