in a 2012 interview.
Here are the bike-related links from around the world that caught our eyes this week:
Colombian mayor: Celebrated urbanist Enrique Peñalosa, a major architect of that city’s bike boom, was re-elected to lead Bogotá Sunday after 12 years out of office. He again did much of his campaigning by bicycle.
Car-free Oslo: The capital of the largely petroleum-funded nation of Norway plans to ban cars from its city center in four years.
Rural speed control: On some country roads in Portugal, a speed camera detects whether you’re speeding and, if you are, gives you a red light in the middle of nowhere. Intriguingly, it works.
Voluntary gas tax: When gas prices fall, Americans spend half the savings on more expensive gas.
Racing fantasy: A dashboard camera that just hit it big on Kickstarter “can overlay performance data on top of its HD footage in the form of dashboard gauges, giving drivers videogame-caliber instant replays of any moment they choose.”
Distracted driving: The percentage of 16-24-year-old drivers observed visibly manipulating a hand-held device behind the wheel has tripled since 2010, to 4.5 percent; for people 25-69 it’s doubled to 2 percent.
Hater baiter: London’s cycling commissioner says it’s “inevitable” that “crap freelance journalists” will use anti-biking articles for “clickbait” but it’s not going to stop his work.
Shock jock: YouTube celebrity Shane Dawson wanted his 2.4 million Twitter followers to know that it is “literally so tempting to kill” people who “ride their bikes in the fucking street.”
Crosswalk bias: PSU scholar Tara Goddard’s research discovery that black people have to wait 32 percent longer at crosswalks than white people before someone yields to them has made international news.
Idaho stop: San Francisco’s proposal to de facto decriminalize stop sign running could overcome a mayoral veto.
Improvisational housing: A 23-year-old Google engineer lives in his 128-square-foot truck in the parking lot. He’s saving 90 percent of his salary.
Congressional activism: As former DC and Chicago transportation director Gabe Klein tells it, the buffered bike lanes down the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue were requested by one passionate commuter: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland).
And finally, your video of the week makes an interesting case that the Dutch are right to treat traffic infractions by people biking the same way they treat marijuana use: illegal but unenforced.
— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you come across a noteworthy story, send it in via email, Tweet @bikeportland, or whatever else and we’ll consider adding it to next Monday’s roundup.
So you can just argue “non-conformity” and scofflaw all day long with full immunity. Great.
This does seem surprising, even problematic. I’ll agree.
But what do you make of the apparent lack of carnage from these shocking statistics? Does this help us understand anything about the asymmetry of the risks posed by these two modes, here operated outside of the normal range?
The streets of Portland, Oregon are a little different (and dangerous) mix of modes than the ped and bike heavy streets over there. That’s probably part of it.
Aha. So how to increase (non-car) mode shares? By obsessing over and chasing after trivial letter-of-the-law infractions by the human-powered folks or doing everything we can to encourage jettisoning the car, emulating what we know has worked in, say, Amsterdam or Copenhagen or Munich or den Haag?
If a handful of people were to set up some foodcarts on the pavement along the waterfront would it result in carnage because cyclists and pedestrians would respond to the narrowed path by repeatedly crashing into each other? Or would there be costs borne by park users, but they wouldn’t be the sort to send people to a hospital? Since nobody dies, should parks look the other way and let the foodcarts remain?
The laws in the US were written for people driving cars and no consideration was made for people cycling other than “just follow the same laws”. Riding a bike is markedly different than driving and requires different rules and actions. For example, coming to a full stop, then accelerating back to speed is much more difficult on a bicycle than in a car, but the law requires us to stop just the same.
They require us to follow the same laws, but we are not given the same safe space as car drivers are nor is the legal system set up to protect us as it is for car drivers. It’s an unequal system and this is why you see “scofflaw” cyclists: they are just trying to even the playing field.
Executive Director of the BTA on the the Idaho Stop:
“It became, ‘I don’t want to touch this with a 10-foot pole,’ ” Mr. Sadowsky said.
Amsterdam cycling video:
Nonconformity [law breaking] by cyclists is normal in the Netherlands and drivers need to be prepared for erratic behavior by cyclists.
“…Amsterdam cycling video:
Nonconformity [law breaking] by cyclists is normal in the Netherlands and drivers need to be prepared for erratic behavior by cyclists.” soren
Wonderful. With that mindset, expect similarly erratic behavior from people driving, to increase with respect to “cyclists”.
With that mindset, expect similarly erratic behavior from people driving, to increase with respect to “cyclists”.
One of the takeaways from the video for me was the (apparent) absence of bicyclist-inflicted carnage resulting from these flagrantly reckless behaviors. I’m curious what you make of that, ws-bob?
As for the symmetry your comment implies, I don’t know about that. There is the pesky matter of the difference in physical consequences to others with whom they are (not) sharing the road, were drivers to do as you suggest.
I’ve been ‘splained that it’s common. (eyeroll) https://twitter.com/edspindrift/status/658693126652080128
sounds to me like an urban legend. The statistics I’ve seen show that in the majority of cases where someone in a car and someone on a bike smash into each other (same if we substitute someone walking for the person on a bike) the fault for the collision lies with the person piloting the auto. ODOT, and by extension PBOT, see this differently, but I don’t trust their stats AT ALL.
In most crashes the fault lies exclusively with the person driving, or only at least partially? From what I’ve read it’s the latter.
If a truck is visibly trying to make a right turn and a person riding a bike tries to pass them on the right in a bike lane are they necessarily exercising due care? A person walking may have the right of way in the crosswalk, but they also have a legal duty not to leave a place of safety suddenly if a vehicle is so close so as to constitute an immediate hazard.
Is there case law throwing out those requirements on cyclists and pedestrians? Or do the current politics merely prevent citations from being given out to vulnerable street users in the hospital or the morgue?
Swiss study: In 86% of cases the driver is solely at fault.
NYC study which I can’t find at the moment but was discussed here on bikeportland found a fairly similar share (~72% fault of the driver is my recollection)
Table 1.4 in the Appendix to this 2010 NYC study lists causes, but not specifically by mode:
I didn’t see a reference to the swiss study in the Atlantic piece, though I only skimmed it. But you’ve shared this before.
I don’t know anything about the legal duties asked of drivers and pedestrians in Switzerland, so it is difficult to comment.
What comprises ‘fault’? Does a pedestrian or cyclist have a legal duty to move around cautiously or defensively when there are motor vehicles around? (Pedestrians in Oregon do, correct?) There isn’t much need for laws and enforcement, because the behavior is natural, even if not ubiquitous. If a pedestrian is partly at fault, but the only violation they could be cited for after they are hit by a car is covered in some catchall duty to exercise due care does it show up in the statistics you’re quoting?
Where I’m coming from with this is that I used to have a lot of close calls getting around on foot and on my bike. Since adopting a more defensive posture that allows for drivers to misbehave, rather than expecting them to follow the letter of the law, I’ve had none. A complete victimizing of someone walking or biking who gets hit by a car makes walking or biking in the city sound much scarier and much more dangerous than it really is.
Found one more:
“three out of five fatal pedestrian and bicyclist crashes with known causes are the result of illegal driving behavior.”
That’s based on what the responding officer writes down at the scene as a contributing factor, 50% of the time they write nothing/NA/Unknown etc…and NYC has said that those contributing factors aren’t a reliable measure of pedestrian action. The technical supplement you linked says 37.8% of fatal crashes happened midblock where pedestrians are required to yield to vehicles and ~23% involved a pedestrian crossing against the light. (non fatal crashes less often have a pedestrian ‘error’ reported. Don’t know if that’s because the pedestrian is alive to dispute the description of the crash or pedestrian errors lead to more deadly crashes, eg cross with the light you get hit by a turning car that’s likely going slower than a car going straight which is more likely to hit you if you cross against the light) That doesn’t mean the driver couldn’t have avoided the crash, or that they aren’t guilty of some other infraction in addition to failure to exercise due care.
I’m aware of crashes like this:
But not all crashes involving a vulnerable street user could have been prevented by the victim only if they had stayed home.
You shared a link below on contributory negligence. It wouldn’t be as much of a problem if so many injury crashes didn’t involve a pedestrian or cyclist doing something wrong.
“…One of the takeaways from the video for me was the (apparent) absence of bicyclist-inflicted carnage resulting from these flagrantly reckless behaviors. I’m curious what you make of that, ws-bob? …” watts
As for “…bicyclist-inflicted carnage resulting from these flagrantly reckless behaviors. …”, I seem to recall Portland having had an unfortunate example of that provided by someone biking on the new Tillikum bridge. Hopefully that collision hasn’t already slipped away from bikeportland readers’ minds.
Jaywalking is as ubiquitous in Portland as jaybiking is in Amsterdam. Why would jaybiking cause drivers to behave more erratically than jaywalking?
When I walk around downtown a lot of drivers expect me to jaywalk. (In places in Portland with fewer pedestrians the opposite seems to be true.) So if the light is red and the car is legally allowed to make a right on red the driver often hesitates if I’m on the corner. Sometimes if I wait for the light to change because I don’t know if the driver wants to turn or not I find they gun it in front of me as soon as the light turns green. From their point of view they were probably letting me go, and frustrated that I hadn’t, but still want to make the next light – timing lights for 12 mph or whatever it is downtown works out to one car that turns fast and guns it to the next light can catch up with the green wave and save ~ one minute.
Inconsistent pedestrian behavior leads to more stress for drivers. When alternatives are as poor as they are in Portland that’s a real problem, and leads to worse driving. Given how bad visibility at signalized intersections tends to be with signal boxes, trees, poles, stopped/parked cars why wouldn’t it lead to a more stressful pedestrian environment too?
When I walk around downtown a lot of drivers expect me to…
Lop, I believe that pedestrians should always have priority so I don’t spend much time thinking about the hypothetical emotional state of drivers. I also believe that much of the stress drivers experience is a result of their behavioral choices.
“…Why would jaybiking cause drivers to behave more erratically than jaywalking?” soren
Since it’s apparently you, and no one else that made the word up, explain to us what you intend “…jaybiking…”? to mean.
Lack of consideration on the part of people biking erratically, towards people driving, seem likely to have some of the latter feel they have little obligation to show consideration towards the former. In other words…bad biking could work towards encouraging some people to drive badly around people biking and not adhering to the rules of the road.
“With that mindset, expect similarly erratic behavior from people driving, to increase with respect to ‘cyclists’.”
One would expect that in a country like the U.S., where drivers bear almost no responsibility for the damage they inflict (compared to some other countries). In Amsterdam, however, drivers must prove a collision with a bicyclist or pedestrian was completely unavoidable (not just who had the “right-of-way”) to get off the hook. My feeling is that that is why the asymmetry of potential damage done by a particular mode translates to the same asymmetry in the level of “scofflaw” behavior for any particular mode.
“…In Amsterdam, however, drivers must prove a collision with a bicyclist or pedestrian was completely unavoidable (not just who had the “right-of-way”) to get off the hook. …” bic
Right…guilty until proven innocent. American citizens are sure to just lap that right up. By default, let off the hook, people that bike, for all the liberties they feel like taking with the law and efforts made to have streets and roads function safe and well for everyone. There’s not been anything even remotely approaching an overwhelming demand in the U.S. for law free biking practices said to be common in Amsterdam, and Copenhagen…and reading the comments in favor of those practices here in comments to this story…it’s no wonder.
This truly is a time to not worry about sounding “divisive;” WE don’t cause the bodies to be stacked up like THEY do.
“decriminalize stop sign running by police officers”?
Ha! A Freudian slip?
Weird, no idea what I was thinking there. Fixed.
That video is intriguing. I can’t quite decide what to make of it. Inverting the legal landscape such that lawbreaking by cyclists is something drivers must expect to the point that their hitting one of them who just broke a law cannot be held against them sounds fantastical.* I expect a lengthy piece from ws-bob here within 24hrs on why this must not stand.
*Of course given the Washington DC law, which with bikeportland’s new search function I can’t seem to find, perhaps it isn’t so fantastical after all. But both make you wonder what the point of having laws in the first place is if lawbreaking is then summarily enshrined. The DC law was essentially the inverse of the law alluded to in the video, where someone driving making an illegal maneuver is enshrined as behavior a person cycling is responsible for anticipating, thus holding the driver harmless from the injuries the cyclist sustained from his illegal maneuver. Or something to that effect. Perhaps someone here can recall the situation or provide a link to that story?
Contributory Negligence Doctrine in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina:
“Yeah I know I didn’t look before turning right on red, but that cyclist should have known I might be negligent and been able to avoid running into the side of my car when I darted out in front of him.” In 46 states, anyone would laugh at such an argument. In North Carolina, it has a decent chance of getting that driver out of having any responsibility for his actions.
“…I expect a lengthy piece from ws-bob here within 24hrs on why this must not stand. …” watts
Beyond a certain reasonable point, why bother trying to detail reasons why people biking should not be relieved of having to observe and adhere to basic rules of the road such as stopping at stop signs? As conscientious members of society, we could simply leave off saying…’It’s their skin at risk, rather than that of people driving. Let them bear the consequences of their own bad behavior’. …if that were a position that conscientious members of society truly would take to heart.
Comparatively, people biking, rather than people driving, are the vulnerable road users. Riding a bike on roads where motor vehicles are in use, is tough enough when people biking do observe and adhere to the rules of the road. Accepting the bad road behavior of road users, but in particular, vulnerable road users, will not help roads to become safer and better means by which to travel.
I agree that this is a curious bit of counterpoint, and as I said above don’t know what to make of it.
“Riding a bike on roads where motor vehicles are in use, is tough enough when people biking do observe and adhere to the rules of the road.”
Did you mean to write:
“Riding a bike on roads where motor vehicles are in use, is tough enough when people driving do observe and adhere to the rules of the road.”
Can you give examples? I’m curious what sort of situation you have in mind?
What I mean, is that functionality of the road for all road users regardless of their mode of travel, relies in no small part on ideally all, but lacking that, most road users honoring their obligation to use the road according to laws and rules of the road in place to help regulate and support safe, efficient travel of all road users.
In principle I agree with you. But if the fellow who made this video knows what he’s talking about, is giving a fair description of how things work in the Netherlands, then they seem to have worked out a system that does not conform to what you are saying is required. Is it would seem as lopsided as our system is, but in the opposite direction. And I find that interesting.
“But if the fellow who made this video knows what he’s talking about, is giving a fair description of how things work in the Netherlands, …” watts
Doesn’t seem as though, with the kinds of travel needs they have from roads and streets here, many people in the U.S. would welcome in their neighborhood or city, the type of road use customs shown in the video of Amsterdam.
A neighboring state legalized “bad” behavior with no measurable consequence. And the video suggests that an entire nation has made “bad” behavior de facto legal with no discernible consequence. Perhaps it is the adjective that is bad and not the behavior.
“anti-biking for clickbait” is was literally talking about dredging up the urban legend that bicyclists (disproportionately) run red lights/stop signs. It’s the sort of lazy journalism that Oregonian continues to do.
As an aside, cycling and driving through France early this month confirmed how fantastic roundabouts are. It was really rare that I’d come to a dead stop. (well, except for prepping to cycle around Arc d’Triomphe)
Disproportionate stop sign running (yielding) by cyclists is no urban legend. It’s ubiquitous and this is a good thing! We will never see legal reform if we acquiesce to the status quo.
Oncoming traffic is the only variable that raises any mode’s compliance above zero.
Within 12 seconds of leaving my house this morning I witnessed 1 car exceeding the speed limit run two stop signs.
From a different perspective….100% of the cars I saw on my block this morning were speeding and disobeying 100% of the traffic control devices.
I don’t think it’s nearly as disproportionate as the law and order types would have us believe.
I don’t doubt that cyclists run stop signs at higher rates than drivers, and at higher speeds – especially when other users aren’t around – but that doesn’t mean we’re bigger lawbreakers overall.
If you look at the bigger picture, bike riders are probably far more law-abiding overall than the driving population. That is, if you also take into account speeding, following too closely, failing to stop for pedestrians, failing to signal, failing to stay within your lane, failing to stop before the line/sign, texting, talking on handhelds, and on and on and on. All of these are AGAINST THE LAW yet routinely violated by huge numbers of motorists.
All of these also involve tradeoffs of one person’s “convenience” vs. other people’s ACTUAL safety. On the other hand, Idaho Stop trades off convenience for … really nothing, since the law only applies when other users aren’t present, it doesn’t endanger anyone.
This is because people in the U.S. have been bred to blindly follow traffic control devices, to an absolute fault. Speeding through a neighborhood at 35mph is somehow normal and acceptable behavior, but rolling through a stop sign at 3mph is somehow a massive risk. This is why signalized intersections are so dangerous here. People with the right-of-way blindly fly through at high speeds, so in the odd case where someone runs a red light or is driving distracted and/or drunk, the consequences are often fatal.
9% of Oregon (something like 16% in Washington) drivers don’t have insurance, and thus a large percentage of drivers in the NW are breaking the law as soon as they turn on the ignition.
This am on my way to work I failed to signal my stops, failed to signal a turn, failed to call out several passes, road in the road at less than the normal speed of traffic, violated the mandatory sidepath law, and ran a few signals. On the other hand, I rarely break any traffic laws when I drive the same route. The Oregon Revised Statutes mostly make sense for drivers but are often nonsense when it comes to cycling.
Stop signs make no sense for cycling. Especially if you’re riding a heavy steel bike like I do. Coming to a full stop and accelerating back to speed expels extra energy. Force people driving to stop since they’re the ones far more capable of hurting or killing someone, and all they have to do is move their foot an extra inch.
So you don’t think you should have to stop for other cyclists?
It’s not that difficult to just slow down at intersections and navigate around other people riding bikes. Look up “simultaneous green” videos from the Netherlands.
Given that visibility is terrible at crosswalks would you be comfortable with someone jogging through them as fast as you ride through them?
I’ve been bumped into by more bicyclists at stops then any other kind of collision. I’m quick to forgive them the moment they say any form of sorry, I’ve even have had some frantically apologize, but bicyclists shouldn’t be numbing themselves to stop signs, because they then create unreliable situations.
On the Oregon State campus, no one follows crosswalks or stop signs unless that person is driving. It took me a week to get used to having to ignore the signs because I was getting bumped into multiple times a day. You have people walking the wrong way in bike lanes, crossing the street on long diagonals, bicyclists riding in the few no bike zones (Where there are signs and markings).
But since -everyone- is ignoring the laws together, the system flows smoothly.
And…you lost me again.
Stop signs, at the very minimum, help to indicate the right of way for road users. And even the Idaho Stop law requires you to come to a complete stop when necessary.
Any data to back up your ‘urban legend’ hypothesis?
You might want to qualify your definition of ‘running stop signs’.
Most studies I’ve seen count more cyclists not stopping (stop = zero forward motion) than motorists.
Only 32% longer for drivers to obey the law?
Drivers have stopped for me maybe twice in 5 years at my neighborhood street crossing. However, drivers stop about half the time when we are with our niece, and attractive 20 year old lady. Disturbing reflection on society and driving.
“Only 32% longer for drivers to obey the law? …” Tim
Haven’t read that story yet.
Sounds like clickbait. Though I suppose since the study was conducted by a “PSU scholar”,, the study findings must be valid, true, and indisputable having been based on rock solid, reliable research…correct?
I did read the story, but I am surprised that the number is only 32% longer. Based on my informal study a 50 something male must wait about 98% longer than an attractive 20 something female.
“…Based on my informal study a 50 something male must wait about 98% longer than an attractive 20 something female.” Tim
Tim, I think you’re onto something. You’re starting to make studies sound like they could be lots of fun to conduct..within certain specific parameters, of course.
Those percentages of distracted drivers using a hand held device seem way low to me.
“The percentage of 16-24-year-old drivers observed visibly manipulating a hand-held device behind the wheel has tripled since 2010, to 4.5 percent”
They put data collectors at stop signs & stoplights to try & spot people using a device in the car. They spotted this behavior, at a given point in time, in 1 out of 20 drivers aged 16 to 24.
Suppose your commute is 20 minutes long, and you use a device for 5 minutes on your commute, posting to FB and checking your texts. If somebody is observing you somewhere along your commute, there is only a 1 in 4 chance that you will pass the observer on your commute, and it’s even less likely that they will catch you, considering the way people hide their phones on their lap, etc. Let’s say 1 in 6.
The point being, the number of people who actually use a hand-held device is certainly much higher than this study shows. This only shows the people who were caught during a certain window of time.
Teachers are better at spotting cellphones in class than police are. I think you can only get pulled over IF the phone in question in visible. Looking down at your crotch isn’t enough, so anyone keeping their phone below the steering wheel can pretty much get away with it.
love it… yes non-conformity
For people on bikes, 30% of fatal incidents involved a legally intoxicated rider. 50% of living cyclists do not wear helmets, but 67% of the dead were not.
If that’s the kind of “non-conforming” behavior to advocate for, sign me up for a chip implant and a drab jumpsuit in size M.
What a strange use of statistics.
Without knowing the rates of helmeted and drunk cyclists vs. non-helmeted and drunk you can’t draw any conclusions from that data. I’m going to guess that being drunk is significantly more important than whether or not you are wearing a helmet. Just a guess, though…
I’d guess that if you’re drunk, you’re much more likely to be riding around late at night when other people are driving drunk. And if you’re not wearing a helmet, you’re more likely to be clueless in general (not that there is a correlation).
Your stats are off, the US census estimates that only 20% of the bike riding population wears helmets nationwide. Though on at a regional level it varies greatly, depending most on the local laws. Washington would have a much higher helmeted rider rate since most the state (by population) requires it use even for adults.
“Helmet use remained at historic high levels, with 80 percent of all people wearing their helmet. Helmet use is highest in SW Portland (90 percent) and North Portland (83 percent) and lowest in East Portland (63 percent). Helmet use in 2012 continued to be more prevalent among female riders (86 percent) than for male riders (77 percent).”
Re: the “Shock Jock” story: if one of us said something about it being “literally so tempting to kill” Mr. Dawson, we’d find a cop knocking on our front door the same day.
But since he’s “only” targeting cyclists, whaddayawannabet he hasn’t been contacted by law enforcement about it?
And by the way, there’s a word for targeting a population with violence or the physical threat of violence: it’s called terrorism.
These bullies will just flip the blame onto the victim by saying that “it’s just a joke” and “we’re being too sensitive”.
I have made it a point recently to stop for all stop signs and and drive under the speed limit.
It’s literally freaking out everyone around me.
I drive the same way too, just like when I’m on my bike, I consider one of my roles to be traffic calming.
Though once awhile back, I did feel pretty bad, because a guy was so busy honking and yelling at me as he passed me for driving around the speed limit (I quit accelerating and coast to reds) that he didn’t notice the red light and rear ended a car that had stopped in his lane. Everyone was alright, but it was a pretty uncomfortable wait for the police.
I was driving the speed limit (45mph) on a winding road outside of Washougal a couple of weeks ago, and a large pickup truck crossed the double yellow line to pass me, right in front of a corner. Narrowly missed a head-on collision with a car coming around that corner. Crazy people out there.
By the way, other than bikers running stop lights…I support all other biker riding.
I am totally coming around to wrong way riding. Or..”Contra flow riding”.
There’s a light on my route that I cannot set off on my bike, no matter what I do. I have reported it 4 or 5 times, and they have ‘fixed it’ twice, which has done absolutely nothing to make it more effective. I usually wait at this light for 3+ minutes, then give up, and roll through the red after checking that traffic is clear.
It is things like this that lead to the dark side…..
I sometimes wonder if the cameras at intersections can tell the difference between bikes and cars, and give priority to cars waiting at a light. I drive & ride through the same intersection frequently, at it seems to take longer for the light to turn green when I’m on my bike.
Dan, cameras are rarely used to detect bikes and vehicles at intersections. 90-95% of vehicle-detecting intersections use inductives loop in the pavement, which sense the presence of metal (any metal, not just iron – we’re dealing with electricity, not magnetism) above. Most jurisdictions around here (Portland, Beaverton, the counties) have tuned their detectors to be sensitive enough to pick up bikes, though I’ve noticed a fair number of ODOT-owned intersections where that is not the case.
You can usually see where the inductive loops are, because there are “cutouts” where pavement has been removed and replaced to install them. Place one of your wheels just inside one of the cutout lines, and in most cases you will trigger the signal. At intersections that are actually controlled by detectors (not fixed-timed) and have bike lanes, you will often see them in the bike lane too.
One thing to be aware of is that intersections on larger boulevards often use “advance detectors” 50-100 feet or further back from the light. Even if the detector at the intersection “sees” your bike, cars may still get the light before you because they trigger the advance detector as the approach the intersection, and get a green light without even having to stop. Many of these roads have separate bike lanes but don’t have advance detectors in the bike lane. HOWEVER, if no one is coming from behind, you can still leave the bike lane and ride over the advance detector to help trigger the light as you approach. I do this ALL THE TIME out here in Beaverton.
Sometimes an optical sensor is used instead of inductive loops, and I’ve found these to be far less effective at detecting bikes. You can tell these because there are no obvious cuts in the pavement, and if you look carefully you’ll see a fairly small camera on the opposite pole (far, far smaller than red-light cameras, and also distinct from the emergency vehicle detector also found projecting from the horizontal member of the pole). I’ve had more trouble getting these to work, though I *think* waving my arms over my head (pretend a cougar is attacking you) may help.
I’m talking about these two intersections, both of which use video detection.
I have done the wave, the crazy dance, the ‘turn the bike sideways’, etc. These cameras are either terrible, or set up incorrectly.
On loop or camera intersections, if you can’t trigger it, REPORT IT. They can tune/adjust them. I did that once with an ODOT sensor and was included on the email chain a few days later when they were chiding the employee for not getting back to me fast enough.
Yes, I’ve reported both, more than once.
Vancouver uses those optical sensors on some lights. When I mentioned a traffic light not triggering to the city’s service webform, they replied that shining a headlight at the sensor would make it work. Sure enough, waving my 1-watt PlanetBike light up at it sets it off just fine.
I have used my rapid flashing 3 watt LED flashlight in the daytime to trigger the lights. Very seldom do I need to stop for reds when I do.
Speed Control Traffic Signals: I’m wondering if this is technically feasible to implement in an urban setting. Could a radar gun/sensor be mounted on a given 45mph arterial traffic signal pole. Could that radar “see” far enough up the road with enough lead time to trigger the traffic signal and put a red light in front of a car that is going say 50mph? You’re basically breaking the “wave of green” for cars that are speeding. If a person speeding knows they’ll get stopped by every signal, their driving behavior will change very quickly.
If it could be on the same pole, it would be self contained to the pole, you wouldn’t have to wire the “gun” hundreds of yards up the road. You wouldn’t be photo radaring, taking peoples’ pics, mailing tickets, just giving people immediate feedback for speeding.
Video detection can estimate speed, but video detection is uncommon in Portland.
love this idea, but I could also see some complications with designed traffic flow patterns. Considering most people think their travel speed affects their commute time more waiting at lights on the city streets does, I doubt that many would get it even if you spelled it out for them.
I don’t know if many motorists would figure out what’s happening. Years ago, I had a delivery truck route that took me up hwy 99W through Corvallis. The traffic signals were set for a 20 mph green wave in a 25 mph zone. I watched almost every motorist punch the accelerator at every signal only to wait for the next signal to turn green while I eased on up the road at 18-20 mph without stopping or even slowing.
Most people are pretty dumb.
“London’s cycling commissioner says cycling scheme critics should rightly be embarrassed once they see the schemes…”
From my experience with media, they won’t be embarrassed at all. They’ll just quietly move on and not mention it anymore or claim that they had been supporters all along. (Not to mention the famous, “but I just didn’t like the process”.)
And when it comes down to it, they’re not genuinely anti-cycling, they’re just pro-conflict. They want to sell ads with drama. If there is no drama and people are getting along fairly well, they have to hunt out some conflict, or exaggerate what is there.
Is there any wonder that traditional newspapers are not doing well? There once was something called journalistic integrity but it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Now it’s just another fiction but the characters are taken from real people. The stories are fake or from an angle which is misleading.
I read the NYtimes story linked in this Monday Roundup:
A continuing question for me about the situation with the proposal supervisors in SF are considering…that would direct the police department to low prioritize enforcement of the stop sign law, apparently to virtually no enforcement of that law…is whether the supervisors thinking of voting for the proposal, have the support of their constituents in favor of that action.
Must everything be decided by popularity contest?
I’m not interested in whether ‘everything’ needs to be decided by a popularity contest.
I am interested in whether a majority of San Francisco residents, or what percentage of same it is, think it’s a good idea to effectively waive the obligation that people biking have, to stop at stop signs, and whether they support their supervisor’s possible decision to vote in favor of this proposal.
Do great numbers of city residents…maybe even a majority…think the proposal is a bad idea? And will city supervisors, hopefully having some knowledge of what their constituents think of the proposal…go ahead and vote for the proposal, even if their constituents think the proposal is a bad idea?
Yes, that is typical political inaction due to risking reelection, and the same reason we haven’t increased gas taxes despite an economic opportunity to do so.
Why bother electing representatives if they are so timid and ineffectual that every issue of import is delayed until a plebiscite can be conducted.
With the recent actions or inaction of the Portland Police bureau and District attorneys, It is becoming very evident that the same are beginning to act like they did a hundred years ago when tales of the pimps and ladies were reported to the police by activists and the Police grabbed the ladies and turned them over to the pimps for execution. The activists had to change tactics very quickly and began spiriting the ladies out of town so they could be legitimately married. Motorists are killed and injured. Motorists are seldom prosecuted. Cyclists are being prosecuted for next to bogus charges while hindering the rest of the cycling community from concentrating on the problem by the elected officials.
Re: Portugal red light for speeding.
DC has the exact same thing on a long block. You can see it on Google maps.
3214 Porter St NW