Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

The Monday Roundup: Pool noodles, puke, parking and more

Posted by on October 24th, 2016 at 9:13 am

monround10-24

This week’s Monday Roundup is sponsored by the River City Bicycles Cyclocross Crusade, coming to Bend this weekend for spooky cyclocross shenanigans.

Just noodling along: The most emailed link we got from readers this week was about a guy in Toronto who uses a pool noodle to keep drivers off his back.

Latest bike share bike tech: Bike share bike maker BCycle’s newest rigs look pretty solid and offer tight integration with transit, turn-by-turn directions, and a big touchscreen in the cockpit.

Entitlement and fear: A surprisingly comprehensive and concise look at traffic culture problems and how to fix them, including, “Emphasizing intervehicle etiquette in driver’s education programs,” and the “emotional side of driving.”

Sweet dreams, wealthy folks: What happens when researchers meld commute patterns and income levels? We find out even more about how privilege impacts daily life.

Flying light: We’re not exactly sure what the applications of a drone-mounted bike light would be — but we’re intrigued by the idea.

Non-motorized drone: Keeping on this same topic, if you’ve been wanting to get sweet aerial footage of your bike adventures, this new “Birdie” product is a parachute for your camera.

Chicago’s latest: Take a ride on a new protected bike lane in downtown Chicago.

Free parking costs a lot: Not a new idea, but City Observatory has a great explainer about the strong correlation between the cost of parking and how people choose to get to work.

Bike share for all: Bay Area Bike Share announced a solid plan for low-income residents: the ability to pay with cash and a first-year membership of just $5. Their system is operated by Motivate, the same company in charge of Portland’s fleet. Even so, our low-income plan has yet to launch.

Bike share for free: Despite urban legends about theft and vandalism, two small cities in Minnesota are proving that free bike programs can actually work.

A fifth for cycling: The United Nations says governments should spend at least 20 percent of transportation budgets on cycling. Hear that Governor Brown?

Future of Portland housing: Here’s everything you need to know about the City of Portland’s Residential Infill Project (written by some guy named Michael Andersen).

Irrelevance defined: What better example could there be that the federal traffic engineering establishment is completely out of touch? They’ve given final approval of bike boxes — a mere eight years after cities started installing them.

Slow for stimuli: These are tough times for the “E” of enforcement. It’s facing concerns about racial profiling, and now there’s a growing awareness that what really thwarts speeding and reckless driving 24/7 is more thoughtful road design. Specifically roads with more stimuli and narrower lanes.

Gag me with a u-lock: A San Francisco-based entrepreneur fed up with bike thieves has blown through his crowdfunding goal with “SkunkLock” — a vomit-inducing u-lock.

Uber education: In the, well-good-they-need-it category, Uber has released a series of videos to help train their drivers about cycling laws and the rights of people who ride. Videos based in Portland are likely coming soon.

Driving skills problem: Been thinking lately that we don’t have a “traffic safety” problem or a “bike safety” problem in this country; we have a driving skills problem. Too many people simply suck at driving and they are crashing into other people and other objects more than ever.

Thanks to everyone who sent in links this week.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.


NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

105 Comments
  • Mike October 24, 2016 at 9:25 am

    I like the video of the bike being stolen while people, even other bike riders, appear to be more amused than concerned about it. Ho-hum… another bike being stolen. And people blame the cops for their meh attitude about bike theft?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • soren October 24, 2016 at 11:31 am

      every nation with high mode share has high chronically high levels of bike theft. i don’t think enforcement is the answer. we need better (and lighter) bike locks.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty October 24, 2016 at 11:12 pm

        Not Japan.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • joel October 25, 2016 at 10:57 am

          Not japan for sure. (bikeportland has a weird focus on the Netherlands as a bike mecca- which is true, but china, japan, thailand etc) and where do bikes come from? Taiwan… hello kitty.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Pete October 27, 2016 at 6:24 pm

            Which is ironic because Taiwanese cities suck to ride bikes in.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Eric Leifsdad October 24, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Lack of skills, but also a dismissive attitude about the lack of skills. Imagine if the driving test included an obstacle course more difficult than the tightest parking lots or downtown congestion. Let alone a skid pad or scenarios requiring some knowledge about when it is illegal and unsafe to drive on the left. People feel entitled to drive even if they’re demonstrably not qualified.

    Cheap gas doesn’t help.

    Recommended Thumb up 14

    • wsbob October 24, 2016 at 10:31 am

      Not sure whether your response was prompted from having read the NPR story, or the story about Uber driver education.

      Many people drive, not necessarily because they want to, but because they have to, due to the area which they live in, or their personal circumstance ruling out other options such as walking, riding a bike, or mass transit.

      For some of them, and many people in general, street infrastructure that’s designed to be less demanding of personal skills to operate vehicles on, could help to extend safe use of motor vehicles, and bikes. In many people’s families, people that are getting up in years, for example. Or, people that don’t have willing, younger members of their family to drive them around.

      In the NPR story, there are some rather stunning statistics relating to the incidence of collisions and factors thought to cause them. Just one excerpt from that story:

      “…”Ninety-four percent of crashes can be tied back to a human choice or error. Ninety-four percent!” Rosekind says. “Those are the decisions like drinking and driving, speeding or distraction behind the wheel.” …” npr

      The NPR story starts out with describing a very familiar type of collision…guy, high on pot and booze, behind the wheel of a hot mustang, drives into young woman walking home at 2:30 in the morning.

      In general, it seems the demands on skills of people operating motor vehicles, bikes, and just walking along the road, have gotten much greater, part, because so many motor vehicles are commonly designed to be able to go extremely fast, on straights, on curves…even though for the average driver, their standard use of the car will be 35mph trips around the neighborhood, and likely further to work.

      Reversing this technological trend, and moving instead towards supplying U.S. consumers exclusively with motor vehicles that are designed and mandated by law to be incapable of driving fast, could help to reduce many of the factors that are contributing to the occurrence of collisions.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Dave October 24, 2016 at 12:45 pm

        Why do I get the idea that a perceived lack of choice in transportation is very often a willingness to excuse some peoples’ use of a deadly technology–cars–in a careless, or unskilled, or thoroughly irresponsible way?

        Recommended Thumb up 7

      • Spiffy October 24, 2016 at 1:44 pm

        there have been many attempts to bring smaller, slower and more efficient cars into the US from other countries that thrive on them, but our car culture of bigger, faster, and more gizmos means that they’re all shamed into oblivion…

        I personally love the basic econo-boxes of the early 70’s…

        Recommended Thumb up 7

        • wsbob October 24, 2016 at 3:33 pm

          No question about it as far as I’m concerned: Small, low relatively low powered cars such as the three cylinder Chevrolet metros worked just fine from what I hear. The early 40 hp VW Beetles worked just fine too.

          And some people might laugh to hear it claimed, but even at one time mass produced cars such as the ’28-’31 Ford Model A’s, also 40 hp, refurbished, and equipped with turn signals and brighter lights for driving in modern day traffic, can be very serviceable for the kind of routine driving around the neighborhood that make up much of the trips people do today.

          None of the cars I mention, were designed to be driven fast, very fast…like most sedans are designed for today. It’s a marketing gimmick, for manufacturers to design and engineer their cars with mini-gran-prix performance capability…which is fine, as long as people don’t routinely push their cars to the limit. Unfortunately, too many seem to be tempted to do exactly that.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Todd Boulanger October 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm

            Yes…today’s small commuter cars would professionally outperform the 1950s – early 1960s era european sports cars…MG, Triumph, etc.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Eric Leifsdad October 25, 2016 at 4:24 pm

            Even without putting their foot to the floor, many people seem to be lacking the skill of driving at less than 10mph (like on a narrow street next to a school with cars on both sides, kids crossing, etc.) Is it lack of patience or more highway-speed-oriented tuning of transmissions and torque converters? It’s just more difficult to drive something gently when it will do 0-60 in 7s?

            We saw this many times while helping with Sunday Parkways — tell someone to drive slowly and lookout for kids, then watch them almost spin the tires on dry pavement as they launched to 20mph like the gas pedal was an on/off switch.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Dave October 25, 2016 at 8:23 am

          Yes, and notice that whenever a new small car comes into the US market, it kind of “bloats” in a few years–Golf, Mini, Impreza as examples.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • Dan A October 25, 2016 at 10:23 am

            True enough. They don’t want to market a new model year vehicle by saying, “Now with less leg room!” So they grow and grow, and eventually the manufacturer has to introduce a new smaller model to fill the gap in their lineup.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Racer X October 24, 2016 at 10:41 am

      …and you also have to consider the physical location of most DMV licensing sites and thus where the practical tests are given…usually now very suburban areas and not more complex urban downtowns with the high active transportation mode splits.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Pete October 27, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      I wish I could find the story from when I moved to California in early 2009 and heard about the woman who crashed into the gas line of the Los Gatos DMV (evacuating the building) during her fourth driving test. I guess ‘three strikes’ only applies to drugs, not deadly weapons!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Kyle Banerjee October 24, 2016 at 10:13 am

    On the bike noodle thing, flags designed for horizontal mounting have been available for years. In any case, it’s easy enough to modify a regular flag to stick out. I occasionally see someone running something horizontal to create space.

    However, there are reasons why they might not be such a great idea for urban riders. Sticking something a couple feet out is going to cause issues for you as well as others in tighter slow situations where is perfectly safe to be closer. Plus, dealing with it will be a minor pain any time you’re at a rack or get off your bike for any reason.

    While it is certainly desirable for drivers to give adequate space, the drivers who cut very little space aren’t the ones that cyclists need to be most worried — it’s the ones that don’t notice us at all.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Eric Leifsdad October 24, 2016 at 10:43 am

      Making your width visible does more to help drivers judge your speed. That they give you more room when your rear light is lined-up with your left elbow says to me that most drivers didn’t realize where your left elbow was. Flying an upright flag tilted slightly outward seems to also work well with the trailercycle. Single pannier mounted on the left vs right?

      A floppy pool noodle is different enough that it might look like something which was poorly secured and about to fall off. I wonder if a bouncing bowl of petunias would work similarly.

      Some people would like the extra space and comfort, regardless of objective safety. It’s nice to have room to maneuver anyway whether for surprise mechanical failures, hard-to-see obstacles, or even just to adjust your line for an upcoming pothole or tree branch hanging over the bike lane before the driver behind follows suit while your busy rubbing elbows with the car next to you. Maybe ride with your kids on your bike sometime.

      The pool noodle wouldn’t hold up to much force, it’s either going to flex or tear — I think that’s better than a flag on a horizontal fiberglass rod. My xtracycle’s outrigger taillight on a length of 1/2in pvc conduit sometimes hits a bollard or catches a person’s leg when parked. A breakaway joint would solve that and maybe allow it to be folded.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • GlowBoy October 24, 2016 at 12:49 pm

        I saw someone with a fiberglass pole (and a light on the end of it) last year. Thought about doing something similar, but didn’t like a rigid pole sticking out there. You don’t want it there when you park, so there are issues to be worked out with extending/attaching and retracting/detaching at the beginning and end of a ride, while still having it be sturdy. The pool noodle is a great solution. Also, they come in bright colors, the larger surface area vs a pole makes it much more visible, and you could still put a small light on the end of it.

        By the way, if you’re concerned about drivers deciding they don’t care and still hitting the end of it, you could put something sharp (and clearly visible) on the end of it, so they realize they’ll damage their vehicle if they do. I thought about the same thing when I toyed with the idea of a rigid pole: after all, a carbide-tipped ski pole would be perfect for deterrence in this application. But I ended up concluding that sticking a threatening object out there might risk actually provoking more aggression from drivers. Would be interested to hear if anyone experiments with this to see what it does in the real world.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Buzz October 24, 2016 at 3:43 pm

          The flags I’ve seen are made of plastic, mount to your rear rack, and are retractable, flexible, and reflectorized. So far I’ve only seen them for sale in Europe.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • SD October 26, 2016 at 9:29 am

          I have often fantasized about something like this that has wet paint on the end of it so that drivers will have a lasting reminder of their transgression. The problem is it would also block up the bike lanes.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

    • soren October 24, 2016 at 11:41 am

      “the drivers who cut us [sic] very little space aren’t the ones tthat cyclists need to be most worried”

      huh?
      inattentive drivers tend to have close calls and some of these end up being serious injuries or deaths.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Kyle Banerjee October 24, 2016 at 12:15 pm

        Precisely. Inattentive drivers who don’t see the cyclist aren’t going to see the pool noodle.

        They’re way more dangerous than drivers ones passing only foot to the left who give more space if something is hanging out.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • soren October 24, 2016 at 12:50 pm

          kyle, many of those drivers passing one foot to your left *ARE* inattentive drivers. intentionally passing within 12 inches of a vulnerable being is either inattention or malice.

          Recommended Thumb up 7

          • soren October 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

            should be: “passing within 12 inches of a vulnerable human being is either inattention or malice.”

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Kyle Banerjee October 24, 2016 at 1:21 pm

              In either case, the noodle won’t help. Someone who doesn’t see a cyclist won’t be affected by the noodle. Someone who would actually hit a person on a metal bike won’t be dissuaded by a bit of foam.

              The noodle will encourage normal drivers to keep their distance which could make things more pleasant. But I don’t know how much it would actually affect safety. It won’t make any friends when you’re riding in crowded areas such as when a bunch of bikes are waiting for a light to change.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Dan A October 24, 2016 at 1:33 pm

                So you’re saying that a driver who runs me over is more dangerous to me than a driver who scares the crap out of me?

                Recommended Thumb up 3

  • q`Tzal October 24, 2016 at 10:22 am

    main article
    Irrelevance defined: What better example could there be that the federal traffic engineering establishment is completely out of touch? They’ve given final approval of bike boxes — a mere eight years after cities started installing them.

    What height of privilege and hubris we display here in Portland!
    What utter snit-fits we wind ourselves up into when we aren’t #1 or #2!

    In America Portland, Oregon is to bicycle infrastructure as a cancer patient with no hope is to a new experimental drug or treatment.

    We are a laboratory where we intentionally allow ourselves to be guinea pigs for whatever bicycle related infrastructure tweaks we can get away with trying.
    We are beneficiaries to a privileged bike infrastructure windfall when most of Americans don’t even have access to dangerous substandard bike lanes.

    Are USDOT, FHWA & AASHTO horribly slow bureaucratic organizations? Yes.
    Does this somehow make Portland better or smarter than the rest of the country? F*** NO!

    We are lucky that things from different driving cultures (Europe) work with America’s insane aggressive driving culture.

    Not everything Portland does works; sometimes things are failures.
    Remember the BLUE lane paint from over EIGHT years ago? It had to be scraped up and replaced with green. On a single city scale this is a small mistake; on a national level such a “GUBMENT BOONDOGGLE!” would rate up with Soylindra.

    Portland chooses to be ahead of the game by being experimental but that doesn’t make us better nor 100%. We need to drop that attitude of alleged superiority.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 24, 2016 at 10:43 am

      Hi q’Tzal… I think you are interpreting my words a bit differently than I intended. I’m not trying to say Portland is all that… I’m trying to show that the feds are so slow at acknowledging a common sense and proven bike facility that it’s a sign of their irrelevance. It’s stuff like this that created the need and motivation for NACTO.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • q`Tzal October 24, 2016 at 11:32 am

        “Common sense”
        That’s just it: “common sense” is accepted slang for the delusion that everybody should know what “our” community knows. It varies through time, region but, most importantly, culture.

        It’s “common sense” that the rest of America should have done what we(Portland) did years ago and with that statement an implied accusation of the rest of America’s cognitive deficiency.

        Should Europe be smug and superior about the same thing in regards to Portland? It has taken decades for Portland’s culture to make yards of progress to Europe’s kilometers while the rest of America has managed mere inches.

        All three are different cultures with different “common sense” because of their different cultural frames of reference.

        We aren’t doing Portland’s reputation any favors by being smug and superior about it even if we are right.

        People outside of our Portland Bike Culture bubble are much more likely to see our attitude as abrasive than deserved.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • GlowBoy October 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

          I agree with q`Tzal on the general point that it shouldn’t be surprising if Bike Boxes take a while to get adopted as a federal standard. Changing the federal standard always takes time, lots of studies, and the MUTCD isn’t updated every year.

          Another case in point is the Flashing Yellow Arrow for permissive left turns, which Beaverton piloted at several intersections many years ago, but only recently got added to the MUTCD.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • wsbob October 24, 2016 at 4:30 pm

            “…Another case in point is the Flashing Yellow Arrow for permissive left turns, which Beaverton piloted at several intersections many years ago, but only recently got added to the MUTCD. …” glowboy

            Beaverton now has a bunch of the ‘Flashing Yellow Arrow for permissive left turns’ type signals…but the long period having passed for their final approval, also likely was for very good reasons. With the flashing yellow for left turn signals, there is an increased risk for collisions. Are the benefits the signals offer, worth it?

            People had to figure out how to use them. I’m going to guess that they have a lot of road users anxious about someone misjudging, and pulling out in front of them on such a light without enough time to clear the intersection without a collision. In some situations, these signals make road use easier and more efficient, and in other situations, makes more demands on road user skill and ability.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Adam H.
        Adam H. October 24, 2016 at 12:44 pm

        Are bike boxes proven and common sense though? I’d say they are a stop-gap approach at best. As with any other infrastructure that relies solely on paint, they are not terribly effective. The Cycling Embassy blog has a good writeup on why advance stop lines are often ineffectual.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • wsbob October 24, 2016 at 11:35 am

      True, it seems Portland is willing to try various low investment road infrastructure ideas as experiments that aren’t necessarily sure things, or that will necessarily be permanent.That’s sort of ‘research and development’ or R&D, is a good, necessary approach for proving the integrity of any design.

      Insights provided in the streetsblog article on the bikebox concept in theory and application, and in the very serious comments to the article about various considerations use of bike boxes raise, helped me understand why USDOT hasn’t rushed into giving this infrastructure final approval. In short, considerations associated with the use of the boxes, are many and fairly complex. Their effective use is limited to certain street situations, and depends upon road users knowing about them and understanding how to use them.

      Too much green paint, and too much reliance on it, doesn’t seem to me like a good idea. In some street situations though, I think the boxes can help people biking that haven’t acquired the skill of effectively and legally signalling for turns across multiple lanes for left turns from the bike lane to a left turn on a cross street…or that don’t feel up to dealing with motor vehicle traffic on busy streets.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • soren October 24, 2016 at 11:49 am

      the blue paint was a success (based on data):

      http://nacto.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Portlands-Blue-Bike-Lanes.pdf

      and Portland’s blue paint study was one of the things that led NACTO to adopt bike crossing designs (e.g. crossbikes):

      http://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/intersection-treatments/intersection-crossing-markings/

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • q`Tzal October 24, 2016 at 12:15 pm

        Indeed. It was a success… In concept.
        In deployment the blue paint was initially very slick in the rain leading to slip and fall incidents
        Then it all had to be removed AT COST to replace it with green.

        On a small scale this is a mere inconvenience.
        On a large federal scale the simple law of numbers and probability tells us that there would have been thousands of slip and crash incidents with a few dozen fatalities when they occurred in heavy traffic.

        Between the costs of the removal across the entire nation and the potential litigation from the above deaths the USDOT would have soured on UN-proven bike infrastructure setting back future projects many years

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Todd Boulanger October 24, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      As for the blue paint…it was only a “failure” in that it was not the “final” colour that the Feds & NACTO settled on. Back in the day, we bike transportation wonks, were juggling between 4 color camps: red (Dutch/ Germans), blue (Danes) and green (UK) …and some were suggesting pink (just because it was not yet claimed in the MUTCD by a regulatory function/action – or USA first!).

      Some of it was a bit of a coin flip in green vs. blue…as to be the winning colour…and blue had regulatory problems (too similar to ADA stall marketing) and night time visibility under some street lights…and green had its own secondary issues too…etc.

      A blog post with a bit of the history…http://john-s-allen.com/blog/?p=2293

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Todd Boulanger October 24, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        Clarification: I meant to type blue color “treatment…not paint…the problems with paint (and thermo too) being slippery for bike tires were well discussed back then…it was just very difficult to get coloured asphalt media/ binder or top coating materials with a higher friction.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Adam H.
          Adam H. October 24, 2016 at 1:58 pm

          On that note, I have noticed that the new green thermoplastic has a textured surface that is much less slippery in the rain.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

      • q`Tzal October 24, 2016 at 1:05 pm

        I think that the real “intellectual sin” is that our government is filled with people who flatly refuse to believe that any lessons learned elsewhere could ever apply here.

        When it comes to bike infrastructure Portland has to RE-prove decades of past European “common sense” and “infrastructure best practices”. This is wasted time, money and lives.

        That being said… I’m skeptical that there wouldn’t be a very steep and potentially lethal learning curve from attempting to deploy Monderman’s Shared Spaces concept in America. I really like the idea but I think that it is contingent upon a common and universal concept of sharing and politeness that Americans seem to be severely lacking.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

        • Todd Boulanger October 24, 2016 at 6:40 pm

          …yep…this is even worse given that the “design vehicle” a human powered bicycle is the same…but it is.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Buzz October 24, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      I for one do not like all the ‘experiments’ PBOT is putting out their, my feelings generally run from disliking to detesting them. And as far as I can tell, their ‘testing’ of these experiments certainly doesn’t follow any sort of scientifically valid procedure or method.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • q`Tzal October 24, 2016 at 6:34 pm

        You can hardly call anything “science” without a control group.
        The problem is that it is difficult to impossible to do a real control group study when the thing under test is conscious human decision making. Especially when they are conscious of being under test conditions.

        Multiply human cognitive variations by the different methods of travel, different road geoMetries, different road geoGraphies, different traffic laws and different cultural driving behaviors: what you get is possibly the best large random number generator for cryptography.

        Certainly if traffic engineers could accurately predict anything I think they would try and at least brag about it. The billions of little variations add up to unpredictability.

        Unfortunately this means that anything new WILL be an experiment no matter what they do because WE are unpredictable.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Dave October 25, 2016 at 8:52 am

      “America’s insane aggressive driving culture.” Wish I could write stuff like that! Bravo!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • dan October 24, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Birdie, such a great idea. But why not a flexible wing/kite for your camera so you can tow it as you bike / ski without a powered drone? Birdie team, I’m looking at you!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • q`Tzal October 24, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Exactly what I was thinking.
      I have a few pocket parasail kites ($15, 3′ wingspan) that having no frame makes them mostly crash-proof.
      While they’ll stay aloft around 3~5mph you’d probably need around 10~15 to keep a GoPro in the air.

      Keeping it aimed properly on a bike tour on the very windy Great Plains or even the Gorge could be challenging.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • dan October 24, 2016 at 12:37 pm

        Agreed, but maybe addressable if the lines were rigged with that in mind?

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • q`Tzal October 24, 2016 at 12:56 pm

          Definitely doable but more complicated than butter on toast.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • highrider October 24, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Jeez, that CSM article seemed real heavy on the violent cyclist scenario. I’ve gotten inappropriately mad at times, self righteously flipping the bird at times- sure, but my experience has only been on the receiving end of the violence. I’ve been tackled by an angry cab driver in SF, hit on purpose in NYC then caught up to the driver who jumped out of his car, towering over me, punching me in the head (hey, my helmet worked) all under the watchful gaze of the NYPD who charged the guy with… harassment. The fact that I recognized those stories in CSM seems to demonstrate the skewed media attention when a cyclist does freak out and act like an angry driver who doesn’t even necessarily need to get out of the car to demonstrate hostility and violence.

    Recommended Thumb up 8

    • bradwagon October 24, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Although it’s probably not building any bridges I find a middle finger is often the most efficient way of letting someone know what they did was dangerous. Except for the most egregious of actions I’ve run out of energy for animated hand waving or getting too worked up.

      The few opportunities I’ve had to actually talk with a driver and let them know they need to give more room when passing or that what they did was dangerous are met with being completely ignored or defensively argued with. Drivers are so unconcerned with cyclists they can’t even bother to apologize to or acknowledge the existence of someone they almost hit. I do my best to be calm and matter of fact when talking with humans… but when interacting with a car, they get the hostility that their dangerous actions warrant.

      I’m fed up with dangerous driving every single commute. It may not change their driving but they will at least know it’s not appreciated. I long ago decided I am an a-hole cyclist. Maybe it only makes the divide worse, but it doesn’t change the fact that there is a right side and wrong side. Disrespecting cyclists with dangerous and illegal driving is the wrong side.

      Recommended Thumb up 7

      • soren October 24, 2016 at 3:05 pm

        and it’s not only useful for cycling. i often use the finger when i am trying to cross at an unmarked crosswalk (in the roadway) and cars refuse to stop. interestingly, the finger frequently triggers compliance.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • Adam H.
          Adam H. October 24, 2016 at 3:33 pm

          A nice hard hood thwack works quite well, too. 😉

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Racer X October 24, 2016 at 6:42 pm

            …especially if you walk across crosswalks with a stiff frozen noodle.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

        • wsbob October 24, 2016 at 4:04 pm

          I figure anyone unwilling or incapable of expressing, by means other than flipping the bird, yelling, spitting, etc, their dissatisfaction with something they’re experiencing in traffic, most likely does not have a legitimate issue with other road users to complain about. That kind of behavior, more likely suggests a strong chance the person doing it is drunk, high, or maybe just not very bright.

          Best thing for anyone confronted with that sort of display, is to just ignore them, continue driving on, or biking on, and let them continue flipping out. Unless of course it looks like they’re going to have a complete breakdown, with the potential of hurting someone…in which case, call the police.

          Recommended Thumb up 4

          • Dan A October 24, 2016 at 5:12 pm

            English translation:

            “I figure anyone unwilling [to] or incapable of expressing their dissatisfaction with something they’re experiencing in traffic by means other than flipping the bird (e.g. yelling, spitting, etc) most likely does not have a legitimate issue with other road users to complain about.”

            I had to unwind all of the commas to figure out what you were saying.

            Recommended Thumb up 5

          • Kyle Banerjee October 24, 2016 at 5:17 pm

            .

            wsbob
            I figure anyone unwilling or incapable of expressing, by means other than flipping the bird, yelling, spitting, etc, their dissatisfaction with something they’re experiencing in traffic, most likely does not have a legitimate issue with other road users to complain about. That kind of behavior, more likely suggests a strong chance the person doing it is drunk, high, or maybe just not very bright.

            So you’re saying acting aggressive towards someone of unknown mental state encased in a couple tons of steel propelled by a couple hundred horsepower might be unwise?

            Recommended Thumb up 2

            • wsbob October 24, 2016 at 8:53 pm

              No…I’m saying essentially to people using the road decently and with respect for other road users, that if they see someone behaving rudely and obnoxiously, displaying questionable mental stability through doing things such as flipping the bird, etc, …just bike on, or drive on, ignore them, unless they appear to be a danger to other people.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Kyle Banerjee October 25, 2016 at 9:46 am

                I was just goofing off. In reality I think bird flipping, hood thwacking, and other escalatory/retaliatory responses provoke anti cycling sentiment at best and are dangerous at worst.

                I see cyclists doing it from time to time (including after “incidents” where a vehicle “threatened” me more than the cyclist reacting), and I have yet to think it was an appropriate response.

                I would observe that the people advocating such methods seem to have a lot more problems dealing with ordinary situations than everyone else.

                Having said that, over the years I’ve had many adolescents yell “GOOD RIDING TO YOU!” as they pass by. At least I’m pretty sure that’s what they yell — it’s hard to tell with the ambient noise. I like to give a friendly 5 fingered wave in response.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • wsbob October 26, 2016 at 10:23 am

                I’ve seen a few people, as you say ‘thwack hoods’, like at an intersection waiting at a red light with the person on the bike to the right of the motor vehicle.

                What I saw, was them doing it just hard enough to make a noise to alert the person driving…who was looking away from the bike, to the other direction for the intersection to be clear of traffic so they could do a right turn on red… to their presence: that is, to the presence of the person on the bike to the right of the vehicle of the person driving.

                The people riding that I saw do this, didn’t slap the car violently, didn’t yell profanities, or flip the bird…instead, they just cast a gaze to the person in the car, and called out loudly, ‘HEY’, or some such thing, whereupon the person driving turned their head to see the person on the bike, whom they hadn’t seen before the hood slap and call out.

                These type exchanges I saw, went well. Acknowledgement and apologies were swiftly exchanged, and both parties went on their way. No big deal.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • soren October 24, 2016 at 11:27 pm

              lie back and think of england, kyle.

              Recommended Thumb up 3

          • bradwagon October 25, 2016 at 8:56 am

            Oh don’t you worry, they always do drive on, which is why I break riding posture as little as possible and don’t bother beyond raising my hand and finger. As they are ignoring me and driving away there is little time for much more. My hope is that the visual display of my displeasure causes them to at least give the moment a second thought at some point throughout their day.

            Curious how you would like cyclists to get the attention of someone driving dangerously? Should we all have air horns? I typically only see cyclists getting worked up when they do have a legitimate issue, why else get worked up? Cycling takes enough energy already and we don’t get stuck in traffic which seems to be what triggers many driver freak outs. Unless someone truly is dealing with some other issues that cause a mental breakdown I can’t thing of anything a car would do besides driving dangerously that would cause a middle finger or yelling…

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • bradwagon October 25, 2016 at 9:04 am

              As a side note I reserve the finger for dangerously close passes, running stop signs / lights, and dangerously cutting me off / not yielding etc…

              Sitting in the bike lane in traffic or just general unawareness of my existence is met with making them aware of my existence via a verbal announcement or passing them closely to show they are sitting in a bike lane etc… Often I hope that even just the shake of my head lets drivers around me know that someone just did something stupid.

              Recommended Thumb up 3

            • wsbob October 25, 2016 at 10:12 am

              “…Curious how you would like cyclists to get the attention of someone driving dangerously? …” bradwagon

              It’s not so much a question of what I would like people riding to do to get the attention of people driving in various degrees of inappropriateness…it’s a question of what simple thing to do that’s likely to be much more beneficial to a good outcome.

              How much of an effort can it be for people to, instead of just raising their middle finger, raise all the fingers of their hand? Arm outstretched, upward angle, palm raised, all fingers extended is, I think, kind of a universal physical gesture for ‘STOP’. Police and flaggers directing traffic, use this gesture. It works.

              Flipping the bird is rude and obnoxious, and displaying it risks inviting someone that’s looking for a fight. At the very least, people displaying it are most likely to be dismissed as jerks, possibly mentally unstable, with no ability or willingness to express their thoughts in a constructive, respectful manner towards other road users.

              The temptation may be there, but capable, responsible road users should not be flipping off people whose actions they’re dissatisfied with. People got to try just a little harder to get their point across in better ways, than by flipping people off when they’re tired or weary or feeling kind of cranky.

              It’s to the benefit or vulnerable road users especially, traveling by means other than motor vehicle…I think, to be going out of their way to demonstrate that they are at least as capable and skilled a road user, and hopefully a lot more so than the average person driving.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • BB October 25, 2016 at 1:15 pm

                It’s not my responsibility to coddle incompetent drivers any more than it is to live up to random others’ expectations and interpretations of the status quo. Your lie down and take it attitude is far more offensive to me than any rude gesture.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • wsbob October 26, 2016 at 12:23 am

                What specifically is it about what I wrote, and to which you’re responding, do you find to be a ‘lie down and take it attitude’? I don’t think signaling to people I think may be doing something unsafe or bad on the road, that I want them to slow down, or stop, and talk to them about it, is lying down and taking it; Doing nothing may be, but taking action isn’t.

                Not every road user that makes a driving, walking or biking error in traffic, is incompetent, but nevertheless, it seem plenty of them are subject on occasion, to incidents in which some other road user thinks the only way to communicate with them when an error has been made, is to swear at them, flip the bird, etc. Doesn’t seem likely that the results of people thinking this way, can lead to people on the road working better with each other.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • bradwagon October 25, 2016 at 1:34 pm

                “jerks…with no ability or willingness to express…respect…towards other road users.”

                Funny, I find myself dealing with these types of people regularly too… very rarely are they cyclists. But sounds good, the next time someone rides my tail and speeds by dangerously close I will simply stick my hand up and wave… I’m sure that them seeing my universal gesture for “Hello” will really lead to, as you say, “good outcomes” in the future.

                Overall I hear what your saying and readily admit I’m not doing us as cyclists any favors in terms of general public perception… But, I don’t care what people think of me, just that they know when they have done someone dangerous and are met with a response stern enough to make them reconsider the interaction.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • wsbob October 25, 2016 at 9:06 pm

                “.. I will simply stick my hand up and wave… I’m sure that them seeing my universal gesture for “Hello” …” bradwagon

                I said the universal gesture for STOP, rather than ‘hello’. The two are different from each other. In an instance where you’ve got someone on your tail, there’s another gesture, fairly easily understood and well known, that works well: arm slightly out from your side, palm facing the ground with an up and down motion…means ‘SLOW’.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • wsbob October 25, 2016 at 11:55 pm

                “…Funny, I find myself dealing with these types of people regularly too… very rarely are they cyclists. …” bradwagon

                I don’t think I said that I find myself having to regularly deal with people on the road driving or biking, flipping the bird. A few months back, some guy did it. Can’t remember whether I was driving, biking or walking, or what it was I may have done that might have prompted the guy to flip out.

                It was a typical, and I’ll say cowardly display by some guy that did it while he was zipping away from me in another direction. He apparently wasn’t considerate enough or bright enough to slow down, and in some kind of civil manner, ask me a question, or say simply what was on his mind.

                So, the result of him deciding to indulge in an outburst, rather than keeping his cool and trying to have some kind of civil exchange, is that I have no idea what this person was upset about, other than he likely was some out of control crazy person that I was glad to see go lickety-split in the other direction.

                As to the frequency you’re suggesting, of the bad displays by people driving, compared to people biking…I know what you’re trying to do. Basic rough estimate : ratio of people biking, is about 20 to 15 percent, of all vehicles using the road. Simply on the numbers, it seems likely there would be a greater frequency of badly behaving road users driving, than there are badly behaving road users biking. Maybe that is the case…maybe not. Whatever the case is, the important thing that shouldn’t be lost sight of in terms of uncivil behavior on the road, is, I think is to not get sucked into it.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Spiffy October 25, 2016 at 9:24 am

            it’s not that the cyclist is unwilling or unable but there’s little else you can do when somebody is driving away other than yell or flip them off…

            yes, I suppose instead of swearing one could yell “get back here and have a reasonable conversation about your illegal and dangerous behavior” but they’re long gone by then…

            and I don’t want a conversation… I want them to know they’ve been called out on something they shouldn’t be doing… but drivers rarely realize they’re doing something wrong… even when they know they’re breaking the law they think it’s their right to do so…

            Recommended Thumb up 6

          • Kyle Banerjee October 25, 2016 at 10:03 am

            What do people really think they’re accomplishing with these aggressive tactics?

            Seriously. How many of you respond to someone else (especially motorists) yelling at you or flipping you off by saying, “Oh, my bad — sorry. Thanks for the reminder.”

            Aggression normally triggers fight or flight mechanisms, and triggering the former ain’t too wise given the physics of a cyclist/vehicle conflict.

            It’s one thing to yell when a motorist doesn’t see you to try to get their attention. But when it’s retaliatory, you set cycling back.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • soren October 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm

              When someone flips me off because my driving or cycling endangers others, I am both apologetic and grateful. Any other reaction is narcissistic, IMO.

              Recommended Thumb up 3

            • bradwagon October 25, 2016 at 1:41 pm

              I do.

              If I don’t see a pedestrian at a crossing or a vehicle at and intersection and end up posing a risk or cutting them off I will often give them a wave and head nod or if possible some form of quick verbal apology.

              Now if someone is yelling at me or flipping me off for just riding in the road or doing something that doesn’t pose them any danger then yes I will usually respond with a calm gesture and head shake, only a yell if they continue to escalate the interaction. On the other side though… I don’t get angry at cars just for driving or being on the road just some drivers do towards cyclists.

              Recommended Thumb up 2

            • Kyle Banerjee October 25, 2016 at 3:01 pm

              Some of you guys sound exceptionally unlucky or need to adjust your cycling/driving habits. I’ll go with the latter since I somehow just don’t get into confrontations like a few people here. Number of times I’ve been flipped off in Portland — zero. Number of times yelled at because of my mistake — zero.

              Of course, I make infrequent mistakes for which I always wave apologetically. But I’ve made few enough that I’ve been lucky enough to encounter reasonable people who don’t rage simply because someone screwed up.

              On rare occasion, I’ve been yelled at by unreasonable people. But just as barking at dogs doesn’t lead anywhere good, neither does yelling at people who have no emotional control.

              I’ve never gotten really close to hurting someone but if I do, I’ll understand if they let loose on me and I’ll still apologize. But I’ll be less rather than more sorry. Anger is a form of aggression and I’ll never reward that.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

              • soren October 25, 2016 at 4:28 pm

                “Some of you guys sound…”

                Your constant assumption that people who disagree with you are unskilled and/or clueless is getting to be ridiculous.

                In my 40+ years of transportation cycling I have yet to hit a person or thing. I also have negative interactions with people driving very infrequently — once a year at the most. Like bradwagon I only use the finger when someone definitively endangers a human being. My goal is *only* to let the person who endangered someone know that this kind of behavior is not acceptable.

                Recommended Thumb up 4

              • Kyle Banerjee October 25, 2016 at 6:49 pm

                Here’s what I don’t get. The vast majority of people I know who ride or drive don’t yell or flip off people, nor do they themselves get yelled at or flipped off.

                If you only have one negative interaction with a driver each year or so, you’ve obviously figured the road out — statistically, that driver is likely to not be a normal person.

                But flipping off people every time they do something you think endangers someone is just going to make you look nuts. Most people will try to disengage rather than get tangled with someone they think is either juvenile or nuts.

                No one has flipped me off in so many years I couldn’t possibly guess when that last happened. But if they did, I know I wouldn’t take their ideas seriously even if I probably would want to get away.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Kyle Banerjee October 25, 2016 at 6:56 pm

                Another way of thinking about this would be to ask yourself in what other spheres of life do you find this sort of behavior appropriate?

                And if you can’t think of any, what makes the road so special? There are plenty of environments that don’t involve cars where peoples’ safety can be threatened by inattention, stupidity, aggression, etc.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • soren October 26, 2016 at 8:53 am

                A significant percentage of people who drive casually and habitually endanger other people. This is not exaggeration. Failure to yield, close passing, cutting others off, signal running and other forms of dangerous/inattentive driving are rampant. My only aim is to communicate to people who engage in these behaviors that this is not acceptable. A gesture of disapproval is not aggression. Casually putting others at risk of injury is aggression.

                Recommended Thumb up 4

              • wsbob October 26, 2016 at 10:04 am

                “A significant percentage of people who drive casually and habitually endanger other people. This is not exaggeration. …” soren

                Same applies to a significant number of people using bikes on the road for travel. This occurring is, I think, is one of the bigger reasons people dedicated to their responsibility of driving safely, have, despite their efforts to drive safely where bikes are in use, great concern over the potential for a collision with a vulnerable road user riding a bike.

                “…Failure to yield, close passing, cutting others off, signal running and other forms of dangerous/inattentive driving are rampant. …” soren

                You say “…rampant…”? I don’t know if you’re referring to the frequency of such actions, or their manner, but a definition for the word from wordweb says the word means: “…Unrestrained and violent…”.

                Which again raises the question of whether it’s smart to respond to a road user behaving in an unrestrained and violent manner, by flipping them the bird, or otherwise responding to them in ways that risks a good chance of escalating the bad behavior.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Dan A October 26, 2016 at 10:11 am

                A significant percentage of people who bike habitually endanger other people?

                Recommended Thumb up 4

              • wsbob October 27, 2016 at 11:06 pm

                “A significant percentage of people who bike habitually endanger other people?” dan a

                Simply put, you ask, ‘How can it be that a significant percentage of people people biking, endanger other people?’.

                Two examples readily come to mind. For example, by raising the potential for a collision, or causing one: by not sufficiently slowing or stopping to yield people walking. Similarly, by not complying with traffic controls, rules of the road, including not yielding when obliged to: by forcing abrupt slow downs, stops or evasive maneuvers on the part of other road users.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Dan A October 28, 2016 at 12:11 pm

                How do we know that a significant percentage of people who bike habitually endanger other people? Do you have any sort of statistics to back up the claim that a significant* percentage of cyclists habitually** endanger other people?

                Is there a method we might be able to use to determine how much danger people face from cyclists?

                It might be helpful if one could determine the ratio between close calls and crashes. We have no way of measuring close calls, so we don’t know the ratio, but anecdotally speaking I’ve probably had thousands of close calls with cars over my life, and zero actual incidents that have cause me harm. Obviously there’s still an ongoing chance that I will be harmed at some point in my life, but the ratio is very low. Wild-ass guess: 1 crash per 3000 close calls?

                Can we assume that the ratio is similar for bikes as it is for cars? I’ve had considerably fewer close cars with bikes over my life (I’d guess less than 100), so the chance of actually being harmed is considerably lower as well, as is the chance of that harm being significant.

                *What is significant? 25%?
                **What is habitually? Every time they ride? 10x per ride?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • wsbob October 28, 2016 at 2:24 pm

                “How do we know that a significant percentage of people who bike habitually endanger other people? …” dan a

                One way to know would be as soren suggests: the same way we know that a significant percentage of people who drive, habitually endanger other people. I take it he’s relying on word of mouth reports from a variety of sources…first hand accounts…references made on news stories and popular media.

                As I’ve recently mentioned elsewhere on bikeportland, because various city conducted counts seem to say that for every bike on the road, there’s likely as many as 8 or 9 motor vehicles, that would logically suggest there would be a greater number of people driving badly, than there are people biking badly.

                I don’t doubt this may be true, and I don’t need a study to persuade me one way or another. Nobody should. I feel the important thing people should be keeping in mind, is that road use is often not a simple, easy thing to do safely and enjoyably…and for road use to be safe and enjoyable, everyone needs to be very conscious and critical as needed, of their own manner of using the road and how they can make improvement to it in order for the roads to work as well as can be expected.

                This business of road users using issues they have with other road users as an excuse for bad behavior of their own it seems they like to indulge in…is doing nothing to strengthen the kind of support needed to move forward with improvements to infrastructure for walking and biking.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Dan A October 28, 2016 at 4:18 pm

                We know that drivers endanger people because of actual statistics, like 38,300 deaths. Bikes are not in the same ballpark as cars, not even close. I’d bet more people injure themselves walking into things than they are hurt by cyclists.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • bradwagon October 26, 2016 at 12:16 pm

                “And if you can’t think of any, what makes the road so special? There are plenty of environments that don’t involve cars where peoples’ safety can be threatened by inattention, stupidity, aggression, etc.”

                Like?…

                If someone posed the same type of risk with the frequency found riding on the roads I would be very upset with them. I can’t think of any environment like it though… Maybe a gun range around someone with poor gun safety skills? Heavy equipment operators? Some type of trade / construction job with specific safety protocols? If I had any of those types of professions or was in an environment like those you can be sure I would be very stern with someone acting dangerously.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • soren October 26, 2016 at 1:50 pm

                great analogies. it’s bizarre how we are so tolerant of dangerous driving behavior even though motor vehicle collisions are second leading cause of death for people between the age of 15-34.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Kyle Banerjee October 26, 2016 at 2:16 pm

                Construction, medicine, anything on the water or involving uncontrolled animals, etc. Inattention and stupidity certainly matter in all these places and accidents are frequent relative to the number of people.

                Just to make sure I get your point clearly, it’s fine to use these aggressive tactics so long as you feel strongly about it? Logically people who feel eating meat is murder should be flipping off and yelling at customers in the grocery store. People who work at or get services at certain clinics should be harassed because they believe murder is being committed and is not just a possibility.

                I’ll take this a step further and say this has much more to do with self righteousness or a desire for conflict than improving anything. Or possibly a refusal to acknowledge reality. Why not stand on a corner at Columbia and flip off everyone who ignores the implied crosswalk since compliance levels need much more help there than just about anywhere else?

                That some of you feel your physicality protects you is as laughable as the gun nuts who envision these John Wayne scenarios where unarmed bad guys clearly identify themselves and give plenty of time for response. You do realize you have no chance against the tiniest car or anyone who is armed — and that these people could suffer from mental illness or be under the influence of something?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • bradwagon November 1, 2016 at 11:24 am

                Kyle,

                No, feeling strongly about something is not what qualifies being angry as a appropriate response. Being at high risk for personal injury or death is what makes an angry response understandable. As I have said and will say again, I am not suggesting this is an appropriate or effective response… Just that it is often the only one I can think of in the moment and that the seriousness of my reaction would hopefully convey my displeasure to others.

                Back to an earlier topic…I think that the number of poor interactions you have with other drivers is directly related to the degree with which you assert your right to use the road. I don’t avoid using car dominated areas or cower away to the margins of a road or the safety of a sidewalk when drivers want me out of their way. If more cyclists were assertive of their rights to use the roads I believe they also would see an uptick in the negative responses from drivers.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

        • jeff October 25, 2016 at 2:30 pm

          Are you built like a linebacker or something? One out of about every three middle fingers I’ve dealt out over the years have resulted in extremely violent reactions putting me in very dangerous situations. I don’t understand how you can advocate for this as any sort of conversation opener, especially here in Portland. Seriously, I don’t understand how your experience can be so different.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • soren October 25, 2016 at 5:00 pm

            I wear black and have a very assertive riding style. I’m sure this impacts how people respond to me. For the most part, when I talk to someone who has received the finger they either want to know what they did wrong or lecture me about scofflaws. I’ve only had a handful of interactions with drivers where I had to peel off due to escalating verbal abuse.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

            • bradwagon October 26, 2016 at 9:05 am

              As a tall white male that rides confidently I too likely have privileges in how I am perceived that others don’t. I don’t wear a helmet in the summer and don’t dress like many other commuters I see (bib shorts and a tight fitting T-shirt with backpack). I think this combined with regularly keeping up with traffic in a more aggressive riding posture definitely doesn’t convey to people that I will just cower away from them… Probably groups me into the “a-hole aggressive cyclist” category in their mind but I hope that my efforts to cooperatively mix with traffic and stand up for cyclists right to the road means something…

              Recommended Thumb up 2

          • bradwagon October 25, 2016 at 5:09 pm

            Most of the gestures I issue are in situations where the driver is already on their way to be well down the road from me or heading a different direction. Most I’ve gotten in return is a middle finger back and an aggressive pass. If someone wants to get confrontational then so be it. I’m confident in my bike handling and if some guys wants to assault me while I sit on my top tube and tell him to shove it… eh, I’ve been punched before. Maybe someone someday will run me off the road… It’s probably far more likely though that I’ll be run off the road by some other oblivious driver. Maybe I should be more afraid of cars and other people… I just haven’t ever found it to do much good.

            And I’m not advocating it as a conversation opener. If I am able to address someone while on the road it is usually “Excuse me but you passed me too close back there, you need give cyclists more space when passing or be more aware of cyclists on this road.”…”Cyclists use this bike lane, please don’t block it”… etc. I was more just giving my context on the middle finger / hostile cyclist topic, would never suggest others do something they aren’t comfortable with when in already uncomfortable situations.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

            • soren October 25, 2016 at 5:22 pm

              I almost never use the finger if I can have a person to person interaction. In my experience, humanizing the interaction is the most effective approach so I always start out with “you could have hit me or that woman/man/child”. Often, this approach disarms the knee-jerk hostile/don’t care response.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

              • bradwagon October 26, 2016 at 8:56 am

                Agreed. If I’m in an area that I feel will give a safe opportunity to talk to someone I will tone down my initial response… If even just for the reason that I may have to be around them for the next half a mile.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Pete October 27, 2016 at 6:43 pm

                I got taken out by a car door trying to do that once, and I’m a tall, assertive white guy. Didn’t help that the driver was high as a kite.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • BB October 26, 2016 at 3:18 pm

                Not me. I start with blinding hostility and if given the reason to tone it down, I will consider that. In what other spheres of life are strangers given carte blanche to endanger my life with no repercussions? I endeavor to be just as much as a threat to the safety of people who have no regards for mine as I possibly can.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

  • GlowBoy October 24, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    About BCycles’ new rigs supposedly being “integrated” with local transit systems: the article states that “BCycle is the first bike share company to integrate bike share with public transit in the US,” but doesn’t elaborate very much on what they mean by “integrated.” The story only says that you can use a transit card to access the bicycles.

    Unlike carsharing, access to bikesharing doesn’t require a special card or fob, so this is barely even a baby step, and a far cry from what I would call “Integrated.”

    To me, “Integration with transit” would mean I can use a single app or map to figure out where I’m going to rent and return sharebikes, the route I’m going to take between those stations, and any transit connections I’m going to make on either end. The article mentions nothing about that kind of integration.

    Here’s the current state: if I go to the BikeTown app or webpage, I can see a map (of the city’s road network) with stations and bikes overlaid on it. It does not show the city’s bikeway network, even though that might be rather important to bikeshare users. It certainly does not show any transit facilities other than maybe light rail stations. As we all know, Google Maps offers both bikeway and transit functionality in its generic version, but the BikeTown website (even though it is clearly based on Google Maps!) does not offer access to these layers. So you can’t see the Bikeshare network and the bikeway network at the same time, let alone the transit network. The exact same thing is true of Minnesota’s Nice Ride system.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Mike Sanders October 25, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      In Holland, transit cards can be used for access to any bike parking location ( including the neighborhood storefront bike parking spots ), as well as the national train network. Some transit systems accept them, too. The cards are passed across a reader at smaller bike parking areas and on most station platforms, much like the Hop cards that Tri-Met will introduce next year. Picture a Portland where you can walk down the street to get your bike out of the bike park storefront, then ride to a MAX or streetcar platform, where you swipe your card on the platform as proof of fare. You could recharge your card account at a bank, grocery store, or online. That’s transit integration, gang.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Adam H.
      Adam H. October 25, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      Here’s the current state: if I go to the BikeTown app or webpage, I can see a map (of the city’s road network) with stations and bikes overlaid on it. It does not show the city’s bikeway network, even though that might be rather important to bikeshare users.

      Huh? The Biketown app does show the cycling map.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • GlowBoy October 26, 2016 at 12:04 pm

        Huh. I guess you’re right that the app does (it’s such a light blue shade that I hadn’t noticed). But the web page doesn’t.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Adam H.
          Adam H. October 26, 2016 at 12:28 pm

          Yeah, I admit it’s not great. There’s no key to the color designations. I seems that blue is painted bike lane, thick blue is multi-use path, green is greenway. I can’t seem to figure out what yellow means, though. Also, there’s no way to show/hide that layer.

          It’s only on the Biketown app. I tend to use the SoBi app instead, since I find the interface a bit better (honestly can’t stand the ALL CAPS NIKE FONT) and SoBi doesn’t have the bike map.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • K'Tesh October 25, 2016 at 6:18 am

    I found it really disturbing that NPR would refer to people who investigate crashes as “Accident Investigators”. They are “Crash Investigators”! Accidents are things like a tree falling on your car, or a moose running out in front of you, which are not unheard of, but not nearly as common as someone pulling a boneheaded stunt, such as driving too fast, or texting while driving and causing a collision.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Dave October 25, 2016 at 8:23 am

      Me too. How about “traffic morticians?”

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Gary B October 25, 2016 at 9:56 am

      Interesting that the various interviewees used “crash” almost uniformly. NPR used both terms, regrettably.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Kyle Banerjee October 26, 2016 at 6:17 am

      You may then find it disturbing to read news articles from any source referring to these people as that’s how they’re most commonly referred to.

      Recommended Thumb up 0