Big sale at Community Cycling Center

The Monday Roundup: Vehicular terrorism, trackless streetcar, fashion police, and more

Posted by on June 5th, 2017 at 10:59 am

This week’s Monday Roundup is brought to you by The Weekender, a three-day event (July 7-9) by Cycle Oregon with rides, fun and friends.

While I’ve been in Montréal the past several days (headed home in a few minutes), I’ve continued to watch the news unfold. Things are getting heavy out there on our streets in more ways than one.

Here are the most memorable stories that came across my desk this week…

Ignorance not bliss: A UK study of 1,000 drivers found road rage often happens because people in cars think bicycle riders are breaking the law when in fact they are not.

Safety measures leads to danger: To improve safety on the London Bridge safer after the recent “vehicular terrorism” attack (more on that below), the city has placed concrete barriers in the bike lane.

Cars are weapons: Citylab says “vehicular terrorism has gone mainstream” and they want to know how to prevent it. Unfortunately — like we’ve seen with guns despite them being regulated as weapons — the only “fix” to this problem is to address the underlying causes.

Speed kills urban cycling: A look at Specialized’s new e-bike shows that the US bike industry just can’t stop its unhealthy fixation on performance and speed.

More bike riding = more bike injuries: We suspect this trend of rising injury rates is happening in cities across America. Just keep in mind that all these articles end the same: Health officials say the health benefits of biking outweigh the injury risks.

Fashion police and the windshield perspective: Seattle Times reports about auto users who don’t like it when people wear black.

Advertisement

Dutch reach education: The state of Massachusetts has added the “Dutch reach” method of opening a driver’s side door to its official driver’s manual. Oregon should do this too.

Bike share for all?: A Portland-based study of 56 bike share operators found that equity is only on the radar of one-third of them.

Bang goes a cycling career: Pro cyclist Danny Summerhill fired his gun while biking. Now he’s been fired from his team and faces charges of reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.

Yeah, what the hell?: Washington DC’s bike advocacy org reminds us that people need to treat other road users with decency and respect — regardless of what they look like or how they ride. (Related: Read this Twitter thread by Alex Baca where she says, “Riding a bike in most American cities is basically a dick-measuring contest.”)

Down with “bro-ification”: On a similar vein to the story above, the outdoor industry has a major bro problem.

Impressive, mate: Australian pro road rider Adam Hansen has shown an amazing level of consistency by finishing 17 major professional stage races in a row.

Expensive roads for the few: George Monbiot writes in The Guardian that on many issues — especially highway spending — politicians face a central choice: Provide, “public luxury available to all, or private luxury available to some.”

Humanconomics: And when we preserve space for people over cars, it turns out our economy can be just as vibrant as our community.

Streetcar sans tracks: The Daily Mail is reporting that a Chinese firm has unveiled a streetcar train that runs on underground sensors and does not need tracks. Please watch closely Portland Streetcar!

Thanks for all your submissions.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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

Please support BikePortland.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

158 Comments
  • Avatar
    Peter W June 5, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Wait, isn’t a “streetcar sans tracks” also just called a “bus”?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Kyle Banerjee June 5, 2017 at 11:53 am

      Not necessarily. It’s possible to power vehicles using buried cables via magnetic resonance. As this streetcar is described streetcar as “nonpolluting,” I’m assuming that’s what’s going on

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        meh June 5, 2017 at 12:39 pm

        “after ten minutes of charging can travel 25 kilometres. ”

        The “virtual tracks” simply provide the route to take, not the actual power.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Kyle Banerjee June 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm

          This is a bit confusing. Going 70 km/h, the train would cover less than 12 km. If it can draw enough power to get a 25 km charge in 10 min which involves loss as energy is converted to a stored form and back, logically it should be able to get power from under the road. Otherwise, what would be the point. I know special under lane EV charging/power has been tested in some areas in some areas.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        John Lascurettes June 5, 2017 at 1:20 pm

        Yet, the muni busses in SF that run on overhead electrical are still busses. Steel wheels = train. Rubber wheels = bus. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Kyle Banerjee June 5, 2017 at 1:43 pm

          So the Paris metro is a bus?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            John Lascurettes June 5, 2017 at 1:56 pm

            Hehehe. You got me. So I’ll modify: Rails or steel wheels = train. Neither = bus masquerading as a train. 🙂

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Chris I June 5, 2017 at 2:11 pm

            Rubber-tired, fixed guideway rapid transit. This thing from China is rubber-tired rapid transit without a fixed guideway to provide power. It contains large onboard batteries that quick charge at stations. This could be a viable option for surface transit in dense areas, but battery technology needs to improve to make it cost-competitive.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          David Hampsten June 5, 2017 at 2:55 pm

          Most trains in the USA operate with self-powered diesel-electric engines (diesel converted to electricity), including all long-distance freight (BNSF, CN, CSX, NS, UP, etc.) and most Amtrak, except the NE corridor, which is overhead electric, like the MAX. The “difference” between bus and train is a blurry one. Many parts of rural Germany still operate electric trams that are essentially buses on tracks, while the BRT systems in Metz, Padua, and (closer to Portland) Eugene are rubber-wheeled buses that are guided along either curbs or single-rail tracks – they are guideways only, without power. Mercedes-Benz offers a BRT that uses the same guideway system that this Chinese system uses. This embedded guideway is very similar to a system that ODOT has had on US 26 coming down Mt Hood for decades, to guide snowplows after heavy snows, to keep them from going off the road inadvertently.

          Track systems that send electricity through the trackway, usually a third track, but sometimes along the trackway sides, is usually referred in the USA as “heavy rail”. “Standard Rail” and “Light Rail” typically use the same track width and heavy steel (for cost savings), but Standard has 13 feet of heavy ballast of rock and gravel, while Light usually has 4.5 feet, making it cheaper and better for urban areas. Portland Streetcar uses roughly 2 feet of ballast, but the same track, and is “extra lite, less filling” version of rail. BRT on tracks is lighter still.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Pete June 5, 2017 at 6:46 pm

            Thanks for these details. Growing up near Boston’s Red Line, Dad used to warn me when I started getting out of line by saying, “Son, you’re pissing on the third rail…”

            Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          tridork June 6, 2017 at 11:38 am

          A bus has its own independent power plant.
          A ‘bus’ that is attached to an overhead centenary is called a Trolley (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolleybus).

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Champs June 5, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      It has a steering wheel and everything!

      Of course I wouldn’t mind separated transit + bike lanes. Ought to keep both moving better.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    rick June 5, 2017 at 11:43 am

    I thought they fashion police didn’t operate north of the San Francisco Bay area and west of St. Paul, MN.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      John Lascurettes June 5, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      Apparently you haven’t caught TriMet’s unfortunate Be Seen ad campaigns.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        9watts June 5, 2017 at 1:31 pm

        Unfortunate – an apt description.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Chris I June 5, 2017 at 2:12 pm

        Be Seen!*

        *Note: drivers may not be looking

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          wsbob June 7, 2017 at 1:31 am

          Correction: Some drivers may not be looking.

          The other important element to consider, is whether even the people driving that are looking, will be able to see most of everyone on the street using it as vulnerable road users, relative to the range in visibility of clothes and gear people on the street as vulnerable road users, are wearing or carrying. .

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Dan A June 5, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      When I see a person wearing black in low light conditions, I pat myself on the back for doing a good job of looking out for people. The end.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 5, 2017 at 3:09 pm

        I usually think “Holy crap! That cyclist nearly ran me over!”

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Dan A June 5, 2017 at 6:36 pm

          Are you leaping out into traffic while listening to headphones and searching for Pokemon again? I thought we fixed that with a safety campaign.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty June 5, 2017 at 9:58 pm

            Not hitting me is their responsibility not mine. Now where did that charmander go?

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              mran1984 June 5, 2017 at 11:53 pm

              Wear black at night in a poorly lit area and you get what you deserve. Black is not as “cool” as you think. Especially in the warm weather. My dog even sports a light for nighttime activities. Dogs are awful smart. I sure miss the Minutemen.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 6:19 am

                “Wear black at night in a poorly lit area and you get what you deserve.”

                Charming. Compassionate. Creative.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A June 6, 2017 at 7:23 am

                Sounds familiar. Where have I heard this before….?

                http://everydayvictimblaming.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/249c511850e6541875ba6d3cf876c3cd.jpg

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Middle of the Road Guy June 6, 2017 at 10:59 am

                and “Correct”.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 11:19 am

                That’s why I don’t lock my bike. It’s not my responsibility to not steal it.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 11:21 am

                Are you now equating drivers with thieves?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 11:26 am

                Yes, I’m glad you see my point. Don’t blame the victim.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Chris I June 6, 2017 at 12:35 pm

                …to get to your destination safely?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Trikeguy June 6, 2017 at 8:40 am

              It always boggles me how people react to the notion that they should do other road users the basic courtesy of helping them see them early.

              The reason drivers get upset is because it scares them when they realize they didn’t see someone and might have hit them. Contrary to popular belief, most people really don’t want to run over another human being.

              (car free for almost 30 years before someone accuses me of car-centrism)

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A June 6, 2017 at 10:25 am

                Drivers should do the basic courtesy (and legal requirement) of slowing down when driving in the dark.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 10:56 am

                Thank you, Dan A.

                “The reason drivers get upset is because it scares them when they realize they didn’t see someone and might have hit them. ”

                Right.
                I get that.
                But slowing down so as to avoid that surprise would go a long way toward—probably even further than—the wear bright clothing trope now encountered everywhere, since there are always going to be some who didn’t get that memo (deer, boulders, kids, those who don’t conceive of themselves as pedestrians but ended up as such by virtue of the fact that their horseless carriage broke down or whatever)….

                The surprise experienced by the driver is not ipso facto the fault of the person outside the car, nor is it her responsibility to reduce its chances, because driving, unlike walking, is a privilege that arises from the inherent dangers and competences we recognize accompany that task.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 10:58 am

                It is a legal requirement not widely acknowledged outside of certain circles, and one that is very hard to enforce (basically impossible if you are concerned about profiling).

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Middle of the Road Guy June 6, 2017 at 11:20 am

                One can argue about the privilege of driving versus the right of walking all one wants, but that idealism means nothing in the face of logic and reality. Having a right does not obviate one’s responsibility. One can own a gun (a right) but there are still requirements around its usage in the larger ecosystem.

                If you are going to use the system, you have a responsibility (if not to yourself then to others) and obligation to others also using the system…which is to be visible. It’s why cars have lights and reflectors – so others can see you and introduces predictability into the system which reduces the potential for a collision.

                “Reasonable expectations” is the concept here.

                Someone wearing all black and not wearing anything visible is not acting as a responsible system user. Nobody ‘deserves’ to be hit (that would suggest blame – which is a moral issue), but some people simply do not help their odds (statistics). Suggesting that others are responsible for one’s own poor decision making is dangerous and selfish.

                Most people who fall into the ‘victim blaming’ argument can’t distinguish that difference because they don’t grasp that all users have an obligation. If you are going to abdicate your safety and leave it up to others, well good luck with that.

                In other words, go ahead and be dumb but don’t be surprised if something bad happens. Now, I think I am going to go boating, drink a lot and not wear a life preserver. What could go wrong?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A June 6, 2017 at 11:52 am

                How about this: if you are going over the speed limit in a neighborhood by any amount, at night or in inclement weather, it’s an automatic ticket. If you’re going to factor in profiling, well, we can never have people pulled over by humans I guess.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 11:55 am

                “…it’s an automatic ticket.”

                And then there’s Strict Liability (whatever we over here think that means, it is pretty clearly not what obtains here, nor does it align with what some commenters are suggesting we should have).

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm

                I have no problem strictly enforcing speeding laws. The difficulty lies in meting out punishments for what amounts to the subjective judgments of an officer.

                >>> we can never have people pulled over by humans <<<

                That is, in fact, what some people want.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 1:06 pm

                “If you are going to use the system”

                Aha. Now we’re getting somewhere.

                It wasn’t “a system” until we introduced the automobile, was it?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 1:08 pm

                “Now, I think I am going to go boating, drink a lot and not wear a life preserver. What could go wrong?”

                Ridiculous analogy.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 1:22 pm

                “Suggesting that others are responsible for one’s own poor decision making is dangerous and selfish.”

                Piloting an automobile is something our society (and most others as well) regulate, certify, require insurance for, etc., because it is recognized to involve special dangers, skills, training, proficiency, etc.
                What you are calling ‘[the unmotorized]’s own poor decision making’ is emergent, is solely due to the presence of these machines we just recognized posed special dangers.
                There is a difference between a prudent, pragmatic, self-protective, individual behavior (I am going to don some retro-reflective tape before venturing out) and a
                public campaign that fails to admonish those within automobiles to keep their wits about them, throttle their speed, expect the unexpected, etc., and instead wags paternalistic fingers at those outside of cars, telling them to don funny colors, because….

                I really don’t think it should be hard to keep these two realms separate, analytically.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                SE Rider June 6, 2017 at 1:42 pm

                “There is a difference between a prudent, pragmatic, self-protective, individual behavior (I am going to don some retro-reflective tape before venturing out) and a
                public campaign”

                So you don’t think public campaign can help lead to more of the individual behavior? Or are you just saying that you don’t see any public campaigns directed at drivers? If it’s the latter, I think it’s because you’re not paying attention to them (an example being the many PBOT (maybe ODOT) billboards on our streets explaining to people that they can’t pass a left turning car through the bike lane on the right).

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 1:53 pm

                “So you don’t think public campaign can help lead to more of the individual behavior?”

                I don’t think it is ODOT’s or Trimet’s the Bike Gallery’s responsibility to admonish people not in cars to engage in these behaviors & I realize that others will disagree with me. It might lead to more of those behaviors and/or it might turn people off to the whole thing for reasons I’ve already mentioned.

                “Or are you just saying that you don’t see any public campaigns directed at drivers?”

                I’m saying that in the campaigns I’ve seen (ODOT, PBOT, Trimet, Bike Gallery) the column inches devoted to those on foot or on a bike are much more than to those in cars, and the latter are easily seen as afterthoughts, a half-hearted gesture at parity. This is the crux for me.

                “If it’s the latter, I think it’s because you’re not paying attention to them (an example being the many PBOT (maybe ODOT) billboards on our streets explaining to people that they can’t pass a left turning car through the bike lane on the right).”

                You’re right I have yet to encounter such a billboard. Can you point me to one?

                What is so frustrating about this to my mind misplaced level of attention to pedestrians’ and cyclists’ clothing choices is that other cities are tackling the problem from the opposite angle and having great successes –

                “Sao Paulo’s Life Protection Programme – which introduced diagonal crossings, pedestrian-only zones, and significant speed limit reductions – contributed to a 20.6% reduction in traffic fatalities in the city between 2014 and 2015.”

                “Over this period, the number of cyclist deaths dropped 34 percent, from 47 to 31, and the number of pedestrian deaths dropped 24.5 percent, from 555 to 419. Similarly, the number of driver deaths fell by 16.9 percent, from 207 to 172, and the number of motorcycle deaths fell 15.9 percent, from 440 to 370. These reductions were the result of a shift from a focus only on private vehicles to a greater concern for all modes.”

                and

                “Additionally, the city implemented eleven ‘Areas 40,’ which reduced the speed limited to 40 km/h (25 mph) on select streets in areas with high pedestrian and commercial activity. The first to be implemented, “Centro” recorded 71 percent fewer road fatalities and injuries after the new limits were adopted. As the Municipal Transportation Secretary, Jilmar Tatto explained, “We are focused on the mobility of people, not vehicles. We need to tackle the problem by reducing speed limits, increasing surveillance, providing safe infrastructure for cyclists, improving sidewalks and building dedicated bike lanes.”

                http://www.wrirosscities.org/news/reducing-speeds-sao-paulo-brazil-leads-record-low-traffic-fatalities

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A June 6, 2017 at 1:54 pm

                Here’s a curious story about a LEO who ran over someone at night while driving 33pmh on a 25mph road with his lights off.

                http://koin.com/2017/03/21/family-seeks-682000-in-wrongful-death-against-deputy/

                Deputy Kent Krumpschmidt has presented multiple stories to cover his actions: 1) the guy was walking across the road 2) the guy leaped right at him 3) the guy was lying down in the road.

                Incidentally, Krumpschmidt has hit a cyclist while on patrol too.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 2:02 pm

                Instead of scolding ODOT for what they are doing, it might be more productive to urge them to do what they’re not. You keep putting the focus on the messages you don’t want out there.

                Instead, let’s tell ODOT we want them to make real improvements. They are not taking resources from building protected crosswalks and using it for printing “clothing police” brochures, and it is not clear to me that we can make progress by nitpicking over things that appear to most people (including many cyclists) to be nothing more than religious zealotry.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm

                OK let’s do a controlled experiment: you do that and I’ll keep shaming them. We’re both free to enlist others in our respective campaigns. Then let’s compare notes in 18 months.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 2:05 pm

                Maybe Krumpschmidt didn’t read the ODOT safety brochure?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A June 6, 2017 at 6:25 pm

                We should be seeing messages directed at drivers about 10X as frequently as we see them directed at cyclists and pedestrians, if not more. I don’t think we’re anywhere close to that, with the notable exception of drinking & driving campaigns.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 6:47 pm

                I have no idea what the proportion is; maybe they do spend 10x on drivers (note that some of the documents under pedestrian and bicycle safety were directed at drivers, along with all of their driver safety material).

                The real point is that this is such a small part of the picture that it doesn’t really matter, and I see no rational argument that spending a small amount of federal money on an arguably dubious safety program distracts from other activities that ODOT may or may not be conducting.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 6:52 pm

                “I see no rational argument that spending a small amount of federal money on an arguably dubious safety program distracts from other activities that ODOT may or may not be conducting”

                …or may not be conducting. The fact is I see no evidence (and I’ve been looking for as long as I’ve been a bikeportland reader) that what ODOT is spending money on is leading to anything useful, is helping us move in good directions, make inroads into any of the many problems that dog transportation here, now.
                So giving them a pass in light of this poor showing seems decidedly odd.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 7:05 pm

                That’s the real problem.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 7:06 pm
          • Avatar
            wsbob June 7, 2017 at 1:39 am

            Hey…I’m just trying to walk down the sidewalk at night, and sometimes having difficulty seeing people riding on the sidewalk towards me without lights.

            I could start bringing my bike light along, shining it down the sidewalk, or a blinkie on my person, so maybe…maybe they might see me, even though they’re barely, or not at all visible to me because they have no lights on their bike. Of course, there is a bike lane, and traffic this time of night is low, so they could actually ride their bike safely on the bike lane.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Dan A June 7, 2017 at 11:06 am

              Are you walking only on the sidewalk and never crossing the street?

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A June 8, 2017 at 4:24 pm

                Hm?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      BB June 6, 2017 at 10:12 am

      Funny, it seems like nine out of every ten people you meet in Seattle these days just moved from SF, St Paul or Dallas. Go figure.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    9watts June 5, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Monbiot’s piece gets better toward the end.
    “Progress in the 21st century should be measured less by the new infrastructure you build than by the damaging infrastructure you retire.”

    “the magical belief that there is enough space and resources for everyone to do as they wish, that infinite growth ensures that no one – when the parties’ economic promises are fulfilled – will need to intrude on the interests of others. Yet, on this finite planet, they are the questions that will determine not only the quality of our lives but our security and, eventually, our survival.”

    It would be salutary if some regular bikeportland commenters would take this latter quote to heart.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Middle of the Road Guy June 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      But every time I go to Old Country Buffet the food seems to replenish itself, magically.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        9watts June 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        9watts June 5, 2017 at 2:42 pm

        seems

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Stephan June 5, 2017 at 3:16 pm

          How about this one: “The primary task of all far-sighted politicians should be to decide first how much we can use, then how it can best be shared.”

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Matt Meskill June 5, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I believe Summerhill resigned. From Cyclingnews.com: “Having been charged with disorderly conduct, discharging a weapon in a public place and reckless endangerment in Jefferson County, Colorado, Danny Summerhill has resigned effectively immediately from the UnitedHealthcare team.”

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Chris I June 5, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      United Healthcare hates our freedom!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        KristenT June 7, 2017 at 8:54 am

        I’m not sure you read the article– he fired his gun into a hillside in a residential area, with houses both next to and above where he was shooting, and then claimed he didn’t know it was a residential area. Even though there was at least one person outside gardening in their front yard at the time who witnessed the whole thing.

        It seems like he had a bad day, then made a truly bad decision, and got caught. Resigning was appropriate, especially considering that he was probably going to be asked to resigned anyway.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Dan A June 6, 2017 at 7:25 am

      So did Nixon.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    John Lascurettes June 5, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Regarding the Seattle whine piece: it’s a major, international city. There’s lots of people. You should expect them. Drive slower if anyone wearing black (against a gray road, mind you) catches you by surprise. And if bikes are properly equipped, they should have lights and reflectors anyway — that’s plenty to see and it wouldn’t matter what a cyclist is wearing. As far as pedestrians go, if their slow-moving targets “come out of nowhere” for you, you are driving too fast for conditions (you’d hit a wet log in the road under those conditions).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      David Hampsten June 5, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      I think the US is the only country that I’ve personally seen so many cyclists wearing dark clothing on dark-colored bikes without light or reflectors, both in the Pacific NW and out here in NC, riding at dusk when light and vision is poorest. Most US cyclists wear some bright colors, often a helmet or their shirt/jacket, sometimes a scarf or their shoes. In Europe, I see many people dressed “normal”, sometimes all in black, sometimes to the nines, but invariably either their bike is some bright color, or the have bright lights and reflectors, often both. And urban car traffic there is usually slower.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        9watts June 6, 2017 at 6:17 am

        “but invariably either their bike is some bright color, or the have bright lights and reflectors, often both.”

        That is because in those countries bicycles have been treated, regulated, equipped as transportation right from the get go.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Dave June 6, 2017 at 8:30 am

        I call it “delusions of Amsterdam.” There was a US cycling coach in the 1980s (maybe Mike Need?) who insisted that one of the national team riders not wear the Bell helmet when racing in Europe that he used in the US both to train and race. The coach’s line of nonsense was “look like a European, race like a European.”

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Ben June 6, 2017 at 2:49 pm

        Lots of black bikes with no lights and no reflectors on the streets of Amsterdam.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 2:54 pm

          Luckily, everyone is preoccupied “doing the reach” so it doesn’t really matter.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          David Hampsten June 6, 2017 at 8:46 pm

          I generally avoided Amsterdam, so I wouldn’t know. Usually I was in other Dutch cities or cities in other countries.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 9:57 pm

            Smart move. There’s a lot less reaching in Belgium.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

    • John Liu
      John Liu June 5, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      Cyclists, if you ride at night, you have to make yourselves visible. Lights and reflectives. Simply hoping that drivers have night vision doesn’t work.

      Here’s a typical situation. It is dark, just a bare amount of light from a distant streetlight, maybe raining. You are driving at 15 mph on side streets, in a residential neighborhood, and enter an intersection. You have your headlights on and are alert. A cyclist on the cross street runs a stop sign and enters the intersection at the same time, also at 15 mph. The cyclist is wearing black, no reflectives, no lights. At the center of the intersection, your car hits the cyclist who is killed. Your fault?

      At 15 mph, both you and the cyclist were traveling 22 feet every second. So one second before impact, your car and the cyclist were both 22 feet from the center of the intersection, traveling on collision vectors at a right angle to each other. At closer distances, auto low beams have roughly a 2:1 throw to spread. The cyclist was not illuminated by your headlights.

      About a third of a second later, the cyclist entered your headlight beam. Your car and the cyclist were each about 15 feet and 0.6 seconds from colliding.

      The average person’s reaction time, in a real world driving situation (not an artificial test) is around 1.5 seconds. The range about 0.7 seconds to 3 seconds.

      You most likely did not even start to apply the brake, or jerk the steering wheel, before your car and the cyclist collided. At best, you barely started braking when the cyclist disappeared under your bumper.

      A little while later, you are telling a police officer “I never saw the cyclist”. And a couple days later, BP readers are ranting about another vehicular assault.

      But what you said is true.

      If the cyclist had been running lights, you could have seen those lights well before you and the cyclist came to the intersection. If the cyclist had no lights but had reflectives, you might have glimpsed those in the scatter of your headlights, a little before the cyclist entered the headlight beam. If the cyclist had neither lights nor reflectives, but was wearing light clothing . . . well, there’s a chance you might have seen something in that streetlight down the block.

      Each of those things would have helped. All of them together would really have been a good idea. As it was, you literally never saw the cyclist until the moment of impact.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        9watts June 6, 2017 at 11:06 am

        “The cyclist is wearing black, no reflectives, no lights.”

        Only you can help us understand why you are throwing the clothes color into that lineup. Pretty much everyone agrees (I think) that lights make sense for a bike (besides being the law). The issue here was about the clothing. Do you support people inside automobiles wearing helmets? Because I think it is a much easier case to make that people inside cars wearing crash helmets would save more lives than people cycling wearing dayglo, and best of all, wearing helmets inside your car protects YOU from YOUR Automotive self; something that cannot be said for your recent favorite stick to beat us with: cyclist clothing colors.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 11:15 am

          If a cyclist has lights and reflectors, clothes become (almost) totally irrelevant. I think clarifying that you assume a cyclist has equipment to be sufficiently visible would go a long way towards resolving this stupid argument.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • John Liu
            John Liu June 6, 2017 at 12:37 pm

            I do agree that if a cyclist has a bright headlight and taillight, maybe a blinky or two, and reflectives, then it doesn’t make much additional difference if he or she is wearing black clothing or white clothing.

            However, I see a lot of cyclists riding at night with just a dim little light. And I’ve had my light battery die during rides . . .

            In the dark, people (drivers) need more illumination to identify dark-colored objects, while they can identify light-colored objects with less illumination.

            Ref. SAE article “Determining When An Object Enters The Headlight Beam Pattern Of A Vehicle”, 4/88/2013. Objects that are light, retroreflective, and bio-motion (a motion that drivers recognize, like legs going around on pedals) require less light to be responded to, objects that are dark require much more light to be responded to, like 5-6X more lux.

            The city at night is not utterly dark, there are spotty areas of faint light (streetlights, passing car headlights, windows, moonlight, etc), a driver may catch a glimpse of a cyclist moving through one of those areas for couple of seconds. The chance of the driver identifying and responding to the glimpsed object is better if the object is light colored. Similar situation at dusk.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              9watts June 6, 2017 at 12:41 pm

              “In the dark, people (drivers) need more illumination to identify dark-colored objects, while they can identify light-colored objects with less illumination.”

              More illumination, or a throttled speed, or greater alertness.

              With enough elbow grease I can wash most any dish, even without hot water or soap. These three can be varied in nearly infinite combinations. Just so with the situation you are fixated on.

              I find it telling that you are focused on the one of the three that is the responsibility of the person who is not behind the wheel.
              Why is that?

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                SE Rider June 6, 2017 at 12:49 pm

                Because as a cyclist you only have control over one of those three things.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 12:55 pm

                OK, so where is the acknowledgement of the larger picture then?
                Why is the addressee always the vulnerable one?

                We can issue everyone flak jackets, or we can take away the ammunition.
                Especially since our subject here on bp is not a war zone, but our [OUR] streets.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A June 6, 2017 at 8:34 pm

                Do people just come here to tell me what to do? Or do they also tell their driving friends what to do too?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 9:55 pm

                If I had a friend who told me she didn’t need lights when she was driving at night, I’d sure as heck tell her what to do (“I drive like a ninja!”). Luckily, very few drivers would defend this sort of thing.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A June 7, 2017 at 6:25 am

                Funny, I frequently see cars driving around before sunrise with their lights off.

                I’m speaking more generally. We all know misbehaving drivers….

                Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          wsbob June 7, 2017 at 1:14 am

          Especially on grey days, and dark and gloomy days with rain, hi-vis gear colors such as the standard orange, or green, or yellow, are much more readily visible than greys, blacks, browns in muted tones and patterns.

          For night, retro-reflective tape, and fabric, works amazingly well for enhancing visibility. Lights may be the best all-around hi-vis gear, but a combination of all three in varying amounts, probably has the most potential for effectiveness.

          Nice explanation of the significance of effective visibility in a typical street situation, john liu.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Dan A June 6, 2017 at 11:57 am

        “A cyclist on the cross street runs a stop sign and enters the intersection at the same time…” Well that’s pretty stupid isn’t it? You’re suggesting that a cyclist rolled up to an intersection at 15mph, saw a car who was already stopped there, and as that car entered the intersection the cyclist never touched his brakes and rolled right in front of the moving car? In such a scenario it wouldn’t matter what the cyclist was wearing.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 12:07 pm

          The car wasn’t stopped in the scenario; it was approaching the intersection at the same speed as the cyclist.

          So in this “stupid” scenario, would the driver have any culpability?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          9watts June 6, 2017 at 12:20 pm

          What I find so telling about John Liu’s ‘scenario’ is that it packs the top three stereotypes of scofflaw cyclists into one sentence: Runs stop signs at 15mph(! – really?), no lights, dark clothes.

          Where are the headphones?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 12:29 pm

            I sense a reluctance to acknowledge there are situations where cyclists (or pedestrians) are struck and it is not somehow the driver’s fault.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              9watts June 6, 2017 at 12:38 pm

              There are (at least) two issues here.

              (1) statistics on the distribution of fault when a human outside of a car is hit by someone piloting one;

              (2) public exhortations about how to conduct oneself in advance of/to reduce chance of such an event.

              As far as (1) is concerned I don’t trust ODOT’s statistics (and PBOT isn’t far behind) for one minute. They find ways to blame ~70% of such crashes on the person outside of the car. One corroborating fact that makes me dubious is that, for instance, in Switzerland the official fault ratio is dramatically inverted, and those hit in crosswalks are very nearly all exonerated, quite unlike here.
              (2) which is a perennial favorite here in the comments, is derivative of (1) insofar as the justification for remonstrating those unmotorized to suit up emerges from a mindset that ODOT exemplifies with its ‘blame pedestrians first’ approach without any concomitant pitch to those inside cars to LOOK, SLOW DOWN, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

              I personally am quite willing to concede that there are crashes in which the pedestrian or cyclist is at fault, but I submit that if we remove our Carhead and take a close look we’ll find that those situations are not the norm, and consequently a poor basis indeed from which to launch campaigns for visibility such as we’ve seen.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 12:53 pm

                “Campaigns for visibility” are a bit of a straw man; TriMet does one related to safety around their buses (and I am quite confident they work on the driver side of the equation as well). And… who else? There may be a few dollars here and there, but “visibility” is an important component of no agency’s safety program (that I know of).

                Since you yourself acknowledge that riders should be properly lit and reflective (and that if they are, it doesn’t matter what they wear), I don’t think we even have a difference of opinion. Welcome to our side 🙂

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 12:56 pm

                “And… who else?”

                Well the most famous (in the annals of bikeportland) were the Bike Gallery and ODOT. PBOT also weighs in from time to time.

                Not seeing the straw man thing at all.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 1:25 pm

                According to the ODOT website, there is 1/3 of a person doing pedestrian safety (sounds messy), with a total budget of $135K (supplied by the federal government), and they publish the following brochures/posters: Rules of the road, a driver-oriented “look out” poster, a basic safety coloring sheet for kids, brochures on crosswalk law in 3 languages, a kind of “be alert” brochure for pedestrians, a “be visible/alert” at night brochure for pedestrians (which looks oriented primarily at rural areas, and only has a very brief mention of being visible, it’s mostly where to walk on rural roads), and an informational sheet on rapid flash beacons.

                (https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/Pages/pedestrian.aspx)

                On the bike front, they have a “how to pass cyclists safely” brochure in English and Spanish, a set of three driver-oriented “be alert/yield to cyclists” posters, a “cyclists survival guide” and a matching “driver’s field guide”, an Oregon Bicyclist’s Manual, a book on laws, info about how to cycle safely in winter, a guide to helmet fitting, a kid’s oriented “ride safely” thing, and info about roundabouts.

                (https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/Pages/bicyclistsafety.aspx)

                Then there’s a whole slew of materials aimed at driving (be alert, slow down, don’t text, turn your lights on (i.e. be visible), etc. Even a thing about “don’t let a truck sneak up on you” (truckhead?).

                (https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/Pages/SafeandCourteousDriving.aspx)

                I’m not sensing that ODOT is putting a lot of effort into policing fashion. So I think my statement stands — there is no a real governmental campaign telling us what to wear.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 1:55 pm

                None of those slices lead to the conclusion that ODOT is spending many resources on this issue, or that it’s distracting them from doing what we want them to be doing (and largely are not doing).

                In fact, I would argue that continuously harping on the issue does more to advertise their “campaign” to cyclists than they themselves are doing.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 2:02 pm

                “or that it’s distracting them from doing what we want them to be doing (and largely are not doing).”

                Do you admit that that is confusing?

                They are distracted from the important stuff, but not by this? You know this?

                Morality aside I think it would be easy to argue that all(?) of ODOT’s safety campaigns are ineffectual, don’t work, pale when the results delivered are compared to what other jurisdictions who are less ideological, less stuck in a Car head mode have accomplished.
                – fatality free days = sharp uptick in deaths on Oregon roads
                vs vision zero with a clear record of success

                – hand out arm bands = sharp uptick in pedestrian and cyclist deaths recently
                vs Sao Paolo’s example over here:
                https://bikeportland.org/2017/06/05/the-monday-roundup-vehicular-terrorism-trackless-streetcar-fashion-police-and-more-230497#comment-6806139

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 2:10 pm

                I am pretty confident that the decision makers at ODOT are not being distracted by their safety campaign. Their problem is they are an old-school rural transit agency operating facilities in more forward-thinking urban environments.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Dan A June 7, 2017 at 6:28 am

              In that situation, the cyclist is at fault for ignoring the drivers right of way and riding directly in front of them.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

          • John Liu
            John Liu June 6, 2017 at 12:42 pm

            I see this sort of cyclist in Portland all the time. No lights + dark clothing + blowing stop signs. It isn’t what most of us do, I hope, but it isn’t uncommon, sadly.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              9watts June 6, 2017 at 12:42 pm

              “I see this sort of cyclist in Portland all the time.”

              Night vision goggles?

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              SE Rider June 6, 2017 at 1:38 pm

              So I pulled up to a four way stop sign this morning riding to work and a lady sitting at the stop sign in her car (90 degrees to me) refused to go until I basically came to a stop (even though she had been stopped for over 3 seconds). Seemed pretty obvious that she was expecting me to run the stop sign in front of her. That made me sad.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm

                I’ve found the number of people-in-cars-stopped-at-four-way-stop-signs-who-refuse-to-go-when-it-is-their-turn has started to climb recently. I blame some of the change on people who are using the opportunity to catch up on some electronic communication, figure this is as good a place as any to reply to a text or check their voicemail.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                SE Rider June 6, 2017 at 5:06 pm

                That wasn’t the case this time. She was looking directly at me the entire time.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 5:41 pm

                Drivers who do this feel they are being courteous. It’s the wrong action, but the right motivation.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 5:43 pm

                Not courteous.
                The only way our four-way stop system works is if people take the right of way when it is theirs to take. Without that the whole arrangement falls apart.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                John Lascurettes June 6, 2017 at 6:15 pm

                I call these people who abdicate their right-of-way and don’t take their proper turn when they should “niceholes” — it creates ambiguity and therefore danger.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 6:40 pm

                It’s not nice to suggest someone motivated purely by being nice a “nicehole”. How about just misguided?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 6, 2017 at 6:44 pm

                I think we’re really stretching here.

                There are rules of how to conduct oneself in a four way stop intersection, and for this to work everyone has to follow them. Consequently I have a *really hard time* considering someone who is consciously violating this rule as ‘trying to be nice, courteous, whatever. No! For that matter, where did this idea (that violating the rule is courteous or nice) come from in the first place?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 6:48 pm

                Yeah, you’re right. They’re probably letting you go first because they’re jerks.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                Dan A June 6, 2017 at 8:37 pm

                I usually put my head down and refuse to look at them, so that it doesn’t devolve into a waving contest.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              wsbob June 7, 2017 at 1:22 am

              “I see this sort of cyclist in Portland all the time. No lights + dark clothing + blowing stop signs. …” john liu

              Likely didn’t see them as soon as you would have if they had been using some hi-vis gear…and as you wrote elsewhere, in using the street, from a safe use perspective, the time element in seconds and split seconds, can be very significant.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Dan A June 7, 2017 at 6:29 am

              Blowing stop signs directly into a moving car?

              Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Dan A June 6, 2017 at 8:33 pm

          So we’re saying that the driver doesn’t have a stop sign and the cyclist does? What superhuman driver are we talking about who could stop his car in time after realizing that the cyclist isn’t stopping at the stop sign on the cross street, when the driver has the right of way? Stopping distance from the point where the driver recognizes a problem is 26 feet, assuming the driver’s only going 15mph, and it’s pretty unusual to see a driver going 15mph in total darkness when the roads are clear and they don’t have a reason to stop. If you blast through a stop sign at 15mph perpendicular to a driver who has the right of way and enters the intersection at the same time, you are either going to get hit or be extremely lucky, I don’t care what you’re wearing.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            9watts June 7, 2017 at 9:38 am

            This is the problem with most counterfactual intersection collision scenarios trotted out here over the years. There is (always?) some crucial element that so stretches credulity that we are able to glimpse the inventor of the scenarios biases, realize the absurdity, unreality of the scenario-as-articulated.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty June 7, 2017 at 10:48 am

              I agree with the notion that such scenarios are generally tortured; by their nature they have to be in order to make clear the point the author wants to make. Real scenarios generally have ambiguity, conflicting viewpoints, and errors committed my multiple parties, and are generally open to multiple interpretations and viewpoint bias.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        SE Rider June 6, 2017 at 12:48 pm

        If you’re going to be a night time ninja you have to ride/run extra cautious, knowing that you are much less likely to be seen. i.e. don’t run a stop sign (not that you should during the daylight either).

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          9watts June 6, 2017 at 12:49 pm

          Agreed. And if my batteries die before I get home that is exactly how I conduct myself.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Dan A June 6, 2017 at 8:42 pm

          That’s reasonable. I generally ride in bright clothing with dual front/rear lights, but sometimes it’s so FREEING to pull out my cruiser and go ninja riding in my neighborhood. I usually just stick to the side roads and the grass fields….it’s a wonderful way to look at the stars.

          Funny, when I was in middle school I had a paper route and would ride around with a big cotton bag full of newspapers at 4:30 or 5am, no helmet, no lights, and probably no reflectors on my black bike either. Pretty easy to see cars coming when you don’t have any lights on yourself, so I would just keep far away from them when they came by.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      wsbob June 6, 2017 at 8:37 am

      The “…Seattle whine piece…”, followed by your whine about the wishes of people driving, that people walking and biking do even the smallest bit, such as using something reflective, or a light, to help themselves be more visible to people driving.

      Areas of cities that have well lit roads and streets, also often include areas of deep shadows. Some people drive too fast for conditions…most people don’t drive too fast for conditions. Suggesting that ability of people driving on a well lit street to detect people virtually undetectable in the shadows, is a reliable indicator of appropriate speed for conditions, is a poor rationale.

      People using the street as vulnerable road users, are I feel, well advised to have at least some part of themselves and/or their means of travel, be at least as visible as the white and yellow lines on the roads and streets, signs, and so on.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        John Lascurettes June 6, 2017 at 6:25 pm

        I’m going to call “bull pucky” on your declaration of “most people don’t drive too fast for conditions” because most people do not observe the speed limit in the best of conditions. The speed limit is presumably the statutory safe speed limit under ideal conditions, and demonstrably it is often posted higher than the pragmatic safe speed limit (e.g., Powell, Division). Add to that the basic speed law (present in every state vehicle code as far as I know) that says that the posted speed limit comes down with environmental conditions that hinder driving ability and yes, nearly everyone drives too fast for the conditions, particularly at night (and then add rain!).

        For your straw-man road with shadows, the driver should slow down — drastically. My own NE street is mostly darkness because of the tree canopy covering much of the street lights on my block. Add to that, the road is narrow, near bars and a shopping center, and conceivably someone might step out in front of a parked car at any moment to get into car. I slow down drastically for exactly these reasons. I don’t think I ever break 20mph on my street at night, probably more like 15 when I’m in my car.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          wsbob June 7, 2017 at 1:01 am

          “…your declaration of “most people don’t drive too fast for conditions” because most people do not observe the speed limit in the best of conditions. The speed limit is presumably the statutory safe speed limit under ideal conditions, and demonstrably it is often posted higher than the pragmatic safe speed limit (e.g., Powell, Division). Add to that the basic speed law (present in every state vehicle code as far as I know) that says that the posted speed limit comes down with environmental conditions that hinder driving ability and yes, nearly everyone drives too fast for the conditions, particularly at night (and then add rain!). …” lascurettes

          Most people driving, do observe the speed limits, and stay within approximately 5mph of it. When road conditions drop away from ideal, most people reduce their speed accordingly for rain, snow, ice, and so forth. When they can’t see the street and everyone who is using it, well enough to drive, they slow down regardless of the posted speed limit. So the question to vulnerable road users, as I touched on before, should maybe be, ‘Are you at somewhat as visible as the street itself?’.

          There’s nothing ‘straw man’ about streets having shadows outside of the beam of motor vehicle headlights and streetlights. These conditions are a real thing, common in any city’s neighborhoods, and in the countryside. Most people driving are looking down the road for hazards and for vulnerable road users, as they should be. This is where the comparative visibility to people driving, of everyone using the road outside a motor vehicle, becomes a particularly significant element of safe road use.

          People using the road as a vulnerable road user, and not availing themselves as needed of at least some means of aiding visibility of themselves to people driving, are depriving themselves of some of the most basic opportunity for safer use of the road.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Dan A June 7, 2017 at 11:11 am

            “When road conditions drop away from ideal, most people reduce their speed accordingly for rain, snow, ice, and so forth. When they can’t see the street and everyone who is using it, well enough to drive, they slow down regardless of the posted speed limit.”

            Source?

            I ride in the dark regularly, and have not noticed any decrease in the vehicle speed around me. The drivers I see in my neighborhood in the dark are typically going faster than the ones I see in the daylight.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Dan A June 8, 2017 at 9:50 am

              I drove in this morning a little before 6am on highway 26 (have to catch up on some errands around town today). It was dark, rainy, and foggy. I spotted 11 cars with their lights off, numerous drivers exceeding the speed limit, and saw multiple drivers cut other people off with sudden lane changes right in front of them. One of those moves was so close that I started applying the brakes and looking for an escape path — I was almost certain there was going to be a crash.

              There’s a common theme from the drivers I know when it rains around here: “Nobody knows how to drive in the rain….it’s just rain!”. This is a coded way of complaining: “Some people drive slower in the rain!” And I think some drivers over-compensate for this, and drive at the limit or above their abilities.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Dan A June 7, 2017 at 6:39 am

          Sounds like a good idea for a safety campaign. Funny thing is, I’ve never seen one related to the basic speed rule.

          It would be interesting to know the percentage of crashes where the basic speed rule was a factor, but since our police don’t enforce this law (or even acknowledge it) we will never know. I’m curious, can anyone recall a crash reported in Oregon where the police indicated that the driver wasn’t going over the speed limit but was going too fast for conditions? I would have expected to at least see some mention of it in this one: https://bikeportland.org/2011/02/12/man-killed-while-bicycling-on-tv-hwy-in-beaverton-47839

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            9watts June 7, 2017 at 6:47 am

            The blackout on the question of the basic speed rule is to me one of the most glaring examples of Car head, of police failing to enforce an essential statute. I sometimes think that the fate of the basic speed rule in practice tells us all we need to know about how much we can count on law enforcement. To me the most egregious example was in the Frank Bohannon/Kerry Kunsman case –
            https://bikeportland.org/2014/09/26/driver-hit-kerry-kunsman-issued-citation-careless-driving-111488#comment-5550356

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Dan A June 7, 2017 at 7:50 am

              Ha ha, look who’s rushing to the defense of the police again, absolving of them of their responsibility to discern the speed of the driver or report on it, as if it’s completely unrelated to the collision.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      wsbob June 7, 2017 at 12:29 am

      “There’s lots of people. You should expect them. Drive slower if anyone wearing black (against a gray road, mind you) catches you by surprise. …” lascurettes

      How about anyone wearing black, against a black road, or black shadows? Ever noticed black road and shadow conditions in your travels about? Away from the direct beam of streetlights and motor vehicle headlights, in low light and in shadows, would you say the night is gray or black?

      Yes there are lots of people in big cities. There are lots of people driving in big cities too. Most of them are doing their level best not to run into anyone’s’ loved one on foot or a bike,or a skateboard, a mission that can be ever more difficult and often near to impossible when such people aren’t doing at least something to have themselves be somewhat readily visible in or near to the beam of motor vehicle headlights or streetlights.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        9watts June 7, 2017 at 9:22 am

        “Most of them are doing their level best not to run into anyone’s’ loved one on foot or a bike,or a skateboard, a mission that can be ever more difficult and often near to impossible…”

        Thanks for this. I’ve tried over the years to understand where you’re coming from, see if we can arrive at some common understandings, meet somewhere in the middle.

        I think you are right that most (I’d say very nearly all) would like not to hurt others with their cars, but where I think we diverge is in the implementation, in the actions that follow from this desire to not maim others.
        What intervenes is a set of cultural habits, practices, conventions that communicate to us-as-car-pilots that driving at or just above the posted speed limit is going to be appropriate as a rule of thumb. When driving we tend not to devote our full, heightened attention to that task because if we did we would quickly become so exhausted that driving would no longer be possible.

        There is nothing per se impossible (your word) about not hitting others with my car, if I take the responsibility of piloting a car seriously and realize that conditions dictate how fast I should be driving if I can’t see what is going on around me, what may be lurking in the shadows.

        Your approach here focuses on the need for others to wear bright retro-reflective colors that make this easier. My approach derives from the fundamental asymmetry in this relationship, where 99% of the danger emanates from me who is behind the wheel so I feel that 99% of the precautions (speed, attention) must also/consequently come from me, and that appealing to those in the shadows/not in a car to make my task easier, I am falling down on my share of this responsibility.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          John Lascurettes June 7, 2017 at 10:42 am

          Bingo!

          Look, I *do* have the proper equipment on my bike at night. And when I cross a street I often turn on my phone and wave it so there’s a light source in motion. Know what, I STILL get close calls from drivers not paying attention and driving too fast. Or some that are just being bullies.

          wsbob seems hellbent on saying the responsibility lies in vulnerable users taking the brunt of the safety responsibility and blame for as you, 9watts, say the person creating the danger situation in the first place. We are addicted to speed and convenience in this country, safety of others be damned.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            John Lascurettes June 7, 2017 at 1:08 pm

            Pulling out my phone was in reference to when I’m a pedestrian.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            wsbob June 8, 2017 at 12:13 am

            “…the responsibility lies in vulnerable users taking the brunt of the safety responsibility and blame for as you, 9watts, say the person creating the danger situation in the first place. …” lascurettes

            john…In terms of respective obligations to responsible, safe road use, I’m not speaking in absolutes, and I don’t feel that absolutes typify realistic road use situations either. I’m not saying that people as vulnerable road users, are responsible or to blame for the consequences of people that drive badly.

            Among the things I’m saying is that many road and street situations hold inherent danger, which all road users regardless of their mode of travel, are responsible for being aware of, and for being prepared in various ways as needed, to reduce that danger to themselves and others.

            By the way…using a cell phone’s lit screen as visibility gear is better than nothing, but not much better. I’d suggest using a bike headlight…much better throw, and level of illumination, fits in the palm of a hand. Not everyone is going to see and yield, but many people will.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              9watts June 8, 2017 at 7:13 am

              “Among the things I’m saying is that many road and street situations hold inherent danger, which all road users regardless of their mode of travel, are responsible for being aware of, and for being prepared in various ways as needed, to reduce that danger to themselves and others.”

              But where does this danger come from? Is it really inherent, or is it a function of the disproportionate, asymmetric speed and mass of the automobile in your scenarios? I have a hard time seeing any danger without a car driven at speed, where that speed is out of step with the circumstances in your scenario.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                wsbob June 8, 2017 at 9:35 am

                The significance in danger in use of streets by people walking and biking on streets on which many people are using motor vehicles for travel, can vary…not only by the manner in which people are driving…but also in the manner by which people walking and biking have prepared themselves to reduce the danger posed to them on streets many people use for travel with motor vehicles.

                As I’ve written in earlier comments, for an idea of how to have themselves be sufficiently visible to other road users, I think people walking and biking should perhaps equip their bike and their person, so that in at least some part, they are at least as visible to people driving as the street and related infrastructure itself.

                The public widely supports design, construction and maintenance of many streets that are easily and reasonably safe to travel at speeds of 25, and that are fairly compatible with livability values in neighborhoods…though interest in reductions to, for example, 20mph, is growing.

                Still such a reduction can’t reliably make up the level of safely needed to protect vulnerable road users that for various reasons, do not meet their personal obligation to observe safe procedures in using the road; among which, could be various measures help themselves be more readily visible to people driving.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 8, 2017 at 11:02 am

                Urban streets were dangerous long before cars were in the picture. Horses were a real menace.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                9watts June 8, 2017 at 4:23 pm

                217 words?

                Help me here –
                “The significance in danger in use of streets by people walking and biking on streets on which many people are using motor vehicles for travel, can vary…not only by the manner in which people are driving…but also in the manner by which people walking and biking have prepared themselves to reduce the danger posed to them on streets many people use for travel with motor vehicles.”

                You are using so many words that your contribution here gets buried.
                significance … can vary … manner … prepared … to reduce…

                In your soliloquy about how pedestrians can prepare themselves to reduce the danger you continue to evade my question about the *source* of the danger (In the 21st Century, not the 19th, Hello, Kitty).
                As El Biciclero famously put it here three years ago in response to you, we (as pedestrians) can learn to “perform better standing leaps, sprints, and diving shoulder rolls,”* but this skips right over what I’m trying to get you to address, which is that all this preparation you advocate is surely a strategy to minimize the risks from allowing cars in neighborhoods, cars that are inherently dangerous, even with no pedestrians present and in full daylight.

                *https://bikeportland.org/2014/06/20/pbot-ad-campaign-drivers-slow-107630#comment-5094131

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty June 8, 2017 at 5:56 pm

                I will agree that if everyone walked everywhere, the streets would be safer. That’s a pointless point, really, but I agree it is true.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              9watts June 8, 2017 at 9:53 pm

              Hardly pointless.
              It is a thought experiment to illuminate something that wspob has trouble acknowledging.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          El Biciclero June 8, 2017 at 10:32 am

          “I think you are right that most (I’d say very nearly all) would like not to hurt others with their cars, but where I think we diverge is in the implementation, in the actions that follow from this desire to not maim others.”

          Yes. It seems that most people, when driving, truly don’t want to hurt anyone. But rather than take intentional action (other than attempting to stay on the actual road) to avert danger, this desire not to hurt others is often manifest in the mind of vehicle operators as, “I sure hope there are no pedestrians out on a night like this, or if there are, I hope they have the sense to stay out of the way, because I sure won’t be able to see them in time if they don’t.”

          This should rather be more like, “I’d better slow down and pay extra attention in case there are pedestrians out and about—I want to be able to see them in time to avoid disaster.”

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • John Liu
        John Liu June 7, 2017 at 11:15 am

        Pedestrians generally overestimate how visible they are (see references in the SAE paper cited above). I imagine that applies to cyclists too. Drivers also overestimate their ability to detect objects. We (humans) often tend to overestimate our abilities.

        Difficulty seeing dark or gray things against dark backgrounds at night or low-light is common. How often have you been riding at night and hit a pothole you didn’t see?

        Maybe in the future we’ll all be driving high-tech cars with sensors that detect dark objects by radar and automatically apply brakes or steering to avoid collisions. But we want to get home safely *today*.

        Let’s all do some basic things to improve our own safety and those of others. Drivers should obey speed limits and watch for bikes/peds; cities should build bike infrastructure and increase enforcement; cyclists should run lights and reflectives and at least consider wearing light-colored clothing.

        My daily commute puts me on roads with heavy traffic, e.g. Marine Drive where the 18-wheelers roam and the “bike lane” is just a narrow strip of shoulder. From the behavior of those trucks as they pass me, it is very clear that the professional drivers at the wheel are giving me as much room as they possibly can. I do my part to be well lit, very visible, ride predictably, and ride defensively. (And wear a white jacket.)

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          9watts June 7, 2017 at 12:09 pm

          “We (humans) often tend to overestimate our abilities.”

          Precisely.

          Which is why cars have turned out to be such a bad fit for bipeds.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty June 5, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Frankly, the “Dutch Reach” method has to be BS. I mean, seriously, when was the last time you heard of a safe driving tip coming from Boston?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Kyle Banerjee June 5, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      The way they’re trying to sell it is certainly BS. Rather than promote it as a way of protecting cyclists, they should promote it as a way of protecting their car.

      I saw someone open a door in front of a bus a couple years back — it did not end well 😉 The odds of the door getting destroyed are pretty good even if it’s just opened in front of a cyclist.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Pete June 5, 2017 at 6:48 pm

      Now that’s funny.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty June 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    From the fashion police article:

    >>> The trend of flannel, boots and sweaters that shaped mass culture in the ’90s, for instance, grew from locals’ desire to dress for the region’s cool temperatures and rain.

    “A flannel shirt worn around the waist is a precaution against the Pacific Northwest’s mercurial clime,” says a 1992 New York Times story, describing grunge in Seattle. “Army boots slog effectively through mud.” <<<

    Flannel and army boots were part of the punk music scene long before Seattle was a thing.

    Sorry, I know no one cares. But I do.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      9watts June 5, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      I appreciate your critique. I thought the article was pretty terrible, actually.
      And where is this mud-that-you’d-need-to-slog-through in Seattle?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      rachel b June 5, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      I care.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Alan 1.0 June 5, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      Before Seattle was a thing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1850s_in_Western_fashion

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 5, 2017 at 7:44 pm

        What a rip-off. Straight out of the Victorian punk scene. You know, before it was cool.

        What next? The sack coat was for walking in the Seattle mud?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      BB June 6, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Yes SO punk rock. Tell us about the scene in the city you’re from!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 11:02 am

        Punk is dead.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Brian June 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm

          Punk’s not dead oh no. Punk’s not dead oh no. Punk’s not dead oh no. Punk’s not dead oh no it’s not.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Middle of the Road Guy June 7, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Remember when Doc Martens were punk?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    9watts June 6, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Hello, Kitty
    Instead of scolding ODOT for what they are doing, it might be more productive to urge them to do what they’re not.
    Recommended 2

    quoting you 18 months ago:

    Hello, Kitty
    I agree that attack isn’t the best strategy with ODOT, but I’m not sure what else to do. I get the feeling that many individuals working there mean well, and some even share my values, but the organization is so rigid and immune to logic and reason that I don’t know what else to do.
    Recommended 1

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty June 6, 2017 at 7:36 pm

      I still kind​ of feel that way. It doesn’t change or refute that argument I’m making today. Why get distracted by the petty stuff?

      ODOT isn’t hampered by their safety program, such as it is, they’re hampered by a lack of political will and direction.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        wsbob June 7, 2017 at 9:30 am

        “…they’re hampered by a lack of political will…” h kitty

        How would you describe this ‘political will’ you’re referring to? It seems to be this intangible something that some people too easily refer to perhaps without really understanding what it is. ODOT seems generally to respond to the will of Oregonians relative to construction and maintenance of the state’s roads, proportioned accordingly to the mode of transportation which people in Oregon express the greatest need to have supported: motor vehicles.

        Sure it’s kind of a bummer that the 10 or 15 percent of people in the state that use bikes and walk for their primary transportation, don’t have the parts of the road they use be completely insulated from the dangers posed by motor vehicle traffic…but it’s not ODOT autonomously making decisions about what form the roads should take. Rather, it’s the public that is advising the ODOT about which priorities to make.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty June 7, 2017 at 10:42 am

          I would describe political will as direction from above and/or a clear signal from the public that they should take a new direction. I see evidence of neither. I still write them letters, lobby my representatives, and provide input where I can, but I have not seen much payback for my efforts.

          The best I hope for is to wrest control of their urban facilities and turn them over to local agencies where outcomes seem to be better (at least in Portland).

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            wsbob June 8, 2017 at 9:13 am

            “I would describe political will as direction from above and/or a clear signal from the public that they should take a new direction. …” h kitty

            “…direction from above…”? From where above, if not from the public itself? People representing the majority public, are clearly telling ODOT that they want their roads to be enabled to have the capacity to reduce motor vehicle congestion arising from increasing travel needs of a growing population.

            Any call for ODOT to commit its budget to major expansion of infrastructure for walking and biking, comes from a comparatively tiny percentage of the public. You making calls and letters for that kind of infrastructure is commendable, but the number of people doing similarly, is not enough to have ODOT affect the change in direction you seek. For the big change you believe is necessary, there would need to be a virtual revolution in public view of community planning and design, which the state transportation agency would gladly provide the roads and maintenance of them for. To date, there’s nothing like that happening in Oregon or the Northwest.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Dan A June 8, 2017 at 10:47 am

              “telling ODOT that they want their roads to be enabled to have the capacity to reduce motor vehicle congestion arising from increasing travel needs of a growing population”

              Right, they are asking formagic, and ODOT is going to try to appease them with sleight of hand.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          9watts June 7, 2017 at 10:42 am

          “Rather, it’s the public that is advising the ODOT about which priorities to make.”

          I’m going to go out on a limb and submit that you don’t understand how power works. I’ve given you many, many examples of ODOT decision-making, prioritization that shows this assumption to be flawed.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SE June 7, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Well, thank you very much and now I think it’s time for us all to go
    So from all of us to all of you not forgetting the boys in the band
    And our producer, Reg Thorpe, we’d like to say “God Bless”

    So, if you’re out tonight, don’t forget, if you’re on your bike, wear white
    Amen

    -The Rolling Stones

    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/rollingstones/somethinghappenedtomeyesterday.html

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar