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  1. #151
    kwv
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    Quote Originally Posted by rs_woods
    I don't care what your scientific reasoning is. The fact remains - If I ride in the street going down Ames Blvd, I am going to get hit. There is no two ways about it. Since there are only two or three intersecting streets on that long, narrow, hazardous boulevard, it is incredibly safer for me to take the sidewalk. The same applies for Lapalco blvd. Most other streets are safer on the shoulder of the road or in the road itself, but every street is different and your "scientific" studies are obviously not taking that into account.
    But are you taking into account that riding on the sidewalk could not be safer for and is hazardous for pedestrians and they could end up being hit by you or are just concern for yourself?

  2. #152
    kwv
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    Quote Originally Posted by billh
    Yet Missouri law provides for cycling on sidewalks not in a business district.
    But what would be classifed as a business district one, two or a rown of offices or a row of tall building with offices?

  3. #153
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    OMFG, I rode six blocks on the sidewalk today and lived to tell the tale...

  4. #154
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    One reason sidewalk cycling should be done slowly, is because you might run into creative designs like this!



    (this image will probably disappear in the next few weeks)

  5. #155
    H23
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    wow serge, what an urban jungle you ride in!

  6. #156
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    I ride about 2 miles of my daily 30 mile bike ride on a sidewalk. One part is going over a freeway overpass and the other is riding toward the freeway overpass on the return trip. Even though I go by many driveways for fastfood restaurants, I feel safer up on the sidewalk than being on a street with cars traveling at 45 miles per hour next to me. I also figure it is better to get hit (or to hit) a slow moving car coming out of a driveway than to be ran down from behind. The rest of my ride is on sidestreets and only about 50 cars pass me the rest of the way.

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike nut
    I ride about 2 miles of my daily 30 mile bike ride on a sidewalk. One part is going over a freeway overpass and the other is riding toward the freeway overpass on the return trip. Even though I go by many driveways for fastfood restaurants, I feel safer up on the sidewalk than being on a street with cars traveling at 45 miles per hour next to me. I also figure it is better to get hit (or to hit) a slow moving car coming out of a driveway than to be ran down from behind. The rest of my ride is on sidestreets and only about 50 cars pass me the rest of the way.
    Nice points.

    I've just begun commuting to work and so am still quite familiar with what drivers focus on when driving. There are lots of places on my commute to work that, when driving, I now realize I was not focusing on the right hand side of the road (left hand curves, bridge abutments, etc.). And I used to commute for years in Massachessetts and New Jersey, so I'm somewhat cyclist aware.

    Anyway, I pity the fools who don't assess the relative safety of the sidewalk vs the road on a segment by segment basis. Some parts of the commute I'll take on the road because, for various reasons, it makes more sense. Other parts though, I'm taking the sidewalk for the very same reason: it makes more sense.

    The statistics that began this whole thread are NOT CAUSAL statistics. There were no studies that I read assessing WHY riding on the sidewalk is CORRELATED with more accidents. It may be that sidewalk riders have less experience, in general. It may be that sidewalk riders lose their sense of alertness (false sense of security).

    "Constant vigilance!" as Mad-Eye liked to say.

  8. #158
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    Oh yes: one last point.

    I agree with the point that if I'm going to get hit, I'd rather get hit by a slow moving vehicle that's entering or exiting a parking lot then a car being driven by someone distracted by their rush home and going 45 mph.

  9. #159
    Senior Member Bruce Rosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carp
    It may be that sidewalk riders have less experience, in general. It may be that sidewalk riders lose their sense of alertness (false sense of security).
    It may be that too many sidewalk riders travel the wrong way. Several years ago, Richard C. Moeur wrote:
    Cyclists riding against the flow of traffic will enter intersections and driveways from a literally unseen (and unseeable) location, and no amount of traffic calming, signing, or other treatment can alleviate that.

    See pages 17-24 of the Presentation on Bicycle Facility Design on my website. Also, from the Traffic Control Devices Handbook, published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers:

    --- begin excerpt ---

    Problems with Parallel Separated Paths

    It is frequently assumed that a separated parallel pathway along an arterial street or highway will provide a superior facility for bicyclists than the provision of on-street accommodations. While a parallel path may be aesthetically appealing, and may serve pedestrians well, the use of sidewalks or parallel separated paths for bicycle accommodation creates the following problems:

    - These paths will operate as sidewalks, and will be used in both directions, despite signing to the contrary. Bicyclists coming from the right will not be noticed by drivers emerging from or entering cross streets and driveways. See Figure 13 for diagrams that show these potential conflicts.

    - Travel in the direction opposite the flow of traffic is particularly hazardous during hours of darkness, because bicyclists may be blinded by oncoming motor vehicle headlamps.

    - At intersections, drivers will not be looking for bicyclists, who will be traveling much faster than pedestrians, to enter the crosswalk area.

    - At approaches to intersections, parked vehicles interfere with the visibility of bicyclists to road users. Also, at driveways sight distances on sidewalks and sidepaths are often impaired by buildings, property
    fences, vegetation, and other obstructions.

    - Stopped cross street motor vehicle traffic or vehicles exiting side streets or driveways may block the sidepath or sidewalk.

    - These paths are typically not safe for higher-speed use. Due to the speed differential, conflicts between bicyclists and pedestrians are common. Fixed objects such as parking meters, utility poles, sign posts, bus shelters and benches, trees, hydrants, and cross-sloped sidewalk ramps also pose a hazard to bicyclists.

    - The development of extremely wide sidewalks or sidepaths does not necessarily add to the safety of bicycle travel, as wide sidewalks and paths will encourage higher speed bicycle use, magnifying the potential for conflicts at intersections and driveways, and conflicts with pedestrians and fixed objects.

    - Many bicyclists will use the roadway instead of the sidewalk or sidepath because they have found the highway to be safer, more convenient, or better maintained. Bicyclists using the roadway are often subjected to harassment by motorists, who feel that in all cases bicyclists should be on the sidepath or sidewalk instead.

    - There is the potential on sidewalks for bicyclists to accidentally ride off the curb, possibly causing a fall or collision with traffic on the roadway. While pathways may reduce the possibility of such collisions by using the recommended 1.5 m (5 ft) separation between the path and the roadway, such pathways will still be vulnerable to most of the other problems listed here.

    - Experience has shown that the use of STOP or YIELD signs on sidewalks and pathways to reduce conflicts at driveways and cross streets has little or no benefit. Bicyclists will not comply with unreasonable restrictions on their right of way, especially if the adjacent roadway has no such limitations. This may also breed disrespect for other traffic control devices that are far more important for traffic safety.

    --- end excerpt ---

    (Note: Figure 13 is a compilation of the figures on pages 22-24 of the presentation on my site)

    Richard C. Moeur, P.E., ...
    Practicing Traffic Engineer (I'll get it right someday...)
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA
    "Life is just one W1-5 after another, until the W14-1"
    The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of
    the Arizona Department of Transportation. Really.

  10. #160
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    Where have I been? Who would have known that anyone could debate bike lanes.

    I have been an avid cyclist for 30 years and have ridden on every kind of road, bike lane, bike path, .... I have lived in the South, the North East, the Midwest, and California.

    I have no doubt that the safest place to ride in the country is California on its well marked and well understood 2-way bike paths. Second, on their well-designated bike lanes on the roads, including the great PCH-1 with cars whizzing past me well over 60 mph and a good foot or two away from me.

    The worst places for cycling are the South (most anywhere) on these skinny two lane roads with drivers unfamiliar or unfriendly to cyclists where I have no room to get myself in a safe place when I feel the car coming too fast behind me.

    I have to get on the sidewalk on certain main roads where cars speed by me... no way in hell would they give a hoot if I were to act like I'm one of them when my best speed is 20mph. Most likely they wouldn't even see me before they plowed into from the rear.

    Yes. Sidewalks are unsafe. No car has their eyes open for anything moving off an unexpected pathway. Further, since its a sidewalk, anything could stray in my way. So, when riding on a sidewalk I am slower and more mindful.

    This is a silly debate. And what is the point? To remove bike paths or put less financial support behind them?? The point is, anything is unsafe if there isn't a culture of familiarity towards bicyclists. Discouraging bike paths is simply creating an unfriendly position towards bikes.

  11. #161
    Senior Member Bruce Rosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Actuarial Spoke
    Discouraging bike paths is simply creating an unfriendly position towards bikes.
    Another point of view from the Guidelines for a Cyclist Friendly Community
    Appropriate Facilities

    In the field of bicycle advocacy, there are common and serious mistakes that are made over and over again. The mistakes are related to bicycle use, education, advocacy, engineering, and traffic laws. The blunders make cycling more difficult and dangerous and they jeopardize cyclists right to use the roads. Read about these Bicycle Blunders and how to avoid them.

    Conventional bicycle planning focuses almost exclusively on building facilities to separate bicycle and motor traffic. Often these separate bike lanes and paths expose the very people they are intended to protect to new and unexpected hazards. Separate bike lanes introduce hazards because they encourage motorists to stay to the left and cyclists to stay right, even where the rules of the road require otherwise. Sometimes bike lanes are placed in particularly hazardous locations, such as in the "door zone" of parked cars. Sidepaths, adjacent to roadways introduce conflicts at every intersection and every driveway.
    Humantransport.org: Advocacy on behalf of humans traveling under their own power

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Rosar
    Another point of view from the Guidelines for a Cyclist Friendly Community
    I don't think it's another point of view at all. Most cyclists have not been adequately or consistently taught to deal with the rules of the road. This should be required in the same way as drivers of cars are. And why shouldn't a license be required? Safety is a good enough reason.

    Perhaps some community needs to take it upon themselves to initiate this. I thought California had the right idea. I was stopped by a cop many years ago for moving through a red light when as a cyclist I thought I was above having to abide by the rules that cars had to. I fussed a bit, but thought about it and later realized that if I am asking to be treated respectively by vehicles, then I should act appropriately as well.

  13. #163
    Senior Member Bruce Rosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Actuarial Spoke
    Most cyclists have not been adequately or consistently taught to deal with the rules of the road. This should be required in the same way as drivers of cars are. And why shouldn't a license be required?
    Since operating a Pedal Vehicle (PV) does not pose an extraordinary danger to the person or property of others (unlike heavy Motor Vehicle operation does), PV operation no more deserves licensing/identification than does walking in a public way.
    Humantransport.org: Advocacy on behalf of humans traveling under their own power

  14. #164
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    I think that if you are riding on the sidewalk it is safer than riding in the street. How could it not be? You are further of the road and you even have a curb to protect you, even though occasionally cars run up the curb, how many times have you seen skid marks that hit the curb and then bounce back. If you were in the street you would be dead, but if you were on the sidewalk you would have been protected. Where sidewalks become dangerous is at intersections.
    " People don't go to church because, they say, Churchs are full of hypocrites. No they're not, there's room for plenty more!!"
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  15. #165
    Senior Member Bruce Rosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike nut
    I think that if you are riding on the sidewalk it is safer than riding in the street. How could it not be? ... Where sidewalks become dangerous is at intersections.
    Read what the Institute of Transportation Engineers has to say about the Problems with Parallel Separated Paths in post #160 of this thread, especially the following:
    • ... at driveways sight distances on sidewalks and sidepaths are often impaired by buildings, property
      fences, vegetation, and other obstructions.
    • Stopped cross street motor vehicle traffic or vehicles exiting side streets or driveways may block the sidepath or sidewalk.
    • These paths are typically not safe for higher-speed use. Due to the speed differential, conflicts between bicyclists and pedestrians are common. Fixed objects such as parking meters, utility poles, sign posts, bus shelters and benches, trees, hydrants, and cross-sloped sidewalk ramps also pose a hazard to bicyclists.
    • The development of extremely wide sidewalks or sidepaths does not necessarily add to the safety of bicycle travel, as wide sidewalks and paths will encourage higher speed bicycle use, magnifying the potential for conflicts at intersections and driveways, and conflicts with pedestrians and fixed objects.
    • There is the potential on sidewalks for bicyclists to accidentally ride off the curb, possibly causing a fall or collision with traffic on the roadway. While pathways may reduce the possibility of such collisions by using the recommended 1.5 m (5 ft) separation between the path and the roadway, such pathways will still be vulnerable to most of the other problems listed here.
    • Experience has shown that the use of STOP or YIELD signs on sidewalks and pathways to reduce conflicts at driveways and cross streets has little or no benefit. Bicyclists will not comply with unreasonable restrictions on their right of way, especially if the adjacent roadway has no such limitations. This may also breed disrespect for other traffic control devices that are far more important for traffic safety.
    Last edited by Bruce Rosar; 06-26-05 at 02:34 PM. Reason: quote portions of the reference
    Humantransport.org: Advocacy on behalf of humans traveling under their own power

  16. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Rosar
    Since operating a Pedal Vehicle (PV) does not pose an extraordinary danger to the person or property of others (unlike heavy Motor Vehicle operation does), PV operation no more deserves licensing/identification than does walking in a public way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Rosar
    Due to the speed differential, conflicts between bicyclists and pedestrians are common.
    Looks like you contradicted yourself. Bikes are a hazard to pedestrians on the sidewalk.

    I see more a parallel with seat belt laws than with motor vehicles. Requiring seat belt use only protects the user. Requiring a cyclist to be licensed (hence trained to properly use the street) primarly protects the cyclists. Vehicles can learn to look out for expected behavior. This can be accomplished by having bicyclists are trained to respond in a certain way in situations. Slow down, stop, use signals, ...., all in expected places, and vehicles would know what they are going to do next and hence have a better response. Cyclists who don't feel the need to stop at stop signs/lights have a really misguided sense of righteousness and are putting themselves, and ultimately other cyclists at risk.

    Take Oregon. I higher per capita rate of cycling commuters than any other state. And far lower fatality rate than other states with high commuter rates (CA). Why? Because they made concientious efforts to educate everyone about cycling and provide the means (bike paths, etc.) to encourage cycling. Licensing is just one suggestion. A blanket why to change behavior. Forcing cyclists to follow motor vehicle laws, another.

  17. #167
    Senior Member Bruce Rosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Actuarial Spoke
    Requiring a cyclist to be licensed ... primarly protects the cyclists.
    Whether or not that's really the reason, the Constitutional limits on Federal and State power to regulate the fundamental right of travel in the USA are not diminished. The following quotes are from a Business Law/Legal Studies study outline:
    Chapter 4 -- Constitutional Law
    The U.S. Constitution is the fundamental law of the United States and takes precedence over any other source of law... it imposes limits on the power of government.
    From section 4.4 of the same outline:
    LIMITATIONS ON FEDERAL AND STATE POWERS
    Judicial Scrutiny of Governmental Regulation.
    The U.S. Supreme Court has developed three primary levels of scrutiny for determining whether governmental regulation (state or federal) is valid under the Constitution: strict scrutiny, intermediate scrutiny, and the rational relationship test...
    1. Strict scrutiny. It is the most demanding of all. This test is sometimes referred to as the compelling interest test.
    1. The strict scrutiny test is applied when legislation affects fundamental rights, e.g., voting, privacy, travel, free speech, and religion.
    2. The test is also applied when legislation affects suspect classifications, e.g., classifications based on race or national origin.
    3. Any legislation subject to strict scrutiny must be necessary to promote a compelling governmental interest.

    1)"Necessary" implies that there are no less restrictive means than the challenged regulation available to protect or promote the interest.
    2) EXAMPLE: If Kansas enacted legislation calling for segregation in its public school system, the Supreme Court would apply the strict scrutiny test because the legislation affects a suspect classification, i.e., one based on race. The Supreme Court would rule that such legislation does not promote a compelling governmental interest. The state statute should be held unconstitutional and invalid.
    More about that fundamental right to travel: SUPREME COURT OF WISCONSIN, Case No. 93-2842
    The right to travel has long been recognized by the courts as inherent in our constitutional concepts of personal liberty. The Supreme Court acknowledged that to enjoy the freedom to travel, citizens must be allowed to move "throughout the length and breadth of our land uninhibited by statutes, rules, or regulations which unreasonably burden or restrict that movement."
    And no, there's no explicit mention of the right to travel in the US Constitution. There doesn't have to be.
    Ninth Amendment: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
    Comment: The Ninth Amendment declares that just because certain rights are not mentioned ... does not mean that they do not exist. Courts may not infer from the silence of the Constitution that an unlisted right is unavailable to protect individuals from the government.
    Humantransport.org: Advocacy on behalf of humans traveling under their own power

  18. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Rosar
    Whether or not that's really the reason, the Constitutional limits on Federal and State power to regulate the fundamental right of travel in the USA are not diminished. The following quotes are from a Business Law/Legal Studies study outline:

    From section 4.4 of the same outline:
    More about that fundamental right to travel: SUPREME COURT OF WISCONSIN, Case No. 93-2842
    And no, there's no explicit mention of the right to travel in the US Constitution. There doesn't have to be.
    You got me why you're quoting law wrt travel in an of itself That is not in dispute. What is in dispute is safe travel and how to promote/encourage/provide for it.

  19. #169
    Senior Member Bruce Rosar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Actuarial Spoke
    What is in dispute is safe travel and how to promote/encourage/provide for it.
    What is in dispute are the limits on government power to impose additional restrictions on a citizen's right to travel.

    Q. Why is the following observation from the Bicycles and the Traffic Law guide true in the USA?
    In all states, motor vehicle operators, but not cyclists, must meet additional requirements such as driver licensing, vehicle registration, and liability insurance.
    A. From that state Supreme Court decision:
    The right to travel has long been recognized by the courts as inherent in our constitutional concepts of personal liberty...
    Because that right is fundamental, the [U.S. Supreme] Court reasoned, "any classification which serves to penalize the exercise of that right, unless shown to be necessary to promote a compelling government interest, is unconstitutional."
    The courts have consistently held that the extraordinary danger to others and their property posed by heavy equipment operation in a public way (i.e., driving most motor vehicles) is such a compelling government interest. On the other hand, human powered travel (whether on foot or wheel) is, almost without exception, never heavy enough to create a level of danger to others which is sufficient to justify additional government requirements for such travel.

    Freedom of movement is the very essence of our free society ... once the right to travel is curtailed, all other rights suffer.
    -- Former Supreme Court Justice William Douglas
    Last edited by Bruce Rosar; 06-27-05 at 09:27 PM. Reason: a little "word smithing"
    Humantransport.org: Advocacy on behalf of humans traveling under their own power

  20. #170
    LHT Commuter wsexson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick burns
    Are there really that many people riding regularly on the sidewalk instead of the road? I've been riding an awfully long time & the only people I see on the sidewalk are kids.
    I think most adults realize that sidewalks were made for pedestians not bicyclists.
    I guess it depends on where you are. I cannot think of any part of the greater Los Angeles area where I have not seen teens and adults riding bicycles on sidewalks on a daily basis (usually on Wal-Mart type MTB or BMX bikes, sometimes on old road bikes with strange handlebar and seat configurations).

    I only ride on sidewalks over bridges/overpasses where the lanes are narrow and I will be going under 10 mph riding up it.

    Sidewalks on the wrong side of the road to travel in the same direction as traffic, sidewalks that do not go through, driveways, uneven sidewalks, trash and debris, there are many reasons why I would not feel safe riding on a sidewalk. IMO you should not ride on a sidewalk if you are going faster than a pedestrian, and I do not feel stable on the bike at such a low speed. Plus there is not enough room to pass a pedestrian on most sidewalks around here.

    Riding on the road works for me. I cannot speak for anyone else

  21. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Rosar
    What is in dispute are the limits on government power to impose additional restrictions on a citizen's right to travel.

    Q. Why is the following observation from the Bicycles and the Traffic Law guide true in the USA?
    A. From that state Supreme Court decision:
    The courts have consistently held that the extraordinary danger to others and their property posed by heavy equipment operation in a public way (i.e., driving most motor vehicles) is such a compelling government interest. On the other hand, human powered travel (whether on foot or wheel) is, almost without exception, never heavy enough to create a level of danger to others which is sufficient to justify additional government requirements for such travel.
    Consider the limitation on bike travel on highways, where they are expressly unallowed and hence their right to travel is curtailed. I don't think that this restriction is in contradiction to the rulings above. There is an obvious safety issue. And, I suggest that there is an obvious safety issue on roads of lessor speed. And, rather than restrict travel there entirely, ask that the user not join in with the traffic unless he has the training to do so. The intent is not to get bikes off the road, but get them to travel comfortably with vehicles, and ultimately, have cars travel comfortably with them. My ultimate interest is the safety of cyclists who should have as much right to the use of the road as vehicles, but who may be endangering themselves by not following an expected pattern of behavior, which would allow a vehicle to make better decisions around them.

  22. #172
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    What limitation on bike travel on highways? You're missing the whole point!

    The only limitation on bike travel is on limited access roadways (freeways, some bridges and tunnels) on which even pedestrians do not have the right of way. The only way this is accomplished is by making sure that all adjacent private property has alternative routes via the public right-of-way.


    My ultimate interest is the safety of cyclists who should have as much right to the use of the road as vehicles, but who may be endangering themselves by not following an expected pattern of behavior, which would allow a vehicle to make better decisions around them.
    This is an excellent example of what I call "freeway mentality creep". Yes, freeways are specifically designed for uninterrupted flow of traffic. But other highways are not. Bike lanes, and riding in accordance to "bike lane rules", promotes freeway mentality to be applied on non-freeway highways. Even pedestrians feel uncomfortable asserting their right-of-way to cross at an intersections unless there is a signal. What ever happened to putting a foot on the pavement thus requiring motorists to stop and let you cross? Freeway mentality creep, that's what happened.. But I do it all the time, it works great, and it's perfectly safe (you only walk in front of cars that have already stopped explicitly to let you by). Although... sometimes just putting my foot on the roadway pavement is not enough, and I also have to hold up my hand in a way to communicate "stop".

    In any case, the same people who have absorbed freeway mentality (the primary edict of which is: "thou shalt not interrupt the flow of vehicular traffic") are afraid to assert their pedestrian rights to cross at unsignaled intersections, are also afraid to ride their bikes in a manner that might interrupt vehicular flow. Ugh. If I ever get around to writing my book, I think I might devote a section or even a chapter on asserting your right to travel as a pedestrian. I think it's good practice for developing the requisite attitude for VC.

  23. #173
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    What ever happened to putting a foot on the pavement thus requiring motorists to stop and let you cross? Freeway mentality creep, that's what happened.. But I do it all the time, it works great, and it's perfectly safe (you only walk in front of cars that have already stopped explicitly to let you by). Although... sometimes just putting my foot on the roadway pavement is not enough, and I also have to hold up my hand in a way to communicate "stop".
    Ha, ha and a big dang HA!!!. Have you ever creeped out East and tried that "stuff"? Try your dang steely gaze and holding up an Alpha Dog Paw on motorists who don't give a dang what the dang laws may or may not read in La-La Land or in Serge World. Before writing your dang book, try looking at a map or atlas and discover that the rest of the cycling world does not spin around California, San Diego or Lemon Grove.

  24. #174
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Worked for me when I visited New York City in 1998.

    Have YOU ever tried it?

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Worked for me when I visited New York City in 1998.

    Have YOU ever tried it?
    Tried what? Making up "requirements" for everybody else and enforcing my own fabricated right of way requirements by staring down moving motorists who DO have the right of way?

    No, I make it my busines to remain sober when crossing a street filled with moving traffic and harried drivers who DO have the right of way. I place zero credibility on any statement about what "works" when it is obvious the source is unable to distinguish between fiction, loony ideology, and reality.

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