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  1. #1
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Ad Campaign Against Wrong Way Cycling?

    Of course, one could go the official route and try to get your municipality to make up official signs to post, put ads on busses, etc. But I'm thinking why not make a bunch of signs yourself, computer printed and copied in color if you have the software/skills/money, laminated against the weather, and put them up yourself? On telephone poles or other signs, facing the wrong way, of course, where the wrong-way cyclists will see them. Backs of signs might be good. Some big type at the top to grab their attention, then smaller type explaining about the law and safety issues, for if they are actually curious enough to stop to read it. Sound good? Ideas for text?

    I'm thinking the big text at the top should be "RIDING AGAINST TRAFFIC? DON'T!".

    Maybe if local officials see them, they might think it's a good idea and continue it.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  2. #2
    Drive the Bicycle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    I'm thinking the big text at the top should be "RIDING AGAINST TRAFFIC? DON'T!".
    --- Yes, there needs to be a massive education effort against wrong-way cycling. Somehow the message needs to point out the inherent danger to the wrong-way rider.
    The wrong-way riders I see are mainly punks who routinely flout the law, so the "...DON'T!" message won't affect them. But they might be converted when confronted with the FACT that auto drivers don't expect them to come from the wrong direction. They need to hear it from their own peers who drive.
    "The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man's metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well." Ivan Illich ('Energy and Equity')1974

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    There are signs showing that against traffic is the wrong way on a bike, but they're up kinda high, I noticed one when I was walking.

    Hate to put it in these terms but it's late at night ..... the wrong way riders are kind of the cycling underclass........

    Maybe come up with language-neutral handouts illustrating the dangers of riding wrong-way, print 'em up and hand 'em out. Staple 'em to telephone poles along routes wrong way riders take, and try not to get caught by the cops. Leave 'em on parked bumbikes with a free cheapie pant-leg holder. I dunno. Just some ideas.

    I'll be the first one to say, it's a freakin' plague, those wrong-way riders.

  4. #4
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    The plague that almost always causes an accident... happened to me. I love the bike lane signs that have an arrow... no effect!
    Just your average club rider... :)

  5. #5
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 77Univega
    The wrong-way riders I see are mainly punks who routinely flout the law, so the "...DON'T!" message won't affect them. But they might be converted when confronted with the FACT that auto drivers don't expect them to come from the wrong direction. They need to hear it from their own peers who drive.
    It's not been my experience around here that they are mostly punks. No doubt it depends on where you are. Around here, at least some of them look to be just average people who don't know any better.

    Sorry to repeat a story I just posted elsewhere, but it's more relevant here and I don't know how to link to an exact post:

    I encountered two wrong-way cyclists a few weeks ago. They were both young 20-something females, nice-looking. The first had moved over to the sidewalk by the time I passed her, so I didn't say anything. About 100 feet later I encountered the second one; I'm thinking they were probably together. She stayed on the road, but fortunately there wasn't any car traffic next to us at the moment, so I could move into the car lane to avoid her. I did say, loudly but nicely, as we approached each other, "You're on the wrong side of the road." She just smiled at me. It was a nice smile. I thought as I rode away, "Yeah, you're cute, but you're still on the wrong side of the road." Hope she thought about it later.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    On telephone poles or other signs, facing the wrong way, of course, where the wrong-way cyclists will see them. Backs of signs might be good.
    I was recently thinking the same thing. My slogan would be: "If you can read this, you're riding your bike on the wrong side of the street."

    On potential problem: Posting signs or stickers on utility poles or traffic signs could violate local ordinances (although they may be seldom enforced). However, partnering with the city or county traffic engineering office might be a way around this. They might even be able to assist with the printing and application of decals to traffic signs, since they presumably have some interest in limiting this dangerous practice.

    On a side note, was there ever a time when riding against traffic was advocated? I ask this because the practice is so widespread where I live, I can't help but think that some folks were taught this behavior at some point in their lives.

  7. #7
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    This thread is funny. Maybe this would work Cali, Maine and Georgia, but in NYC? Bwuahahaha!!! Good one.

    Seriously, it sounds like a good idea, but I think it would have very little effect in NYC, largely in part due to the large punk-factor cited above. Anyhow, when the contrary isn't enforeced, people tend to stay with old habits, so I think even non-punks would do mostly the same (wrong-side ride... hey that has a catchy ring to it, "don't wrong-side ride" ).
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  8. #8
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    Good idea I see way too much of it around my town. When you tell someone it has no effect except maybe to piss someone off.A radio and tv ad campaign with psa's on all stations would probably work best and I mean all stations including( especially) foriegn langauge.Maybe increased impact speed could be played up in the event of an accident.I.E bicycle 15 mph wway and suv 45 mph RWay = impact 60 mph.Bicycle 15 mph Rway suv 45mph Rway =30 mph impact.
    Last edited by James H Haury; 07-11-05 at 07:38 AM.

  9. #9
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oboeguy
    This thread is funny. Maybe this would work Cali, Maine and Georgia, but in NYC? Bwuahahaha!!! Good one
    Yes, I'm sure NYC is a whole different animal, and I obviously can't speak for it. Probably similar for most larger cities. Portland is an extremely small for a city, although it is the largest in Maine.


    Quote Originally Posted by chocula
    I was recently thinking the same thing. My slogan would be: "If you can read this, you're riding your bike on the wrong side of the street."
    Clever, but I think it's too wordy. It needs to be large type that could be seen 20 feet away and read in a second or two.


    Quote Originally Posted by chocula
    On potential problem: Posting signs or stickers on utility poles or traffic signs could violate local ordinances (although they may be seldom enforced). However, partnering with the city or county traffic engineering office might be a way around this. They might even be able to assist with the printing and application of decals to traffic signs, since they presumably have some interest in limiting this dangerous practice.
    True. OTOH, I was wanting something quick and easy to start with, and it seems to me that partnering with a local gov't has the potential to be neither. However, maybe I could start by making up a sign first, then taking it to them and asking if they would consider posting it or something similar. That way they already have a starting point.


    Quote Originally Posted by chocula
    On a side note, was there ever a time when riding against traffic was advocated? I ask this because the practice is so widespread where I live, I can't help but think that some folks were taught this behavior at some point in their lives.
    I don't know. I know sidewalk riding used to be widely advocated, at least for kids, and with the lack of "continuing education" for adults, many adults never consider changing. But riding against traffic, I don't know. I think the fact that it's correct for pedestrians, and the fact that they can see traffic approaching them as they ride, makes people conclude that it must be more safe.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  10. #10
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Trouble is, those wrong-way cyclists--who also usually don't stop at stop signs--get where they are going much quicker than I do. Why should they trade an efficient means of getting there with something slower and probably less "fun" for them? I don't think appealing to safety or the law will persuade most of them. It might work for a few of them, though.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  11. #11
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Here's what I'm thinking. Whole sign in red with white lettering. Upper left corner, icon of bicycle in circle with line through it. Huge font on top and to right of icon, "RIDING AGAINST TRAFFIC? DON'T!". Underneath, two sections, each titled with medium-large font, then smaller text with the details. The two sections would be captioned "DANGEROUS" and "ILLEGAL". The idea is that the overall heading and the section headings would be easily visible and readable from a distance and while in motion, and hopefully provocative enough to tempt the rider to stop to read the details, especially if there are several such signs along the same stretch of road.

    Some advice for content would be appreciated. I have not been able to get a copy of Effective Cycling from my public library. (They think someone never returned it!) Can someone summarize his arguments against riding against traffic? I have my own and some that others here have suggested, but I'd like to know if he's got some I haven't thought of. Plus citations are always helpful in making a case. I also want to include some stats about % of accidents in which the cyclist was going against traffic.

    Secondly, I'm assuming that it's illegal pretty much everywhere, and I'd like to make the sign as geographically generic as possible for any of you can also use it if you want. Does anything think it possible that there might be somewhere that it's not illegal? I'm thinking I'll write some generic stuff about its illegality, then leave some room for the person posting it to write in the specific section of the vehicle code that pertains in their own locality.

    Sound good?
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  12. #12
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    Be nice to paint a pic of Wile E Coyote with a mangled bike splattered on the front of a municipal bus.

    I've encountered way too many lately.

  13. #13
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    I'm thinking the big text at the top should be "RIDING AGAINST TRAFFIC? DON'T!".
    How about:
    HEY DUMBASS, YOU'RE ON THE WRONG SIDE!

  14. #14
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    How about:
    HEY DUMBASS, YOU'RE ON THE WRONG SIDE!
    Compact version: "WRONG SIDE DUMBA55!" which is pretty darned close to what I tell wrong way riders myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    Can someone summarize his arguments against riding against traffic? I have my own and some that others here have suggested, but I'd like to know if he's got some I haven't thought of. Plus citations are always helpful in making a case. I also want to include some stats about % of accidents in which the cyclist was going against traffic.
    I'd also be very interested in learning more about this. As I mentioned earlier, I suspect that riding against traffic was once recommended in the state of Georgia (I seem to have some kind of vague elementary school memory of it, myself). The practice is so widespread here, I have trouble believing that it's self-taught.


    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    and I'd like to make the sign as geographically generic as possible for any of you can also use it if you want.

    I agree that the signs should have a certain universality. One way of doing this is to use images and language that already exist in the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. These are signs and symbols with which most people are familiar.

    I suspect you are thinking more about a grass-roots effort in which cyclists would deploy them on their own, without approval from local government. However, if anyone wanted to solicit the cooperation of their local government, a sticker or sign based on MUTCD standards might be more appealing to traffic engineers. I know a lot of them are highly allergic to any signs that are not listed in the MUTCD. Ultimately I think it would great to have such a sign added to the MUTCD inventory, although I imagine that's a dreadfully Byzantine process. Or could it be that such a sign (or a combination of signs that would do the job) already exist there?
    Last edited by chocula; 07-14-05 at 08:13 AM.

  16. #16
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chocula
    I agree that the signs should have a certain universality. One way of doing this is to use images and language that already exist in the Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. These are signs and symbols with which most people are familiar.

    I suspect you are thinking more about a grass-roots effort in which cyclists would deploy them on their own, without approval from local government. However, if anyone wanted to solicit the cooperation of their local government, a sticker or sign based on MUTCD standards might be more appealing to traffic engineers. I know a lot of them are highly allergic to any signs that are not listed in the MUTCD. Ultimately I think it would great to have such a sign added to the MUTCD inventory, although I imagine that's a dreadfully Byzantine process. Or could it be that such a sign (or a combination of signs that would do the job) already exist there?
    Hey, look here! (See signs R5-1b and R9-3c.) Not wordy, but definitely already official! So maybe we should just concentrate on getting these put up! Thanks, chocula!!
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    I'm happy to be of service.

  18. #18
    kwv
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    Of course, one could go the official route and try to get your municipality to make up official signs to post, put ads on busses, etc. But I'm thinking why not make a bunch of signs yourself, computer printed and copied in color if you have the software/skills/money, laminated against the weather, and put them up yourself? On telephone poles or other signs, facing the wrong way, of course, where the wrong-way cyclists will see them. Backs of signs might be good. Some big type at the top to grab their attention, then smaller type explaining about the law and safety issues, for if they are actually curious enough to stop to read it. Sound good? Ideas for text?

    I'm thinking the big text at the top should be "RIDING AGAINST TRAFFIC? DON'T!".

    Maybe if local officials see them, they might think it's a good idea and continue it.
    And a smaller sign on the botton saying what the penalties are.

    But someone who wrote here is right some signs are to high up and the No cyclists allow sign I seen are not only too high up on poles out of eye level but the poles are too far along the path.

    So by the time the cyclists seen they are going to fast and too far gone along the path to stop and get off the bike.

    As council won't use common sense to place the signs at eye level and closer to where the path starts.

  19. #19
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    Of course, one could go the official route and try to get your municipality to make up official signs to post, put ads on busses, etc. But I'm thinking why not make a bunch of signs yourself, computer printed and copied in color if you have the software/skills/money, laminated against the weather, and put them up yourself? On telephone poles or other signs, facing the wrong way, of course, where the wrong-way cyclists will see them. Backs of signs might be good. Some big type at the top to grab their attention, then smaller type explaining about the law and safety issues, for if they are actually curious enough to stop to read it. Sound good? Ideas for text?

    I'm thinking the big text at the top should be "RIDING AGAINST TRAFFIC? DON'T!".

    Maybe if local officials see them, they might think it's a good idea and continue it.
    Education/awareness is not a bad idea at all but I'm not sure that putting up more signs will do much. There are already too many signs that people don't read.

    Most of the wrong-way riders I see are also helmetless and/or under 15 and in general not using good sense while riding. I suspect a more general cycling education campaign might be more beneficial than focusing on the individual issue of wrong-way riding. But maybe you have to start somewhere.

  20. #20
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Here's my plan: approach city transportation person about putting up the following signs from the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (recommended above by chocula), on the left side of the street. It seems a good combination of getting the point across simply, not taking too much time to develop, and having it officially sanctioned.

    kwv, I'm talking about roads here, not paths. Especially roads where there is not even an attached path.

    'nother, I think they would be more noticeable than usual posted on the left side of the street, since most traffic signs are on the right.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  21. #21
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    Here's my plan: approach city transportation person about putting up the following signs from the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (recommended above by chocula), on the left side of the street. It seems a good combination of getting the point across simply, not taking too much time to develop, and having it officially sanctioned.

    kwv, I'm talking about roads here, not paths. Especially roads where there is not even an attached path.

    'nother, I think they would be more noticeable than usual posted on the left side of the street, since most traffic signs are on the right.
    Some towns in our area actually have these already. As has been suggested above, they are placed at the same height as car signs, though, and it's doubtful that any wrong-way cyclists actually see them.

    Perhaps painting on the roadway would be more effective (though probably confusing).

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