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Old 04-23-08, 10:33 AM   #1
NWrighteous
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Columbus (OH) Dispatch - Injury accents bike-car tensions

http://www.dispatch.com/live/content...P.html?sid=101
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Old 04-23-08, 11:51 AM   #2
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Some drivers in cars seem to get offended when slower-moving vehicles are in their path. The law is "get out there, get hit." Ask drivers of cars if they feel "bicycles have every right to an entire lane as cars"? (especially on 1-2 lane roads) I think it would be helpful to push for more bike paths, but intersections will always be a problem.
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Old 04-23-08, 11:55 AM   #3
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Some drivers in cars seem to get offended when slower-moving vehicles are in their path. The law is "get out there, get hit." Ask drivers of cars if they feel "bicycles have every right to an entire lane as cars"? (especially on 1-2 lane roads) I think it would be helpful to push for more bike paths, but intersections will always be a problem.
How is the law "get out there, get hit?" I'm not sure what you mean by that.
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Old 04-23-08, 12:10 PM   #4
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How is the law "get out there, get hit?"
By telling us that "we have equal rights" with an object that is not always compassionate and considerate and also weighs over 10x as much as us really puts road riders and long distance commuters at risk. Refusal to invest the necessary cost into an efficiently-designed bicycle infrastructure is a major contributing factor too in my opinion, like the I-275 trail in Michigan, there are few like it, it is old and degraded without any new ones being built. 40+ miles of bike (multi-use) trails that are separated from the road, that is what our community really needs.
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Old 04-23-08, 12:18 PM   #5
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"We're getting responses from all over the country because people hear the story and go, 'Oh my God!' " Artistic Director Tim Veach said. "It's ridiculous. Who would beat up a 64-year-old mime? That's about as low as you can get."

The article buried the lede in the last paragraph.
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Old 04-23-08, 12:23 PM   #6
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"We're getting responses from all over the country because people hear the story and go, 'Oh my God!' " Artistic Director Tim Veach said. "It's ridiculous. Who would beat up a 64-year-old mime? That's about as low as you can get."

DISCLAIMER: I'm totally kidding. This is completely tongue-in-cheek. Please don't flame me. OK, ready?

The victim is a 64-year-old mime AND cyclist? Talk about begging to get beat up! Is there anyone who doesn't think mimes should be assaulted?
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Old 04-23-08, 12:24 PM   #7
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Some drivers in cars seem to get offended when slower-moving vehicles are in their path. The law is "get out there, get hit." . . . .
Where do you live, David?

In my locale, we have some drivers who are offended by about every traffic law on the books, but their opinion has not been made into law. We have some citizens, for that matter, who are offended by people of color, or mature cheese, and most everything one could imagine.

Many of us ride out there on the roads without being hit. Some of us are, hit, of course, but then some of us slip and fall in the shower.

Your desire of a good cycling infrastructure is, of course, shared by most here. There is, however, no chance of building one that does not include existing roadways.
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Old 04-23-08, 12:30 PM   #8
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What's really annoying about these articles is that, almost invariably, they start talking about what cyclists are doing wrong, not about what car drivers are doing wrong.

Did the 64 year old mime run a red light? Was he riding on the wrong side of the road? Was he dodging in and out of traffic? No, no, and no.

A whole sidebar on "proper pedaling," yet nothing on "safe driving."

Aargh.
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Old 04-23-08, 01:39 PM   #9
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By telling us that "we have equal rights" with an object that is not always compassionate and considerate and also weighs over 10x as much as us really puts road riders and long distance commuters at risk. Refusal to invest the necessary cost into an efficiently-designed bicycle infrastructure is a major contributing factor too in my opinion, like the I-275 trail in Michigan, there are few like it, it is old and degraded without any new ones being built. 40+ miles of bike (multi-use) trails that are separated from the road, that is what our community really needs.
I am not really disagreeing with you as I have used a beautiful system in Oulu Finland that is all bike paths.

However... I do want to take you to task on cyclists facing "an object." That is simply not true.

Behind the wheel of every car is a human driver. That driver does have compassion and can be considerate... Granted the mass of the motor car does tend to isolate the driver from their environment (and cyclists), but the bottom line is that we are all humans trying to get to some place with similar motivations.
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Old 04-23-08, 01:59 PM   #10
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What's really annoying about these articles is that, almost invariably, they start talking about what cyclists are doing wrong, not about what car drivers are doing wrong.
Bingo. There's a sociological pattern at play here.

People are dissatisfied with their lives because they are not as [rich, beautiful, happy, fulfilled, respected] with their lives as they think they should be. This is a result of [poor decisions, universal life problems, mean people, poor health, innappropriate priorities].

However, scape-goating is much easier then thinking about your own life honestly.

Scape-goating requires picking something external, and of a smaller group than the one that you have defined yourself into. So you choose [Blacks, Jews, Liberals, Republicans, the Man, Bicyclists, Hippies, Catholics, rednecks] Whatever.

Once you've chosen your scape-goat, you start blaming them for everything. And since you're mad at them, it's only a matter of time before you wrong them. But, when you do, you must then blame the victim for the crime, even if they personally are innocent, by talking about the alleged behavior of their peers. And of course, there is always going to be some level of truth to the accusation, because of a myriad factors, including the fact that we are individuals, and some of any group are going to behave poorly.

Of course, that's entirely irrelevant to the issue of whether this one person deserved to be assaulted.

And then, the scape-goated will become divided about whether to rebel , or appease the scape-goaters by getting mad at the bad behavior of their fellow scape goated (i.e. you're giving us a bad name). And neither side is 100% right or wrong.

But only a few people out of all the players her will ever, after all this, simply analyze their own lives and motivations, make high level decisions about their goals and priorities, and follow them. The rest of us just keep playing along with a game that no one can really win.
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Old 04-23-08, 02:24 PM   #11
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I agree with genec. We have become far too isolated in our lives, from our environment and from our neighbors. Case in point: ride though some of the older parts of town, where the houses were built during the late nineteenth and early twentith century, and look at the porches. Now, go down the latest subdivision and just try to find a comperable porch. Why the difference? Air conditioning, among others such as television. Porches were ways to keep cool during the long, hot summer months (especially down here in the South). With A/C, people started to stay inside rather than sitting on the front porch talking to one's neighbors.

As it goes with houses and porches, so too it applies to cars. "A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage" was the promise of Herbert Hoover some eighty years ago. Not only is there a "car in every garage", there is often times two, sometimes more. Each person with their own private little world, hermetically sealed off from the rest of the world with security tighter than the U.S./Mexican border. And in each of these snow globes on wheels sits a person, a tin plated dictator whose person needs outweigh all others and should you interfere with their happy little world simply by existing within their presence, then God and Fate protect you, because no one else will.

Of course, drivers are human, too, but they undergo a transformation from the humble Dr. Jekyll to the hideous Mr. Hyde with a simple turn of the key. You see it happen every day, in every city and town, on every street. Heck, I know that it happens to me on occassion. However, I do recognize the problem for what it is and I try very hard to maintain my composure, but there are those who do not and, in some cases, take it to extremes.

Unfortunetly, there is very little that can be done to address it. Laws don't work (just look at how many people drive well in excess of the speed limit). Tickets are not a deterient (most will simply pay the fine or fight to get the ticket dismissed). Violence, although viseral, only exacerbates the problem. Maybe, just maybe, if everyone where required, for one week, to stop driving cars and rode bicycles, took mass transit, or even walked, they may gain a new perspective and understanding, but I seriously doubt it. The attitudes are too deeply ingrained to be changed with a noble, albeit symbolic, gesture.
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Old 04-23-08, 02:43 PM   #12
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Then he did something that apparently infuriated the men: He touched the car to steady himself on his bike.
ok - if I'm driving this wouldn't infuriate me - but might annoy me. Which is why as a biker I never do this. I don't consider it polite. Maybe the guy just had a wax/detail job. Or maybe he's just a nuerotic nut. (like I am about my bike.)

How many roller bladers need to lean on my bike at stop signs?
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Old 04-23-08, 02:52 PM   #13
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Looked like a fair and balanced article to me.
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Old 04-23-08, 03:53 PM   #14
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Speaking as a member of the Columbus community, the Dispatch did a decent job. However, several of us are taking issue with the title itself.

From one of our local message boards

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Dear CDT Patrons and Friends

Regrettably, I need to share some information with you regarding a prominent member of the Columbus Arts Community - David Krohn. Mr. Krohn, a long standing Columbus dance and theatre artist, was assaulted last night while riding his bike near the OSU Campus area. He was attacked by four men in a car who threw bottles at him eventually knocking him off of his bike and was then assaulted. He was knocked temporarily unconscious and his jaw was broken. He believes that they began to chase him because he had placed his hand on their car to regain his balance while waiting at a traffic light.

Mr. Krohn danced last night in Columbus Dance Theatre's production of Dancing Alone. He did so with the impeccable wit, charm, kinetic facility, and warmth. He performed an expanded version of his ongoing work, Autobiography. Undoubtedly, this unfortunate incident will find its way into this evolving piece of theatre and dance. Mr. Krohn will not be able to perform for the remainder of the run of our performances this weekend. But, we are certain that we will all enjoy seeing him back on stage very soon.

As many of you know, Mr. Krohn makes his living as a performer, electrician, and carpenter. When I saw him at the hospital I told him that I would share the information of his situation with the dance community through our list serve. I would like to go one step further.

CDT will be collecting donations to aid Mr. Krohn with his medical expenses and lost wages. If you would like to make a donation to assist David you may do so at our website: http://www.coldancetheatre.org Please note that the contribution is for David Krohn. You may also send contributions made out to Columbus Dance Theatre - David Krohn to 592 E. Main St. Columbus, OH 43215.

When one member of our community is harmed we all are injured. Please send your healing thoughts to David as he works through what we know will be a speedy recovery, and please consider helping Mr. Krohn today in whatever way you feel you can.

Sincerely,

Tim Veach Columbus Dance Theatre
Frankly, the article did go a bit lite on this assault and to my knowledge I have yet to see a Dispatch article that has covered this fully. Instead they used it as a way to spark off the debate between cyclists and motorists. I can't wait to see the letters to the editor.

The article does raise some valid points and I do see some horrible examples of cycling, especially around campus, in this city.

Another local message board has a thread running on this article.
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Old 04-23-08, 07:45 PM   #15
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Bicyclists can pass slower-moving vehicles such as horse-drawn buggies and farm vehicles.
OH MY, it must be illegal for bicyclist to pass slow moving motor vehicles in Ohio.
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Old 04-23-08, 09:00 PM   #16
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Some drivers in cars seem to get offended when slower-moving vehicles are in their path. The law is "get out there, get hit." Ask drivers of cars if they feel "bicycles have every right to an entire lane as cars"? (especially on 1-2 lane roads) I think it would be helpful to push for more bike paths, but intersections will always be a problem.
bicycles have the responsibility to use the road the same way a motorist will. maybe widening the road, EDUCATING motorists (and many bicyclists as well) of these laws will help in the tension. segregating groups of/from public access is not a good idea and a waste of funding.
hold your lane!
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Old 04-23-08, 10:00 PM   #17
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segregating groups of/from public access is not a good idea and a waste of funding.
hold your lane!
From my limited experience it seems impossible to do otherwise. Cars (25-75mph) and Bikes (5-25mph) cannot share the same strip of pavement without some disastrous consequences. Although the probability at certain times/in areas may be little or 0, the 'hold your lane' seems a fine motto if you have a large truck or SUV to travel in, but laws are not very helpful to those without an immediately-accessible defense from danger. So nothing you can do will stop the inevitable from happening if such a collision occurs.
A good example is the Lansing River Trail, which runs along a river on one side and a highway on the other. In between the trail & highway, there is a large fence and significant buffer area (10+ feet) to provide safety to the riders. This adaptation (buffer zone, fence, or both ) should be made to lower speed limit roads as well, just an idea which should cost much less than all the money spent on road maintenance (or even expanding all necessary roads to accommodate bike lanes) . Happy trails!
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Old 04-23-08, 11:00 PM   #18
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this should have been an article about a life threatening assault on someone. As far as I could see it was pretty much a stretch to make it about irresponsible biking or even the tension between drivers and cyclists. a carload of kids might just as easily made any passerby the target of their displaced rage they happened to choose a cyclist and looked for any excuse to justify their assault.

Not one word in the article about tracking these kids down or getting the necessary assistance of those who might have witnessed the assault to bring them to justice.

there's little evidence in this assault to support a side bar about how to properly ride a bike- what the hell does that mean?- ride like this or get your ass kicked?
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Old 04-23-08, 11:06 PM   #19
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^Welcome to Columbus

There have been days were college football preempted genocide on the front page of that paper.

Heck, the Ohio State spring game, a scrimmage, made the front section above the fold, so it really did not surprise me to see the viewpoint here in this article.
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Old 04-23-08, 11:22 PM   #20
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this should have been an article about a life threatening assault on someone. As far as I could see it was pretty much a stretch to make it about irresponsible biking or even the tension between drivers and cyclists. a carload of kids might just as easily made any passerby the target of their displaced rage they happened to choose a cyclist and looked for any excuse to justify their assault.

Not one word in the article about tracking these kids down or getting the necessary assistance of those who might have witnessed the assault to bring them to justice.

there's little evidence in this assault to support a side bar about how to properly ride a bike- what the hell does that mean?- ride like this or get your ass kicked?
BTW, I saw a couple of articles, like you described, for other cases:

One Here

Same case, second (probably first) article appealing for help
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Old 04-24-08, 04:20 AM   #21
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From my limited experience it seems impossible to do otherwise. Cars (25-75mph) and Bikes (5-25mph) cannot share the same strip of pavement without some disastrous consequences. Although the probability at certain times/in areas may be little or 0, the 'hold your lane' seems a fine motto if you have a large truck or SUV to travel in, but laws are not very helpful to those without an immediately-accessible defense from danger.
You don't have to "hold your lane" in the face of inevitable collision. But if you've moved left, you at least have carved out enough room to veer right and keep the motorist from carrying out a life-wrecking decision.

A Take A Look mirror, or something like it, is critical in this regard. Unless you're Linda Blair's character in "The Exorcist," and none of us are.
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Old 04-24-08, 05:37 AM   #22
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What's really annoying about these articles is that, almost invariably, they start talking about what cyclists are doing wrong, not about what car drivers are doing wrong.

Did the 64 year old mime run a red light? Was he riding on the wrong side of the road? Was he dodging in and out of traffic? No, no, and no.

A whole sidebar on "proper pedaling," yet nothing on "safe driving."

Aargh.
That's what Inotice, they always talk about bikes breaking the law, but never about every single car on the road speeding.
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