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Old 05-12-08, 05:59 AM   #1
Pugsly
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Cyclists pedal scared on Triangle roads

Interesting front page article in today's News and Observer (Raleigh, NC)

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1069290.html
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Old 05-12-08, 06:31 AM   #2
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"But accidents with motor vehicles are common for cyclists."


Really? Seems like a scare article designed to get less people to ride bikes.
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Old 05-12-08, 07:36 AM   #3
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yeah, and the official NC policy of integrating bikes with the motorists using a paucity of on road infrastructure is really encouraging bicyclists there too. goodonya, Sgoodri and Bruce!

this article seems pretty negative, but at least mentions the right of bikes to the road. nice one for bike to work month. scare tactics. i wonder what is the un-official editorial position of the Raleigh's News and Observer on bicycling?

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Old 05-12-08, 07:48 AM   #4
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When I have visited the Research Triangle Park area and the Greensboro area, I have noted that many of the roads are narrow two-laners with default 55mph speed limits. Speed was evidently a factor in two of the incidents cited in the News Observer article. Given a reasonable choice, I would select either a slower or a wider road, but perhaps NC cyclists lack options.
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Old 05-12-08, 08:10 AM   #5
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many lolz...

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"Mainly, they're annoying," Josh Ellis, 21, an N.C. State student from Wilmington, said Sunday. "They have the right to be on the road, too, but unless they're going the speed limit, they shouldn't be out there. They can ride on the sidewalks."
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Old 05-12-08, 11:43 AM   #6
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another inflamatory cyclists v. motorists article, what a waste of newsprint...

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Old 05-12-08, 12:01 PM   #7
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jeesh, even AAA lobbies for wide shoulder improvements on narrow, high speed roads... you'd think the bicycling community could work towards improvements there. i've seen deflationary and defeatist remarks repeated by some of the quite influentialNC bike advocates in this forum, about how it's pointless for them to attempt to lobby for road widening of these hazardous road cooridors...

goodanya, select and vocal NC bikeadvocates! I'd like to see a local bicyclists' read on the situation on the Triangle Cooridor.... sounds like an important part of town, if it's got a moniker...
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Old 05-12-08, 12:12 PM   #8
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Given a reasonable choice, I would select either a slower or a wider road, but perhaps NC cyclists lack options.
Yup, we for the most part do lack such options. The statewide speed limit is 55. This means if the road isn't otherwise posted, and you're not in a city which has a lower citywide speed limit, the speed limit is 55. This means that the thousands (millions?) of miles of rural roads are all 55 MPH roads. Very few of these roads have anything resembling a paved shoulder.

Once I leave my neighborhood, I am on 55 MPH, no shoulder roads. Fortunately I'm far enough from the nearest city that MOST of the drivers have at least a little patience and pass me when it's safe. However, I do routinely find that I need to take the lane to prevent unsafe passing.
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Old 05-12-08, 02:00 PM   #9
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According to an accident report, Gladys Phipps George, 83, of 3313 Carpenter Pond Road in Durham, was cited for failure to control speed.
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Brian Anthony Reid, who turned 21 that day, was charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, failure to control speed and driving while intoxicated. He blew a 0.12 at the Wake County Public Safety Center, a report showed. The state's legal limit is 0.08.
Seems like a common place to speed, looks like they need uh... enforcement?

Looks like it isn't even the speed limit thats the problem, though you could bump it down, it probably wont do anything in terms of those already speeding, what you need is a damn cop stationed on that road.
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Old 05-12-08, 02:10 PM   #10
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When I have visited the Research Triangle Park area and the Greensboro area, I have noted that many of the roads are narrow two-laners with default 55mph speed limits. Speed was evidently a factor in two of the incidents cited in the News Observer article. Given a reasonable choice, I would select either a slower or a wider road, but perhaps NC cyclists lack options.
Another major, major issue IMHO is the constant build up of subdivision on former farm land. Sometimes they add nice new multi lane highways with no bicycle facilities and other times they don't. The road that runs past my place was getting maybe 700 cars a day 10 years ago, today that same road is getting over 5,000. They have done absolutely nothing to improve the road infrastructure and have no plans for anything thru 2020 according to the master plan.

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Old 05-12-08, 06:39 PM   #11
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The bottom line is that your connecting road system has been designed in a pedestrian-hostile, bicyclist-hostile, and arguably motorist-hostile fashion which endangers everyone. In California, the default speed limit is also 55mph / 90kph, and undivided rural shoulderless 2-lane roads are by far the most dangerous anywhere. In San Diego County, a similar 1-mile segment of road, Via de la Valle west of El Camino Real, was recently augmented with bike lanes. I do not want to get into a bike lane fight here, but just having the extra width was a huge boon to all road users. Predictably, a local politician complained loudly about the $1M price tag for the road improvement, but I responded with my own letter to the editor, noting that good road shoulders enhance safety for everyone, not just bicyclists.

I'll be perfectly frank -- I am an experienced cyclist who also tends to be timid, and I would have reservations about using a high-speed shoulderless two-lane highway in which motorists could pass me only by moving into opposing traffic at a 100+mph closing speed.
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Old 05-12-08, 07:23 PM   #12
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moving into opposing traffic at a 100+mph closing speed.
That's their problem. They can choose not to pass.
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Old 05-12-08, 11:04 PM   #13
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lone biker

I have been riding alone...as iam new and don't know anyone in NC who rides. But i know these roads well, and i have found that i do have lots of options. MAny off highway roads have a bike lane especially in Cary, NC (besdie Raleigh). trick is...gotta get a city bike route map and plan your route. May be tough if ur a commuter to work and such...but the nagain...I am new,...what do i know.
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Old 05-13-08, 02:43 AM   #14
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That's their problem. They can choose not to pass.
Which still puts you at risk as a rider.
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Old 05-13-08, 05:17 AM   #15
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Which still puts you at risk as a rider.
Of course. Lower (much lower) speed limits, very aggressive enforcement, and high fines would help this.
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Old 05-13-08, 07:41 AM   #16
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Of course. Lower (much lower) speed limits, very aggressive enforcement, and high fines would help this.
I concur. I don't know about NC, but in California, the fastest 16% of all motorists set the enforceable speed limit for everyone.
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Old 05-13-08, 07:58 AM   #17
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This article was a strange way to start Bike to Work week after another N&O reporter (Joe Miller) had written several good articles about bike commuting recently. What baffles me, is that there are people killed and seriously injured in auto (and truck) accidents every single day -- and the media doesn't run articles about how dangerous driving is and whether cars and trucks should be allowed on the road.

However, from personal experience I can attest that the article addresses the central concern that most non-cyclists have about biking on the roads. Many people are absolutely terrified that they will get run over if they cycle on the roads. What's unfortunate is that the article didn't address the many things cyclists can do to make road riding very safe -- such as wearing bright clothes, using head and tail lights, choosing routes with less traffic, etc. Ironically many recreational cyclists don't seem to realize these things either. I saw another bike commuter this morning for the first time in months and he was dressed in dark clothes, wearing a black backpack, and had no lights -- and this was at 6:30 am.
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Old 05-13-08, 07:59 AM   #18
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I'm here in NC. half of my 13 mile one way commute is on one of those two lane 55mph highways, half has designated bike lane and /or reasonable shoulders. The two lane highway sometimes scares me sh!tless when I'm in my car, much less on my bike during rush hour at dusk. But I soldier on. And why someone in a car would ever cross a double yellow into oncoming traffic to pass a bike is just beyond my comprehension. Just my $.02
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Old 05-13-08, 08:55 AM   #19
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The road in Raleigh where one of the victims was killed - Nazareth Dr. - is a short, slow road right near a university. Speed limit 25mph. I used to ride it every day back and forth to NC State. There are pedestrians and cyclists all over the area - on the road, on the sidewalks, in the parking lots. This guy was an accident waiting to happen, and in this case, I don't the the road infrastructure was an issue.

I have seen the number of bike commuters increasing rapidly in the past year, here in Cary and in Durham where I work. It seems to be tied to gas prices.

The article was crap. It quoted college rednecks as saying that bikes shouldn't be on the road, and quoted only the cyclists that are afraid to ride on the road. The journalist wouldn't have had to stand on the corner where the accident happened for more than ten minutes to find a cyclist happy to be riding on the street.

And the article was careful to point out that she had her Styrofoam hat on. This little trick is used to generate sympathy. College students and immigrant laborers are the ones in the area most likely to ride sans helmet. They put that in there to denote her class so more readers can identify with her. Also I think to show how dangerous it is to cycle - "she did everything right and still got hit - stay off the road!" No mention of her clothing or how she was riding, or how the accident occured. Makes me soo mad!

The victim's husband has been more than generous, saying how sorry he feels for his wife's killer and his family. Don't you wish the auto drives could be as generous to the cyclists?
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Old 05-13-08, 01:54 PM   #20
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Of course. Lower (much lower) speed limits, very aggressive enforcement, and high fines would help this.
I think just decent enforcement would help, at least on city streets the 16% issue isn't that much of a problem here, though I do agree with the next post, usually I mainly witness that on freeways to any real extent.

Knowing most people, they can't judge the speed of a car by looking at it, they typically never get even close.
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Old 06-05-08, 10:38 AM   #21
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Of course. Lower (much lower) speed limits, very aggressive enforcement, and high fines would help this.
Given that your policy suggestions have zero chance of being implemented, what policy recommendations do you have for THIS planet?
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Old 06-05-08, 01:24 PM   #22
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Given that your policy suggestions have zero chance of being implemented, what policy recommendations do you have for THIS planet?
caltrops?

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Old 06-06-08, 07:42 AM   #23
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Another cyclist was killed on the border of Durham/Orange counties Wednesday, June 4th. Apparently the motorist swerved completely across the lane, hitting the cyclist, "to avoid a deer." Among other things (according to today's news reports) the driver was charged with having no insurance (against NC law), vehicle uninspected, vehicle unregistered, driving left of enter, driving recklessly.

So, what does this all add up to in NC? A misdemeanor.

This is the THIRD cyclist killed in NC this year that has resulted in a misdemeanor charge.

Recently a local reporter I know borrowed a radar gun from the Highway Patrol and monitored the traffic on a road where the residents had complained about the speeders. The result? Some 73% of drivers in a two-hour period were speeding, some as much as 15MPH over the posted limit. This is a very narrow, no-shoulder road through a neighborhood (kids, cyclists, traffic pulling in and out) that has unfortunately become a short cut. When contacted the local police said, and I quote, "What do you want us to do about it, change human behavior?"

I would think that we are going to have to adopt the political tactics of MADD and start holding cops, lawyers, judges and especially politicians accountable until we get laws changed and enforced.
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Old 06-06-08, 11:19 AM   #24
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Another cyclist was killed on the border of Durham/Orange counties Wednesday, June 4th. Apparently the motorist swerved completely across the lane, hitting the cyclist, "to avoid a deer." Among other things (according to today's news reports) the driver was charged with having no insurance (against NC law), vehicle uninspected, vehicle unregistered, driving left of enter, driving recklessly.

So, what does this all add up to in NC? A misdemeanor.
Wow. Having no insurance is only a misdemeanor? I thought it was more serious than that.

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...When contacted the local police said, and I quote, "What do you want us to do about it, change human behavior?"
Why, yes, that's exactly what we want them to do. If that isn't the point, why do police set up speed traps, park empty police cars near "areas of concern", patrol streets, etc.?
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Old 06-06-08, 11:23 AM   #25
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That's a tragedy. RIP fellow rider.

yes, cycling voice in america needs a BADD- bicyclists against dangerous drivers. maybe the chainguarders could focus their vehemence of infrastructure on creating a BADD advocacy organization instead.
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