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  1. #1
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    AAA interpret MASSBIKES "Same Road Same Rules" Campaign

    I just got my AAA magazine. I've been thinking about canceling my membership in AAA and going to the Better World Club. This may have done it.

    Take note of how they've interpreted the new MassBike "Same Roads Same Rules" campaign.

    The picture accompanying the article was, of course, of a child of about age 7 on a bike. AAA would prefer that cycling be seen as a less than mature means of getting around- it's for children.

    I've bolded some statements that are both inaccurate and unsafe.


    Quote Originally Posted by AAA Horizons Magazine
    Same Roads, Same Rules for Both Bicyclists & Motorists
    By Aimée Carrier

    Be sure to explain bicycle safety and traffic rules to children.
    You’re late for work and in a hurry, but there’s a bicyclist in the middle of your lane, holding up your progress. Or, you’re the bicyclist trying to maneuver around parked cars, and there’s a car tight on your tail.
    The situation can be frustrating from both sides, but most dangerous for the bicyclist.
    “There’s no such thing as a minor collision with a person on a bicycle,” said AAA Traffic Safety Manager John Paul.
    At this time of the year, there is a greater number of bicycles on the roads. And that’s where they belong, Mr. Paul emphasized. The rules governing their use are the same as those for motor vehicles.
    For a safe ride, bicyclists should follow these rules:
    • Do not ride bikes on sidewalks. Stay on the roadway, traveling in the same direction as motor-vehicle traffic.
    Bicycles should stay to the right along the curb.
    Ride in single file unless passing another bicycle.
    Before veering into traffic, make sure it is safe to do so.
    Walk a bike across an intersection rather than riding.
    • Obey traffic signals and signs, and indicate actions such as turning and stopping by using appropriate hand gestures.
    And, the rules are the same for adults and children.
    For that reason, “before you buy a bike for a child, make sure he or she is mentally and physically ready to ride it,” said AAA Education Specialist Diana Imondi Dias, who teaches bicycle safety to children. “A bike is not a toy.”
    “Parents should explain traffic rules to their children,” said Ms. Imondi Dias.
    It’s also important that children know how to use hand signals to indicate direction.
    But bicycle safety is not just the burden of riders.
    “Motorists need to be constantly aware of everything around them,” Mr. Paul said.
    Allow plenty of room when you are passing a bicycle, and take care when pulling into an intersection. Come to a full stop before taking a right turn on red, as there might be a bicycle in your path.
    This issue of sharing road responsibly is the focus of a new awareness initiative by the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike).
    “Same Roads, Same Rules” resulted from a survey of cyclists and motorists, said Shane Jordan, Director of Education for MassBike. The survey revealed safety concerns and law breaking by both groups.
    The difference, Mr. Jordan said, is “when bicyclists break the law, they predominantly endanger themselves. When motorists break the law, they predominantly endanger others.”
    Mr. Jordan said the most common traffic violations committed by cyclists are failure to stop at intersections, signs and signals. For motorists, they are failure to yield and illegal turns.
    “We don’t blame any one group,” Mr. Jordan said. “We’re just addressing the issues where awareness is most lacking on both sides.”
    The Web site dedicated to the initiative, www.sameroadssamerules.org, provides safety information for drivers and cyclists and addresses common myths and misconceptions about the rules of the road.

    Right to the Curb- Bicyclists in Massachusetts are subject to the same rules applicable to any vehicle that is moving more slowly than overtaking traffic still moving within the speed limit. Which means move to the right to allow for an overtaking vehicle to pass safely when conditions permit. No where does the law specify that bikes must be ridden "right to the curb".

    Single file: The new law in Massachusetts is: "Riding Two Abreast Permitted : Bicyclists are no longer restricted to riding single file at all times. You can now ride two abreast (two bicycles, side-by-side), except that you still have to help faster vehicles to pass. So stay in single file when cars need to get by! On multi-lane roads, you can ride two abreast, but all the cyclists in your group must stay in one lane (which will usually be the right-hand lane unless you are making a left turn)."- from MassBike

    Veering into Traffic As we all know bicyclists only "veer" into traffic- they never move into another lane. Bicyclists on the road are traffic.

    Walk across an intersection Pedestrian deaths at intersections are as high, if not higher, than cyclists- how this is "safer" or smarter boggles my mind. I would suggest all drivers stop and push their vehicles through intersections- that might save some lives.
    Last edited by buzzman; 04-29-10 at 06:34 PM.

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    Did you read the caption of the photo? You are just being picky.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

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    AAA needs to get a clue; MASSBIKES doesn't say any of that claptrap.

  4. #4
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Danw View Post
    Did you read the caption of the photo? You are just being picky.

    you could be right... but then again...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I just got my AAA magazine. I've been thinking about canceling my membership in AAA and going to the Better World Club. This may have done it.

    Take note of how they've interpreted the new MassBike "Same Roads Same Rules" campaign.

    The picture accompanying the article was, of course, of a child of about age 7 on a bike. AAA would prefer that cycling be seen as a less than mature means of getting around- it's for children.

    I've bolded some statements that are both inaccurate and unsafe.





    Right to the Curb- Bicyclists in Massachusetts are subject to the same rules applicable to any vehicle that is moving more slowly than overtaking traffic still moving within the speed limit. Which means move to the right to allow for an overtaking vehicle to pass safely when conditions permit. No where does the law specify that bikes must be ridden "right to the curb".

    Single file: The new law in Massachusetts is: "Riding Two Abreast Permitted : Bicyclists are no longer restricted to riding single file at all times. You can now ride two abreast (two bicycles, side-by-side), except that you still have to help faster vehicles to pass. So stay in single file when cars need to get by! On multi-lane roads, you can ride two abreast, but all the cyclists in your group must stay in one lane (which will usually be the right-hand lane unless you are making a left turn)."- from MassBike

    Veering into Traffic As we all know bicyclists only "veer" into traffic- they never move into another lane. Bicyclists on the road are traffic.

    Walk across an intersection Pedestrian deaths at intersections are as high, if not higher, than cyclists- how this is "safer" or smarter boggles my mind. I would suggest all drivers stop and push their vehicles through intersections- that might save some lives.
    On the fourth one correct me if I am not mistaken, BUT if a great number of us did this presuming of course that we had the right of way that it would mean that we would have to unclip breaking our stride and momentum that we've built up before said intersection.

    I also think that if more motorists did as you've suggested and pushed their cars through that most of them would end up losing some weight.
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    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    You're surprised that the "American Automobile Association" magazine doesn't take bikes seriously?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post

    I also think that if more motorists did as you've suggested and pushed their cars through that most of them would end up losing some weight.

    I love it. I occasionally encounter places where there are signs instructing cyclists to "walk bikes" to the parking racks. I will gladly walk my bike to the bike racks when the drivers of cars push their cars through the parking lots.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Digital_Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I love it. I occasionally encounter places where there are signs instructing cyclists to "walk bikes" to the parking racks. I will gladly walk my bike to the bike racks when the drivers of cars push their cars through the parking lots.
    Now there/that would be a sight. Imagine some petite little 5'0" 90lbs gal trying to push a Hummer through the mall's parking lot??? She could probably push a "smart car" but not a Hummer or other SUV. Who knows if that became a requirement cars might become smaller so as to be more easily pushed.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post

    Veering into Traffic As we all know bicyclists only "veer" into traffic- they never move into another lane. Bicyclists on the road are traffic..
    While the article pretty well mixed up the distinction between adult and youth education, it's still good advice. The teaching point here is "never move laterally (left or right) on the roadway without scanning behind you for overtaking traffic. Could be a bus or car, could be an overtaking roadie. If you're consistent about this rule, it pretty much eliminates the infamous "single-witness suicide swerve" that gets so many riders hurt or killed. Young or old, never shift lanes without looking back to make sure the coast is clear.


    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Walk across an intersection Pedestrian deaths at intersections are as high, if not higher, than cyclists- how this is "safer" or smarter boggles my mind. I would suggest all drivers stop and push their vehicles through intersections- that might save some lives.
    We teach children younger than ten years of age to ride at pedestrian speed on the sidewalk, and to walk their bikes across the crosswalks at intersections. (LAB's Bicycling 123, Youth Instructor Manual) Likewise, we teach them to make left turns pedestrian style, by dismounting at the corners and walking through the crosswalks. Children at that age simply don't have the development necessary to ride in traffic. Once they get ten years old or so, their peripheral vision and judgemental skills have improved enough that they can start learning to ride in the street.

    Now then, Mr. Adult Cyclist & Road Sneak, if you're riding on the sidewalk too, you should dismount at the curb and walk the bike through the crosswalk yourself. Crosswalks are for pedestrians.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pscyclepath View Post
    ...The teaching point here is "never move laterally (left or right) on the roadway without scanning behind you for overtaking traffic. Could be a bus or car, could be an overtaking roadie. If you're consistent about this rule, it pretty much eliminates the infamous "single-witness suicide swerve" that gets so many riders hurt or killed. Young or old, never shift lanes without looking back to make sure the coast is clear.
    Well said, and my point is by using the word "veer" the implication is that is the modus operandi of the average cyclist. Had they been talking about an automobile changing lanes (moving laterally) I doubt they would have said, "when you veer..."




    Quote Originally Posted by Pscyclepath View Post
    We teach children younger than ten years of age to ride at pedestrian speed on the sidewalk, and to walk their bikes across the crosswalks at intersections. (LAB's Bicycling 123, Youth Instructor Manual) Likewise, we teach them to make left turns pedestrian style, by dismounting at the corners and walking through the crosswalks. Children at that age simply don't have the development necessary to ride in traffic. Once they get ten years old or so, their peripheral vision and judgemental skills have improved enough that they can start learning to ride in the street.
    Yes, of course, we do and that makes sense. But there is a consistency on the part of AAA to always address issues of bicycling as something we teach children to do and it being an activity primarily engaged in by children. Seldom are cycling issues addressed as a part of the transportation paradigm and as an adult activity- though occasional references are made to adult cycling but usually as a form of recreation only.

    My problems with the article are the subtle misinterpretations of the "Same Road/Same Rules" campaign and the implications that bicycling is a childish activity to be engaged in by people riding "right to the curb".

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    I'm actually surprised at how even-handed this article is for an automobile association. It notes that bikes belong on the road (though I would agree that their emphasis about the far right is misguided) rather than sidewalk. Even in the bike-friendly city of Madison, I was asked by a motorist why I wasn't on the sidewalk this morning. Likewise, it notes that a bike is not a toy-this implies that it has a purpose besides merely recreation; transportation. Plus, it notes that automobiles primarily injure others, while bikes are risking "only" themselves. I think all of these points allow the article to promote bikes as a legitimate form of transport than more than they do to hinder it. Until we move to that point (and I don't know Mass. so maybe you are nearer to there than most of the USA), exact riding safety is a moot point; a car can still buzz you regardless of how safely you are riding. My $0.02

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Well said, and my point is by using the word "veer" the implication is that is the modus operandi of the average cyclist. Had they been talking about an automobile changing lanes (moving laterally) I doubt they would have said, "when you veer..."






    Yes, of course, we do and that makes sense. But there is a consistency on the part of AAA to always address issues of bicycling as something we teach children to do and it being an activity primarily engaged in by children. Seldom are cycling issues addressed as a part of the transportation paradigm and as an adult activity- though occasional references are made to adult cycling but usually as a form of recreation only.

    My problems with the article are the subtle misinterpretations of the "Same Road/Same Rules" campaign and the implications that bicycling is a childish activity to be engaged in by people riding "right to the curb".
    I felt the same way about the negative connotation of the word "veer." Also being a AAA member, I did email them about the Riding to the right "along the curb." That one and walking across intersections bothered me the most, and are indeed quite dangerous, and contrary to law.

    However, it is good to see the MassBike site back up and running.

    zac

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    Senior Member pueblonative's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pscyclepath View Post
    We teach children younger than ten years of age to ride at pedestrian speed on the sidewalk, and to walk their bikes across the crosswalks at intersections. (LAB's Bicycling 123, Youth Instructor Manual) Likewise, we teach them to make left turns pedestrian style, by dismounting at the corners and walking through the crosswalks. Children at that age simply don't have the development necessary to ride in traffic. Once they get ten years old or so, their peripheral vision and judgemental skills have improved enough that they can start learning to ride in the street.
    And this article is aimed at kids? If so, why the instruction to "stay right, near the curb"? A little bit of consistency in the article would be appreciated.
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  14. #14
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pscyclepath View Post
    If you're consistent about this rule, it pretty much eliminates the infamous "single-witness suicide swerve" that gets so many riders hurt or killed. Young or old, never shift lanes without looking back to make sure the coast is clear.
    By law in Connecticut, three feet of that coast should *always* be clear. This is another way to eliminate the single-witness suicide swerve...
    Last edited by Standalone; 04-30-10 at 08:57 AM.
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    zac
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    See what I like about the new Massachusetts Law, especially ch 90, sec. 14 is that it mandates the following (approaching) motor vehicle to slow and only allow passing when it is safe to do so. Couple that with the removal of the "but the cyclist was riding to the right, so I assumed he would stay there" or "I didn't see him because he was over to the right, and not in the lane" defense. What this does, is it places the fault upon the approaching driver in essentially EVERY case. A collision with a cyclist traveling in the same direction would almost be prima facie that the driver did not proceed safely. As proceeding safely would negate the collision if all things were otherwise normalized.

    zac
    Last edited by zac; 04-30-10 at 09:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Standalone View Post
    By law in Connecticut, three feet of that coast should *always* be clear. This is another way to eliminate the single-witness suicide swerve...
    By law, yes... but in early every state where the "Three Foot Law" is in effect, it's rarely observed or enforced. So, as Mr. Hurst would admonish us, take responsibility in your own hands, and Check Six before you go left or right.

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    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Am I the only one who thinks the kid in the photo looks like a total ******? With the knee pads, elbow pads and everything.
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    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks the kid in the photo looks like a total ******? With the knee pads, elbow pads and everything.
    Safety gear isn't stylish. Although better visibility clothing would probably be better than knee pads. He's pretty dark.
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    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    I scraped my knees and elbows all the time as a kid. That's all those pads will prevent. A little road rash is good for a kid.
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