Bike Forums

Bike Forums (http://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Advocacy & Safety (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/)
-   -   Rethinking riding on the street. (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/914274-rethinking-riding-street.html)

Looigi 09-22-13 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bikemig (Post 16092551)
... The problem on the road is not just cell phones (although that is bad enough) but also that cars have gotten larger over the years effectively shrinking the space available for bikes.

In my recollection, average cars were biggest back in the the late 50s and 60s. The avg today is way smaller.

bikemig 09-22-13 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Looigi (Post 16092746)
In my recollection, average cars were biggest back in the the late 50s and 60s. The avg today is way smaller.

Those were tanks weren't they? I didn't ride in the 50s or 60s though. And SUVs are bigger than more modern cars and as they became more common, my subjective impression is that the roads became smaller.

bykemike 09-22-13 04:07 PM

:
"In my recollection, average cars were biggest back in the the late 50s and 60s. The avg today is way smaller. ."


From onlyinfograpfic.com ..


As the design of vehicles has evolved over the years, so has their sizes. Modern cars have inevitably grown longer, taller and wider over the years, thanks to the introduction of new technology and safety requirements. For most cars this growth is significant; for others it’s borderline astounding. We’d be quick to say that today’s automobiles are safer, faster and more comfortable than ever, so it should be no surprise that they’re bigger, but we would have never thought they’d be this much bigger. Draw a before-and-after comparison, and the last several decades reveal quite the spurt of growth in our favorite automobiles.


Cars now are huge, sheesh, even the Mini is way larger than the original mini.

Street riding in my state requires devotion and a well developed sense of denial.

zonatandem 09-22-13 04:46 PM

Been riding the roads since early 1970s and covered over 300,000 miles (right amount of zeroes)!
Haven't gotten killed yet and at age 80 still pedal 100+ miles a week year 'round.
It's a bit of a challenge but do-able; be aware of your surrounding and yes, we are 'invisible' on a bike.
Had a few bad hits by motorists who all got the ticket and claimed . . . 'I didn't see you.'
Pedal on!

jerseyJim 09-22-13 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoebeisis (Post 16092408)
daihard

I only ride the sidewalk during afternoon "rush hour" when lots of folks are using the 2 lane street I ride on to get home.
It isn't crowded-but it has NO SHOULDER- just a 2-3" drop off to grass.
Lots of cars and pickups come thru-in bunches of 5-8-and they are in a hurry-some of the pickups have wide mounted tow mirrors
So if I see a group coming I cross the street cross the grass and ride the sidewalk for a couple hundred yards.
There might be 2-3 pedestrians on the 1/2 mile stretch-very few.
When coming to a walker-I just ride the grass-2" tires "MTB" so no big deal to ride on grass.
Guessing maybe I do 6-10 mph on the sidewalk- there are driveways(1 per block or so)- I bail to the grass-15' wide swath- when crossing a driveway-and make sure I KNOW exactly what is in driveway before crossing it.
Generally I prefer the street-smoother-but I use the sidewalk as needed.
Probably more bikes use the sidewalks than walkers-suburban area-lotta kids on bikes-sidewalks and streets.
No idea what the law is. I always use the grass when passing walkers-


JerseyJim- How can riding smart prevent you getting center punched from behind by a texting driver?? Yeah if you are smart enough to quit riding-otherwise..
Per unit of time-bike riding is the most dangerous thing you do-assuming you are an average sorta guy-no motor racing, cave diving sky diving etc

The same texting driver can cross the line and hit you head on while you are driving your car.

You gonna quit driving?

Living involves some risk. Riding a bike is way down on the list of risky activities.

Zinger 09-22-13 05:13 PM

I've always tried to avoid lengthy rides on shoulder-less roads every chance I get. We are also blessed with a lot of excellent MUP up here which I made a point of buying a house close to. Ironically I have a short ride on a shoulder-less road to get there but it's straight, short, open and little trafficked.

I do ride pretty defensively but If I've got a bike lane I'm good. If people park in it, not so much.

phoebeisis 09-22-13 05:55 PM

The same texting driver can cross the line and hit you head on while you are driving your car.

You gonna quit driving?

AIRBAGs

David Bierbaum 09-22-13 07:40 PM

I don't think being off the street will protect you from the texters and GPS Worshipers. I seem to recall an uptick in the number of cars crashing into buildings.

daihard 09-22-13 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Bierbaum (Post 16093654)
I don't think being off the street will protect you from the texters and GPS Worshipers. I seem to recall an uptick in the number of cars crashing into buildings.

For that matter, not even protected bike lanes aren't all that safe. Just saw a car crashed into an apartment wall, crossing the protected two-way bike lanes separated by concrete blocks.

dynodonn 09-22-13 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoebeisis (Post 16093298)
The same texting driver can cross the line and hit you head on while you are driving your car.

You gonna quit driving?

AIRBAGs


One of the reasons why some motorists today don't take their driving as seriously as they should, reduced consequences for their poor driving behavior at a greater expense to vulnerable road users.

DX-MAN 09-22-13 07:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daihard (Post 16092114)
How fast do you ride on the sidewalks? If it's legal to do so where you live, you're still supposed to keep the speed reasonably low, which I interpret as no faster than 6-8 MPH. As long as you do that, then I believe the sidewalks will be as safe for the cyclists as it is for the pedestrians.

Sidewalk riding is legal where I live, too, and no "suggested" speed limitations; since almost no one WALKS around here, it's perfectly safe. I have to say, honestly though, who really CARES what your interpretation is? That has all the force of law that a child's "That's not FAIR!" rant has.....

I ride as fast or as slow as I care to; while I do tend to go a couple mph faster on roads, it's not required, and I don't always do it. If I have to get ANYWHERE in my town, there's a multitude of creative ways to do it on a bike. That's half the fun, and there's nobody tailgating me!

daihard 09-22-13 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DX-MAN (Post 16093696)
Sidewalk riding is legal where I live, too, and no "suggested" speed limitations; since almost no one WALKS around here, it's perfectly safe. I have to say, honestly though, who really CARES what your interpretation is? That has all the force of law that a child's "That's not FAIR!" rant has.....

At least you made it clear that you don't care. I just don't think it's safe for both bicyclists and pedestrians to be on the same sidewalk where the bicycles go significantly faster than the pedestrians, and to me, riding as slowly as the pedestrians is neither practical nor exciting. If hardly anyone walks on the sidewalks you use, good for you.

ItsJustMe 09-23-13 06:27 AM

This is the reason that I've given up on being polite and I now run the brightest lights I can get for a reasonable price (which is quite a lot these days) on "F you" flash mode. I figure I've got to get the attention of someone who is glancing quickly at the road for a half second every 5 seconds, from at least a quarter mile away, to be sure that I wake them up. That means a heck of a lot of light flashing in unusual patterns, or ideally multiple flashers (plus a constant on light).

I realize that even this is no guarantee - my brother is a firefighter and they had a truck slammed into in broad daylight when it had its full light package running, with other emergency vehicles also on scene with lights running, and yet still a dude in an F150 hit the back of it at full speed. In that case the F150 driver lost the game, though he probably never knew it.

ItsJustMe 09-23-13 06:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Looigi (Post 16092746)
In my recollection, average cars were biggest back in the the late 50s and 60s. The avg today is way smaller.

Yup, my first car was a 1969 Chrysler Newport. It was so big it needed landing lights. If I painted an H on the roof I'd have had helicopters chasing me. Seriously, on multiple occasions in college I handed the keys to friends who needed to borrow a car, and they just came back and said never mind. They were afraid to drive something so large.

rydabent 09-23-13 06:59 AM

Two things come to mind here. First cell phones have a gps chip in them. They should be programed to shut off the cell phone if moving faster than 10 mph. Second barring the first suggestion, ANYONE causing a accident because they were on their cell phone should AUTOMATICALLY lose their drivers license for 6 months. No whining defense att or liberal judge or jury could get them out of that. People that do not act responsibly need to be slapped down hard!!!!

aubiecat 09-23-13 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rydabent (Post 16094651)
People that do not act responsibly need to be slapped down hard!!!!

This, I agree with. Draconian sanctions for those who care more about a text message than a human life.

ItsJustMe 09-23-13 08:43 AM

I use my phone all the time in the car, as a passenger. Neither my wife or I ever use it when driving. I like being able to have the passenger call ahead to friends to say we'll be there in 10 minutes, or to call to the pizza joint in town and order a pizza that will be ready as we're arriving at the end of vacation, to call ahead to hotels and find who has available rooms and to shop for price, etc.

Also, I never leave the GPS turned on in my phone. And not all phones have GPS.

daihard 09-23-13 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ItsJustMe (Post 16094950)
I use my phone all the time in the car, as a passenger. Neither my wife or I ever use it when driving. I like being able to have the passenger call ahead to friends to say we'll be there in 10 minutes, or to call to the pizza joint in town and order a pizza that will be ready as we're arriving at the end of vacation, to call ahead to hotels and find who has available rooms and to shop for price, etc.

Agreed. You may also be on public transit. Or use your cellphone as in-car navigation system.

genec 09-23-13 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoebeisis (Post 16093298)
The same texting driver can cross the line and hit you head on while you are driving your car.

You gonna quit driving?

AIRBAGs

Not to mention seat belts, crush zones and yes multiple airbags... cars have gotten safer... drivers walk away from collisions that would have killed 20 years ago. But while cars have become safer, drivers have not changed... and we get new unskilled drivers daily; drivers that are not only unskilled, but easily distracted.

Cycling safety has not improved... but automobile speeds have gone up, the roads are more crowded and drivers are more distracted... anyone reaching the fine age of 50 has also noticed that their reaction times have not been improving... all this tells me, at 57, that the environment for me as a cyclist is NOT improving.

genec 09-23-13 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rydabent (Post 16094651)
Two things come to mind here. First cell phones have a gps chip in them. They should be programed to shut off the cell phone if moving faster than 10 mph. Second barring the first suggestion, ANYONE causing a accident because they were on their cell phone should AUTOMATICALLY lose their drivers license for 6 months. No whining defense att or liberal judge or jury could get them out of that. People that do not act responsibly need to be slapped down hard!!!!

While I tend to agree with you, bear in mind that there are still states where it is not illegal to use a cell phone while driving. Texas for instance does not consider cell phones a hazard... so how are your gps disabled phones going to "fly" there?

If a whole freaking state still does not consider a cell phone a distraction for a driver... imagine how many drivers consider their state laws for cell phones "overreaching." The fact is that far far too many drivers think they can multitask.

genec 09-23-13 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ItsJustMe (Post 16094950)
I use my phone all the time in the car, as a passenger. Neither my wife or I ever use it when driving. I like being able to have the passenger call ahead to friends to say we'll be there in 10 minutes, or to call to the pizza joint in town and order a pizza that will be ready as we're arriving at the end of vacation, to call ahead to hotels and find who has available rooms and to shop for price, etc.

Also, I never leave the GPS turned on in my phone. And not all phones have GPS.

All phones have GPS. It was a mandate in 2001 for E911. You may not be able to access the GPS data in the phone, but the phone has it. Only the very oldest phones do not have GPS... and by now their batteries don't work.

Doohickie 09-23-13 10:20 AM

One thing that helps is using a mirror. You can learn a lot from a driver by watching them approach you from behind. If a driver gets too close in the lane behind me (but still many car lengths back), I will signal with my hand (hand down, palm back, open and close fingers). It seems to alert drivers to my presence pretty well. If no response, yeah, I've bailed out up the curb once or twice. The solution for me personally is to take side streets as much as possible. Lighter traffic, slower speeds. I'm fortunate in that I can ride anywhere I like and spend 95% of the time on side streets. I didn't know this when I first started riding, and rode on busier streets. I still will, if I need to, but in general I stick to the neighborhoods as much as possible.

Number400 09-23-13 10:49 AM

IMHO, distracted driving is worse than ever. I am still recovering from injuries sustained after getting hit while riding. I am still struggling with getting back on the road. The pure, ignorant and blissful back road riding I really do miss. I am currently riding on mostly private roads and on rail trails in the area.

Going to try to get some road miles in soon and have a blinking headlight, taillight, and now a reflective and blinking LED construction vest. The sad part is that despite these safety efforts, I can still be crushed because someone is not paying attention.

Distracted driving should have harsh penalties, and not just financial. Thirty day license suspension per incident. We have a no handheld cellphone law here and it seems that every one out of five cars has a driver holding a phone to their ear or is looking down while moving forward.

One thing I did notice in our local paper is that in the police blotter they have been writing tickets for distracted driving in some accident cases. Unfortunately, it is a little late for that if someone else was injured.

ItsJustMe 09-23-13 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by genec (Post 16095341)
All phones have GPS. It was a mandate in 2001 for E911. You may not be able to access the GPS data in the phone, but the phone has it. Only the very oldest phones do not have GPS... and by now their batteries don't work.

Huh, waddaya know. I'm using a Kyocera K9, released in 2004. Apparently it does have GPS. It certainly wasn't billed as having GPS. I turn the location data off on any phone I use. Not sure if calling 911 overrides that or not, probably I guess, but regardless we're not talking about calling 911 here.

The battery works fine BTW. You can get new batteries for any phone off ebay for $5.

I also have a smartphone paid for by work. GPS disabled there as well.

phoebeisis 09-23-13 11:03 AM

GENEC
Exactly
Cars much safer
Drivers- because of cell phones texting-much less safe for bicycle riders and motorcycle riders
So Texting won't increase "total car deaths" since car on cars deaths will continue to drop as more and more cars are fully airbag equipped.
So bike vs car injuries-SHOULD increase- if we are correct in assuming that car driver texting is dangerous for bike riders-
deaths might not increase much-since many will be lower speed hits

The INSURANCE INDUSTRY-pushing for a factory installed cell phone shut off- GOV enforced is our only chance
Kinda doubt it will happen-so not only should we not "Take a lane" we are better off taking a shoulder or even the sidewalk
Get 26" wide tires-hit the grass-chose route carefully.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:04 AM.