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Old 06-14-14, 03:13 PM   #26
FBinNY 
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From the video I posted: "You are 30 times more likely to get injured as a cyclist in the U.S. than you are in the Netherlands."

I imagine a similar comparison could be made between the Netherlands and a car-centric country like the U.K.
I don't trust these inter-country comparisons. The Netherlands have a very large proportion of utility/commuter cyclists, riding at moderate speeds on upright bicycles. The US and UK, have a greater proportion of sport riders riding very differently than the bulk of Ditch cyclists. There's also the effects of terrain, since speed is a factor in the severity of crashes, and the US and UK enjoy a greater number of fast descents.

Does infrastructure make bicycling safer? Probably, but it doesn't change how and why people ride, nor does it change what we might call cultural differences.

Also, consider that fully half the severe injuries and deaths in the USA involve children. It's possible that Dutch parents, being more knowledgeable about bicycles, do a better job teaching their children to ride safely.

In any case, statistics are not destiny, and each of us has the ability to manage our safety and alter our risk profile. In any group I've ridden with we had people with multiple crashes and people with few or none. Whatever the average was, nobody had an average number of crashes.
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Old 06-14-14, 04:24 PM   #27
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Here's a comparison by a Dutchman of cycling in the Netherlands and the U.S. I think most of what he says about cycling in the U.S. is also applicable to the U.K.

We have argued at length about the slow speed typical of Dutch cycling, with Dutch apologists saying that this is not so. Consider the comments, several, in the video concerning speed. There are shots of rather typical urban cyclists, cheap bicycles, flat pedals, jeans, riding in traffic. The Dutch narrator says they are racing, trying to stay ahead of motor traffic. This is not so; they are simply riding at their normal speed to reach their destinations. Another shot shows a cyclist waiting at a driveway to enter the road. The cyclist I would call a fast cyclist; performance bike, lycra, helmet. The Dutch narrator suggests that the ensemble is because of traffic dangers. Whether this cyclist is making a transportation trip or a recreation trip is not known, but it is obvious that he intends to ride fast while remaining comfortable. At other times the narrator praises sit-up-and-beg bicycling as the ideal. And of course he refers to the cycling in traffic by typical urban riders as requiring courage, while the cyclists pictured are not showing any signs of fear. And there's an overhead shot of a gutter bunny getting caught behind a right-turning car. The Dutch narrator remarks that there are always those who disobey the rules. But, not as he means, of course, it was the gutter bunny who was disobeying the rules.

Different cultures make for different mental lenses through which to see the world.

Last edited by John Forester; 06-14-14 at 04:27 PM. Reason: left out a thought
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Old 06-14-14, 04:28 PM   #28
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Let's make cycling safer by getting more people on bikes. It's not a matter of ignoring other dangerous activities, like the ones you mention, but the focus of this forum is cycling, so let's stick with that. Protected bike lanes, lower speed limits and safer streets will make cycling safer and get more people out of their cars and their armchairs and onto their bikes. Let's do it!
In case you hadn't noticed, the U.S. is currently incapable of investing in massive public infrastructure due to the nature of the folks in charge of the House of Representatives. Many states are having trouble finding a way to keep pavement on their roads and water systems functioning. (Texas is returning some roadways to gravel rather than even try to find a way to keep them paved.) We're not going to have a complete network of segregated bikeways, with or without properly built intersections, in the next thirty years. The folks pushing for them as needed because of some overblown fear of cycling anywhere near motorists are telling otherwise interested people that cycling under our present circumstances is an extremely dangerous endeavor. Shame on these anti-advocates! Fearmongering is not an effective way to win people over to the joys of cycling.

I also have to comment at your lack of understanding of what I said. I am not claiming that showering is dangerous. Showering, something I hope almost everyone here does daily, is not something any of us should be nervous about doing. Cycling is also not a dangerous activity and also should not be thought of as something death-defying that somehow needs extreme facilities to become safe enough for everyone to do.

That's not to say cycling is as safe as it should be. For extremely small amounts of public money, or even as a money-making scheme, we could and should enforce our existing traffic laws and substantially increase the penalties for noncompliance. There's no need for people to be injured or killed by scofflaw motorists. Sadly, if we simply build out your segregated facilities and don't address this problem, we will have nearly the same (small) number of cyclists being killed as we currently do since a significant number of these deaths, perhaps even a majority, involve unlawful operation habits on the part of both motorists and cyclists. Around here we have cars running into buildings. It's not like a little curb can stop them.

As if all that wasn't enough to convince me that the segregationists are working against increasing the use of bicycles, we have the leaders of these people (in my state I'm talking about Mia Birk), who are also strongly advocating for mandatory use of substandard segregation facilities. Where I live, if they put in some lousy side path or door-zone bike lane, the legal burden of proof falls on me if I choose to ride on the perfectly safe adjoining road. Calls for segregation and mandatory exclusion from the road are joined at the hip. Further, if people insist on shunting cyclists onto these side paths, few of which will ever be built as inter-city, inter-county or inter-state systems, then the prospects for suburban dwellers to break free of their car addictions goes to zero. Thanks, but no thanks for this vision. Cycling doesn't scare me, but the possibility that segregation advocates will carry the day certainly does.
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Old 06-14-14, 04:34 PM   #29
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As a sound bite type of video, I felt it was quite pro cycling .
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Old 06-14-14, 04:44 PM   #30
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In case you hadn't noticed, the U.S. is currently incapable of investing in massive public infrastructure due to the nature of the folks in charge of the House of Representatives. Many states are having trouble finding a way to keep pavement on their roads and water systems functioning. (Texas is returning some roadways to gravel rather than even try to find a way to keep them paved.) We're not going to have a complete network of segregated bikeways, with or without properly built intersections, in the next thirty years. The folks pushing for them as needed because of some overblown fear of cycling anywhere near motorists are telling otherwise interested people that cycling under our present circumstances is an extremely dangerous endeavor. Shame on these anti-advocates! Fearmongering is not an effective way to win people over to the joys of cycling.......
+ 492,000,000,000 (the projected 2014 federal deficit).

There are always things we can do to make something better, but good government is about spending priorities, and living with one's means. A wish list is fine, but unless you believe in Santa Claus, that's all it's ever going to be.

Meanwhile, fear keeps people off bikes, and those screaming for more government response to the "dangerous conditions" may get what they're asking for in the form on MHLs, and/or increasing restrictions on bicycling on busy roads "for our own safety".

I'm not at all opposed to factoring bicycles into the plan as roads are repaired, rebuilt, or modernized, but let's keep this an evolutionary process, in the meantime encourage local entities to do what they can, based on the the local priorities and resources.
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Old 06-15-14, 05:19 AM   #31
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In case you hadn't noticed, the U.S. is currently incapable of investing in massive public infrastructure due to the nature of the folks in charge of the House of Representatives. Many states are having trouble finding a way to keep pavement on their roads and water systems functioning. (Texas is returning some roadways to gravel rather than even try to find a way to keep them paved.) We're not going to have a complete network of segregated bikeways, with or without properly built intersections, in the next thirty years. The folks pushing for them as needed because of some overblown fear of cycling anywhere near motorists are telling otherwise interested people that cycling under our present circumstances is an extremely dangerous endeavor. Shame on these anti-advocates! Fearmongering is not an effective way to win people over to the joys of cycling.

I also have to comment at your lack of understanding of what I said. I am not claiming that showering is dangerous. Showering, something I hope almost everyone here does daily, is not something any of us should be nervous about doing. Cycling is also not a dangerous activity and also should not be thought of as something death-defying that somehow needs extreme facilities to become safe enough for everyone to do.

That's not to say cycling is as safe as it should be. For extremely small amounts of public money, or even as a money-making scheme, we could and should enforce our existing traffic laws and substantially increase the penalties for noncompliance. There's no need for people to be injured or killed by scofflaw motorists. Sadly, if we simply build out your segregated facilities and don't address this problem, we will have nearly the same (small) number of cyclists being killed as we currently do since a significant number of these deaths, perhaps even a majority, involve unlawful operation habits on the part of both motorists and cyclists. Around here we have cars running into buildings. It's not like a little curb can stop them.

As if all that wasn't enough to convince me that the segregationists are working against increasing the use of bicycles, we have the leaders of these people (in my state I'm talking about Mia Birk), who are also strongly advocating for mandatory use of substandard segregation facilities. Where I live, if they put in some lousy side path or door-zone bike lane, the legal burden of proof falls on me if I choose to ride on the perfectly safe adjoining road. Calls for segregation and mandatory exclusion from the road are joined at the hip. Further, if people insist on shunting cyclists onto these side paths, few of which will ever be built as inter-city, inter-county or inter-state systems, then the prospects for suburban dwellers to break free of their car addictions goes to zero. Thanks, but no thanks for this vision. Cycling doesn't scare me, but the possibility that segregation advocates will carry the day certainly does.
I'm sorry, but to say that a rich country like the United States can't afford to build bike paths is laughable, especially when you consider the massive amounts of money you lavish on military spending, like the F-35 Strike Fighter, for example, AKA the "$1 trillion aircraft," just to cite one example of wasteful spending. Methinks a trillion dollars would be enough to build a bike lane or two. Or how about eliminating the subsidies given to the fossil fuel industry, estimated at 14 to 52 billion dollars per year?

We could also talk about how much is spent on car infrastructure and all of the subsidies involved in building suburbs and exburbs and all of the spending on infrastructure to get commuters to town and back. And then there's... Need I carry on?
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Old 06-15-14, 07:56 AM   #32
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Being born is dangerous, since no one is going to get out of this life alive. Do you think cycling is significantly more dangerous than other normal day-to-day activities.
I think that cycling is more dangerous than breathing of putzing around the house, or even driving, but agree that the dangers are wayyy over stated by this video

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Also, consider that fully half the severe injuries and deaths in the USA involve children. It's possible that Dutch parents, being more knowledgeable about bicycles, do a better job teaching their children to ride safely.

I once attended a LAB safety course and a video they showed gave some statistics that seemed credible to me, based on what I have seen. The one you stated was one of them. Another was that close to 70% (I forget the exact number) the fault was assigned to the cyclist by the "reporting agency", i.e. law enforcement. Some may claim that LE is biased, and I won't dispute that, but bias can only account for so much error. On my daily commute I see numerous close calls by salmon, gutter huggers and sidewalk riders.

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In case you hadn't noticed, the U.S. is currently incapable of investing in massive public infrastructure due to the nature of the folks in charge of the House of Representatives. Many states are having trouble finding a way to keep pavement on their roads and water systems functioning.
I would lay more of the blame on a mostly apathetic and misinformed electorate that puts those people there.

I agree with most here who think better infrastructure will make it much safer. I am also a realist, and recognize that the U.S. will never become a cycle-centric society. Anything meaningful about bike safety will still have to deal with the fact that great infrastructure will not be universally available.

I am fortunate that the town I commute in has some of the best cycling infrastructure in the country. For all that, I still have to add about a mile to my commute to avoid an older boulevard with three high speed traffic lanes and no shoulder. (Route selection is one of my big safety recomandations)

I don't Salmon (except in some rare and exceptional cases) and one section where I did ride a sidewalk (one block of high speed Blvd/no shoulder, no reasonable alternated) was recently rebuilt with bike lanes.

I think protected bike lanes are an over reaction to the number of cyclists hit, mostly at intersections, while coming off sidewalks or salmoning. They are expensive, eating up an inordinate amount of scant funding. They also create awkward and confusing conditions at intersections. Bike lanes, and education on their proper use, i.e., don't hug the gutter when stopped-give room to right turning cars, are a better solution. Better in that more miles of them can be installed with the available funding.

Last edited by CommuteCommando; 06-15-14 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 06-15-14, 08:15 AM   #33
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I don't think their intention was to make cycling look bad. I think they were trying to raise awareness......... .
I always wonder who those "they" people are... and why people imagine what others are thinking. Why imagine or guess at what others are thinking... when if you listen they almost always tell you.

I looked at the credits of the video! They are PLASTERED with Stock Photos, Images, Illustrations and Vectors - Royalty-Free - Thinkstock. In fact... the ONLY message I saw in that video is: Look what you can create using "thinkstock.com".

Other than that... it is an anonymous anti-cycling video.... well make and catchy.
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Old 06-15-14, 09:35 AM   #34
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I don't trust these inter-country comparisons. The Netherlands have a very large proportion of utility/commuter cyclists, riding at moderate speeds on upright bicycles. The US and UK, have a greater proportion of sport riders riding very differently than the bulk of Ditch cyclists. There's also the effects of terrain, since speed is a factor in the severity of crashes, and the US and UK enjoy a greater number of fast descents.

Does infrastructure make bicycling safer? Probably, but it doesn't change how and why people ride, nor does it change what we might call cultural differences.

Also, consider that fully half the severe injuries and deaths in the USA involve children. It's possible that Dutch parents, being more knowledgeable about bicycles, do a better job teaching their children to ride safely.

In any case, statistics are not destiny, and each of us has the ability to manage our safety and alter our risk profile. In any group I've ridden with we had people with multiple crashes and people with few or none. Whatever the average was, nobody had an average number of crashes.
I find the difference in figures on who is more likely to be at fault in driver/cyclist collisions between US, Australian and UK figures most interesting. In the UK and Oz it is the driver, while in the US it seems it is the rider:

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/s...-1226581475412
Crashes involving bikes mostly driver?s fault | The Times
When Bikes And Cars Collide, Who's More Likely To Be At Fault? : Shots - Health News : NPR

Is this caused by LEO bias and ignorance in the US, or are there general (and large) differences between cyclist behaviour in the US and UK/Oz?
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Old 06-15-14, 10:34 AM   #35
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I find the difference in figures on who is more likely to be at fault in driver/cyclist collisions between US, Australian and UK figures most interesting. In the UK and Oz it is the driver, while in the US it seems it is the rider:

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/s...-1226581475412
Crashes involving bikes mostly driver?s fault | The Times
When Bikes And Cars Collide, Who's More Likely To Be At Fault? : Shots - Health News : NPR

Is this caused by LEO bias and ignorance in the US, or are there general (and large) differences between cyclist behaviour in the US and UK/Oz?
It can be interesting to speculate about such matters, which might, or might not, have to do with differences in cyclist behavior. But even considering possible differences in cyclist behavior, so far as I know there have been no such measurements in either UK or OZ, and the US measurements are thirty years old.
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Old 06-15-14, 06:02 PM   #36
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It can be interesting to speculate about such matters, which might, or might not, have to do with differences in cyclist behavior. But even considering possible differences in cyclist behavior, so far as I know there have been no such measurements in either UK or OZ, and the US measurements are thirty years old.
Not quite sure how you arive at the conclusion that there have been no such measurements in the UK or Oz, John, since the two websites giving the figures listed are recent
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Old 06-15-14, 07:53 PM   #37
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Not quite sure how you arive at the conclusion that there have been no such measurements in the UK or Oz, John, since the two websites giving the figures listed are recent
Please read my statement again. It stated that there are no known measurements of cyclist behavior in UK or OZ, and that the US measurements are thirty years old. Without such data, it is impossible to work out whether the differences reported are caused by differences in cyclist behavior.
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Old 06-16-14, 07:23 AM   #38
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I always wonder who those "they" people are... and why people imagine what others are thinking. Why imagine or guess at what others are thinking... when if you listen they almost always tell you.

I looked at the credits of the video! They are PLASTERED with Stock Photos, Images, Illustrations and Vectors - Royalty-Free - Thinkstock. In fact... the ONLY message I saw in that video is: Look what you can create using "thinkstock.com".

Other than that... it is an anonymous anti-cycling video.... well make and catchy.
I suspect they are some of the anti-helmet crowd, because of the "cyclists wearing helmets are more likely to be hit by cars" bit. As FBinNY quoted Mark Twain earlier, "Lies, damn lies, and statistics."
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Old 06-16-14, 08:16 AM   #39
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I suspect they are some of the anti-helmet crowd, .......
My "gut feeling" puts the video makers as trained talented cyber-cinematographers. Likely employees of, or venders hired by thinkstock. I would guess bicycles were selected merely due to their relationship with the targeted user demographic of the product marketed by thinkstock. Just..... MHO.
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Old 06-16-14, 01:39 PM   #40
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Please read my statement again. It stated that there are no known measurements of cyclist behavior in UK or OZ, and that the US measurements are thirty years old. Without such data, it is impossible to work out whether the differences reported are caused by differences in cyclist behavior.
I take your point, John - I misread it as referring to the comparative collision fault figures.
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Old 06-18-14, 04:30 PM   #41
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Look at this two minute video posted on Yahoo. It makes cycling seem really bad. Though it does say cycling could save Americans $7 billion per year. It also shows the main causes of death for cyclists.

https://screen.yahoo.com/buzzfeed/te...003944963.html
Keep in mind that Yahoo! is like Trollheim, without banishment. They mainly find stuff elsewhere and aggregate it, and nobody seems to really like what their hired staff writes either.

Unfortunately, it comes out as sort of inept and often gathers a firestorm of cynicism, like a virtual gladiator match. I think they mean well but some days I'm not sure.
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