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Old 10-08-00, 07:42 PM   #1
mike
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If you were king of the world, what would you do to make bicycle commuting more popular?

Weeeellll, of course I would be tempted to outlaw motorcars, but that would mean I would have to bike my aging parents around, so that's out.

However, I would like to see some REAL bike roads in the USA designed to actually bring bicyclists somewhere useful rather than just cruising through neighborhoods and parks. These would be bicycle roads physically separated from the auto lanes; not just a painted line. I want to be separated from the drunk drivers that have killed four bicyclist in my town of 120,000 within this year. (You guessed it, I live in Wisconsin where the best way to minimize punishment for hit and run is to claim you were drunk at the time).

Oh, and as a bicycling king of the world, I would hope to be an ambassador for the bicycling image. I would like the bicycle to be thought of as the transportation of the noble people and not only as a tool of aluminum can collectors and the less fortunate.

How about you?

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Old 10-10-00, 04:37 PM   #2
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Oh, to be king for a day...

The first thing I would do is scrap the subsidies that keep gas prices artificially low. A lot of governemtns in the developed world like to waste my taxes on this crap and I don't think it helps our cause. I'd also execute the pick-up truck driver who almost wiped me out yesterday (there were only a matter of inches in this one people).

I'd also have a law that any motorist who runs down a cyclist is automatically charged with first-degree murder unless they can actually prove their were extenuating circumstances (I agree that drunkeness should not be an excuse).

Meaningful bicycle roads is an interesting suggestion, but sooner or later they'd have to interact with the other roads. I think the real solution is control of the semi-evolved motoring primate (and after last night, I'm not convinced that they are anywhere near human).

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Old 10-12-00, 07:15 AM   #3
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O.K., Chris, I will vote for you as king for at least a day. I like your ideas.

I wonder how Gore and Bush would do if they had some original ideas like "death to bicycle killing motorists". Well, at least we can guess that they would not get the drunken driver votes.

Of course, Bush and his oil industry pals would not be hip on your idea to eliminate petro subsidies, but he would probably like any idea that includes death the penalties like you suggested.

Mike

[Edited by mike on 10-12-2000 at 09:19 AM]
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Old 10-13-00, 01:45 AM   #4
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Clarification

The death penalty bit was my little joke. I'm not so sure about the motoring primate bit.

Just one question, are you for real about the "the best way to minimize punishment for hit and run is to claim you were drunk at the time" bit. I would have thought they might have had some kind of law about driving drunk. If a friend of mine was on the receiving end of a hit and run (with drunkenness being used as the excuse), I'd be REALLY pissed off.

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Old 10-13-00, 04:36 AM   #5
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Sad to say, "Yes", being drunk seems to be the best excuse for hitting and killing bicyclists in Wisconsin. We had a case late last year where a drunk driver ran over a bicyclist and dragged him to his death more than 30 yards before finally stopping due to the screeching sound of the bike under his car.

He was only sentanced to one year in Jail and 10 years probations.

Alchohol rules in Wisconsin. The federal government is trying to encourage states to adopt more stringent blood alchohol levels. Naturally, Tommy Thompson, the Governer of Wisconsin strongly opposes these higher standards.

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[Edited by mike on 10-14-2000 at 07:52 PM]
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Old 10-13-00, 10:21 AM   #6
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DUI

About two years ago a guy in Utah ran into 4 cyclists, killing two and paralyzing one, as if that wasn't bad enough, the guy had that was driving the pickup truck (you could have guessed that part) had 7 DUI's in the last 10 years or so, that just makes me sick to my stomach.

I thing the states should have a no-excuse policy on drunk drivers, first time caught, the government takes away your driving privileges for three years, and takes away any cars you have... I know this would cut down on ALOT of drunk driving, and int. drunk driving the #1 cause of accidents now?

Sadly, i doubt any law like that could ever get passed in the USA, but from what I understand, England has a law some what like that? can anyone clue me in on England's law against drunk drivers?

Anywho... back to the original subject, if I were king for one day, I would add a bike lane to every heavy traffic street, and make sure that its a car-free zone, by enforcing it heavily, I was almost killed once when i had to go around a FedEx truck who decided he had the right to park in the bike lane. I would also give major tax cuts to those who bike to work more then 50% of the year, however, i would have no idea how to do that. I would also require all jobs to have showers! My last job didn't have a shower at work, it sucked!

I think that's all
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Old 10-15-00, 08:33 PM   #7
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I would be a cautious and polite king and decree that immediately 10% of the roads in each city be for HPVs, 10% be for pedestrians, and 80% be for stinkmobiles.

The proportion would be adjusted by 10% each year, so in five years poison-emitters would no longer be legal.

On the pedestrian half of the city streets bicycles could be pushed, but not ridden. Low-speed deliveries of heavy goods by pedal-powered or no-emission trucks would be acceptable.
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Old 10-17-00, 02:12 PM   #8
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I'd make cars out of pillowy soft toilet paper.

I would systematically recall every vehicle on the road and have it's doors replaced with sliding mini-van style doors. That way, we cyclists would no longer have to be concerned with people opening their doors as we pass.
Just recently myself and my bestest cycling buddy almost ate a door, not from a parked car but from a vehicle in the right lane. It was completely insane. I was convinced at first that it was intentional but then I saw it was some wacked out of her skull lady with a stupid little dog in her lap. A motorist even saw this and pulled up beside us and expressed his shock.
To top it off, the lady was in a mini-van. I understand why min-van drivers and their passengers are so collectively out of it. Think I'll ban the van when I'm king too. And I'll have all new cars made out of a softer material like toulet-paper or cotton or something. I'd smack into cars intentionally.
Then I'd step down as king and bring back democracy but not before I gave myself a hefty retirement package.
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Old 10-17-00, 09:36 PM   #9
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I like kittyfurry's idea to make cars out of soft toilet paper. Maybe she works for Kimberly-Clark or something. One major advantage of her idea is that we wouldn't have to wipe our noses on our gloves any more. We could just blow our noses on the cars. Hey, now that IS a neat idea!

Here is another idea: All obsticles would have to be moved out of bike lanes and off of sidewalks. For example, most streets where I live don't have bike lanes, so I have to take the sidewalks - the streets are just too dangerous. Anyway, there are so many street light poles, train crossing doo-hicky-majiggs, fences, and stuff that it is a real Evil Kneivel ride trying to avoid them at even 12 miles per hour.

Let's move all that crap into the middle of the street and be done with it.

Thar! Thars an idea worth pondering!
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Old 10-17-00, 09:49 PM   #10
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she?

I think kittyfurry is male... atleast, thats what his website says

I do however agree 100% with getting rid of minivans! I have had too many close calls with "soccer moms" then i care to count... crazy.
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Old 10-18-00, 08:44 AM   #11
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Yep I'm a boy. I usually use madcat but that's kinda common so I switch to kittyfury from time to time even though it sounds like a girl. But since I'm king of the world I can have whatever name I want. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go down to the street and wipe my butt on a mini-van.
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Old 10-18-00, 10:30 AM   #12
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Mini vans are the orca in the sea of vehicles

You said it, Joe. What is with women in mini-vans? I know it is, in fact, a predjudice statement but I stand by it:

"I have had more close calls and clips from women drivers (in mini-vans and cars) than any other category." If only it weren't true, but it is. Why do these Mamas think the rode is only theirs and you are in their space? VROOM straight they go with absolutely no effort to give the steering wheel a little turn to go around the bicyclist. Either you get hit or it is a near miss. When they do clip you, they just keep going straight without stopping.

Is this only in my community? Maybe in some other location it is the middle aged men who have it out for the bicyclist.

Hey... that would be an interesting new thread...

Mike



[Edited by mike on 10-18-2000 at 10:47 PM]
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Old 10-18-00, 04:50 PM   #13
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Middle aged men in pick-ups

Well, I live in Queensland, Australia, which seems to have a few rednecks. Most of them get around in pick-up trucks, and as a consequence I've had more close encounters with them than with anybody else. A lot of them (but not all) seem to be driven by middle aged men too. I tend to think it has a bit to do with the warm climate I live in melting the brains of some people.

On a slightly more serious note, I would also push for more stringent policing of existing road rules. My commute is around 20 miles and I ride it on roads all the way. Believe it or not, I find riding on the road to be pretty safe, but it would be more so if people actually followed the road rules occasionally.

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Old 10-18-00, 08:58 PM   #14
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Now we know where the bad male drivers are

So... That is where the bad male drivers are - in Australia! In the USA, the bad male drivers are usually drunk which is worse than a bad sober female driver (unless she just had an argument with her boyfriend and is driving around trying to "cool down and clear her head").

I can't agree with your idea to police more. In the USA, police abuse the power they have and they mistakenly assume power they don't have. There are few terrors on the road as abusive as a bored police officer looking for someone to nail. I think it is better to design roads that don't need much policing such as bike lanes separated from auto traffic by physical barriers.
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Old 10-18-00, 09:29 PM   #15
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On the topic of Police, I saw something awesome tonight. There was this cop on his bicycle riding along at night. He was just cruising casually in the left lane. I'm sure he had to make a left turn up ahead but cars were slowing down behind him. It was just strange. Obviously nobody honked.
Polce and bicycles could be a thread unto itself.
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Old 10-23-00, 11:48 AM   #16
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Chris:

That must have been a neat sight watching all those cars treating a bicyclist with respect. When I drive a car, it is a dark blue Caprice Classic just like the unmarked cop cars here. I usually get people slowing down and being careful when they see my car. Now, I have to find the bicycle equivelant of a Caprice Classic.

I have an old bicyle book from the 1960's showing a bicycle mounted policeman. Unfortunately, he was on a boy's Western Flyer kiddy-bike that was way too small for the police officer.

Too bad he looked like such a ****** from Mayberry. Nobody would have taken him seriously especially in those days of muscle cars and Johnny Atlas. It was probably some kind of punishment to be on bicycle patrol in those days in that town.

Does anybody know if we can attach files to these messages? If we can, I'll post a scan of this vintage photo

[Edited by mike on 10-23-2000 at 05:59 PM]
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Old 10-23-00, 01:09 PM   #17
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Images

Mike, to post an image to these forums, use "vB" code found here...
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Old 10-23-00, 04:01 PM   #18
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Thanks, Joe!

I will give it a try tonight.

Keep your eyes here for a vintage photo of a bicycle policeman in the early 1960's.

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Old 02-18-01, 12:29 AM   #19
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I would put the exaust pipe on the front of cars so they can suck on their own dusty pipes for a change rather than having us cyclists have to swallow it.
I just thought of that on my bike ride to work this morning.
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Old 02-18-01, 01:34 AM   #20
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I would:

I would require everyone to have passed traffic safety courses including drivers, riders and pedestrians. The traffic rules would be standardized and would emphasize courtesy.
Drunken driving would have mandatory prison time, revocation of license everywhere for life and addiction treatment.
Traffic deaths would be treated as manslaughter
All traffic lanes would be 12 feet wide, with 8 foot shoulder on highways
Cars would be required to use a passing lane when overtaking bicycles where possible or give three feet clearance to bicycles.
Cyclists who abuse their rights and priviledges would face jail time or fines, (we have dopes in our ranks too)
Get everyone a bike everywhere
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Old 02-18-01, 02:55 PM   #21
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Thank you Pat!

The above are some pretty sensible suggestions. If fuel prices decided to rise up out of Disneyland, that would help too.

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Old 02-18-01, 11:26 PM   #22
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Re: I would:

Quote:
Originally posted by pat5319

All traffic lanes would be 12 feet wide, with 8 foot shoulder on highways
Cars would be required to use a passing lane when overtaking bicycles where possible or give three feet clearance to bicycles.
Cyclists who abuse their rights and priviledges would face jail time or fines, (we have dopes in our ranks too)
I would actually narrow the lanes to 8 feet wide - maybe less, forcing drivers to pay more attention to their driving and leaving space for bike lanes at the same time, saving on infrastructure costs of adding lanes. (I'm a frugal king.)

In my jurisdiction, it is already required to pass in the passing lane where possible and give 39" (1 metre) clearance. As king I would enforce the rules.

Amen to dealing with dangerous cyclists. I spend a lot of time as a pedestrian too and getting cyclists off the sidewalks would be one of my first priorities. Obviously, small children accompanied by a pedestrian adult would be excepted.

I would also add a graduated surtax to all non-commercial vehicles that get less than 40 miles per (Imperial) gallon. It wouldn't do much for cycling per se, but it would clean up our air for those who chose to breathe it a little more than the average.

I would make all urban and sub-urban cops spend at least two years on a bike. I figure this would provide some incentive for enforcement of the rules.

I'm seeing some great ideas in this forum, keep them coming.

Bubba

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Old 02-18-01, 11:30 PM   #23
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As to the men women arguement, while I have run across a disproportionate number of women who drive with their eyes fixed on the hood ornament, I've never had one throw a beer bottle at me - attempted murder in my kingdom!

Bubba

[Edited by Bubba on Feb 19th at 10:25 AM]
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Old 03-03-01, 08:54 PM   #24
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I like pat5319's suggestions. Maybe lane widths of 14 as well, no bike lane (debris trap). Tax credits for cyclists (everyone else get 'em). Enforce speed limits; prosecute motorists who hit/endanger cyclists. A bike for everyone? How about another one for me, I'd like to try a recumbent.
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Old 03-06-01, 02:05 AM   #25
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The first thing I would do is ban the construction of all off-road cyclepaths. Why? Because they are bloody dangerous. I tried one for the first and last time the other day. Never again. It didn't matter that the road was packed, six lanes and had no shoulder. I felt safer there.

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