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Short rant

Old 05-19-22, 02:27 PM
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Korina
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Short rant

Pardon me, but I really need to get this off my chest, and I can't say it to his face.

What the actual Hell, dude???? You're our city's engineer, you run the Transportation Safety Committee, you know better; hell, you ride a bike, and STILL YOU PUT THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFETY ON BIKE RIDERS AND WALKERS. It's not bad enough that you're comfortable with the 85th percentile rule, but when the local paper interviews you about a woman killed by a distracted driver (i.e. bad infrastructure), YOU REMIND BIKE RIDERS AND WALKERS TO DRESS BRIGHTLY AND LOOK OUT FOR DRIVERS. Do you say a single word to drivers to PAY ATTENTION TO THE ONE AND ONLY JOB THEY HAVE? No. This isn't the first time; you say it EVERY. TIME. You have been called out on this, repeatedly, and STILL you persist. Good gods, what will it take for you to open your eyes??

Okay, I feel a little better. I'm on the Transportation Safety Committee, and I'm not the only one to get peeved when he says/publishes that bull pucky in public and puts our name on it. We've told him, and he said he'd run this stuff by us before publishing it, but I'm not sure how much I believe it.

Her name, by the way, was Jennifer Garcia, and her last act was to push her 2-year-old's stroller out of danger. The driver, a young man, admitted to being distracted, probably on his phone; this means he felt comfortable enough to take his eyes off the road while going down a slope on a blind turn. Bad street design.
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Old 05-23-22, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Pardon me, but I really need to get this off my chest, and I can't say it to his face.

What the actual Hell, dude???? You're our city's engineer, you run the Transportation Safety Committee, you know better; hell, you ride a bike, and STILL YOU PUT THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFETY ON BIKE RIDERS AND WALKERS. It's not bad enough that you're comfortable with the 85th percentile rule, but when the local paper interviews you about a woman killed by a distracted driver (i.e. bad infrastructure), YOU REMIND BIKE RIDERS AND WALKERS TO DRESS BRIGHTLY AND LOOK OUT FOR DRIVERS. Do you say a single word to drivers to PAY ATTENTION TO THE ONE AND ONLY JOB THEY HAVE? No. This isn't the first time; you say it EVERY. TIME. You have been called out on this, repeatedly, and STILL you persist. Good gods, what will it take for you to open your eyes??

Okay, I feel a little better. I'm on the Transportation Safety Committee, and I'm not the only one to get peeved when he says/publishes that bull pucky in public and puts our name on it. We've told him, and he said he'd run this stuff by us before publishing it, but I'm not sure how much I believe it.

Her name, by the way, was Jennifer Garcia, and her last act was to push her 2-year-old's stroller out of danger. The driver, a young man, admitted to being distracted, probably on his phone; this means he felt comfortable enough to take his eyes off the road while going down a slope on a blind turn. Bad street design.
In what universe is a young driver distracted by his phone an issue of bad street design?
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Old 05-23-22, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
In what universe is a young driver distracted by his phone an issue of bad street design?
That universe where the street design discourages speeding and forces the driver to pay attention. Narrower traffic lanes, traffic camera enforcement, repeal zoning laws that mandate setbacks from streets, wider sidewalks, and more trees. The less it looks like you have a wide open expanse in front of you the more likely you’ll watch your speed and pay attention. Because telling human drivers to just ‘be better’ isn’t going to work in any universe.
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Old 05-23-22, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
Narrower traffic lanes, traffic camera enforcement, repeal zoning laws that mandate setbacks from streets, wider sidewalks, and more trees. The less it looks like you have a wide open expanse in front of you the more likely you’ll watch your speed and pay attention.
None of those things will solve the problem of drivers that are distracted by their phones. Put the blame where it belongs -- on irresponsible drivers.
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Old 05-24-22, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
In what universe is a young driver distracted by his phone an issue of bad street design?
So I’m not the only one scratching their head over that part.

I also don’t get why she was riding and pushing a stroller.
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Old 05-24-22, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
So I’m not the only one scratching their head over that part.

I also don’t get why she was riding and pushing a stroller.

She was a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

I do think it's naïve to assume that the reporter quoted everything the engineer had to say about the subject.
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Old 05-24-22, 07:34 AM
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E

Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
None of those things will solve the problem of drivers that are distracted by their phones. Put the blame where it belongs -- on irresponsible drivers.
Except, at the behest of the automotive companies, we’ve been placing the blame on drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians for a century, but it doesn’t work because the human animal is very susceptible to distraction. But, by golly, we just need to blame drivers and cyclists for their mistakes and deaths so they’ll be better. Solved! We hear this and repeat it so many time we think it’s a fact, when we’re just repeating useless propaganda. But whats your solution? More police presence and more tickets? I’m sure that’ll work this time.

Instead of repeating tired mantras at each funeral and painting ghost bikes its time to do something different. The solution is better design, social engineering​​​​​, and technology. We’ve done it with car and road design to make things safe for the driver, now its time to do it for everyone else. The environment through which you move has a profound effect on your behavior.
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Old 05-24-22, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
She was a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

I do think it's naïve to assume that the reporter quoted everything the engineer had to say about the subject.
I was kidding about the riding while pushing a stroller part. This is a bike-related forum.

The first part of my comment was echoing TC's question about this: "a woman killed by a distracted driver (i.e. bad infrastructure)"
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Old 05-24-22, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I was kidding about the riding while pushing a stroller part. This is a bike-related forum.

The first part of my comment was echoing TC's question about this: "a woman killed by a distracted driver (i.e. bad infrastructure)"
Sorry, the obvious joke flew over my head.

Not disagreeing with you about the irrelevancy of the infrastructure point. I was pointing out that the premise of the OP that the city engineer should be held responsible for the omissions in a newspaper story was also a bit of a head scratcher.
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Old 05-24-22, 09:39 AM
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Search fu "stroads" on u-tube, as well as "vision zero" on all formats. The history of roads and the introduction of autos (and their lobbying efforts) is also instructive.
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Old 05-24-22, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
Except, at the behest of the automotive companies, we’ve been placing the blame on drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians for a century, but it doesn’t work because the human animal is very susceptible to distraction. But, by golly, we just need to blame drivers and cyclists for their mistakes and deaths so they’ll be better. Solved! We hear this and repeat it so many time we think it’s a fact, when we’re just repeating useless propaganda. But whats your solution? More police presence and more tickets? I’m sure that’ll work this time.

Instead of repeating tired mantras at each funeral and painting ghost bikes its time to do something different. The solution is better design, social engineering​​​​​, and technology. We’ve done it with car and road design to make things safe for the driver, now its time to do it for everyone else. The environment through which you move has a profound effect on your behavior.
It's a great idea, but the problem is that the mentality of car owners has been pushed to the point that anyone driving a car feels that "the roads belong to cars" and cars (not humans) have priority. That mentality has to change first.

Yeah, the irony is that anyone not in a car is "merely a human..." but never mind... that notion just doesn't seem to cut through the "my car is me" and "the value of my car is how important I am."
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Old 05-24-22, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
In what universe is a young driver distracted by his phone an issue of bad street design?
Fair enough. While it's wide, sloping down, and unencumbered with signage, crosswalks, or residences (until suddenly there are), the crosswalk isn't exactly hidden. However, he did feel comfortable enough on that stretch to take his attention off the road; to me it smacks of bad design.

If you want to blow a minute or two, here's the Google street view; he came off the bridge to the right, and turned onto the road. Just go straight until you come to the crosswalk; that's where Mrs. Garcia was hit.
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Old 05-24-22, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Fair enough. While it's wide, sloping down, and unencumbered with signage, crosswalks, or residences (until suddenly there are), the crosswalk isn't exactly hidden. However, he did feel comfortable enough on that stretch to take his attention off the road; to me it smacks of bad design.

If you want to blow a minute or two, here's the Google street view; he came off the bridge to the right, and turned onto the road. Just go straight until you come to the crosswalk; that's where Mrs. Garcia was hit.
Hard to tell how fast that crosswalk comes up from the pics, but it does look like the curve makes it a little hard to see, and a crossing sign would probably help.
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Old 05-24-22, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Hard to tell how fast that crosswalk comes up from the pics, but it does look like the curve makes it a little hard to see, and a crossing sign would probably help.
Assuming he was looking at the road to see the sign, then yes, it would help. Unfortunately, our local media (most media, really) just report the incident and never follow up.
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Old 05-24-22, 02:43 PM
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Just to clarify, I wasn't ranting about this particular incident; I was upset with our city's engineer, who is apparently fine with the kind of infrastructure that allows this to happen.

It doesn't help that the city isn't exactly overflowing with cashy money, and the five-member (currently four) city council is... going through some things (understatement of the century). LMK if you want the gory details, or just google Brett Watson.
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Old 05-25-22, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Just to clarify, I wasn't ranting about this particular incident; I was upset with our city's engineer, who is apparently fine with the kind of infrastructure that allows this to happen.
Again, how is infrastructure responsible for drivers that are distracted by cell phones? (Or drive drunk, drive aggressively, etc.)

Originally Posted by Korina
Assuming he was looking at the road to see the sign, then yes, it would help. Unfortunately, our local media (most media, really) just report the incident and never follow up.

An irresponsible driver killed a woman. What is there to follow up?
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Old 05-25-22, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Again, how is infrastructure responsible for drivers that are distracted by cell phones? (Or drive drunk, drive aggressively, etc.)


An irresponsible driver killed a woman. What is there to follow up?
The street he was on was wide and safe-looking, encouraging carelessness and speed.

Was the driver charged? If so, with what? If not, why not? I feel for the guy; in one moment of distraction he ruined four lives. I feel worse for the new widower, left to raise his child alone.
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Old 05-25-22, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
The street he was on was wide and safe-looking, encouraging carelessness and speed.
Oh please, that's utter nonsense.
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Old 05-25-22, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
The street he was on was wide and safe-looking, encouraging carelessness and speed.
.

Looking at the google maps link you posted, It's a two-lane road with remarkably wide breakdown lanes. Those are effectively "narrowing" the road. I guess they could put in some ghosties or tank traps to make it dangerous, but that seems like a stretch, "risk compensation" theory carried to an extreme.
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Old 05-25-22, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
. Narrower traffic lanes"
Oh yeah. That's exactly what I want. To be forced closer to every distracted moron using a farm truck or paramilitary vehicle as a family car. Sign me up.
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Old 05-25-22, 02:00 PM
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Law are good. I subscribe to the law of physics and in every case a car is going to win over a bike in a collision regardless of who's right or wrong.
This is why I ride off-road 95% of the time.

*
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Old 05-25-22, 02:16 PM
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If insurance companies can drop homeowners because they live in an area that is evolving into a high fire risk (due to heating and drought), why can't insurance companies declare that they will drop anyone who gets in an accident while distracted by a cell phone, DUI, etc?

I would also love to see a website where people can up-load dash-cam or bike-cam videos of drivers doing illegal stuff that puts cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers at risk. Index by state and plate number. Then insurance companies can have their people do periodic checks to see how their insured drivers actually behave. They could probably save a lot of money dumping aggressive and dangerous drivers.

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Old 05-25-22, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Oh yeah. That's exactly what I want. To be forced closer to every distracted moron using a farm truck or paramilitary vehicle as a family car. Sign me up.
Hey JoeyBike is that you in the profile pic hanging on to the taxi cab? If the lane is narrower that will be much easier!
But seriously, although it's counter-intuitive a lane that's 10-11ft instead of the standard 12ft will actually make you safer. Drivers, on average, will drive a little slower and be less distracted and will give you more room to pass and not try to lane share without moving as much. Narrower lanes are not appropriate on all roads and all circumstances, but on average would enhance safety.
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Old 05-25-22, 07:59 PM
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Seems everybody has one of these things around here. I'll pass on narrowing the lanes. Thanks anyway.
(Photo: https://roadslesstraveled.us/dodge-ra...railer-towing/)
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Old 05-26-22, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by whipnet View Post
Law are good. I subscribe to the law of physics and in every case a car is going to win over a bike in a collision regardless of who's right or wrong.
This is why I ride off-road 95% of the time.

*
Yes, and if you run into a tree, you are going to lose. But the tree isn't distracted or at fault, that is on you. You might as well tell the operators of vehicles that no matter the circumstances, the operator of the vehicle is not at fault, it's always the cyclist. You obviously do not want or have to commute, shop or do other things on a bike. Your choice, that does not mean those that do are looking or asking to be hit or run over by a vehicle operated by a distracted, unsafe driver. Or, even worse, simply because they are in the car, they have the right of way. Laws are not good if they do not pertain to everybody. In the words of fictional detective, Hieronymus Bosch; "Everyone counts, or no one counts."

Having said that. the best advocate for one's safety, is one's self. Always be aware and keep focus, keep the bike in top operating condition, never trust others on the road. That means cars , bikes, and pedestrians. and I will add in animals. As cyclists, we certainly need to use extra caution in any kind of traffic. I try to always expect "the unexpected" when cycling. I have never been involved in a serious crash with others while on a bike. Some of that is just luck. Most of it is awareness, caution, maintenance and being prepared for my well being.

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