The Chainlink

You blew the red light east bound on Lawrence at Damen at 5:26 pm this evening.

 

There was enough time for the biker in front of me to make it half way into the intersection, northbound on Damen, before you came whizzing past my front wheel.

 

I yelled "You're an idiot!" at your big haired chick, self, and you looked back at me. I meant it!

 

I woulda testified for any of the cars, that managed to not kill you, if they had.

 

Keep riding like a tard!

love,

gabe

 

Witness bad behavior during your commute? Feel free to post. Maybe that lovely human can read it and think they are famous. Maybe you can also inspire the whole generation of kids to shower but we can start with small things.

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or get plates that aren't so easy to remember!

i don't usually go down wells, but will now keep an eye out for him in case we cross paths in the future.

"That's a pretty nice E-class Merced you've got there... it would be a shame if something bad were to happen to it." <points to handlebar end>


How many deaths annually are caused by passenger rail (subway, metro, commuter, inter-city, and long-distance)? How is the war on autos faring?

Guy on bike going the wrong way on the Jackson Blvd bike lane...

Me: "Wrong way, pal."

Him: (unintelligible)

A couple blocks later he has chased me down(!)

Him: "There's no bike lane going the other way."

Me: "It's a one-way street."

Him: "How am I supposed to get around?"

Me: "Find another street. Like cars do."

Him: (turns around, back to the wrong way)

Me: continues to train station, SMH.

Re: Wrong way on one-ways. They're only the wrong way until someone gets around to painting the bike-path in the opposite direction. See, e.g., Wood St. near Milwaukee, Berteau, etc.

How about this: When there is as much money poured into bike infrastructure as there is for cars, then bikes can obey all the rules of the road. This applies to one-ways, stop signs, red lights, etc., etc.

Just to get started with a response:

David, that graph shows remarkable improvement in deaths per motor vehicle mile.  

That is certainly one story to read from this data. Here is another. Let's assume an average of 30,000 deaths per year in the US going back to 1919. Let's use 1919 just to make it an even 100 years of data. Then the total deaths by auto in the last 100 years is going to be 30k x 100 = 3,000,000. Three million. To put this number in perspective, according to this article, although it is certainly hard to pin down, the total number of US soldiers dying in all wars since the founding of the US is somewhere between 600k and over 1 million. Of course, this number does not represent civilian casualties. So, only in the past 100 years, this technology has managed to kill roughly three times more Americans than all the US soldiers in all wars in US history.

This is just deaths. And this does not include premature death caused by lack of exercise, exposure to exhaust, etc. Additionally, millions of Americans every year experience life-altering injuries due to being involved in some way with auto accidents. These are not only incredibly traumatic events but also are the cause of long-lasting disabilities, both mental and physical.

Jane Jacobs: "Not TV or illegal drugs but the automobile has been the chief destroyer of American communities.”

Per Wikipedia (motor vehicle fatalities in the US by year), pedestrian deaths are included in annual fatalities and make up 16% of all traffic deaths in 2017. Takeaway: At city speeds, motor vehicles are extremely dangerous.

KG: There's no question that travel is itself dangerous...

Travel itself is quite safe, especially when done over short distances. If you were to walk up and down your street once a day for your entire life, you should not expect to be killed. An issue regarding the supposed "need" to travel is a) why is it necessary? and 2) materialism, consumerism, and capitalism driving excess transportation of goods (above what is necessary or useful). Getting onto distance traveled, this is a real and present danger facing sustainability, namely Hypermobility. Is it better to travel further, even if it is theoretically possible? What happens to supposed "local community" no one is around that often to get to know each other?

KG: ..., and we see large numbers like 37,000 MV deaths. Speaking of large numbers, years past the invention of the bike, we now measure car deaths per billion miles. The stats have gone to that because against the old measure, we are declining to near 1 death per 100million miles for motor vehicles.  For context, that's about 1 death per twice the distance to the moon and back.  Still too many but that distance on a horse or the time it would take on a bike with the relative decline in human productivity, where the productivity while traveling declines to almost zero, would be as staggering as the 37,000 mv deaths.  That's why people try to accelerate travel time in the first place by choosing a bike or horse over walking, which is why people get into jet planes for instance.

Why travel further? My argument: It is not that people want to travel further, but that capitalism and profit-motive make it desirable to do so more frequently. Cars are fun! Cars are exciting and great! It is the easiest way to get sh** done! All well and good. Maybe it is the only because it has been "pushed down the gullet" of western society, in the sense that year after year it is marketed to the hilt as the consumer's favorite option. "It's too hard to walk to the deli market on the way home from work and interact with the friendly meat choppers" is not a good enough reason to avoid having a deli, work, home, friendly people, and an inviting atmosphere all within walking distance for the majority of city-dwellers.

KG: Bottom line: Per mile, at city speeds cars are extremely safe.  Per mile, cycling next to one is relatively more dangerous. 

The Wikipedia article on motor vehicle fatalities from above also nicely points out that the fatalities per year caused by motor vehicles does not include deaths attributable to transportation by pollution nor energy production for the use of transportation. Animals are also significantly affected with "tens of millions of deaths". Let's also remember the destruction caused by roads and highways tearing communities apart: Those interested in social justice will be quick to point out that major roads and highways affecting those of lower income level disproportionately. Where is your house? Is it with 100-yards of a busy highway? Do you know anyone whose front doors and windows open to deafening four-lane inner city traffic nearly 24 hours every days, 365 days per year? Sure, people live there by choice. It's cheap. And there's noise cancelling headphones. And maybe it's only for a few months until a better place is available. What are the deaths attributable to the noise of autos (and sure, throw in there jets as well)?

Bottom line: Cars are a masochistic fascination prodded on unsuspecting thrill-seekers by profit-seeking corporations. EVs are big oil's response to a threat to automobility, namely, to push a quasi-solution that they bet will never fully take off. In the meantime, more autos (and bigger ones) means more money.

Idaho stops: Auto drivers must yield to bicyclists until the day that auto drivers have to somehow expend bicycle-equivalent energy to get across the intersection. But really, bicyclists ought to demand more road space on a regular basis. Why do autos get to arrive anywhere 50% sooner than bikers? Let autos trail behind bicyclists at 5mph. Take the kids (anyone who's passed the training wheel test) down the center line! Strap a set of tail lights on stuck in emergency mode and above these plaster an giant red triangle warning sign: Caution! Do not pass! Why do autos feel the need to pass fifty feet before a red light? Institute a no-pass must-follow rule: Within 50 feet of a red light autos must not pass bicyclists.

Bicyclists with golf clubs given free pass to club autos within golf-range distance. New clubs come onto the market. Golfers have to deal with determining which set of clubs is for leisure and which is for pleasure. Pretty soon golf carts are replaced by golf bikes. Auto traffic is diverted to roadways where "No bicyclists allowed" signs dot every crossroad. After a while autos only travel in encapsulated highways, tombs filled with exhaust. No adenaline while driving within city limits!

How about: If the bicyclist has slowed down some rough percentage, say 10%, all other traffic must yield when the bicyclist enters the intersection.

When the driver gets upset about Idaho stops, it is simply because they did not see your hands on the brakes.

Really, bicyclists simply are attempting to stay with traffic on small streets. That means sometimes getting ahead and sometimes falling behind. Always attempting to stay right behind one car. When others try to pass from behind, on narrow streets, at least, it is uncomfortable for all. So staying up with traffic means going faster of speed bumps, drifting through intersections (just like autos do), and ultimately not falling behind. Which is what every member of the road expects, not to be continually pushed aside and not be given a right of way.

New feet rule: If there are bikes on the road, autos must not come within 25 feet, as bicyclists do not have expectation of exhaust air filter like autos have. Hence need to give them space.

New speed limit rule until bikes and autos are fully segregated: Every other hour, speed limits on all non-highway lanes will be reduced to 5mph and no bicyclist shall be passed. Furthermore, autos must drive with no music and all windows down so as to be able to communicate effectively with bicyclists.

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