It seems to be a pretty vicious cycle of the infrastructure being hostile to biking so nobody does it, nobody is biking so the roads are optimized for driving.
I've lived here for little over a year now and I've been _almost_ hit a couple of times while crossing the road at the crosswalk, and a few times at parking lots with drivers not looking back before reversing. I've also seen a dead cyclist in the intersection just outside my apartment complex :(
I lived in Florida for most of my early life, was car-free for a lot of it, and don't miss riding there at all. The cycling community in Miami used to joke that in the rest of the country, you ride like you're invisible - but in South Florida, you ride like the drivers can see you and are actively trying to kill you. Stay safe.
Much of the problem isn't snowbirds. It's the low rate of prosecution for vehicular manslaughter. Southern states seems especially tolerant of driver irresponsibility, perhaps because the victim is perceived as 'an outsider' -- i.e. not someone cluelessly driving a giant SUV.
"Walking may be hazardous to your health. In Florida, the risk of fatality on foot is significantly higher than in any other state.
Nine of the 20 deadliest U.S. cities for pedestrians are in Florida, with Orlando ranked as least safe and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolis ranked No. 14 in the 2019 “Dangerous By Design” report from Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition."
If you like walking or biking, don't move to Florida.
If you're white, perhaps. As a matter of public policy, this form of institutional racism is a way more effective way of producing a desired outcome: coming down hard on people of color while letting white people off easy. The incidence of fatal escalation of routine traffic stops is way higher with people of color.
Ha, that is so true – I live in a town with average age of 55, and indeed, a lot of people drive the way they would not get the license under any circumstances. I was at local DMV, and there are bunch of (old) people who moved here recently, and they need to get a new license. They don't have to pass a drive test, just a knowledge test. Still, they fail at least several times in a row (I heard about 5+, 3+ attempts).
Go to jail or lose your license for a year plus impound your car -- only that kind of response will save pedestrian lives.
On the whole they are much safer.
Grade crossings are everywhere in the Netherlands, but bikes have the right of way, and drivers and pedestrians don't, and that's also how the justice system judges things.
In most US states afaik, the legal incentives are definitely not there to care about bikers.
The reality is in America drivers are not accustomed to bikes passing them on the right when they are turning right. It certainly wasn't part of anything I learned in driver's training (though that was quite a while ago). I honestly could not tell you who has the right of way in that situation. Might vary by state.
So if you're cycling in America and you don't want to get hit, pay close attention to the cars on your left at crossings. Assume they don't see you. In fact as a general rule, assume the cars don't see you.
That's the main reason I rarely cycle in traffic. Too risky, and right-of-way or not, if a car hits a bike, the bike loses.
In modern Oregon's DMV driver's book they specify this case and tell you that they have the right of way, they also include this question in the test. Not sure how it helps on the roads to cyclers, but at least they teach about it.
Compare it to NYC's efforts here where they've intentionally been adding a lot of stripes into intersections for traffic calming reasons alone to force drivers to pay more attention to their overall surroundings, especially on dangerous left turns.
It may vary by state, but at least here in Iowa cars are supposed to merge into the bike lane (as far as possible) before turning right, not turn across it. This is the same as any other situation where you have two lanes of traffic going the same direction—you start your right turn from the rightmost lane. Bikes are expected to pass turning cars on the left in the regular traffic lane, not on the right.
Sorry if this sounds rude, but this was a surprise to you? I thought everyone in Europe realized how bicycle/pedestrial-hostile US cities are. Did you not come here first to check things out before committing to a cross-Atlantic move?
And seriously, Sweden is one of the top countries on the quality-of-life indices. The US is definitely not. Why would you leave there to come here? That's like me leaving the US and moving to El Salvador, thinking it'll somehow be nicer. (This is a valid comparison: compare the murder rates of Sweden vs. US to US vs. El Salvador.)
It does, a little bit, but that's ok.
No, it wasn't a surprise that it wasn't as bike friendly as Sweden. My comment was I was shocked at how extremely hostile Florida in particular was. I hadn't been to Florida prior to moving here. I committed to move away from Sweden because my wife couldn't stand it any more, the social aspects of Sweden are not all that peachy. It's really hard to break through the social barriers and make friends there. I had visited other parts of the US which I really did like, but we ended up here for work. We'll spend a few years here and then leave for some greener grass.
Having gone on some road trips my observation is it varies a lot by state. Tennessee is one of my favorites down south and D.C metro area is quite nice if you avoid the city center.
If we saw a biker out and about, it was pretty much guaranteed that they'd get a finger as I rocketed by in my car. This was just a thing that everyone did. I don't know why we were so self-righteous and angry about road usage.
As what is surely punishment for my past sins, I now commute via bicycle every day now. Even in a 'bike friendly' city like Seattle, I still get cars that play the "I'm gunna clip you!" scare game that I used to do to others as a teenager. Young me was a huge moron.
Tennessee is not at all bike-friendly, and pay there is generally very low.
What's wrong with the city center in DC? The city center is mostly very gentrified and rather expensive, particularly on the west side. Stay away from the southeast part at night though, but most other parts are pretty good.
>I committed to move away from Sweden because my wife couldn't stand it any more, the social aspects of Sweden are not all that peachy.
Are you and your wife native Swedes? I could see non-natives complaining about not fitting into a place like that, but if you grew up there it should be different.
Did you think about moving to other European countries? If you're looking for something friendlier than Sweden but still liveable and bikeable and pedestrian-friendly and with a social safety net and low crime, there's lots of options in the rest of Europe. Why would you want to move instead to a country where there's more guns than people and you have to worry about being killed either by criminals or in a car wreck?
Being half-Spanish I often compare to that culture. Over there you'll see kids, teenagers, adults and old people hanging out in bars together at 1am on the weekends. Over in Sweden you're supposed to stay locked up in your apartment after 6pm once you're past your 70s.
If you're seriously considering moving away from the US I'd suggest looking at Norway, which seems like a much friendlier place to me.
American tourists can be heard over all other sound in the metro- and trainstations in Stockholm because the natural level of noise-making is so different.
The standard ways of meeting partners, according to surveys, have been: school, work, church, friends, family, bars, online. School isn't possible if you're not a student any more (i.e., most everyone over 25), work is generally frowned upon and pretty limited unless your workplace has a lot of turnover (which is bad for other reasons!), church isn't useful if you're not religious (as is the case for Sweden I'm sure), friends and family have limited social circles of singles, and bars are a great place to meet alcoholics. The surveys I've read for dating in America have shown that all these methods (except maybe school) have been declining for a long time, while online has become the #1 method.
> Sorry if this sounds rude, but this was a surprise to you? I thought everyone in Europe realized how bicycle/pedestrial-hostile US cities are. Did you not come here first to check things out before committing to a cross-Atlantic move?
surely the proper answer to:
> And seriously, Sweden is one of the top countries on the quality-of-life indices. The US is definitely not. Why would you leave there to come here?
is "none of your business", and the answer to:
> That's like me leaving the US and moving to El Salvador, thinking it'll somehow be nicer.
is that the grandparent didn't say he or she expected the US to be nicer than Sweden, only implied an expectation that it would be less cyclist-hostile than it (the US) actually is.
Yes, the fact you won't be financially ruined by health issues is nice. The wait times and quality of care in Sweden left some to be desired.
As an aside - New York State did launch a universal healthcare program recently, and I believe Colorado has something in the works on that front too.
New York State does not have any statewide health insurance program yet, universal or otherwise. However, the New York Health Act (which would create a statewide single-payer insurance program) has passed the State Assembly four years in a row and stands a good chance of finally passing the Senate this year as well. 
So, not MA then? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_health_care_refo...
Or Vermont, temporarily: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont_health_care_reform
I think it's because it's a state with a lot of transplants (such as yourself) so you have a big mix of driving styles all interacting and they sometimes clash.
I'm just astounded by the complete disregard for other humans while they're in their cars. This is one of the biggest reason me and my wife are looking to resettle elsewhere in a couple of years.
this shit happens everywhere
An Oregonian will cut you off without signalling, then drive 52mph.
Florida by nature of it's popularity with tourists and retirees has a lot of the latter. Most people drive about average. When the local average is dragged down by hordes of tourists and retirees even the people who wouldn't otherwise drive that way do so because it's what's normal around them.
Weaving through traffic at 20 over the speed limit and making illegal and surprising passes is an example of something insurance doesn't like, and doing a poor/ineffective job of driving.
Actually, that's not true. Highway 360 on Maui (The road to Hana) was the most terrifying driving I've ever seen, but that is due to the state of the road, and the familiarity (and lack of interest in spending more time then they have to on it) of the locals.
It is super ironic, I agree. USA has a lot of room for activities, but the irony is that you have to _drive_ to them. Yes, you have to drive somewhere first, and when do what you want. Wants to run? Well, big chance you need to drive to some park. Wants to cycle? There is a chance you don't want to do straight from your house (like I have to go on a highway, which is not the best idea to cycle on).
> I've lived here for little over a year now and I've been _almost_ hit a couple of times while crossing the road at the crosswalk, and a few times at parking lots with drivers not looking back before reversing.
In USA, I recommend to walk in the middle of the parking lot (always!). This way you'll have time to react to any hazardous situations. Yes, some might honk at you, but better safe than sorry.
Yes, the weather is very hot, but the issue is not the heat but the fact everything is so far away and there isn't a safe way either-way of getting there without a car.
I'm a fan of how I understand Japanese zoning works + some of the stuff they're trying in Spain to ban cars in some areas.
In contrast, I now live in a newer FL city on the Space Coast that is currently booming. Seeing all of the car-friendly development makes me cringe. Nothing is in walking distance. Traffic is terrible. A man backed into me at a stoplight. I have to take a shuttle from my company's parking lot to my building because we have to accommodate so many vehicles, despite the fact that many employees live within an acceptable biking distance.
It's that new development isn't, and I hate to use this word, progressive. Don't people WANT to be able to walk around, sit outside and so on, get to work quickly, etc. How can the answer to that be no?
The obesity epidemic is extremely tied to this misguided way of continuing to build cities.
It's a type of trap that leads to these undesired effects. I do not see much changing until self-driving cars change the dynamics of how US society thinks about cars and transportation.
Of course that's only available to Boomers. "We've ruined most of society; let's find a place we haven't touched in which to hide from the consequences!"
The Florida lifestyle is to drive from air conditioned place to air conditioned place in your car. I am exaggerating but you should try ORegon or Washington for a more active lifestyle.
On the coasts people are very active. True the median age is much higher however they usually move to the coast to enjoy being outside year round.
When I first saw one of these I thought it was something out of Mad Max. The vast majority of these people don't need these grille guards as they don't work on a farm or anything similar. My guess is that they are bought to make their truck or SUV look tougher.
In contrast, I grew up in a rural area where grille guards might be useful and I never saw them. Big trucks don't seem to be as common as here either.
A friend of mine, who is a bike-trail advocate, was intentionally hit by the car behind him while he was stopped at a red light waiting to make a right turn. He said he waited a bit too long, the car behind him honked impatiently first, then bumped into him. He fell to the side and bruised his leg, while the perpetrator non-nonchalantly drove by, made their right turn and drove away.
Austin seems to be full of people who are happy to give cyclists lip service, but once they have to wait more than 5 seconds for a cyclists, they could hardly care less about them.
I was assaulted by a road raging driver, and to their credit the police made a token effort. Even took my statement. But they made no effort to arrest the guy as far as I can tell. Wasn't difficult for me to figure out where the guy lived, so all I can figure is that the police never bothered looking at all.
This is the most significant reason why I don't intend to stay in Austin.
> That report also noted that SUVs and trucks were involved in a third of pedestrian injuries but 40 percent of deaths.
(I.e., slightly disproportionately more likely to kill in a given collision.)
That said, the number of deaths is about 4% of the total number of traffic-pedestrian crashes that go to emergency rooms. The number does not include anyone who went to urgent care, nor people who walked away.
If 100% of SUV/truck drivers could switch to car-class automobiles, we'd expect to reduce pedestrian deaths about 359 (of 5376). It's something, but (1) difficult to imagine how we get there, and (2) definitely a minority fraction of 5376. I'm not sure that supports the idea that "increased prevalence of SUVS and trucks is one of the biggest factors."
In contrast, (!)34% of pedestrians killed were drunk when they died, and (!)15% of drivers were drunk when they killed a pedestrian[ibid]. These are huge numbers! 1828 and 806 lives, respectively. We can't (and don't want) to prevent people from drinking, but maybe we can improve safety for drunk pedestrians, and figure out new ways to take drivers who have been drinking off the road.
I'd rather get hit by a 90s F-series or Miata (with the "pedestrian unsafe" folding headlights) than the modern equivalents (though the modern Miata would still be pretty tolerable).
People here see you as some idiot who is playing with his toy while `serious` people are driving. They yell at you to get on the sidewalk, get off the road, that you don`t pay `road tax` (wtf), some homophobic shit. Canadians are so nice otherwise, but not on the road.
It's safe to say that people in North America just don't know how to react to bicycles all around.
I live in NYC where this is illegal in the five boroughs. Weirdly I've met more than a few people who live here who didn't know this. You will come across drivers who don't know this too occasionally who'll give you attitude if you walk when you have right of way.
I've visited the Bay Area a lot and honestly I'm terrified of being a pedestrian or cyclist there. When a car hits a red light and wants to turn right the driver will naturally just look left for oncoming traffic. In doing so they'll not be able to see pedestrian coming from the right who might need to cross the road there and they seem more oblivious to cyclists coming from the left.
Couple that with roads that are typically much wider and you feel like you're taking your life in your hands every time you cross the road. In Palo Alto there's a crosswalk across El Camino where it's 6 lanes (IIRC). Not in a million years could you convince me to use it. You just don't know how drivers are going to react. Will they see you? Will they stop for you? Who knows? It's better to cross where there isn't one so you can predict car movement.
I don't know how the US ended up with this turning right at a red light rule. I haven't personally been in another country where this is the case. But I can't think of a more anti-pedestrian and anti-cyclist rule than this.
I think the latter (default disallowed) is safer, because the sign permitting turn on red states that the turn is only permitted after stopping. On the other hand, drivers in the US blow through their right turns on red, usually not stopping, and with impunity.
Obviously I failed to miss this "subtlety" ;) - good evidence, as if any were needed, which of course it isn't, that drivers can't be trusted.
In the world of marine navigation, baked into many rules and courtesies, is the idea that larger vessels are to be offered right of way over small vessels. Because small vessels are both more able to perceive the current situation, and more able to avoid mishaps.
Paradoxically, pedestrians often have the right of way always, despite the car being far less maneuverable, less perceptive of it's surroundings, and far more dangerous to collide with.
This negation of the common-sense logic found in marine navigation is why our streets are always reported as "becoming more dangerous".
For whom? Drivers? Is any consideration for those who cannot or do not drive to be sacrificed at the Altar of the Automobile because cars?
> This negation of the common-sense logic found in marine navigation is why our streets are always reported as "becoming more dangerous".
The major difference I find between those who pilot boats (and aircraft) vs those who drive is how serious the former take their responsibility.
I met a UPS pilot once who we got to talking to and he said that he doesn't drink anything alcoholic within 12 hours of flying. That's clearly more precautious than he needs to be but this anecdote highlights the point of how serious this guy took his responsibility.
Compare this to drivers who routinely:
- Speed dangerously
- Drive while intoxicated
- Text or otherwise get distracted by their phones while driving
- Drive in spite of medical advice to the contrary 
- Run red lights
- Speed up when lights turn orange (knowing they'll be red when they pass through the intersection) as some lie to themselves that they couldn't stop (as a pedestrian I can nearly always tell lights are changing because I hear cars accelerate).
- Don't maintain their vehicles
All while being at the helm of two tonnes of metal hurtling down a highway at 85mph (with a speed limit of 55mph), all while tens of thousands of people die on the roads every year in the US.
A defense of some of these is "what choice do they have (but to drive)?" Well, that's the result of a society that is so totally geared towards car ownership.
So excuse me if "efficiency" for drivers isn't my primary concern.
Interestingly, people in SF rarely jaywalk, and I wonder if it's related to this.
We now have more dedicated bike lanes, which helps immensely. We've introduced signs and indicators ("sharrows") that indicate to drivers that bicyclists have the right to use the lanes just as much as drivers. It's a noticeable difference from 10 years ago. I can't say for certain these other things would have happened without the introduction of the bike share program, but it seems to be what really changed things here.
Sure you get the one off case where people are being assholes for the sake of being assholes, but for whatever reason you can't really get away from that no matter where you are.
That being said, if you're in another car or anywhere near I76, then you better believe it's every man for himself, and may the traffic gods have mercy on you.
I'm not sure that driver attitudes are the primary cause of cycling deaths. Lack of visibility might be one, though.
People will pass very fasts and very close when they're angry at the cyclist for being on the road and "in their way". I've actually had someone try to run me off the road before. (I've had plenty of people try to merge into where I was, but this was someone trying to do it because he wanted me on the sidewalk "where I belonged". We stopped and argued at a light right afterwards.)
If that behavior were common, cycling would be vastly more dangerous. Maybe in Philadelphia it was.
I also hate “share the road” situations where the right thing to do is take up the whole lane; drivers are almost religiously against this concept. Even if it’s, like, 30 yards. So you’re stuck either taking the dangerous option of treating a rough, basically nonexistent shoulder as a “bike lane”, or dealing with road rage as you occupy the full lane. I can keep up pretty well with traffic, but even so people just get angry.
now not to go full mean mode on cage drivers, we have our issues among riders too. I would say about every fifth new cyclist that wants to ride with us or friends; I admit to being a slacker; has to be schooled in not being a dick. No need to make the people who don't like bicycles like them less. Obey the rules, forgive, and ride.
When driving, I hate when cyclists don't take up the whole lane when they are supposed to (and where I live, they are supposed to unless there's a bike lane). It creates dangerous ambiguous situations when the lane belongs to a biker, but the biker doesn't take it. Pulling over to the side says "go ahead, and pass me" (whether it's a car or a bike). I can't tell you how many times I've seen bikes just mindlessly swerve from the middle of the lane, to outside the lane, and back, paying no attention to the flow of traffic.
I don't get angry at bikers. I get angry at anyone cutting me off or generally using the road erratically.
As a cyclist you must be noticeable and predictable at all times.
Put flashing lights and reflectors anywhere you can. Make turn signals with your hand. When you take up a lane, do it confidently and clearly communicate your intent. Take it all seriously and "officially" and drivers will be forced to pick up on it.
However, there are situations where it’s not possible, because doing the “correct thing” would be more dangerous. Hard to illustrate with words, but there are some busy roads on my commute where the bike lane merges with the full lane, and then becomes a bike lane again after a busy intersection. The problem is, if you do the “correct” thing, rather than hugging the shoulder, you become exposed to cars cutting across lanes, at high speeds, with you essentially in their blind spot.
It’s a balance - you want to be predicable and do the correct thing as much as possible, but sometimes it’s just not safe.
so true. After one or two close calls I'm always on my toes watching for vehicles while walking regardless of crosswalks, lights, one-way streets, having the right of way etc. Even on a sidewalk i keep an eye on traffic.
1000 times this. IMHO this, and the closely related sizing up each other's expected path, is what is sorely missing in a lot of the US. One of the few times I was able to walk at a car (such that I would pass behind it) in a west coast parking lot and not have the driver stop in my way and wave me on like they did me a favor, it had a Red Sox sticker on the back.
> dealing with road rage as you occupy the full lane
Meh, free soda.
I am a daily all-weather bike commuter and to be honest have not had a problem with cars. I don't really mind the concept of SOVs- we use one ourselves; it's just that they need to be much more tightly controlled at least in these neighborhoods.
If you take a road with a "natural" speed and try to artificially restrict with a speed limit, unless you are prepared to have officers posted on that road at all times ticketing people will ignore the limit entirely and go the "natural" speed of the road.
I see it all the time, all over, especially since I live in PA where the state thinks its a really sensible idea to keep almost every highway at 55 mph no matter what. When you try to heavily constrain car speed well below the natural speed of the road people simply stop trying to obey the limit at all and go whatever speed they want.
but in many cases, that goal is missapplied to reduce accidents. accidents are typically not caused by speed, but rather distraction or anger. it hard to enforce attention and mindfulness, so we regulate speed as a (poor) proxy (partially for harm reduction, as speed increases severity of accidents), which directly leads people to wrongly associate speed as the cause of accidents.
it makes sense, for example, to reduce vehicle speeds around schools to reduce harm in case of accidents with small people. but rather than an artificial speed limit that depends on police enforcement, narrow the lanes to 8 feet and people will naturally drive 15-20 mph in those school zones without the added enforcement burden (and use the remaining road space for bike lanes).
In 2016, the speed limit was enforceable on only 19% of streets in Los Angeles due to the speed trap law. The city has made great efforts recently to update their speed surveys, resulting, in most cases, in an increase in speed limits.
Of course cities are chronically underfunded for infrastructure, so this is really hard to do in practice.
Conditions where one can even go 25+ for more than a couple hundred yards are rare and basically limited to main roads in low traffic conditions (i.e. late at night). These roads already had good bike lanes and the one cyclist riding in said lane at 1am is unlikely to be bothered by the one car that's also around going 30-40 in a separate lane (or I'm not at least).
It's all very well having cars going at 40mph past you on a bike until the driver of one of them gets distracted or makes a simple mistake and hits you. Then you'll wish they were doing 20!
Generally, many streets are not designed in a context-sensitive way, but instead designed to fit the standards of a limited functional roadway classification system (arterial, collector, local). The passive safety approach of the '60s, as championed by the NHTSA, assumed that crashes are inevitable, and so the safety focus was put on preventing injury after a crash. Thus arterials, for example, have a similar design in which many roadside objects (trees, signs, lights, bollards, etc) were removed, with a "soft landing" on the side. And now we have big wide straight streets that, in their design, encourage us to drive faster.
There are extensive efforts to revise this CA law because of the unintended consequence that it makes roads more dangerous for non-vehicular travelers.
This is the crux of the matter. If people really thought they'd get a speeding ticket, perhaps they wouldn't speed. I live in a big city similar to Boston and I've never seen someone pulled over for speeding though. After all, what are the odds that:
1. A car speeds
2. In front of a cop
3. The cop can safely pursue the speeding vehicle in city traffic
I believe enforcement of moving violations in the Boston metro is impossible. It is impossible because there is not enough room for an officer in a car to pull a vehicle over while simultaneously keep traffic moving at a reasonable speed. The police have purposely chosen to not enforce moving violations in order to prioritize traffic.
A view of a map of recent pedestrian deaths  seems to confirm this. Many of the deaths seem to be on major roadways that separate two densely populated areas. And, I’ve personally witnessed many more people crossing highways, lately (sometimes, even mothers with small children walking on the shoulder!)
Unfortunately, as the authors research shows, many deaths are in low-income areas. I suspect that low-income people aren’t well-represented when these roadways are designed. And, in particular, two new interchanges near me (that also lack pedestrian crossings), were also known to be areas where many (generally low-income) pedestrians cross, but none of those residents were at any of the planning meetings.
But, "complete" streets are super cheap, and give the illusion of improved infrastructure, so the trend will likely continue for the near future -- further increasing accidents as it does.
If you separate cars, bikes and pedestrians most of the time but their paths cross at intersections then you have a problem because drivers might not expect a sudden bike lane out of nowhere. It's better to have the bike lane on the street so that cars see it all the time. This makes them drive slower and more carefully because they expect bikes to show up there.
I don't have data to back this up although I vaguely remember reading about it in "Streetfight" by Janette Sadik-Khan. If I recall correctly introduction of unseparated bike lanes in New York City didn't increase bike fatalities despite increasing the number of bikers and it also decreased number of pedestrian fatalities thanks to cars driving slower because of bikes. Of course the article shows that now the pedestrian deaths increased so it might have been a premature conclusion on Sadik-Khans part.
If you've ever seen a mangled barrier by the side of a road, you'll understand why encouraging humans into the road as a traffic calming strategy is rather problematic.
Enlightened cities such as those in the Netherlands tend to take a risk-elimination approach - residential streets will be designed to keep speeds low, and neighbourhoods designed so that through-traffic doesn't try to take shortcuts along them. This makes it safe for cyclists to use the roads without special infrastructure. Only busier main roads have infrastructure. This is hard to imagine in the US where many cities in the US seem unfamiliar with the concept of any road not being a busy main road!
I agree that putting unprotected humans on the road should happen only after other traffic calming measures have been put in place.
Regarding your last remark. There are basically two styles of bike infrastructure. You described the dutch way quite well. But there is also a Copenhagen style of bike infrastructure where it's directly by the road. Sometimes separated by the curb but still on the road. https://goo.gl/maps/QWTfALXSbsj
I won't judge which style is better. It probably depends on the city.
More about differences between Amsterdam and Copenhagen styles
If you design your intersections correctly, cyclists do not appear out of nowhere, they always intersect at right angles with the car lane (https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/junction-desig...). That hugely increases visibility of cyclists for car drivers and vice versa, and makes eye contact possible.
That's kind of funny to hear, because I was going to use real-world Chicago and Seoul as practical examples of this already existing in cities today.
Chicago Loop has a dual-layer approach (where faster moving cars are on the ground floor, but a "second street level" is directly above them, for pedestrians + buses). It's not an exact match (cars can drive on both levels, those lanes should all exist on one level), but it's pretty close to this idea already in practice.
On the opposite side, Seoul has a "pedestrian highway" slung above 8ish lanes of car traffic below, which is a cheaper (although less effective) version of the same idea.
Can you provide a source for this? (especially concerning the separation of bicyclists and motor traffic)
USDOT routinely finds freeways to be the safest roadway for all involved each year (lowest number of ped/bike/car fatalities), since it separates traffic modes.
Pedestrians and bicyclists go over/under/beside it on dedicated infrastructure, they are never on it. And similarly, cars are never on the dedicated ped/bike infrastructure, so collisions are effectively impossible from either side, due to physics.
These are both more rare than car-bicycle collisions and less likely to be injurious.
> also exclusive roads for bicycles are usually of low quality not up to engineering standards for roads, they will be full of dirt, unmaintained, with potholes
Citation needed? The main problem I've experienced on bike paths is tree roots. Roads for bikes don't wear out particularly quickly, because bikes don't make anything like the kind of wear and tear on roads that cars or especially larger vehicles (buses and trucks) do. Road wear is proportional to weight squared.
> Most bicycle accidents are not even collisions with cars
What are they collisions with? Do you think bike-bike, bike-ped, and bike-fixed object collisions combined are more frequent than bike-car collisions? I don't have numbers on this one way or another. To provide some color, motor vehicle-fixed object collisions are about a third of all motor vehicle crashes.
Additionally, 95% of cyclist collision deaths are definitely car-bike collisions. So even if they are not the majority of collisions, they must be disproportionately deadly and worth consideration anyway.
: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/... p. 18 (table 5(b)).
: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/... p. 5-6.
In roads that are not designed for cycling (where cyclists have to share the road with car drivers), perhaps it is true that they fare best when they act as vehicles. However, the safest option by far is not sharing the road with cars to begin with.
An improved shoulder wide enough to not have storm drains or debris to deal with is ideal. You can enter the roadway proper as needed to take the lane or prepare for turns like every other vehicle. You don't get abuse from ignorant drivers who expect you to stay in your designated space.
It's like taking a Ford Model T down the left lane of an interstate highway with an 80 MPH speed limit, or like taking a horse-drawn carriage on a US highway, or like flying a WWI biplane into Chicago O'Hare airport. Sure, it is still legal to do so, but it is a terrible idea. People will rightly hate you if you do this.
If sidewalks aren't legal for bicycles, then most of us have no business using bicycles. Because of this, most people in the USA do not use bicycles, and the situation won't be changing for as long as the law prevents sidewalk usage.
That's not true...there's plenty of shared road. Drivers are more cautious and aware, but it's not all separate pathways.
When I was a kid, there were still plenty of 60-80 kph roads where bikes had to ride on the right side of the car lane, but almost all of those have separate bike lanes or bike paths nowadays.
95% of bicycle deaths are a result of motor-vehicle bike collision, and the vast majority of collisions are between the front of the motor vehicle and a bicycle.
> there will still be bike-bike collisions and other types of accidents
Sure, but these collisions are far less deadly and injurious. Exchanging car-bike collisions for bike-bike collisions is a good tradeoff from a public health perspective.
So, do you have evidence for that central claim, or is it just speculation?
I can’t find any hard data on this, but from what I can see online (and my own experience riding in the road), the most common types of accidents are when cars are turning, and fail to yield to a cyclist. Being rear ended or sideswiped seems to be much more rare than accidents where the car is turning and doesn’t see the cyclist.
For example, a cyclist is riding in a bike lane, and a car is turning left into a driveway. The car is looking for oncoming traffic in the road, so the cyclist is most visible in the road or bike lane, where the driver is expecting fast moving traffic to be. If we build a segregated bike path, cyclists will be much less visible, and it’s more likely that a driver will fail to see them when turning.
At least they put up a no parking sign.
EDIT: Not to mention this photo shows the one and only bike symbol on the block. Given how worn off it is I assume most drivers have no idea this is the "bike route."
a buddy of mine grabbed a guy and pulled him out of the way of a city bus. The guy had the light to cross and the bus was making a turn while watching for traffic and not people. My friend saved a life that day.
while crossing a fairly busy street, again in Dallas, a girl about 10 feet in front of me got completely leveled by, yet again, a car turning right watching for traffic and not people. She was not ok.
Dallas isn't that friendly to pedestrians
In a year of walking around midtown, I've only seen one person hit by a car and it was very much the pedestrians fault fault. They walked out from behind a hot dog stand into the street, not at a crosswalk.
Although, I suppose the situation would be even worse if it wasn't outlawed...
Always, always glance over your right shoulder when turning right.
Turning right on a red light is prohibited in many countries, unless indicated by a separate, arrow-shaped (green or orange) light. Surprised to learn that it is however allowed in most of the USA.
To wit, left turns from one one-way street onto another one-way street are also allowed on red (if you’re not in NYC).
I’ve had a similar experience since moving to Pittsburgh, I see drivers lose it and freak out at pedestrians in high foot traffic areas. Midwest drivers need to chill!
did the officer get disciplined for this?
The flatter angle of the front A-pillars also increases the size of the blind spot. A-pillars have to provide rollover protection these days and as a result have to be somewhat wider to produce the required strength.
For cyclists and pedestrians to really be safe we need to design our road infrastructure to counteract those issues from the start. I visited Copenhagen a few years ago and biked everywhere, and it was a real eye opener how safe and easy it was compared with my home in Chicago.
This causes so many unnecessary conflicts. At best, you get a nasty look from an impatient right-turner who has to slam their brakes to avoid hitting you. At worst, you get killed for obeying a traffic signal.
Similar with left turning. Why don't all high-volume roads have dedicated left turn arrows? If a driver misjudges the speed of the next car, you can bet they'll choose to follow through with the turn and hit a pedestrian rather than getting hit by a car going through a green light.
Even in rare places where signs say "bikes may use full lane", I've been near ran over by cars angrily speeding past me.
Source: I live in Chicago and ride a bicycle when it is nice out.
I'm sure if everyone who currently rides a bicycle to work went out and started commuting via skateboard tomorrow we'd have a heck of a lot more skateboard fatalities.
Also worth mentioning that this is an op-ed so it is not subject to normal journalistic standards (however low they may sometimes be).
> More people are being killed because cities are encouraging residents to walk and bike, but their roads are still dominated by fast-moving vehicular traffic. As my research has shown, this shifting mix can be deadly.
It's right in the introduction:
> As cities strive to improve the quality of life for their residents, many are working to promote walking and biking
> More people are being killed because cities are encouraging residents to walk and bike
The city of Austin just had a bus driver kill a cyclist a few weeks ago who was later found to have been texting and driving a city bus.
We know that drivers on phones rely primarily on their peripheral vision to spot other vehicles, but it's very easy for a pedestrian or cyclist to slip through that.
So, nobody stops for you at pedestrian crossings, unless you already are walking on it (and you can even feel their frustration), everybody pulls ahead on the pedestrian crossings at intersections, thus making it dangerous for people, who have to slide around. And the turn on right, yes, mentioned here before – same thing, people pull forward too much, plus don't wait for people to cross fully (again, illegal).
Looking at all of it, I am curious why can't they put police behind crosswalks and just fine everybody with such behaviour? Drivers will learn their lessons really quickly (everybody understands fines and money), and this should improve situation drastically.
Parts of the US. Where I live if you pause near the edge of a sidewalk for too long cars will just start screeching to a stop and waving for you to cross. To the point that it's a problem.
* Unrelated footnote: This was before HIPAA. I very much wonder if my kids would be afforded the same opportunity today.
Also the same could be true of drivers and cyclist using their handheld.
The ultimate cause of these deaths is principally in the tons of metal propelled to abnormal speeds by engines that could just as well serve the power needs of an entire row of houses. If your traffic policy doesn't realize this basic fact and instead prefers to make worthless publicity campaigns appealing for "everyone to pay attention", it is not rooted in evidence and doomed to fail.
Imagine every day we had 10+ planes crash, killing everyone inside, and we collectively shrug our shoulders, make tactless comments along the lines of "if it goes up it's gonna come down" and put up posters for plane construction workers to pay more attention putting the rattling cans together.
>Most pedestrians and bicyclists are killed or injured while they are obeying the law.
It's risky out there. Everybody, please keep your heads up!
... Oh, wait, we're victim blaming about something else this time?
The whole right vs. wrong thing is only useful in assigning blame when something really bad happens, and society wants to punish someone to achieve "justice". But having justice isn't really useful if you're dead, and not really worth it IMO if you're maimed for life. It's better to avoid the whole incident in the first place. "Justice" is nothing more than a concept society created to prevent people from seeking personal vengeance.
And sure, maybe (maybe) the legal system will penalize the driver, but is it going to change anything? No, because our society has decided that cars are more important and we're not going to curtail our usage of cars at all, and accidents like this are unavoidable because of the nature of cars and ever-increasing traffic. If we built more trains/subways to take the load off the roads, we really could reduce the cyclist/pedestrian fatalities, but the US isn't going to do that; it's proven that it's completely incapable of building new public-transit infrastructure.
Yes, this is the problem that is being discussed -- and the problem that we really need to solve, for a host of reasons ranging from public health to climate stability -- and it is a distraction from discussions of this problem (and also, condescending and unnecessary advice) to suggest that the victims of reckless motorists try harder to not be victims.
This is linked in that passage: https://theconversation.com/the-value-of-unplugging-in-the-a...
I don't know what you mean - it shouldn't matter how distracted and inattentive a pedestrian on the sidewalk is, because the cyclists shouldn't be in the same space as them in the first place.
Distracted pedestrians (and cyclists!) is a significant problem.
Regardless of how you feel about bikes the conditions are inherently unsafe for bikes and cars and there are multiple annual fatalities.
I can't think of another form of exercise where a participant puts themselves and non-participants in legal danger.
There are many reasons for this but the most common is not taking sufficient separation from the cyclist when passing them. Here in Spain is 1.5m but you don't usually see many cars so close.
Most roads were designed for cars not bikes. I'm all for bike Lanes, but there should be a minimum speed limit on roads too. It's similarly not safe to be going 5mph on a 35mph road.