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Cycling Advocacy

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There are two black kids, aged about 14 and 16, who pedal around Walnut Hills and as far as Northside on a yellow tandem bike.  Night and day, rain or shine.  I've been trying to get a photo of them with my phone for several months now.  But there do seem to be a lot of black kids who never learned how to ride a bike.  I was knocked off my bike once by 3 teenagers and they didn't steal it from me because I realized none of them knew how to ride. 

 

It would be cool to be Lebron James or any of these other top athletes for a day to feel what it's like to ordinary workouts and bike riding with that kind of physical strength, but also all the intangibles that top athletes have.  I work with a couple guys who played in college and they can easily fake me out and get me off balance just walking past me to the copier.   

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Biking does seem to have an especially big stigma in the black community at least from the outside. Like the minute someone makes enough money to drive a car the bike gets tossed aside for being embarrassing. Correct me if I'm wrong, white guy here.

I would say it's a poor & uneducated class issue. In some places that might be black & in other places white or whatever.

From what I've gathered, for some groups of people, getting a job, apartment & car is kinda like getting a diploma. It's a sign of adulthood & responsibility. Bikes are toys & adults who ride are considered privileged rich jerks playing in the street (which is for serious folks in cars).

my 2 cents of social analysis.....

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Right, it's about Ohio cycling news ... not really sure where King James biking in Florida fits in.

Lebron used to sponsor a scholarship program in Akron where the good students got new bicycles as awards.

Note: I don't follow basketball.

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since these got wiped in the crash - may as well put them back.

 

nyc citybike program

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Bike Share talk in Dayton:

 

Dayton Pedals New Bike Share Program

 

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - According to organizers at Bike Miami Valley, the Dayton region has the largest network of connected bike paths in the country.

 

Now they want you to get connected to them by offering a new Bike Share program.

 

 

From a fitness site (Ohio Active):

 

Gem City cycling: How Dayton Became the Best in Ohio

 

Dayton City Paper article/cover story on the opening of a connector between Dayton and Fairborn/Wright-Patterson

 

Happy Trails

 

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Dayton CM riders will participate in a new Dayton thing...(2nd or 3rd one)...a Day of the Dead Parade:

 

Ride of the Dead

 

There is this concept of using group rides to promote places....the summers Tour De Dayton is probably a good example. 

 

Now suburban Kettering is doing something similar:

 

Tour de Arts in Kettering...a 10 mile ride looking at creative things in Kettering...

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A move is afoot to make a southern connection btw the Great & Little Miami River bikeways....

 

First leg opens today...Medlar Bikeway Opens Today

 

The bikeway marks a big step toward a southern connection between the Great Miami River and the Little Miami River bikeways, the region’s two main biking trails, Five Rivers MetroParks said.

 

>snip<

 

Construction began in June. The completed bikeway links the Austin Road Interchange at I-75 to the Great Miami River Bikeway.

 

Since this is in that Austin Blvd area, the developer RG Properties features it in its marketing website (with more info/backgrounder stuff):

 

work begins on Medlar Bikeway

 

....also at the link a graphic showing the route.

 

 

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The Atlantic Cities ‏@AtlanticCities  32m

Finally, a bicycle ad that's as sexy as one for a car http://bit.ly/1dGnaoL


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Court ruling in land dispute could threaten bike trails

 

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court's ruling in an obscure Wyoming land dispute Monday could result in the loss of thousands of miles of bicycle trails or cost the government millions of dollars in compensation.

 

The justices ruled 8-1 that government easements used for railroad beds over public and private land in the West expired once the railroads went out of business, and the land must revert to its owners.

 

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, said the case was decided based on an 1875 act of Congress and a 1942 Supreme Court decision involving the Great Northern Railway Co.

 

That ruling confirmed that the government merely had received easements without any long-term land rights, he said. The establishment in 1983 of the federal "rails to trails" program didn't change the court's interpretation for easements that expired earlier.

 

READ MORE AT: 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/10/supreme-court-railroad-land-dispute/6252835/

 

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The article is (of course) vague on what those Congressional acts and Supreme Court decisions really mean.  It looks like this applies specifically to land-grant railroads which were more common out west.  I'm not aware of railroads in this part of the country purchasing easements across property, they purchased the actual strip of land itself.  It was very common among interurban railways to have clauses in the deed that would revert the land back to the original owner if the railway ceased operations, especially if the land was given away for no cost, so maybe that was a type of easement, but in any case that's not the typical pattern with the mainline railroads east of the Mississippi as far as I can tell. 

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^According to the folks that operate the Whitewater Valley Railroad between Metamora and Connersville, Indiana, the easements revert to the original owner on that line if the railroad ceases to operate. There is a gap between Brookville and Metamora that was abandoned long ago; a proposal to make the right-of-way into a rails-to-trail facility failed because the reversion owners blocked it.

 

In a related issue, railroads do not always have the legal right to build utilities such as fiber optic lines over these easement corridors, unless the original easement documentation allows it or they purchase new easements. Some railroads have allowed the telecommications companies to use the railroad right-of-way and have been caught. Why would anyone care? Well, there's an outfit of lawyers working out of Cleveland searching for these things, and approaching the property owners to recover damages from the railroad. They have had some success winning court cases. The same kind of thing happens with power companies allowing parallel lines on easements.

 

It would be interesting to know if any Cincinnati area lines act this way. It would take a lot of research and a legal interpretation. In practice, when the land on either side of the railroad was developed and sold to different owners, how would one determine who owns the reversion rights anyway?

 

In the end, the Rails to Trails program allows reconstruction of the railroad if the railroad has a need for it. It is potentially possible that the Loveland Bike Trail will become a railroad again in the future, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Can you imagine the chagrin that would cause?

 

The lesson to be learned is that just because there is an unused railroad line, it is not necessarily available for other uses. In fact, it's not necessariy even available for railroad uses. A proposal by Rail American to re-open the former CL&N between Blue Ash and Mason was blocked by the FRA due to influence by adjacent property owners, believe it or not.

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That article on the decision leaves out some important details. 

 

The rail line at issue crossed federal land.  The federal government sold the land, and then the railroad abandoned the line with the federal government's approval, and then later the federal government sought to claim title to the former easement, and to that the Court said "no way" -- the easement ceased when the railroad abandoned the line and the government didn't own the land at that point.  I'm not sure how much these facts will apply to other rails-to-trails.  The time when the easement was granted, and thus what federal law applies, also is important. 

 

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/12-1173

 

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Streetsblog Network ‏@StreetsblogNet  57m

Boston doctors now prescribing bike share memberships to overweight patients http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/03/28/boston-doctors-now-prescribing-bike-share-memberships/


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Bikeshare as a concept is okay.  But in practice, we're putting people who weren't drawn to bicycling enough to actually go out and drop $400 on a decent properly-sized one onto one-size-fits-all dork mobiles.  How many people are first getting back into biking from childhood via bikeshare, then being sufficiently motivated to go out and get a higher quality, properly-sized bike?  Not many. 

 

The analogy is personal trainers are people who are naturally drawn to working out.  They can't wait to get up and work out and they've learned over the years how to not get hurt in the gym.  That's how people are like me who have biked continuously, well before this recent surge of popularity.  Bikehshare is like if we started putting weight lifting equipment at street corners and people just came by during the course of their day who hadn't lifted weights since middle school gym class and started dropping weights on their toes. 

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^ So....we shouldn't have bike share because the people who use it aren't part of the "culture"? What happened to using bicycles as transportation?

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^ So....we shouldn't have bike share because the people who use it aren't part of the "culture"? What happened to using bicycles as transportation?

 

Well I'm worried that the current rise in bicycling's popularity is a fad.  That in 10 years people will look back and say "hey, remember bikeshare?". Are people who are regularly or periodically using bikeshare today going to be using it in the exact same way 10-20 years from now?  Something's going to change, and I doubt that short of $10 gas that it's going to grow steadily until the US until we achieve anything like the level of bicycling in either poor countries like China or fetishized European countries like The Netherlands. 

 

Nobody's talking about how in the early and mid-90s rollerblades were extremely popular for real transportation in cities.  When I visited NYC during that time people were on rollerblades going from here to there all over Manhattan. You would go into a store and somebody would be at the checkout counter buying stuff on rollerblades.  Where are those people now? 

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Rollerblades aren't actually practical, though. You can point to cities where bikes have surged in popularity and maintained it over decades, because they are very practical. Plus the spike in demand for bicycle accommodations will ensure the long-term growth of cycling mode share, even if some people try it only for a few years.

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Rollerblades aren't actually practical, though. You can point to cities where bikes have surged in popularity and maintained it over decades, because they are very practical. Plus the spike in demand for bicycle accommodations will ensure the long-term growth of cycling mode share, even if some people try it only for a few years.

 

Actually rollerblades were really practical for just the sort of trips that are in bikeshare's range of about .5 miles to 2-3 miles.  The main problem with rollerblades were having to carry shoes with you, but I remember people doing that with backpacks.  In fact when I was in college people used to skate to class with their books and shoes in backpacks pretty often.  Also, rollerblades were WAYYYYY more dangerous than bikes (no real brakes!), but nobody seemed to care.  People in NYC were confidently skating right down the avenues.

 

What has happened in the past 10 years is that the bicycle hipster emerged as a "thing" across the country in the mid-2000s.  Then facebook came along and the coffee shop crowd started excessively photographing bicycles and casual bicycle group rides.  There's usually an inverse relationship between the number of bicycle photos on someone's facebook page and the volume and practicality of the actual bicycling that takes place. 

 

 

 

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^ The main problem with rollerblades is that you need perfect pavement to use them on.  That's why they're not practical, and why you don't see the Dutch, Danes, or Chinese riding rollerblades but bicycles. 

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Well I'm worried that the current rise in bicycling's popularity is a fad.

 

Yeah, pretty sure it is!  Like the 1970s bike fad.  But that one left a residue of long term riders who do sport riding...mountain bikers (which came out of that 1970s boom), roadies, etc. 

 

So we might see more utility cycling come out of this fad.  But in general yes. 

 

What has happened in the past 10 years is that the bicycle hipster emerged as a "thing" across the country in the mid-2000s.  Then facebook came along and the coffee shop crowd started excessively photographing bicycles and casual bicycle group rides

 

bicycle hipster!  Excellent!  The ironic thing is cycling is more connected to BEER than to coffee.  I read that one of the founders of an early craft beer operation, Sierra Nevada was a cyclist and a wrench, working in a bike shop before he opened Sierra Nevada. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thinking back to that 1970s cycle fad. 

 

Back then there was talk of bike trails and bikeways, too.  Following the trend they built a dedicated bike path in Louisville, where it languished for decades after the fad subsided.

 

Now in some places the cycling fad became part of the local culture…in other words it stopped being a fad and started being “something we do in this town”.  You saw that happen in Davis, CA, where cycling became part of the local identity, “what we do here in Davis”. 

 

And I think it happened in Dayton, too.    Unlike Louisville, the idea of having longish bike paths really caught on here; the initial bike trails from the 1970s were added to over the years, rather than forgotten and left to deteriorate.

 

So here in SW Ohio we have an excellent and extensive bike trail infrastructure in place already, while in Louisville they are all about urban cycling, cyclovias, vintage bikes, "fenders and fixies" (mercifully no tweed rides...yet!) and the "Louisville Loop" (and are probably 20 years away from finishing that loop).  When I talk to Louisvillians about cycling and they start to wax eloquent about what a big cycling center they are I just look at them and tell them they havnt got a clue....then describe what you can do on a bike here vs there....

 

 

 

 

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Yes Davis must be a big deal if even I know about it.  They have a cycling club that does 200-mile rides out in the California and Nevada deserts.  The rides are well-supported and so very safe, which is important since they go out into truly exotic and inhospitable areas.  Around here there is only so much trouble you can get into. 

 

 

Most of my book knowledge of bicycling comes from a 1970s-era book that my parents for some reason had on their bookshelf despite about 10 miles of cycling between the two of them.  I think it was left over from the fad and called something like "cycling for fitness".  I learned about fixed gear bikes in that book -- in the 70s pro cyclists were apparently using them to train.  Like they were climbing the Alps on those things.  But the main points of the book were training advice for century rides.  The century ride seems like an impossible, mythic achievement for someone new to cycling, but in reality anyone can do it.  I credit that book with sparking my interest in the sort of cycling I do today. 

 

My opinion on our current bicycle surge is that way too much emphasis has been put on bike infrastructure and not enough on the bikes themselves.  The fact is new bikes are WAAYYY nicer in every respect than the old bikes from the 70s and 80s people are picking up at garage sales.  New bikes are much more comfortable, practical, and in my estimation safer because the modern shifting is SO MUCH BETTER than the old multi-gear bikes.  Periodically I will borrow somebody's old bike for a few minutes and I always hand it back in disgust.  Rarely on an old bike do you feel completely in control of what's going on.  On most city bikes priced $500+ made since about 2005, the bike becomes pretty much invisible while riding it. 

 

Also, most people have not ridden a modern $2,000+ carbon fiber road bike properly sized for them. They are absolutely incredible -- light years beyond the 1970s and 1980s "10-speeds" leftover from the biking fad.   

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DOT 81-14

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Contact:  DOT Press OfficeT

el.: (202) 366-4570

 

 

U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx Announces New Initiative to Enhance Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

DOT to launch nationwide safety assessment of key bike/ped routes

 

 

PITTSBURGH – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced a new initiative to reduce the growing number of pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and fatalities through a comprehensive approach that addresses infrastructure safety, education, vehicle safety and data collection.  The 18-month campaign will begin with road safety assessments conducted by U.S. Department of Transportation field offices in every state, and will produce multiple resources to help communities build streets that are safer for people walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation. Secretary Foxx made the announcement at the Pro Walk, Pro Bike, Pro Place conference, the largest gathering of, transportation engineers, city planners and professional bicycle-pedestrian safety advocates and practitioners in the country.

 

 

“Safety is our highest priority and that commitment is the same regardless of which form of transportation people choose, including walking and biking,” Secretary Foxx said.  “This initiative is aimed at reversing the recent rise in deaths and injuries among the growing number of Americans who bicycle or walk to work, to reach public transportation and to other important destinations.” 

 

Injuries and fatalities of pedestrian and people bicycling have steadily increased since 2009, at a rate higher than motor vehicle fatalities.  From 2011 to 2012, pedestrian deaths rose 6 percent and bicyclist fatalities went up almost 7 percent.

 

The new pedestrian and bicycle safety initiative will promote design improvements to ensure safe and efficient routes for pedestrians and bicycles, promote behavioral safety, and provide education to help individuals make safer travel choices. The initiative will also encourage vehicle safety by drawing on current crash avoidance technologies to alert motorists to the presence of bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

The initiative will begin when the Department’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) field offices survey routes for pedestrians and cyclists with local transportation officials and stakeholders to understand where and why gaps exist in the non-motorized transportation network and strategize on ways to close them.  Gaps are areas where the risk of a crash increases due to the lack of sidewalks or other safe infrastructure. The Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will participate in assessments to gain understanding of non-motorized crashes involving truck and trains. 

 

Among the many resources the Department will provide will be a guide to creating “road diets,” in which roadways with lower traffic volumes are redesigned to add space for bicycle riders and pedestrians.  Studies show that road diets reduce all traffic crashes by an average of 29 percent, and when used on rural highways that pass through small towns, they can reduce crashes by almost half – 47 percent.  Additional resources will help practitioners incorporate small safety improvements into many road projects, address “last mile” safety for people taking buses and trains, and make it easier for jurisdictions to count and plan for people traveling by foot and bicycle.

 

The Department will work with local officials, advocacy groups, and safety organizations to help champion the use of the new resources by practitioners, law enforcement, and safety organizations.  It also will convene meetings with practitioners and researchers about practices and policies that have been barriers to creating safer streets for non-motorized users.

 

The initiative will also focus on improving pedestrian and bicycle routes that provide access to bus stops and train stations.  Research has shown that lower income communities have disproportionately higher rates of pedestrian deaths, as well as less safe pedestrian infrastructure, despite higher reliance on non-motorized modes and public transportation.

 

Click here for additional information on the pedestrian and bicycle safety initiative.

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Rush hour in the Netherlands is awful! Healthy people. Healthy air. Healthy budgets. Now who would want this?!?! ;-)

 


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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I've just about had it with bicyclists. They blatantly violate traffic rules and regulations--go the wrong way on bike lanes, ride on sidewalks, and crash red lights. I wish the cops would start enforcing the law--and not just for two weeks like they did recently--

 

Woman brain-dead after getting hit by cyclist in Central Park

 

http://nypost.com/2014/09/18/cyclist-slams-into-pedestrian-in-central-park/

A cyclist pedaling a $4,000 racing bike at high speed through Central Park slammed into a suburban mom in town shopping for her daughter’s birthday present — leaving the woman brain-dead, sources said.

 

Jill Tarlov, 59, of Fairfield, Conn., the wife of a CBS executive, was in a crosswalk near 63rd Street when Jason Marshall, 31, came barreling along West Drive at around 4:30 p.m. and yelled for her to get out of his way, law enforcement sources said.

 

 

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^^ I read that article earlier and my first impression was that it seemed like the woman was probably crossing when she had a don't walk signal. That seems more plausible than a biker going full speed through a red light without being able to see crossing traffic.

 

How are the laws in NYC regarding bike lanes? Do bikes have to use them if they are present? I know some bike lanes make me feel far less safe than riding out in the street.

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^Yeah, was going to say the same thing.  I hate bikers who treat pedestrians like crap, but if I were a biker, I'd be annoyed at all the pedestrians who routinely walk in bike lanes or jay-walk without regard to bikes.  This whole hating on "cyclists" as a entire class of people is silly.  It's OK to just hate jerks, regardless of their transport mode.

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^^ I read that article earlier and my first impression was that it seemed like the woman was probably crossing when she had a don't walk signal. That seems more plausible than a biker going full speed through a red light without being able to see crossing traffic.

 

How are the laws in NYC regarding bike lanes? Do bikes have to use them if they are present? I know some bike lanes make me feel far less safe than riding out in the street.

 

yes, I believe if bike lanes are present cyclists have to use them. I guess it's still unclear if the woman had the signal, but there's no excuse for a cyclist riding around in a crowded public park with thousands of people like it's the Tour de France.

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NYC is one of the few places where using bike lanes is mandatory. 

 

As to the notion that cyclists are self-entitled and arrogant...excuse me but what about the motorists who think they "own the road" and have no qualms about breaking the law?  How many people are killed by cyclists per year in the US?  2?  3?  It gets news coverage because it's so rare.  Car crashes kill over 30,000 people per year.  That's where the enforcement needs to be.  NYC already is vastly unbalanced in targeting cyclists for minor infractions while ignoring the hundreds of thousands of motorists who are speeding, running red lights, double parking, making illegal turns, tailgating, you name it.  They're the ones who are endangering lives on a regular basis.  That's just written off as "the cost of doing business" while cyclists get slapped with fines for going 16mph in a 15mph zone, or for riding in the street to avoid a *police* car parked in the bike lane (!!!).  Enforcement is definitely lacking, but it's the opposite of what eastvillagedon thinks it should be.

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Was that a real response or ironic?

 

Well, let's say it was post-ironic. I think it would be a good idea for EVD to take up cycling and provide a "good citizen" example of cycling behavior. So I definitely meant to convey the semantic content of my statement at face value. But I also think that, were he to take this sincere advice, he might find that the laws as they are are not so reasonable and he may end up changing his mind of what it means to be a model cyclist, and about what would be appropriate from an enforcement perspective. Though in the particular case of a cyclist going faster than the speed limit, barreling into pedestrians in a crosswalk, I think his opinion would not change so much.

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^ I think everyone who violates the law should be punished, and obviously that includes motorists. Yes, car crashes kill thousands annually, but I believe the majority of those casualties are those riding in the same vehicle or in other vehicles--not pedestrians--and the result of too much alcohol consumption. But motorists don't generally have the cavalier attitude to the degree cyclists have with respect to laws; and no, I don't think the targeting of cyclists is "unbalanced" against them, but if anything the other way around. That's why they get away with so much!

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The only trouble with being a "good citizen" cyclist is that nobody notices them, just like nobody notices the "good citizen" motorists.  It's only the bad apples that get any sort of press, but the cognitive dissonance leads to "bad motorist -> that person's bad" but "bad cyclist -> all cyclists are bad."

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Not Ohio, but worth sharing nonetheless.....

 

Streetsblog Network ‏@StreetsblogNet  8s8 seconds ago

Man arrested for trying to bike through a Taco Bell drive thru http://abc7chicago.com/news/man-arrested-after-trying-to-order-taco-bell-drive-thru-on-bike/403861/ … Really?


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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