March 31, 2010

WSJ Can't Keep a Secret, Rats Out Popular Bike Blogger! Pass it On!

In 2007 one of the most popular voices in Bike Blogging first took to the internet.

Yesterday, with the help of a willing, and eager, snitch, a tower of the Mainstream Media revealed to all the world the identity of The Bike Snob.

A mystery that even The National Enquirer, and Matt Drudge, could not solve has been solved by Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal.

Imagine that! ;-D

Over his nearly three years of obsessing over, satirizing and deftly puncturing the sport of cycling, the anonymous blogger Bike Snob has made his worldview clear. He loves to ride his bike. He wants you to ride, too. Just maybe not on those florescent wheel rims. Or pedal against traffic. Or with your helmet on the handlebars. And even if it's not fashionable, he'd like you to consider using brakes.
Such style and safety points are well known to the readers who log on daily to the Bike Snob's sharp-edged and fetishistically detailed Web site...

You can read the whole piece, here, and you can read more from the The Snitch who helped break this story, one Eben Weiss, who, after revelling in his complicity, moves on to considering switching the focus of his blog to Gardening, followed by a fascinating discussion of "a landmark legal decision that may very well negatively impact the world of cycling forever."

 

March 31, 2010 in Blogging Cyclists, Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 01, 2010

Does that Cop You Just Pedaled Past Really Know Bike Law?

I just came across an interesting essay, by Damien Newton, of Streetsblog LA, that rips a a CHP Officer who writes a column for a Whittier Newspaper, a new one for his ignorance, not just in the writing of his original column that has some blatant misinformation on cycling law, but for the ignorance of his respose to criticism, that came in, from the cycling community, in a follow-up column.

Maybe the Whittier Daily News and other newspapers that syndicate Officer Al Perez's column, "Ask a Cop," ought to consider changing the name to something else.  Maybe "Ask a Cop, but not about bicycle laws."  Or, "Ask a cop, but be prepared to do your own fact checking."

Read: CHP Officer Perez Reponds to Criticism from Last Week’s Column. Still Hands Out Misinformation.

February 1, 2010 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 09, 2009

Bike Lane Repainters Arrested in Brooklyn

Recently the Hasidic Jewish Community in a section of Brooklyn prevailed upon the city to remove bike lanes in their part of town.

Needless to say cyclists were not happy.

Cyclists have decried the removal of the bike lanes, but many Hasidic residents had complained that all the bikers whizzing by posed both safety and spiritual risks to the community.

Many of the hipster cyclists wear too little clothing for the Hasids, who are not supposed to stare at members of the opposite sex and wanted the enticement removed.

Herzfeld contends the activists were comprised of both Hasidic and hipster riders unhappy with the removal of the 14-block bike lane. On the video, the team is shown repainting the lanes with rollers as a pulsating rhythm plays in the background. They used a stencil and spray paint to recreate a bicyclist icon on the roadbed at Bedford Avenue and Williamsburg Street.

The group's message appears in white text on a black background at the end of the video.


 


There's more in the NY Post piece, and the comments section is even more interesting, and entertaining. ;-D

BIKERS IN THE SPOKEY: Cops haul in W'burg lane painters

Hat Tip to Gawkers, which has an amusing post putting this whole fracas in it's own unique perspective. ;-D

Brooklyn's Hottest Stereotypes in Battle of Bike Lane Martyrs

The comments at Gawker are an interesing mix.

My favorite is this one, by someone named Iplaudius:

"I think they should have a bike lane, but it should only be used by radical lesbian nudist Muslim punk rockers. Serves everyone right."

Um, hee, hee! ;-D


December 9, 2009 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 25, 2009

Philly Cops Sally Forth to Edumicate City Cyclists

Last weekend Philadelphia Cops pedaled around town on a mission:

Make bicyclists pay attention to their surroundings, those they share the road with, and the laws they're supposed to follow.

Why all the fuss, and attention?

The targeted enforcement was aimed at ticketing cyclists while educating them on what constitutes good behavior (stopping at red lights, signaling to turn) and what's punishable by a fine (biking on the sidewalk, riding against traffic).

"We think this is a good way to get the message out," said Philadelphia Capt. Dennis Wilson of the Ninth Police District, who helped coordinate the officers fanning out from Rittenhouse Square across Center City. "We're not trying to make things harder for bikers, we're trying to make things safer."

Bicycle safety has gained attention in the past week, after The Inquirer reported that two pedestrians died last month after being struck by bicycles, and that untold numbers of people suffer serious injuries from rogue cyclists who break traffic laws.

Read the full, interesting, story, here:

Philadelphia Inquirer: Bike enforcement push launched in Center City

November 25, 2009 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 18, 2009

Florida Newspaper Alerts Cyclists to Laws They May Not Be Aware Exist.

...Until they get a ticket for breaking them, that is. ;-D

In a piece devoted mostly to laws related to driving a car there are 2 mentions of laws related to cycling ("Deep in the list of Florida motor vehicle laws are some you might not know can get you a citation worth $101 or more."):

1. Wearing a headset covering both ears prohibited while driving or bicycling

Enacted during the Sony Walkman craze in the 1980s, this law remains relevant thanks to .mp3 players and speakers shoved deep into ears, shutting off outside noise.

Today's smart phones also double as music players, and earbuds with in-line mics enable easy switching between rocking out and talking to Mom.

In Volusia County, 49 drivers were cited for this over the past year.

The law exempts hearing aids and cell-phone headsets that cover only one ear, leaving the other ear free.

The cell-phone exemption doesn't prohibit music from that single headphone, so drivers can legally enjoy their favorite tunes on their cell-phones -- in monaural.

 

2. Headlight and taillight required on a bicycle (Oh, and few other things you should be aware of, too!)

Yep, Florida considers your bicycle a vehicle, like a car or a motorcycle.

You need lights to ride at night.

You need operable brakes.

You need to stop at traffic lights and stop signs.

You can get a DUI for bicycling while impaired.

 ...and even if you start riding because you lost your automobile license, watch out.

But you don't get all the rights that big-boy vehicles get.

Bicycles and mopeds that travel below the speed of normal vehicular traffic must "ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway" unless turning left or overtaking a slower bicycle or moped, the law states.

A lot of bicyclists ignore the various requirements, and officers might not be looking to write citations, Whittet said. But in crime-prone neighborhoods, "lesser-used statutes give you a lawful way to stop someone and check them out."

The response from people who are, or claim to be, cyclists, in the comments to this piece are a mixed bag to say the least. ;-D

FROM: These tickets may surprise you By Ron Hurtibise of the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

 

November 18, 2009 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink | Comments (2)

July 19, 2009

Colorado County Lawmakers Seek to Ban Cyclists from Public Roads

Jefferson County, Colorado, Commissioners will soon propose state legislation that would give them more authority to bar cyclists from some county roads altogether.

Conflict between motorists, and cyclists, in the reagion are apparently nothing new, abd a recent flair up over cyclists using a canyon road for an upcoming fundraiser didn't help matters.

One Commissioner had this to say: 

"We need to look at (laws) that make certain roads in the county (unusable) by bike traffic," Griffin said. "We're saying to our lobbyist to look at the possibility of having some discretion on what roads can have bike traffic and which cannot. Right now there's clearness for cities, but we can't find that the county can say that."

The County Attorney said  thatstate law gives cities and incorporated towns authority to regulate, but that the law is unclear for counties.\

This proposed legislation wants to add counties to the list.  

The Commisioner went on to say that  "the scenery along some Jeffco roads, coupled with the technical challenges cyclists love, means the county needs more authority for the sake of safety."

"I can understand that they'd love to have a bike tour in the mountains because of the beauty," Griffin said. "But they have to understand — we have stacks and stacks of e-mails from citizens that live there (opposing cyclists)."

While some mountain canyon residents oppose cyclists, other are fellow cyclists, who support cyclist rights to use the roads, especially since their taxes help to maintain them.

From the comments left to this article it seems the Commisioners are not making too many folks, local, or potential tourist, happy with this misguided idea of theirs.

From the Columbine Courier.

Bicycle Colorado is a powerful nonprofit organization dedicated to building a bicycle-friendly Colorado, and they are out to stop this insanity before it becomes law. 

 Even if the Jeffco Commissioners abandon their legislative efforts to let counties have the authority to ban bikes from county roads, the risk to bicycling will still exist. Now that this bill idea is "out of the bag" any other county or legislator may take up this idea and without warning run a bill in the next session.

Bicycle access to county roads is far too important to take this lightly.

If such legislation were to pass, county roads anywhere in the state could be closed to bicyclists, including critical cycling routes like Deer Creek Canyon in Jefferson County, Swan Mountain Road in Summit County, Horsetooth Reservoir in Larimer County, and many, many more. View more key roads that could be closed.

Bicycle Colorado is promoting an action plan for Colorado, and other interested cyclists, to help fight passage of this, or similar, laws, and links to other news coverage of the story, here.

A bunch of misguided, freedom depriving, bicycle hating, car driving, Panty Waistes (I could call them Commies, or Liberals, but I don't have a clue as to their politics, hee, hee!), deemed worthy enough to hold public office in Colorado, want to steal the freedom of cyclists to share the road with other legally allowed vehicles, and your right to travel where you please on public, taxpayer supported streets, roads, and highways!

These officials claim they're doing this in the name of safety.

If this is so, then how come there is no move to restrict the real safety hazard on mountain roads -- automobiles, and motorcycles?

One of the commentors to the Columbine article reports witnessing a local Cop ticketing cyclists, while motorcyclists sped, hell bent for leather, up a mountain road!

The Commissioners claim they are responding to the emailed complaints of Jefferson County road users.

Here's hoping area cyclists email the Jefferson County Commission and, more importantly, show up at Jeffco Commission Meetings, and make their voices heard!

Even if you don't live there you, as a concerned cyclist, can also call them at +1 (303) 271-8525; and send snail mail to 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO, 80419.

Jefferson County Attorney Ellen Wakeman is drafting the legislation. Her office's phone number is +1 (303) 271-8900; her administrative assitant's email address is [email protected].

Give them a piece of your mind...Politely, and instructively, ofcourse. ;-D

If such a law passes in one state, it could pass in others, including your own.

A Tip of the Hat to Cyclelicios for the heads-up! ;-D

 

July 19, 2009 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 12, 2009

Making Law to Encourage What SHOULD be Obvious to All

Are you a Cyclist who Texts while pedaling?

Better not try it in Missoula, Montana, because, beginning a week ago,  if you are caught it will cost you. ;-D

The Missoula City Council's ordinance banning text messaging while driving and bicycling went into effect Wednesday...

That includes sending e-mails, too, so there!

The new law makes texting behind the wheel a primary offense, so police have the authority to pull over a driver they believe is punching out a message.

The fine for a first-time offender is a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $500. The ticket may not be suspended or waived. The minimum fine for a second offense within a year is $150.

The fine for a driver who causes a crash as the result of text messaging is a minimum $350.

Wonder how soon this law will be challenged in court? ;-D

How many other cities have similar laws, or are contemplating them?

It's sad that yet another law has to be passed to encourage people not to do something that can take their attention away from where it should be: Handling their car, or bike, safely, and keeping their eyes on the road, and their surroundings.

Missoula: Texting ban now in effect By CHELSI MOY of the Missoulian

July 12, 2009 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 03, 2009

Approach of New Colorado Law Steams Motorists AND Cyclists

In Colorado things are getting a little, um, rocky, with regards to the realionship between Motorists, and Cyclists.

Legislators did, as Legislators do, pass new rules with regards to bicycles and vehicles road-sharing with a recent bicycle safety bill, set to take effect in August.

Problem is...on narrow mountain roads motorists are getting mad about cyclists "taking the lane", and cyclist don't like getting honked at.

Another source of aggravation is the fact that the new bicycle safety law was passed to protect cyclists, but the wording of the bill has left law enforcement agents with little options if a cyclist is being uncooperative. "There's nothing we can do about it," Pelle said. "Essentially, this law takes away our ability to enforce anything."

The article points out some of the requirements of the new law (and links to the bill itself), all of which are simply common sense, including the "3 Feet" part directed at motorists.

Read the article by Glorianne Scott at Examiner.com: Conflict on the road between bicyclists and drivers intensifies after bill signing.

June 3, 2009 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics, Share the Road, and Trail: Safety Matters! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 20, 2009

Concerns and Solutions Regarding Proposed 3 Feet Law in Colorado

Last week, David Petersen, of Durango, tossed in his 2 cents about Senate Bill 148, in a Letter to the Editor of the Durango Herald:

Senate Bill 148, which would require motorists to keep 3 feet of space between vehicles and bicyclists - is not only an accident waiting to happen, as one opposing legislator has pointed out, but a slew of lawsuits as well. Just try driving Florida Road any nice weekend, and you'll encounter everything from polite defensive bikers strung out in their lane single file, to mobs of dozens huddled together blocking entire lanes and refusing to "line out" even when cars are stacked up behind them with horns tooting.

His solutions, to what he sees as a problem, involves wider bike lanes, making cyclists pay a road tax, setting a maximum legal size for groups of bicyclists traveling together, and "decreeing some county roads simply too narrow, winding, high-speed and dangerous to allow for bicycle traffic at all."

New Bike Law Will Just Cause More Problems

While the wider lanes idea seems a good one, the other ideas are totally unworkable.

The cost alone, in enforcing those notions, would be a problem for state governments, and citizens, especially in these hard economic times.

Setting group size, when there's no guarantee the whole group is even together at any given point on the ride?

A tax?

Does that mean toll booths are every major intersection?

A tax would especially be unfair to the poor...especially those who don't own cars, and rely on their bike as part, or all, of their transportation options.

Telling cyclists they can't travel on certain roads because they are dangerous?

When part of the problem causing the dangers on such roads can be laid at the feet of the motorists cyclists share the road with?

April 20, 2009 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics, Share the Road, and Trail: Safety Matters! | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 08, 2009

Cyclists Get Improved Mention in 2009 CA. DMV Drivers Handbook

I have been writing about the issue of Sharing the Road, and Trail, on this blog, for years, and here is my archive of stories, and images:

Share the Road and Trail! Safety Matters!

In over 2 years of writing state senators, assemblymen (women) and other state representatives, the Ca. Share the Road Campaign is seeing its efforts finally paying off.

They may not have their hoped for license plate yet, but they have succeeded in helping get some good verbiage in the new 2009 DMV drivers handbook.

Visit here to see for yourself.

Page 26, and 27 are a good place to start.

I especially like the wording, and images, related to passing a cyclist.

Now they hope to get them to add the bicycle and share the road signs to the "sign" pages (pg. 11-15) for 2010.


 

February 8, 2009 in Life on the Street: Local, and state Laws, and other topics, Share the Road, and Trail: Safety Matters! | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack