What have our societies become when local authorities are forced to apply for grants to build sidewalks for children? While this is a good thing, as it allows the children to engage in healthier options for traveling to school, it speaks volumes about where our priorities are.
For instance, a recent article on a local news site for Ithaca, New York was entitled “Village to Get $300K for Sidewalks.” Apparently, the village of Dryden applied for a grant under New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to provide $70 million in state funding for bicycle and pedestrian sidewalk projects.
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Complaints about bad bicycle behavior almost always get a response from the police. Compare this to the many times pedestrians, bicyclists or motorists complain about bad driving; it rarely results in any action at all.
In many places, Boston included, drivers are expected to drive erratically. Dangerous driving is the norm and rarely do the police attempt to do anything about it. Continue reading ….
Sometimes riding a bicycle in the Boston area can make one feel as if bicyclists are not welcome. It’s not just the drivers who create this environment, but the inconsistency in bicycle infrastructure.
In some areas, there are decent bike lanes or at least the roads are marked with symbols which remind all road users that cyclists have a right to use the road. Such areas are easier to navigate in that a bicycle’s place is established and fighting unsuspecting cars is less of an issue. Continue reading ….
Many things about cars are taken for granted. They have been part of our everyday lives for so many years, we can no longer imagine life without them.
We see cars as making transportation easier. We see them as providing freedom and personal mobility. We see them as status symbols and signs of success. All of these messages permeate the fabric of our culture and are perpetuated as memes through advertising and word of mouth.
As well known as these themes are it can’t be overlooked that cars have caused more subtle changes in the lives of certain populations. These changes are contrary to how we generally see cars, that is, as a sign of progress and modernity. Continue reading ….
I never thought I would see the day when any official would seriously contemplate legally allowing bicyclists to share the sidewalks with pedestrians, particularly in urban areas. Generally, although not in all cases, bicycles are prohibited on sidewalks in business districts and residential areas where there is a lot of foot traffic. The idea is to protect pedestrians against irresponsible cyclists.
It is always a good idea to protect pedestrians. Their interests should come before cyclists’, whenever sidewalk use is the issue. Sidewalks were invented to protect pedestrians from motor vehicle traffic. Continue reading ….
Driving in and around cities has got to be one of the most stressful and frustrating experiences anyone can have. Drivers can’t let their guard down for even one minute for fear that a wayward car will lull them into an accident. After a while, dealing with this situation becomes tedious and fatigue sets in.
Upon purchasing my first car, I expected a life of leisure. I never thought that driving a car could lead to fatigue. After all, aren’t cars supposed to make our lives easier? Aren’t they supposed to provide convenience and comfort?
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Every so often articles are published about clever devices designed to make a cyclist’s life easier. Such an article appeared on citylab.com. City Lab is The Atlantic’s website dedicated to all things related to creating cities of the future.
The device discussed in the article mentioned above is a bicycle gadget which makes red lights turn green. Continue reading ….
Unless people have been living under a rock, they are aware of the growing demand for bicycle infrastructure. How they perceive this demand, and whether they are in favor of it or against it, depends on many factors, some of which are still unclear.
For that reason, many people who are in favor of creating more bicycle and pedestrian friendly cities have been trying to obtain data on where citizens stand on the issue. To that end, Sustainable Business Oregon, “a publication of the Portland Business Journal, [which] is dedicated to covering the news and issues of interest to Oregon’s sustainable economy and giving voice to a growing community of experts in sustainability and business across the state.,” according to their website, took a survey on the topic. Continue reading ….
The market for cyclists’ lives isn’t very good right now. Apparently, you can buy a cyclist’s life for a mere $1,500.
That’s right. For less than $2,000 you can kill a cyclist and face no additional penalties.
In case you think this is a joke, I would like to refer you to an article on this topic. To sum up what happened:
“Bicyclist Shawn Gosch of Onawa was hit and killed June 20, 2014, by a motorist on Iowa Highway 7 west of Manson. Under Iowa law, the driver of the vehicle was charged with a misdemeanor for unsafe passing and fined little more than $1,550.”
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At the beginning of the current bicycle era, whose exact date is unknown, but could be approximated as sometime in the early ‘90s, bicyclists were uniformly seen as a negative factor on the roads. They were assured by bicycle advocates that this would change once more bicycles were on the roads.
Apparently, the experts thought that familiarity with something causes one to expect it. To some degree, this is true.
If something comes at you out of the blue, you react with surprise. Yet something you see everyday becomes part of the scenery, the norm.
Drivers are now more aware of the presence of bicycles on the roads. Whether they like having to share the road with bikes or not, they expect to see them.
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