Things Changing And Staying The Same

Female Cyclist

 

As I wrote on this blog a number of weeks ago, the time to make some changes has come. I have experienced a lot of downtime due to problems on the site where this blog has been hosted, bostonbiker.org, which has made it difficult to keep up with my blogging. I’m not the only one who has been inconvenienced: some of my regular and occasional readers have had trouble accessing my blog.

When I initially mentioned the problem, I said that I would be moving the current blog to a new location. To that end, I set up a WordPress installation on a another server.

I ran into a few technical difficulties along the way and couldn’t find the time to fix them. And, what can I say? I’m just a perfectionist, and I didn’t want to attract visitors to the new blog until it was in reasonably good shape. It’s still a work in progress. But, at this point, the new blog is usable.

For the time being, I will be mirroring my posts on both blogs, with a view to gradually posting all new content on the new blog. I do not plan to delete the “old” blog at isolatecyclist.bostonbiker.org in the foreseeable future. Many links from blogs, forums and social networking sites exist to these posts. People looking for information follow those links. And many people have bookmarked posts on this blog, so I don’t want to delete those posts without warning.

The new blog is located at http://www.isolatecyclist.com.

Yes, I invested in a domain name. I thought this would make it easier to move the blog in the future, if it became necessary.

OK, enough about blogging logistics.

I ran into a friend the other day who lives near the bicycle wait on line for green sign I wrote about last week. Actually, he lives near the road where the sign and the pavement markings were recently installed.

Although he rides his bike along part of that road — only on the Brookline side, he says, because the Newton side is too crazy — he’s not sure whether the pavement markings work well. This is not because of the markings themselves, but because of the lights.

It is really the craziest thing anyone’s ever seen. They installed four lights in a row, in a very short distance, along this road. Consequently, the cars have to stop and go repeatedly in a distance that might be equal to half a city block.

The timing of the lights is off. Even when cars sit just behind the stop line, the lights do not turn green. That’s right, the cars cannot trigger the lights. And on a brand new road, no less.

At one spot, they installed a left turn arrow. No matter what time of day it is or how many cars are lined up in that left hand turn lane, the light does not turn green.

My friend, who sometimes drives down that stretch for the sole purpose of carrying copious amounts of groceries from the supermarket located in the shopping center whose entrance these lights abut, counts the number of cars that go through the red left-turn arrow. The light is so slow to turn green that the drivers assume it is broken.

Once one driver has made the illegal left-hand turn, all the cars behind him follow suit. And my friend says that he has already run a red light at that intersection when he was coming home at 2:00 a.m., without a car in sight; after five minutes of waiting, his car had not triggered the green light.

At least the engineers who planned and built this newly redesigned road did not discriminate. Neither cars nor bicycles seem able to trigger a green light in a timely fashion. Despite the wires in the road, the lights cycle on a timer, and rather slowly.

The speed of the lights does not accurately measure the flow of traffic because it uses an archaic system. What we need is new technology, something more foolproof than wires in the road whose sensitivity needs calibrating, and whose functioning may be influenced by factors other than the presence of a vehicle.

Well, now that I’m moving to a more technically advanced blogging platform, perhaps I can provide a multifaceted approach to bicycle blogging. Stay tuned. And, please update your bookmarks to the new URL, http://www.isolatecyclist.com.

By the way, I would also prefer to have readers leave comments on the new blog, to facilitate discussion on the posts. Hopefully, we’ll all make a seamless transition to the new location and my blogging will continue, uninterrupted.

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