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In what can only be described as click bait written by a person who seems to have suffered a head injury (perhaps a helmet would help?) Jeff Jacoby continues the Globes tradition of publishing foolish OpEd’s about cycling (see here here and here).
The death last month of cyclist Anita Kurmann, who was fatally struck by a tractor-trailer turning from Mass. Ave. onto Beacon Street, was a terrible tragedy. The 38-year-old medical researcher was at least the 13th cyclist killed in collisions with motor vehicles on city streets since 2010. That number is sure to rise if Boston keeps encouraging people to ride bicycles where bicycles don’t belong.
Busy thoroughfares aren’t meant for cyclists. They are meant for the cars, trucks, and buses that transport the vast majority of people moving through the nation’s cities. Those vehicles weigh thousands of pounds, operate at 300-plus horsepower, and are indispensable to the economic and social well-being of virtually every American community. Bicycles can be an enjoyable, even exhilarating, way to get around. So can horses, skis, and roller skates. Adding any of them to the flow of motorized traffic on roads that already tend to be too clogged, however, is irresponsible and dangerous.
I can’t imagine a less tactful way to talk about the very real problem of cyclist road safety. Not only is he being incredibly crass about a recently killed person, he is missing the point that cycling as a mode of road share has been growing rapidly over the last 5 years. With surging numbers of cyclists on the road, you would expect much higher number of fatalities in a city so poorly designed for cyclists (like Boston). Indicating that cycling is a much safer mode of transportation than he lets on.
He goes on to assert that because someone died we shouldn’t use that method of transportation anymore? Did anyone tell him that in the same 5 year period (2010 to 2015) over 1000 people have died in Massachusetts due to fatal car crashes. (source) many of them in Boston, including pedestrians. Are we to assume no one should walk or drive either?
He also seems to forget that it was cars that were added to pedestrian and cycling traffic, not the other way around. Cars were late comers to the road mix, and have done nothing but kill and maim since they were introduced.
He also fails to address that Boston is only several feet above sea level, and continued use of oil (cars still run on oil) puts the very city itself in danger of destruction. Business as usual use of oil will not only clog city streets with traffic, it will submerge those streets under water. Also you know cars make people fat, angry and clog our air with pollution. Cycling, solves many if not all of those problems, and causes very few new ones.
He continues to confuse his imagination with reality to such an extent that it seems to be pointless to even type out a response to the whole mess.
Seriously this guy…I think this comment summed it up best:
The distinction between a newspaper columnist and an internet troll gets more subtle every day.
Tags: boston globe, it burns, Jeff Jacoby, the stupid
Posted in bostonbiker | 2 Comments »
Well they can’t really figure out what they think…
— Boston.com (@BostonDotCom) February 5, 2014
I would call it one less car clogging up the roads, one less person crammed into an overcrowded train. This person looks warm, dry, and reasonably prepared for just about anything. The trail behind him is in a nice straight line so he is not slipping all over, and it looks pretty peaceful and serine to me. Maybe if more folks got out of their metal boxes they would see that winter biking is not crazy, but really a very sensible option.
Tags: boston globe, twitter is dumb, winter bike
Posted in news | 1 Comment »
Got this in the email, looks like it could be informative:
Safe or savage? The state of bicycle safety in Boston
Join a few of Boston’s leading cyclists and policy makers to discuss bike safety around Boston and the efforts to make biking in the city easier and more accessible.
The event will be moderated by The Boston Globe transportation reporter Martine Powers.
- Nicole Freedman, City of Boston’s Boston Bikes director
- Vineet Gupta, Boston Transportation Department’s Director of Policy and Planning
- Richard Fries, former professional European racer, world-class race announcer and race organizer, and local commuting advocate
- Josh Zisson, bike lawyer and BikeSafeBoston.com blogger
- Jackie Douglas, director of the Boston-area transit advocacy group Livable Streets
DATE: Tuesday, July 30
TIME: 6pm – 7:30pm
LOCATION: The Boston Globe | 135 Morrissey Blvd. | Boston, MA
Tags: bike safety, boston globe, safety
Posted in advocacy, education | 10 Comments »
The mayor lets us know what he is doing to help increase bicycle safety.
Last week our cycling community, and the city, was rocked by the tragic death of Boston University student Christopher Weigl. By coincidence, a hearing on bicycle safety brought the community together at City Hall later that day. Both events have many left asking what’s being done to make our city safe for cyclists, and rightfully so. Personally, I have been inspired by the outpouring of concern, support, validation, and sense of togetherness in our efforts to make Boston a world-class caliber city for bicycling.
Over the past five years, our Boston Bikes program has grown tremendously. Bicycle infrastructure is popping up in every neighborhood. A few years ago, when I announced “the car is no longer king” in Boston, it was before we had 675,000 trips on Hubway and before 9,000 young people went through bicycle education classes in schools around the city. That vision has guided the rapid growth in cycling throughout Boston.
It is the close-knit sense of community that impresses me most about bikers in Boston, and it is that community that came together last week. It is the collective force of that community and the unfortunate accidents of this summer and fall that are cemented in our minds today. Through our Boston Bikes program, we speak often about the six “E’s” of bicycle planning. And, it’s the six “E’s” that become the constant refrain when discussing solutions that can bring an end to these tragedies.
While there is certainly more work to be done, sometimes it is helpful to share some of the pieces already in action:
You can read the rest here
I don’t disagree with anything he is saying. But its not enough. My new motto is “More and Better!” More cyclists on the street, better infrastructure for those cyclists. I think if we stuck to that as our goal we will do alright.
We were so far behind here in Boston that its going to take a decade of hard work to only get us to “alright.” Lucky for us there are places in the world that have already done the hard work, the research, and the trial runs. All we need to be able to do is find these places and copy them.
Tags: boston globe, Mayor Menino, opinion, safety
Posted in advocacy, news | 6 Comments »
Thanks Ron for sending me the link to this Boston Globe story, interesting stuff.
Thousands of bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists converge each day at the intersection near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, where crowds of students on Vassar Street meet traffic on Massachusetts Avenue. Police say it’s a hazard.
“For the amount of volume that goes through that intersection … I would say it is one of our highest accident locations in the city,’’ said Police Deputy Superintendent Jack Albert.
Since 2007, Cambridge police responded to 55 accidents at the intersection, 24 of them involving cars and bikes, according to police reports. Many resulted in minor injuries, the records show, but last month one was fatal. MIT graduate Phyo N. Kyaw of Cambridge was riding a bicycle when he collided with a truck.
What stood out to me about this story is that its the first one in a long time that took my point of view about traffic. Its not that there is a cyclists, or motorist, or pedestrian “law breaking problem” its that there is a “law breaking problem.” I have said many times to anyone who would listen that the real problem in Boston is a culture of disregard for traffic laws, by all user groups. I felt the article gave a fairly reasonable treatment to all user groups, and helped to inform people about some of the dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians. Because while it is true that all user groups are breaking the law in similar amounts, the consequences for different user groups are very different. If you are walking, or on a bike and get hit by a car its very different than if you are in a car and get hit by a car.
According to the police accident reports, blame was not confined to a single group. Motorists ran red lights, cyclists followed vehicles too closely, and many ignored traffic signals. Of the 55 accidents since 2007, 26 involved vehicle-only accidents and three involved pedestrians, the reports show.
Most of the accidents involved drivers making right turns colliding with bicyclists because they did not see them.
I think that the future of this city will depend on designing it for people, not automobiles. That means making it as easy as possible for human beings to get around, not for cars to get around. Cycling and walking are not particularly dangerous, in the sense that you have a high chance of being killed or injured while doing them. But if cities are designed in a “car first” mentality that can make it more dangerous to walk or bike than it is to drive. I can only hope that it doesn’t take a cyclist or pedestrian death at every intersection in the city to get this kind of attention.
Tags: boston globe, fatal intersection, story
Posted in infrastructure, news | 2 Comments »