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Interesting Theoretical Intersection Re-Design

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 04

Protected Intersections For Bicyclists from Nick Falbo on Vimeo.

An interesting proposal, I am not totally sold, but I like where this is going. The left turns across pedestrian traffic worry me slightly, but honestly it probably wouldn’t be that bad, as the cyclists would have to slow to turn anyway.


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Posted in fun, infrastructure, video | 1 Comment »

A Matter Of Worth: Red Lights, Your Life, And Several Short Moments

Written by Boston Biker on Sep 21

I propose a theory, and it is thus: “Running red lights does not significantly make you faster, and often slows you down.” One day very soon I hope to have some data to prove this (anyone got a stop watch I can borrow?), but for now, a present the following tale for your perusal.

Red Light,Green Light

I was riding today (as I am wont to do), and witnessed a man on a mountain bike/hybrid about a 100 feet in front of me. I like to look down the street a couple hundred feet just to keep a mental snapshot of what is going to be dashing out in front of me in a couple seconds. Repeatedly I witnessed this gentleman do the following: he comes to a red light, slows way down, looks both ways, darts over into the cross walk, crosses the intersection and then continues down the street. In no way is it legal to run a red light on a bicycle, there is no legal loop hole that allows you to cross against the red if you ride into the cross walk. I have no idea why this guy felt the need to ride into the crosswalk if he was interested in going fast, he should have run the red light in a nice straight line…but I digress.

I, on the other hand, stopped at the red light, waited several seconds, and then took off. He never got away from me, his crazy “slow, look, slide, cross” technique took almost as long as simply waiting for the red light. While he didn’t go significantly faster (I estimate he might have shaved 4 or 5 seconds off each red light by running it), what he did do is almost get hit by several cars, piss off several pedestrians who were legally using the cross walk, and almost hit a rather large pot hole that was over near the curb (a place he would have never been had he been stopping in the bike lane and waiting for the red light). I even witnessed him bend way over to the side in order to ride under (!!) a large cherry picker/crane thing that some workers were using to fix something(I guess the fact that all other traffic had come to a halt didn’t phase him).

So I propose the question, what is a life worth? What is the goodwill and harmony of other road users worth? 30 seconds? 5 minutes? Because this gentleman gained no more than several seconds at each red light intersection, and in the process endangered himself, others, and pissed off a fair number of people who were in fact obeying the law. He could have easily “saved” the same amount of time by simply pedaling slightly faster, and still stopping at all the red’s. He would have also gained the good will of motorists (not that that’s worth much in this town) and more importantly not endangered several law abiding pedestrians (a rare animal indeed).

Anyone who rides a bike and uses the mental justification that running red lights gets you where you are going faster is using the same mental justification that motorists use when the pass too closely, or squeeze you over as they pass, or honk at you because you are going “too slow.” In essence saying “I can break this law because it slows me down” is the same as motorists endangering cyclists because they are in such a hurry (often to get to the next red light). If you have ever found yourself complaining that motorists just need to chill out, slow down, or not be in such a hurry, yet still run red lights cause they slow you down….well lets just say your mental jigsaw puzzle might not be fitting together properly. Put simply, running red lights doesn’t make you faster, being faster makes you faster.

(I really am going to try and get some data to show that you are not significantly slowed down by red lights. I will address the “I run red lights because it is safer” argument in a future post)


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Posted in advocacy, education | 25 Comments »

The Word On The Street

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    • Do You Want Protected Bike Lanes On The Longfellow? April 13, 2018
      TweetFrom Cambridge Bike Safety: The Longfellow Bridge, a critical bike connector to Boston, is going to be restriped and reopened in May. You may be surprised to learn that in the final design, the inbound bike lane will be similar … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 7 April 7, 2018
      TweetThis is better! A sunny, somewhat cool spring day. Me on my bike, my daughter on a trail-a-bike, and my son on his bike. We rode down the Southwest Corridor, stopped at Ula Cafe for lunch, rode over by Jamaica … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Riding Lexington Street, Waltham, July 4, 2015 April 7, 2018
      TweetIt should be noted that bike lanes have been installed on much of the stretch of Lexington Street shown in the videos. Videos showing the new conditions are in preparation. Two videos, for now: A demonstration of lane control in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Riding Lexington Street, Waltham, July 4, 2015 April 7, 2018
      TweetIt shoudl be noted that bike lanes have been installed on much of the stretch of Lexington Street shown in the videos. Videos showing the new conditions are in preparation. Two videos, for now: A demonstration of lane control in … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • #30DaysofBiking Days 3,4,5, and 6 April 6, 2018
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      Liam
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 2 April 3, 2018
      Tweet Easter Monday.  The first work day of April.  Today is the day I’m going to start riding my bike to work again! Or not.  Because it’s snowing.  And I’m tired and lazy. But every bit of biking counts no … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • #30DaysofBiking Day 1 April 2, 2018
      TweetI didn’t think I was going to go for a bike ride on Easter Sunday.  As tends to be my habit, I ride less and less in the winter time and then find it hard to get back into the … Continue reading →
      Liam
    • Police Seek Driver Who Struck Cyclist In Hit And Run March 23, 2018
      Tweet Cambridge police are asking for the public’s help in finding a driver who allegedly struck a 14-year-old boy on the morning of March 15 and fled the scene. A silver Toyota Prius struck the boy around 7:22 a.m. that … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Pewter Cast “Gem” Earrings March 9, 2018
      Carved, cast and made these pewter (lead free) “gem” earrings.  They have a lovely faceted surface that catches the light and has a lot of depth and interesting texture.  My first real effort at making my own beads.  If you lik... Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Silver “Rock” Earrings March 9, 2018
        I carved and cast these silver “rock” earrings for my partner. The hardest part was getting those little jump rings soldered to the top of the “rock” without melting them or the rock…but I did it and she loved them. Continue reading →
      Boston Biker