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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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The Word On The Street

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    • Quincy Is Co-Hosting Traffic Skills Cycling Course With MassBike February 8, 2018
      TweetFrom the email: Hello Quincyclists, I would like to announce that Quincy is co-hosting a League of American Bicyclists’ Smart Cycling Traffic Skills 101 class on April 7 and 8. Please join us! Register here: http://www.massbike.org/ts101quincy This Traffic Skills 101 Cycling … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Last all To Submit Comments For Allston I-90 DEIR February 7, 2018
      TweetFrom Livable Streets: Are you willing to wait 22 years for your train to show up? Now is the time to let state leaders know that we can’t afford to wait. The Allston I-90 Interchange project can transform access and mobility for … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hubway Winter Update February 2, 2018
      TweetFrom Hubway:   Hubway had a winning January! This past month, Hubway riders took over 40,000 trips, more than double the January record. Want to try out winter riding? You don’t need to be tough — you just need to be … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Speak Up For Zoning Reform In MA! February 1, 2018
      TweetFrom Livable Streets: Did you know that the last time Massachusetts updated its zoning laws was in 1975? We need your help today to ensure that our future includes responsible planning for great neighborhoods! Contact Massachusetts legislators and let them know that we … Continue reading →
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    • My e-mail in support of West Station January 31, 2018
      TweetAlexander Strysky is the reviewer for the Massashusetts Environmental Protection Agency reviewer for the I-90 Interchange project in Allston. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has backed off from plans for prompt construction of  anew West Station on the Framingham-Worcester commuter-rail … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • My letter to the Globe about the Kurmann fatality January 31, 2018
      TweetI’ve read the Op-Ed piece by Andrew Fischer and Alan Wright, “Killing Bicyclists should be a crime” in the Sunday, January 28 Globe. I agree with Wright and Fischer that a charge of involuntary manslaughter against the trucker in the … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • My letter to the Globe aobut the Kurmann fatality January 31, 2018
      TweetI’ve read the Op-Ed piece by Andrew Fischer and Alan Wright, “Killing Bicyclists should be a crime” in the Sunday, January 28 Globe. I agree with Wright and Fischer that a charge of involuntary manslaughter against the trucker in the … Continue reading →
      jsallen
    • Take Action! Support Safe Streets Legislation January 31, 2018
      TweetFrom livable streets: Next Wednesday, February 7th is the deadline for legislative committees to act on bills, and An Act to Reduce Traffic Fatalities remains in front of the Joint Committee on Transportation. Will you help us make Massachusetts streets safer for all? The … Continue reading →
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    • Bikes Not Bombs Update January 31, 2018
      Tweet Save the Date for our Bike-A-Thon! It’s official, our 31st Annual Bike-A-Thon will be on Sunday, June 10th, 2018! There are 4 routes to choose from again this year: 10, 30, 50, and 100 miles. Keep checking our website for updates about … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • BCU Looking For Board Members January 30, 2018
      TweetFrom Their Website: Boston Cyclists Union: Board Member Job Description Purpose: Provide governance to the Boston Cyclists Union organization, stewarding and protecting its mission, while representing the organization to the community and accepting ultimate legal authority for it. Mission:  We’re helping Bostonians … Continue reading →
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