Tag Archive for dog vs bike

Morning Links: Motorist blames Vision Zero, the real problems on our streets, and the best bicycle dog chase ever

Honestly, I don’t even know where to start with this one.

A writer for the extremist National Motorists Association blames New York’s Vision Zero for everything this side of the Lindberg kidnapping.

Vision Zero is a huge nightmare for everyone that lives or works in NYC. Since the introduction here of Vision Zero, commute times have more than doubled. The city has introduced road diets, has converted streets for bike and bus only lanes and has gotten rid of left turn lanes. These changes have made NYC streets nearly impassableRoad rage has now become more common due to frustration, crowded roads and less space to drive.

Under the Vision Zero regime, driving to work during morning rush hour takes hours instead of minutes. NYC has become anti-car and really anti-transit too since there seems to be little money available to fix the decrepit subway system. The use of congestion pricing to help pay for the subway won’t help either. Is it fair to make motorists pay for public transportation when we might not even use it?

Never mind that improving public transportation relieves pressure on the traffic grid, as more people choose not to drive.

Let alone his unsupported claim that commute times have doubled — or maybe it’s gone from mere minutes to hours, since he doesn’t seem sure.

Which you’d think would result in higher stress levels, though most New Yorkers seem to disagree.

He also takes offense at “entitled” pedestrians and bike riders who apparently throw themselves in front of those poor, put-upon motorists in hopes of getting hit.

Road diets are one thing but another side product of Vision Zero is that it has produced  a generation of distracted and entitled pedestrians who expect motorists to yield to them as soon as they step foot into the street even when crossing against the light or outside of legal crosswalks. I have witnessed so many close calls where pedestrians with intent moved in front of a moving vehicle because they know whatever happens, the motorist will always be at fault. The same holds true for bicyclists who seem to think that the rules of the road do not apply to them.

But seriously, it’s worth reading, if only to understand who we share the roads with.

Or because you need a good laugh.

Photo by Stanley Nguma via Pexels.com

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Good question.

A mobility blogger says cities are dithering with e-scooter caps, while ignoring the real problem.

When was the last time cities like San Fransisco, Santa Monica, or Los Angeles threatened Ford or GM with cease and desist letters, or slapped them with vehicle caps, or threatened to ban them from cities for creating, say SUVs, that are even more deadly than regular cars, even when we knew they were more deadly 14 years ago?

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Stop whatever you’re doing, and check out the best bike chase in recent memory, as a couple of ebike riders pursue a runaway dog in a hair-raising ride through the streets of New York.

And be sure to stick around for the surprising denouement.

Update: Unfortunately, it looks like they’ve taken down the original version I’d embedded.

Here’s a less edited and non-captioned version of the video. But it’s worth clicking on the link above to get the full effect.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up. And the best laugh I’ve had in weeks.

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Local

If you’re headed to the 13th Annual AltCar Expo and Conference in Santa Monica this weekend, go by bicycle and take advantage of the free bike valet. Or better yet, just forget the car and buy a good ebike or cargo bike instead.

Talk about the cup half full. While everyone else saw LA’s e-scooter pilot program as compromise to keep scooters on the streets, KNBC-4 says it will force thousands of scooters off them.

 

State

An Op-Ed in the Desert Sun calls for creating protected bike lanes in a planned makeover of Indian Canyon Drive to create a Complete Street that works for everyone.

Something virtually every bike rider can relate to, as a Thousand Oaks bike rider was forced to jam on the brakes when a driver cut across two lanes of traffic to make a right turn from the left laneLet’s give a shout out to TOPD deputy Mike Berg, who says bike riders are at fault in some of the crashes between bicyclists and drivers in the Conejo Valley. Which is undoubtedly true, as is the obverse. 

Protected bike lanes barely win out over parking spaces in San Luis Obispo, as residents argue a cycle track would actually make bicycling more dangerous.

A mobility website asks if San Francisco just solved scooter sharing.

 

National

Treehugger says we all have to stop obsessing about bike helmets, because “in most interactions between bike and truck, the helmet doesn’t make much of a difference,” and just isn’t relevant to the real safety discussion.

A writer for Strong Towns says maybe we need to talk about the dangers of bicycling, as well as advocating for more riders. Because it’s not fair or honest to to do one without the other.

Bicycling says if you really like spin class, try riding a real bicycle once in a while.

Two young Korean men finished a 70-day trip across the US to call attention to Korean comfort women in WWII; only 27 survivors remain today.

A Chicago bike rider was seriously injured by a woman fleeing in a stolen car, just seconds after barely missing a father taking his kids home in a cargo bike.

New signs tell Chicago bike riders to walk their bikes on what is supposed to be a multi-use trail, after a single “crackpot” threatened to sue the city.

New York police wanted to file charges in the case of an Australian tourist who was killed in a crash with a garbage truck after a taxi driver cut her off in the bike lane, but the district attorney refused to accept the case.

A New York website says Central Park is an oasis for bicyclists — if they can get there.

 

International

Practice makes perfect. Yamaha is out with their 25th generation of ebikes, after inventing the ped-assist category in 1993.

A Vancouver bike commuter says the city’s holier-than-thou bicyclists are ruining it for everyone; his point is that a little courtesy and respect for others make a big difference. Although he could make the point just as effectively without stereotyping the people he complains about.

No bias here. A Winnipeg TV station says a bike rider was killed when “collided” with a semi. After all, it couldn’t possibly be that a truck driver actually hit the person on the bike.

Toronto’s mayor calls for a crackdown on loud cars and motorcycles, saying their owners should be heavily fined for creating disturbances. Please, please, please let that spread here to LA. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Mobike has thrown in the towel in Manchester, England after too much vandalism and too many stolen bikes.

The British government has dropped plans to raise the floor for liability claims to the equivalent of $6,500, which would prevent most bike riders from filing claims for minor injuries.

Britain’s roads minister — the equivalent of our Secretary of Transportation — tells parliament that segregated bike infrastructure is critical for improving traffic safety.

Local residents are threatening to sue to stop a 100-mile closed course UK ride that’s expected to draw up to 15,000 riders; they also plan a walking protest to block the route of the ride.

A German man who now lives on his bike plans to set a new record by riding over 14,000 miles from the Arctic Circle to Argentina in under 125 days.

 

Finally…

Not even bike-riding police commissioners are safe from lawbreaking drivers. When you can’t make the ride for the first time in 18 years, so your friends try to recreate it for him.

And hats off to whoever heroically filmed a British man being beaten by a bike thief in a strong-arm robbery, while a suited man politely tries to sort of, but not really, intervene.

It’s not like anyone would actually want to do something to stop it or anything.

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If you want to join the Militant Angeleno and me for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour on September 30th, RSVP by emailing [email protected] 

We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

How to (usually) stop a charging dog in its tracks; Culver City Chamber President offers non-apology

Back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, I found myself living in Baton Rouge, a couple hours north of New Orleans.

That’s where I bought my first adult bike from the local outlet of what was then the nation’s oldest continuously operated bike shop, thanks to a tax refund courtesy of a conservative president far too liberal for many of today’s conservative voters.

One of my favorite riding routes out into the Louisiana countryside required passing a ramshackle shack with the rusted hulk of a car in the front yard, and a massive Doberman on the front porch. An unleashed Doberman, I might add, who had no love of bike riders passing by on the road in front of his home.

Inevitably, the dog would sprint out of the yard, chasing me down the street snarling and snapping, and striving to bite anything he could get his teeth on.

Including me.

I tried everything I could think of to defuse the situation, from pedaling furiously to outrun his snapping canines to squirting him with my water bottle, and tossing dog treats behind my bike.

At best, I only managed to distract him long enough to sprint away. And he’d be waiting right there on my way back.

That changed the moment I finally remembered a lesson learned growing up in a house full of dogs.

So one day, as the dog was bearing down on me, instead of running away, I pulled up short and stopped in front of him carefully placing my bike between us, just in case. And as he prepared to lunge at me, I shouted out a single word.

“Sit!”

And to my everlasting surprise, he did.

The dog stopped on the spot and sat there in front of me, watching me intently and waiting for my next command.

So I said, as authoritatively as possible, “Go home!”

He did, sadly turning tail and slinking back to his own yard, apparently disappointed that I didn’t want to play anymore.

After that, I didn’t need to get off my bike any more; it was enough to shout “go home” as I rode by. Eventually, the dog didn’t even bother to chase me any more, accepting that it just wasn’t worth the effort.

That’s when it sank in through my sometimes dense brain matter that almost every dog know certain key commands. And they instinctively want to obey, even if they’ve never seen you before.

Since then, I’ve tried the same technique with countless other dogs. And it’s worked almost every time, almost without fail.

Some dogs are just incorrigible.

The key is to issue a command, not a request.

No matter how big or angry the dog may be, try not to show any fear. Then use your best drill sergeant voice to order it to sit or go home.

“Leave it” is also a popular command that works with a number of dogs these days, mine included; for some reason, “stop” doesn’t seem to work at all.

And not everyone can pull it off.

But if you can, it’s the most effective tool I know to stop a dog dead in its tracks.

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He just doesn’t get it.

Yesterday, I linked to a letter written by Culver City Chamber of Commerce President Steve Rose, in which he criticized Metro’s “Every Lane is a Bike Lane” campaign, trotting out a number of the common fallacies typically employed by bike haters.

Wednesday afternoon, he offered a non-apology, professing to have been misunderstood, and that his comments reflected his personal opinion and did not represent the Culver City Chamber of Commerce.

Right.

The problem is, he cites his position to give gravitas to his opinions. But in doing so, he links them to the organization he represents, whether he wants to or not.

If he doesn’t want his comments to reflect on the Chamber, all he has to do is drop the title and identify himself simply as a Culver City businessman.

But the moment he identifies himself as Chamber president, he inevitably links his comments to the Chamber of Commerce, despite any protestations to the contrary. And rightly or wrongly, makes it appear the Chamber shares his opinions.

As for those opinions, he is correct that cyclists are required to obey the same traffic regulations motorists are. The problem comes when he suggests it is up to us to use extra caution when we ride, once again placing responsibility on cyclists for the actions of those we share the roads with.

Because the key to bike safety isn’t obeying the law, using reflectors or wearing helmets. It’s not getting hit by cars.

And we’re only part of that equation.

So I’ll say it again.

Collisions are hard to have. If you drive safely and obey the law, and I ride safely and obey the law, it’s almost impossible to have a collision.

Yes, many riders could show more courtesy to others on the roads. But placing the responsibility for safety on those of us on two wheels is just blaming the victims, and ignores the dangers posed by those who are far more capable of causing serious injury or death.

He may be a responsible driver.

But responsible observer of the situation on our streets is another matter.

When he wants to follow up his letter with one calling on drivers to share the road, pass safely, signal their turns, check their mirrors, obey the speed limit, look for riders before opening doors, and give cyclists the same right-of-way they would any other vehicle, then, and only then, will his comments be worth taking seriously.

And not reflect negatively on the organization he claims to represent, but not speak for.

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Finally, a 73-year old spree killer faces charges in Mesa AZ.

The woman driver fled the scene after hitting and killing a bike rider, only to blow through a red light and kill another motorist just six minutes later.

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