Archive for September, 2008
Gothamist: Hasids Say Cyclists Too Sexy for Bike Lanes
September 18, 2008
Road Rage Chronicles: “Stop at red lights!”
September 17, 2008
It finally happened… almost.
I was riding my bike back home at 11pm on deserted Valencia Street when I lazily came upon a red light stoping no one. I did notice the car behind me slowing to a stop but only out of the corner of my eye. So, like most sensible cyclists, I slowly coasted throught the light.
Then I heard the annoying “error” sound that police cars make at you when you’re in the way or something. Yep, that car at the stop light with me? A cop! But while they buzzed at me, they didn’t run through the intersection to catch me. I began to slow down thinking that they’d want me to stop or worse, think I was trying to get away.
When they finally caught up (“This is it!” I thought), the 22 year old driver yelled out “Stop at red lights!” I said “OK.” and that was that.
Everyone knows that cyclists, at best, treat red lights like stop signs, especially in a timed-lights city like San Francisco, but what you certainly don’t do, is do it so brazingly in front of a cop car! I thought for sure I was going down just for that audacity but maybe they saw that I had a helmet on and used lights on my bike and thought I was pretty much an OK guy. At least… I like to think so.
The 65 mpg Ford the U.S. Can’t Have
September 11, 2008
Ford’s 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic goes on sale in November. But here’s the catch: Despite the car’s potential to transform Ford’s image and help it compete with Toyota Motor (TM) and Honda Motor (HMC) in its home market, the company will sell the little fuel sipper only in Europe. “We know it’s an awesome vehicle,” says Ford America President Mark Fields. “But there are business reasons why we can’t sell it in the U.S.”
By “business reasons” he means not making as much money.
Transit Ridership Surges in USA
September 9, 2008
Carfree USA reports a 5.2 percent jump in ridership in the second quarter, according to industry figures.
Road Rage Chronicles: Stop-gap the scooter!
September 3, 2008
As gas prices soar, people are turning to alternatives to cars. This is great, but there’s bound to be fallout. Enter: the scooter.
Nothing really wrong with them: great gas mileage, compact size, easy to park. And while they are a “bike” of sorts, they require registration and licensing like a car, and they are powered like a car. Therefore, should they be allowed in the bike lane? No!
Today, on my way to work, I was riding up a heavy-use bike route with a bike lane in San Francisco. Several bikers and I (and cars!) all come to a stop light. Rather like the motorcycle last time, a scooter attempts to cut into the packed bike lane to cut in front of the cars (an implicity “right” enjoyed by motorcycles). A middle-aged seasoned bicycle commuter thinks better than to let this happen and STOP GAPS the scooter; placing herself and bike perpendicular in front of the scooter. She lectures him on the proper use of the bike lane, his comments barely audible through his helmet. Suffice to say, when the light turned green he sped past us reving up his little engine in the usual motorized display of rage (which also burns valuable fuel!).
On Bike Lanes
Bike lanes are a luxury and a little one at that. Sometimes I don’t like them because they falsely give car drivers the impression that bikes MUST use the bike lane. This leads to confusion when a biker passes others using the right line (to the left of the bike lane), and when there is no bike lane on a road, a cyclists takes the lane. That being said, what little strip of a lane we got, especially during commute hours to be usurped by drivers turning right and motorcycles and scooters pretending they’re bikes is unacceptable. So, kudos to you, fellow commuter, for taking action!