Archive for the ‘safety’ Category

Apparently you need a reminder…
August 18, 2011

When turning left at a green light but not a green arrow, you have to yield to oncoming traffic. It is the law.

It doesn’t matter if there’s a long line of cars you’ll have to wait for, if you’re in a hurry, or if you think the cyclist will be too slow. You have to yield.


Before you yell, you better be right!
February 15, 2011

Over the past four days, we’ve had a few run-ins with cars where they were totally in the wrong, and yet, proceeded to blame us, citing what we should have done. In SF, I’ve never had this much blame for when a simple “my bad” or “sorry” would have done; but to turn it around and blame us? Sorry but YOU ARE WRONG.

Instance #1

Location: SE Stark and 29th.
Time: Saturday night.
Bikes: Cruising with the flow of traffic west down SE Stark Street coming up to 29th Ave on the right.
Car: backing up INTO traffic on Stark from 29th Ave. He does this rapidly so me and my girlfriend have to slam on our squeaky wet brakes (which probably saved our lives, note to self: get bell or horn).

He yells from his car: “You should put lights on the front of your bikes!” FACT: we had lights on our bikes, one of them was brand new and super bright. Regardless of our bike status, he was back up his car INTO the intersection of a crowded street on a busy night. He was being unsafe and we had the right of way.

Verdict: Car = WRONG.

Instance #2

Location: NE Tillamook Ave. and 17th Ave.
Time: Sunday afternoon, overcast.
Bikes: We were riding our bikes east along Tillamook (a known bike route) when we come up to a STOP sign.
Car: Cross Tillamook at the intersection but didn’t have a stop sign and therefore the right of way.

We stop and he stops and waves us through, giving up his right of way. We have a special pet-peeve about this because it distrupts the flow of traffic and generates a feeling that cyclists need to get special care like an old lady crossing the road or something. So we reject the wave through, calling attention to the fact that they do not, in fact, have to stop. He continues to wave us through and points to the mobile phone he is currently using as if to say, it’s cool, I’m on the phone anyway. Phone use while driving (even sitting at a stop) has been illegal in Oregon for over a year. We yell for him to hang up his phone and continue down the street.

Verdict: Car = DUMB. Also, WRONG.

Instance #3

Location: N Williams and N Thompson Ave.
Time: Just now! (Tuesday, 3:30pm, drizzly).
Bikes: I am riding north on N Williams in the bike lane.
Car: turning right onto N Williams from N Thompson.

He juts out into the bike lane right in front of me and I brake and they squeak so he stops and I just go around. At this point, this happens all the time so I don’t even really care. But he makes his right after I pass and rolls his window down and shouts out: “I had the right of way!” I yell back that actually no he did not and that he was wrong. He yelled some more and rolled his window and drove away. Sorry, but again, turning right onto a cross street never has the right of way over the cross street’s traffic.

Verdict: Car = SO WRONG.


On Bike Lanes
September 27, 2010

BikePortland posted this video of one woman’s view (along with others’) on the new NYC 1st Ave. bike lane and how it’s not so perfect. Check it out!

The Dutch Do It Better
September 27, 2010

YouTube – Junction design for safer cycling Netherlands.

a better way for cyclists to make left turns with cars.

Too Polite
September 2, 2010

Portland drivers, listen up: QUIT, oh please QUIT stopping in the middle of the road to wave me through. Whether I am a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or another car, you are not doing anyone any favors. You are creating a serious disturbance to the normal flow of traffic, confusing other drivers, and creating a completely UNSAFE way for me to cross the street. Don’t be surprised if I refuse. I’m not an idiot. I see that guy behind you who has no fucking clue why you stopped and is about to blow right by. I also see the car on the other side of you who does not realize why you are stopped and has no intention of stopping himself. I see that if I could just cross the street after you pass at normal speed, as I intended to, then all traffic would remain as normal. I see that you do NOT have a stop sign and I do, so don’t stop, please don’t stop—you’re just confusing everyone and creating timing problems for every other being on the road, including me, who now has to adjust to your idiotic “polite” driving. Just GO, people.—Anonymous

via I, Anonymous | Portland Mercury.

Consumer Reports Survey Shows 58% of Americans Never Wear a Bicycle Helmet
January 26, 2009

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety that shows that 92% of cyclists killed in 2007 were not wearing a helmet. Does that mean that a helmet would have saved those lives?

via Urban Velo.