there's a biking segment on NPR today- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    since 4/10/2009
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    there's a biking segment on NPR today

    pretty heavily focused on commuting. the call-in portion is about whether cyclists obey traffic laws. this will be interesting.

  2. #2
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    it was interesting. they had the editor of Bicycling and author of a book called Traffic.

    big part of the discussion had to do with bike lanes. a few non-cyclists called or wrote comments that were read on the air. funny thing about that is that those people were complaining about cyclists doing things that were completely legal (taking the lane, riding the street when a bike lane was available, etc).

    there was a good bit of discussion about bike lines and MUP's. areas with 10mph speed limits on lanes seemed to get criticism from some cyclists who prefer to ride 15-20mph on the street, which seems to be what brings up some of the complaints about people riding in the street when a lane or path is available.

    there was a visually-impaired lady who called in complaining about cyclists blowing by her unannounced on a MUP she walks. I was a little disappointed that the folks on the radio did not mention anything about how MUP's are not good places to train or commute fast during high traffic times with other user groups. all they said was that with the huge variety of users and high traffic that many MUP's get, they are sometimes more dangerous than roads...and left it at that.

    there was some discussion about flexibility in traffic laws applying to cyclists (and folks calling in about being caught breaking some traffic law and being let off without so much as a ticket) because facilities are often imperfectly accessible/available to cyclists and so cyclists have to make judgement calls about safety on a situational basis.

    it was interesting, but I found that they tried covering too many issues for the amount of time they dedicated to the segment, so certain issues that deserved serious attention were glossed over, like the motorists complaining about things that are entirely legal, imperfect facilities, and a need for more courteous interactions all the way around.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Nate. I didn`t even hear about it, and I`m an NPR junkie. For anybody else who missed it, you can listen to it here:

    Cyclists: Do You Really Obey Traffic Laws? : NPR

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Thanks, Nate. I didn`t even hear about it, and I`m an NPR junkie. For anybody else who missed it, you can listen to it here:

    Cyclists: Do You Really Obey Traffic Laws? : NPR
    Me too! VPR is the only thing I miss about driving to work. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    I stream NPR's XM satellite radio feed on my iPod occasionally at the office. ;-)

  6. #6
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    Really appreciate the link. As much as I hate ignorance towards cycling, I'm at least glad to see it getting more emphasis. As they say, "no such thing as bad press".
    Fact is, we live in an era that can only lead to more cyclists. Preparing for that involves changing the communities' paradigms and probably, as cyclists, trying harder to stay above the rim... the sooner this transition can happen the better. I just hope I can endure the ignorance until then! :-D

    Posted w/ Tapatalk via Android

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the link. It was a pretty good segment. I don't think they stressed that there are a lot of bad apples that spoil the whole bunch.

    I follow the law to the extent it makes sense and am always courteous.
    I roll through right turn stop signs when there is nobody around. (usually slower than the cars that roll through)
    I make illegal U-turns when a left turn would be unsafe if I did it legally. I'll ride past the turn until I get a break in traffic and then pull a U-ey.
    I stop and then run red lights when they don't turn green for bikes. Technically I think that is legal because the light can be considered malfunctioning.

  8. #8
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    When biking on paved paths along side the roads(fortunately we have a lot of them around my town) we typically blow the red lights when all the oncoming cars in the left turn lane have turned with the turn arrow. We feel it's a lot safer to cross when our light is still red just before it turns green because it keeps the idiots that are turning right from hitting us because they don't ****ing look and give the right of way when the light does turn green.
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  9. #9
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    nothing will change. motorcyclists have been complaining about the exact same things for the last 30 years ( at least) and we still get the "oh i didnt see you" while wearing florescent orange clothing, "he came out of nowhere" while riding a straight line in the middle of the lane, and the myriad of other excuses they come up with to deflect away from the fact that they were doing something else besides paying attention to the road.

    just the other day im pulling up to an intersection. i slow down to turn right and the oncoming driver decides to turn left in a hurry to get through a yellow light. i had made eye contact, and hit my horn and gunned the engine when it was apparent she wasnt going to stop, she didnt slow down.i managed to avoid getting hit but when i pulled up next to her. her excuse " i just didnt see you". and this is on the central coast of cali one of the most bike friendly places in the US.

    props to those that put up with this on a daily basis without 100db horn and slightly louder than EPA pipes to "wake them up".

    until the "im safe in my 2 ton vehicle so who cares" attitude is fixed nothing we do will make any significant impact.
    and for full disclosure. yes i break more laws on my motorcycle and bicycle than i do in my truck. mostly as a result of trying to keep as much distance between me and everyone else as possible.

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