2009-12-02

Texting While Driving IV

Wonder of wonders! The NC Legislature took the hint from the US Department of Transportation and they have instituted a Texting while Driving ban. (The News and Record has bizarre priorities--they mixed in new reptile laws with a story on the new distracted drving law). As has been noted before, this new law won't do much in itself to stop distracted driving as it will be somewhat difficult to enforce. What it will do however, is make the more serious offenses that distracted driving produces easier to prosecute. If an officer/DA suspects the person may have been texting they need only subpoena the transaction records from the device provider to establish the truth of the matter. With distracted driving proved, this opens up the options for prosecuting the consequences of the distracted driving such as vehicular homicide. Hopefully there will be some active enforcement of this law to raise awareness and we can see the crash levels fall as people do what they are supposed to doing when behind the wheel, driving.


On Yer Bike!

2009-11-02

Twice as Many

I was reviewing some polls on Greensboro Gas Prices and I found this one from a month ago that asked the user what their usual commuting method was. As expected the overwhelming majority of site users were single occupant car/truck users. What surprised me was the result of bike commuters--twice as many poll answers favored bike commuting over motorcycle commuting.

On Yer Bike!

2009-10-29

Get the Msg

The US Secretary of Transportation gets the message. The US Senate appears to get the message. When will the US public get the message? While waiting at a light at Bluford and Dudley yesterday I watched what every driver was doing as they attempted to pilot their motor vehicle down the road. Nine out of ten where on the phone. For all I know the tenth one was on the phone but had a hands-free device. What is so important that people must increase their crash risk by 400%?

Hang up and drive!

2009-10-20

Confirmed--GSO Gets Bronze

An e-mail to the League of American Bicyclists has confirmed it. Greensboro, NC is now a Bronze Cycling Community.

On Yer Bike!

Breaking News

I haven't been able to verify this through the League of American Bicyclists yet but the Bicycle Retail and Industry News reports that Greensboro, NC has earned bronze community certification. I will continue to try to get verification on this story.


On Yer Bike!

2009-10-19

Detached Bike Parking

I finally closed on my condo in central MD last week and immediately turned around and made an offer (which was accepted with some modification) on a nice home with a detached garage. This will put a bit of a crimp in my style regarding reporting on progress on the BRT as once I move it will no longer be along the way on my route to work but I still intend to go out of my way once in a while to keep up on the progress. Looks like major work on the Cone Rd tunnel is complete although they filled in the ends of the tunnel until the rest of the trail is ready, at least that's my guess as to why they filled it back in.


From Wrenwood Dr

On Yer Bike!

2009-10-07

BRT Update 7 Oct 09

An update on the progress on the BRT. It's getting harder (actually pretty much impossible) to shoot during the morning now that the sun rises around 7:30. This first shot was taken in the afternoon.


From Battleground Rail Trail

This is the trail south of Martinsville Rd. Since this shot soil has been dropped on top of the gravel to the level of the retaining wall bricks. I've not seen this style of grading before so I'm not sure what the goal is.


From Battleground Rail Trail

Another odd shot--They filled in the south end of the Cone Rd tunnel. My guess is they are trying to keep people out of an unstable environment while they work on the north end. They may also be trying to build up the soil on the walls of the ramp before they install the retaining walls.

On Yer Bike!

2009-10-06

37th Annual Carolina Cup Commentary

I finally completed the commentary on my Carolina Cup photos. Follow the link to see.

2009-09-14

37th Annual Carolina Cup

Here are the photos I took before the cheap replacement battery on my camera conked out with one hour left in the Pro/1/2 race. I'll be editing the photo captions as I collect more race data. Needless to say, there is a very good 11-14 Junior who will be making news for a while if he sticks to this sport (He raced in both Junior races AND Cat 3!).



On Yer Bike!

2009-09-12

Carolina Cup is Tomorrow!

First, the obligatory Queen video:



On 13 Sep 09 the Carolina Cup will be run in Country Park on the north side of Greensboro.



View Larger Map

Here are a few pics from while we were getting some setup done this morning.


From Carolina Cup 2009

The Start/Finish area being laid out.


From Carolina Cup 2009

The starting stretch going into Duckwalk Corner under construction.


From Carolina Cup 2009

The run-in to the Finish line. It's a slight uphill, maybe 2% tops, after dropping off a short 4% drop. This should be the place to see some high speed fire works.


Hope to see everyone there!


On Yer Bike!

2009-09-08

OMG! WT#! #TW!

From Battleground Rail Trail

I've lived in Greensboro for almost a year and within 1/2 a mile of the beginning of this trail but until yesterday I had never taken the time to explore it. I want that year back! I'm not sure how good this trail feels on an upright bike but on my 'bent trike....


The photo above was taken while climbing back up a section of twisting descent that had me tapping the brakes to prevent rollovers. The G's necessary to roll my trike in a gradual curve are pretty impressive (I did go on two wheels in one corner).


Then there's this section of false flat near the northern end of the trail. I thought it was the wind keeping my speed down to 12MPH while traversing the field. Not so. Once I hit the end of paved trail I turned around (1.5" tires and no suspension is no fun on the big gravel used on old rail beds). Very quickly I found I was now going downhill--it wasn't much effort to get to 27MPH and I still had gears left. There was traffic ahead so I coasted back down to sane traffic speed and was very effortlessly maintaining 15-17 MPH before I had to stop for a road crossing.


If you live in or near Greensboro and want a nice short to middle distance ride (I added a couple loops around the military park and Country Park to total 21 miles) with no motor traffic (but some ped and bike traffic--mind your speed and distance when passing) I strongly recommend hopping on this trail at its start in Guilford Courthouse Military Park and heading north.


On Yer Bike!

2009-09-04

BRT-Cone Rd Underpass

Today we have a collection of photos of the Cone Rd Underpass under construction. The first few are my own, the balance were taken by a GDOT employee.


From Battleground Rail Trail

Looking south while north of Cone Rd.


From Battleground Rail Trail

Looking north from Cone Rd.


From Battleground Rail Trail

Looking north while south of Cone Rd while Michael J Fox oversees.


From Battleground Rail Trail

Looking south from Cone Rd.


From Battleground Rail Trail

This is the first of the GDOT photos. The balance of the photos are also courtesy of GDOT.


From Battleground Rail Trail

From Battleground Rail Trail

From Battleground Rail Trail

From Battleground Rail Trail

From Battleground Rail Trail

From Battleground Rail Trail

On Yer Bike!

2009-09-02

BRT in Progress

Here are my first photos of the BRT as it is being built.


From Battleground Rail Trail

This view is from about 50 yards south of Total Wine looking north. The trail will connect to the sidewalk just before the driveway for Total Wine/CVS. This looks to be a crash waiting to happen. In fact when I headed through the driveway intersection I had a ROW conflict with a right turning pickup. Fortunately we were both alert to the potential for problems and no harm done.


From Battleground Rail Trail

This shot was taken from the same location as the first but looking south. The crushed stone bed looks reasonably wide.


From Battleground Rail Trail

This view is from Martinsville Rd looking north. Hopefully that speed bump is not part of the design.


From Battleground Rail Trail

This shot was taken from Isaac Pl and Martinsville Rd. It illustrates two things:


  1. Looking over the hood of the second car you see the beings of the next section of trail.

  2. Due to the high traffic volume I had to shoot the shot with cars in the picture. Combine this with the 30-40 yard offset between trail segments and we have a significant conflict point. No pedestrian facilities means all trail users will be using the road to get between the trail segments.


From Battleground Rail Trail

This next segments have much work to be done at this point. Here is the segment that curves around the Toyota lot to begin running parallel to Patriot Way.


From Battleground Rail Trail

Same location as the last shot but looking west now.


I hope the designers have thought about the conflict zones I have highlighted here. It seem to me the money being spent to tunnel under Cone would have been better spent tunneling under Martinsville or Pisgah Church. On Cone a crossing pedestrian or cyclist only needs to negotiate with traffic from one direction at a time. They get to change their focus once the median is reached. Martinsville affords no such luxury and I have yet to figure out how the Pisgah Church crossing is expected to work but unless those high speed corners are squared back off I expect it can't help but be dangerous.


On Yer Bike!

2009-08-25

Battleground Rail Trail

Kudos to General Greensboro for highlighting this article which led me to this article. I've heard rumor of this trail but nobody had been able to provide facts relating to it. Even armed with the name of the trail I am finding very limited information about the rail-trail conversion. GDOT had this but no one else appears to be talking about this project on the Internet which I find utterly amazing.

The current phase of the project will run the trail from the end of the Bicentenial Greenway next to Mt Pisgah UMC on Pisgah Church Rd down to Markland Avenue. A tunnel will be used to get around the traffic on Cone Blvd but I wonder how traffic will be handled at the Martinsville Rd and Pisgah Church Rd crossings.

A quick look at satellite photos overlaid on the old rail alignment shows the homes and businesses that adjoined the old rail bed have taken over the space of the old rail right of way. Where I to guess about the alignment of the trail I would expect it to use Isaac Pl from Pisgah Church Rd to Martinsville Rd. Then comes the challenge of crossing Martinsville Rd. Despite a 30 MPH speed limit a large number of road users appear to confuse this street with the speedway of the same name. Combine this with short site lines and substantial traffic (frequently and issue during the evening commute for me) and you have a very difficult crossing. Add to this the fact that following Isaac Pl puts one a hundred yards east of the rail alignment and the problems start to compound. Do you follow Martinsville to get back unto the rail alignment or follow Lane Rd to Patriot Way which eventually realigns on the old rail bed.

The other alternative that I can see is to follow Isaac Pl about 200-250 yards to get around the back of the mini-mall that sits squarely on the old rail alignment. At that point follow that property lines back to the alignment. Now this reduces some of the Martinville Rd conflicts as the crossing will be closer to Battleground and eastbound motorists won't have time to accelerate to uncontrollable speeds while the sight lines to the west are improved by the higher elevation.

There still are problems though with the Pisgah Church Rd crossing though. If it is made at the original rail alignment it will be nearly 100 ft wide and eastbound traffic exiting off northbound Battleground does not have a stop sign or red light. Given my experience in Greensboro marked crosswalks mean nothing to local drivers so crossing here would be extraordinarily dangerous. Crossing from the Bicentennial Parkway to Isaac Pl is only marginally better but could easily be improved with a concrete pedestrian island to afford some protection from eastbound motorists heading for Forest Lawn Dr who might cheat over to the turning lane without checking for pedestrians or cyclists trying to cross. I really don't understand why this isn't already in place given Isaac Pl is the northern end of Bike Route 9.

On Yer Bike!

2009-08-21

More Recalls

The CPSC has a new batch of recalls this month.

  1. First up is a chopper from Nirve. The Cannibal Chopper has a stem that can crack producing the usual control problems when the steering system fails. CPSC says to take the ride back to the vendors.
  2. Felt Cycles has a similar issue where the steerer tube can fail on their F1X cyclocross product. Felt dealers should be providing free inspection and repair.

Other than that it's been a quiet month. So unless you ride a Nirve Cannibal or Felt F1x...

On Yer Bike!

2009-08-18

Why Isn't This in Production?

A couple shade tree mechanics in southern Maryland have cobbled together a diesel Honda Insight. With the electric drive only partially working they are getting 78 MPG driving the the Pacific Northwest. They expect to break 100 MPG once they work out the bugs in the electric portions of the drive train. Admittedly modern diesels cost more than gasoline engines but they run cleaner and last longer than those same engines while getting better mileage. Why isn't Honda or Toyota outfitting the Insight or Prius with a diesel option? The target markets have already shown they will pay the extra coin.

2009-08-14

Avoiding The Door Zone

Here is an absolutely fantastic illustrative video about where the door zone is and how far out one must ride to avoid it. This is a must show for motorist education classes so they can have a clue as to why a cyclist MUST ride six feet away from parked cars.


On Yer Bike!

My Own Health Care Plan

With all the debate raging over the health care/insurance plan going on I thought it best to tune it out and look for something a bit more constructive. And I found it. The President's Challenge Fitness Program. Simply log your favorite activities and earn points leading to various levels of awards. There are three tiers of involvement:

  • For those trying to avoid becoming part of the couch before its to late.
  • For the moderately active.
  • For aspiring atheletes.

I signed up in the middle tier but I may need to upgrade, turns out my bicycle commute to work and back maxs out my score for the day. A little bit of feel good during a scary economic situation.


On Yer Bike!

2009-08-09

Tax Holiday

North Carolina had its School Tax Holiday this weekend. The concept, as I understand it, is to help people save a little money as they prepare for the school year. That's all well and good. What I take issue with is the logic behind what is or isn't taxed.

How many grade school students have you ever seen wearing Lycra kit to school? I've never seen a one. Granted, just because I haven't seen it doesn't mean it does exist. Most students who would be permitted to bicycle to school probably live within five miles of school, a distance were Lycra offers no benefit. What's my point? On Saturday I purchased one Lycra jersey, one pair of Lycra shorts and one pair of cycling gloves and all of it was tax free.

Now I suspect this all came under the overarching category of clothing so I'm not going to complain about law makers trying to keep a law simple. What I will complain about is the purchase that was taxed.

Juveniles in NC are required to wear a helmet while operating a bicycle. Guess which purchase was taxed? The helmet--Not a high end unobtanium feather weight model which would clearly be a luxury, but a middle of the road Bell Ghisallo. If the NC legislature wants to show they are serious about promoting transportation methods other than single occupant motor vehicles then they have some serious work to do.

On Yer Bike!

2009-08-06

Susan Has Finished Her Fight

If you follow cycling blogs then you probably follow Fat Cyclist. Last night he released the sad news that Susan has finished her fight with cancer. Let's everyone do a few extra miles for Susan.


On Yer Bike!

2009-08-03

National Stop on Red Week

Wish I found out about this one earlier, not that I have a problem with stopping at reds or stop signs, but so I could publicize it better. This week is National Stop on Red Week as promoted by The National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running.

Here's a little eye candy to drive home the point.


On Yer Bike!

2009-07-30

Texting While Driving III

It appears Yankees are good for something. Charles Schumer, Senator from NY, has introduced a bill in Congress to cut Federal highway dollars to states that fail to enact texting bans. This came on the heels of a report from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute report on the dangers of texting and cell phone use while driving. Currently 13 states and the District of Columbia have texting bans in place or slated to take effect. The largest issue surrounding these laws is enforcement. Unless the act is seen it is difficult to prosecute although not impossible. My take is anything that makes road use safer, which this type of law has potential to do if enforced, is a good thing.

On Yer Bike!

2009-07-28

How to Organize This

Boston has a new program to combat bike theft. A simple online form allows a bike owner to register their bike giving a full description and even allows photo uploads.

The hard part is GPD buy in. Despite the fact that the "take" from bike theft is four times higher than bank robbery (DOJ stats put bank robbery at 72.7M and bike theft at approx 225K units--it is estimated only 1 in 5 bike thefts gets reported so at an average value of $250 bike you have a take of over $281M) my guess GPD would cry "understaffed" to any request for a new/revamped program given they say as much in their FAQ about why they don't respond to certain crimes. Also, the bicycle registration form looks like it was designed back in the '70s and hasn't been revisited since (Banana seat? Give me a break!).

On Yer Bike!

2009-07-27

Get a Hold of Yourself

This kid goes totally ballistic when his birthday present is a small truck that is, shall we say, a little pre-enjoyed. I think I would have broken him in two if he came at me with the bat. Not sure what he expected but given the rest of the vehicles visible in the stable I expect it was something for a total narcissist.

2009-07-14

...From My Cold Dead Fingers

I'm guessing it is a sign of the times that bicycles are getting a bit more acceptance when they are lumped in with cell phones in a threat to confiscate either as a official government crackdown on antisocial youths in the UK. I'm having personal issues with how I feel about this one...

On Yer Bike!

And I Thought GSO Motorists Were Bad

Take a look at this video from Kansas City. A couple of the motorists slowed for the stop sign but nary a one even approached a state lacking in inertia. Some even were accelerating strongly when they were approaching the sign.

video

How can motorists even think about complaining about cyclist behaviour regarding stop signs when there own is so horrible?

On Yer Bike!

2009-07-11

Waste Not Want Not

Bottled water has been popular for some time now among the health conscious. I've never bought into bottled water as being any better than filtered tap water, only more convenient when away from home. It appears I was right. Combine bottled water's lack of superiority over filtered tap with its imherent waste factor in the bottles and it appears we have a no brainer. Don't buy bottled water. This has gone so far in New Zealand that after banning plastic shopping bags (a bit short sighted IMHO--plastic bags are far cleaner to recycle than paper) the town of Coles Bay has banned bottled water. This action has spread to Australia where the town of Bundanoon has followed suit.

2009-07-10

NC DOT Adopts "Complete Streets" Policy

Until now NC road designers had no requirement to add facilities to highways that accommodated any other users except motorists. Now a "Complete Streets" policy has been adopted that directs designers to consider the needs of non-motorists. The operative word there is "consider". Using costs of adding such infrastructure as a reason to drop plans from consideration is something that will have to be watched closely before we can call this a "win" for transportation outside of privately owned motor vehicles.

If You Can't Afford a Segway...

...Maybe this is in the cards for you.

On Yer Bike!

2009-07-07

The Lance Effect

Is Armstrong a certified genius or just a total attention whore? From what I had been seeing leading up to this years TdF I assumed he didn't have the form to podium, much less win, the race. And yet yesterday he catapults from 10th to 3rd position on the GC and today with a little help from his "friends" he is now 0.18 seconds out of 1st place. Cancellara will fold in the mountains, that much is a foregone conclusion. Maybe not in the Pyrennees but definitely in the Alps. Will Armstrong hold together and will Contador hand over the reigns? Alberto is young enough to potentially eclipse Armstrong in TdF wins if he were to focus on that tour as Lance did. He's shown the strength to win any tour he decides he wants with Giro and Vuelta wins after his first TdF win. Prior to the TdF it looked like Armstrong was in the mix almost purely as a Livestrong/Cancer Research Awareness publicity stunt. Now it almost looks like he might have been sandbagging in the Stage 1 ITT in order to generate shock and awe during Stages 3 and 4.

On Yer Bike!

This Should Get Some Attention

The Kiwis know how to get your attention. I particularly like the police officer telling it like it is about "accidents".

On Yer Bike!

2009-07-06

Texting While Driving II

The Averages

This not quite scientific study from Car and Driver magazine illustrates the dangers of Texting and Reading while driving. Their measurement methods seemed sound enough but their test pool was decidedly small (two people). Given this is a magazine devoted to cars and driving I would expect the drivers to be of above average skill levels. This makes the results all the more frightening. The driver reactions times were universally worse than if they were over the limt for Blood Alcohol Content, for some tasks much worse. Surprisingly texting produced worse results than reading when operating at high speeds. If no one is conducting a scientific, peer reviewed study of this nature then it needs to be done now. Legislatures have resisted making texting illegal because of a lack of evidence of any danger. This pilot study appears to indicate a huge danger. A proper study needs to be completed so the vehicle codes can be adjusted to reflect this danger given current distracted driving laws don't seem to be making a difference in curbing the problem.

The Results

On Yer Bike!

2009-07-01

NAHBS Richmond, VA

The new site is up and the exhibitors list is building.

On Yer Bike!

2009-06-29

The Future of US Pro Cycling


liamlivestrong.MP4 -- powered by http://www.livestrong.com

Just wish Liam would wear his helmet properly. He has no protection from a face plant here.

On Yer Bike!

2009-06-24

Fair Weather Rage

From the Guardian newspaper in the UK we get this interesting bit of reporting about how the sun brings out the worst in people. I was struck by how true the bits about cyclists and joggers rang out. If only people would put a little research into etiquette of a sport before trying them out.

For cyclists on multi-use trails:
  • Ride right, pass left.
  • Signal when you are overtaking both other cyclists and pedestrians. I know some people plug their ears with headphones but at least if you try to signal then you have a defense in the event of a crash. As near as I can tell "On your left" means nothing to the general public though it should mean something to cyclists with any significant experience. I would recommend calling out "Passing, on your left" instead. The comma is to indicate a pause in the call to allow the person time to register that someone is talking to them.
  • Keep your speed down especially when passing pedestrians--if you want to push the edges of your envelope then take it on the road. Use the trails for recovery rides and aerobic training. Ideally you should be coasting when going around pedestrians, this will create a continuous noise from your cassette (unless you're riding a fixie in which case you just got launched off your bike by the pedals) that will tell the overtaken where you are. Obviously this won't work when passing large groups or going up hill.
  • Use some common sense in passing, if there is oncoming traffic when you desire to pass someone in front of you, wait for a safe gap. Don't try to split the space between the traffic. You wouldn't want motorists doing the same to you, would you? Remember, most of the pedestrians have cars too.
For pedestrians:
  • Walk right, pass left. Don't walk on the left on right of ways not used by motor vehicles. The only time you should be walking left is on roads without sidewalks. Don't confuse this exception with the rule from common law. Walking down the center makes you particularly difficult to overtake--from my experience there is about a 60/40 split between center walkers the split right or left respectively when the realize they are being overtaken (except those who hold their line).
  • Check over your shoulder before turning around in the middle of the trail. Nothing is causes more anxiety in cyclists then joggers that pull a sudden button hook turn in the trail as they are preparing a pass.
  • If you hear someone trying to overtake you, hold your line. An overtaking cyclist has been trying to figure out how to pass you for some time before they get to you. If they signaled they are just letting you know they are coming, they are NOT saying get out of the way (unless you are a group that is covering the whole trail). Dodging suddenly to one side is a great way to get run into. No cyclist will intentionally hit you unless they are insane in which case they will likely make another run at you if they missed you after the dodge.
On Yer Bike!

2009-06-23

DIY Bike Lane

The video above is for a prototype rolling bike lane generator that uses lasers to generate the lines. Looks promising but the video displays some horrible lane positioning which I believe comes from cyclist inferiority complex. Note how far into the door zone the rider is positioned around the two minute mark.

On Yer Bike!

2009-06-19

Velophobia?


While the USA would appear to be getting at least a little friendlier towards cyclists (Colorado being an exception), Australia is becoming down right hostile. New laws have gone into effect that bring extremely stiff fines to cyclists. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact there are no reciprocating laws for motorists. I read over the laundry list of infractions listed in the news article and my thought was that if there was an equivelant statute for motorists, scaled up to match the danger motorists bring to the roadway, these might be a good thing. But from what I can tell there is no motorists equivalents (although there may be lesser penalties):
The maximum penalties under the new act include:

DANGEROUS riding - $13,610 or prison for twelve months or both.

CARELESS riding of a bike - $681 for a first offence and $1361 for a subsequent offence

IF a person is killed or seriously injured by a cyclist and the rider has not immediately stopped and offered assistance - $68,052 or five years in prison

IF property is damaged by a cyclist and the rider has not immediately stopped and offered assistance - $284 or seven days in prison for a first offence and $567 or prison for between seven and 14 days for a subsequent offence.

Unfortunately the article didn't define dangerous or careless riding so who knows what that could entail. Even given the weakness of the Aus$ these penalties are a bit steep when compared to the same type penalties in the USA.

Oh and in case you weren't aware, Oz has an all ages helmet law. That was successful in reducing ridership by a substantial margin.

On Yer Bike!

2009-06-18

It Seems Like A Good Idea...

...but is it? Columbia, Missouri has passed a new ordinance that makes harassment of cyclists a misdemeanor. It seems like a good thing but I wonder--Isn't throwing objects at people, verbal assault, and threatening with a deadly weapon (a motor vehicle) already covered by existing assault and battery ordinances? Anyone who knows me knows I object to complicating an already complicated legal code with needless duplication. Why create a special ordinance when the actions being legislated against is already covered by the legal code?

On Yer bike!

2009-06-16

Texting/E-Mail Ban While Driving

A bill still has life in the NC Senate to ban texting and e-mail while driving. There is some rather odd (read ignorant) commentary in the article as well as spurious exceptions in the bill. Let's start with the odd:
The bill's opponents said it would be difficult for police to determine when someone was using a cell phone to send text messages or e-mail instead of simply dialing a phone number, which is not illegal.
Now while it might be difficult to tell the difference at a glance there are plenty of news reports that clearly indicate the cell companies keep detail logs of all transactions (given how much they make on texting it behooves them to do so).
The bill makes exceptions for police officers and emergency personnel.
Why would there be an exception for these people? They are no less prone to distracted driving as anyone else. They need to pull over to use an e-mail/text device safely. All emergency responders have radios in their vehicles and usually on their persons so what need have they for texting while driving?

Finally the penalties:
Drivers caught texting or sending e-mail would be charged a $100 penalty but would not receive points on their drivers license or insurance.
This like most driving infractions penalties is much too low in my opinion (and others reading the comments section of the News and Observer). The main purpose this statute will serve is to make it easier to prosecute someone who's neglect causes a crash/injury/fatality.

On Yer Bike!

2009-06-12

Get 'er Done!


Failblog says Fail, I say otherwise.

On Yer Bike!

2009-06-04

Bike Hazard Reporting Site

BikeWise is a reporting site for bicycling hazards and facilities short-comings. I've added several entries for hazards and facilities failures (non-functional traffic signal vehicle sensors). It will be interesting to see if local authorities make use of the data gleaned from this site.

On Yer Bike!

2009-06-03

REI Recall


REI is recalling one of its road bikes from 2005 due to fork/steerer tube separation.

Description: This recall involves 2005 Novara Trionfo bicycles with Aprebic
carbon fiber forks. The bicycles are blue and white with black forks, and have
the name “Novara” printed on the bars.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled bicycles and return them to an REI retail store a free repair.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact REI at (800) 426-4840 between 7 a.m. and 2 a.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at http://www.rei.com/

On Yer Bike! (Unless it happens to be a '05 Novara Trionfo)

Cycling in the Movies


The Flying Scotsman is a docu-drama about Graeme Obree, a Scottish cyclist of the 90's that succeeded in turning track cycling upside down with several innovations despite the challenges of a lower class upbringing and battling mental illness. The movie makes a brief visit on his childhood and quickly moves to young adulthood where he is struggling to make ends meet as a bike shop owner and bicycle messenger. While on a ride he gets some inspiration on how to become dramatically more aerodynamic. This quickly escalates into a plan to go for the Hour Record and his first encounters with the WCF (now known as the UCI). To go further steps into serious spoiler zone so I'll stop here.

I highly recommend this movie to cyclists and recommend it to persons dealing with mental illness, either their own or a loved one. The mental illness issues were somewhat glossed over but one scene in the movie where it is dealt with is absolutely fantastic.

On Yer Bike!

2009-06-01

Ian Terrell

More info on the Mebane cyclist death.

The State Highway Patrol said it is consulting with the Orange County
District Attorney's office bout possible charges relating to the wreck.

This should be interesting to see if charges are filed. It appeared there would be none from the first reporting but this report paints a different picture. The biggest problem will be lack of credible witnesses (can't expect the driver to tell the whole truth if it could put her in prison).

2009-05-31

Bad Reporting of a Serious Crime

We appear to have a single witness suicide swerve in Mebane this weekend.  A single witness suicide swerve is a catch-all description where the only living witness's account of a crash is taken as gospel.

A 23-year-old man bicycling on Lebanon Road near Mebane died Saturday after he was struck by a vehicle, the State Highway Patrol said.

Ian E. Terrell of 1627 Foxfire Drive, Mebane, was riding about 2 p.m. on the east shoulder of Lebanon Road two miles east of Mebane when he swerved into the roadway and was struck by a vehicle, telecommunications supervisor John Swinney said. Orange County dispatchers said Terrell died at the scene.

Swinney said he did not know the name of the driver of the vehicle. He said the accident is under investigation.

We have some negligent reporting on what appears to be negligent driving.  Lebanon Rd does not have a shoulder therefore Ian Terrell could not be riding on it.  All the reporter had to do to debunk the witness testimony was pull up the road on Google maps and check the street view.



View Larger Map

2009-05-29

We Need More Lerts

This graph from GraphJam.com is amusing for its accuracy although I think the first data point is a little high and I rather hope the last data point is on the low side.

On Yer Bike!

2009-05-28

Tire Recall--Schwalbe Ultremo "R"


Schwalbe Tires has issued a recall of the Ultremo "R" racing tire.  Follow the instructions to the right to determine if your tires are affected and what to do to remedy the problem.  Strangely enough the CPSC has not yet reported this recall at this time.

On Yer Bike! (Assuming you aren't using Ultremo R's)

Friends in High Places

There's a bike commuter in the the White House.  James L. Jones is the current National Security Advisor.
James L. Jones, looks for rare opportunities to ride his bike from his McLean home to work at the White House. On occasion, he has pedaled back across the Potomac River for lunch.
Thanks to Washcycle for the scoop.

On Yer Bike! (That's an order)

2009-05-26

Summer

As a cyclist I have numerous reasons for enjoying summer even in the south.  My main reason though is summer vacations.  Not mine, the vacations everyone else is taking.  Once Memorial Day passes there is a marked decline in motor traffic volume.  This was VERY true when I lived outside the District of Columbia and is appearing to hold true here in Greensboro, NC.  With the lighter traffic motorists generally become a bit more tolerant of delays (of course there are always exceptions) and are not inclined to "buzz" cyclists and make other less than safe manuvers to get around them.  Most of my mileage accrues during the early hours of the day when it is relatively cool so when I am finishing up I am mixing it up with other commuters like myself.  

BTW--If you want really quite roads, try riding at 3:30AM.  I had to do that last week for work, over a 8.5 mile route through the middle of Greensboro and through downtown I saw a grand total of four moving motor vehicles, none overtaking me.

2009-05-22

Takoma Park MD PD Gets It

Press release about a recent left cross crash.

Bicyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.
On Yer Bike!

2009-05-20

Ride of Silence 2009 Post Ride Report

Greensboro held its 3rd annual Ride of Silence earlier this evening.  There were about 200 cyclists in attendance and the Greensboro PD provided escort with motorcycle and bicycle patrol men.  The route ran just under nine miles and took 80 minutes to cover.  The shot above was taken on Aycock St from near the back of the pack.  I forgot I had my camera until this shot so missed a better one a few miles back where I was on top of a hill with the peleton stretched out before me to the crest of the next hill.

On Yer Bike!

The CPSC is Busy

Trek, Cannondale and Norco all have recalls.  Trek and Cannondale are from a third party fork that can become misaligned without warning.  The Norco is on mid to high end downhill frames that can snap in two.  One broken collar bone has been reported so far in that case.
Remedy: Consumers should stop riding the recalled bicycles immediately and contact their dealer to arrange for a free repair.
On Yer Bike!

Tonight



On Yer Bike!

2009-05-19

It's About Time


We are finally going to see some action on the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards.  Obama has set a new policy that targets 39 MPG for cars and 30 MPG for light trucks (SUVs and Pickups) for an overall average of 35.5  MPG.  This is 0.5 MPG better than the Congressional target of 35MPG that was to be met by 2020.  Obama's standard is to be met by 2016.  There's not to many vehicles out there at this time that meet this challenge so the automakers will be hard pressed to make the deadline.  EVs (Electric Vehicles) and PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrids) could help but either they will need to make huge breakthroughs in cost or be sold at a loss to allow the sales of full size SUVs and big bore V-8 muscle and sport cars like the Mustang, Camaro and Corvette.

A second piece of the new policy is a GHG (Green House Gas) limits.  These are closely linked to fuel economy in gas and diesel burners but indirectly in EVs and PHEVs.  It will be interesting to see how vehicles of those types are treat by this policy given that although they may have no direct emmisions, the generation of electricity does have a carbon footprint depending on the source of power.

A point that hasn't been addressed is the increased use of bio-fuels.  With world food prices near all time highs it seems almost immoral to devote large quantities of grain production to bio-fuel such as the current 30%.   June 2009 National Geographic Magazine  Add this to recent findings that simply burning biomass is more fuel efficient than rendering for fuel and the case for bio-fuels gets mighty week.  More developement is necessary into solar power, including wind, to get around this energy crisis before we have global famine on our hands.  An African famine IS a global problem.  Famines cause wars and at least one African nation is nuclear.

On Yer Bike!

2009-05-16

Get Lit


The NC Legislature has been polishing the bicycle light statute.  Reflectors will no longer be enough on the rear.  Now a light (no color specified) visible from 300 feet from the front will be required and a red lamp visible from 200 feet under "normal atmospheric conditions" will be de riguer during "the period from sunset to sunrise on a street, highway, or public vehicular area."

This has passed the State Senate, assuming it makes it through the House and across the Governor's desk it goes into effect on 1 Dec 2009.

My only question is:  What is a "public vehicular area"?

On Yer Bike!

Check Your Folder

Latest CPSC Recall

Yehuda Moon Returns!


From the Yehuda Moon blog:

Yehuda Moon returns June 17, 2009. Dailies will run Monday through Saturday featuring Yehuda and the whole gang at the Kickstand. A fuller Sunday strip will run as well, featuring Joe King. More details shortly. 

I will likely fill in the blank dates if I find time along the way (and maybe even a few before the restart date).

On Yer Bike!

2009-05-15

Rough Pavement Detection

A recent report from AASHTO spells out how expensive it is to forgo maintenance on roads.  I'm not sure how they evaluate roads now but it doesn't seem to work well enough to stay ahead of the ravages of weather and other damaging effects on the road surface.  If the manor of inspection involves driving around and looking at the road surface then I can tell you why the small defects aren't picked up--the inspectors are too far away to see the defects when they are cheaply treatable.  When driving you can't see the road that is close to your vehicle if you are looking forward.  The closest you can see is about 20-25 feet away, far enough away that small cracks are not visible. 

 Walking the roads is not practical, only 1.5-2 miles of road per man-hour can be inspected that way because in most cases the inspector would need to back track down the road to view the opposite side lanes. 

 A potential solution--inspectors on bikes.  Bikes are sufficiently fast enough to inspect 5-6 miles per man-hour while getting a very direct view of the road surface.  They can easily be configured to carry whatever measurement equipment might be needed to analyze a given surface, even lighter vehicle mounted equipment could be attached to a trike if a more stable platform is needed.  Also, a bike or trikes sensitivity to road surfaces won't mask rough roads from the operator like a motor vehicles suspension would.

Isolating the inspectors from the roads may be part of the problem with our deteriorating roads.  Let's get the inspectors closer to the inspected--On Yer Bike!

2009-05-14

It's Bike To Work Day!

Time for me to get to the Dowtown Greensboro Refueling Stop.

On Yer Bike!

Gas Vs Diesel

Gasoline appears to have lost its biggest advantage over diesel in the US--Price.  Diesel is no longer the red-headed step child of fuel options here.  It used to be the fuel was more expensive, the engines were smelly and cost more too.  Now the engines cost more but are so much more efficient that the cost differences can be made up in fairly short order.  VW has a new TDI for the Golf that gets 65MPG with 89HP.  Apply some basic hypermiling techniques and you have a car getting 80+MPG with little effort (I hypermile whenever possible and routinely see numbers 20% higher than EPA estimates--get one of the competitive hypermilers in this car and I wouldn't be surprised to see 100MPG).

The smell issue has been conquered too in the latest generations of diesels.  Particulate filters in the exhaust system capture the worst pollution, improved combustion techniques minimize pollution levels in the first place.

Diesel also appears to be better suited to bio-fuels.  Conversion of used cooking oil and the like to diesel has become so common place there are commercial DIY kits for the process.

2009-05-13

No Ordinary Seamen


We've all heard the tales of Capt Sully landing his crippled bird on the Hudson last January.  Here's a story about more heroes from that day that helped the good Capt keep a blank slate on the death tally.


ABC Quick Check

The League of American Bicyclists has a handy checklist to go over before every ride.  It's pretty much the same for any vehicle but it always helps to review.
  • A is for Air pressure.  Also check the tire tread and sidewall for damage.
  • B is for Brakes.  Make sure you have 1/4 inch of brake material and your brake lever engages the brakes with an inch or more of travel before it touches the handle bar.
  • C is Chain and all the things it touches.  Make sure nothing is loose on the crankset or cassette.
  • Quick is for Quick Release Skewers.  Make sure they are closed snugly with the lever positioned so as to avoid snagging roots and branches.
  • Check is for systems Check.  Make sure shifters and brakes are working properly and there are no loose parts anywhere on the bike.  Pay especial attention to all parts during the first few miles of the ride before you starting tuning out odd noises.
On Yer Bike!

Get The Picture?


On Yer Bike!

2009-05-12

Ride of Silence-Greensboro, NC


  • Wed May 20
    • 5:30PM Registration
    • 6:15PM Ride Start
  • Where: Greensboro, NC 400 N. Elm Street
  • Description:  A short, easy, silent ride to recognize those who have been hurt or killed while bicycling.
    • Wear a red or black arm band if you know someone who has been killed or hurt.  See www.rideofsilence.org and www.bikegso.org for more details.
    • Social event to follow ride in the Wrangler Parking Lot.
On Yer Bike!

2009-05-11

New Urbanism

I'm not only about cycling...I also aspire to a greener environment which dovetails nicely with cycling. Another topic that dovetails well with both a greener environment and cycling is urban planning, a subject the county planners seem to have slept through in school if they even went to the classes. Here's a little video on "New Urbanism":



On Yer Bike!

It's Bike Week

And here in the Piedmont Triad region we have a full slate of events.
  • Monday, May 11
    • 7am – 9am
      • Bicycling in Greensboro Refueling Station
      • Where: Spring Garden Bakery, 1932 Spring Garden St.
      • Description: Stop for juice, water and snacks to fuel yourself for your bike to work. This event is free.
      • www.BikeGSO.org
    • 9am – 11am
      • Fallen Law Enforcement Ride
      • Where: Stop at Greensboro Governmental Center at 9:30am
      • Description: A group of Charlotte area police will ride over 400 miles to Washington, DC, to recognize fallen law enforcement officers. Route passes through Asheboro, Randleman, Greensboro, Burlington and north to Virginia.
      • www.biketoDC.com
    • 7:30pm – 9:30pm
      • Beginners Bike Repair Workshop
      • Where: Cycles De Oro, 1410 Mill St., Greensboro
      • Description: Beginners bike repairworkshop to include changing flat tires, proper inflation, lubing chain, basic gear shifting theory & practice, and road side emergencies.
      • www.cyclesdeoro.com
  • Tuesday, May 12
    • 7am – 9am
      • Friendly Bike Refueling Station
      • Where: Friendly Bikes, 2823 Spring Garden St., Greensboro
      • Description: Stop for juice, water and snacks to fuel yourself for your bike to work. This event is free.
      • www.friendlybike.com
    • 7:30pm – 9:30pm
      • Moderate Skill Level Bike Repair Workshop
      • Where: Cycles De Oro, 1410 Mill St., Greensboro
      • Description: Moderate skill level bike repair workshop that includes gear and brake cable replacement & adjustment, bearing play adjustment, more extensive varieties of lubrication.
      • www.cyclesdeoro.com
  • Wednesday, May 13
    • 7am – 9am
      • PART Refueling Station
      • Where: UNC Greensboro Traffic Circle, 1400 Spring Garden St.
      • Description: Stop for juice, water and snacks to fuel yourself for your bike to work. This event is free.
      • www.partnc.org
    • 7:30pm – 9:30pm
      • Bicycle Movie Night
      • Where: Cycles De Oro, 1410 Mill St., Greensboro
      • Description: Bike Movie night in vacant space next door. Free with popcorn & lemonade, door prizes from vendors, bring a lawn chair.
      • www.cyclesdeoro.com
  • Thursday, May 14
    • 7am – 9am
      • REI Bike Refueling Station
      • Where: REI @ Friendly Center, 3334 W. Friendly Ave, Suite 140
      • Description: Stop for juice, water and snacks to fuel yourself for your bike to work. This event is free.
      • www.rei.com/stores/108
    • 7am - 9am
      • Bryan YMCA Refueling Station
      • Where: Kathleen Bryan YMCA, 501 W. Market St, Greensboro
      • Description: Stop for juice, water and snacks to fuel yourself for your bike to work. This event is free.
      • www.bryanymca.org
    • 7:30pm – 9:30pm
      • Advanced Bike Repair
      • Where: Cycles De Oro, 1410 Mill St., Greensboro
      • Description: Advanced skill level bike repair workshop that includes spoke replacement and basic wheel truing, replacing bearings in hubs.
      • www.cyclesdeoro.com
  • Friday, May 15--National Bike to Work Day
    • 5am - 11:59pm
      • Discounted Bus Fare on Greensboro Transit Authority
      • Where: Any GTA Bus Route
      • Description: Secure your bike to any GTA fixed route bus then board and receive a half-price fare: just 60 cents!
    • 7am – 9am
      • Downtown Burlington Bike Refueling Station
      • Where: J and L Bicycle 216 E. Front St., Burlington
      • Description: Stop for juice, water and snacks to fuel yourself for your bike to work. This event is free.
      • www.JLBicycle.com
    • 7am – 9am
      • Downtown Greensboro Bike Refueling Station
      • Where: Governmental Plaza @ Greene St.
      • Description: Stop for juice, water and snacks to fuel yourself for your bike to work. This event is free.
      • www.tinyurl.com/gdotbikeped
    • 7am - 9am
      • Bicycling in Greensboro Refueling Station
      • Where: Total Wine, 2976 Battleground Ave.
      • Description: Stop for juice, water and snacks to fuel yourself for your bike to work. This event is free.
      • www.bikegso.org
On Yer Bike!

2009-05-10

Lock It Up

How come US papers don't do useful how-tos like the UK's Guardian does?  Today we have this nice list of items to check off when locking up your bike.
  • Use a lock the is commensurate with the value of your bike.  They suggest a lock that is worth 10-20% of the bikes worth.  That would mean $200-300 on the low end for either of my bikes and I can't imagine the weight of such an expensive lock.  The locks I use are valued around $60 and I've purchased one each for home and work so I don't have to carry it with me.
  • They also suggest using two locks at once--One U-Lock and one chain.  Each requires a different tool set to defeat which reduces the chance the thief will be equipped for the challenge.  London must be a tough city to ride a bike in.
  • Use the lock properly.  Leave as little slack as possible to take away leverage for the thief.  Also, don't leave padlocks in a position where they are resting on the ground.  This makes them vulnerable to a sledge hammer.  Also, lock to an object a thief can't just lift the bike and lock off of like a bollard.  Tory leader David Cameron just had the second bike this year stolen because of a miscue like that.
  • High value bikes are a target.  Don't park in the same place every day and park near someone with a better bike if possible.
  • Uglify your bike.  Even if the thief sees through the camouflage it lowers the resale on the ride making it a less tempting target in the first place.
  • Invest in a folding bike that you can take with you into the office.
On Yer Bike!

2009-05-09

Oh, The Shame!

The 2009 rankings for Bike Friendly States are out from the League of American Bicyclists and North Carolina ranked number 20.  In the top half but a plummeting drop of seven from last years ranking.  Looking at the summary sheet we can tell the tale of the tape that was generated from the linked questionnaire.

  • Legislation--NC is tied at 19 with Minnesota, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Kentucky and Florida.
  • Policies and Programs--NC shined here tied for 7 with Arizona, California, Michigan and Vermont.
  • Infrastructure--Tied at 14 with Minnesota.  I wonder about this one--I have ridden in several states ranked much lower (like NY at 42 and Ohio at 35) where the roads in general were much more conducive to bicycle travel.  I suspect there is a separate-path bias in the LAB formulas.
  • Education--Another shining star at 11 tied with New Hampshire and Missouri.
  • Evaluation--Here is one of the two ranks were NC gets hammered: 46, tied with Tennessee and Alaska.
  • Enforcement--My pet peeve and where NC is ranked worst, dead last, albeit with lots of company.  Tennessee, Virginia, Connecticut, Montana, New York, Alabama, California, Oklahoma and Arkansas all join North Carolina in the cellar.  It doesn't matter how good the legislation is if their is no enforcement.

On Yer Bike!

Triggering Lights


It happens all the time. You roll up to a signalized intersection but you are without motorized escort to trigger the light sensor. What to do? Some would say treat the light as a stop sign because it failed to be triggered by your bike--But is this true? Did your bike fail to trigger or where you out of position to trigger it?

From my experience in GSO, the lights that aren't on timers (most if not all downtown lights are on timers) are triggered using quadrupole loop magnetic induction sensors. If one of these is functioning correctly it will pick up a bicycle (with the possible exception of bikes with carbon frame, wheels and spokes--they still have steel in the chain) from its steel or aluminum content most notably in the wheel rims.

The trick is to stop your bike on the center pole of the two loops where the detection is strongest. This works great when the loop was installed after the latest asphalt layer was put down but what about when the loops have been covered by later construction like at the confluence of Parkway, Eugene and Bessemer on Bike Route 9? I have had ample opportunity to experiment with that intersection because it is on my commute. I have found in this case you want to stop roughly four feet to the right of the painted lines that separate off the left turn lanes. This would be approximately the center of the lane if the right edge wasn't flared to accommodate right turns.

I have one question for those in the know around here. Who do I need to contact for a sensor that is clearly non-functional? The east bound loop on Bluford at the intersection with Dudley has never worked for me in six months. The west bound loop works so I know the signal is loop controlled.

On Yer Bike!

2009-05-08

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

It appears the cyclist fatality issue isn't as bad as put out by the NAO (National Audit Office).  2004 was a statical anomaly that makes more recent data appear far worse than it actually is.

On Yer Bike!

Why is This Happening?


Apparently all the new safety features in motor vehicles are doing their jobs.  Even though more motor vehicles are hitting the roads, total road deaths are going down.  That's the good news.

In Great Britian and in the US bicyclists deaths are on the rise or holding steady.  In researching this article I was pleasantly surprised to see the US was improving slightly--The last few years had shown the same pattern GB is now experiencing.  Now I'm really interested to see what the 2008 and 2009 numbers will be.  But back to the point--It seems to me that motorists are getting complacent in their cages.  The personal risk of driving is reducing because of all the technological improvements and this is causing some to pay less attention to guiding their vehicle safely as they are distracted by all the other things their lives impose on them.

One safety feature I would like to see implemented is a localized cell phone scrambler that engages when a car is in motion.  It has been long established that phone conversations, whether hands-free or not, are a major distraction to driving.  This could most easily be enabled on a GPS capable phone--Once the phone is moving at faster than 10KPH (6.4MPH for the metric challenged) shut off the radio until speed drops to near stopped pace for over a minute.  The delay is to prevent excessive battery usage from frequent on/off cycles and to insure the vehicle is parked rather than temporarily stopped in traffic.  This could more effectively be enabled with an RF scrambler built into the vehicles (keyed to the shifter in automatic transmission vehicles, to the parking brake in stick shifts) but this has huge potential for undesired effects if not implemented perfectly.

Does anyone else have ideas for improving the safety of road users who aren't encased in a steel cage?

On Yer Bike!

2009-05-07

Safety in Numbers

It's stories like this that can almost get me to back "butts on bikes" bicycle advocacy.  I have strong issues with creating separate facilities for the same purpose (delivery of people and goods) which goes against the "paint and path" efforts.  I do not view the bicycle as a recreational toy but as a transportational tool.

Excerpts...

The trend is clear, with areas popular for cyclists tending to be safer on average, with the differences sometimes significant. Top of the list is traditionally bike-friendly York, where around one in eight commuters cycle to work and 0.1% are badly hurt in accidents each year. Not far down the road, Calderdale, West Yorkshire, a district centred around Halifax, is at the other end of the scale. Here, fewer than 1 in 120 commuters use bikes, and those that do face a danger level 15 times higher than in York.

The phenomenon of safety in numbers – the name given to a new CTC campaign – can be seen throughout Europe. Other figures compiled by the organisation show that in Denmark, top of the continental league for cycling, the average person rides over 10 times further than his British peer every year but runs only 20% of the risk of being killed.

"It's a virtuous circle: people feel safe, they know a lot of people who also cycle and say, 'it's OK, get out there. It's even a pleasant way to get around,'" said Peck. "They're much more likely to get on a bike if they know, say, a friend or neighbour who cycles."

"It shouldn't be a fringe sub-culture, just for the cyclists you could call the urban guerrillas. You'll never have ordinary people cycling if that's the image they see."
On Yer Bike!

2009-05-06

Helmets vs Pets


Let me preface:  I wear a helmet whenever I ride, even on my recumbent trike where it is nearly impossible to fall off.

Copenhagenize is always good for a laugh when they go on an anti-helmet rant, after all they are all about style over speed.  Today they found a new issue for hyperbole.

On Yer Bike

2009-05-05

Just Say No--To Being a Bike Ninja

I really don't know what they are thinking. I'm talking about the cyclists that go out in low light and night conditions with no active or passive (read reflectors or reflective clothing) lighting. In Portland a bus driver has spoken up in a local paper about the improvements he has seen in the past year with cyclists lighting up for visibility.


Motorists are conditioned to look for large fast moving objects. To compete for limited attention span cyclists need to stand out and when light conditions diminish lights are the best way to get attention.


When twilight has passed in the evening then reflectors and reflective clothing become very effective as they perform a sort of "light judo" using the power of the motorized vehicle headlights to reflect back to the source. But don't be fooled into thinking reflectors alone will make you visible, they only work when a light source is aimed directly at them, a condition that might not occur until too late when rounding curves or approaching intersections.


On Yer Bike

2009-05-03

Honor the Stop

The biggest problem I have seen in Greensboro, and I have commented on it before in other forums, is the apparent inability of any local road user to honor stop signs and red lights.

Some cyclists make the excuse that by blowing stops and reds they stay clear of motor traffic. This is generally not true. In the case of red lights they just make the motorists pass them again and again which compounds the irritation factor. In the case of stop signs it is merely a flaunting of the traffic code, pure and simple. Motorists waste more energy on complete stops than cyclists when everything is taken into account.

Motorists, on the other hand, have some truly dangerous habits in this part of the country. I can't recall when I last saw a motorist stop at a stop sign unless they were in imminent danger of a collision and sometimes not even then. Then there are the right on red crew--How many people around here stop before evaluating whether it is safe to proceed as dictated by the vehicle code? If I were to sit at any corner where right-on-red is allowed (and a few where it's not) I'll bet the numbers would be similar to the rolling stop numbers.

What would help would be if the local LEOs cared about "road crime". Prior to this latest economic downturn they would use the excuse that they didn't have the resources to pursue these issues. It seems now they have stepped up excessive speed patrols now that the local coffers are empty but what happens when the economy recovers?

As a good conservative (therefore no longer Republican) I say we need to take the matter into our own hands and start policing ourselves. Whether motorized or in an HPV, stop at reds and stop signs. Honor the Stop.