cw1 | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

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Re: “Memorial fund for cyclist killed in wreck near UAMS

Cycling within the local community should not require the protective equipment that sport cycling requires. One of these things is not like the other, and neither should the gear required be.

To facilitate cycling the environment should be made reasonably safe so that members of the community including children and the elderly are able to move around to and from school, work, visiting friends, shopping etc.

An experiment was done recently in the inner city area of Dublin, Ireland. It was decided to have bike stands all over the city where for a small fee one could rent a bike and drop it back to the bike stand of your choice. (There was advertising involved to cover costs I think, also one has to sign up to join the scheme, I am not an authority on the subject.)

There was also a ban of large trucks in the inner city, and a speed limit of 30kph (c18.5 miles) for other vehicles, around about the same time.

I thought that it would not work, but I was wrong, (I was wrong about bus lanes too). It is an amazing success.

I thought there would be rules about attire, helmets etc. Not a bit of it, we quickly became used to seeing the bikes and avoiding them, they are being used by everyone from people in suits with shiny shoes, to tourists wearing whatever shoes you are having yourself. I am not claiming that it is totally accident free just that you are supposed to be able to move around relatively safely. It has worked so much so that the scheme is being expanded.

It is not perfect by any means, a lot has been achieved but there is still an awful lot of work to be done in the greater Dublin area in particular in terms of suburban cycle lanes, quite often they are a joke.

There is also a current campaign in Ireland in the media about people seeing the road differently. Bus and lorry drivers see things one way car drivers another etc. , pedestrians another etc. We are being told that everyone has a right to use the roads but we need to respect each other. This is a crucial point, cooperation is needed from other road users if cycling is to be made safer.

My main point is that if community cycling is seen as an extreme sport there is something wrong.

Looking at google maps (all be it a 2007 version) it is arguable which is the main road at the crossroads in question (Plateau and Pine, Little Rock). The overhead cables are the main visual leading me to believe that that road has priority. There is a stop sign but no road markings, a solid white line across the traffic lane that does not have priority is a strong visual and should be there. Then I look again and see that from the left there are two lanes with priority coming down a hill. Now that is a major junction, it needs road markings at the very least along with warnings that a major junction is ahead. Should there be 2 lanes of traffic coming down a hill towards that junction at all? Perhaps the road should be one way in the other direction. You don't see the stop sign until you get to it and then it is too late.

Posted by cw1 on 07/22/2012 at 1:41 PM
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