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Three Wishes

Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

Three Wishes

Old 10-13-09, 05:42 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Slower moving traffic also make the street more livable. You wouldn't like a lot of cars speeding through your neighbourhood. You wouldn't feel that safe on the street. You wouldn't feel safe letting your kids out to play.
I don't mind if cars are speeding past me while I'm cycling. I'm the type who will ride on Hwy 2 between Calgary and Edmonton where the posted speed limit is 110 km/h, and the average actual speed is about 125 km/h.

The key is to have the road wide enough so that I am out of the way. And in the Hwy 2 example, there's a very wide shoulder ... so I'm way off to one side out of the way of the traffic.
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Old 10-13-09, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post

The key is to have the road wide enough so that I am out of the way. And in the Hwy 2 example, there's a very wide shoulder ... so I'm way off to one side out of the way of the traffic.
Until you need to get into the left turn lane and have to cross three lanes of straight traffic doing 125k....
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Old 10-13-09, 06:11 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
Until you need to get into the left turn lane and have to cross three lanes of straight traffic doing 125k....
That's what overpasses are for.
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Old 10-13-09, 09:02 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
That's what overpasses are for.
I thought that is what sky hooks are for.
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Old 10-13-09, 09:14 PM
  #30  
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Well if we have the streets taken care of by someone’s wish and the locking or parking of bikes taken care of by someone’s wish and connecting cities taken care of by someone’s wish I only have two. It should be made legal to shove cyclists riding on the sidewalk and even in the wrong direction into traffic. Nighttime bike ninjas should be clothes lined as an example to others, but only if the other wishes come true in the first place. Relax it is only a wish.
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Old 10-13-09, 09:30 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
Please enlighten me with a source or link to those ideas which have been shown to fail.
Forgive me for having a life outside the Internet and not necessarily having or needing a link to observe a trend that is actually happening out there in the real world.

Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
Massive policed force is a clear sign that whatever it is you as a society are doing to curb traffic violations is obviously not working IMHO.
Isn't that basically what I said in my previous post? Besides, what's the point of having a police force at all if not to curb violations of the law? If you aren't going to penalise people for speeding, drunk driving, hit and run or whatever else, you might as well just legalise the lot and have done with it. At least then people will know what to expect when they take to the road.

About the only thing anybody does to try to curb traffic violations is waste money on "education" campaigns, which people routinely ignore. Have you ever wondered why, with all the millions that governments spend on "education", that the death toll on the roads continues to increase? Have you ever wondered why, with all the billions of dollars spent on road "improvements" every year that people are wiping themselves out in greater numbers on the roads? Surely that suggests that something else is needed, and thus far, about the only thing that hasn't been tried is actually removing the law breakers from the roads permanently.
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Old 10-14-09, 12:20 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Chris L View Post
Forgive me for having a life outside the Internet and not necessarily having or needing a link to observe a trend that is actually happening out there in the real world.



Isn't that basically what I said in my previous post? Besides, what's the point of having a police force at all if not to curb violations of the law? If you aren't going to penalise people for speeding, drunk driving, hit and run or whatever else, you might as well just legalise the lot and have done with it. At least then people will know what to expect when they take to the road.

About the only thing anybody does to try to curb traffic violations is waste money on "education" campaigns, which people routinely ignore. Have you ever wondered why, with all the millions that governments spend on "education", that the death toll on the roads continues to increase? Have you ever wondered why, with all the billions of dollars spent on road "improvements" every year that people are wiping themselves out in greater numbers on the roads? Surely that suggests that something else is needed, and thus far, about the only thing that hasn't been tried is actually removing the law breakers from the roads permanently.
If you are going to say something like "has been shown to fail" then there should be some sort of evidence or author that you are sighting. However, since this just seems to be made up from "your experiences" in the supposed "real world" then please state them as such in your posts so it will be easier in the future to see through your BS. Thats how crappy information gets circulated.

Aslo, its very easy to google the death toll on American, and Australian roads for any given year. Its also very easy to see that almost every year the death number has been reduced. In fact, the death total on US highways is at a RECORD low. See for yourself.

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/portal/site...earSelect=2009

Apparently all this wasted money of education is working to some degree or another. Heres another study about how more traffic cameras can save 10,000 lives a year in the US alone. Its also based in the REAL real world.

http://crime.about.com/od/prevent/a/speed_camera.htm

I am really sorry but it seems that you have no idea what your talking about with statements like the ones you made above. I do agree with you on the purpose of law enforcement but it seems that increasing the number of police on the road is not the only way to keep bad drivers off the road. I dont like zero tolerance policies of anykind because in every situation there are grey areas. I just want our standards to be more strict.

Last edited by zeppinger; 10-14-09 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 10-15-09, 12:05 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I doubt if anyone would suggest that lowering speed limits is a mechanism for making drivers "feel less safe".

I agree that it only makes sense to try out the Monderman techniques very slowly, if at all. I believe it would be downright ignorant to extrapolate from one or two tiny trials "reported" by the cheerleading from a few proponents of the technique
.
We were not talking about speed limits, which are almost totally ineffective at slowing down drivers. Recently, traffic engineers are looking much more at the behavior and psychology of drivers in order to get them to perform better. One example is that drivers tend to slow down considerably if the side of the road feels "uneven" to them. Thus, they will slow down if there are parked cars on the streetside, or irregularly spaced pedestrian islands--even though they still have plenty of actual space to drive more quickly.

The links I listed discuss this. But a better introduction is the book "Traffic" by Tom Vanderbilt. I think you'd enjoy it, if you haven't looked at it yet.
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Old 10-15-09, 04:55 PM
  #34  
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Personally I don't think slowing drivers down is the way to go. I've been a driver and I hate it when the traffic moves slowly and when I have to weave my way through traffic slowing devices etc. etc. It makes me irritable. And the last thing cyclists need are irritable drivers.

IF the government is going to look at slowing traffic down on one street, they need to make sure there is another option for drivers to move briskly.

In my ideal city plan there would be a dual carriage way (or wider) ring road all around the edge of the city with wide shoulders so that both cars and cyclists could cruise along together ... and the cars could do 100 km/h out there. There would also be at least one main North/South road, and one main East/West road ... the larger the city is the more of these there would be. These would also be at least dual carriage ways or wider with wide shoulders so that both cars and bicycles could be on the road together without getting in each other's way. The speed limit on these roads might be 80 km/h.

I like the grid system so the Northwest subdivision would be crossed with a main North/South road and a main East/West road. These would still be dual carriage way, and would have shoulders for cyclists, but the speed limit might be lower ... 60 or 70 km/h. The same would be true for each of the other subdivisions.

And then there would be the smaller residential or industrial roads within the subdivisions. These could have some traffic slowing devices if necessary, but should still mainly be wide enough for both cars and bicycles to travel alongside together. I saw a particular traffic slowing device I liked in ... England, I'm thinking. The motorized vehicle opening was just wide enough for one vehicle to pass through at a time so if there were another one going the other way it had to give way. But there was another opening about the width of a sidewalk for cyclists. So a car and a bicycle could both co-exist quite happily together.

This sort of set up would allow motorists to get from point A to point B quite quickly with fast roads to get them from one subdivision to another. They may have to slow down at the beginning of the journey and at the end, but the middle of the trip could be quite fast. And it would allow bicycles to be out there with the motorized vehicle, but out of their way.


(I could draw a diagram of the plan I'm thinking of if what I've said is not clear. )
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Old 10-17-09, 11:59 PM
  #35  
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The list in post #1 pretty much covers it for me. Except for the rumble strips they want to put into the road on those wide sections. It may be a safety thing for the vehicles, but it looks like (I road next to one for about 15 miles my last "major" ride) it could take down a rider rather quickly (and tear up the wheel).

As for narrower roads, I find those typically to be the most dangerous, especially given the condition that they typically get into. The latest incident involved me hitting a crack in the road and being skipped out right in front of a truck that was behind me. I got the horn honk, of course, but the idea of suddenly finding myself 2 ft in front of a truck wasn't pleasant.
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Old 10-18-09, 06:27 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Glenn1234 View Post
The list in post #1 pretty much covers it for me. Except for the rumble strips they want to put into the road on those wide sections. It may be a safety thing for the vehicles, but it looks like (I road next to one for about 15 miles my last "major" ride) it could take down a rider rather quickly (and tear up the wheel).

As for narrower roads, I find those typically to be the most dangerous, especially given the condition that they typically get into. The latest incident involved me hitting a crack in the road and being skipped out right in front of a truck that was behind me. I got the horn honk, of course, but the idea of suddenly finding myself 2 ft in front of a truck wasn't pleasant.
That's the thing ... when they narrow the roads, it forces cyclists to be right in there with the motorized vehicles sharing, or attempting to share, the same space. From my experience that just doesn't work. The motorists become either overly cautious because the cyclists terrify them, or the motorists become angry. And as a cyclist, I'm edgy if I've got to share the same little bit of road with a motorized vehicle. I can't relax and enjoy my ride.

But if the road I'm riding on is wide enough for the semi (or anything smaller) and me to both do our thing at the same time without getting in each other's way, I can relax and enjoy my ride, and the motorist can relax and carry on with what he/she is doing.


About those rumble strips. I don't mind the ones that go right along the white lines - they are only about 6 inches wide and don't get in the way of either the driver or the cyclist. The ones I hate are the ones that go right down the middle of the shoulder making the shoulder almost impossible to ride on.

But I've seen a few places where those rumble strips have been filled in. Not only are they annoying to cyclists, but they cause damage to roads in places where there is a lot of freezing and thawing.
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Old 10-19-09, 11:48 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
About those rumble strips. I don't mind the ones that go right along the white lines - they are only about 6 inches wide and don't get in the way of either the driver or the cyclist. The ones I hate are the ones that go right down the middle of the shoulder making the shoulder almost impossible to ride on.

But I've seen a few places where those rumble strips have been filled in. Not only are they annoying to cyclists, but they cause damage to roads in places where there is a lot of freezing and thawing
.
Rumble strips on the fog line. Have you ever had to move suddenly from the shoulder to the lane--perhaps to avoid an animal (dead or alive) or other debris in the shoulder? Depending on the bike you're riding, this can be an unnerving experience or even dangerous.
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Old 10-19-09, 05:15 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Rumble strips on the fog line. Have you ever had to move suddenly from the shoulder to the lane--perhaps to avoid an animal (dead or alive) or other debris in the shoulder? Depending on the bike you're riding, this can be an unnerving experience or even dangerous.
I've ridden in areas where there are small, narrow rumble strips on the fog line ... like the road right near where I live now ... and it works well. It works a whole lot better than the wide killer rumble strips they run down the shoulders in Alberta. You want to talk about having to move to avoid something ... try doing it onto those.
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Old 10-19-09, 05:22 PM
  #39  
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1) Allow bicycles on all roads.

2) Install bicycle locks into all parking meters. No lock that has to be carried will ever provide enough theft protection, but a device built into a parking meter could and I'd be willing to pay the meter in order to use it.

3) Dispatch under cover police cyclists to catch motorists performing illegal activities which are unsafe to road users such as cyclists.
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Old 10-19-09, 05:32 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
1)

3) Dispatch under cover police cyclists to catch motorists performing illegal activities which are unsafe to road users such as cyclists.
This is a cool idea but ultimately the undercover cop on a bike would need to have a radio to another cop in a car to actually pull the guys over after they buzz the cyclist.
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Old 10-19-09, 07:21 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
Well if we have the streets taken care of by someone’s wish and the locking or parking of bikes taken care of by someone’s wish and connecting cities taken care of by someone’s wish I only have two. It should be made legal to shove cyclists riding on the sidewalk and even in the wrong direction into traffic. Nighttime bike ninjas should be clothes lined as an example to others, but only if the other wishes come true in the first place. Relax it is only a wish.
But wouldn't the ninjas be the perfect warriors for shoving sidewalk/wrongway cyclists?

Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
This is a cool idea but ultimately the undercover cop on a bike would need to have a radio to another cop in a car to actually pull the guys over after they buzz the cyclist.
Red light cameras don't. They should just wear a helmet cam and mail out tickets to the offending license plates at the end of the day.

Even if they have to radio I don't see the problem because I gather that's the way most traffic traps work anyway (one cop to detect offenders and another to handle them).
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Old 10-19-09, 08:19 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
But wouldn't the ninjas be the perfect warriors for shoving sidewalk/wrongway cyclists?



Red light cameras don't. They should just wear a helmet cam and mail out tickets to the offending license plates at the end of the day.

Even if they have to radio I don't see the problem because I gather that's the way most traffic traps work anyway (one cop to detect offenders and another to handle them).
Oh I agree with you that it is certainly possible. I was just thinking about the idea of a cop on a bicycle trying to pull over a car that is probably speeding past him! Maybe he could have a little flashy light on his helmet?

the cops in Sacramento did somethign similiar with a very busy pedestrian crossing in downtown. Right when a flood of cars start coming down the busy road the plain clothes officer would try to cross the street. In CA its illegal to enter a cross walk if there is a ped anywhere on it. A cop about 20 feet down the road would snag anyone who did not yeild. They tried to get out of the tickets by saying it was entrapment but I thought it was a pretty cool idea.
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Old 10-19-09, 08:35 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
Oh I agree with you that it is certainly possible. I was just thinking about the idea of a cop on a bicycle trying to pull over a car that is probably speeding past him! Maybe he could have a little flashy light on his helmet?

the cops in Sacramento did somethign similiar with a very busy pedestrian crossing in downtown. Right when a flood of cars start coming down the busy road the plain clothes officer would try to cross the street. In CA its illegal to enter a cross walk if there is a ped anywhere on it. A cop about 20 feet down the road would snag anyone who did not yeild. They tried to get out of the tickets by saying it was entrapment but I thought it was a pretty cool idea.
If it were entrapment wouldn't that mean the motorist was trying to hit the pedestrian in the crosswalk?

Also, I'm not sure if a little flashy light would really distinguish a cop from other cyclists. What do regular cycle mounted cops use? In any case I agree that a single cop on a bike would not find much success trying to pull over cars from behind.
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Old 10-19-09, 09:53 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Personally I don't think slowing drivers down is the way to go. I've been a driver and I hate it when the traffic moves slowly and when I have to weave my way through traffic slowing devices etc. etc. It makes me irritable. And the last thing cyclists need are irritable drivers.

IF the government is going to look at slowing traffic down on one street, they need to make sure there is another option for drivers to move briskly.

In my ideal city plan there would be a dual carriage way (or wider) ring road all around the edge of the city with wide shoulders so that both cars and cyclists could cruise along together ... and the cars could do 100 km/h out there. There would also be at least one main North/South road, and one main East/West road ... the larger the city is the more of these there would be. These would also be at least dual carriage ways or wider with wide shoulders so that both cars and bicycles could be on the road together without getting in each other's way. The speed limit on these roads might be 80 km/h.

I like the grid system so the Northwest subdivision would be crossed with a main North/South road and a main East/West road. These would still be dual carriage way, and would have shoulders for cyclists, but the speed limit might be lower ... 60 or 70 km/h. The same would be true for each of the other subdivisions.

And then there would be the smaller residential or industrial roads within the subdivisions. These could have some traffic slowing devices if necessary, but should still mainly be wide enough for both cars and bicycles to travel alongside together. I saw a particular traffic slowing device I liked in ... England, I'm thinking. The motorized vehicle opening was just wide enough for one vehicle to pass through at a time so if there were another one going the other way it had to give way. But there was another opening about the width of a sidewalk for cyclists. So a car and a bicycle could both co-exist quite happily together.

This sort of set up would allow motorists to get from point A to point B quite quickly with fast roads to get them from one subdivision to another. They may have to slow down at the beginning of the journey and at the end, but the middle of the trip could be quite fast. And it would allow bicycles to be out there with the motorized vehicle, but out of their way.


(I could draw a diagram of the plan I'm thinking of if what I've said is not clear. )
After reading what you write here, I think we are basically in agreement.

What I was suggesting is that in areas where people live and attempt to walk, it is both dangerous and adding a much lower quality of life if cars are allowed to travel at speed. My thought is that, as residents of the city, we ought not to be subservient to car drivers. Their inconvenience doesn't trump our inconvenience.

I've been reading about a city layout suggested by JH Crawford in Carfree Cities, where he suggests that automobile traffic should be confined to areas away from where people live. However... oddly... his layout for cars sounds similar to what you are talking about... More traffic and speed on the perimeter.

Where he differs is in having the inner portion of the city is comprised of smaller "rings" in a topology of six to 8 units with high speed rail moving between. Each ring would consist of housing where cars were not allowed and even bicycles could not travel at speed. The idea of the six unit topology is to have a city where you could bike to any end of the city (even a city of 1,000,000) within 1 hour. Train travel would be much less. And cars wouldn't be necessary.

One thing I might agree with you on is the notion that slowing cars down "is not the way to go." It's very difficult to get a car -- designed to travel at 120kmh -- to slow down to less than 40kmh. It's the same reason why few serious cyclists like to travel on sidewalks... on sidewalks, you really need to travel at walking speed to be safe.

However, all these considerations seem unimportant. Crawford's ideal city doesn't exist and we having real existing conditions where cars are travelling through residential and light commercial areas at a fairly high rate of speed. This scenario doesn't work very well if you want to have both cyclists on the road and pedestrians on sidewalks.
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Old 10-20-09, 06:08 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
If it were entrapment wouldn't that mean the motorist was trying to hit the pedestrian in the crosswalk?

Also, I'm not sure if a little flashy light would really distinguish a cop from other cyclists. What do regular cycle mounted cops use? In any case I agree that a single cop on a bike would not find much success trying to pull over cars from behind.
I have seen more than one cycle cop writing tickets for traffic violations. It easy to catch up to them in heavy traffic. I have seen some with blue and red alternating strobes mounted on their bikes, I believe I heard one with a siren too in Iowa City. The cop was in hot pursuit of something and was rolling down a long hill.

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Old 10-20-09, 09:41 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I have seen more than one cycle cop writing tickets for traffic violations. It easy to catch up to them in heavy traffic. I have seen some with blue and red alternating strobes mounted on their bikes, I believe I heard one with a siren too in Iowa City. The cop was in hot pursuit of something and was rolling down a long hill.
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Old 10-20-09, 11:34 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
Maybe he could have a little flashy light on his helmet?


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Police-Helme.../dp/B000KE9AUM
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Old 10-20-09, 12:00 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
OK, now my three, a lot like what's already been posted:

1. Mass transit that's bike-accessible; imagine, a train that took your bike aboard that rolled you from Indianapolis to Moab! A lot more focus on mass-transit travel goes hand-in-hand with this.

2. STRONG education for drivers; eliminate the sense of entitlement that seems to now seep up out of the upholstery.

3. Cyclists have preferential treatment on the road, not car drivers.
I agree about the education for the drivers, but what about education for cyclists? Most cyclist have far less formal education concerning rules of the road than automobiles. Given their relative scarcity in number I have seen many more cyclists run lights and stop signs, ride on the wrong side of the road, cut across lanes etc. than I have ever seen cars. If we are to have more cyclists sharing the roads than it is only logical that they be good cyclists. In a cyclists utopia I think a cyclist should have at least as much education as drivers as we're the ones who will die in an accident.

Last edited by ndbiker; 10-20-09 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 10-20-09, 12:42 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by ndbiker View Post
I agree about the education for the drivers, but what about education for cyclists? Most cyclist have far less formal education concerning rules of the road than automobiles. Given their relative scarcity in number I have seen many more cyclists run lights and stop signs, ride on the wrong side of the road, cut across lanes etc. than I have ever seen cars. If we are to have more cyclists sharing the roads than it is only logical that they be good cyclists. In a cyclists utopia I think a cyclist should have at least as much education as drivers as we're the ones who will die in an accident.
I have no problem with education for cyclists. Years ago it was taught at the grade school level. But because we have become a nation of scared people we don't dare teach our children anything useful that might lead them to taste freedom.

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Old 10-20-09, 04:33 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I have no problem with education for cyclists. Years ago it was taught at the grade school level. But because we have become a nation of scared people we don't dare teach our children anything useful that might lead them to taste freedom.

Aaron
Yes ... it was in Grade Four for me. I still have the "textbook".
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