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'Doctors can make bicycling safer in D.C.'

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'Doctors can make bicycling safer in D.C.'

Old 05-29-22, 10:12 PM
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Arthur Peabody
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'Doctors can make bicycling safer in D.C.'

A med student at GW argues that physicians' advocacy can be a crucial factor in making bicycling in DC safer - policies that could be applied in any city - an op-ed in a recent Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...ling-safer-dc/
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Old 05-29-22, 10:53 PM
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The comments are eye-opening.
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Old 05-29-22, 11:05 PM
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Hey Honey... I think I'm gonna ride my bike to work tomorrow. I am not getting off till late so I'll call you if I get past Brentwood. If not tell the boys not to fight over who gets my bike tools...
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Old 05-29-22, 11:10 PM
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aside from the what the article highlights, what about protecting the bicycle from theft? I would never trust my bicycle being unattended with just a cable lock, nor do I want to carry a bulky device because of people being dishonest.
If I could bring my bicycle indoors where I go & it be watched via camera while it's stowed in a free locked equipped bicycle stand, then it might be workable.
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Old 05-30-22, 07:57 AM
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I must be a terrible person. On the one hand, as a bike commuter for 28 years, I am interested in bicycle advocacy and safety...I mean, I'm here reading and responding in the A&S forum. But on the other hand my first thought after reading the article is that the youthful enthusiasm and naivete exuded by the author, D.C. medical student Wyn Dobbs, makes me feel old.

I don't disagree with anything he says, but my jaundiced eye sees his plea for doctors to get involved in cycling safety as well as other public safety issues, as a call for political coalition building. I know that is how things work in politics, through coalitions and compromises, but what you end up with is a compromised solution...and coalitions and interest groups taking stands and sides on issues that have nothing to do with their foundational core.

And then the subsequent comments are a depressing reminder of just how stupid, selfish and short-sighted people can be.

And on the third hand, thanks for sharing Arthur Peabody . Despite my increasingly crotchety demeanor, I continue to enjoy your contributions to the A&S forum, because as cyclists we know we can't rely on others to look out for us, either in traffic itself, or in government.
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Old 05-30-22, 01:35 PM
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Saying that cycling is dangerous and therefore prefer to stay in their cars is a self-prophecy. What is dangerous is driving for all the risk it does to pedestrians, cyclists, other people in cars, themselves and even to people in buildings when drivers lose control and smash into them.


Here's a radio segment about how drivers have become more aggressive since the re-opening from the pandemic.

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-39-metro-morning/clip/15915660-as-people-head-back-office-cyclists-notice-increased

Last edited by Daniel4; 05-30-22 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 05-30-22, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Saying that cycling is dangerous and therefore prefer to stay in their cars is a self-prophecy. What is dangerous is driving for all the risk it does to pedestrians, cyclists, other people in cars, themselves and even to people in buildings when drivers lose control and smash into them.


Here's a radio segment about how drivers have become more aggressive since the re-opening from the pandemic.

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio...tice-increased

So you think that arguing no one is safe as a pedestrian or cyclist if people are driving is going to make cycling more attractive?
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Old 06-06-22, 07:54 AM
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I spend part of my work life in DC. Its the one place where people seek out rusty beater bikes to buy. Its scary enough to walk around town. I saw 2 ghost bikes during a small neighborhood walk back in February. . Its a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to cycle there.
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Old 06-13-22, 10:30 AM
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Let's listen to science and experts and therefore ignore doctors who believe their opinion on matters outside their expertise matters because they are a doctor.
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Old 06-13-22, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by boozergut View Post
I spend part of my work life in DC. Its the one place where people seek out rusty beater bikes to buy. Its scary enough to walk around town. I saw 2 ghost bikes during a small neighborhood walk back in February. . Its a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to cycle there.
I rode a rusty girls bike (missing top tube) with a bent up front basket for 2 semesters at college... never had to lock it. It was always waiting for me.
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Old 06-13-22, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
Let's listen to science and experts and therefore ignore doctors who believe their opinion on matters outside their expertise matters because they are a doctor.
Stupid comment.

Some doctors are actually quite expert in who is getting hurt and how because guess who they take people to when they're hurt?

I'm not sure what you consider the "science" here and who are the experts who qualify to comment, but I question your competence in making those judgments..
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Old 06-13-22, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Stupid comment.

Some doctors are actually quite expert in who is getting hurt and how because guess who they take people to when they're hurt?
And that gives them expertise on traffic engineering how exactly...?

I'm not sure what you consider the "science" here and who are the experts who qualify to comment, but I question your competence in making those judgments..
Everybody can comment, but doctors have the annoying habit to pretend they are qualified experts way out of their field of expertise. Doctors on lifestyle choices, doctors on traffic engineering, doctors on fireworks, doctors on bicycle helmets, doctors on law, doctors on ethics (not concerning their own usually) stfu, stop where you're expertise ends.

Of course they can make useful specifiic observations from their job and therefore expertise, but that doesn't make them experts in anything remotely related or connected. That's just arrogance, and I'm perfectly competent in establishing what's way out of a doctor's field of expertise. Cycling is healthy, accidents aren't, we don't need doctors to tell us that.

.
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Old 06-13-22, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Stadjer View Post
And that gives them expertise on traffic engineering how exactly...?

Everybody can comment, but doctors have the annoying habit to pretend they are qualified experts way out of their field of expertise. Doctors on lifestyle choices, doctors on traffic engineering, doctors on fireworks, doctors on bicycle helmets, doctors on law, doctors on ethics (not concerning their own usually) stfu, stop where you're expertise ends.

Of course they can make useful specifiic observations from their job and therefore expertise, but that doesn't make them experts in anything remotely related or connected. That's just arrogance, and I'm perfectly competent in establishing what's way out of a doctor's field of expertise. Cycling is healthy, accidents aren't, we don't need doctors to tell us that.

.

Wait, so you're now the expert on whether experience with seeing what injuries and under what circumstances bicyclists are brought in for medical attention is relevant to an understanding of how road design and safety equipment, etc. affect severity of injuries? YOUR arrogance is absolutely astounding.

What causes bicycle crashes and factors that make injuries more or less severe or increase/decrease fatalities ARE public health issues, and doctors actually do know quite a lot more about public health issues than you do.

You obviously have no idea what you are talking about--these aren't simply "engineering" issues, divining patterns from the cases they encounter is a major part of what doctors do.

Your last sentence is classic Dunning/Kruger BTW. You don't even know what the questions are.
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Old 06-13-22, 02:44 PM
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I’m not entirely onboard with the praise of physically separated bike lanes.
First, IMO the need/benefit from those is very dependent on traffic speed and density. In some places, the benefit is quite marginal while drawing funds that could have been better spent elsewhere.
Secondly, pushing too hard for physically separated bike lanes tends to result in them being built based on ease-of-installation rather than actual benefit to the riders.
Also, motorists tend to react really badly when exposed to an obviously expensive bike lane that they don’t think is seeing enough traffic.
Now, places with a considerable speed difference, then physically separated bike lanes can certainly be nice and useful.
One thing that seems to me to work well are ”bike boxes”.
They’re nothing more than a reserved zone closest to the stop line at intersections and lights. They’re really inexpensive to install, protect cyclists from the dreaded blind side/blind angle of turning vehicles, and they work as a steady reminder to motorists that cyclists are allowed on the streets.
What I really dislike is seeing big money spent on marginally useful traffic solutions. It’s free ammo for the bike haters, tax money spent in vain, and to no use to me as a cyclist.
So really, if it isn’t possible to build a good bike lane, don’t build one at all. Lower the speed some, and give me a bike box instead.
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Old 06-13-22, 03:44 PM
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So this scenario actually played out in my life back in 1971 or thereabouts. I was at a rally in downtown Denver called "Bicycles Now". A doctor spoke about the reasons cycling is a better way to move your body about - talked about G forces in a car wreck, speed involved, speed involved in a bike wreck and then all the fitness dimensions a bike provides for your body.

His talk was a big part of me seeing bikes as a means of transportation over the following 50 years.
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Old 06-13-22, 08:18 PM
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DC is full of yuppie bikes for cheap, dudes with expendable income buy designer bikes and find out they don't like them because it's "too humid", and the like. I very rarely ride in DC and even then It's never anything serious.

The commuters into DC SUCK and it would seem nobody has any regard for cyclists. If anything, the bikers are just holding up traffic
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Old 06-13-22, 10:12 PM
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If you want to see what a "physicians view" of bicycle safety looks like look at. https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsa...cle/index.html

Very standard stuff. Use lights, don't drink alcohol and ride, stay away from cars driven by people who have been drinking alcohol... Wear a helmet and there should be laws requiring helmets.

All in all, mostly useless.

Unfortunately many traffic engineers view bicycles as an annoyance. My fair city asked for comments on a proposed bike path that went from nowhere to nowhere, but it went partly on park property so the park district so maybe they would pony up some of the money to build the useless thing.. Except all comments were ignored. They have money to spend and that is what matters.
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Old 06-14-22, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by DangerousDanR View Post
If you want to see what a "physicians view" of bicycle safety looks like look at. https://www.cdc.gov/transportationsa...cle/index.html

Very standard stuff. Use lights, don't drink alcohol and ride, stay away from cars driven by people who have been drinking alcohol... Wear a helmet and there should be laws requiring helmets.

All in all, mostly useless.

Unfortunately many traffic engineers view bicycles as an annoyance. My fair city asked for comments on a proposed bike path that went from nowhere to nowhere, but it went partly on park property so the park district so maybe they would pony up some of the money to build the useless thing.. Except all comments were ignored. They have money to spend and that is what matters.

The opinion piece in the WP (op link) was basically suggesting that medical experts weigh in to say that the poor infrastructure available to cyclists is a public health issue. If you look at your CDC link, there's a token bit at the end linking to sites talking about better road design. Changing the emphasis of that CDC page away from helmets and the like would be the sort of change in approach the OP doctor was arguing for.

​​​I think the gist of this is that "traffic engineers" and public officials need to be pressured to change their priorities in designing roads, and there's an excellent public health case to be made that people can relate to and understand.
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Old 06-20-22, 12:55 AM
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I used to ride in DC a lot - but that was 40-45 years ago. I stayed off the major streets, had no problems. I think that's still the best strategy. I also lived in LA for years, would bicycle between Santa Monica and Pasadena, 25 miles, on back roads: no traffic, no threat. I had a Thomas Brothers.
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Old 06-20-22, 07:11 AM
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John Snow delivered babies. That was his "area of expertise."

He also developed anesthesia, medical hygiene, and yes, epidemiology and public health.

According to some here, he should have stuck to his lane and never investigated the SOURCE of cholera, which led to WORLD WIDE infrastructure change.

You're welcome.



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Old 06-20-22, 01:42 PM
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What we learned from the past two years are that those who oppose doctors would rather take medical advice from politicians. It seems as if politicians are better qualified for engineering than engineers too.
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Old 06-20-22, 02:40 PM
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you have a left then a right, but there is always a middle. Lean too much in one direction, & it'll skew the big picture.
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Old 06-20-22, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
What we learned from the past two years….
Past two years?

History repeats itself. John Snow died before people listened to him. But, you know, stay in your lane.

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