Hump Day

During my usual bus ride over the Santa Cruz mountains this morning I saw an unusual sight: a guy on a bike huffing slowly uphill in the Highway 17 shoulder right by Redwood Estates. It’s legal to bike there, but perhaps not always advisable. Props to him, but there are alternate routes available for most destinations along California Highway 17.


More bike news

I was in Boulder Creek recently having problems opening a bottle when a tiny teenage girl showed me a neat trick involving a plastic Bic lighter and leverage to pop the top off. These guys want to avoid lighters altogether with a better seatpost clamp that has an integrated bottle opener and they’re looking for angel investors donors for their venture. Design is patent pending and they ask (nicely) that you don’t steal the idea.

The SF Bay Citizen published stats and analysis of San Francisco bike riding and accident trends over the past few years showing accidents grew faster than ridership. We’ve been talking a lot about this on local lists and statewide discussion, but it apparently shows “Safety In Numbers” (SIN) doesn’t hold for the city. Some ideas that have popped up: newly installed facilities = more dangerous streets for cyclists and more accidents; statistical aberrations since we’re dealing with relatively small samples; and some more detailed analysis that completely refutes SIN and that the trends are actually expected if you look at similar auto accident data. Maybe more on this later if I can wrap my head around the statistics.

Thoughtful commentary from James on a interesting essay by designer Mark Sanders: “Does the bicycle industry need new ideas?”

Right to travel in Georgia: I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating. Georgia state rep Bobby Franklin has intorduced his Right To Travel Act as a bill in the state house because driving without a license is a God-given inalienable right! Via.

Real time bicycle accident dispatches

My @CHPBIKE updates on Twitter quit working last November after Twitter changed their API to require authorization. I finally changed my code to use the required OAuth keys. You can once again see real time California Highway Patrol Dispatches that mention bicycles and bikes by following @chpbike on Twitter.

At one time most reported incidents were “PEDESTRIAN ON ROADWAY” (i.e. somebody biking illegally on an Interstate) but I filter those out so now you should only see actual crashes. There are somewhat frequent false positives on motorcycle accidents that I’ll work to remove someday. It’s also time to split the index of all bike incidents (I have an entire year’s worth archives in a single file — if you want to see something interesting, click that link and search on the page for “hit and run”) up into separate month indexes.

Happy Hump Day to you all.

6 Comments

  • murphstahoe
    February 9, 2011 - 8:56 pm | Permalink

    The bike collision map is very misleading. If 1 million people bike on Valencia, and 10 people bike on Dalewood, which road is going to have more crashes? That map is really a map of where you SHOULD bike – based on the tribal knowledge of where people who know actually DO bike

  • SDVeloSocial
    February 9, 2011 - 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Let’s see if I can say this so you can follow me.

    Could it be that the ‘new’ cyclists/bike commuters are entering the roads with a lower level of skill; resulting in a greater percentage of them having accidents. This could explain why incidents are greater than the increase in ridership, as a percentage not raw numbers.

  • February 9, 2011 - 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Totally forgot to mention this — thanks for bringing it up and it makes good sense.

  • February 9, 2011 - 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I dislike those accident maps like that. Most road fatalities in Santa Cruz are on Highway 1, but that’s because that’s where most of the traffic is.

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