Category Archives: Musings

Targeted stop sign enforcement for cyclists?

I’m reading the minutes for the Santa Cruz County, California Community Traffic Safety Coalition (CTSC) and see the comment from the person who represents pedestrian advocacy in Santa Cruz regarding cyclists who roll stop signs.

CTSC - targeted stop sign enforcement cyclists

People on bikes should follow the rules of the road, but are scofflaw cyclists enough of a problem to warrant targeted enforcement efforts above and beyond what local police don’t do for motorists? Let’s look at the evidence, shall we?

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Chip on our shoulders?

This statement regarding cyclists and autonomous cars from the chief exec of Renault and Nissan is making the rounds in the cycling media this week:

“One of the biggest problems is people with bicycles,” said Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn [rhymes with “loan”]. “They don’t respect any rules usually. The car is confused by them because from time-to-time they behave like pedestrians and from time-to-time they behave like cars.”

CNBC characterized that last sentence as a “swipe” at cyclists. The CNBC lede says the bicycle is a “roadblock,” but if you watch the video accompanying the story, Ghosn’s quote comes across more as a statement of fact and and an engineering challenge the Nissan engineering group here in Silicon Valley have already worked on.

I’ve heard similar statements from Google’s autonomous car work: they acknowledge the presence of bicycles on public roads. Instead of taking a “blame the victim” stance and pushing for more regulation of bicycles, they accept the reality of how people actually behave in public spaces and engineer to deal with that reality.

I don’t have an “anti-rant” category, so file this under musings.

Bicycle lane splitting permitted in Mexico City

Last August, the Federal District of Mexico amended their traffic code with an addition allowing lane-splitting when traffic is congested.

bicycle lane splitting mexico city

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San Francisco Vision Zero and Stop Sign Enforcement

As part of the city’s Vision Zero policy to reduce traffic fatalities, the San Francisco Police Department say they focus their enforcement on the five violations that are most frequently cited in collisions with people walking.

Bikes Must Cross

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Revisiting the totem pole of danger

Last year I kind of introduced a totem pole of danger. It’s the crazy idea that those operating the more dangerous devices should take more care.

I’ve redrawn this as a hazard hierarchy. The wider the triangle, the more careful you should be. Apologies for my lack of graphic design skills, but I hope it helps to illustrate the concept.

Fritz's triangle of safety responsibility

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If it bleeds, part 28

Some of you may have seen this dramatic photo of a group of cyclists who were just riding along when they stopped to assist the occupants of this overturned vehicle at Twin Peaks in San Francisco, CA.

Twin Peaks car crash cyclists help driver

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