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Tuesday, August 28, 2007
  $1000 speeding ticket
By Yokota Fritz 
The state of Virginia recently hiked traffic fines so that going 20 mph over the limit can result in a fine of $1000. If you're caught driving under the influence for a third time or if you're "felony reckless driving," the fine is $3000. Other offenses result in similarly high fines.

While the motivation of the state legislators was to increase revenue, I applaud efforts to make dangerous driving more painful to those who commit the crime. While roads generally have become safer for drivers and car occupants, traffic fatalities have gone up significantly over the past few years. Safer cars with better crash protection, better suspension, better brakes, and more powerful engines just means you can drive even more like a bonehead. Drivers are more likely to wreck their cars, but the wrecks are more survivable as long as you happen to be inside the metal cage. Wrecks are also more likely for the more vulnerable users of our road systems -- pedestrians and cyclists -- but the improved crash worthiness protection doesn't extend to us.

Unfortunately, many Virginians are so outraged by these new fines that the state legislator will meet in a special session just to repeal the fees. If you live in Virginia and support safer driving, contact your local representative and let them know of your support.

One drawback to high fines: Police are less likely to write tickets if they feel the fine is excessive. That's one reason many cops don't enforce traffic laws on cyclists.

Via.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
  Bike To Work Day success story
By Yokota Fritz 
Steve in Arlington, VA is a long time bike commuter who ran across a cyclist who started biking to work on a regular basis after the local Bike To Work Day last May.
His story was that he decided to try out the commute for Bike to Work Day this last May. That convinced him that it was doable on a daily basis. He went out and bought a bike to meet his commuting needs, and now he's an every day commuter.

This was exciting for me to hear. Having participated in BTWD for a long time, I had the sense that everyone was already a bike commuter.
Read more at Commuter Page blog. I know of a few people who started bike commuting regularly after a Bike To Work Day event.

Bike racks on buses

According to the 2007 Public Transportation Fact Book, 62.7 percent of buses in the U.S. have bike racks. There are a total of 82,027 buses, so 51,431 buses have external bike racks. An additional 574 buses have interior racks or storage space for bicycles. Via the League of American Bicyclists.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007
  Bicycles in Lynchburg
By Yokota Fritz 
I've been neglecting Cyclelicious because I'm spending more time on the bicycle than on the blog, so I'll post this thought provoking article about bicycle advocacy and the dominance of automobiles in our transportation infrastructure.
Although automobiles dominate transportation more than ever, there is increasing recognition that society cannot rely upon a single transportation mode. While automobiles have undisputed advantages -- route/time flexibility and wide-ranging mobility foremost among them -- they also impose once-unappreciated costs on society: They pollute, they create congestion, and they require roads and parking spaces that consume vast amounts of land that could be applied to other uses.

Currently, only a trivial percentage of the American population uses bicycles to ride to work. But other countries, mostly notably the Netherlands and Denmark, have shown that the potential cycling population is much larger. As automobile congestion worsens in Virginia and the rest of the United States, there is increasing interest in redesigning communities to make them more bicycle friendly. Above all else, bicycling must be made safe.

Found via the excellent Commuter Page Blog.

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Monday, April 16, 2007
  Maniac road raging motorist assaults female cyclist
By Yokota Fritz 
You won't see this mentioned on Michelle Malkin's blog, but the news in Arlington, Virginia reported on this road rage attack in which a cyclist stopped at a red light was assaulted by a motorist who stopped behind the female cyclist, exited his vehicle, and pushed the woman over onto the ground while screaming at her. Arlington police witnessed the attack and arrested the motorist.

Motorist advocacy groups expressed their shame over the violent behavior of one of their own, while pedestrians, cyclists, and bloggers all over the United States expressed their outrage over the arrogance of motorists who would attack a defenseless woman on a bike and called on motorists to better police themselves.

Well, no, not really, but for some reason when some idiot on a bike smashes in a car window it's somehow my fault.

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