In October we told you about a cycling club, a Southern California social and racing club, that was doing something special by building structured on-road traffic safety training in to its members' skill-set. That club was GS Andiamo, and it…
PARKING: Searching for the Good Life in the City from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.
Welcome back to the new series, the Bootleg Bicycle Master Plan. This is where we’ll introduce concepts for making the city safer for cyclists, but in some cases we have doubts that these proposals will ever make it into the final draft of the official Bicycle Master Plan. A defeatist attitude? Some will think so, but we’re living in an automobile-saturated society and change comes slowly, especially when it relates to taking roadway space away from cars to the betterment of cyclists and pedestrians.
I can’t sleep, my mind is racing. It’s 2:15am and here I am attempting to pull a few coherent thoughts together on free right turns and the hazard they pose to cyclists and pedestrians.
To lay the groundwork I must follow the threads that keep bringing me all the way back to 1992 when I was on my way home from a business trip rehearsing the speech I would deliver to my wife. It went something like,
Honey, I want to move to New York City.
Probably just like if you tried this line on your spouse, I was greeted with some modest skepticism. Was I kidding? Obviously, no. My wife was used to my spontaneity, my impetuous nature, but this time I was serious. And we would move to NYC.
At the time I was running a software company. My clients were major Wall Street firms, or they would be if I moved to New York to demonstrate my commitment to serving their significant needs. But my company was little, maybe less than 10 employees at that time — this would be a bold move of no little risk.
We sold our house in Costa Mesa and put all our furniture in storage. The next week we rented an apartment overlooking the East River on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. What a rush!
Yes, it was very exciting, until that first morning as I made the subway commute to my office in the World Financial Center downtown. This intra-borough commute took over an hour; I was unpleasantly surprised.
There would be other surprises and quirks. Getting used to New York was a process, like moving anywhere new. But some things stood out to this relocated Californian — especially the no right turns on red lights. What was this about? California had recently passed a law making it the default behavior for motorists at intersections. Why was NYC not with it?
It wouldn’t take long before I learned it would be slaughter to allow cars turning right on red in the metropolis — there are too many pedestrians to do this safely.
Meanwhile, we’re not settled even two weeks in Manhattan – our furniture is still in storage in California – when the phone rings…
While news was breaking of a new Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee, a couple of members of the former Bicycle Safety Task Force met at City Hall for a lunchtime ride with Public Works' Brad Sommers. It was a beautiful…
With Cars or Without? from J.H. Crawford on Vimeo. What happens to a street when you slice out the cars? You don't get perfection, but it's not far from it.
New ending, with a more polished look — take another look at Riding into trouble.
Statistically, this intersection is rated the #2 worst for cyclists. What’s the problem?
Orange County Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Pete Van Nuys and Newport Beach bike advocate Dan Murphy team up to point out some of the hazards on the peninsula. Watch the video.
Editors note: As this project came together this week I’ve shown previews to a few of my fellow members of the Bicycle Safety Committee, Public Works and NBPD. Many have offered their feedback, like this thoughtful reply.