New trails on Santa Clara County trail flooding page: Penitencia and Stevens Creek

Our recent drought-busting rains in the San Francisco Bay Area gave me enough good data to enable two additional trail segments on the Santa Clara County trail flooding information page.

Muddy Guadalupe River Trail January 2017

I added Penitencia Creek under I-680 in the city of San Jose, and Stevens Creek Trail in Mountain View underneath Highway 101. I also tweaked the predictive flooding algorithm for Los Gatos Creek Trail.

Thank you to Joey Rozier, who gave me information on Stevens Creek flooding and even posted video of a suggested detour. Stevens Creek doesn’t flood often, but when it does the detour can be substantial, so I hope knowing flood status ahead of time helps with planning.

Thank you also to my colleague Matt Murphy, who gave me flood information for Penitencia Creek.

*** Santa Clara County trail flooding information.

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Mountain View Stevens Creek Trail closed at ECR

The city of Mountain View, California announced the Stevens Creek Trail is closed between El Camino Real and Yuba Drive due to serious bank erosion. Detours are in place for trail users.

Stevens Creek Trail erosion Mountain View

To bypass the flooded section of trail, add about 500 feet to your trip by detouring via ECR and Yuba Drive. The trail crossing under ECR remains open.

A soil engineer will evaluate bank erosion the week of January 15, 2017 to determine trail stability and next steps. Until then, the closure timeline is unknown.

Visit the city of Mountain View, CA for updated trail status.

You see flooding status for Santa Clara County trails here. I recently added Penitencia Creek where it passes under I-680 in the city of San Jose, CA; and the Stevens Creek Trail under Hwy 101 in Mountain View.

H/T to Tim and Kevin. Photo of trail damage contributed by City of Mountain View, CA.

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If you plan to ride in the Santa Cruz Mountains this weekend …

The forecast predicts wonderful riding weather throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Coast for this Martin Luther King Jr Day weekend, but this past week of heavy rain and high winds have taken their toll on mountain and coastal roads.

Most state highways in Santa Cruz County, including Highway 9, Big Basin Highway, and Hecker Pass, should be re-opened by the weekend. State Highway 41 in SLO County and a big portion of Highway 1 through Big Sur will remain closed into February due to storm damage. Caltrans D5, which is responsible for Central Coast State Highways, posts road closure updates here.

Several county roads in Santa Cruz County favored by hill-seeking roadies also remain closed. These include Bear Creek Road, Eureka Canyon, Highland, Old Santa Cruz Highway, and Zayante Road. Rodeo Gulch and Soquel San Jose are reduced to a single lane in spots due to slipouts. For details on specific locations, refer to the Santa Cruz County road closure list.

Calfire closed Soquel Demo Forest to public access due to dangerous conditions and to allow crews to move heavy equipment through the forest.

Some roads remain closed as of Friday in Santa Clara County: Gist Road, which connects Black Road to Skyline; a portion of Black Road to Skyline; Old Santa Cruz Highway between Ogallala and Holy City (with no good detours); and part of Metcalf Road to the motorcycle park. A part of Redwood Gulch is a single lane. Call the County Roads Hotline at 408-494-1382 for current information.

Mount Hamilton Road was closed earlier this week due to heavy snow (!) but I believe it’s open now; the view at the top should be marvelous this weekend.

Even where roads remain open, watch for fallen trees and branches, debris, and slick spots. Mud and gravel deposited by flooding creeks remain inches deep on many of our roads, especially near the road edge.

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BSNYC Friday No Quiz Instead I’m Like Totally Splitting the Scene, Man

Good morning, or whatever the hell time it is.

Nice day for a ride, isn't it?


Yes it is.

Alas, I regret to inform you that today's post mostly serves as notice that I won't be posting next week.  You know, next week.  That's the one that starts on Monday with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:


And ends on Friday with the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States:


(Nuclear blasts and our new president are both orange.  Interesting.)

How's that for a pair of bookends?

Anyway, if there even is a Monday, January 23rd, that's the day I'll be back, and if there's not, well hey, we had a good run.


Nobody can take that away from us, though I suppose they can pee on it.

In the meantime, since I can't bear to look forward I've been looking backward instead.  As you've no doubt gathered from some of my Brooks blog posts I'm a little bit of a local history Fred.  In its way this is even more addicting than bikes, and of course it dovetails right into genealogy, which is a real time-suck.  (It's also even more delusional than Strava, because what's more self-absorbed than poring over your family history like you're the goddamn royals?)  Indeed, I found out recently that my great-grandfather was apparently a New York City streetcar conductor back in the year nineteen hundred and ten--or at least that's what he told the census taker, who, it should be noted, had pretty bad handwriting:


So naturally after that I spent like the next six hours watching sick trolley edits:


Did you spot the guy on the bike?


These damn dandies in their bowler hats think they're Mile-A-Minute Murphy!

Anyway, as you can see, it was quite a free-for-all out there, and as it happens 1910 is the first year the city started tracking traffic fatalities.  Here's how things were when my great-grandfather was plying the streets with one of those change dispensers around his waist:

Clearly, New York City has come a long way in mitigating traffic fatalities. According to an article from the New York Times dated September 2, 1913,  the city endured 471 traffic fatalities in 1910. Of those, 112 were caused by automobiles, with another 148 from streetcars and 211 from horse-drawn vehicles. Of those it was estimated that some 95 percent were pedestrians struck in the streets. That's with a population of about 4.7 million — a bit more than half what it is today.

Meanwhile, here's what 2016 looked like:

The overall number of people killed in traffic crashes, including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, drivers and passengers, was 229 last year, down from 234 in 2015, according to preliminary data from the city. Pedestrian deaths, which accounted for the largest share of fatalities, increased last year to 144, from 139 in 2015. Cyclist deaths rose last year to 18, from 14 in 2015.

I suppose 229 is a lot better than 471, especially when you consider the population of New York City was only 4,766,883 in 1910 and it's estimated at around 8.5 million people now.  Then again, given all the advancements in traffic control since then (which don't seem to have existed in those days) you'd think we could do a lot better than we are.  Either way, I suppose it helps put the present into some kind of perspective.

And with that I'm outta here.  I'll see you back here on Monday, January 23rd.  Enjoy the week ahead if you can, ride safe, and be sure to dodge those trolleys.


--Wildcat Rock Machine



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Fighting Over Scraps

In the cutthroat world of Fred bike marketing, every lump and dimple is prized.  So you can bet when one of these boils or recesses appears on another company's bike a real slap fight ensues:

On Tuesday Velocite CEO Victor Major pointed the finger at Pinarello after the Italian brand unveiled the new Dogma F10 frame that has a concaved down tube to improve aerodynamics around the bottle-cage area. The new bike will be used by Team Sky during the 2017 season. Major claimed in a blog post on the Velocite website that he has patented that design idea in China and Taiwan and that “with the new Dogma F10 your use of our intellectual property is deliberate.”

I love the idea that a "concaved down tube to improve aerodynamics around the bottle-cage area" even matters.  As if bike tech and not abusing the TUE system is what's going to win Sky the Tour de France.  Please.

Pinarello has hit back, giving their side of the story and suggesting that it is Velocite who has refused to provide ‘essential information’ to back up their claims. Pinarello also pointed out that aerodynamic frames have been sold for many years.

“Cicli Pinarello SpA, as a leading company in the cycling sector, obviously takes Intellectual Property issues with the utmost seriousness, Pinarello itself being a patent holder,” Pinarello said it its statement.

It's true, Pinarello is absolutely "a leading company in the cycling sector," especially when it comes to stealing ideas.  You know, like when they took that rear suspension idea from Moots:


(A bike rider attempting to understand a thing he is looking at.)

To wit:


(Moots YBB)

It's almost like these legacy Italian bike companies are out of ideas.  That would certainly explain 3T's aero gravel bike:


Designed by Gerard Vroomen, it's the answer to the question nobody has ever asked, namely: "What would happen if a Cervélo fucked a cyclocross bike?"

One area in which Italian bike companies remain unmatched however is in creating websites that will kill your computer with Flash animation.  This is why you should never, ever, ever visit one, regardless of how tempting it may be:


Yes, the Cipollini universe is one in which size still very much matters:


As does fluidity:


Something Cipollini and our President-elect share in common.

I have to say that life in the Cipollini factory is not quite how I imagined it:


I'd pictured it more like this:


Though there does seem to be plenty of rhythmic thrusting:


And it's hard not to read too deeply into the lengthy process of stroking and boring to which the gaping bottom bracket shell is subjected:


Coincidentally, 14 hours of work is also how much time an unfinished Mario Cipollini requires:


(Cipo switching hands again at around hour seven.)

And this quote pretty much sums up the entire road bike industry:


Making things simple should be the easy part, but when a machine is as simple as a bike you really do have to employ all manner of design gimmickry to make one stand apart from the other.  However, even the gimmickry soon becomes indistinguishable, which is why all the Fred bikes look like this now:
I like when they make a big deal about how a pro is "testing" a new bike so they can make a big deal about how it measured up to his exacting standards, when in reality a rider like Sagan would probably race and win on a Bikesdirect special without noticing.

Can't wait to see who accuses who of stealing the hot new "t-boned a car" downtube look:


I'm sure if you paired that with a "concaved down tube to improve aerodynamics around the bottle-cage area" and a bottom bracket shell that's been lovingly rubbed by an Italian for 14 hours you'd get a bike so fast it would defy time and space.

In other news, as I type this the city's greatest minds are working to solve one of the most perplexing problems of our age:
Call me crazy, but I'd start by moving the cars and parking them someplace else.

Yeah, I know, I'll never get a city job with that attitude.  Making simple things complicated is even more vital to municipal politics than it is to designing plastic bicycles.  I'm sure after commissioning an expensive six-year study at taxpayer expense they'll end up deciding to give the bike lane another coat of paint.  Meanwhile, the Google street view reveals a total shitshow, and they've even got a Dumpster in there:


Not to mention a banged-up unmarked car and a marked one blocking two crosswalks at the same time just because:


This is basically the situation at every precinct in the city, and you'd think with all the money we spend on America's largest police force we could figure out a place for them to put their cars.  Honestly, as a cyclist I'd even be glad to give them the whole goddamn bike lane if it meant they'd finally get their all their shit off the fucking sidewalk.  Maybe for the price of a few feet of bike lane here and there the police wouldn't be so hard on cyclists and the pedestrians could actually walk.

Just a thought.

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The Indignity of Cruising Around Aimlessly By Bicycle: Frequent Bridge Crossings

Good news for anybody planning to escape the Golden Shower of Terror that will begin to rain down upon us on January 20th:
I'll be the one coming up behind you screaming, "ON YOUR LEFT!!!"

Sadly though there's no way it's going to be finished by Inauguration Day, and presumably Cuomo is shooting for a ribbon-cutting that will coincide with the announcement of his 2020 election bid.  This is a highly attainable goal, since by then New York State (and the rest of the United States) will be a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and NIMBY opposition to projects like this will be at an all-time low.

In the meantime, as cycling's foremost chronicler and a world-renowned author of French-language toilet books, I live at a far remove from the common cyclist.  My home is an ivory tower in the far northern reaches of the city, and it houses a vast stable of exotic bicycles.  Given this, it's easy to understand why my grasp on the "common touch" is tenuous, and therefore it's vital that I occasionally lower myself into the trenches and see how the plebes live.

To that end, yesterday I headed downtown with Brompton in tow.  Then, in a show of solidarity with the rest of you commuting schmucks, I performed an epic crossing of the three East River bridges connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn, thereby suturing the two boroughs together with surgical precision:


My first stitch began at the Brooklyn Bridge:


Were I was horrified to see that the city has stolen my pun with this ostensibly clever sign:


See?


It's only fair that I should receive 10% of any lock-related fines as a royalty.

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most recognized landmarks in the world.  Built in 1776 by Walt Whitman or something, it has carried traffic over the East River since long before the advent of the motor vehicle.  As such, it is crawling with tourists, many of whom gaze upon its stone towers in wonder while standing right in the middle of the bike lane:


I've made my peace with this and have for awhile now been of the opinion that the wooden pathway should be fully ceded to pedestrians and that a lane of automobile traffic should be removed from the roadway and replaced with a bike lane.  Sadly the chances of that ever happening are virtually nil, since New York City drivers cling to their free bridge crossings like the rest of America clings to their assault rifles.  Nevertheless, instead of yelling at the tourists to get outta the way like a doofus, I merely flash a tight-lipped smile, maybe flick the bell gently if necessary, and generally try to delude them into believing that New York City cyclists are possessed of both dignity and composure.

Here is the view of the harbor:


Here is the view of the other bridges I will soon be crossing:


And ahead of me lies Brooklyn:


Upon making landfall I dutifully followed the arrows:


And then locked up my bike, even though it folds into a compact and easily-carried package:


Note how I've even employed a second lock to secure my saddle to the bike rack.

Before taking possession of a folding bike I always used to wonder why people locked them up instead of simply folding them and taking them inside.  Now that I have one, I realize there are generally three reasons for doing so:

1) Laziness;
2) Stupidity;
3) Shame.

In this particular case my decision was informed by all three.

Anyway, once I'd seen to my business (I can't say what it is but rest assured they've got some juicy kompromat on me now), I headed onto the Manhattan Bridge and back towards Manhattan:


During rush hour the Manhattan Bridge is one of the premiere Cat 6 racing venues in New York City.  However, there's virtually no action to be had in the middle of a weekday when it's like 30 American degrees out, so instead I occupied myself with the view:


Unlike the comparatively quaint Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge is a forbidding structure of beams and girders that rumbles ominously with subway and truck traffic:


As for bike traffic, it was pretty much limited to this guy:


And this guy:


And of course me--though I have no doubt that there was still plenty of off-season Cat 6-ing during the evening rush.

The Manhattan skyline is constantly evolving, and as I alighted in Manhattan I passed yet another shiny glass sprout:


I then made my way onto the Allen Street/1st Avenue bike lane, which was impressively clear of snow:


But not of package delivery:


Though I suppose I'd rather share a bike lane with a hand truck than with an actual truck.

The bike approach to the Williamsburg Bridge however was not so clear:


Though the span itself was pristine, and upon attaining it I slotted in behind some bike messenger types:


The Williamsburg Bridge was a bit more lively than its neighbor downriver:


Even if both are similarly industrial:


And of course Williamsburg itself is a sandbox of real estate development:


Which you can view through what I assume is some kind of DIY art installation:


See?


Yes, the days when Williamsburg was derided as some kind of hipster playground now seem positively quaint, and now it's become a neighborhood of luxury retail and expensive residential boxes:


Where vintage luxury cars are the new fixie:


Upon my arrival I stopped for a coffee break:


And enjoyed the sound of idle bike-related chatter while watching the world go by:


Once I finished my coffee I hopped back on the clown bike and back into Manhattan.  While much of the city has been buffed to a high sheen, some things about the New York City streets never change.  For one thing, you can't go too far without spotting a rat pancake:


For another, you can't go too far in a bike lane without encountering an NYPD vehicle:


And this one was working in tandem with a privately-owned van:


See?


I can only assume the NYPD were ticketing it for excessive pop culture references, since I'm sure they couldn't care less it was in the bike lane:


But a changed city also means new hazards.  For example, the increasing ubiquity of Uber means more and more people standing in the middle of the street trying to figure out if that black car is actually for them.  For example, as I was rounding one corner, I had to pick my way through a pair of bro-bags attempting to suss out a driver while looking up and down from their phones:

"Zamir?  Zamir?  Are you Zamir?  Zamir?," they said over and over, like Zamir had just regained consciousness and they were trying to figure out if he remembered who he was.

It was annoying for me, but I mostly just felt bad for Zamir and the bro-tastic conversation he'd no doubt be enduring for the next 20 minues, assuming he did in fact turn out to be their driver.

Of course, other car service-related issues long predate Uber, such as the passenger disembarking in the middle of the bike lane:


Yet even with all the impositions it's good to see they embolden New York City's cyclists to carry increasingly wide loads:


If we keep filling the bike lanes with bikes there won't be room for anyone else.
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Life-sized Copenhagen

The Little Mermaid isn't small. She's life-size. Much like city she calls home, and that is the key...

For the full photographic glory and the rest of the text, you know where to go. The Original Cycle Chic awaits.
Categories: "copenhagen cycle chic roadshow", bicycling in winter, city of copenhagen, Copenhagen, cycle chic ride, fashionable gloves, jackets, ladies on bikes, urban cycling, urban fabric | Leave a comment

Freedom Isn’t Free, It’s $299 Per Month for 36 Months With $2999 Due at Signing.

As you may know, London descended into chaos yesterday due to a "tube strike," which is when the Underground workers refuse to work and not when you quash your "pants yabbies" on the top tube of your bicycle:



(Tube strike!!!)

This sent commuters scurrying onto other cartoonish forms of transit such as those funny buses they use:


Though a few adventurous souls even tried "alternate ways of getting around the city," as the caption of this photo puts it:


Their expressions are masks of shame tinged with Rapha-esque suffering, and while it's tempting to attribute this to the indignity of being forced to ride bicycles you can rest assured it's merely the British face in repose.  Still, when calamity, work stoppage, or act of God disrupts mass transit, it's always fun to try to pick out who commutes by bike regularly and who dusted one off and aired up the tires out of sheer necessity, and I suspect this rider falls into the latter category:


Granted I wasn't there, but it's pretty clear by the way everyone else is dressed that this was not a shorts day.  In fact, between the dismal weather and the massive number of cyclists it looks like for one glorious moment London dripped with the sogginess and smugness of a thousand Portlands:
They say if you listened closely that morning you could hear the sound of thousands of Bromptons unfurling, and perhaps that's what inspired me to head out on mine today:


Though with no strike in effect I confess I made a beeline for the IRT, and I spent my trip downtown sandwiched between a man slurping breakfast cereal from a Tupperware container and an addled woman screaming about coconuts.

As I did my best to shut out all the slurping and screaming, I had sort of an out-of-body experience, and for a moment I floated to the ceiling of the subway car and saw myself decked out in my beige Inspector Gadget jacket with a folding bike between my legs.  "When did I become such a fuddy-duddy?" I wondered.  It seemed like just yesterday I was crossing the Manhattan Bridge on the Ironic Orange Julius bike, its gear resolutely fixed, its frame festooned with irreverent stickers, and its lightweight ass hatchet of a saddle slowly boring holes in the seat of my pants:


Now here I was with a clown bike and swaddled in a cocoon of multimodal smugness.

I'd like to say this is the moment I finally realized I'd gotten old, but I'd be lying.  No, the moment I finally realized I'd gotten old was when I penned a lengthy screed to my neighborhood newspaper recently:



Writing letters that nobody will ever read is a serious warning sign of both middle age-onset curmudgeonliness and terminal smugness, and it's only a matter of time before I'm yelling at rowdy teenagers on the bus.

Of course, it could be worse.  I mean, I could live in Portsmouth, NH, which appears to be vying for the title of victim-blaming capital of the world:


The number of pedestrians and cyclists struck by Seacoast drivers is on the rise and local police say in most cases it's not the driver's fault.

Yes, more cyclists and pedestrians are getting killed in Portsmouth, but it's not the drivers' fault because their victims are not wearing reflective clothing or something, so naturally lawmakers want to take the extra step of rewarding these killers by letting them use their phones while driving:

Meanwhile, five Republicans have sponsored a bill to repeal the so-called hands-free law, which restricts the use of handheld devices while driving, with one of them saying the law isn't doing what it's intended to do and that it's a matter of liberty.

They really should change the state motto while they're at it:


Still, you've got to admire the way the motor vehicle lobby has managed to transfer the responsibility of seeing away from drivers and onto everybody else:

When a jogger was struck by a mirror on a passing vehicle last year, according to the new police report, the jogger had been running in South Street, by School Street, while wearing dark clothing with no reflective material. Police determined the jogger "was not seen by the driver," the report notes.

Late last year, at Congress and High streets, also in Portsmouth's busy downtown, a pedestrian was "bumped" in a crosswalk before police determined, after an investigation, that "poor lighting and dark clothing were major contributing factors."

Amazing.

I'm tempted to tell the Portsmouth police to eat shit, but then they'd probably just put it in jail for not being delicious.

Alas, it's becoming increasingly obvious I should just say "Fuck it, I'm moving to Paris" already:


"Climate is the number one priority. Less cars means less pollution. 2017 will be the year of the bicycle," Reuters reports Hidalgo saying.

“The deluge is imminent and we cannot wait for it to sweep us all away … there are too many cars in Paris,” she said on Friday.

Wow, a mayor actually saying there are too many cars in the city?  I don't think I'll ever hear a New York City mayor admit that in my lifetime.  Our supposedly progressive mayor identifies as a driver and gets driven from Manhattan to Brooklyn in an SUV to pedal a stationary bike for 30 minutes, and the people angling to replace him campaign on ideas like this:

The Department of Transportation says more people are biking in NYC than ever before, and that streets should be redesigned with their safety in mind.

Buying a car, having a car, is the last bastion of freedom. You get in your car, you can go anywhere you want at any time you want. It's not like, "You know what, I'm not going to buy a car. I'm just going to use mass transit." There's a lot of areas in the city of New York that are a mass transportation desert. People are still going to drive. That's reality. So you have to deal with motorists.

Holy shit.  Car ownership is basically the definition of onerousness, and perhaps one of our greatest failings as a country is that so many people simply can't get by without consigning a huge chunk of their income to maintaining one.  Really the only difference between tithing and a country where car ownership is a requirement are the cupholders.

No, what Paris is doing sounds a lot more like freedom.  Unfortunately I've forgotten pretty much all of my high school French, but hey, that didn't stop me from publishing a book there:



And check out this rave review:

Un livre léger sur le vélo, pas de grandes théories, c'est très bien pour les toilettes, un voyage en bus ou les vacances...

I'm sure they'll welcome me with open toilets.


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If you want a title you’ll have to subscribe to my premium service.

Rejoice, safe streets advocates of New York!  A crucial blow on the battle for Vision Zero has been struck!  Yes, on Manhattan's Upper East Side, the NYPD 19th Precinct has confiscated a shitload of ebikes:
Sure, this will do nothing to reduce all the injuries and deaths caused by drivers of motor vehicles, but it will probably make food delivery a little slower, and I'm quite sure Upper East Siders will use that additional wait time to reflect on the importance of street safety.

Yes, instead of targeting the people who maim and kill, it's good to see the NYPD punishing the people who really deserve it in the name of public safety:


Some workers, like those undocumented ones at the shadier joints, aren't getting a base wage. They get by only on tips earned. That might mean just $30 to $50 per day. They're only keeping a percentage of those tips, with the rest going to their employer and/or a shift manager. When tips are paid by credit card, the card provider is skimming 2-3% off the top in transaction fees before it even gets to the worker.

Workers are typically paying for their own bikes. Buying a decent bikes is an investment towards greater earnings potential. A lighter mechanical bike or an electric bike will get the worker to the destinations more quickly and with less effort. Like any bikes in NYC, the nicer ones get stolen with regularity. A big, clunky bike isn't going to get stolen as frequently, but that sort of bike doesn't get the worker to the destinations quickly either. 

On top of all that which cuts into the tips, you can bet the employer isn't providing healthcare. If they get injured while on a delivery run, they're out of work and not about to earn anything in the downtime.

Now you can add "NYPD confiscating their ebikes because some rich people find them annoying" to this considerable list of indignities.  Sure, this might seem unfair, but don't forget that America is a trickle-down society and when the system favors the wealthy we all benefit.  Consider Upper East Side resident and staunch anti-bike activist Woody Allen:

"None of the streets can accommodate a bike lane in a graceful way," Allen said, arguing that the DOT's plan to add bike lanes to Upper East Side crosstown streets is out of step with the community. "Every street has a good argument why it shouldn't have a lane."

If the NYPD were to inconvenience Allen by allowing delivery people on ebikes to run amok, or by jailing him for child molestation, he might stop making movies.  This would be a tremendous blow to our culture, which needs out-of-touch films that provoke critical thought such as "Why the fuck does this guy still bother?"  Also, every generation has its token nebbishy Jewish actor, and without Woody Allen employing them as proxies they'd have nothing to do in between making movies people actually want to see:


("Nobody's actually going to see me in this, are they?")

So rest assured the system's working as it should, and by continuing to penalize the most vulnerable road users we'll have this whole drivers-running-us-down-left-and-right thing licked in no time.

Meanwhile, in somewhat more promising news, the New York State Court of Appeals has ruled that cities can be held liable for failing to redesign dangerous streets:


The Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, ruled that New York City and other municipalities can be held liable for failing to redesign streets with a history of traffic injuries and reckless driving.

The ruling stems from a crash in 2004, when Louis Pascarella, driving “at least” 54 miles per hour in a 30 mph zone, struck 12-year-old Anthony Turturro as he rode a bike on Gerritsen Avenue. Pascarella later pled guilty to assault.

Holding cities responsible for failing to keep us safe on the roads we pay them to maintain?  That's un-American!  Of course, more than ever "un-American" is a good thing, and indeed some say this could be a "game-changer:"

“This decision is a game-changer,” says Steve Vaccaro, an attorney who represents traffic crash victims. “The court held that departments of transportation can be held liable for harm caused by speeding drivers, where the DOT fails to install traffic-calming measures even though it is aware of dangerous speeding, unless the DOT has specifically undertaken a study and determined that traffic calming is not required.”

At trial, Turturro’s attorneys presented evidence that in the years before the crash, residents asked the city to take measures to calm traffic on Gerritsen, which locals described as a “racetrack.”

This all sounds incredibly promising...until you consider that the city already pays hundreds of millions of (our) dollars a year already to settle suits against the NYPD, so what's shelling out a few more bucks for some traffic victims?

A civil trial jury awarded Turturro $20 million, finding the city 40 percent responsible for the crash.

Come on, 40% of $20 million is only $8 million!  Your elected officials would gladly pay that rather than face the wrath of neighborhood residents upset over losing a handful of parking spaces to a bike lane.  Plus, we all know that when people get hit by cars it's usually their own fault, and it's much easier to blame smartphones for all the ills of society:

Shoppers and commuters standing in line, people crossing busy streets, even cyclists and drivers whose eyes are on their phones instead of their surroundings.

Hey, he's wearing a helmet, I don't see the problem.

Anyway, while distracted driving is a huge problem I'd say distracted cycling is pretty much a non-issue, since unlike driving a car simply staying upright on a bicycle requires at least a basic level of attention.  I'd also say this is completely untrue:

Ms. Colier, a licensed clinical social worker, said, “The only difference between digital addiction and other addictions is that this is a socially condoned behavior.”

Really, the only difference between our nation's crippling opioid addiction and checking your Facebook a million times a day is that one of them is "socially condoned?"

Well okay then.


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Bicyle Icicles

Suddenly an icy cold wind swept over Copenhagen from the North Pole, chilling everyone to the bone....

For the full photographic glory and the rest of the text, you know where to go. The Original Cycle Chic awaits.
Categories: bicycling in winter, Copenhagen, fmsm, wind, winter, winter sun | Leave a comment