Category Archives: bicycle safety

Playing the Numbers Game, Part 3

For the final installment of this series, let’s take a look at manufactured right-turn conflicts in Portland, Oregon. Two of the three general rules of safe movement are drive on the right and pass on the left. These simple rules are designed to, among other things, keep your attention directed forward into a right hand turn. It also means nothing is […]

Playing the Numbers Game, Part 2

So, yeah, dangerous infrastructure gets built in places that have good reputations for bicycle friendliness. On my recent trip to Portland, Oregon — a platinum level bicycle friendly community, according to the League of American Bicyclists — I saw infrastructure that violates the rules of safe movement or otherwise creates hazards worse than the street […]

Playing the Numbers Game, Part 1

I was recently in Portland, Oregon on a vacation. I did not rent a bicycle and ride it around on the various types of infrastructure, but I did walk around and take pictures. This is the first in a short series examining what I saw. As I have discussed before, I believe there are generally […]

Happened In The Wild

I had a bunch of errands to run this morning around the urban core of Springfield and to the suburbs — namely the Battlefield Mall to buy veggies at the farmer’s market. So I drove my bicycle on downtown streets, residential streets, collector streets, 3-lane streets, and a 4-lane arterial. I covered about every type […]

Spotted in the Wild 2

Something I saw this morning on my way to work (I was on my bicycle): Heading east into the rising sun on Elm this morning, I came upon a policeman starting his campus bicycle patrol. I was controlling the lane for an extra reason this morning: The shadows at the edge of the road can […]

Spotted in the Wild

Something I saw this morning on my way to work (I was on foot): A woman in normal clothes riding a “townie” bicycle (i.e. upright seating, fenders, chain guard, rack) on Walnut. She stopped at the light at Kimbrough. Then she continued east on Walnut avoiding the door zone. And she didn’t dip to the right in areas […]

Do Not Stop In The Blind Spot

Too many urban bicyclists die each year in entirely preventable right-hook crashes with trucks. How do you prevent it? Proper lane positioning. You should never position yourself to the right of right-turning traffic — even if a bicycle lane channels you into such a position (e.g. such as some lanes in Portland, Oregon do). Here’s […]

Bicyclist Killed In Hit-And-Run

A 23-year-old bicyclist was killed by a hit-and-run driver Sunday near the MSU campus. Here’s a report from KSMU, including an interview with me. Here a Google Earth look at the intersection (click for larger image). That’s a look from roughly the perspective of the west-bound bicyclist looking toward south-bound traffic. The sight lines are […]

Flip-side of the Amsterdam Coin

The damned thing is done. Sort of. It’s not what I had originally intended. Last year, when I published a tongue-n-cheek trailer for this video, I was planning a documentary about bicycling in Springfield, Missouri with comparisons to Amsterdam (realizing, obviously, that such comparisons are difficult at best given the radically different contexts). The comparison […]

On Paying Attention

So there I am this morning stopped at the light at Elm and Kimbrough heading east toward MSU. I’m first in line. The switch at this intersection often doesn’t trip for bicycles. There was very little traffic. A guy in a minivan pulls behind me — and we wait. After a bit, I decide to […]

Lane Position and the Sun

Hit from behind is the rarest of car-bicycle collisions in urban areas. The general rule of thumb is: The danger is in front of you at intersections. This picture, however, illustrates, a situation where the danger is behind, and the proper choice of lane positioning is not intuitive for many people. Another general rule of […]

Laugh? Cry? … Cry

Check out this recent press release from Trek re: their “Game Changer” program for bicycle advocacy. Here’s a screen shot of the picture on the press release. Yes. What you see there is likely a door-zone bicycle lane. In other words, a lane where the bicyclist is encouraged by the paint to ride next to […]

The Rules and What That Means

I have used the term “rules of safe movement” many times in discussing bicycle infrastructure. My usual link for it is this excellent essay by Chip Seal: The Steps of the Dance. I will continue to refer to this essay. I have secured permission to reproduce it for Carbon Trace readers — something I plan […]

Keeping An Eye On Engineering

One of the unfortunate things about the bicycle lanes (and mandatory use law) in Portland, Oregon is that many of the lanes there were painted right up to the intersections. That creates a deadly right-hook danger. Thankfully, the city traffic engineers in Springfield know better. Bicycle lanes here end well before intersections, and sharrows indicate […]

Where Can (Should) You Ride?

Here’s what Missouri law states (307.190): Every person operating a bicycle or motorized bicycle at less than the posted speed or slower than the flow of traffic upon a street or highway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as safe, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one […]