Category Archives: traffic

Submit or Be Damned

Do as you’re told. Submit to authority. No matter what. Even if you have the facts on your side. Even if you have reason on your side. Even if you have experts on your side. Even if you have morality on your side. This is America today on our streets. Drive a car or stay […]

The Price We Gladly Pay

This column in today’s New York Times is heartbreaking: There was videotape evidence that the man who killed Cooper did not yield. Witnesses corroborated that the driver was not paying attention. I soon learned, however, that the Manhattan district attorney’s office would most likely not charge the driver who killed my son with criminal negligence. […]

Our LOS(S)

Todd Litman examines the concept of “level of service” in traffic engineering — the idea that streets and roads be designed to mitigate traffic congestion and delay. He writes: This significantly affects transportation and urban planning decisions, and therefore our lives. In practice, the results are often perverse: this indicator favors wider roads with higher […]

The Eternal Season

That would be silly season. You know, that special time of year (two times, really) that one can expect the unexpected on Springfield’s streets because the city is full of new college students operating various vehicles in ways that are, quite often, horrifying and dangerous. Also amusing. I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow: Shooting […]

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 […]

Pedestrian Fatality Map

Check out the map of pedestrian fatalities at Smart Growth America. Here’s a screen shot drilled down to Springfield:   There’s nothing surprising here. Pedestrians tend to take the hits on arterials with high volumes of traffic and higher speeds. The city has been building and improving sidewalks all over town. That’s a good thing. […]

Going Down Hard

It’s tough to be a pedestrian. But three cities are getting grants to make walking safer. From the USA Today article: Every two hours, on average, a pedestrian is killed. One is injured every seven minutes. “This is not something that just happens in some other place,” David Friedman, acting administrator of the National Highway […]

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 […]

On The Record

Just FYI: In the bicycle advocacy world, I am a traffic safety advocate as opposed to a participation advocate. Participation advocate: A person whose primary goal is increasing the number of people who ride bicycles (aka. mode share). A participation advocate’s primary measure of success in advocacy is increased mode share. Traffic safety advocate: A […]

Danger and Difficulty

I gave a luncheon talk at the Midtown Library today about bicycling in traffic as traffic for basic transportation. The big sound-bite: If it were difficult or dangerous, I wouldn’t be doing it. That happens to be entirely true. I’m interested in neither difficulty nor danger. The talk consisted mostly of explaining the rules of […]

Happy New Year! Happy New Culture!

R E S P E C T If you have to get a song stuck in your head Respect is a good one I’m also declaring “respect” the the Carbon Trace word of the year for 2014. As in: By so declaring, I am making a pledge to work for cultural change to achieve the […]

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 […]