Thursday, November 19, 2009

Physician accused of deliberately injuring two bicyclists is convicted

I have been following this for a while and it has been an interesting case.

Prosecutors alleged that Thompson stopped his car after passing the two cyclists and shouting at them to ride single file. The cyclists testified that they began maneuvering to ride one after the other when they noticed Thompson's car approaching fast behind them but that the driver passed dangerously close before abruptly stopping.

Check it out here.

Hey, angry drivers, a precedent has been set.

Winter Biking

Well, it's getting to be that time again when it is time to put the bike away and start driving again. What?!! No way!
Thanks to one of the faithful readers out there, Tony, who tuned me onto this. It is pretty right on.

"The key to winter cycle commuting is just to suck it up and commit to it. If you give yourself an option, you won't do it. And, once you do it, you can't believe how easy it really is."- Brad Werntz

Many a cold and frosty morning Brad's words stuck in my mind. I could be car-free and take the bus or get a ride from someone but there is something about biking that makes my days better. My metabolism is revved, I am able to plan my day, and just be outside. It's easy in the summer, in the winter it really takes commitment. I have found prepping all my clothing and gear ahead of time makes the biggest difference. No excuses.

The whole thing

What would you do to increase ridership?

Well, what I would do is close off a bunch of streets throughout the City or maybe just downtown 1 day per month or maybe just 1 day to start and I would only allow cyclists. Wouldn't that be terrific! Not just part of the street. The whole street.
This would allow all the families to come out too. Logistical nightmare? Perhaps, but it would be great for all of those that are too fearful to ride the streets normally.

There is a group in LA that wants to do it.

A group called cicLAvia wants to close major L.A. thoroughfares to cars and open them to bicyclists on Sundays. City officials are looking for ways to support the plan, which originated in Colombia.

The rest of the story

I was in South Bend last weekend and I started talking to the owner (J.V.)of a local bike shop that I was in. He is a part of a large advocacy group called Michiana Bicycle Coalition and we got to talking about the fact that their group was trying to do something similar there too. It probably will happen there sometime this summer from what I understand. I will keep you all updated. I can't believe what a strong organization they are and it does the Fort Wayne Bike Commuter's heart some good knowing what these folks have been able to accomplish. They are really the driving force behind how South Bend and Mishawaka have progressed over the last few years with regard to cycling. Great job all of you out there in lovely Michiana.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Follow up to previous post regarding getting muscled toward the curb by a Citilink bus

I posted a few weeks ago about an incident that occurred on Spy Run Avenue involving me and a Citilink bus. This post can be viewed here.
After a lot of back and forth between the two parties here is the resulting email.

I sincerely apologize in the delay in getting back to you. I was under the impression that you had received an email from the supervisor who reviewed the hard drive. Unfortunately, the first time you emailed me you didn’t provide a bus number and we couldn’t pull the hard drive. When I received the information from you the hard drive was pulled but the incident had been recorded over. It is very important that we are provided with the information as soon after the incident occurs as possible.

I sincerely apologize to you for the driver’s actions and I will ask our trainers to add this to the agenda for driver safety training.

So, I tell them where it happened, I tell them what time it happened, I tell them what day it happened. but I could not tell them the route number of the bus so....What??!!! You're kidding right? I gave information to this lady a few days after the incident making a guess at which route it was and she is stating that the reason that they aren't to blame is because I didn't give them the route number quick enough. I guess I made a poor assumption, that they knew which buses are on which route at any given moment. Upon looking at the route map there are only a couple buses that drive that stretch of Spy Run.

Maybe I am the one in the wrong here. Wrong for thinking that I would get an explanation on this driver's behavior toward me.

So the moral of this is? If you are buzzed by a Citilink bus, catch up to it so you can find out the route number, because the Citilink office will not be able to help you otherwise. Send your letter certified mail too.

At least they have bike racks on the bus.

Speaking of Citilink, why do they drive in a bunch of circles all day long? Can anyone answer this? I got to looking at the route map as I was trying to figure out which bus decided to draft around me like NASCAR!

In other cities that I have lived, the buses are usually on the arterial roads going from one end of town to the other. For example, you could catch a bus on Jefferson by the Dunkin Donuts and take it to Lafayette and then get a transfer slip and take another bus that would be traveling north that could take you to State to transfer to another bus out to Maplecrest. I mean you look at the route map and it is just a bunch of circles out from the Superior St station. Just a thought. Regardless, I am happy to not need the bus anymore. I ride my drive.