Paul at Bike Commute Tips had a busy weekend posting a lot of encouraging news items about bicycling and commuting. He notes that the city of Urbana, Illinois has a new bike plan. Paul has a good memory, noting that I used to commute across Champaign County several years ago.
Paul also reports on the new "Shifting Gears" column on bicycling in the Boston Globe. Here in Silicon Valley, the "Mr. Roadshow" is the column on local transportation issues. Recently, the Roadshow columnist covered motorist and cyclist road etiquette, in which he writes:
• Do not honk at bicyclists as drivers approach a group riding on narrow roads. They will hear you; honking may startle them and other drivers.More in the Mercury News.
• When making a right turn, drivers must merge into the bike lane within 200 feet of the turn. It's wise to begin your merge as soon as you see the dashed lines, as long as you yield to bicyclists already in the bike lane. Don't make a wide right turn at the last moment.
• If a group of bicyclists is going slower than traffic and five or more vehicles are behind them, bicyclists need to pull out at the next safe spot to let people pass. It may be some distance before there's a safe spot to pull out. If bicyclists are traveling at the speed of traffic, they do not need to pull over for motorists who want to go faster.
• Don't get mad at bicyclists riding several abreast. Sometimes the only way to bicycle safely is to take the lane - ride in the middle of the right lane and explicitly block cars from driving in that lane. If they are in that lane and it is legal to pass, try to stay three feet or more from a bicyclist's left shoulder.
• If a bicyclist is taking the entire lane, he's telling you this is not a safe place for you to pass. Don't come unglued. Wait until it's safe to pass.
• Cyclists should ride as far right as practicable to allow faster traffic to pass.
• Don't pull out or turn in front of an oncoming bike. They are often traveling faster than you think.
On the local cyclist mailing lists there's been a lot of discussion about this item in the San Francisco Chronicle which claims that cyclists are at fault in accidents at twice the rate that motorists are. A few people have pointed to the excellent Right Of Way site, and others have made the observation that "dead cyclists tended to be more often at fault" because of survivor's bias -- often, the driver is the only available witness.
The Sartorialist posted a bicycle photo at his fashion blog.
My inbox of cycling stuff runneth over, but this post is long enough and I've got things to do.