Stay Safe, Cyclists

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

USA Pro Cycling Challenge:  Stay Safe, Cyclists

Story by Joe Silva

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past few weeks with regards to cycling it’s that no one is immune to the dangers of riding out on the roads. Several recent high-profile wrecks have once again brought home the reality that even the most capable and experienced bike riders are subject to the hazards of traffic. In early November Team Sky rider Bradley Wiggins was toppled by a van during a training ride. The Olympic champ and 2012 Tour de France champion was described by witnesses at the scene to be in severe pain as he waited for an ambulance to whisk him off to a hospital. Not long after the team’s coach Shane Sutton was also the victim of a run in with a motorist that was far more serious. Wiggins suffered a rib fracture and a dislocated finger, but Sutton was treated for bleeding on the brain and memory loss. And proving the axiom that bad things come in threes, Wiggins former teammate Mark Cavendish “slammed” into the back of a car that hit its brakes suddenly while the Manx speedster was out training. Luckily, Cav sustained only a bruised arm in the incident.

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Cameras Act as Black Boxes When Cars and Cyclists Collide

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

The New York Times: Cameras Act as ‘Black Boxes’ When Cars and Cyclists Collide

By NICK WINGFIELD
Published: July 20, 2012

WASHINGTON — When Evan Wilder went flying onto the pavement during his bicycle commute one morning here, he didn’t have time to notice the license plate of the blue pickup truck that had sideswiped him after its driver hurled a curse at him. Nor did a witness driving another car.

But the video camera Mr. Wilder had strapped to his head caught the whole episode. After watching a recording of the incident later, Mr. Wilder gave the license plate number to the police and a suspect was eventually charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

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Do Passing Distance Laws Really Protect Cyclists?

This article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

The Atlantic Cities: Do Passing Distance Laws Really Protect Cyclists?

ANDREW ZALESKI

Cyclists in the Keystone State have reason to rejoice. In April, a new safe-passing law went into effect requiring that drivers leave a berth of at least four feet between their vehicles and road-bound bicycles. The law makes Pennsylvania one of 20 states with similar bicycle-passing requirements, a cause célèbre for biking advocates.

Most require drivers to stay at least three feet from bikers. Still, an important central question remains: do these laws make travel safer for cyclists, or are they hollow gestures that, when enacted, are easily ignored?

"A lot of times, people don’t realize that cyclists have a legal right to the road," says Bob Mionske, U.S. Olympic cyclist-turned-cycling lawyer and the founder of BicycleLaw.com.

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Coexisting With Drivers: 10 Rules for Bicyclists

 

This article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

Edmunds: Coexisting With Drivers: 10 Rules for Bicyclists

Cyclists Have Road Rights — and Responsibilities

Published: 03/01/2012 - by Kathleen Doheny, Contributor

Bicyclists may feel they don't have a fighting chance on the road, much less any friends riding in 4-ton steel cabins atop four wheels. Media reports tend to dwell on unpleasantries between motorists and bicyclists, notably road rage incidents. Nevertheless, safety experts say, it is possible for bicyclists and drivers to peacefully coexist.

We have a set of tips for drivers. But Edmunds.com also asked safety experts — a bicycling advocate, bicycling-accident attorneys and a representative from the National Motorists Association — to give us their best tips for what bicyclists can do both to keep the peace with motorists and enjoy their rides.

Here, then, are the 10 best rules of the road for bicycling near cars.

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American Trailblazer Bob Mionske

This article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

PEZ Talk: American Trailblazer Bob Mionske

Monday, February 20, 2012

by Edmond Hood

The Olympic road race, Seoul – the year is 1988 and it’s the first big East/West Olympic showdown since the Montreal Games 12 years before. East German Olaf Ludwig restored Eastern honour in Seoul, with West Germans Bernd Grone and Christian Henn taking the other two medals; legendary Soviet sprinter Djamolidine Abdoujaparov took fifth. But in fourth place was an ex-skier who’d only been riding a bike for four years, who says he couldn’t ride GC, couldn’t time trial and in his own words, was ‘built like a wrestler’ – Bob Mionske

Moscow in 1980 saw the US boycott the Olympics as a result of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. And for Los Angeles in ‘84 the Eastern bloc had to boycott – naturally. Soviet legend Sergei Soukhoroutchenkov won in Moscow, but that was no surprise; Soukho had won the Russian road race championship held on the same course some weeks earlier – but over one lap more than the Olympic race. That enigmatic man Alexei Grewal won in LA for the USA to even the score.

Mionske was a contemporary and rival of riders like Lance Armstrong, Bobby Julich, Chann McRae, George Hincapie and Tyler Hamilton; they went on to careers in the highest echelons of European road sport whilst Mionske became the USA’s first ‘cycling attorney' - as he puts it; 'I had only cyclists, other attorneys represented cyclists in their practice but none, to my knowledge had only rider clients.'

He recently took time to talk to PEZ about his life and times.

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Why Big Oil May Be Afraid of Bicycles

This news article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

Treehugger: Why Big Oil May Be Afraid of Bicycles

A.K. Streeter
Transportation / Bikes
February 15, 2012

By now you must have read somewhere in the blogosphere that the Transportation Bill (officially The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, or H.R. 7) being shepherded by chair of the House Transportation Committee John Mica (R-FL), is considered a distaster for active transportation. The bill has been called a variety of bad names, including "horrible" by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, "troubling" by Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer, and "a bill only Big Oil could love," by Streetsblog.

Bob Mionske, the bicycle lawyer who writes frequently on cycling policy and legislation, details exactly why H.R. 7 is so horrible for cyclists, as well as for pedestrians and transit users.

As Mionske puts it on his blog, H.R. 7:
- Reverses 20 years of bicycle and pedestrian-friendly federal transportation policy.
- Elminates dedicated funding for the Transportation Enhancements program (funding cycling and walking projects).
- Allows states to build bridges without safe access for cyclists and pedestrians, as previously required.
- Eliminates Bicycle and Pedestrian and Safe Routes to Schools coordinators in state transportation departments.
- Repeals Safe Routes to Schools.
- Eliminates language that ensures that rumble strips “do not adversely affect the safety or mobility of bicyclists, pedestrians or the disabled.”

The bill also attacks dedicated transit funding, eliminating gas tax revenue for transit (not such a bad idea) but not replacing it with anything else (definitely bad).

That is plenty enough to turn active transportation advocates against the bill. What is interesting is all the support in the bill for the oil industry, including the stunning idea of linking funding for transportation infrastructure to oil production. If transportation was solely about driving internal combustion vehicles on huge highways, never mind peak oil, sustainability concerns, conservation, or pollution, this idea would have some logic.

In the real world, it seems like an attempt to make us all more addicted to the very oil said to be running out.

Mionske puts it like this:

I think it’s pretty easy to connect the dots here and draw the conclusion that Big Oil—which spends millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions every year, but reaps billions of dollars in record profits—is afraid. Very afraid. It’s kind of funny when you think about it—the oil industry, which is enjoying the largest profits in human history, is afraid of a child on a bike. So afraid, that Representatives in Washington who are beholden to Big Oil will do whatever they can to make it less safe for children to get to school. Cycling has been steadily increasing in popularity among all age groups, and particularly so with young adults. We are a massive wave representing a fundamental shift in attitudes, and that is what frightens Big Oil.

Since Mionske first wrote his piece, a group of congressmen (and woman) proposed the Petri/Johnson amendment to restore some of the cuts, and though Petri/Johnson failed when put to its first vote, it has since been offered again as H.R. 7 gets closer to vote. On the Senate side with the MAP-21 Transport bill, the Cardin/Cochran amendment is also attempting to restore local jurisdictions' control over bike and pedestrian program funding.

Coexisting With Bicyclists: 10 Rules for Drivers

This article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

Edmunds: Coexisting With Bicyclists: 10 Rules for Drivers

Love Them or Hate Them, Cyclists Have Road Rights

Published: 02/14/2012 - by Kathleen Doheny, Contributor

Horrific accidents involving bicyclists and drivers have made headlines recently, including a 2010 collision between an SUV and a bicycle in Largo, Maryland. On the bike was 30-year-old law student and Green Party candidate Natasha Pettigrew. The driver thought she had struck a deer and kept driving, according to news reports. Pettigrew later died from the injuries.

Traffic accidents involving bicyclists and vehicles killed 630 people in the U.S. in 2009, the latest available figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Another 51,000 bicyclists were injured, sometimes critically.

Bicycling advocates say drivers can play a big role in reducing those grim statistics, paving the way for peaceful coexistence. It's a two-way street, of course. Bicyclists have responsibilities, just as drivers do.

For this story, Edmunds.com asked bicycling advocates, bicycling-accident attorneys and other experts to give their recommendations on how drivers can coexist more peacefully with bicyclists. In a companion story, we'll outline bicyclists' responsibilities. But for you drivers, here are our 10 rules of the road for driving near bicyclists.

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Jury Applies No Penalty to Speeding Driver For Killing Cyclist Jake McDonaugh

This article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

Streetsblog New York City: Jury Applies No Penalty to Speeding Driver For Killing Cyclist Jake McDonaugh

by Ben Fried on October 28, 2011

A Brooklyn jury has found defendant Michael Oxley not guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the 2010 death of Jake McDonaugh, the Post reports.

Oxley was speeding behind the wheel of a Dodge Caravan when he ran down cyclist McDonaugh at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Duryea Place last April. The investigation and prosecution were unusual for a vehicular violence case — police followed up with witnesses, and the Brooklyn District Attorney applied a felony charge. But the jury cleared Oxley of homicide as well as reckless driving, a misdemeanor. A closer look at the case is in order.

At 9:20 a.m. on the morning of April 14, Oxley was driving on Flatbush when he struck and killed McDonaugh, who was bicycling eastbound on Duryea. Oxley, 28 at the time, was observed traveling at an excessive speed, and a witness saw him run a red before killing McDonaugh, according to court documents [PDF]. He was driving with a suspended license and according to the Daily News had racked up three license suspensions for failing to pay fines for speeding and improper turns.

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A New Breed of Lawyers Focuses on Bicyclists' Rights

This blog article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

The New York Times: A New Breed of Lawyers Focuses on Bicyclists’ Rights

By J. DAVID GOODMAN
Published: August 19, 2011

AT the law firm Rankin & Taylor, everybody’s a cyclist.

Scott Charnas, a personal-injury lawyer, has handled many cases involving New York cyclists.
One recent day, the lawyers there parsed bike-law issues, like “dooring zones” and when is it legally acceptable to ride outside a designated lane, while downstairs, each of their bikes were expertly locked to a scaffold along Broadway in TriBeCa.

The small firm is preparing to bring a class-action suit against New York City on behalf of cyclists over summons handed out for what it contends are phantom violations — bike behavior that it says is not illegal in the city. It is another sign that New York’s bike fights are moving from the streets to the courtroom.

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Curing Car Vs. Cyclist Road Wars With A New Rule: "Just Don't Steal The Right-Of-Way"

This blog article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.

Treehugger: Curing Car Vs. Cyclist Road Wars With A New Rule: "Just Don't Steal The Right-Of-Way"
by A.K. Streeter, Portland, Oregon on 08.18.11
CARS & TRANSPORTATION (bikes)

Though a world-class cycling city, Portland lacks a bike share system similar to those in other great cycling cities such as Minneapolis, Montreal, Paris, Barcelona. Though bike sharing is considered to be important to attract new cyclists onto the lanes, lack of funds has hampered planning efforts. At first, 2011 seemed to be the year the city of Portland would fund bike sharing. But then, as a vote neared, opposition arose from Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who claimed she couldn't support funding bike sharing due to...bad bicyclist behavior.

"I may support a bike sharing program downtown when I see bike riders using downtown streets and sidewalks in a safe manner. Daily, I see cyclists in the Light rail and bus lanes in front of my office. I see cyclists riding on the sidewalks, endangering and harassing pedestrians. I see cyclists running red lights and making illegal turns off the bus mall. And these are presumably experienced cyclists. I believe a bike rental program downtown would only add to these unsafe behaviors." - Amanda Fritz, via Bike Portland

Though the idea of withholding funding to a system until all users agree to strictly follow the rules is a new line of logic (imagine canceling road improvements until car drivers were caught speeding), bashing scofflaw cyclists, or course, isn't unique to Portland or Commissioner Fritz.

In fact, holding cyclists to a "different standard" is rampant, says bicycle attorney Bob Mionske, author of the book Bicycling and the Law.

"It is hypocritical, but cyclists are held to a different standard," Mionske said. "Meanwhile, 7 out of 10 motorists admit to breaking the law."

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