SFPD demonstrates the Idaho Roll on Haight Street


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.

[ Keep Reading... ]

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.

[ Keep Reading... ]

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.

[ Keep Reading... ]

Tips On Working With Elected Leaders

Bicycle Transportation Allince: Tips On Working With Elected Leaders

February 08, 2012 | by Gerik Kransky | Posted in Advocacy

As we struggle with a bad transportation bill in Washington, D.C., now is the time to work directly with elected leaders and their staff. Doing so effectively requires care and attention to some basic advocacy skills.

Continue reading the rest of this blog post from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance here.


Another Legislative Attack on Cycling

 Interest in bicycling is at an all-time high, and steadily rising, as each year more people discover the benefits of a lifestyle that includes cycling. There are many converging reasons for bicycling’s increasing popularity. Riding a bike is a way to stretch tight budgets in a time of prolonged economic downturn. In the midst of rising rates of obesity, bicycling counters the sedentary lifestyle and over-consumption of calories that lies at the root of the obesity epidemic. And of course, bicycling is an environmentally-friendly means of transportation through which individuals can reduce both their petroleum consumption and their carbon footprint. Did I mention that it’s also just flat-out fun, whether riding solo, with family and friends, or with a club?

[ Keep Reading... ]

Another Bike Ban

“They’re at it again.”

That’s what I thought when I heard about the latest cycling ban, this time in Hull, Wisconsin

Every now and then, some town gets a “ban bikes” bug. This issue has come up in Jupiter Island, Florida, Crawford and Hardin Counties in Iowa, and Black Hawk, Colorado. Usually, this is in response to complaints about everything from conflicts between motorists and cyclists, to cyclists not obeying the law, to cyclists not sharing the road.

[ Keep Reading... ]

Shifting The Blame, and Justice Denied, Again

It’s the issue that just won’t go away—and cyclists are continuing to get stung by it. I’m talking about contraflow riding on the sidewalk—in plain English, riding on the sidewalk against the direction of vehicular traffic. Now, many cycling safety advocates strongly recommend against riding on the sidewalk. Others take a more nuanced approach. Personally, I occasionally ride on the sidewalk myself—even against the flow of traffic. So does Bob. I’m aware of exactly what the danger areas are (for those who don’t know, you need to be careful where driveways cross the sidewalk, because drivers aren’t looking for you. You also need to be careful when leaving the sidewalk to enter a crosswalk), so I’m cautious when riding on the sidewalk (it is the domain of the pedestrian, after all, and it’s only polite to be cautious when riding near pedestrians), and extra cautious when approaching driveways.

[ Keep Reading... ]

Crosswalk Collision

I went for a cup of coffee this morning. I walked down to the corner crosswalk, and waited for the light to change so I could cross. It would have been a shorter trip to just jaywalk across the street, but it seemed safer to use the crosswalk. So I waited for the light to change, and it did, but not before one last motorist rushed to get through before the light changed. And then another motorist blew through the red light—blew, not rolled, through the red light—and turned right. This motorist probably never even saw me waiting to step into the crosswalk, because although she was turning right, she was looking left, over her shoulder, for oncoming traffic. I waited for her to finish her illegal move, said “nice stop” to no one in particular, and stepped into the crosswalk.

[ Keep Reading... ]

More Entries