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Re: Toward a Shared Cycling Funding Agenda  Whitney Turner
 Jul 22, 2003 11:27 PDT 


My experiences with Thunderhead are a little less pleasant. I was a
dissenting voice on the list in the days after Dana Laird was killed, and I
chose my words carefully. The funny thing about this "welcoming of many
voices", John, is that a couple of days after posting the following I was
off the T-head list (after being on it for two years), never to be allowed
to re-subscribe:

To: thunde-@topica.com
From: Whitney Turner <wtur-@gate.net>
Subject: RE: Bike Lane Fatality
Date: Mon, 08 Jul 2002 10:01:20 -0400
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The fact that a bike lane is striped in a place where there is a certainty
of this sort of crash DOES point out a critical failing of bike lanes in
urban environments. Please look at the photo of the scene at
http://www.rwinters.com/. Note that a cyclist would have to be riding
within a couple of inches of the left lane line in order to safely clear
the door in question. Feel free to use the officer examining the door as a

If there were as much money and effort put forward for education of
cyclists, and as much political capital expended on simple law enforcement,
as has been spent on bike lanes and other bicycle specific facilities,
please think about how many cyclists could be reached and how many
senseless deaths could be avoided. Here in Fort Lauderdale there is
effectively no enforcement of traffic law for cyclists, resulting in random
cyclist traffic behavior and very high crash and fatality rates. We work
toward solutions, but there is to date no professional who can devote full
time to this, just us volunteers.

This was a tragedy, apparently caused by motorist inattention. The fact
that the City of Cambridge chose to stripe a bikelane in this location just
makes it worse, and demonstrates the type of situation where cycling
advocates need to loudly say "no, thank you" to offered "improvements".

Thanks for hearing me out.

Whitney Turner
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

ps - I receive substantial cooperation as I take the lane every day past a
couple of miles of streetside parking, riding clear of the door zone. Does
anyone contest the likelihood of harassment if I attempted to ride in the
"car" lane with a bike lane painted there?

At 08:16 AM 7/8/02 -0500, Randy Neufeld wrote:
 The suggestion that the bike lane is responsible for this fatality or that
the design is substandard is a disservice to the bicycling community. Yes
education is important. Yes dooring is a problem along bike lanes as it is
a problem along all streets with parking. But by blaming the victim or the
bike lane we feed the notion that motorists should not be held accountable
for their illegal actions that cause death.

Randy Neufeld, Executive Director
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