The Legal Bias Against Pedestrians and Bikes (Part 2 of 2)

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

When I discuss the American (and increasingly global) dependency on automobiles, some people with a politically conservative bend respond by saying that the problem is a result of personal irresponsibility, no more.[1]

I was raised to think this way, to think individualistically. So I get it.

However, over time, I realize that done exclusively, this thinking allows conniving and greedy organizations (or their leaders) to move invisibly through the world, exploiting freedom by limiting the range of choices that occur to individuals. As a result of such organizations, even if one’s moral fabric permitted him or her to resist pernicious trends, the very idea of resisting may never enter one’s mind. The gains of corporate and political greed are usually won upstream, with whispers in back rooms, such as, What they don’t know won’t hurt us, and, I don’t care who they vote for as long as I choose the candidates.

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The Legal Bias Against Pedestrians and Bikes (Part 1 of 2)

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

This is the first of two posts that highlight points made by Gregory H. Shill, University of Iowa College of Law, in his paper, “Should Law Subsidize Driving?”.[1]

Shill’s eminently readable, 76-page paper has already been summarized nicely in the article, “How Driving is Encouraged and Subsidized — By Law,” by Angie Schmitt (March 6, 2019).[2]
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Public Transportation Desert (guest post, Marc Syrene)

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

[Marc, from southern Colorado, has turned his Mercedes into a car that burns the diesel fuel he also makes. Following is a post he wrote on the dilemmas with which he struggles. — Louis]

Driving Less in a Public Transportation Desert

AeroKroil, my latest hope in the fight to get my 1995 Mercedes diesel back on the road.

Embarrassment, the key motivator to pull her in to my garage to figure out why she is smoking so bad when started cold. I pulled the fuel injectors to test them and two of the crush washers, which all need to be replaced, are frozen in there with carbon deposits; hence the AeroKroil. AeroKroil is supposed to be the “best” penetrating oil out there. The gun toters like it to clean their guns cuz it dissolves carbon.
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Person Meets Police

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

This is “person meets police” not “person vs. police,” please note.

Tuesday, April 2, I discovered late in the morning that I had a business meeting in Denver. The only bus that would get me there on time is the “LD2,” a regional bus that happens to skip my home town. So I decided to run out to highway 287 to catch it, which isn’t a big deal or a long run (about a mile), except that there was no bus stop where I expected one.

So I began to run south along the wide-shouldered highway toward the real bus stop, a mile away. Meanwhile, time was running out, so when cars came by, I turned around and stuck out my thumb, hoping someone would give me a short ride to the next stop.

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Hit in a Crosswalk (Part 3)

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

The previous post explained how the City of Boulder addressed the flashing crosswalk where Laura was hit by an SUV. In short, they addressed it gloriously:
(1) they upgraded to a light that first flashed, then turned solid yellow, and finally turned solid red (putting the fear of Officer MacDougal in drivers), and
(2) they later made the supreme fix: building an underpass
to completely insulate pedestrians and bikers from those big, heavy chunks of metal and plastic that accelerate more easily than they brake.
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Hit in a Crosswalk (Part 2)

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

The previous post was about Laura’s experience of getting hit by a car while in a flashing-light crosswalk (2007). The crosswalk where the accident occurred was replaced by a high-intensity activated crosswalk (HAWK, which provides a flashing yellow light followed by a solid yellow light followed by a red light). After installing the HAWK, Boulder went a step further, replacing it with a pedestrian underpass (the best and costliest solution).

Pedestrian underpass on Baseline Road
Pedestrian underpass on Baseline Road, east of Broadway, Boulder, CO

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Hit in a Crosswalk (guest post, Laura)

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

[Laura, one of my daughters, was hit by an SUV at night in a flashing-light crosswalk in Boulder, CO in 2007. The incident could have been much worse (if she had walked just a bit slower). To those of us who were nearby when it happened, it was quite upsetting. To her, it was more than that. In this post we now read her account, the account of the person vs. automobile. — Louis]

Musings of Family, Prayer, and Trauma

After something like that it’s only natural to reflect, retrace, and wonder why it all ended up okay. Indeed, more often than not things seem to end up okay. That’s a miracle in of itself.

It happened on a warm summer evening. I remember leaving Brewing Market with two of my sisters, Mindy and Amy, and my dad (who got in his car to drive home). My sisters were ahead of me. We were walking across Baseline Road to the University of Colorado for something, which, for the life of me, I can’t remember.
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Animal versus Automobile

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

The Clash Between Nature and Technology

This post could be called “Roadkill,” a word firmly established in the tradition of automobiles and pickup trucks triumphing over nature, inadvertently (one hopes). The unnecessary death of animals has a staggering incidence—those creatures being unable to litigate for themselves or their relatives.

Kudos to my friend Anton O., who frequently would pick up fresh roadkill (resulting from other drivers) and take it home for dinner. He had a keen sense of what qualified as “fresh.” Kudos to his wife, Anne, for marrying him.
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Duo Bikes (guest post, Adrienne)

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

[Adrienne, from England, has ties to Holland, where her father lives. Adapted from an email of hers and a link she sent, this short post introduces some of us to the duo bike. These devices, being stabilized with  3 wheels, seem particularly useful for those who want to ride a bike but shouldn’t. They also lend themselves to conversation, in a way that tandem bikes do not.  — Louis]

[as an aside, a true one]: Holland could teach everyone a lot re cycling and not even in a boring, ‘kikkerlandish’ way … 🙂[1]

Have you seen any of these duo bikes over your way?

Well, this is one.

Duo Bike, Holland
“My father is on the left and a volunteer is on the right.”

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Why We Run in the Street (a picture story)

Mission: To promote driving less so all may live more.

This post is a public service announcement. With a web log named “Person versus Automobile,” I owe drivers an explanation of why I still risk running in the street. In this respect, there is no antagonism, only competing risks.

There’s a slight analogy here: as far as I know, my father avoided crosswalks because they provided false security. Whenever I feel I may trip on the sidewalk (if it exists), I shift to the street, assuming it’s empty.

Ok, on with the picture story.

Sometimes the sidewalk ends suddenly...happens a lot where I live.
Sometimes the sidewalk ends suddenly…happens a lot where I live.

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