Tag Archives: safety

The Emperor is Wearing No Clothes: Exposing Town Planning for the Ruinous Travesty It Has Become

By Dom Nozzi

October 31, 2017

Back in 1985, I somehow managed to obtain a master’s degree in town planning. But it was not until about eight years into my professional planning career that I was to realize that for several decades, my chosen profession had become a sham.

This epiphany happened to me about 25 years ago when a friend of mine in Gainesville FL gave me a videotape of what I believe is one of the most important, influential, revolutionary speeches ever given on the topic of town planning. It was a speech delivered in 1989 at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts by a young Florida architect by the name of Andres Duany.

Duany’s speech gave town planning a well-deserved, much-needed kick in the pants.

I was shocked to learn from Duany that a century ago, town planners and developers were heroes. For several decades, of course, the opposite has become the case. Planners have become powerless incompetents and developers are more evil than Satan.

What caused this 180-degree shift in perspective?

What we learn in the Duany speech is that the reputation of town planners and developers was destroyed because the timeless tradition that communities followed for time immemorial was abandoned. That is, about a century ago, communities decided that instead of designing our community and our transportation system to make people happy, we would instead design to make cars happy.Road to Ruin book 2003

This powerful take on what has happened to our world explains so much.

It explains why town planners have become little more than mindless, robotic bureaucrats who have but one overriding mission: Become paper pushing clerks who issue or deny development permits based on whether the proposal will promote easy car travel or inhibit car travel.

It explains why developers are now villains. In nearly all cases, developers up to a century ago built things that improved quality of community life because the design objective was to promote human happiness. But the model for developers changed about a century ago. Now, the objective was to promote car happiness.

There are two primary reasons why this changed mission by town planners and developers is ruinous.

First, those community attributes that most people find appealing – compactness, human-scale, slower speeds, sociability, civic pride, timelessness, a subdued ambiance, and safety – are nearly the exact opposite of what is needed to make for easy car travel. Happy motoring requires dispersion, gigantic car scaling, dangerously higher speeds, glaring lights, and isolation – and each of these things undercuts civic pride, timelessness and safety.

The second reason this change is ruinous is that it is a self-perpetuating downward spiral. Car travel is a zero-sum game, because nearly everything we do to promote car travel makes walking, bicycling and transit more difficult. Car ownership also creates a strong vested interest on the part of the car owner to see to it that car travel is cheap and easy. By making walking, bicycling, and transit more difficult, car ownership continuously recruits new car owners. This century-long recruitment now means that even in the most bicycle-friendly US cities (including Boulder CO), there are more cars than people.

The result is that nearly all of us make nearly all of our trips by car. We angrily demand that our elected officials ease our car travel – after all, our cars make it so difficult to get around by walking, bicycling, or transit! We have therefore become our own worst enemies because as I note above, promoting car travel is an exceptionally powerful means of destroying quality of life.

Because cars require an enormous amount of space, motorists feel crowded even with just a tiny number of fellow citizens also in cars. As Dan Burden once said, “cars are happiest when there are no other cars around. People are happiest when there are other people around.” Given this, a large percentage of Americans are NIMBYs on steroids who engage in ongoing pitched battles with developers and elected officials and town planners to demand ultra low development densities (including short buildings), huge parking lots, and massively wide roads.

Developers, citizens, town planners, and elected officials therefore tend to have one overriding mission: promote easy car travel! We must have wide roads. More (and free) parking. More car subsidies and more glaring lights. We must stop compact development.

It is a mission of community ruin.

The key for a better future, then, is to return to the timeless tradition of designing for people, not cars.



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My Comments Regarding Vision Zero in Boulder Colorado

By Dom Nozzi

October 8, 2017

I have served on the Boulder Transportation Advisory Board for 4.5 years. Because only a tiny number of people attend the Board meetings, the thoughts shared by us Board members are heard by almost no one. Therefore, since I consider a “Vision Zero” plan that Boulder is now pursuing so important, and that item is on our October 9th agenda, I would like to give my views more daylight by sharing them on Facebook and my blog site.Vision Zero4

Vision Zero, by the way, is a vitally important objective that many cities in the US have adopted in recent years. It seeks to create a transportation system where there are zero traffic deaths or serious injuries.

Over the past year or so, Boulder has tragically seen several deaths and serious injuries on our roads. I was therefore initially quite happy to see that the City is now proposing a Vision Zero plan.

But while I am extremely supportive of a Vision Zero objective, the strategies being proposed by staff are little more than timid tweaks to the same old, ineffective strategies that Boulder and most all other US cities have tried now for the past century: More warning paint. More (or revised) warning lighting. More warning signs. More warning education. More warning enforcement. After a century of doubling down on these strategies every few years, our roads are in many ways far more dangerous than they have ever been.

In part, this is because the strategies are suffering from a severe form of diminishing returns. After installing thousands of warning signs on our roads over the past century, for example, it becomes information overload and motorists largely tune them out.

But mostly, these conventional strategies are simply ineffective in creating a safer transportation system. For the past century, we have poured a huge amount of public dollars into single-mindedly building roads that have too many lanes (roads are too wide). For a century, we have built roads engineered to encourage or enable high-speed, inattentive driving. Warning paint or safety education can do almost nothing to make it safe to walk across or bicycle on a monster 8-lane urban highway filled with speeding, impatient, inattentive drivers.Arapahoe Ave Boulder CO

In general, the only effective strategy we have to create a safer transportation system that has any chance of achieving a Vision Zero objective (besides creating more compact land use patterns) is to design streets with dimensions and geometries that obligate motorists to drive more slowly and attentively.

This is not rocket science.

It saddens me to have learned in my 4.5 years as a Board member (and 8 years as a Boulder bicycle and pedestrian and transit commuter) that while Boulder transportation staff is well aware of (and often supportive of) these effective street design tactics, their hands are tied. They are not recommending these effective tactics in the Boulder Vision Zero strategy.

Why are staff’s hands tied? Why are they recommending the century-long same old song and dance for Vision Zero, instead of recommending effective street design strategies?

In part it is because Boulder cannot, by law, redesign state roads in Boulder (but this can be changed, however, as was done on Broadway).

But it is also because too many people in Boulder (and therefore its city government) are way behind the times regarding effective, beneficial transportation tactics. Or simply oppose such tactics. Here is one of several essays I wrote on this.

Staff and city government are not being given permission by citizens to be effective about traffic safety.

Even though I know I will not get a second on a motion I will make at the Monday Board meeting, I will make the motion because it is the only way to have my concerns be on the record and recorded in the meeting minutes.

I will move that the Board request staff suspend and withdraw the Vision Zero initiative because Boulder is not ready to use effective tactics to achieve Vision Zero.double left turn lane intersection boulder

To be fair, I should note that Boulder has re-started a traffic calming program (what Boulder formerly called “traffic mitigation” and now calls “speed management”). This is a very beneficial and effective traffic safety strategy for achieving Vision Zero (at least on smaller neighborhood roads).

However, this street redesign program is not clearly integrated into the Vision Zero plan, and because it will only apply to smaller neighborhood streets rather than the large, dangerous, high-speed roads in Boulder, it will do very little to move Boulder toward an overall Vision Zero objective.



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It Must Be the Fault of the Pedestrian

By Dom Nozzi

October 7, 2017

A century ago, as Peter Norton points out in his book Fighting Traffic, nearly all of us would blame a motorist in a crash that injured or killed a pedestrian or bicyclist.

But today the situation is reversed.

The knee-jerk response in our age is to blame the pedestrian. To blame the victim. It is akin to blaming a woman for being raped because she dressed “too provocatively.” Or was walking alone at night.

In the very rare instances when a community decides to use effective tactics to reduce the number of times a motorist kills a pedestrian (by, for example, designing the street to obligate slower, attentive driving), many motorists will scream “WAR ON CARS!!” This creates an enormous political obstacle to the creation of a safer transportation system.

Such WAR ON CARS! screamers conveniently forget that tens of thousands of pedestrians are killed by motorists every year. And that not a single motorist has ever been killed after being hit by a pedestrian.pe

Sounds more like a war on pedestrians to me…

I refer to “effective” tactics to improve safety, because nearly all US cities are guilty of spending the past century using, over and over again, ineffective tactics: More safety signage. More safety lighting. More safety paint. More safety education. And more safety enforcement.

Since our roads are now more dangerous than ever following a century of repeatedly doubling down on those ineffective tactics, maybe it is finally time to realize that these conventional safety tactics are a failure.


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Redesigning North Broadway in Boulder, Colorado

By Dom Nozzi

July 17, 2017

My city of Boulder CO has plans to redesign a portion of a major north-south street in Boulder – Broadway Avenue. As a member of the Boulder Transportation Advisory Board, we periodically receive notes from Boulder citizens about such things as proposed street projects. In the summer of 2017, I responded to a member of Community Cycles – a community-operated bicycle shop who had sent my Board a note. The following is my response…

Dear “Tom” (not his real name),

Thank you for sending this to my Board. As you probably know, I am very supportive of much of what is called for by Community Cycles. In particular, I often call for low-speed street geometries in appropriate (compact, walkable, urban) settings. Smaller turning radii and more narrow street lanes are substantially more effective in inducing low-speed, attentive (ie, safe) car speeds than Warning paint, Warning signs, Warning education, Warning signal lights, and Warning enforcement. These five categories of warnings are the conventional tactics that all US cities – including Boulder – have used for the past century.

And continue to use.

Obviously, this section of Broadway is appropriate for low-speed geometries – and will be even more appropriate when we see more buildings pulled up to the sidewalk on the west side of Broadway.

I agree that the street design is too strongly tilted toward delivery (and other) trucks.

With regard to that issue, I believe that when more buildings are pulled up to the sidewalk on the west side of Broadway, there will be a substantial increase inmedian-octavia pedestrians crossing (or wanting to cross) mid-block, rather than at intersections. To design for that inevitability – and to support the low-speed design we need for this section of north Broadway – the design needs to include raised medians along the street. Raised medians reduce average car speeds, increase motorist attentiveness, substantially shorten pedestrian crossing distances, and promote street beautification. I therefore believe raised medians should be included in the Community Cycles recommendation.

When I proposed that raised medians be installed on North Broadway at the last Board meeting, staff responded by noting that it would be difficult or impossible to install raised medians because this stretch of north Broadway has a lot of delivery vehicles using the continuous left turn lane to make deliveries to businesses. However, I believe it is quite feasible to accommodate both pedestrian safety needs and delivery vehicle needs with raised medians.

For example, raised medians do not need to be continuous throughout the entire stretch of north Broadway. By having, for example, turn pockets interspersed with raised medians, delivery areas are largely maintained. Yes, this will sometimes require a delivery person to have to walk 20 or 30 feet further to make a delivery, but this tradeoff is a relatively minor inconvenience compared to the dramatic pedestrian safety (and other) benefits provided by the raised medians.


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Why Are Traffic Deaths So Barbarically High?

By Dom Nozzi

February 21, 2017

It is inexcusable that when we look at traffic fatalities — and the all-too-common call to reduce the number of fatalities with “safer” cars — we ignore the huge number of bicyclists and pedestrians killed by motorists.

As my op-ed in the Boulder (Colorado) Daily Camera noted recently, despite a century of “redoubling our efforts” every few years to make our roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians, our roads are the most dangerous than they have ever been. Adding more road caution signsWARNING signs, WARNING paint, WARNING education, WARNING enforcement, and WARNING lights (as Boulder is once again proposing to do this year) has done nothing meaningful to make roads safer (many persuasively argue such things make our roads LESS safe).

But I’ll ignore cyclist and pedestrian deaths for the time being.

It is quite common for someone to point to an increase (or decrease) in traffic fatalities suffered by motorists and their passengers over the past year as indicative of a long-term trend – and what has allegedly caused the “trend.” But statistical principles and the complexity of transportation inform us that taking a one-year data point – and then applying a single variable to explain it – is highly unlikely to be accurate. Not nearly enough time has elapsed. And there are way too many variables when it comes to transportation.

An extremely important question I want to ask, rather than trying to explain a one-year change in fatalities, is why motorist deaths have been barbarically high for so long. The US has suffered over 30,000 traffic deaths per year since the 1930s.

And no one seems to care, when we compare concern about traffic deaths to the hysteria about drugs and terrorists and communists…

How have we gotten to this state of affairs?

First, the vast majority of motorists/Americans/elected officials have one objective that is light years more important than safety or quality of community: SPEED. Anything that slows motorists down — such as traffic congestion, road diets, traffic calming, etc. — must be furiously fought against with any and all means necessary.maxresdefault

Even in allegedly enlightened and progressive Boulder, free-flowing, high-speed car travel is head and shoulders above almost anything else as a measure of quality of life.

This single-minded focus explains why cities such as Boulder have a huge number of roads that have way too many travel lanes. Anything more than 3 is incompatible with a quality city, yet Boulder has many roadways (stroads, as Chuck Marohn would call them) that are in the 6- to 12- lane range. Anything more than 3 or 4 lanes is inevitably a recipe for a huge number of car crashes and fatalities.

More of the same thing all American communities have been doing for a century — more WARNING signs, more WARNING paint, more WARNING education, more WARNING enforcement, and more WARNING lights — will do nothing to make such monster roads anything other than on-going death traps.

Yet this same old song and dance is precisely what Boulder proposes to do as it rolls out its exciting “new” objective called “Toward Vision Zero.”

Excuse me for not being optimistic about Boulder not achieving this objective.

A related problem for almost every city — including Boulder — is the century-long use of the “forgiving road” design paradigm, which “forgives” the motorist for driving too fast or not paying attention. Using the “forgiving street” strategy, we remove street trees, make intersections and turn radii crazy big in size, create “super-elevations” at road turns, remove on-street parking, eliminate mid-block pedestrian crossings, move cyclists onto off-street paths, pull buildings away from the street and street corners, etc.

The result?

For several decades, we’ve had an epidemic of excessive speeds and inattentive driving. A great way to ramp up the death toll.

Most cities – to enable easy, high-speed car travel — have followed the path Boulder has taken over the past century regarding land use patterns by keeping densities at ridiculously low levels and strictly separated houses from shops and jobs and offices.

The result?

Distances to daily destinations are extremely lengthy, which makes it impossible for all but a tiny number of people to make ALL trips by car. That guarantees a large number of annual motorist deaths, as driving a car is inherently very dangerous — due to the fact that cars are heavy, large, able to achieve high speeds, and substantially reduce the sense of hearing and sight that a motorist has outside of a car.

One example of a destination that is now nowhere near any homes is an iconic social gathering place: the pub. Unlike in past times, it is now almost impossible to walk or bike home after having a few beers. Inevitably, that means a lot of people are driving in an inebriated state.

The “forgiving street” design paradigm has so substantially increased inattentiveness that a huge number of motorists now drive inattentively at high speeds. Again, a great way to ensure a huge number of motorists crashing and dying.

Americans are extremely busy – probably a lot more so than in the past – and the motor vehicle provides a way to save time: drive very fast. Oops. Another way to kill people in car crashes.

Solutions? The effective tactics are nearly impossible to achieve in almost any city – including Boulder — where 98 percent of the population will fight to the death to stop these safety measures from being enacted:

  1. More compact, mixed-use land use patterns so that travel distances are short enough to make walking and bicycling feasible for most people and most trips.
  2. Toss out the forgiving street paradigm in favor of designing streets that obligate slower, attentive driving.
  3. Substantially shrink the size of nearly every road and intersection.road diet before and after

But each of these essential tasks (if we are serious about achieving Vision Zero) is utterly off the table – not even something that one is allowed to mention in “polite society.”

Much of what I advocate in transportation is an “off the table” topic. My friend Jim Kunstler just pointed out that this “elephant in the bedroom” syndrome has a name. It is called the Overton Bubble.


In sum, because we are probably decades away from having the political will to opt for effective street safety methods, we will continue to see over 30,000 American motorists die every year for the remainder of our lives.

After all, speed — not safety — is what we sincerely seek.



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A Line in the Sand for Road Size


By Dom Nozzi

July 30, 2003

I was having a conversation with someone who asked me if I agreed that a 4-lane road would ruin the rural character of a rural location. I agreed that a 4-laner would ruin rural character.

I would go beyond that: I don’t believe that a community should ever build a road bigger than 3 lanes.

At some point, a community must draw the line and say that enough is enough. That going beyond a certain road size is too destructive of our community.

Everyone has some idea of some limit. For some, it would be, say, 12 lanes as a limit. For others, it might be 6 lanes. For me, it is 3.street without on street parking

Indeed, when I was a long-range transportation planner for the City of Gainesville Florida, I succeeded in (briefly) having that City insert a policy in its long-range transportation plan that says the City shall never build a road again that is larger than 4 travel lanes (I would have preferred that we limit it to 2…).

Of course, as one would expect in a car-happy city such as Gainesville, that sort of policy only lasted a year or two before it was hastily expunged from the plan by our beloved defenders of cars…

It is not inevitable that a growing community must forever enlarge its roads. If more car volume capacity is felt to be essential, that added capacity can come from more community-sensitive means than conventional widening. Or, I see no reason why a community could not say “We have decided, as a community, that we will NOT go beyond a certain road size in order to protect our health, safety and welfare. If that means that our roads cannot accommodate any additional cars, so be it.”

Such cars can self-regulate themselves by choosing a different route, traveling at a non-rush hour time, or selecting another way to travel.

There is no law that says a community must accommodate an endless stream of forever increasing numbers of cars.



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On Being Attacked for Posting an Article Discounting the Alleged Benefits of Bicycle Helmets

By Dom Nozzi

July 15, 2015

On July 14, 2015, I posted an article that discounted many of the alleged benefits of bicycle helmets on Facebook. The article was published on June 26, 2015 by Lindsey Wallace in The Spokesman Review. http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/transportation/2015/jun/26/why-im-done-wearing-helmet/

The claims made in the article largely track what I have seen academically, professionally, and in my own personal life as a bicycle commuter over the years.

Immediately, Facebook friends inundated my Facebook wall with patronizing, emotionally charged, disparaging, outraged comments that attacked and questioned the article, and were puzzled (to put it politely) by my decision to promote such an obviously flawed report.

What struck me very quickly was the combination of a lack of credentials (credibility) and the UTTER CERTAINTLY of nearly all of those who posted such vicious, abusive comments. It was as if I was promoting a study that claimed that smoking was good for your health or that women should be subservient to their husbands.

As I noted above, many of the points made in the report tracked what I had seen over the years with bicycle research, design and personal experience. Yet people with no academic, professional, or personal background (as bicycle commuters) became apoplectic — red-faced in anger — in their Facebook attacks. One called the report the “stupidest” thing he had ever seen (another friend suggested me or the author were suicidally moronic and supporters of this crazy report would lead to our being weeded out of the gene pool in a “Darwinian” sense). How, I asked myself, were people who had no academic or professional background in bicycling able to trash a report within a few seconds of seeing it, and having therefore not pointed to studies that counter claims made in the report?

Does this avalanche of hostility help explain why so few strategies are effectively employed in the US to grow the number of bicycle commuters?

Who am I – Dom Nozzi – to support the views expressed in the report, and to question the credibility of Facebook friends who attacked the article as well as me?

My credentials, which are almost entirely absent for those friends doing the attacking:

  • Master’s Thesis on the topic of bicycle transportation I completed to obtain a Master of Science degree in town planning from Florida State University. This required years of relatively exhaustive academic research regarding bicycling theory and practice at a national and worldwide level.
  • Approximately 45 years of one to four utilitarian (work, shopping, meetings, etc.) bicycle trips on a daily basis (ie, 365 days per year or about 16,000 to 66,000 bicycle trips) – mostly within a low-speed town center.
  • Twenty years as a professional town and transportation planner for a university town in Florida, where I prepared bicycle-related land development regulations, and long-range citywide bicycle transportation (and greenway path) plans. This required several years of professional research regarding bicycle transportation design and promotion.
  • A year of membership on the Bike/Walk Virginia Board of Directors (an advocacy group for bicycling and walking in Virginia).
  • Reading a vast number of books, articles, reports, and studies regarding all aspects of bicycling.
  • Writing a vast number of essays regarding many aspects of bicycling.
  • Publishing two books that devoted many pages to many aspects of bicycling.
  • Bicycle commuting as a resident for several years in bicycle-friendly towns in the US (Flagstaff AZ, Gainesville FL, and Boulder CO).
  • Bicycling for several days in some of the world’s leading bicycling cities: Amsterdam, Malmo and Copenhagen (I have to wonder how many of my attacking Facebook friends know that only a very small number of Europeans – where bicycling is 3800816936_c845104069
    enormously more common than in the US – wear bicycle helmets? How many know that despite this, the per capita rate of bicyclist head injuries is much lower in Europe than in the US?).

How many of my friends know that the mandatory bike helmet laws that they mostly or entirely support have resulted in such a large decrease in bicycling that overall public health and safety have declined in those places?

How many of my friends know that as I understand it from a few of my colleagues who do/did this work professionally, most professional bicycle planners and engineers employed by cities and counties in the US agree with my position on bike helmets, but are unable to openly state such a position due to the extremely hostile reaction they would get from supervisors, elected officials, and residents? (the abusive, patronizing, dismissive comments from many of my Facebook friends are an example of what one faces when expressing such an un-PC position)

How many of my friends know that much research now shows that “safety in numbers” (SiN) is, by far, the most effective technique for improving bicyclist safety? (and that for better bicycling safety, American needs to find effective ways to grow the number of cyclists).

How many of my friends know that one of leading reasons cited for not being a bicycle commuter is the perceived danger of bicycling? (bike helmets perpetuate this problem by sending a very visible, strong message that bicycling is DANGEROUS!)

How many of my friends know that bike helmets are a form of “blaming the victim” ? (ie, bike crashes are the fault of cyclists, not reckless motorists)

How many of my friends know that research has found that motorists dangerously give less clearance (drive closer) to cyclists who wear helmets?

How many of my friends know that bike helmets do nothing to reduce the likelihood of a cyclist getting in a crash? (some studies have found that helmets INCREASE the likelihood a bicyclist will crash)

How many of my friends know that I wear a helmet for two out of the three forms of bicycling I engage in? (single-track mountain bicycling and long-distance suburban and rural cycling)

How many of my friends know that I am NOT suggesting that NO ONE ever wear a helmet. If a cyclist wants to wear a helmet (and the inconvenience of doing so will not discourage them from regular bicycling), please be my guest and wear one! Many scoff at my claim that wearing a helmet is inconvenient, and therefore insist that cyclists should find it easy to wear one (and even be REQUIRED to wear one). I wonder how many of my motorist friends happily agree to wear a helmet each time they drive a car…

How many of my friends know that a very large number of Americans – particularly women – are concerned about their appearance (particularly their hair), and that helmets tend to make a person look “dorky” and have “helmet hair” when the helmet is removed? Do we know how many are discouraged from bicycling due to concerns about such fashion?

How many of my friends know that an important way to promote more bicycling is to “normalize” it? (that is, to create the impression – by wearing street clothes rather than lycra and a helmet – that bicycling is something that normal — and even hip — people do). Personally, I was astonished by how “normal,” “safe,” and “hip” I felt when I was bicycling alongside THOUSANDS of fellow bicyclists in Amsterdam – All Americans need to experience that feeling.

How many of my friends know that there is very little, if any, evidence that motorists pay higher insurance premiums because – allegedly — bicyclists who don’t wear helmets have astronomical head injury hospital costs? (for the record, the only bike crash resulting in a medically costly head injury in my entire life was one where I was wearing a helmet – I might have been killed that day had I not worn a helmet on that single-track dirt trail)

How many of my friends know that the chance of a head injury for a bicyclist riding in a low-speed town center environment is exceedingly low – much lower than the risks faced by motorists (who do not wear helmets)?

How many of my friends know how many costs and inconveniences and difficulties American bicyclists face in a nation that has spent over a century spending trillions to pamper cars (and encourage the high-speed movement of cars)? How many realize that a bicycle helmet adds yet ANOTHER inconvenience to the already terribly inconvenienced bicycle commuter?

How many of my friends know that bicyclists pay far more than their fair share of road costs, and that motorists pay far less than their fair share? How many know that American motorists are the most heavily subsidized group on earth? How many know that because nearly all motorist parking is provided free to the motorist that the cost of groceries, hair cuts, medical expenses, housing, taxes, etc., are much higher for all of us – INCLUDING, UNFAIRLY, BICYCLISTS? As Donald Shoup points out in The High Cost of Free Parking, when nearly all motorist parking is not paid directly by the parking motorist, that cost is transferred to all of us in the form of higher cost of living.

How many of my friends know that studies show a person – on average – will live longer, healthier lives riding a bicycle (even without a helmet) than a person who drives a car?

How many of my friends realize how inconvenient it is to wear a helmet for the 10 to 30 trips per week that a bicycle commuter takes?

How many of my friends where helmets when they drive a car? I suspect none, even though driving is much more likely to result in head injuries than bicycling.

How many of those attacking me and the bike helmet report — with complete certainty, mind you — have ANY of the above credentials or background? Or anything resembling credentials regarding bicycling research, advocacy, professional work, or personal bicycle travel behavior?

Why is it so brutally obvious for non-bicyclists to know with complete accuracy what makes sense regarding bicycling safety, promotion, and advocacy?

Given the above, I think I have every right to be insulted by alleged bicycling “experts” who attack me and the report as “stupid.”

But I’m not so much insulted as FRUSTRATED, as the attacks exemplify why such a tiny, tiny percentage of Americans (less than one percent?) are bicycle commuters. After all, how is it possible for American communities to substantially increase the number of bicycle commuters when nearly all of us are both utterly uninformed in bicycling and yet utterly certain we are bicycling experts?







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