PDA

View Full Version : Two Louisvillian non-conformists run afoul of the law



Tom Montgomery
12-15-2015, 07:55 PM
Both of the following stories were reported in today's local paper.

Story #1:


A longtime advocate for cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly transportation policies rejected a plea agreement Monday in Jefferson District Court on charges of blocking traffic and running a red light while on a bike.

Jackie Green has contended since he was cited in November that cyclists don't legally need to use bike lanes and don't need to stop and wait at stoplights, as the practice could potentially be dangerous.

His attorney, Ryan Fenwick, entered a not guilty plea on Green's behalf Monday. Fenwick said prosecutors had offered to dismiss the B misdemeanor, obstructing a highway, if Green agreed to complete an online traffic course, pay court costs and plead guilty to the charge of disregarding a traffic light.

But Green – a former mayoral candidate (http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2014/02/07/jackie-green-cant-run-for-mayor-as-independent-will-seek-write-in-votes/5284629) – opted to continue the case, next scheduled for a pretrial conference Jan. 25.



Bikes are expected to follow traffic laws, including those involving stoplights and stop signs, Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell previously told The Courier-Journal. He also said Louisville cyclists generally must use bike lanes when they are present unless they need to be in another lane to turn.

Green faces a potential penalty of $20 to $100 on the traffic light charge, while obstructing a highway carries a potential fine of up to $250 and up to 90 days in jail.

Green has disagreed with some of his fellow cyclists in recent years as bike lanes have come to Louisville, arguing the city's new features are a waste of money and don't make cycling any safer.

After his arraignment Monday, Green said he checks for traffic at intersections, and if there is none, he pedals through red lights. He added he doesn't believe what he did is against the law.

He rejected a quicker resolution to the case because he wants the court to consider what he sees as a double standard presented by the case: Motorists who strike a pedestrian can "avoid prosecution" if they say they didn't see the pedestrian, while cyclists who say they didn't see the traffic light would be held accountable for the safe crossing of an intersection.

A spokeswoman for the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office declined to comment, saying the case is still pending.

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/2015/12/14/biking-advocate-rejects-plea-offer/77309418/

The emphasis is mine.

Hmmm… Five to six days a week the beginning of my drive to work at 5:00 AM is through the neighborhoods. I regularly turn right [where it is prohibited], left, and completely through a red light if there is no other traffic in sight. Technically illegal.

I suppose I would be ticketed if a cop were to see me. But why? A demand for blind obedience?

S.V. Airlie
12-15-2015, 07:57 PM
It's against the law, tell him to just live with it. He's just an idiot. I'm glad he was ticketed. Not many cops do that.

Tom Montgomery
12-15-2015, 07:59 PM
Story #2:


One man's eco-lifestyle, with large industrial-sized rain barrels and vegetable and native plant gardens, may be too much for the small city of Hurstbourne, which has cracked down, issued up to $20,000 in fines and threatened a cleanup.

Urban farmer Steve Hess, who sells fruit at local farmers markets, has joined his wife, Glenna, in filing a lawsuit against the small eastern Louisville city, seeking to overturn several recent findings of code violations and seeking the right to continue to grow trellises of raspberries and blackberries, tall native wildflowers and have an exterior plug with weather protection for their electric car.

"This is a particular vendetta that the neighbors and city have against a man who is doing something very different from others in the neighborhood," said Steve Porter, the couple's attorney. "It may be different, but it's not illegal."

For their part, city officials on Monday vociferously contended that the dispute has nothing to do with any prohibitions against gardening and everything to do with the appropriate maintenance of yards and property - and being neighborly.

"Of course this resident can garden and have a rain barrel," said city attorney John Singler in an email. "However, he can’t do these activities in a very negligent way that impacts the neighborhood."

The typical property owner in Hurstbourne may use only 10 percent, and no more than 20 percent, of his or her yard for gardening activities, said Jim Leidgen, a city administrative officer who performed the inspections that triggered the lawsuit. "Mr. Hess has used way beyond 50 percent of his entire yard, probably 90 percent in the backyard," he added.

Hess said he's lived on Leicester Circle for three decades. He is active in local environmental, sustainable energy and food equity circles, and has received national attention for advocating ways to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to Louisville's "food deserts," or low-income neighborhoods with less access to groceries. He made a cameo appearance in the documentary Plant Pure Nation, a sequel to the widely watched Forks Over Knives, which focused on how a Western diet laden with meat, dairy and oil products is linked to chronic disease and cancer growth.

His dispute goes back years but accelerated, Hess said, after he removed a tree to get more garden sunshine, and installed solar panels on the street side of his roof. It also comes amid a renewed push by environmental and food advocates to grow more local fruits and vegetables for healthier and more environmentally sustainable diets.

Tim Darst, executive director of Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light, a group that connects spirituality with sustainability, said he was aware of the Hurstbourne dispute but not familiar with its details.But he said it's not uncommon for some neighborhoods to experience a push back on some green lifestyle practices, such as bans on clotheslines, or restrictions on window replacements or solar panel installations in historic districts.

Some of the hurdles can be overcome if people who are pushing the envelope have good discussions with their neighbors early on. "People are more open to new things if they are not crammed down their throats," he said.

Urban farming advocate Amanda Fuller, who works to get food grown on vacant lots around Louisville, said cities should be encouraging people like Hess to grow food on their properties, not punishing them. Hurstbourne’s crackdown “sounds outrageous to me.”

Hurstbourne is between Shelbyville Road and Interstate 64, east of the Oxmoor Center and surrounding the Hurstbourne Country Club. It has about 4,500 residents and 1,300 single family homes, Leidgen said. It has not cited Hess for the solar panels, Singler said.

Following a Kentucky Open Records request, city officials provided a copy of a petition signed by 35 of Hess' Hurstbourne neighbors, who described Hess' Leicester Circle property as an "ongoing nuisance," frequently littered with "discarded materials, vehicles, equipment, items, objects, empty containers, pots and other debris."

They contend that "this 'gardening or farming' is not being operated under any normal and accepted practices and is a nuisance of extreme measures."

The Hurstbourne Code Enforcement Board generally agreed, issuing penalties in 11 of 20 alleged violations brought this year by the city.

In a hearing, Porter and Hess argued that there were two ways to look at some of those allegations:

What city officials describe as unsightly black tarps lying around, for example, Hess has identified as a common gardening tool - black fabric weed barrier.

"Dangerous" wiring and posts? They're used to prop up vines. If they are a risk to anyone, it would be trespassers," Porter said.

An "abandoned vehicle?" Hess described it as a vintage hybrid electric car, the first Honda Insight sold in the Midwest in 2000, and still usable.

An unsightly box attached to the side of the house? Hess said the box protects the connector for his wife's Nissan Leaf electric car.

Tall grass and weeds? They're native wildflowers and grasses.

The city claimed the rain barrels - plastic tanks, actually - that collect rain from the roof were "unsightly" and did not appear to be in use. Hess said he hooks them up during watering.

During the hearing, one neighbor testified that the Hess house was preventing property values to rise as fast as they otherwise could.

It's also not all been about plants. Hess admitted that he has allowed some debris to pile up, and he said he's removed that and is willing to pay a fine. One violation was for a refrigerator stored on the driveway. "Guilty," Porter conceded during the hearing, according to its minutes. It was moved and he said his client would pay the $75 fine.

Beyond Hurstbourne, Louisville Metro Department of Codes and Regulations shows five closed property maintenance cases and one open case "on hold" involving the Hess property since 2006.

Hurstbourne officials also contended Hess was using the property for his business, which sells fruit at local farmers markets under the name Low Creek Farm. Hess said that's not the case, that his farm is in Oldham County, and that he harvests fruits and vegetables from various locations in the area. What he grows at his home is for his wife and two children, he said.

In the lawsuit and an interview, Porter argued that nobody has proved there were weeds growing on his client's property.

Porter said the city had no one on staff with training to know the difference.

Leidgen said he had conducted the inspections and he acknowledged Monday he "can't tell the difference between black-eyed Susans and daisies."

(Black-eyed Susan flowers are generally yellow with a dark center, while daisy flowers normally have white petals with a yellow center.)

"But I can tell you the difference between weeds and commonly used grasses and shrubs," he said, and whether gardens are properly contained and maintained.

Porter makes one other legal point: The enforcement board on a number of counts found Hess guilty of "property conditions that are offenses to the senses," even though, he said, the original citations were on different grounds.

Porter also described that wording about offending the senses as "about the most unconstitutionally vague language I've ever seen in an ordinance. Whose senses?"

City Attorney Singler said that it was within the enforcement board's discretion to justify its findings by citing an additional provision in city law.

City officials argued that the bottom line was a matter of common sense and conformity.

"There is something to be said for managing a property in the same manner that your neighbors do so," Leidgen added. "Let's call that being a good neighbor, and it seems to be missing here.”

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2015/12/14/urban-farmers-yard-draws-small-city-crackdown/77114712/

So the guy has lived there for 30 years and is being hasseled now. I wonder about this one. I wonder how long his complaining neighbors have resided nearby?

Just for clarification: this area is in no way a rural setting. It is a residential neighborhood.

What do you think? Follow the link to the Courier-journal story that has pictures illustrating the complaints.

S.V. Airlie
12-15-2015, 08:09 PM
I'd like to see the gardens before commenting about this. Firstly, I see few problems with 70% of the complaints. If I was living by what turned into a junkyard, I would be concerned but this....

Glen Longino
12-15-2015, 08:10 PM
Louisvillains, Tom!:)

Tom Montgomery
12-15-2015, 08:12 PM
YEP!

We are all wild and crazy. :d

After all, are we not the hometown of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson? And Daisy Buchanan?

Tom Montgomery
12-15-2015, 08:18 PM
I'd like to see the gardens before commenting about this. Firstly, I see few problems with 70% of the complaints. If I was living by what turned into a junkyard, I would be concerned but this....
Click on the link, Jamie. The newspaper article has photos.

Reynard38
12-15-2015, 08:18 PM
Glad to see the cyclist get a ticket, as I would be with anybody that disregards a light.

AnalogKid
12-15-2015, 08:20 PM
I am constantly amazed at these US city ordinances about uses of yard space, hanging laundry outside to dry etc. I couldn't imagine living anywhere with such draconian restrictions.

This is the kind of stuff that define how free you are, not whether or not you can buy a gun!

As to the first guy - I think he's a prat for saying he can ignore traffic lights, but I also think the law is an ass for making it illegal to not use cycle lanes. I use occasional cycle lanes but only where they preserve my right of way and don't make me slow and give way at every side road. As a cyclist I'm a road user with the same rights and responsibilities as the driver/rider of any other vehicle. But then I can also cross the road (as a pedestrian) wherever I like and even against the lights so long as I take the responsibility for doing so myself. The car lobby seems to have had too much influence on the traffic laws in the US.

Tom Montgomery
12-15-2015, 08:28 PM
When I transferred to Louisville from northern Ohio I quickly learned that when you are sitting at a red light, when it changes to green, wait five seconds before proceeding through the intersection. Louisvillians accelerate when the light turns yellow and frequently blow through the pink light.

A year ago this summer the most prominent Louisville personal-injury lawyer ("The Heavy Hitter" in his ubiquitous TV ads) was t-boned by the car behind him when he turned left. He was riding a bicycle. He spent 2 weeks in intensive care and about 6 weeks in the hospital.

The 20-something car driver was driving home from work and claimed that sun glare prevented him from seeing the bike rider turn left. He was traveling at the posted speed limit. He was not cited by the police.

So far as I know the personal injury lawyer never filed a lawsuit against the kid!

I love this place.

PeterSibley
12-15-2015, 08:41 PM
Story #2:



So the guy has lived there for 30 years and is being hasseled now. I wonder about this one. I wonder how long his complaining neighbors have resided nearby?

Just for clarification: this area is in no way a rural setting. It is a residential neighborhood.

What do you think? Follow the link to the Courier-journal story that has pictures illustrating the complaints.

the typical property owner in Hurstbourne may use only 10 percent, and no more than 20 percent, of his or her yard for gardening activities, said Jim Leidgen, a city administrative officer who performed the inspections that triggered the lawsuit. "Mr. Hess has used way beyond 50 percent of his entire yard, probably 90 percent in the backyard," he added.

I thought self sufficient home gardens were some kind of American tradition? They're treating this guy like a criminal.

Tom Montgomery
12-15-2015, 08:46 PM
I thought self sufficient home gardens were some kind of American tradition? They're treating this guy like a criminal.
Well, not exactly.

This guy seems to be FARMING as opposed to GARDENING.

Frankly, I am not sure what to think about this one.

If he has truly resided there for 30 years then most if not all of his neighbors arrived later. But he may have begun the intensive farming/gardening fairly recently.

It seems to be a truly muddled situation. And we do not have all the information.

PeterSibley
12-15-2015, 08:47 PM
No matter what you do on a suburban lot, it's gardening.

Phillip Allen
12-15-2015, 08:54 PM
the typical property owner in Hurstbourne may use only 10 percent, and no more than 20 percent, of his or her yard for gardening activities, said Jim Leidgen, a city administrative officer who performed the inspections that triggered the lawsuit. "Mr. Hess has used way beyond 50 percent of his entire yard, probably 90 percent in the backyard," he added.

I thought self sufficient home gardens were some kind of American tradition? They're treating this guy like a criminal.

victory gardens in the 1940's

PeterSibley
12-15-2015, 08:55 PM
Times have changed ....

Phillip Allen
12-15-2015, 09:05 PM
yes... now the neighbors dictate what you do with your property

S/V Laura Ellen
12-15-2015, 09:14 PM
Looking at the photos from the Urban farmer, it isn't the farming that I would have a problem with. In fact more farming would be better, then he wouldn't have room for the junk and the weeds.

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/5980bd416cbbe1c92783f44247d4ae392415c40d/c=213-0-3405-2400&r=x513&c=680x510/local/-/media/2015/12/14/Louisville/Louisville/635856868026227507-Hurstbourne-gardening-dispute-PEARL-07.jpg
No problem with this!

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/1774e2bdb2d80b46ac776892133c0b5a39920266/c=411-0-2853-1836&r=x513&c=680x510/local/-/media/2015/12/14/Louisville/Louisville/635857019418645965-3-2-517-515-EASTWARD-VIEW-SECTION-JUNK-SIDE-OF-HOUSE.jpg
This is a different issue!

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/1774e2bdb2d80b46ac776892133c0b5a39920266/c=411-0-2853-1836&r=x513&c=680x510/local/-/media/2015/12/14/Louisville/Louisville/635857019415681946-2-5-517-519-WESTWARD-VIEW-SECTION-JUNK-DRIVEWAY-GARAGE.jpg
It's not the farming that's the problem

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
12-15-2015, 09:19 PM
Folks is so broke in Lorain, there's more bikes than cars!
A whole different set of problems up here.

Peerie Maa
12-16-2015, 12:20 AM
The typical property owner in Hurstbourne may use only 10 percent, and no more than 20 percent, of his or her yard for gardening activities, said Jim Leidgen, a city administrative officer who performed the inspections that triggered the lawsuit. "Mr. Hess has used way beyond 50 percent of his entire yard, probably 90 percent in the backyard," he added.

What are you supposed to do with the rest of it? Tarmack?

BTW a weed in only a plant growing in the wrong place. What he has are native plants or wild flowers.

As to cycle lanes, the highways agency would offsett the cost of road repairs if a cycle lane was included. Resulted in some silly installations.
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/40/87/58/408758c780b37393711a2d2580456270.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/70/90/ab/7090ab0aafa039da770a30a9f692ee14.jpg

Canoeyawl
12-16-2015, 02:14 AM
victory gardens in the 1940's


Times have changed ....

No victory...

slug
12-16-2015, 02:35 AM
Bike paths are troublesome, but they are needed if more folks are to be temped to park thier SUVs and pedal.

use your vote, bike paths in every city.

A cyclist on the road must obey the road laws.

Phillip Allen
12-16-2015, 06:01 AM
bike baths are a bit of a nuisance I think, but perfectly reasonable just the same... we just need to find out how to get the bike riders to pay for their share of the infrastructure :)

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2015, 07:31 AM
^
Are you advocating a tax? :eek:

How unRepublican of you.

Phillip Allen
12-16-2015, 07:35 AM
^
Are you advocating a tax? :eek:

How unRepublican of you.

I told you years ago that I wasn't a republican... I'm an egalitarian, for the most part. in about 5 or 6 years, I'll have to tell you again

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2015, 07:37 AM
Who have you voted for President in the last 5 national elections? The Egalitarian candidate every time?

Phillip Allen
12-16-2015, 07:38 AM
Who have you voted for President in the last 5 national elections?

nothing to do with belonging to a party... think, I'm not a democrat either

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2015, 07:40 AM
Oh... I see.... you are not a MEMBER of the Republican Party. You merely consistently vote for their presidential candidates.

Phillip Allen
12-16-2015, 07:43 AM
Oh... I see.... you are not a MEMBER of the Republican Party. You merely consistently vote for their presidential candidates.

keep telling yourself that... it justifies a lot for you

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2015, 07:48 AM
I take it you do not vote.

slug
12-16-2015, 08:46 AM
bike baths are a bit of a nuisance I think, but perfectly reasonable just the same... we just need to find out how to get the bike riders to pay for their share of the infrastructure :)


I consider bike paths to be public green spaces.

If you look at a city bike path you will notice that most of the folks on the bike path are city residents...not riding bikes...but pushing baby strollers, walking the dog, kids playing with thier new birthday present bike, roller skaters, old ladies in walkers.....

inner city free space...clear of automobiles is very precious.

No need for any special bike tax. Normal property tax will do because all residents benifit from public green space.

LeeG
12-16-2015, 09:03 AM
Both of the following stories were reported in today's local paper.

Story #1:



The emphasis is mine.

Hmmm… Five to six days a week the beginning of my drive to work at 5:00 AM is through the neighborhoods. I regularly turn right [where it is prohibited], left, and completely through a red light if there is no other traffic in sight. Technically illegal.

I suppose I would be ticketed if a cop were to see me. But why? A demand for blind obedience?

You run red lights?

Jim Mahan
12-16-2015, 09:12 AM
As an individual your responsibility is to comply, so as to be safe and to help keep the whole thing safe, and the system working efficiently, for all of us. Obey the law for good reason. If the law is bad, breaking it in order to have a day in court to change the law is a venerable tradition. Civil disobedience can be effective, but penalties and other aspects of the law still need to be ahered to, for the same good reasons. The system won't work at all with too many scofflaws. There would be anarchy.

But there is also a good reason for why we have judges with jurisdiction over these things. Because someone needs to be there to adjudicate whenever the fact that the law must be general and therefore may not specifically cover a given situtation or all situations, and there very well should be exceptions as in damn near everything in life. But of course, it can't be just anyone who makes the decision and so it must be a recognized authority. Otherwise, anarchy.

If you cruise along in your neighborhood in the pre-dawn darkness, alone with your thoughts and no other cars, day in and day out for decades—there is still good reason to stop at the light or the stop sign. Suppose one morning you see the flashing red lights in your rear-view, it won't, and IMO shouldn't, matter as to whether the cop writes you up or not, that your history with that intersection for thirty years is spotless. Suppose, now that instead of a cop, that one time, it was a punk in a black hoodie and jeans with an attitude about rich guys blowing through the stops in his neighborhood, and while you were confident, and maybe woolgathering, you ran him over and wrecked his skateboard and put him in the hospital. Or maybe just scared him so much he panicked and blew an aorta.

I have been tempted to blow through the stop sign at the end of my block, for the thirteen years that I've lived here. I want to but I don't. A block away is another stop, each way, but there is long curve along the way without a stop at that two way stop intersection, and someone ignorant of the layout and maybe speeding could easily make an accident right there a hundred feet from my house. I can't imagine trying to face HER with a ticket because I figured there wouldn't be a cop would be there, as usual, and then there was one. OTOH, a half mile away, there is a signal controlled T intersection with a multi-lane higher speed boulevard, and sometimes the smart signal won't register that my car is left turn lane. I have sat through that signal for several cycles before another car comes along and triggers the light change, and I get the green arrow. (I think it may be because the relatively lower mass of my convertible with an all aluminium engine isn't in the calibrated range for the sensor?) It's a long signal and I don't like sitting and waiting. My choice then, is to merge back right, into the through lane and make a left a block away, waiting for the traffic without a signal, or just turn left past the red arrow, waiting only for the traffic and not the light. The latter makes the most sense to me, but only if I can accept the consequences of being wrong about the odds of the presence of cops, and I will get a ticket if I get seen by John Law. And I would in that case go to court and argue about it with the judge. And I'm sure I would make a good case and end up paying the ticket. There are too many ways to unexpectedly kill someone with a car to take exception to the rules for the sake of mere convenience.

If you are in the habit of blowing through deserted intersections, in the pre-dawn routine, and then one day for some reason you're on autopilot while driving that route at a more traffic congested time of day, and there end up being some bad consequence as a result, how much comfort is the knowlege that you've been safe nearly all the time going to be?

Phillip Allen
12-16-2015, 10:29 AM
I consider bike paths to be public green spaces.

If you look at a city bike path you will notice that most of the folks on the bike path are city residents...not riding bikes...but pushing baby strollers, walking the dog, kids playing with thier new birthday present bike, roller skaters, old ladies in walkers.....

inner city free space...clear of automobiles is very precious.

No need for any special bike tax. Normal property tax will do because all residents benifit from public green space.

alright, I'll entertain that thought

S.V. Airlie
12-16-2015, 11:09 AM
Of course you would, you use bike paths a lot PA. I doubt whether you care whether they are taxed or not. Now registering guns and putting regulations on them, I'm sure is another matter entirely.

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2015, 01:46 PM
You run red lights?
No. I stop at all red lights.

But at 5:00 am, if there is no other traffic in sight, I then proceed through the intersection without waiting for the light to turn green.

Peerie Maa
12-16-2015, 02:23 PM
No. I stop at all red lights.

But at 5:00 am, if there is no other traffic in sight, I then proceed through the intersection without waiting for the light to turn green.

Reminds me of an Irish joke.

A bloke was being driven through Belfast by a new acquaintance.
The driver ran every red light they came to until the passenger could contain himself no more. "What are you doing? he enquired, those lights were on red."
"Don't be worrying", came the reply, "my brother does this all the time. Never had an accident yet, we'll be fine."

This carried on until they came to a green light. The driver stopped with a squeal of brakes.
"Now what" cried the passenger, "that one was on green."
"I know", came the reply, "my brother might be coming the other way".

BrianY
12-16-2015, 02:28 PM
No. I stop at all red lights.

But at 5:00 am, if there is no other traffic in sight, I then proceed through the intersection without waiting for the light to turn green.

Why only at 5am? If the idea is that it's OK to proceed through the intersection when you have a red light because there's no traffic in sight, what does the time of day have to do with it? Why not do it at noon or 3 or 8 if the same conditions are present?

AnalogKid
12-16-2015, 03:13 PM
... we just need to find out how to get the bike riders to pay for their share of the infrastructure :)

This old tripe appears without fail in the comments section of every online news article about bikes or bike paths.

Don't know how it works elsewhere, but in NZ it's only state highways that get paid for out of road license fees and road user charges. All local roads, and all the urban ones where bike-specific infrastructure is likely to be built, is paid for by local authority rates, so any cyclist living in the town or city where the paths are being built has paid for them. Given the disparity in costs of building a road vs. building a bike path, it all works out pretty fair in the end.

NickW
12-16-2015, 03:26 PM
No. I stop at all red lights.

But at 5:00 am, if there is no other traffic in sight, I then proceed through the intersection without waiting for the light to turn green.
Around here virtually all the traffic lights are fitted with cameras. no matter what time of day or night, you run a red light, the camera takes a photo of your rear number plate and bingo a 60 fine and 3 points on your licence comes through the post. Collect 12 points in any 3 year period for an automatic 6 month driving ban. Ditto for speed cameras.

It's called computerised law enforcement!

Nick

Phillip Allen
12-16-2015, 04:11 PM
This old tripe appears without fail in the comments section of every online news article about bikes or bike paths.

Don't know how it works elsewhere, but in NZ it's only state highways that get paid for out of road license fees and road user charges. All local roads, and all the urban ones where bike-specific infrastructure is likely to be built, is paid for by local authority rates, so any cyclist living in the town or city where the paths are being built has paid for them. Given the disparity in costs of building a road vs. building a bike path, it all works out pretty fair in the end.

I'm not sure about that here

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2015, 04:33 PM
Why only at 5am?My commute to work at 5:00 am every weekday is the only time I ever come upon a traffic light when no other vehicles are around.

Peerie Maa
12-16-2015, 05:26 PM
My commute to work at 5:00 am every weekday is the only time I ever come upon a traffic light when no other vehicles are around.

I sincerely hope that you do not meet a wazzock on a push bike wearing dark clothes with no lights lit.

BrianY
12-16-2015, 05:27 PM
I
My commute to work at 5:00 am every weekday is the only time I ever come upon a traffic light when no other vehicles are around.

But if you did happen to come upon such a situation later in the day, would you do it?

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2015, 05:36 PM
But if you did happen to come upon such a situation later in the day, would you do it?
Why not?

I also remove the tags from my mattresses.

https://qph.is.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-fad7eff23ab4786f25ac9fff20668595?convert_to_webp=t rue

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2015, 05:37 PM
Nick, it is a brightly lit intersection with clear visibility for a good half mile in every direction. And so when I say "no other vehicle traffic in sight" I mean for a good long distance.

BrianY
12-16-2015, 05:53 PM
So you believe that it's OK for you to violate the law when in your judgement it's safe to do so? Interesting. What other laws do you routinely violate when it suits you? Just curious...

BTW it's perfectly legal for you to remove the tags from your mattresses so you do 't have to worry about that any longer.

Tom Montgomery
12-16-2015, 06:13 PM
So you believe that it's OK for you to violate the law when in your judgement it's safe to do so? Interesting. What other laws do you routinely violate when it suits you? Just curious...
All of them, of course.

BrianY
12-16-2015, 06:51 PM
Do you think it's ok for the cyclist to stop at red lights and then proceed if he thinks it's ok when there may be cars going in the same direction whose drivers stay put until the light turns green? If it's ok for the cyclist, is it also ok for the car drivers? I mean, if it's ok for some people (drivers and cyclists) to ignore the laws governing traffic flow whenever they want, why shouldn't everyone do it? Why bother having traffic lights at all? Just replace all of them with stop signs or flashing red lights and rely on the good judgement of the drivers and cyclists. Think of the money that towns and cities would save.

LeeG
12-16-2015, 07:59 PM
My commute to work at 5:00 am every weekday is the only time I ever come upon a traffic light when no other vehicles are around.

Must be a local thing, I sure wouldn't risk it in Annapolis.

robm
12-17-2015, 04:23 PM
One problem with bikes and traffic lights, is that bikes are too small to trigger them. I agree he should stop, but if his bike won't trigger the light, should he have to stay there until a car comes along? I agree with having to obey traffic laws, but if the traffic signals are not designed to accommodate the cyclist, what else can he do?

As for bike paths: in the 1980's, it was found that they caused more accidents than riding on roads, according to a great book on cycle commuting called "Effective Cycling". I am not sure what current statistics are. The attitude on the part of the authorities is often very poor. The first one in the Vancouver area, that was put along the old Interurban rail line from Central Park in Burnaby east to New Westminster, was opened with great fanfare by Prince Charles and Diana in 1986, and then had a huge hole torn in it a few weeks later when they were rerouting the roads south of the mass of consumerism now called Metrotown. It is one thing to cut it, leaving a large gap with a deep hole (5 -6 feet) and no safe way around , but they didn't even barricade the path at the gap! Since then, it has filled up (the bike path, not the hole!) with pedestrians, strollers, little kids on trikes, etc., and anyone who needs an effective cycle route through Vancouver probably should find a safer, less crowded alternative.

I used to commute to work in Vancouver from Burnaby, and made a point of avoiding most of the "(ps)yco" routes along the way, as there were usually better, easier, safer alternatives nearby.

More recently, and closer to where I live now, Smithers, B.C. has a route connecting the south and north ends of the city to the downtown core, designated as a shared car/cycle route. They did this by reducing the speed limit to 30 km/h, adding a bunch of signs, and making every intersection a 4 way stop! If/when I move to Smithers and park the car, that is the last road I will be using, when I can choose a route either side of this one that has stop signs only at major intersections. I ride a bike to get somewhere, not to stop at stop signs. It is crap like this that encourages cyclists to ignore the rules of the road.

slug
12-17-2015, 04:31 PM
I ran a red light on my bike tonight. 30 pedestrians piled up at the crosswalk, waiting. ..red light.

no traffic on the road.... I. blasted thru the red light on my bike so that I was clear of the pedestrian herd when it surged as the light went green .

bike riders often cheat.

S.V. Airlie
12-17-2015, 04:34 PM
In Europe, better mind the traffic signals on a bike, the police will ticket you. In the US, rarely! The cops rarely ticket those who are texting unless;

It was a boring day or there was an accident involved.

SchoonerRat
12-17-2015, 04:49 PM
I almost always stop and wait for a signal to turn green. Around here, you can, almost without fail, trigger a light with a bike - if you know how to use the loops properly. There are 2 lights in town that I will regularly ride through on a red. They are both T intersections where I'm riding the top of the T and they are either at the bottom of or in the middle of a fairly steep incline. I know I'm breaking the law. If I get caught, I'll suffer the penalty...and I'll ride the red the next time I'm there. I think it's safer for me to go through with some momentum than it would be for me to wait for the light and climb the hill with traffic on my butt.

S.V. Airlie
12-17-2015, 05:13 PM
I was stopped at a red light in a car watching a guy, skip the light. He turned right.. All in slow motion, I watched him hit an on coming car (the light was green for the driver) Bicyclist hit the fender, thrown up, hit the guy's wind screen, broke it and flopped in the road. The traffic barely paused. I expected the guy to not get up. Of course he wasn't wearing a helmet either.

robm
12-17-2015, 05:50 PM
So the cyclist made a right on the red, without stopping, and hit an oncoming car? Was he riding the wrong way on a one way street? Or was this somewhere where they drive on the left, not the right? Or did he ride straight into a car crossing through? Either way, a Darwin candidate.

I once almost witnessed a cyclist get run down/knocked over from behind. A 2 lanes each way city street (12th Ave. in Vancouver to be precise, for those who are familiar). A guy in a hurry came through the intersection by changing to the curb lane and then passing a string of cars stopped to make left hand turns. While squeezing by the cyclist, riding in the curb lane near the curb, where she is "supposed" to be by law, he knocked her down. I say "almost witnessed" as I was sitting in parking lot, saw the cyclist go by, then behind a wall, the car go by at a great rate and emerge from the other side, but no cyclist. I didn't actually see her go down, but I knew what had to have happened. She was OK, just shaken up and road rash, and mad as hell.

12th is not my idea of a good road to ride, but I often rode 33rd, which is very similar, just less traffic. My solution there would be to take the whole curb lane until well clear of the intersection. I might be a bit slower than a car, but not much (maybe 2 seconds slower across the intersection and past the bus stop on the other side), and it would be way faster to stay behind me than wait for the left turners to get out of the way. Most car drivers have no clue where the right side of their car is, but they will balk at actually rear ending a cyclist. The difference between claiming an accident and blatant murder.

S.V. Airlie
12-17-2015, 05:57 PM
It was not one way, he hit the car which was moving pretty much head on. The car was making a green light. AND he didn't even slow down muchless stop.