Controversial road diet reduced accidents, say scientists

I agree with what the two posters above me have written, but still have to point out my mantra with regard to traffic safety:

Ultimately, it’s not about who’s right, but who’s left.


Cyclists…are victims? For what, cycling?

He’s not blaming them for being in accidents, he’s blaming them for unsafe practices. Jogging’s great. If I jog down the middle of a highway, I’m an idiot. Please feel free to explain yourself to those of us who clearly don’t see your amazing points.

On topic of the original discussion: Bike lanes significantly helped the issues with cyclists in Seattle while I was living there - before those got put in things were starting to get ugly. I lived in west/east lake union and I saw some pretty crazy stunts while I was there.

Given that cyclists are suppsed to follow all the rules of the road, if it was at night, they’d be required to have a forward facing white light and a rear facing red light. Reflective surfaces would be prudent (though not required by law).
Still: likely not the wisest choice ever (but legal).


They’re a handy “other.” It’s hard to keep a hate-on for pedestrians when, as soon as you park your car, you become one.


Plus it’s hard not to hate a grown man wearing spandex :wink:


Cyclists ride single file to hide their numbers.



AKA, using a lane as they are legally entitled to do.

Want to pass a cyclist? Then change lanes, just as you would when passing a car. Bikes (motorised or not) need buffer space for a reason.


Driving without due care and attention if not dangerous/reckless driving. The cyclist is not at fault. Driving twice the speed limit is more than enough to get banned from driving in the UK.

If cyclists shouldn’t be on the road then there should be signs saying so, or it should be put in a class of road where bicycles are not allowed (Like UK motorways).

(edit: didn’t see legal speed in your comment. The cyclist still isn’t at fault and driving without due care and attention may still apply.)


On most two lane UK roads where group cyclists ride, if there’s room to pass one safely, there’s room to pass two safely. In the situations where that isn’t the case - wide roads (in the UK, A roads) or very narrow (single lane) roads groups will typically single out to let cars pass.

There is an issue with a cars behind a group on a narrow road, but the problem is typically present with any width of bikes (the highway code stipulates leaving the same room when passing vulnerable road users as for normal cars), so the problem is more about it being a narrow road than cyclists per se.

Part of riding a bike is controlling where one should be overtaken. Holding lane position when there isn’t space to overtake to stop stupid manoeuvres is one tool. This is made easier with a group.


Drivers are voters and outnumber cyclists, even in “heavily biked” areas, by at least 50-to-1.

Improving road safety is great. Killing fewer cyclists and pedestrians while enhancing the low-carbon mobility is absolutely the right goal. But the political reality is that if cheesed-off drivers show up at the next city council meeting, that beautiful mobility plan is going to die in committee. Drivers are voters.

Thus, the most important bit of the report is on pages 17:

The FHWA advises that roadways with ADT of 20,000 vpd or less may be good candidates for a Road Diet and should be evaluated for feasibility. Figure 12 shows the maximum ADTs used by several agencies to determine whether to install a Road Diet. Road Diet projects have been completed on roadways with relatively high traffic volumes in urban areas or near larger cities with satisfactory results.

3.3.6 Peak Hour and Peak Direction

The peak hour volume in the peak direction will be the measure of volume driving the analysis and can determine whether the Road Diet can be feasibly implemented. …

• Probably feasible at or below 750 vehicles per hour per direction (vphpd) during the peak hour…

Find roads important to cyclists, pedestrians, or school children that won’t be much impacted by a “diet”. These are unlikely to generate a political backlash, increase your support for further changes, and help get the city staff behind the idea. Be aware of “diets” for roads that exceed these limits so that the extra political groundwork is prepared before honked-off honking drivers turn up at city council meetings.

(Note: I live in a town with outstanding bike lanes and connectivity. This didn’t happen by accident – it’s bee 40 years of consistent, firm lobbying and working with the city).


A road diet around here reduced the average amount by which motorists exceeded the speed limit on that stretch from 33% to 17%. That’s right, before the diet, motorists on average were exceeding the posted limit by 33%. I guess we cyclists need to be thankful for small steps…


The laws here in BC are that we must ride single file all the time and stay to the right as far as is practicable. I don’t think there are many other jurisdictions (outside of Australia, of course) that restrict the rights of cyclists so severely in law.

I would think turn signals help in the aggregate, even if it may cause serious issues for some. Do you have data suggesting otherwise? Because I’m just making assumptions.


I’ve tried looking for studies. It’s very hard to find information on these things. For example, a Pubmed search of photosensitive epilepsy school bus yields no results, a search of “flicker vertigo” yields 5, mostly among helicopter pilots, and a search of “Bucha effect” yields 6, none related to the Bucha effect. I’m now complaining on political fora too, hoping that would draw consideration of these policies, if not change.

At this point it’s guesswork, but I suspect hitting people, blinding them, making them stumble into the street, and then hitting the with cars will hurt more than it could possibly help.

Certainly for those individuals with this sensitivity. What is the percentage, though? What is the aggregate effect? I ask because I don’t know. I make the mistake of assuming everyone is like me, and that turn signals are only a benefit. But without data, I can’t know for sure one way or the other.

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I’ve tried looking for studies. It’s very hard to find information on these things. For example, a Pubmed search of photosensitive epilepsy school bus yields no results, a search of “flicker vertigo” yields 5, mostly among helicopter pilots, and a search of “Bucha effect” yields 6, none related to the Bucha effect. I’m now complaining on political fora too, hoping that would draw consideration of these policies, if not change.

At this point it’s guesswork…

Honestly the combination of the policies and the absence of studies comes off as “we’re going to mandate the strobes and flashes, and not even study the dangers, because fuck those crips…”

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There’s a lot of discussion in this thread about bikes. Bikes are designed to be safer for right-handed people. Significantly safer. 10% of the population (lefties) are put at greater danger because of this (especially because it’s not commonly known). That’s a much higher number of people than the relative few who have severe photosensitivity such as you’re describing.

The way to make things better is to pick the battle you want to spend time and energy on, and then do it. Enlist others to join you…but understand if their priorities are not your priorities. The things that are dangerous for you are different than the things that are dangerous for others, and none of us have infinite time to spend.


Honest question: how are bikes defaulted for right handed folks?
I’ve never heard that before.


I don’t know if anyone’s ever made this particular study. Eight years ago the NHTSA commissioned a study to determine if amber turn signals worked better than red ones (on the back of a car) at preventing accidents, and though it wasn’t made clear whether color alone made a difference (as opposed other contributing factors such as lenses, reflectors, and candlepower of the flashing lights, as well as the fact that amber signals are less likely to be confused with brake or taillight lamps by being separate parts of the light cluster), the results did seem to reinforce the idea that the more visible a turn signal is, the more effective it is at preventing crashes.

I think it would be difficult to make a convincing case that eliminating flashing signal lights would improve the overall safety and comfort situation for society at large. It occurs to me that in a not-too-distant future, such hazard warnings could conceivably be confined to Augmented Reality goggles worn by all drivers, thus leaving those who want to be free of such sensory assaults to stroll along unimpeded with a spring in their step and a song in their heart. And anyway by then the cars will be automated too.

But otherwise, I think we’ll be stuck with flashing lights for the foreseeable future unless we bring back the ol’ Trafficator.