Posts Tagged ‘safety’

In 2012, the tenth anniversary of a solemn event will take place worldwide on Wednesday, May 16th at 7:00 pm local time. The Ride of Silence began in Dallas, Texas and honors those who have lost their lives or been injured by motor vehicles while riding their bicycles. Aside from honoring the fallen, the ride is meant to be a peaceful way of protesting the disdain much too often shown towards bicyclists by drivers. The mission of the Ride of Silence is:

“The mission of the world-wide Ride of Silence is to honor bicyclists killed by motorists, promote sharing the road, and provide awareness of bicycling safety.”

Here in Greater Lansing, the Ride of Silence begins on the Michigan State University Campus and concludes at the State Capital. Similar rides will occur throughout the United States and in countries across the globe on May 16th.

Here’s just a brief summary of the scope of the event in 2011 from the RoS website:

  • “322 locations around the planet
  • All states and the District of Columbia: 2nd straight year, 3rd year for all 50 states
  • 24 countries: down from a high of 26 in 2010 but 4 new countries listed
  • 28 Canadian locations: twice as many as 2011!
  • All seven continents: 2nd straight year, 3rd year total. (how…. in Antarctica?? Thanks to the Palmer Station for having a Ride (Spin) for Silence, taking turns on an indoor stationary bike)
  • 47%: number of locations that posted a follow-up ride report (down from 2009 & 2010)
  • Zero words are spoken, but a million powerful memories.”

Many of us have friends and/or family members who have been killed or injured by motor vehicles while riding their bikes, but that is not a prerequisite for participation. Please consider participating in this important and sobering event on Wednesday, May 16th. In our unified silence, let the impact of our combined resolve be a deafening statement to all. Below are links to the Greater Lansing Ride of Silence and a page that lists all the Ride of Silence events around the world. Please consider participating.

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For cyclists and pedestrians, a lot. The fact that the crosswalk is not aligned with the curb cuts makes crossing the intersection confusing at best and dangerous at worst.

Local authorities have been alerted about this particular problem. It appears to be a case of one agency not communicating another agency. Hopefully, this particular problem will be rectified early in the spring.

Whenever you see an obvious safety issue like this, don’t dismiss it, report it to the proper authorities. There are no government organizations that can be all places at all times, so it is up to comminity-minded citizens to be their eyes and ears. Who knows, the life you save may be you own.

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As a much-needed new MSU Federal Credit Union takes shape at the northeast corner of Mt. Hope Road and Farm Lane, one key ingredient is missing. Safe pedestrian/bicycle access from the east.

The mile-long stretch along Mt. Hope Road between Farm Lane and Hagadorn Road has no sidewalks or off-road bike path except immediately at the intersections themselves. This leaves nearly a mile of overly narrow bike lane (more of a partially paved shoulder – about two feet wide) or rough and tumble cross-country riding along a busy access/commuter route to the university and across an active CSX railroad line.

Hopefully, someone's commentary is incorrect.

Given there are approximately one-thousand Michigan State University students living east of the new credit union in apartment and condominium complexes such as the Hamptons, the Chateau, Berrytree, and Glenwood, this means they must either drive to the credit union (wasteful for such a short trip) or risk life and limb while walking or bicycling. Those living further north along Hagadorn Road would have the option of walking/riding Service Drive to Farm Lane.

While I think a new credit union is needed in this vicinity, I also think more thought should be put into how students and area residents are going to get there, beyond the automobile. MSU’s efforts to “Be Spartan Green” must  include more emphasis on the periphery of campus, as well as in its core. Hopefully, the addition of a much-needed sidewalk/bike path along this segment of Mt. Hope Road will come sooner versus later, so it won’t be precipitated by a totally unnecessary and predictable tragedy.

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Not only are the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt environmentally friendly, but they both will be receiving the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest rating for safety. According to the story by Chris Woodyard, the top honors are awarded to vehicles based on the following:

To be designated a top pick, a vehicle must score the highest rating of “good” in front, side and rear crash tests, as well as in a roof-crush test. The institute has awarded the rating to certain gas-electric hybrids in the past, such as the Honda Civic hybrid, but not yet to a plug-in from a major maker.

Kudos to both Nissan and GM for this impressive twofer of environmentally friendly and safe cars.

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