Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ride home for Wednesday, 24 October

Rode back via Bike Again for a meeting with the Halifax Critical Mass crew to see what's going on with the ghost bike ride for Friday.

Distance logged: 13.424km
Time: 45:27
Average speed: 17.7km/hr
Max speed: 47.6 km/hr
Temperature: 11C, breezy
Cumulative distance: 3700.348km
Cumulative cost per km: $0.22
Monthly distance: 429.280km
Monthly cost per km: $0

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to share a bit of good news. Here in Sarasota where I live (I stumbled upon this blog several months ago and am keeping up with Steve's various encounters with "muppets") the city had plans to take out the bike lane on portion of a busy street that takes one from the interstate right to downtown. The city wanted to widen sidewalks to make it more pedestrian (read "tourist")friendly which is all very nice but considering we live in Florida a popular the mode of transportation, especially for those that make a little less (Sarasota is expensive), is a bike. No thought was put into the repercusions of either forcing cars and bikes to share a narrow lane, or pushing the bikes up onto the sidewalk (allowed here, although I wish it wasn't). This would have also pushed bike commuters onto smaller side streets, but then it would have been very difficult to try and cross a 3-6 lane road from these stop-signed side streets. You get the idea.

A local group, A.R.T. - Alliance for Responsible Transportation, were able to lobby the city to rethink their plans and now the city has agreed, at least for now, to keep the bike lane along this stretch of road. Thankfully I have never been hit here. My husband was honked at two days ago by some guy who passed him twice since my husband was able to get ahead of him on the side of the road when traffic was standing still (he was in a bike lane). Apparently this guy didn't like that my husband was going faster than him. No matter how safe I am, there are elderly drivers that shouldn't be driving, or the young folks who are trying to get around the elderly. I felt safer riding down Elston in Chicago. At least for now we still have our much needed bike lane.

As a born and raised Haligonian who used to ride my bike around the city regularly (but was never hit, thankfully) I only hope that somehow this lack of education is reversed. I read in a comment that someone hoped that gas got so high that it made people rethink their transportation choice. Looking at Canadians, and here your average American, it is obviously that some of these folks really do need to get out of their cars and get some exercise.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 10:54:00 pm  
Blogger steve said...

Glad to hear somewhere it starting to move ahead! I've always heard of Florida as a rather unsafe place for cyclists, it sounds like things might have a chance of moving forward - or at least, not moving back.

I know what you mean about drivers being irritated when cyclists are faster than them. I really don't know what they expect - if they're going to effectively park their vehicles in the middle of the road (and, frequently, the middle of the intersection causing a gridlock) I can't see the harm in navigating around them!

I definitely agree with you on people needing more exercise...

Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:41:00 pm  
Blogger Andrew said...

what is the point of Openstreetmap.com?

Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:46:00 pm  
Blogger steve said...

The point of Openstreetmap is to generate an open, freely usable map of the world. The problem with Google et al is the licensing means you're extremely limited in what you're permitted to do with it. See the Openstreetmap FAQ on the subject for the full story.

Thursday, October 25, 2007 8:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Andrew. said...

I still dont think I get it fully, I mean looking at the halifax streetmap it looks just like it would on any map of Halifax on the web as is. I mean I know people have to go to certian places (see point pleasant park) to map out what wouldnt be on google maps but streets are still the same. or is that the point to lay out all paths and different things that wouldnt be on something like google maps?

Friday, October 26, 2007 8:34:00 am  
Blogger steve said...

That's a big part of it, yes, Andrew - for example if you take a look at Bedford there's a lot of trails and footpaths that simply don't appear on any other map. Mountain bike trails are another thing that aren't mapped anywhere, I've managed to map out the whopper trails and I'm hoping next year to map out others - Ideal Bikes has promised to help me out on that in return for being able to print out the map and sell to customers, which would be illegal with Google maps.

On top of that the Google maps are riddled with errors; there's entire streets in Bedford that have been there for years that are missing, for example.

I'm not complete myself, but at least I'm a lot more up to date and I update on a near-weekly basis!

Friday, October 26, 2007 8:53:00 am  
Anonymous Andrew. said...

I get ya Steve, its a pretty neat idea. I live on the peninsula, so other than Point Pleasant there are very few paths that arnt marked out on a generic map. Although the more I think about it the more I realise how many little paths and side streets are not on maps of the city. This is very instersting since I use such paths every day in getting around the city that much faster. I am new to the communiting sceen so bike computers and such are new to me, but hopefully come after the winter I will be able to use gps and help out in mapping out the HRM

Friday, October 26, 2007 9:12:00 am  
Blogger steve said...

If you want to help out an easy start is to register on OpenStreetMap and edit the map with the online tool to add any missing streets, railway lines, etc that I haven't added. If you know the name put it in, otherwise just name it FIXME - similarly if you know the names of streets I've marked as FIXME feel free to correct them, or if you spot any errors. One thing to be careful of is not to use Google Maps or similar - if you get caught using something like that all your edits and changes will be deleted! :-)

The wiki is a good source of information on how to map. Once you get the hang of it you might want to try using JOSM - it's a Java mapping tool that's extremely powerful, but it's also got a bit of a steep learning curve to it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007 1:53:00 pm  

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