Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: One Hundred and Thirty-one Million Reasons to Copenhagenize Christchurch

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  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    , motorway patrol cops–in cars–wear helmets

    Maybe we could get V8 drivers and rally drivers to persuade their petrol-head fans to start wearing helmets?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2311 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    I know it sounds strange, and that you wouldn't get any motorists into a helmet, but it is true.

    Well, it's possible that helmets might lead to more accidents, as people would feel even more invulnerable. I think that's why a lot of the safety features of racing cars are actually not allowed in streetcars. Roll cages, double crossing belts, etc. Deathproof, anyone?

    That was me, except there really wasn't much mocking.

    Unless your nickname at school was "Stackhat", it wasn't you. Mind you, I doubt this guy knew that was his nickname, I never saw him talk to anyone, ever.

    I believe certain NZ cities plan to introduce them for bus drivers.

    Because they're also effective against fists?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    What about the bus passengers! Won’t someone please think of the passengers!

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 796 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Reeves, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    I just shout "Peasant!".

    The confused look at such an insult ("I say, are you jolly well insulting, my man???") is priceless, and the time to process means (so far) a safe getaway.

    Near Donny Park, Hamilton… • Since Apr 2007 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to BenWilson,

    Well, it’s possible that helmets might lead to more accidents, as people would feel even more invulnerable.

    Is anyone else thinking of the Offsetting Behaviour masthead?

    Because they’re also effective against fists?

    On one or two the occasions I have been yelled at by motorists for (legally) filtering between lanes on my motorbike, it has occurred to me that I'm the one wearing a helmet, full upper-body armour and reinforced leather gloves, so if a driver really wants to take issue with me, they're welcome to step out of the car... When I'm in my dorky (but not Lycra!) cycle gear, not so much.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black, in reply to BenWilson,

    Well, it's possible that helmets might lead to more accidents, as people would feel even more invulnerable.

    I don't know of any research on that angle, but I have seen some* that says drivers think cyclists are less vulnerable when wearing a helmet and so they drive closer than they do for a non-helmeted rider.

    As someone said above, helmet research is contested. What I would like to see is a graphic showing the average results of the studies. I'd like to be able to see whether the increased level of protection in the less likely direct impact scenario is outweighed by the increased likelihood of injury in the more common rotational head and neck twist injuries.

    What everyone does agree on though, is that proper cycling infrastructure makes bike riders safer. And New York City has found that it has made everyone safer - their road injuries for all classes have reduced as a direct result of putting in their cycle paths.

    *WHY don't I bookmark this stuff?!

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to James Butler,

    if a driver really wants to take issue with me, they're welcome to step out of the car.

    A motorbiking guy I knew once crashed into the side of a car doing a stupid U-turn in front of him on a highway. He was quite badly injured, but the driver of the car was also knocked out cold. Apparently his fist smashed right through the side window and punched her clean in the face. It's the wickedest punch I've ever heard of anyone getting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    After mucking around for ages searching for the hole, I realized all that was wrong with it was that she had not understood how to operate the hand pump...

    That just sounds soo wrong...

    Yes it does.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 272 posts Report Reply

  • Alice Ronald, in reply to Lisa Black,

    I think that was the same research that also found that riders who were perceived as female (eg long hair & skirt - the researcher was male & wore different clothing/items to test scenarios) were given a wider berth than normal.

    I also failed to bookmark it.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 48 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Greg Dawson,

    Yes it does.

    I'll have you know that any pretty girl except my sister has been able to get it hard in seconds with only a few pumps, and can ride it as long as they can handle.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8523 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder, in reply to Lisa Black,

    I don’t know of any research on that angle, but I have seen some* that says drivers think cyclists are less vulnerable when wearing a helmet and so they drive closer than they do for a non-helmeted rider.

    Dr Ian Walker, Bath University, 2006. And yes, that's the research where he found that wearing a long blonde wig caused drivers to give him the most distance.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Lisa Black,

    I don’t know of any research on that angle, but I have seen some* that says drivers think cyclists are less vulnerable when wearing a helmet and so they drive closer than they do for a non-helmeted rider.

    Research along similar lines is also the reason behind the "1.5m rule" which was lightly ridiculed upthread - it turns out that the more clearance you give yourself on the left, the more car drivers give you on the right. Hence anyone who thinks they're playing it safe by riding close to the curb to get out of the way of cars isn't doing themselves any favours.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black,

    Thanks, Alice, Jack!

    James, that's really interesting. If you happen across the source for that, please do send it to me.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Lisa Black,

    And New York City has found that it has made everyone safer – their road injuries for all classes have reduced as a direct result of putting in their cycle paths.

    I fully understand why cyclists want to ride West Coast roads. The place is beautiful, and there’s now a reasonable range of tourist accomodation & facilities.Most drivers I know are happy to share the roads with them. BUT
    a lot of the roads are narrow* and the nature of the land doesnt offer much possibility of developing cycle paths. Add to that fact that we do have tourist-idiots (riding 4 abreast on a narrow and circuitous hill road is the worst example I’ve encountered, but the cyclist coming down the Big O road at night with no light or reflective gear would come a close second…) annnd- I am happily surprised that very few cyclists have been killed** over the years. Long may that continue, but general cycle paths arnt an option here.

    *So narrow in places (which locals know) that you slow to a crawl and hope a bus or milktanker isnt coming the other way-
    **Motorists have been, by confused European drivers: since the directional arrow system has been around (hey! We even have ’em on the Big O Road!) there havent been deaths – but still accidents…

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Lisa Black,

    James, that’s really interesting. If you happen across the source for that, please do send it to me.

    Source: the Internet, as always.

    Umm, I'll get back to you...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Greg Dawson,

    Yes it does.

    2 Hours 23 Minutes.
    ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4861 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Lisa Black,

    This (from an article linked to by the late Sheldon Brown) isn't exactly what I was thinking of, but it articulates a similar principle:

    On a road with two or more narrow lanes in your direction - like many city streets - you should ride in the middle of the right* lane at all times. You need to send the message to drivers to move to the passing lane to pass you. If you ride all the way to the right, two cars may pass you at the same time, side by side, giving you too little clearance for safety.

    *Meant left, but he ain't know it.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Gee, in reply to Maz,

    Helmet safety is a myth, and hi-viz clothing isn't much better. It is all about awareness. The number of times I've been hit by motorists, who then burst out, "ooh, I didn't see you" (while I was wearing flouro orange and three flashing lights) is staggering.

    And Lilith:
    I think most accidents occur when motorists simply haven't seen a cyclist.

    I was saved by my helmet when I got hit by a right-turning car, threw my head into the driver's door, and bounced it back onto/off the asphalt as I fell. Of course, her words were "I didn't see you" (followed by asking if we could go halves on my extensive bike repairs). 'Saved' as in I only had moderate concussion rather than severe or worse.
    It's amazing how "I didn't bother looking for anything but cars in my path" translates into "I didn't see you". Road safety, road rules. 'Nuff said. I'll keep wearing my (new!) helmet regardless. Bring on those cycle paths!

    Canada, eh • Since May 2011 • 75 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Reid, in reply to David Haywood,

    In Denmark, the minimum standard width is 2.5 metres

    cart before that horse

    bike ‘porn’

    Another reason for the wider lanes in Denmark is the trike, which is a pretty common sight on the streets of Copenhagen. We've got one from these guys. It's considerably wider than your average bike, but hopefully safer for the three kids who are often sitting in the front than if they were in a trailer.

    David, I love your suggestions, and fully support them. I'd love to see in Christchurch what you see in Copenhagen - large bike parks absolutely full of parked bikes in the central city, next to train stations, in parks; bikes on every street at all ours of the day and night, especially in summer; kids in and on bikes because it's safe and older people tootling along at their own pace; city workers riding along in their suits and skirts; and an industry around bikes that suit the needs of riders.

    South Africa • Since Nov 2006 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • bill schoffelmeer, in reply to Maz,

    Helmet safety is a myth, and hi-viz clothing isn't much better

    Thanks Maz;I refuse to call them helmets for that reason.Motorcyclists wear helmets,and they do save lives.I used to ride motorbikes,and observed that if you rode a large black bike,wore black leathers,black helmet-everything black-drivers would get the hell out of your way.
    Hi-viz,day-glo;are so ubiquitous and so removed from any real association with danger that it is ignored.I have noticed counter staff at a parts warehouse wearing hi-viz vests.There were forklifts operating out back apparently.
    I dont think a discussion on head impact mitigation devices is completely out of line here,especially if it gets more folks on their bikes

    Wakapuaka • Since Jun 2011 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I dont think a discussion on head impact mitigation devices is completely out of line here,especially if it gets more folks on their bikes

    I think it's more important to build the infrastructure, create some more culture, and then when more people are riding and cycling is seen as safe again, deconstruct the culture of fear and misinformation about the benefits of helmets. However, given current circumstances, I think it's a misdirection of advocacy energy. Christchurch is being rebuilt, that's a given. Other things, less so. It also changes things from being positive - this is what we should do and look how beautiful it can be - to negative (this is wrong and harming us). Given the opportunities the former affords, I don't think the latter works right now. Let's take David's enthusiastic proposals and run with them.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2135 posts Report Reply

  • James Green, in reply to Lisa Black,

    As someone said above, helmet research is contested. What I would like to see is a graphic showing the average results of the studies. I'd like to be able to see whether the increased level of protection in the less likely direct impact scenario is outweighed by the increased likelihood of injury in the more common rotational head and neck twist injuries.

    There is no easy graphic that I have seen that summarises this. According to the meta-analyis I linked to earlier (which you probably can't seen unless you are on a university computer), the protective effect of helmets appears to be declinding with time. Older studies find greater protection than newer studies. Explanations could include the change from hard to soft shells, or greater power and more precise estimates in earlier studies (to achieve significance in a less powerful study you need a bigger effect estimate). the study concludes:

    Do bicycle helmets reduce the risk of injury to the head, face or neck? With respect to head injury, the answer is clearly yes, and the re-analysis of the meta-analysis reported by Attewell et al. (2001) in this paper has not changed this answer. As far as facial injury is concerned, evidence suggests that the protective effect is smaller, but on balance there does seem to be a slight protective effect. The risk of neck injury does not seem to be reduced by bicycle helmets. There are only four estimates of effect, but they all indicate an increased risk of injury. When the risk of injury to head, face or neck is viewed as a whole, bicycle helmets do provide a small protective effect. This effect is evident only in older studies. New studies, summarised by a random-effects model of analysis, indicate no net protective effect (Elvik, 2011)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 689 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to James Green,

    James, that's very interesting, thanks.

    But I note that they say in the highlights:

    The findings of this meta-analysis are not consistent with a recently published Cochrane review.

    Isn't Cochrane the authority?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3447 posts Report Reply

  • Jeffrey Paparoa Holman,

    Hi David.
    I've just come back from Japan, where bicycles are everywhere in the towns and cities. All ages, all shapes and sizes and they do it without any special lanes. Everyone in Japan is used to sharing space and you see the most amazing configurations of cars, pedestrians and bikers.
    You have to beware of cyclists riding on pavements, as they just sail up behind you at speed, and if you hit one in your car, look out - they have right of way, like pedestrians.
    It comes down to good manners - Japanese in social situations are not aggressive like us, they make way for each other. Half our problem is bad manners and poor interpersonal skills, the cult of the individual, which expresses itself at its most narcissistic extreme in the one-occupier motor vehicle.

    Christchurch • Since Jun 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jeffrey Paparoa Holman,

    Actually Jeffrey, Japanese in social situations can be extremely aggressive – if a person steps out of percieved boundaries. I have good friends who are Japanese, and they find ANZ wonderfully enhancing & relaxing.

    We do NOT have a’cult of the individual’ (I think we are family&friend oriented), and we are not – emphatically- bad-mannered.

    **Note**: the rest of this post has been deleted by a moderator on the basis that it contravenes our policy on personal abuse.

    Our policy (which everyone agrees to when signing up to Public Address) is:

    While we encourage vigorous debate, we require forum users to refrain from personal abuse and aggressive behaviour towards others. Posts which breach this policy will be deleted by moderators and persistent offenders will be de-registered.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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