2016-05-25 Wed


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It is no more time for a truce in the car vs. bike wars than it is time to roll over and die in the fight against ignorance of the Laws of the Universe.

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Brian Dexter of sleepy Georgetown uses peccable (it’s the opposite of impeccable and probably stems from the Latin word for “sin”) logic in arguing that “IT” is far safe than mixing with faster traffic.

Sadly education in Physics is not a forté here.

Simple laws of Physics – and it is because they were so simply expressed by Sir Isaac Newton that we laud that great man – tells us that the Kinetic Energy in a moving body is expressed by the formula ½mv2, which is to say “A half multiplied by the Mass multiplied by the Square of the velocity”, and that “square” pops up so often that educated people will simply say “It’s a square law” or “it’s an inverse square thing”.

Double the velocity, Quadruple the energy.

Triple the velocity, Nonuple the energy. (I think Nonuple is nine-times)

If I on my bike am traveling at 10 KM/hour and you on your bike are traveling at 25 Km/hour, then your velocity is 2.5 times mine, and so your kinetic energy is 2.5SQUARED times mine, or 6.25 as much. (Our masses assumed equal)


Dexter’s argument is that cars, having MUCH more mass and MUCH more speed are dangerous to cyclists.

I use the same argument, saying that a bike+cyclist combination has more mass than a pedestrian, and the combination is usually traveling faster, so cyclists are dangerous to pedestrians, and should be kept separate.

I think that New York City has got it right, and Toronto should just follow their lead. Apparently in New York City, pedestrians and cyclists AND drivers all laud their system for bike lanes.

Can’t beat that!


In New York City there is the sidewalk and then there is the roadway.

On the side walk walk pedestrians.

Immediately adjacent to the sidewalk are the bike lanes. And then. Moving towards the centre of the roadway comes a place for parked cars, and then the place for moving cars.

So starting from the centre of the roadway you have (1) Moving Cars (2) Stationary Cars (3) Moving Bikes (4) Moving Pedestrians.

Rather like those parallel moving walkways where you step onto a slow one and then step sideways onto a slightly faster one.

Note that cyclists are shielded from moving cars by a barrier of stationary metal; let the cars take it out on themselves.

Note that cyclists only have to think about passenger doors opening, and do not have to factor moving vehicles into their decisions.

Note that pedestrians are shielded from moving cyclists by a raised kerb or curb, depending on your language-of-origin.

Here’s the Big One:-


Here’s another Big One:-


Right now on a typical two-lanes-each-way street there is, by definition, space for moving cars (in both directions), space for parked cars (there they are, parked at the side of the road), and space for cyclists, bless ‘em.

We are talking about the same space and just swapping the position of the parked cars and the cyclist.

Instead of traffic then cyclists then parking we have traffic then parking then cyclists.

A can of paint and you are in business.

Not like Toronto’s idiotic “solution” which is to sandwich cyclists between a row of moving and a row of stationary metal.