Posts Tagged ‘impeding traffic’

Detroit cyclist gets a ticket and possible child endangerment charges

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

On September 2nd, Sean Harrington biked to the Detroit RiverWalk with his twin sons in a bike trailer. On the way home, he took the sidewalk north on Park Avenue, which is a one way side street heading south.

When pedestrians and construction scaffolding blocked the sidewalk, he rode on the road for about four car lengths.

That was apparently too much for Detroit Police who issued Harrington a $110 ticket and now may face charges of child endangerment.

What’s even more ridiculous is Park Avenue is a very low volume road. A 2005 study found an average of 280 cars per day on this section of road, which is lower than most residential neighborhood streets. North bound Clifford just west of Park carries ten times more traffic, and Woodward even more still.

Impeding vehicle traffic? Seriously?

This story has gotten a great deal of press locally (Free Press, Crains, mLive, ClickOnDetroit) and is starting to get some national attention as well.

MyFoxDetroit’s coverage includes this video which helps highlight the ridiculousness of this story.

Father Charged with Child Neglect after Bike Ride:

Impeding Traffic: Looking at the bigger picture

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Throughout the Detroit suburbs, cyclists can expect to hear the occasional verbal assault from motorists. The typical theme is “you don’t belong on the road” or “you’re in my way.”

Clearly state law says that cyclists have the same access to all Michigan roads except limited-access highways.

Some argue that since cyclists can’t travel at the speed limit, they shouldn’t be on the road and that bicycles impede traffic. But courts have dismissed that argument since it would effectively ban bicycles (and pedestrians, pack-animals, farm machinery, Amish wagons, etc.) from all roads.

But are motorists really that concerned about being occasionally slowed due sharing the road with cyclists? How much time do Metro Detroit motorists “lose” to cyclists on the roads?

Rather than attempt to answer that question, it’s perhaps more important to step back and judge all the issues that delay motorists.

How much time do motorists lose to:

  • Road construction
  • Stop lights and stop signs
  • Speed limits
  • Rush hour traffic
  • School buses loading and unloading children
  • At-grade train crossings
  • Inclement weather
  • Emergency vehicles
  • Slow downs due to vehicle crashes
  • Other cars on the road

Motorists’ time lost to bicyclists is certainly minor compared with most of these. So are these same motorists yelling at school buses and emergency vehicles to get off the road? It seems that if they were so consumed with decreasing their travel delays, they’d focus on the issues causing the biggest delays.

And speaking of travel delays, this past week an apparently careless driver caused a horrific tanker explosion on I-75 which caused over a $1 million in damage and has left the expressway closed for days. This portion of I-75 carries 160,000 vehicles per day and the closure is causing many minutes of delay per vehicle.

This single crash has likely caused more motorist delay than all the cyclists in Metro Detroit combined — ever.

That certainly helps put this all in perspective.