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Winter Bike Counts Complete!

January 21st, 2011 | Categories: People, Programs | 13 comments

Last week, 20-25 volunteers took to the cold, winter streets to verify Baltimore’s bicycle traffic.  Counts were taken between 7:30 and 9:30 am and from 4 pm to 6 pm Tuesday, January 11th through Thursday, January 13th.  Locations of the counts were at Falls Rd & Maryland Ave, Guilford Ave & Mt. Royal Ave, Aliceanna St & Boston St, Frederick Ave & the Gwynns Falls Trail.

If you didn’t notice, there was a little snowstorm on Wednesday which kept some folks from riding to work. 

So, here’s the data:

Thanks again to our many VOLUNTEERS for being out there counting bikes in the cold!   Tracking the city’s progress through traffic counts can not be done without you!    The next chance to count bikes is coming when its MUCH nicer out:  MAY 10th -12th (during BIKE MONTH)

  • Anonymous

    Helmet lectures? Really? Do you really want reasons why I and others choose not to wear ineffective helmets, or are you just asking rhetorical questions? Never mind the fact that vented helmets limit the riders’ ability to wear effective and genuinely warming head and ear wear.

  • IsaiasO

    Pffft! I guess guestymcspanky has never ever struck his head in a fall. I’ve had way too many falls to know that it’s the time you don’t expect to fall that will get you. It doesn’t take much of a bang in the head to give one a concussion.

    @Nate–why don’t you set up a Bike Baltimore Twitter page and have folks in Baltimore “tweet” where and when they see another cyclist?

  • Paul Day

    Hi Isaias,
    We are on Twitter, @DOTPlanning…

    Could be something to look into if people included a certain hashtag at the end of their post. Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be very scientific.

  • IsaiasO

    Yes, I did a search (for BikeBaltimore) and saw the @DOTPlanning account. I wasn’t sure if it was specific to Baltimore from that search. I see #cycling #baltimore is being used already.

  • Anonymous

    You look like a performance cyclist to me. That’s fine, but I’m a transportation cyclist typically. What you do is aggressive and risky. What I typically do is much safer and less likely to cause falls. When I want to ride more safely, I slow down. One could counter your position and ask the hypothetical “Why do people race and ride in a non-risk averse manner? Surely they should know that what they are doing is dangerous and therefore irresponsible.” Race car drivers wear helmets too. But I’m not going to say what you are doing is irresponsible or unjustifiably dangerous, because the decision you make to take more risks than me is your choice, and I respect that choice.

    Also, helmets are not designed to mitigate concussions, and are particularly poor protection against concussions. Look at the studies on NFL helmets: the better they get, the more concussions occur, because head padding does not prevent brain jostle and defensive players are more likely to use their heads as weapons, just like a roadie is more likely to bank a turn harder while wearing a helmet, even though their overall statistical effectiveness mitigating serious head traumas for adults is only in the 20% range. They are designed to mitigate skull fractures. Skull fractures are statistically rare and unlikely events A recent UK study (which has very similar cycling safety stats to the US) show that it would take 8,000 years for the average cyclist to suffer a serious head trauma and 22,000 years to suffer a cycling fatality from a head trauma. Look at the Tour de France history: In the history of the entire tour, with thousands of cyclist engaged in the most grueling endurance activity, in incredibly dangerous and aggressive pelotons, only one cyclist has died from a head trauma. No I don’t wear a helmet when I’m riding to work or to the post office. I also don’t wear a helmet when I’m crossing the street as a pedestrian or taking a shower, even though both activities are more likely to cause a serious head trauma to me than everyday cycling.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate helmets. I wear one myself when I ride my road bike. I actually like them for what they are, an added tool we cyclists can choose to use to increase our safety slightly, but to imply that it is irresponsible to choose to not wear one horrible advocacy and indirectly detrimental to the public health. When Australia passed a law requiring all cyclist to wear helmets, bicycle modal share went down by 50%, and 90% percent of teenage girls. Over the course of a 10 to 20 year period that adds up to millions of Australian citizens that are more prone to sedentary lifestyles, higher obesity rates, higher diabetes rates, higher heart disease rates, higher stroke rates, all because of a misguided law and compulsory policy to protect riders from a statistically highly unlikely injury. When we try to discourage helmetless cycling what we are actually doing is discouraging cycling, which has the same damaging effect to the public health as a compulsory helmet law. If wearing a helmet will make you more likely to ride a bike, great! If not wearing a helmet will make you more likely to ride a bike, great! Do whichever you choose safely and responisbly and reap the benefits to your health and your life. .

  • Anonymous

    I’m not advocating against helmet use, but in no way is it actually warmer to wear a helmet instead of a stocking cap.

  • Nate Evans

    Maybe its just me, but even with vents, my head stays warmer with a helmet. I occasionally wear a new fleece cap specifically designed to go under a helmet for added warmth.

    To set the record straight, I will never propose or endourse legislation mandating helmet use. I wear a helmet because I ride and I’ve wrecked without wearing a helmet. Concussions are no fun! More often then not, my helmet is very useful when riding under trees or half fallen logs. Look at Holland and Copenhagen – low percentage of helmet use, high percentage of ridership

  • mike

    Wow, why are people so against helmets? Is there actually a negative to wearing a helmet?

  • Anonymous

    I’m not against helmets. In the more lengthy response above I more fully articulated my positions on helmets. I’m against telling or implying that the informed decision to not wear a helmet is irresponsible. Is there an actual negative to wearing a helmet? Well, there is some debate about that, although the conclusions that suggest that helmets are harmful are as half baked and unscientific as those suggesting that helmets are particularly helpful. There is quite a bit of information to suggest that helmet campaigns are harmful to the overall public health and to our cities. Here’s a good video that touches on how helmet campaigning and the Culture of Fear may hurt our cities:

    Not that this will sway everybody, or that it should, but suffice to say there are many conflicting opinions on the issue.

  • Thomas Mackay

    Would a Sisson St, Keswick rd and Wyman Park Drive location make sense? If so I may be able to volunteer in the future.

  • Nate Evans

    Thanks, Thomas, that would make a decent spot.

  • bikemama

    I was disappointed with the weather the week of the counts so didn’t bike at all! Oddly enough, the week was also right after my husband (who also bike commutes) slipped on black ice from a newly leaking fire hydrant and fractured his elbow. His face was scuffed up pretty badly. A new helmet it will be… Nate – where did you get your thin cap to go under your helmet? We were going to check with Joe’s bikes in Fells to see what they had

  • Nate Evans

    My cap was a Christmas present so while I don’t know which store for sure, I know it was purchased locally.



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