Bike Michiana

resources, news, observations and ideas about bicycling in the Michiana area

Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Share the Road…Every Life Counts procession was a success

Posted by Paul Taylor on May 5, 2012


About 70 cyclists, along with over a dozen walkers/runners, and motor vehicles joined in the procession meant to draw attention to the need for all users to share the roadway and crosswalks. The procession concluded at the County-City building in downtown South Bend where there was a press conference, and short speeches by local dignitaries. The gathered crowd seemed especially inspired by the words of Yatish Yoshi, the chairman of the event.  I am re-printing his speech below, and it is well worth reading.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Advocacy, Commentary, Events, Group Rides: Special, News, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Another Tragic Loss and A Personal Plea for Safer Michiana Cycling

Posted by Henry Scott on February 23, 2012

Michiana has lost another avid local cyclist due to a collision with a motor vehicle: Steven Carey was struck and killed by a motorist on Sunday, February 19. Few details are available as of this writing, other than the identity of the driver, that the collision occurred during daylight hours, and that Steven was an experienced cyclist riding, with traffic, northbound on SR 23 near the I80/90 overpass.

Although Michiana continues to make progress toward safer cycling, our community has suffered numerous such car vs bicycle tragedies, and it is clear that much work is still needed.

We offer our deepest condolences to Steven’s friends and family, and we also reflect upon previous Michiana fatalities.

In 2008 we lost cyclist Patrick Sawyer to a drunk driver. His widow, Nancy, recently created a video tribute to her late husband. With the video, she highlights the severe personal toll of drunk driving, and she makes a personal plea for safer cycling in Michiana.

Posted in Advocacy, Commentary, News | 2 Comments »

Can I ride my bike on the sidewalk?

Posted by Paul Taylor on November 22, 2011

Yes and no. State laws make no distinction, but many cities and towns add restrictions, usually to protect pedestrians. I compared the laws of four area communities: Chicago, Elkhart, Mishawaka, and South Bend.

South Bend has the most straight forward ordinance: “No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within any business district.” Interestingly, it fails to define a ‘business district’. At least I couldn’t find a definition.

Chicago has the same ‘business district’ restriction as South Bend, but adds some complexity. Adults (and children 12 years and older) can’t ride on any sidewalk anywhere.  There are a few exceptions, and they will be so indicated with bicycle route signage.

Elkhart is pretty straight forward. Bikes are permitted on sidewalks except in a clearly defined area of downtown. See the above map. Interestingly, Elkhart just redefined the area: until last month, the restricted area was about three times the size of the current district. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary, Infrastructure | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The Fenders Will Stay!

Posted by Henry Scott on November 13, 2011

Despite being a fan of fenders, I’ve recently contemplated removing them from my Dahon Boardwalk S1 folding bicycle. Normally I don’t worry about weight for utility bikes, but to take the “monkey bike” on the South Shore not only must I fold it up, but usually I have to place it in the overhead luggage racks as well. At 31.5 pounds, however, this can be an unpleasant task on a moving train. Accordingly, I’ve been motivated to lighten the monkey bike, and I’ve been thinking about ditching the fenders.

Yesterday, however, convinced me to seek other solutions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Commentary, Gear | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Tribune publishes opinion of Bicycle Indiana in VIEWPOINT

Posted by Paul Taylor on November 12, 2010

Nancy Tibbett, Executive Diretor of the statwide bicycling advocacy group submitted the article, which was published earlier this month. She submitted the piece to several newspapers around the state, and the South Bend Tribune was one of the media where it was published. The article follows…

“In recent weeks, Indiana has experienced an unsettling spike in the reports of bicyclists and pedestrians struck by automobiles. Last week’s crash involving a team of cyclists in Bloomington was only the latest in a string of incidents resulting in everything from minor injuries to fatalities.   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Advocacy, Commentary, News | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

South Bend Tribune Editors Advocate New Bicycle Laws

Posted by Henry Scott on June 30, 2010

The South Bend Tribune editors published an opinion column on June 28th advocating the need for new Indiana bicycle laws and specifically mention State Senator John Broden’s bill which includes provisions for a three-foot passing law. They note increased cycling in Michiana as indicated by the successful Bike the Bend event and recent census data as part of their motivation.

Posted in Advocacy, Commentary | 1 Comment »

USA Today video on Bike Commuting

Posted by Phil G-E on June 5, 2010

Very nice video piece on bicycle commuting from USA Today can be found HERE.

Posted in Advocacy, Commentary, education, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Decoys Being Used to Catch Bike Thieves in Elkhart

Posted by Henry Scott on November 17, 2009

Today’s South Bend Tribune has an article about Elkhart police utilizing decoy bicycles under surveillance to catch bicycle thieves. If I recall, this is something Adam has advocated in the past. Seems like a smart approach to me!

Posted in Advocacy, Commentary, Gear | 1 Comment »

Cyclist Hit from Behind Near Dowagiac, MI

Posted by Henry Scott on October 12, 2009

According to a brief article published in the South Bend Tribune, a cyclist was hit from behind Sunday afternoon near Dowagiac, MI (Google Map). Apparently the cyclist, Kiefer Hall, was following traffic laws by riding with traffic. Hopefully this unfortunate accident won’t reinforce the tendency of some cyclists to ride against traffic, which is known to be far more dangerous. Most importantly, however, here’s hoping that Mr. Hall’s injuries are relatively minor, and that he’ll recover quickly!

Posted in Commentary | 6 Comments »

IN Falls to Bottom Half in LAB’s 2009 List of Bicycle-Friendly States

Posted by Henry Scott on October 5, 2009

LAB_LogoReading the flyer (PDF) Danny Graber provided in his recent post to advertise Bicycle Indiana’s upcoming bicycle summit, I learned that Indiana has dropped five places to number 29 in the League of American Bicyclists’ list of bicycle-friendly states for 2009. If interested, here are links to complete rankings: 2009 and 2008. And, here’s a breakout showing 2009 rankings by category (PDF) — IN is disturbingly close to the bottom for infrastructure. On the one hand I’m pleasantly surprised to see we’re as high as we are overall, but am disappointed to see that we’re losing, rather than gaining ground relative to other states according to this assessment.

Posted in Advocacy, Commentary | 1 Comment »