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Winter Walking and Cycling
#31
Reflective clothing at night isn't a bad idea at all.  Especially this time of year when dark clothing blends in with the road, light clothing blends in with the snow.  Couple that with poor visibility etc...

The new LED streetlights are great (benefits of less light pollution, energy savings and all that other good stuff, I get it).  But from a walking and/or driver perspective, reflective clothing helps in this case.
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#32
@tom009 @embe

Nobody is going to walk on the road when there's a sidewalk available.  It just doesn't happen.  So saying it, just pretends like there aren't reasons why the sidewalk is often not an option.  That makes it victim blaming.

As for wearing a high visibility clothing, it's ridiculous to suggest that it is unsafe for me to walk home from work in my blue winter jacket.  Just more victim blaming.  If drivers are unable to see pedestrians at night with streetlights in the city, then they should not be driving at night (or at all for that matter), simple as that.


As for teaching defensive driving, you're right, drivers are expected to carry a greater burden of responsibility for operating safely, mainly because they're the ones creating the danger on the road.

We've been through all this, but I really cannot accept the suggestion that I'm the one being irresponsible when I walk home from work wearing a winter jacket that's blue.
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#33
A blue winter jacket is great. My warmest winter jacket is dark green and I wear it as much as I can in these temps (when shoveling, walking etc.) It's warm and comfortable. There's no particular reason anyone with a blue or dark green jacket would be unsafe, however, it makes sense reflective clothing seems to be safer? The stats may show otherwise, good point.
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#34
I never said the word "irresponsible", you are putting it in my mouth.

What I am saying is that the concept of "defensive walking" or "defensive cycling" is no different from "defensive driving": essentially you are acting so as to minimize the risk of an accident, even if the fault might lay with the other person.

If you prefer to consider that as "victim blaming", then I'll let you do that -- we do have free speech and all that -- and stop my participation in this conversation right now.
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#35
I wonder, are cities actually in contravention of the Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways for not clearing bike lanes of snow and ice?

For lanes where parking not designated the standard is:
(i) to provide a minimum lane width of the lesser of three metres for each lane or the actual lane width, or
 
e.g. University Ave = class 2 (AADT >=15,000, @ 50kph, no parking allowed) need to clear 5cm within 6 hours
e.g. Park St = class 3 (AADT >=10,000, @ 50kph, no parking allowed) need to clear 8cm within 12 hours

This standard doesn't apply to the portion of the roadway designated for parking and in the standard the “roadway” has the same meaning as in subsection 1 (1) of the Highway Traffic Act which is:
“roadway” means the part of the highway that is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular traffic, but does not include the shoulder, and, where a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term “roadway” refers to any one roadway separately and not to all of the roadways collectively; (“chaussée”)

Based on that definition aren't bike lanes just another lane of the "roadway" and therefore should be cleared and not used for snow storage as I think Dan was told by the City of Waterloo recently?


Also, if the cities won't amend their policies to include sidewalk clearing perhaps there is a way to get sidewalk standards added to this maintenance standard, to force them to do something. The current law has an automatic five year review and was last looked at in January 2013. It could make an interesting local election issue:

January 25, 2013 – (e-Laws currency date)
17. (1) The Minister of Transportation shall conduct a review of this Regulation and Ontario Regulation 612/06 (Minimum Maintenance Standards for Highways in the City of Toronto) made under the City of Toronto Act, 2006 every five years.  O. Reg. 613/06, s. 2
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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#36
(01-05-2018, 01:06 AM)Pheidippides Wrote: I wonder, are cities actually in contravention of the Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways for not clearing bike lanes of snow and ice?

Probably, but the region claims to clear them.....it is clear they do not in 99% of cases, but they do claim to "best effort" do so.
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#37
(01-04-2018, 11:51 PM)tomh009 Wrote: I never said the word "irresponsible", you are putting it in my mouth.

What I am saying is that the concept of "defensive walking" or "defensive cycling" is no different from "defensive driving": essentially you are acting so as to minimize the risk of an accident, even if the fault might lay with the other person.

If you prefer to consider that as "victim blaming", then I'll let you do that -- we do have free speech and all that -- and stop my participation in this conversation right now.

Well, I didn't intend to put words in your mouth, I took saying "not using available defensive measures" as being irresponsible.

(01-04-2018, 11:35 PM)embe Wrote: A blue winter jacket is great.  My warmest winter jacket is dark green and I wear it as much as I can in these temps (when shoveling, walking etc.)  It's warm and comfortable.   There's no particular reason anyone with a blue or dark green jacket would be unsafe, however, it makes sense reflective clothing seems to be safer?  The stats may show otherwise, good point.

I doubt there is a study for pedestrians, but at least for cycling, it was correlated with an increase in collisions in one UK study: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/...dds-crash/, but as the article states, there are different results with other studies, so its a muddled issue at best.

That being said, I don't think it is really the point, I don't think it's reasonable to suggest that people need to wear special high visibility clothing to safely bike or walk, and the police should not be using their platform to say it.
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#38
At the risk of going off topic, I'll say that the reason I don't think cops should be advising people to wear "reflective clothing" while walking is that reflective clothing and high visibility clothing is what people normally wear who are doing dangerous activities. You wear it on a highway crew because you're in close proximity to motor traffic where normally people are not. You wear it while hunting, because your partners have guns.

There are a lot of people who think walking is dangerous for any number of reasons- because of predators, because they're going to get hit by a car, or slip and fall. When you have an authority figure suggesting that you'd better wear reflective clothing, because otherwise you might get struck by a car, walking no longer seems like the normal healthy activity it is.

Thanks to those who are calling in. I don't have the energy to note all but the most egregious offenders I encounter while walking. Typically my standard is that, if I remember a specific property disrupting my walk on multiple days, I'll call. There are plenty that apply, unfortunately.
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#39
The City of Kitchener's 2018 budget survey closed last week.

There were 54 respondents, 12 of whom (26.78%) mentioned, unprompted, citywide sidewalk clearing should be a priority.

Coincidentally, based on the last estimate, 26.78 is also about what it would cost each household to have such a service.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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#40
I've heard from some of my neighbours this year (who don't walk, but do have to clear their sidewalks) that they wish the city would just do it.

One of my neighbours got a letter or something in December from the city because she hadn't cleared it. We wound up out shoveling together, and she recalled that she read it would cost around $40 a year extra in taxes (she was misremembering- it's even less) and wondered who would be too cheap to realise that's a great deal.
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#41
(01-10-2018, 10:47 AM)MidTowner Wrote: I've heard from some of my neighbours this year (who don't walk, but do have to clear their sidewalks) that they wish the city would just do it.

One of my neighbours got a letter or something in December from the city because she hadn't cleared it. We wound up out shoveling together, and she recalled that she read it would cost around $40 a year extra in taxes (she was misremembering- it's even less) and wondered who would be too cheap to realise that's a great deal.

The only people to benefit from not having the city do it, are the ones who don't bother, or who do a piss poor job of it.  Even people who do it themselves who feel their time has no marginal value will spend more than that in salt/sand/shovels in a year, if the walks are well cleared and free of ice.
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#42
Honestly, those people don't benefit from it either. Presumably they walk at least once each winter, and would benefit from improved conditions.

Other people who might claim they'd prefer not to have the city do it include people on my street who have no sidewalks in front of their homes. Really wish they'd put them in, narrowing the street so it'd slow down the speed demons.
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#43
(01-10-2018, 01:39 PM)chutten Wrote: Honestly, those people don't benefit from it either. Presumably they walk at least once each winter, and would benefit from improved conditions.

Other people who might claim they'd prefer not to have the city do it include people on my street who have no sidewalks in front of their homes. Really wish they'd put them in, narrowing the street so it'd slow down the speed demons.

That's a big assumption, there are plenty of people who never ever ever walk anywhere, who will literally drive to the store on the corner, these people may never once walk on an uncleared city sidewalk or use a curb ramp.

But yes, you're right, those who have no sidewalks are probably the biggest group of beneficiaries of the current policy.
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#44
I live on a crescent without sidewalks, but I still would have no issue with paying extra for consistency across the city.
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#45
Odds are that for the person living on Random Court, OneOfMany Crescent, or AnyOther Place, their entire right of way (which we pay to plow) gets far less human traffic of all combined modes over the course of a day than the sidewalks on Caroline get of pedestrians over the course of an hour. Yet we plow one without question, and not the other.
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