Calling All Mythbusters

Whining Amongst the Urban Cycling Community

It is long past time that the self-appointed policy and transportation wonks were required to do more than simply pronounce a road as unsafe or poorly designed.

There needs to be some actual DATA that follows the criticisms. And it needs to be more indicative of causation that to simply indicate that someone has died on this or that stretch of street. The clues that are being omitted are the causes of these deaths.

We should have data that shows what the testing methodology was and how changing parameters changed outcomes. As an example the MythBusters tested the supposition of how a four-way stop compared to the vaunted roundabout.

This is the kind of rigorous testing that is needed. But it should be conducted by a governmental agency like the USDOT at its own testing lab. The data should be gathered following an explanation of the testing methodology and be supported by video if possible.

In addition to finding out whether something is safer, we also need to have some idea of just how sustainable/maintainable the changes are. Bump outs for instance do not appear to be ‘plow-friendly‘. That needs to be figured into any report on their usage.

No longer should someone who though a committed member of the Urban Cycling Movement be allowed to say things that denigrate their local DOTs without some proof. They should either ‘put up‘ or STFU.

No longer should we be spending millions of taxpayer dollars to restructure a Chicago street only to find that the BRT configuration does not necessarily result in faster travel times. Evidently this sort of thing was done either without testing or before testing.

Never again should a journalist agency like StreetsBlog be able to describe all the supposed advantages of something like BRT and drum up support for its use, only to have to try and explain away the lack of ‘real-world improvement‘.

  • MythBusters Test A Four-way Stop Vs. A Roundabout
    OCT 6, 2013
    MythBusters wanted to know whether the traditional American four-way stop is better than the UK roundabout when it comes to the flow of traffic. The answer may surprise some drivers if they’ve never tried both.