Nov 072012

Out on the streets, that’s where we’ll meet

By Captain Comannokers

When we think of people and transportation, we think of infrastructure, and safety, and technology – and probably a number of other key factors before we land on an aspect that often is overlooked: the emotion of transportation.

And there is plenty of it, too, especially in the daily travels of an urban area. People are wound up balls of emotion, even if they don’t readily admit to it. We acknowledge the fact that we get emotional at large events in our lives – weddings, funerals, holidays, and (of course) national championships. But we aren’t ready to admit that “I drove to Kroger to pick up some milk, bread, Fritos, and two pounds of flavored Tootsie Rolls – and it was soooo emotional.” The fact is, a lot of the time it is.  Continue reading »

Jun 252012

Out on the streets, that’s where we’ll meet

By Captain Comannokers
NoC Transportation Czar

There are a shit ton of people out there who are not very good drivers. I am SO in favor of making it tougher to get a license. You should need a 90 percent or higher on your written test. If you don’t know the laws and how they apply to the road, should you be out on it?

Add our modern-world distractions that folks love to tinker with while behind the wheel, and the recipe is like adding sour milk to a rotten egg omelet. Continue reading »

Aug 102011

Out on the streets, that’s where we meet

By Captain Comannokers
NoC Transportation Czar

Welcome back students! Now sit down, pay attention, and nobody will get hurt (hopefully).

With the autumnal re-population swell in Lexington, the bike traffic in and around campus/downtown becomes much heavier. That is a wonderful thing – the more people use bikes to get around Lexington the more the demand for infrastructure will need to be met. BUT, it also means that cyclists need to get on the same page, which is often a tough proposition in a college town where many people ride their bikes with little regard for safety, let alone common sense. Things have actually gotten better over the last few years, so that’s a positive sign, but let’s not get too excited – on any given day, I still see someone riding the wrong way, head-on, into traffic, talking on a cell phone, and flipping off a driver because, well, I’m not sure exactly why, to be honest.

There have been some recent and significant changes right around campus that everyone should make note of. Maxwell has finally received a good chunk of bike lane – starting at S. Limestone and heading east toward Woodland Park. Street parking has shifted to the north side of the street. Continue reading »

Aug 252010

Out on the streets, that’s where we’ll meet

By Captain Comannokers
NoC Transportation Czar

Back to school means back to some cycling basics. Specifically, do NOT ride in the wrong direction in a bike lane. On a recent ride down Euclid Avenue, the proof was on the pavement.

A cyclist had just been to Kroger and was riding west on Euclid back toward campus – unfortunately, in the wrong bike lane. This happens a lot on Euclid. Folks pick up a couple of things from Kroger and instead of waiting and making a left hand turn to get in the proper bike lane, they unwisely choose the improper bike lane.

This particular cyclist was hit by a car pulling out of 5/3 Bank near Park Avenue – crash, boom, bang – and the freshly purchased eggs were splattered on the Euclid Avenue asphalt.

Officer Howard Florence, who patrols Lexington streets on bike, chimed in on the situation. “I’ve seen that happen too many times. Most people ride the wrong way because it’s a bit quicker or easier for them at that moment. Maybe their street is a block away or traffic was heavy and they were too impatient to cross. That’s just human nature sometimes.”

If this is your human nature, do not follow it: it is trying to get you seriously injured. Time to trade in your human nature for a dose of common sense.

“Pointing out how things can go really bad seems to get the idea across,” Florence said. “I don’t just tell someone they’re in the wrong lane. I’ll take a moment and explain that when you go the wrong way, cars aren’t looking for you.”

Euclid has landmines everywhere – side streets, businesses, heavy pedestrian traffic. It’s a tough enough street to ride even with bike lanes. So, keep the Evil Knievel stunts at the skate park or on the cul-de-sac in your comfy neighborhood.

In addition, when students return Euclid is one of the epicenters of the city. Can traffic get heavy on it? Yep. Is it easy to get impatient when travelling on it? Yep. But those are not reasons to improvise your navigation of it. If you do improvise, your eggs (or brains) could wind up on the street, too.

Luckily, this young man seemed to have only scrapes, but another situation was unfolding. The driver was obviously shaken from just hitting someone. He didn’t want to call the police and offered to help pay for the damage to the bike and the lost groceries.

First, it was not the driver’s fault. He owed this cyclist nothing.

Second, Officer Florence explains why it is important to have the police on the scene after an accident.

“If there is more than $1,000 damage or if someone is injured, a police report is required by law. If you decide to make a claim on someone’s insurance, they almost always require a report so you would have to call us anyway.”

“Often in these situations a person may not realize that they are injured until a day or two later. The hospital is required by law to contact the police. It’s difficult to take a report that far after the incident. Too many people just exchange information and, at first, say they will work it out between themselves only to have one of the parties not follow through. Someone then wants a report, but any possible evidence or witnesses are gone,” Florence said.

To borrow from chicken riddle lore – Why did the cyclists cross the road? To get to the other side (where they will ride in the correct bike lane, save their lives and get their eggs home safe and sound).

Illustrations by Noah Adler

Get on or email the Captain at to continue the discussion. Ask questions. Voice frustrations as a pedestrian, cyclist or driver. Let’s work though our differences in sharing the road. Captain Comannokers over and out.