Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Indecent Exposures

The grandson of Edgar Waylan Wilson was arrested for his murder.

Baltimore bikers' shorts in twist after police refuse to charge the octogenarian who mowed down a Hopkins student

Two months and still no sign of Phylicia Barnes. JZ commentor: "I would hall of the People who were in and out of the apt , take them all to jail and starve the hell out of them"

Your tax $ at work: bungling bureaucrats cost city $4 million in federal lead-paint-abatement money

DEA bans sales & possession of five types of faux marijuana, including "K2" and "Spice"

PA company fesses up to releasing 40 times the allowed amount of ammonia into the air at Sparrows Point. And if you flew from Baltimore to Denver on the 22nd, you may have been exposed to measles.

"High-end restaurant owners want corkage law"- would you pay $25 to BYOB?

Supreme court argues definition of "cocaine base" vs. powder, decides that corporations have no right to personal privacy

Same-sex marriage vote delayed when two members of the Judiciary Committee, Jill Carter and Tiffany Alston, didn't show. Meanwhile Sun publishes letter opining that "gay marriage is not a civil rights issue"

State health secretary, governor against medical marijuana

8 comments:

Cham said...

If I were in the drug distribution game I would probably focus my sales objectives on the china white or black tar heroin product line. Since criminal sentences are based on weight I'd focus on the ultra pure low-weight high-impact drugs that cost more. If a client wanted to cut the drug then that would be their business.

ppatin said...

Jill Carter is holding up the gay marriage bill in order to get a couple of her pet pieces of legislation passed.

helix said...

MJB, you'd have your "shorts in twist" too if someone who shares the same interests as yourself got run over by car and there were no consequences for the driver that did it.

At a minimum, the driver deserves to have her license revoked. All indications as far as I can tell point to careless driving.

mb said...

My shorts are in a total twist, and I hope she stops driving after this. Taking grandma's keys away is a mitzvah, kids!

Bruce Garrett said...

The problem is drivers aren't use to traffic of any sort, auto or bicycle, coming up behind them from the direction they're turning into. Picture a car making a right hand turn from the left hand lane. There's a reason we don't allow that; it's dangerous, almost certain to lead to collisions. Same thing with a car making a left hand turn from the right hand lane.

Pedestrians at least, are up on the sidewalks and don't move at the speed of traffic. But those bicycle lanes are an invitation to auto-bicycle collisions, no matter where you put them, so long as the car has to cross over them to make a turn.

I don't know if there is some geometry that can fix this. The only solution I can see is that everyone, Everyone with a driver's license has to go back to Driver's Ed and re-learn how to make turns. Even if we incorporated bicycle lanes in Driver's Ed starting right now there are still every driver who didn't get that training in the past on the roads now.

I drive a car. But I live within walking distance of where I work, which actually is the Hopkins campus in the story, and normally I walk to work. During lunch I've crossed that road many times on the way to the Subway on St. Paul. I was so happy to see the "suicide lane" removed and dedicated to parking instead. I myself had nearly gotten hit stepping out into that damn lane several times, forgetting that traffic in it was going the opposite direction from the rest of the traffic on Charles. That's what happens when the layout of the roads defeats the expections of the people using them. Bicycle lanes do that to drivers, and will for the foreseeable future.

That's not hating on bicyclists. Those lanes are new things to most drivers and they pose a pretty substancial danger. For autos it is like making a right hand turn from the left hand lane. You really don't want traffic doing that. But I don't see any other solutions, any place to put bicycle lanes where they are any safer. And with fuel prices certain to keep going up and up, more bicycles and fewer autos on the roads isn't just some eco-utopian ideal, it's a practical necessity. The only way bicyclists are going to be reasonably safe in those lanes is either every driver has to be re-trained on how to make a turn, or somebody figures out a better road layout then this.

buzoncrime said...

Helix---I agree with the careless driving in many senses, but I can also see were Bruce, a subsequent commenter, is correct in many senses.

It is incumbent upon motorists to see that they don't hit people riding on bicycles, and they have to accept a responsibility to remember that they just passed a bicyclist, before they make the right turn.

You have the same situation southbound on Roland Avenue, where it splits into University Parkway. Both the car driver and the bicyclist have to have an awareness of each other's presence, and as a driver, I have to be super aware there if I have just passed bicyclists. They're gonna be coming up on the right, sometimes fast, and if you turn a bit to stay on Roland, you risk hitting them. So, Bruce is right: the situation is hazardous.
On balance, though, the motorist has the weight on her to keep from hitting people.
People that old may need to stop driving for everyone's safety, including their own. There was an incident in Roland Park several years ago when an elderly man put his car in reverse, thinking it was park, stepped on the gas, went up on the sidewalk, and ran over and severely injured the popular bank guard, a fella named Gary. With Gary trapped under the car, the pharmacist on duty nearby, a volunteer firefighter, smashed the car window with his arm to get into the locked car, as the elderly man sat there with the motor running wondering how he got up on the sidewalk and smack into the bank's wall. Fortunately, firefighters arrived quickly and saved Gary's life, but he spent months in the hospital and rehab.

But I agree with most commenters: motorists in this situation should at least get a ticket for negligent driving: let them fight it in court or pay it. Unfortunately, license revocation is difficult unless you get 12 points.

ppatin said...

Buz:

I'm not surprised that you mentioned the intersection with Roland & University. I saw one near-collision there between a cyclist and a car back when I was living in Charles Village. From what it looked like both parties were partially at fault. The driver didn't look carefully before turning right, and the cyclist was coming down a dark road at night without any kind of lighting on his bike.

I'm very pro-bicycle (and I wish that SE Baltimore had more bike lanes like they have around Hopkins) but it drives me nuts how some cyclists will behave like vehicles on the road when it's to their advantage and then ignore those same rules when it's convenient. One thing that's particularly dangerous is when they go the wrong way down a one-way street. If I'm pulling out of a parking spot on Bank or Gough (both one way) my natural instinct is to look behind me since that's where all the traffic should be coming from. I've learned to keep an eye out for bicyclists going the wrong way down the road, but not everyone is going to be as careful.

buzoncrime said...

ppatin--I'm also very pro-cyclist, but I agree that sometimes cyclists do things against their best interests and that of the cycling community.

That having been said, many, many motorists haven't a clue on how to drive with cyclists on th roads.

Oh, well, let's have an auto race downtown!