Downtown is dangerous

When people find out I ride downtown they generally look at me funny and then tell me they would never ride downtown because it is too dangerous. Just to see if it really was true I put my trusty GoPro camera on the back of my cargo bike and rode from my apartment to the Bike Austin office. This video begins at the bridge over Shoal Creek and then traverses in order,

Third Street, San Antonio, Fourth Street and finally Congress to the alley between 10th and 11th streets. I sped it up 4 times because it was really boring. Boring traffic is good traffic but it makes for really terrible viewing. I stopped at the Post Office between 8th and 9th and moved over to let a taxi driver turn right. He was duly appreciative.

So, I’d love to hear comments on how dangerous and terrifying you find this video.

About Vintagengine

Long history in the bicycle safety world. League Cycling Instructor and expert witness in human behavior in traffic.
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2 Responses to Downtown is dangerous

  1. Lisa W. says:

    All’s well that ends well! šŸ˜‰ But it’s so glaringly obvious that truly *safe* cycling lanes are nowhere in sight. Between the angled parking and the sharing of the lane, the onus is on the cyclist to be hyper-aware of everything happening around him or her. Which is a little difficult without eyes in the back of your head! Combine that with a less-than-civilized attitude that some drivers have (not in this video, thank goodness) and I have to say, THANK YOU for being a visible reminder to the city of Austin that cyclists are on the roads that they have the right to be on. Onward!

  2. Lisa, I actually find I have to be LESS hyper-aware of everything happening around me when I’m controlling a travel lane as Preston was doing than when I’m riding in a bike lane. Still mindful, yes, and certainly obeying the same rules as other traffic. But you certainly can’t be oblivious in bike lanes either, especially at intersections. I find I have to adjust my position more frequently in a bike lane, which means more thinking and more transitions. You also have less space in a bike lane than controlling a travel lane, and your visibility and vantage is better closer to the center of the road than at the edge. (Sorry if this is a repeat comment, I’m not sure my first one took.)

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