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Comments by hmarcuse

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Posted on August 26 at 1:34 p.m.

A very frequent bicyclist, I almost always wear a helmet. I've cracked one from a fall at a near standstill, and my son's was shattered when he was hit by a turning car in his high school years. My regular route takes me through IV, and oh probably 4-5 times I've witnessed cyclists turn without signaling, causing bloodied knees & hands on some unsuspecting victim. A helmet wouldn't have helped in those cases, BUT in another recent case along that same stretch a skateboarder ahead of a cyclist turned abruptly, causing a cyclist behind him to crash. She went into seizures from a severe head injury. Just anecdotes of course.

I don't like (or want) a helmet law for adults, but there is no doubt some number of people would be protected from the stupidity of others. And I think most of us would agree that the societal benefits of seat belt laws outweigh the inconvenience of having to buckle up. Not to mention the protection of innocents from mandatory car seats for infants & children. Fewer maimed people, lower health care or insurance rates. Maybe the tradeoff with bicycle helmets isn't quite where it is with seat belts. I wonder how it looks with motorcycles--comparing states where helmets are mandatory, with those where they're not.

On Pedaling with a Helmet

Posted on August 11 at 12:24 p.m.

Who is talking about cops knocking on doors?? I think the idea of resident block shepherds is a great idea, a more mature peer providing a little guidance and responsibility before the big guns have to step in. Salary contingent on success at reducing existing disturbance level (tho that could turn into something like the Bush Leave Disadvantaged Children Behind NCLB school testing program).

And why lay the blame solely at UCSB's feet? SBCC has (I think) more students living in IV than UCSB, and does NOTHING to keep them accountable. And of course IV landlords should have to step up too--their rental values decrease (not to mention their units get trashed) the more irresponsibility and lawlessness reign in IV.

Some kind of cityhood that could involve locals in self-governance, pass IV-unique ordinances, and (oh yes) levy taxes to enforce them & improve conditions is also a great idea.

On Trouble in Isla Vista

Posted on July 17 at 5:46 p.m.

I'm with you Nick, thanks for bringing this issue to the pages of the Independent (edhat has regular threads on it). I wonder when the holier-than-thou folks (on this issue especially) like John_Adams were last on a bike. Do it before you judge. Idaho has it right: traffic signage is COMPLETELY designed for cars, and in the vast majority of cases makes no sense for bicyclists. We see new stop signs added to intersections in residential areas because inconsiderate drivers zoom, no need for them otherwise. Bicyclists need our own signage and rules that penalize us with fines appropriate to the damage we can cause (mostly to ourselves, rarely to pedestrians). And I'm with the Europe-comparison comment: never mind Berlin and Munich, try anywhere in Holland, where cyclists not only have many separate networks of bikeways, but also have their own traffic lights with different signal timing!

On You Damn Dirty Dogs!

Posted on May 26 at 11:53 a.m.

Why the blame on Chancellor Yang--or teachers' unions, or Reagan, or Hollywood producers, or the mental health system, or the military/prison-industrial complex, or the NRA as I've seen elsewhere. They are us. Who elected Reagan and idolizes him, visits his library in droves? Who flocks to those movies and makes them blockbusters? Who accepts that a self-defense amendment from the time of lone-farmer-wielding muskets needs no interpretation for a dense urban society wielding automatic weapons? They are us, my friends, look in the mirror before finding someone else to blame. And just btw, all evidence I have seen shows that Henry Yang has been more involved in IV and trying to hoist UCSB out of its party-school morass than any chancellor to date, and is a model chancellor compared to others in the history of the UC system. (Think of the chancellor-backed pepper-spraying at UC Davis!) Henry Yang is incredibly dedicated and effective. Where did that vitriol come from?

On Isla Vista Shooting: Echoes of David Attias

Posted on October 4 at 7:46 a.m.

Yah Ann Marie--congratulations!!

On SBCC Nursing Professor Wins National Award

Posted on September 23 at 2:30 p.m.

I'm with you freshpavement: " Among city bicycle commuters, 9.6 percent were male and 3.6 female." Is this a typo--96% male?

As for cycling infrastructure, I'll return to my old gripe: the new separate bike path along El Colegio are awful: narrower than the old one, with sharp turns where each road crosses them. For that, they wasted space making *additional* bike paths on the roadway. What a waste, stupid planning, get some bicyclists in on the design phase. Lots of room for improvement in signage (stop cross traffic on main bike routes with stop signs, or use yields to put cyclists on notice), improve the pavement, make separate paths wide enough. I love the Obern bike trail along Atascadero Creek & Modoc, makes getting from Goleta to SB so nice & super-safe! (But, you planners: why make cyclists stop to cross Puente, for instance, or Patterson??)

On Bike Commute Numbers Spike

Posted on August 28 at 4:05 p.m.

Sounds like a documentary worth seeing, thanks for the informative & concise assessment. One grammar pet peeve inspires me to comment: "allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions"--why not just say "viewers"? It's more accurate (as if there were a unitary "the viewer"), gender neutral, and grammatically correct.

On Review: <em>Life of Muhammad</em>

Posted on July 26 at 8:59 a.m.

Good news indeed--I hate to complain, but why only 3 ft. of landscaping between the path and the street? There's a good 10' and a drainage ditch now. And maybe a better connection to Whittier could be found: the corner at Storke is not the best solution for bikers or pedestrians walking north.Most now take the shortcut across the field.
UCSB shouldn't make the same mistake again: the bike path along El Colegio from Los Carneros to campus was made NARROWER with sharp angles and is utterly inadequate and dangerous. Bike paths should be made more safe, not less, and look toward growing capacity, not decreasing!

On Storke Road Bike Path Saved

Posted on May 6 at 9:23 a.m.

There are also "special interest" stayover sites, like one for bicycle tourists called "warmshowers.org" (not the best name--when I told my wife she said "you signed up for WHAT??!!"). I've met and hosted young guys touring California, some European couples doing around the world bike trips. Haven't used it myself yet (trip planned this summer), but the stability and details of profiles, as well as the reviews, gives one confidence about the hosts.

On Couchsurfing: Facebook Meets Yelp

Posted on March 25 at 6:45 a.m.

Very insightful and well said. You try your best in each situation after ending the old, and if you realize it was a mistake, you try to learn from it. Gradually the solutions emerge and you find yourself on firmer and more lasting footing. My best wishes to you.

On Passover Rumination

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