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November 14, 2007 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-11-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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We nes ay, November 14, 2007 T e Michigan C
11 Y,4 7 m

There I sat, dazed and confused
in the middle of South Division. I
remember looking up at the stop
lights to see if I had done something
wrong, but the white "Walk" sign
was only just beginning to change
to flashing red. I think I blacked out
after that.
On the way to the emergency
room, a police officer told me what
had happened wasn't my fault. But
riding a bike on the sidewalk is ille-
gal in some places, so was I wrong to
ride there? Would I have been safer
on the street?
Mine wasn't the first bike versus
car accident in Ann Arbor. The nar-
row, quaint lanes here don't exactly
lend themselves to easy bike traffic
- which might account for the con-
tentious relationship between the
city and the city's bikers. Are more
bike lanes and wider roads really on
the horizon? Cyclists and city plan-
ners might hope so, but it's no guar-
antee.
Later that week, I spoke with Lt.
Michael Logghe of the Ann Arbor
Police Department. He said most
cities in the state of Michigan have
ordinances that bicyclists must ride
in the street and that it is illegal to
ride on the sidewalk, but that's not
the case in Ann Arbor.
Logghe said he thoughteit was rel-
atively safe to ride on the sidewalks
here, and that he didn't see a lot of
bike-car accidents or bike-pedes-
trian accidents.
"For the number of bicyclists in
this city, accident rates are fairly
low," he said.
But Ann Arbor Mayor John
Hieftje said that this policy will
likely change to follow suit with the
majority of Michigan cities within
one or two years.
"Every organization that governs
cycling or promotes it acknowledg-
es that cyclists should not be on the
sidewalk but should instead be in
the street," he said in an e-mail.
"This is recommended by the
Michigan Department of Transpor-
tation."
Radiation Oncology Graphic
Designer Steve Kronenberg, who
actively lobbies the city for bikers'
rights, said there are a few reasons
why this might be a good idea.
In part, it's because of initiatives
by the city of Ann Arbor and the
University to promote safer and
more convenient bicycling.
Hieftje said improving condi-
tions for cycling has been one of his
top priorities for Ann Arbor while in
office.
In 2002, the Ann Arbor City
Council passed a budget amend-
ment sponsored by Hieftje that allo-
cated 5 percent of all state funds the
city receives to improve the quality
of the roads for "alternative transit,".
Hieftje said in an e-mail.

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the city
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"We
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s the only government in the etary costs and there's quality of life
at does this," he said. issues," he said.
arch2006, Bicycle Magazine Kronenberg said he is concerned
d Ann Arbor to be the third about making the streets a safer
y in the country for cycling place for bicycles to operate because
cities of 75,000 to 200,000 they are public and cars and bicy-
ts. clists alike should have equal access
University is currently to them. He said he attended the
d in a project with the city hearing for the Non-motorized
the Non-motorized Trans- Transportation Plan and has testi-
on Plan that plans to triple fied in support of bicyclists on many
iles of existing bike lanes in occasions.
'in five years and add more "The law makes it clear that bikes
kers. do belong," he said. "Although if you
tje noted Packard Street, asked a question on a drivers' exam
Street and Stadium Boule- that asked if bicyclists have the
roadways that have recently same right to the road cars do, most
oom for bike lanes. people would say false, but it's actu-
ersity Planner Sue Gott said ally true."
But while drivers have aresponsi-
bility to treat bicyclistswith respect,
,he perils Of bicyclists also have a responsibility
to follow the traffic laws. "And not
Wo-wheeled behave like circus monkeys on LSD,"
Kronenberg said, "which is what
transport you often see on campus. Cyclists
don't regard themselves as havingto
follow the rules of the road and that
makes it dangerous for them."
n-motorized Transportation Although he acknowledged that
ovides insight to the Univer- college students aren't the only ones
how to seamlessly align with to blame, he ventured that they
yto improve bicycling condi- think of unsafe bicycling as "a coun-
n campus. terculture thing," as if not following
want to make it safe and con- traffic laws and riding the wrong
and accessible and under- way down one-way streets is and
vhat the barriers are for more expression of rugged individualism.
use and attempt to minimize "The net result is it makes it
Gott said. difficult for other people to cycle
said the University is moti- because it makes an unpredictable
o promote bicycle use by a and antagonistic environment."

QUOTES OF THE WEEK
Why don't you shut up?"
- JUAN CARLOS, king of Spain, to Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez during the Ibero-Ameri-
can summit, in which Chavez called Spain's
prime minister a fascist
"The top one was planned spe-
cifically for a college student. It
said 'college student' in brackets
and then the question."
- MURIEL GALLO-CHASANOFF, Grinnell College
student, on how a worker for Hillary Clinton's cam-
paign got her to ask Clinton a prepared question

"I remain confident that all
of Michigan's 60 national
delegates will be seated
next year in Minneapolis-
St. Paul."
- SAUL ANUZIS, Republican chairman in Mich-
igan, on how the national GOP will reconsider
stripping the state of half of its delegates as pen-
alty for its early primaries
"Network bosses, rich and
rude. We don't like your
attitude!"
- PROTEST CHANT distributed to Writer's
Guild of America members.

TALKING
POINTS

Three things you can talk about this week:
1. Bush's first veto override
2. Norman Mailer
3. Darfur (yes, still)
And three things you can't:
1. Your registration appointment
2. Parachuting presidents
3. Stress

YOUTU BE
VIDEO OF
THE WEEK
After MSU face-off,
Henne face plants
Even in 14 seconds, the magic of
a victory over MSU is sweet, but for
Henne, perhaps a little bittersweet.
Henne's part in snatching back
victory from Michigan State Univer-
sity last weekend was graceful - too
bad we can't say the same for his
post-game departure.
In footage from the end of the
game, you hear the roaring crowd
and see the celebrating Wolver-
ines covering the field. Then Henne
breaks from the hoard to valiantly
lead his team to the locker room.
Right before he disappeared from
fans'sight, he makes one last celebra-
tory gesture, jumping and touching
the yellow pole of the goalpost. Alas,
he looses control and full on face
plants just as the game's announcer
is singing his praises.
With this year's OSU game loom-
ing closer, there's no doubt more
than a few Michigan fans are surfing
the net for prophetic information on
the Michigan football team's perfor-
mance for this weekend. But remem-
ber, as long as Henne's not falling on
the field, he can trip and stumble all
he wants off it.
- DANIEL STRAUSS
See this and other
YouTube videos of the week at
youtube.com/user/michigandaily

THEME PARTY SUGGESTION
Countdown to Thanksgiving - You have two
weeks until you must convince your extended fam-
ily that you're closer to being a self-actualized adult
than last year. Host a gathering to rehearse the
pontification of your life's direction. Bonus points if
you land a significant other or discover a seemingly
impressive internship you can claim as your own.
Throwing this party? Let us know. TheStatement@umich.edu

t was a deceptively cheerful
October morning. I mounted my
buttercup yellow Schwinn road
bike and set off down South Divi-
sion Street to begin the day. Little
did I know, I would soon become a
statistic.
I had a lot to do, and my back-
pack was stuffed; my bike's back tire
surely feltthe weight.I was pedaling
hard, so I was pleased when I saw
the familiar white LED lights that
meant it was safe for me to cross the
upcoming intersection.
I was riding on the sidewalk.
I always rode on the sidewalk,
despite the frustration of navigat-
ing through the tangles of oblivious
pedestrians. Some people told me it
was easier to ride on the street, but
I didn't wear a helmet, and I wasn't
comfortable with the idea of sharing
a lane with a two-ton hunk of steel.
As I prepared to coast across
Catherine Street, I noticed a Jeep
approachingtheintersection-butI

remember feeling perfectly content
because of the walk sign.
As I entered the intersection, I
realized the Jeep wasn't going to
stop. I was going too fast and there
was nothing I could do, so I braced
myself for impact.
The Jeep's bumper made con-
tact with the left side of my body,
and I came down hard on my right
elbow. I thought I was a goner when
the Jeep kept rolling forward, and
I heard my bike crunching beneath
its tires. Was the underside of an
SUV really the last thing I would
ever see?
I frantically tried to scramble out
from under the treacherous tires,
but my backpack had twisted my
body and pinned me to the street. I
felt my shoulder ripping as I tried to
move, butI had too much adrenaline
pumping in my veins to care.
Finally, the driver found the
reverse gear and backed up, drag-
gingmy poorbike.

BY THE NUMBERS
Hours per day that residents of Orme, Tenn. are permitted to tap
water from the town's near dry supply
Months since the mountain stream that supplies
Orme's water dried up
People whose access to water is at risk because of a drought in the
Southeastern United States
Source:cNN

I

Ann Arbor's streets are torn between cyclist-centrism and traditional motoring.

STUDY OF THE WEEK
Autistic babies walk sooner with treadmills
A physical therapy technique developed at the University where
infants with Down syndrome walk on treadmills encourages walking
up to four or five months earlier than conventional physical therapy,
the University News Service reported.
Infants with normal development learn to walk at about1year old.Down
syndromeinfanstypicallytaketheirfirststepsbetween24and28months.
The study's researchers randomly assigned JO infants tona lower
intensity, unspecified training regiment or a high intensity, individu-
alized training regiment, which the infants completed at home under
their parent's management.
High intensity training included escalating the treadmill belt
speed and session lengths, as well as connecting light weights to the
child's ankles.
The infants in the higher-intensity group improved their stepping
more dramatically and reached many motor milestones at an earlier
average age.
- JESSICA VOSGERCHIAN

number of things.
"Certainly if we can reduce auto
use we're reducing emissions, and
we're not needing to spend as much
money on parking structures, and
we're able to use land for purposes
other than vehicles," she said.
Kronenberg also sees the value
of bicycling. "There's health costs,
there's social costs, there's plan-

Kronenbergsaid.
LSA junior Anthony Chen, a
member of the East Quad Bike Co-
op, said he has lots of experience on
riding a bicycle on campus. While
he said he's seen a lot of unskilled
drivers who cause problems - and
unskilled bikers - the recklessness
usually lies with the driver, for one
See BIKE, Page 12B

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