safety comparison

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by gunsmoker, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    If you were shooting on a range with several side-by-side shooting lanes, would you feel comfortable going downrange to check your target without calling a cease-fire? Would it bother you to walk 25 yards down to the target, and back, while the shooters to your left and right contined sending bullets into their targets, with those bullets buzzing past you about 3-5 feet from each side of your body? It's not like you're trusting your neighbor to shoot the proverbial apple off your head, you know. They'd have at least of couple of feet of room for error before you'd get hurt.

    Just for the record, it appears that everyone would NOT subject themselves to the above conditions. The risk is just way too high.

    Okay then, WHY must joggers and bicylists in Georgia do their thing on narrow roads with no sidewalks (for runners) and no bike lane for cyclists, when "sharing the road" means that while the guy on the bike is meandering along the right edge of the road at 15 mph, cars whip past him, missing him only by several inches, rarely more than two feet, going 45-75 mph? Isn't that just as dangerous as a bullet going by, and missing the person by the same distance? Either way, if the driver is attentive and the vehicle is in proper working condition and there are no road hazards that cause one vehicle to swerve, all will be well. A close pass, sure, but no impact. The same could be said for the shooting range. If everything goes right, the guy in the next firing lane ought to be able to put rounds past your shoulder all day long without nicking you.

    But if the driver of the car gets distracted and tips his steering wheel to the right for just a second or two--- THUMP! If the motor vehicle has a front tire blow out, or for that matter if the cyclist does, WHOMP. Somebody's a hood ornament. If the driver has a coughing fit, a seizure, or gets stung by a wasp just as she's about to pass the runner training for the Peachtree Road Race, that runner is likely to get launched into somebody's yard with a powerful boost from the car's right fender.

    Considering how this country is in a state of crisis as to both petroleum dependency and the sad state of physical fitness among our population, don't you think it would be a good idea to encourage more people to walk, rollerblade, and ride bicycles? To do that safely we need some special roads, or special lanes added to regular roads, that keep motor vehicles further away from the slow self-propelled travelers.
  2. Taler

    Taler New Member

    The rider should take responsibility for riding, the same way an individual would as s/he walked to retrieve a target downrange during live fire.

    Sorry, but I've seen too many bike riders who seem totally dependent on God's Grace for survival, and inhibit other's rights, to be too concerned about a "bump", though I'm sure I'd feel terrible if I accidentally "nicked" a guy heading downrange, or darting (which you didn't mention, but which in my experience happens more often than driver inattention or vehicle failure) in front of my 2 1/2 ton pickup.

    I don't think we need another special class of people on whom to spend taxpayer's money, though I do think the riding uniforms are cute.

    Darwin is sending a message.

  3. Macktee

    Macktee New Member

    I don't believe bicycles should be allowed on roads with speed limits higher than 25 mph. There's no way anyone can pedal fast enough to keep up with 35 mph (or faster) traffic.

    If you drove your vehicle at 15 mph on a major roadway, you'd get pulled over and issued a ticket. Or, you should be. The same rules should apply to cyclists. If they obey traffic laws and keep up with traffic, then fine. Otherwise, they shouldn't be out there.

    It's more than just annoying, it's unsafe.
  4. Dadx4

    Dadx4 Member

    Gunsmoker, this is not directed to you personally. I use to have the same opinion as you, but that has all changed from experience.

    :rant: I live close to the village of Stone Mountain (and, of course, the Big Rock itself). It is one of the favorite spots for bicycle riders in metro Atlanta. I am not talking about a few dozen or even a hundred. On nice weekends, there are bike clubs riding en masse numbering in the multiple hundreds. Stone Mountain village and Park first became really popular for bikes about twenty years ago. In the late 80's (I think), DeKalb County decided to build a bike path from Decatur to Stone Mountain so that riders could avoid Ponce de Leon Ave, the road which is a straight shot from Decatur Square to the Park entrance. Ponce is also a heavily traveled, narrow two lane road, so safety and traffic flow were the main concerns. The path paralleled the road, usually only a few feet to one side or the other. The cost, IIRC was about $600K.

    Result: joggers used it, but not cyclists. They still rode in the street, blocking traffic. More money was spent to beautify the path with shrubs, etc., but the bikes stayed in the road. Fast forward to 1995 and the Olympics. All the bike events were in SM Park, so something had to be done to improve the path, right. Let's spend another 1+ million dollars to widen, improve, beautify, etc. etc. the path. Surely this will work to get the riders on the path and off the road, correct?

    In the last ten years, I can count on both hands the number of bikes I have seen using the path. They still ride four feet over, in the traffic lanes.

    Let me explain here. I am a contractor. By necessity, I drive a large work van or 1 ton pickup truck. I don't feed these creatures for the fun of it, I have to have them. Going back and forth between calls for work, I usually drive Ponce thru the village 4-6 times a day, so mine is not just an occasional observation. This is the behavior I see daily....

    -riders four and five abreast on Ponce, completely blocking traffic with the bike path empty

    -riders 12-15 wide on Stone Mtn-Lithonia Rd blocking both traffic lanes in one or the other direction. This is a five lane major connector road from the village to I-20. These are groups of between 75-200 riders together

    -riders totally disobeying traffic controls, running red lights and stop signs with complete disregard for the vehicle traffic. I have personally seen two traffic accidents caused by cyclists running red lights.

    -there is a five way intersection in the village controlled by a traffic light. I watched two riders coming from different directions slam into each other because both were running the light. I had the green light and right of way. Had I not slammed on brakes (nearly causing the car behind to hit me), my truck would have taken out both of them. Want to guess who would be charged??

    Sorry, but in Georgia, gas taxes pay for a large portion of the roads. I don't mind sharing with them, but until they can lose the arrogant "I'm better than you cause I don't burn fossil fuel" attitudes and stop the stupid behavior, I am not willing to give them anything. And they are obviously not willing to share the road with vehicles.

    :soapbox: Ok, I'm off the box now. Again, nothing personal to you. I use to ride a twelve-speed myself and loved it, but as you can probably tell, this has become a real hot button for those of us who have to live with it every day.
  5. Tinkerhell

    Tinkerhell Active Member

    Well I ride and run both. Sometimes on road sometimes off. I think the main problem is that, as dadx4 detailed, too many riders act like they are "all that" and the cars should get out of the way. On the contrary, they should be (and I think they actually are) required to follow the same rules as the autos. Same with runners. I personally can't believe that anyone would ride on the road when they have the option to ride on a bike path unless something was seriously wrong with the path.

    I think a happy medium should be in place. Cars keep a good eye out (just like when driving around motorcycles - I always am a bit more a attentive when I see bikes, runners or cyclists anywhere around me on the roadway) cyclists/runners follow all the rules & always give right of way to autos. In some situations bike lanes & such are a great thing to put in and add to the safety for both sides but I don't think all roads should have em.

    In response to the original question - if I saw someone walk down the lane of a fireing range & a cease fire hadn't been called I would holster my weapon and yell at the idiot to get the hell off the range...