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A two-week-old baby in metropolitan Los Angeles has already been exposed to more air pollution than US government standards for cancer risk exposure permit over the course of a lifetime. The "Toxic Beginnings" study concluded that an infant in Los Angeles would reach the EPA's one-chance-in-one-million limit of contracting cancer from air pollutants in the first 12 days of life.
In California, the smoggiest state in the USA, the cancer risk to adults is hundreds of times higher than permitted by EPA standards. Children are even more vulnerable to air pollution than adults because they breathe more air per unit body mass. Diesel exhaust leads the list of toxic air pollutants. The National Environmental Trust urged lawmakers to make clean air a top priority
It always amazes me how ignorant some people can be when they get behind a steering wheel of a car, especially when near bicycles.
I think in some cases its a demonstration of some warped psychological problem. The need to push around something smaller than themselves, i.e. "I'm a looser in life but here is my chance to even the score a little bit". A pathetic attempt to relieve stress through road rage.
In other cases some people are just ignorant that they are operating a big dangerous piece of machinery. They don't understand that they should not have their head up their a?? while doing so.
I would jsut love to have a day when undercover bike cops simply road around the streets, and issued tickets to all the a**holes out there.
My biggest pet peeve is people who don't realize that it is illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalk (PA anyway), and then they are always yelling "get out of the road."
Additionally, a bicycle is considered a vehicle accoridng to the PA Motor Vehicle Code, and technically, a car could be ticketed for passing a bike in a no passing zone. Too many times I've seen some idiot trying to pass a pack of cyclist climbing a hill, car comes in oncoming traffic lane, and the passing car forces a pack of bikes of the road trying to get back in his lane.
The suburbs are 1000 times worse than the city too. Without cycling experience you would think it to be the opposite.
I've taken to carryting Mace with me when I ride, too many times you get pissed off ignorant dicks who jump out of the car yelling and screaming. The "I'm a cop, get back in your car before I call for officer needs assistance" is only going to work so many times.
I've also begun stocking up on water bottles, I chuck them at bad drivers now. I am just so sick of bad drivers. I almost got clipped coming home from my ride on Sunday (after my other 2 mishaps this weekend). I wish I can sprint like I did after that car next season because I'll win lots of races. I hit 41 mph on a flat road trying to catch this car, I have to admit, after the weekend I had I was planning on smashing some tailights, especially after she gave me the finger when I yelled at her for almost hitting me. I never did catch her though, cars go faster than 41 mph and can sustain their speed alot longer than I can
I've been a messenger in Manhattan for over a month. I'm getting great exercise but am exposed to tons of pollution from cars, trucks, "clean" natural gas buses and construction. I've only seen a couple of messengers wear smog masks to partially protect themselves from the air. Since I go into so many high security buildings it would probably attract unwanted attention. It will be a shame if in the future the only way to get some healthy exercise is indoors in a purified air setting, but that's where we're heading.
Hey Mike: Had a major argument with a co-worker (the typical I wanna live on three acres argument) about this.
I lived in the City of Chicago ten years ago, and it was amazing how bicycle-friendly a dense, grid pattern big city can be (Sacramento-near where I live now is the same way). She couldn't understand why I feel suburbia is so bad for bicycling. Few main roads, no through side streets, commercial strips with multiple driveways.
When I lived in Clearwater, Florida one summer, I had to drive 60 MILES to find anywhere attractive or safe to ride.
California's rigid planning means fewer people get the big lots, but there is still some open countryside or parkland even in the heart of the Bay Area that is good for cycling. The negative impacts of this type of planning are for another thread