I’m starting an experiment today. One that would never get ethical approval but that I’m fine with doing on my own. The question:
Does disobeying the rules of the road while cycling result in faster trips times than obeying the rules of the road?
(Don’t tell my mom… I already told my wife and she was more critical of the design than the stupid idea!)
To answer the question I am going to map my route to the university on 60 occassions. 30 while obeying the rules of the road and 30 while disobeying the rules of the road (central limit theorem don’t fail me now). The route is approximately 2.5km with 8 stop signs and 5 stop lights. I should note that I will only disobey the rules of the road if it is safe to do so. For example, red lights, stop signs, will mean nothing to me so long as I am not putting myself or someone else at risk.
I did my first “illegal” ride this morning on the way to school. All was well. I guess I should also report on any collisions or close calls with other commuters. I will also record any incidents with police (either tickets or warnings).
I’m sure what the results will be. In some ways I hope that there will be no difference because I think that cyclists should start taking some responsibility for being better citizens and perceiving themselves less like cowboys. But on the other hand, I have been cycling year round for 10 years now and have seem very few strucutral changes to promote cycling. So why should I care about being nice in an environment that does nothing to help me.
I’ll post the results in 60(ish) days. If anyone wants to suggest potential analysese, that would fun. Repeated measures ANOVA seems like the obvious choice but maybe there is some cool method out there that I have never done for this type of design.