is a registered trademark
New York City, USA)
Projects, Proposals and Innovations by Frank Didik
Here to go to the
by Frank X. Didik
to rethink bicycle lanes and safety proposals
bicycle based cities which have an extensive bike lane network.
NYC, August 3, 2016 I have been riding my
bicycle in New York City since I was a child. These days, I ride my
bike an average of 10 miles per day. Nevertheless I am rather
surprised that New York and most cities around the country are
pushing bicycle's as a major mode of transportation. It seems so
retro. Back in the 1960's, one would have expected flying cars and
jetpacks, not bicycles, by now! Think about the Jetsons, Star Treck
and other futuristic programs, predicting how life would be today.
Besides being a bicycle rider, I have also designed and built
bicycles, as well as solar, electric and human powered vehicles, I am
certainly not anit-bike riding, however it is obvious that in a city
environment, bike riders must ride responsibly and certain rules must
be followed. Further, I think that though bike lanes are wonderful,
there must also be a balance between bike lanes and motor vehicle
roads so that the largest number of citizens benefit from the limited
Some observations that may
have been overlooked regarding bicycle lanes:
Pollution, longer drive times, greater fuel consumption, and higher
transportation costs. Yes an unexpected effect of bike lanes is to
cause pollution, higher fuel consumption and higher transportation
costs. As a result of many cities around the United States building
bicycle lanes, at the expense of roads for cars, trucks and buses,
the motor vehicle congestion level has increased. This has led to
longer drive times, more local pollution, increased gasoline and
diesel fuel consumption, frayed nerves and a loss in time of human
resource productivity. Thus trucks, ambulances, busses and private
cars now use more gasoline and diesel fuel, because the traffic is
greater. Further, the traffic and the longer time it takes for
transport of people, food and goods, has resulted in higher transport
costs that are passed on to the consumer. Because of the restricted
traffic flow, it also takes emergency vehicles, such as the police,
ambulances and fire trucks longer to reach their destination. The
population at large has not benefited from bike lanes.
Because bike lanes cause greater congestion in cities, they also
cause critical services, such as fire trucks, police response time
and ambulance response time to take be longer than before bike lanes
Most riders are men under the age of 50. There are few people
older than 50 who ride or take advantages of the bicycle lanes.
Surprisingly, from my un-scientific observations, there are four men
bike riders for every woman bike rider.
Since a relatively small percentage of the population uses and
benefits from bicycle lanes, the question then comes up if the
enormous financial investment in building bicycle lanes and thus
contributing to added motor vehicle traffic actually benefits society?
Since bicycle lanes are built up at the expense of motor vehicle
lanes, does the added pollution of the slowed down motor vehicle
traffic actually cause more harm than good?
Bike riders ride for a variety of reasons. Some people ride to health
or exercise, others to save money and yet others for speed in getting
to a local destination, plus the ease of "parking" or
chaining the bicycle to a sign post.
Only a few diehard bicyclists ride in the winter.
Bike riders rarely obey traffic rules or even follow bike rules.
A curious side note is that I have noticed the lighter, and often
times more expensive, the bicycle, the heavier the chain that is
carried in order to secure it better. The light weight advantage of
the bicycle seems to be lost with the heavier chain.
What is needed:
Enforcement of the traffic rules.
I have always been a believer that less government is better
government, however it is obvious to me that there must be some way
of identifying bike riders who break the law, cause accidents by
reckless riding or who are actually involved in accidents. With this
in mind, I advocate that bicycles be registered, similar to to the
way that motor vehicles are registered with a unique identifying rear
license plate. It is possible that various automated bike rental
companies might object to this, but this is an important measure that
assists in responsible. Registration is common in many countries.
Bicycles or perhaps the bicyclist, should be required to carry basic
liability insurance, so to pay for damaged property or injured
people, when the bike rider causes and accident. If the bike is
insured, than anyone riding the bicycle would be insured. If the
individual is insured, than any bicycle that the individual rode,
would be insured.
Bicycles should be required to have minimal safety equipment
including at minimum, rear brakes, front and rear electric lights,
reflectors and a horn or bell to alert pedestrians and other vehicles
in an emergency. Surprisingly, many bike riders think it is
"hip" to have bicycles that are direct chain drive without
any brakes whatsoever. To stop, one has to attempt to lock or
backpedal. In an emergency, this method is very dangerous. Lights are
essential for night riding so that vehicles and pedestrians can see
the bicycle. It goes without saying that a horn or a bell is an
important safety measure to alert pedestrians. This safety equipment
would for one, lessen the chance of injury and accidents and property
damage for other people and also limit the chance that the bicycle
rider is injured. Obviously if injuries can be lowered by a
measurable percentage, than ultimately, the cost of medical insurance
for everyone would likewise be reduced by a certain amount. Thus
bicycle safety measures is of broad civil importance.
Presently in the state of New York, only youngsters are required to
wear bicycle helmets. This requirement should be extended to all
people. Helmets should not have protruding lights or video cameras
attached on the outside, that may breach the helmet in the event of
When a bicycle lane exists, a bike rider must be required to only
ride in that lane and not ride in the motor vehicle lanes. This makes
bike riding safer for the bicyclist, safer for the motorists and does
not slow down motor vehicles.
A bicyclist should be required to stop at all red lights. If this
rule is violated, a fine should be issued that is large enough to
discourage abuse. This rule is very important for the safety of the
bicyclist, motor vehicles and perhaps most importantly, pedestrians
crossing the street. All too often, people crossing the street are
endangered by bicyclists who do not stop for pedestrians, who are
legally crossing a street. This abuse has to stop.
The use and existence of bike lanes must be reevaluated every year to
determine if the bike lane is under used. If the bike lane does not
have enough bicycle traffic, the bike lane should be removed. and the
area opened for motor vehicle traffic again. An analysis should also
be made to determine if a bike lane, even if it is well used, is
slowing down even more people in motor vehicles, than the number of
people using the said bicycle lane.
Recently automated bike rental racks have sprung up across the
country, supported by various companies. These racks are very
convenient, however the underlying concept is a business that
charges, not a public service. With this in mind and for the safety
of the community, such racks should never be placed directly in front
of the entrance of any building. The reason is simple and that is
that such racks blocks the entrances of buildings for residents
getting out of cars or taxi's, such racks impede the quick deployment
of ambulances and also impedes firemen in cases of fire emergencies.
Another issue that has sprung up is the noise that is caused in
residential neighborhoods when locking or securing the bicycle to the
bike stand or when at night, the bicycle company "equalizes"
the number of bikes in each rack. Such bike racks should only be
placed in commercial areas or next to parks, and in such a way, that
the entrance to commercial buildings or parks are not blocked.
APRIL 26, 2017 UPDATE:
Three weeks ago, around 5PM, I was on Grand Street and the Bowery in
Manhattan and I witnessed a bike rider who was riding his bike way to
fast and then hit a pedestrian, who was a man about 65 years old, who
was crossing the street. The man was not knocked down, however
clearly he was bruised. Instead of stopping, the bike rider continued
to ride to Christie Street and then momentarily stopped and looked
back, and then quickly continued to shoot away. I unchained my own
bike, but by the time I started to chase the hit and run biker, he
had disappeared into the traffic. At 5PM, Grand Street was packed
with people and the bike rider, who was a man in his mid 20's, could
easily have killed someone. In the split second that the bike rider
hit the pedestrian, I noticed that the bike did not seem to have hand
brakes. This incident underscores the need for bikes to have a
clearly visible registration number, and some sort of basic insurance
so that such violators can be caught and if they cause injury or
property damage, they can pay to correct the situation.
Frank Didik started to ride bicycles in New York City, as a young
child, in the early 1960's and continues to ride his bicycle about 10
miles per day, each and every day. For the almost 40 years, he has
also been an advocate and designer of bicycles and other human
powered vehicles and fully understands the pros and cons of bicycle
riding and alternate vehicle technology. More information can be
found at www.DIDIK.com
The Didik quest for the
worlds lightest bicycle.
Nine pounds (4kg). Rear and front wheel turns. Epoxy coated foam.
Didik Ultra-light weight bicycle.
Worlds lightest bike
powered, foldable scooter for two.
foldable Muscle Car
X. Didik first written pre 1995,
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Frank Didik: .
New York City, USA)
1989 - 2017 by Frank X. Didik, All Rights Reserved
is a registered Trademark at the
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Frank X. Didik aboard
"The Futurist" in New
thoughts on science, business and society today.
if and what can or might be.
Logic and intellect is not reliable.
The late Christopher Hitchens often stated that we should rely on our
logic, reason and intellect to determine the truth. Many people who
pride themselves as educated, intelligent and progressive believe the
same. As reasonable as this seems, Galileo proved over 400 years ago
that our logic, reason and intellect is unreliable and that only
direct experimental data, should be relied upon. Galileo had dropped
two balls of the same material, but different masses, from the
Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate that they would hit the ground
at the same time, rather than the heavier ball hitting the ground
first, as almost everyone, including Aristotle, 2000 years ago, had
assumed. Our logic, reason and intellect is not reliable and should
only be viewed as speculation. Only direct experimentation and
obtaining the same results, over and over again should be relied upon.
1956 Firebird was
to be self driving.
Driving Cars? If
you have an accident with a self driving car, who is at fault? The
car manufacturer, the owner of the car or the occupant
"driver" of the car? I
have enjoyed owning and driving some of the most interesting cars
made and have always enjoyed the freedom of driving without
impediments or restrictions. Nevertheless, if self driving ...read
What ever happened to jet packs, flying cars and advanced technology
that in the past, was predicted that we would be using by today? Why
are bicycles being pushed by cities world wide?...read
Computer Formats and the longevity of our digitally stored
we entering into a "pre-history" era? How can we preserve
our computer written records, books, photographs, video and
knowledge? If you
wanted to, would you be able to read a:
1/2" or 5 1/4" or 8" floppy?
or a dvd?
you can not read these one or two generation old formats today, how
will society be able to read these documents in 200 years from now? ...read
if the decay rate of elements varies rather than being a constant? Imagine,
if this is the case, it would mean that all archeological dating is
in question. How old are artifacts? When in fact did the dinosaurs
really die out? Further, consider that ...
is the speed of gravity? If it is instantaneous, then what if
gravity can be modulated? Today
most scientists, assume that the speed of gravity is the same as the
speed of light, but what if the speed of gravity is instantaneous?
Further, if gravity can be modulated, it might allow for
instantaneous universal communication. Thus it might be possible to
communicate with space craft instantly, rather than waiting for
minutes for transmissions to reach the craft or earth. Perhaps
computer chips can be made to operate vastly faster. And this is just
the beginning since ...read
playgrounds are empty but
the dog runs are full. No
children, only dogs. I
have noticed that in New York City, the playgrounds are empty but the
dog runs are full. People are no longer getting married, and having
families. Where will this all lead to? When I
was a child growing up in NYC, there were children everywhere and the
stores catered to families, rather than individual single people. The
best boutiques along Madison Avenue on Manhattan's upper east side,
always had play areas for the children, so that the children could
play, while the mothers shopped. We children knew which stores had
the best toys and demanded to go to those stores, which in most
cases, were the most expensive stores!
website displays designs, projects, proposals and innovations
by Frank Didik, but this site has also served to inspire people to
bring their ideas to fruition. All too often, people have great
dreams in high school and college but within a few years after
graduation, these ideas gradually become a distant memory. I
encourage everyone to do what ever you are good at and try to make
your dreams a reality. What people do today represents the future of
our great planet. Go out and do whatever you can do, to the best of
If people who are protesting are paid to protest, is it really a protest?
If a charity receives most or all of its money from the government,
is it really a charity considering that the tax payer is paying for
their services? If a humanitarian organization is paid for their
services, are they really a humanitarian organization?
in Startups. Good idea or bad? Is
investing in a Startup, that has never proven itself in the market
place, a good idea or a waste of money (and talent)? Historically,
investors invested in companies that were swamped with orders and
making money, but needed additional money to ...
efficient brain-storming method and
how to make morning office meetings more productive and interesting ...
the very best and most effective TV commercials
The single purpose of a television commercial is to sell the product
or service. The fact that an advertisement might be interesting,
funny, informative or well produced is secondary to the main purpose,
which is to sell the product or service. One should never leave the
creation of the television commercial to the television producer or
the video editor. ...
the most effective business websites Never
let a "web designer" develop the website for you. A web
designer should be produce the website under the supervision of an on
line marketing master, usually working with ...
is an alternative to population control. Restricting
and discouraging the formation of families in order to stabilize or
reduce population infringes on the freedom and rights of every human.
There is another much better approach...read
the results of modern science. For
the last 100 years, we have been experiencing the collapse of real
science. Theories, speculation and fantasy is the norm today. By
definition, the scientific method is the ability to test and re-test
and always get the same results, over and over. If an idea or a
theory can not be tested, the idea must be viewed as speculation and
not considered true, till that idea is proven without a doubt.
Scientific theory has moved to areas that are beyond our present
capability of testing and gradually a number of unproven theories
have become accepted as fact without any real proof. Further, new
theories have been developed based on old theories. Thus we have a
situation where science today is largely based on theory upon theory.
If something can not be proven, it falls into the realm of philosophy
rather than science. This has led to...read
if time varies along with all things, rather than being a constant? Consider
the speed of light vary, even if traveling under the same
conditions, or in other words, is the speed of light really a
to Einstein's theory of relativity, the speed of light is a constant
and media hype: Any
sudden "revolutionary" scientific discovery, even if such
discovery is written about in every newspaper and scientific journal,
should be greeted with skepticism. Such a discovery should only be
accepted after the bulk of scientists have have had a chance to
review the discovery and confirm that it is in fact correct. Such
things that come to mind include cold fusion, the so called "God
Particle" and even the recent stated discovery of a
"gravitational wave". All too often such media hype has
come and gone without any real discovery or fundamental change. ..read
percentage of information, contained in science books is accurate
and true? Are we in a post science period? Many
science books today present ...read
is time to retest scientific properties. Verify results. I
suggest that the properties of all materials be re-tested using
modern technology and certify the results. Melting and boiling
points, conductivity, hardness, and all physical properties of
materials should be re-tested ...read
advance our knowledge
a scientist has worked for years to prove a particular theory and
finds out that their work has been in vain, it is difficult to admit
that their original assumptions were wrong. Still it is vitally
for the scary
world of the future
really knows what the future will be like and rarely have predictions
made in the past, become a reality in the same way that it was
predicted. Nevertheless, certain generalities of what might happen,
can be foreseen based on what is happening today
1. In the future,
self driving trucks will change society and millions will lose their
2. In the future,
robotic friends, including intimate friends will prevail ...read
3. In the future,
dating and marriage may greatly decline read
4. In the future,
populations may drastically decline ...read
5. In the future,
pet ownership will decline read
6. In the future,
natural child birth may decline read
7. In the future,
Licenses may be required to have children ...read
8. In the future,
virtual living will take precedence to real life read
9. In the future,
aroma, heat, wind, moisture and taste will all be recorded read
10. In the future,
wealth will be concentrated among a tiny group of people read
11. In the future,
technological advancement may slow down ...read
12. In the future,
planets will not be colonized read
13. In the future,
people will travel less in the future ...read
14. In the future,
transportation networks will gradually be reduced ..read
15. In the future,
there will be a Loss of optimism for their future ...read
16. In the future,
people will rarely interact, face to face ...read
17. In the future,
microscopic robotic "bacteria" will be injected into the
body to cure diseases and repair or remove internal body issues ..read
18. In the future,
robots will perform medical procedures including surgery more
19. In the future,
doctors will be able to operate from anywhere on the planet ...read
changed moral values and decline in human dignity awaits us in the
21. In the future,
society may gradually fall into a stagnant, non advancing epic ...read
22. Future crises
in Human Dignity ...read
23. In the future,
medicines will be specifically designed for the individual ...read
24. In the future,
robots will do most factory work and manual labor, including farming
and cooking, as well as the jobs of professionals such as doctors and
accounting, just to mention a few chores and will cause the loss of
millions of jobs and make large populations unnecessary .. read
for the future by Frank X. Didik, December
school and our education system
everyone attend college or university?
college or a university
really teach a person to be a businessman
or an artist or good in any particular field? ...
come all college undergraduate degree's
require four years?
Should some degrees require only one
year while others perhaps six years? ...
courses should and should not be taught at college or university? Can
college or a university teach a person how to be a good business
person, or how to be creative? ...
have long believed that in a classroom environment, the weak student
holds the better students back. The idea of putting a weak student
with better students is a disservice to both the weak as well as the
TEACHING: I feel that it is not possible to teach a
person to be creative or a good businessman and the same applies to
many other fields. You can only expose that person to what has
already been done and the current understanding of the tools and
materials of the trade and perhaps with this understanding, the
student can expand upon this knowledge.
LEARNING: My view is that almost all learning is through
observation and questioning. This underscores the importance of
parents to teach their children and expose their children to the
parents daily lives. In today's society, most parents are forced to
work and thus the child has only limited exposure to the richness of
the parents understanding of things. I would also argue that when a
parent is walking with a child, that the parent should not be using
their cell phone or texting and instead be devoting their full
attention to the child. Schools, as they exist today, have a limited
ability to truly train/educate a student and most of what is taught
to the student is repeated over and over with little practical use
for the student after graduation. So many students today study for
years and yet after graduation, never use what they have learned or
what they have learned is of little relevance to their lives.
I believe that wisdom can not be taught, but rather wisdom is a
unique gift of understanding that a person is born with.
Advice for the modern person -
to rethink bike lanes Advice for bicyle based cities