Thursday, October 1

Honk Report Leads to THE HONK PROJECT

Don't let them bite your nose!

Andy, over on Carbon Trace, wondered about getting honked at here. I've also seen other blogs ponder honking including the excellent and hilarious video of honking geese at CommuteOrlando shown here, but I've never seen an organized data gathering effort to establish something beyond mere anecdotes. Being a proactive sort, and being given to experimental cycling, I've decided to begin "THE HONK PROJECT." Actually, this project is pretty simple, though it will involve research for an extended period. Collection of reasonable quantities of data require either very long periods, large numbers of participants, insane amounts of mileage, or really stupid riding. I hope to maintain my sanity without doing anything actually stupid. There's another post that has the initial two honks, shown here. I have to figure out how to improve display, but that'll come. Expect a sidebar link to show up before too long.

It involves collecting relevant information about cyclist and motorist actions relevant to an inappropriate honking event. I was extremely fortunate last Friday to kick things off with not only a honking event, but a rare post-honk interview with the honker. I did not take pictures of the perp, mainly because I was a little irritated at the time and didn't think of it, but I feel that a post-honk interview gives the best quality data. MUCH more satisfying than the "honk and run" motorist.

I figure those sidebars have to be good for something, so I'll keep a running "honk log" there, and I'll update posts when things get far enough along to start to see any interesting trends. For now, remember that if I develop about 400 motorist interactions a day, and get as many as one honk per thousand interactions, it'll take a year or more to see reasonable geographic patterns. Honker patterns, however, might be easier to spot. We'll all have to just wait and see what develops.

WHAT WOULD HELP RIGHT NOW are thoughts on whether the data being gathered covers the main points or not. Clearly, this is not data that can be revisited if we all decide we're not collecting the right stuff.

UPDATE: Thanks for suggestions. An improved collection form now replaces the original one.
Click on image to see something bigger!


ChipSeal said...

That interview was great! She wanted to inform you that you were cycling unlawfully.

Check boxes for 2L, 3L, and 6L to note street configuration. Male/female would be interesting.

Dark/dusk/day in the notes. The notes should also assume clear weather unless mentioned.

Good project!

Steve A said...

Consider suggestions implemented and greatly appreciated! I also need 5 and 7L boxes for those streets with 2 or three lanes in each direction with a 2-way LT lane in the middle. Davis is a 7L and Precinct Line is a 5L. Dusk will be dusk/dawn - the time will differentiate. Right now, dusk would be uncommon. That'll change come Halloween. I will note if things are anything other than clear with good visibility.

She considered statutes a matter of opinion, which I found frustrating and somewhat unexpected. I thought statutes were a matter of law. I guess my opinion is not universally shared on that matter.

I feared I would not get an interview - it took a LONG time before she rolled that window down. It's a shock to find out that steel cage doesn't really give as much immunity as one thought. I was, however, early, so I was prepared to wait 15 or 20 minutes if necessary. Worst came to worst, I'd go wait in the Daimler lobby. Buddy, of course, would accompany. It would have been worth a vacation day to get the interview!

Lyle said...

If you can, also note the presence (and quantity) of customizations. An article I read correlated honking with the number of bumper stickers. I think fuzzy dice count too. The theory was that people with personalized cars are more emotionally invested in their motoring identity.

Steve A said...

I will keep an eye out for same. Including big rear mufflers and college affiliation stickers. None applied in the case of my first two honks.

Keri said...

This should be very interesting! I'm looking forward to seeing if there are patterns.

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