I'd quite like to ask "How can I avoid crashes on my urban commute?" but it strikes me as a "straight to wiki" question with a healthy dose of "likely to be controversial", so probably falls under "subjective & argumentative". At the same time, it's a question that could be answered very well and be quite useful.

Should I ask it?


3 Answers 3


Probably, but I have one suggestion:

Try to be VERY SPECIFIC about the situations you encounter in your urban commute. The "urban commute" concept is really broad.

Can you isolate it to the top 3 or 4 "problem" situations with details about what makes each one a problem, and why?

  • If it turns out that people are only addressing one or two of these points in their answers (I did), should we split this into three questions, or should someone write a "summary" answer? Mar 23, 2011 at 3:08
  • @Neil - Or the single 3-part question, with 3 answers (one answer per part); possibly community-wiki'd answers (so that "the" answer to each part can be edited/improved).
    – ChrisW
    Mar 23, 2011 at 3:33
  • @ChrisW - Individual questions would make it easier to understand when scanning a list of questions, but splitting them up would do a disservice to moz, the question author; these problems are heavily interrelated. Making the question community wiki smacks of putting the question into bucket of badly-worded, ill-defined questions, which this question is not; but making the answers wiki, as you suggest, could work. Let's see how it goes for a bit, maybe someone will write a masterpiece of an answer answering all the points brilliantly! Mar 23, 2011 at 4:46
  • @Neil I've said what I think of CW: that it's not for "badly-worded, ill-defined questions", but rather that it's for questions which solicit details about a catalog of various, separate but related topics. OTOH a reason why this question might not be suitable for a Wiki is that it (rightly) identifies and limits itself to the 3 subtopics that are of especially interest to the OP: instead of (at least in its present form) being a more general, infinite catalog of every conceivable safety-related topic.
    – ChrisW
    Mar 23, 2011 at 12:27
  1. It seems like our community is pretty good about not being argumentative
  2. There's good information hiding out there. A lot of the LAB safe cycling info is basically only given out via classes, but is based on some research.
  3. If it does get argumentative, we (community or moderators) can comment asking for less argumentative, downvote, or close the whole post.

I say go for it. It's useful information. It's a real problem you're really facing and many other people really face.

  • Yes: "subjective and argumentative" applies (is a 'close' reason) on StackOverflow; but maybe here, it's not a problem (not a reason to close or to not ask a question).
    – ChrisW
    Mar 23, 2011 at 3:30

The only thing I can add to the existing answers is to avoid asking for "tips and tricks"; that invites multiple, incomplete answers. Jeff's point about being specific to your commute makes sense. We have a lot of knowledgeable cyclists here who generate excellent, complex answers; try to set up the question so it invites a complete answer. Even if you get several such answers that intersect, that's okay.

If we get many simple, incomplete discussion-style answers, we can always close the question and edit it into shape, then re-open.

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