Robert Sullivan states that now that bicycles are being treated like a real transportation option, like cars are, it is important that cyclists not be like the pigs in Animal Farm and adopt the same bad habits as motorists.
He makes four suggestions.
2. Ride with traffic
3. Stay off the sidewalks
4. Use signals
I'll disagree with the sidewalk element, only because in DC - unlike New York - sidewalk cycling is more often legal than not (and I'd actually be OK with removing the restriction in the CBD - at least outside of rush hour), and I think sidewalk cycling is a critical tool for cyclists. The second rule is less of an issue here because we have fewer one way streets, but I still see it way too often. It's not always possible to signal, but at least 95% of the time it is.
I would also add
6. Stop (not just yield) for pedestrians in the crosswalk - even if they're jaywalking
In fact, if DDOT starts enforcing traffic laws this summer, as promised, this is basically a list of the laws I think they should target. I think if cyclists followed these rules it would make everyone, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, safer.
But, I don't think this will fix the underlying problem Mr. Sullivan is trying to address.
Not all of them mind you. Not even most of them, but enough. And I don't know if following these rules is really going to fix things. Just the other day I had a guy reach out of his window and grab me as I rode by. I stopped because I thought maybe he needed help. Instead he yelled at me "You have to follow the law like everyone else." I was lane-splitting. "Lane splitting is legal" I told him. "No it isn't" he shouted back. Sigh.
Someone commented, probably guez, that the Idaho stop rule violated drivers sense of fairness. It's unfair that cyclists should be allowed to go through a red light - even if it were made legal, it'd still be "unfair." Just as lane-splitting in a traffic jam, as I was doing, is "unfair." And in the future, cycling is only going to continue to get faster and more convenient than driving. And thus, more and more unfair. So for those who can't stand that, they'll always hate us.
And some just hate that we're on the road or in their way.