Edmunds, the used car salespeople, had a couple of posts recently on how drivers and cyclists can coexist.
The articles themselves are pretty good. I wish that every driver could adopt the rules cited. But everything on the driver's list involves anger management or following the law (except maybe the 3 foot passing distance which isn't the law everywhere).
The bike rules are pretty good too, and they should be since they consulted Andy Clarke and Bob Mionske. [I've never liked the "assume your invisible" rule, because I would never take the lane if I thought I was invisible. Someone would run me down from behind. But I know what they're going for there]. The bike rules tend to go above the law and into silly areas. Wearing a helmet might be a good idea, but it doesn't have anything to do with coexisting with cars. Nor does dealing with railroad tracks. And while I'm fine that some think that cyclists should follow all rules, it seems unfair to call that out for cyclists without acknowledging that drivers consistently break the rules and that they need to follow them too.
But Carrol Lachnit was on WTOP to talk about this, While she spent a lot of time talking about how drivers should know that bicyclists have a right to be on the road, she followed it up by noting that "cyclists need to appreciate their own vulnerability and use common sense and that in a battle between a bike and 2-ton car they're going to lose." There were a few times that she seemed to indicate that cyclists need to move out of the way of cars and stay off roads where they might annoy drivers. The most glaring comes at the end.
The interviewer told a story about a cyclist on Rock Creek Parkway near the Kennedy Center that slowed him down and how he couldn't move over because of traffic in the left hand lane and as a result he was "nice and late". Now if you find yourself behind a cyclist at that point, you probably won't be behind her for more than 1 minute before the two of you part ways. So, how late could you really be. But Lachnit doesn't ask him about this. Instead she said that cyclists should ask themselves "Am I going to impede traffic" and if so maybe they should take a different route. No. Drivers should just chill the hell out. It's a minor inconvenience. There is no safety issue.
But than Shani Hilton at the City Paper backs her up by complaining about cyclists on P Street. They don't belong there according to her.
Licht also made a point about cyclists being careful pick their routes, because while they have a right to be on all roads, some are just "more conducive" to harmonious road sharing. One personal example: When I'm driving, I'm often on P Street NW, and a minor frustration has been getting caught behind a cyclist at nearly any point between Logan and Dupont Circle. There's usually no way to pass safely because the road is narrow and there's oncoming traffic on one side and parked cars on the other. Typically I end up driving at a slow pace (with a line of cars behind me) until the cyclists turns off of P. (Even Google Maps acknowledges this isn't a bike-friendly route.)
Some roads ARE more conducive to harmonious road sharing, but why should cyclists avoid the roads that aren't. Perhaps drivers should avoid the roads that are less conducive to harmonious road sharing. Doesn't that make just as much sense. Or perhaps no one should avoid these roads, and we should all just learn to get along until our local DOT can make them better. The point is to share the road. If you cede the road to one group, you aren't sharing.
Her post also adds this about the at-large race.
The one cycling question at Tuesday's At-Large Council candidate debate at the Black Cat was about the bicyclist/car divide. Rev. E. Gail Anderson Holness seemed to be the most circumspect, noting that she herself bikes—and apparently loves going to Amsterdam for that reason—but also drives. And she said it's hard to understand what it's like for a cyclist on the road without having been a cyclist.