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Did anyone else notice the slight in the Time Magazine editorial?

"Bike-share racks have sprung up downtown and in the close-in suburbs to take advantage of the newly painted bike lanes that have squeezed grand thoroughfares like 14th Street down to two lanes. "
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2115062,00.html

It's all because we're such insular aholes who don't care about the rest of the country thus providing us time to wallow in environmental causes like squeezing 14th St to 2 lanes (and I'm puzzled as to where downtown they see this...I think they don't know DC).

I remember that article getting some play (maybe GGW) when it first came out. I imagine the author is talking about 14th above Thomas circle, where I think once upon a time it was three lanes in each direction, but you could park in the curb-most lane anytime outside the relevant rush hour.

One of the conclusions that you can draw from the SLATE article and the "affect heuristic" is that people should be more rational. But another conclusion is that a**hole cyclists harm all cyclists and so we should work to improve cyclist behavior. (Note, by the way, that cyclists are not immune from the "affect heuristic" either.)

@guez Define a-hole cyclist. A drivers opinion of this may be vastly different than a pedestrians or another cyclists. One doesn't necessarily have to be an a-hole to be categorized as one. One may do as little as break laws and give excuses for it to get this tag, even though the laws may be illogical and impractical for cycling.

guez,

But another conclusion is that a**hole cyclists harm all cyclists and so we should work to improve cyclist behavior.

That's probably true, but I think he makes the point that it only takes a tiny bit of bad behavior to taint the whole community, which means you need to reach six sigma levels of good behavior - and that's so difficult as to be nearly impossible. And that's without considering the question of what actually constitutes bad behavior. Is rolling through a stop sign bad? Is filtering bad? Is riding on the sidewalk where it's legal bad?

cyclists are not immune from the "affect heuristic" either.

He acknowledges this as well, but points out that it is less pronounced because most cyclists are also drivers and thus don't view them as the "out" group.

But another conclusion is that a**hole cyclists harm all cyclists and so we should work to improve cyclist behavior.

As a thought experiment: last week a guy in an SUV hit a person in a crosswalk injuring them and killing one of their dogs. Then he drove away.

There was an article in the news about another guy who struck an 8-year-old child, got out, gave him a $20, then got back in and drove away.

There's a lot of bad behavior out there. "Working to improve cyclist behavior" is as likely to be successful as "working to improve driver behavior". At the end of the day, building infrastructure, and encouraging adoption will pretty much solve the "scofflaw cyclist" problem. Til then, attempts to "just get everyone to behave" are unlikely to be fruitful.

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