« Auto Parking Removed for Bikes | Main | Youth Helmet Law in Loudoun County »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

All it takes is to be a little less of a self-important snob...no one complains about the blue collar hispanic dude biking down Georgia Ave or the commuter on the Mt. Vernon trail...but you get 6 guys in bicycle pants and team jerseys doing 20 mph on the WO&D weaving through families on a Saturday or the no helmet wearing racer blowing through all the stop signs on 14th street and yes you're going to get hostility......be respectful of the environment around you (slow down and obey the traffic laws) and I think most people would be much more tolerant of cyclists

Amusing to read about how cyclists need to "slow down and obey the traffic laws." I would love to see drivers of motorized vehicles heed that advice too.

As for "blowing through stop signs," give me a break! Very few cyclists who know what they're doing "blow through stop signs." Do they pause, and not fully stop, through stop signs, yeah. Guess what? So do motorists.

I agree with the following statement, from the article: "People don't start cycling for out-and-out political reasons. But some of them become politicised the more they cycle. They see the impact too many cars can have on the roads and on city life."

... and of course they realize that by cycling, they are not the ones contributing to the auto-motive problem.

I disagreed with several statements in the article:

1. he implies that there is road infrastructure for cyclists to interact with motorists in a friendly way in Holland. Not true! My first day in Amsterdam I saw a police officer get rear-ended and knocked off his bicycle by a car (at a very low speed). Fact is there's simply no place to put a car in Amsterdam. No parking, and no way to get around cyclists or other cars. However, if you go out to the newest developments in Holland, you will see that they are actually very auto-motive dependent.

2. As for cyclists being unpredictable and argumentative, just try going to Amsterdam, China, India, etc. and see how many of them will blow through the lights over there too. ...Oh, and just try to block a cyclist's way in Amsterdam, or worse, in a Bicycle lane, and see what Fury of Anger they will bring down on you.

And what, motorists don't argue? motorists are predicable? How moral is it, really, to drive a car?

Are we politically active enough, or too much? I thik, considering it took activists 8 years to convince NYC to convert 3 car spaces into bike parking, then NO, I don't think we have gone nearly far enough.

The question this article raises is, "are cyclists getting too big for their boots?" in terms of Morality. In order to answer that question, we would have to define an argument for at least the morality and equity of private auto-motive transport as it currently stands in the UK, as well as other alternatives.

By keeping the focus on cyclists, we avoid any discussion of what is and isn't morally appropriate under current circumstances.

I see this as an opportunity. The media is asking the question, how big are our boots really? If anybody has any question as to how important the debate is - please read this completely.



Now, with that in mind, consider the question again.

"jump red lights" - I love the English.

This issue is not that motorists do a California roll at stop signs or are too agressive. As my mom used to say, just because all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do so too? Bicyclists should obey the traffic laws, period, and then cyclists would get more respect.

How about just riding your bike and not worrying about how or even whether your actions are dissected, assayed, weighed, interpreted, and labeled by people who may not be sympathetic to cycling culture to begin with? Simplistic? Maybe. Nothing wrong with that, it's what two-wheeled, metabolically powered transportation is all about.

You want to be a self-important snob?...a quiet, timid, law-abiding pedaler?...something in between? Go right ahead, there's room for you out there, either way, assuming the motorists leave space.

"Too politicised"...I love that. *Oh, you're making a statement with your bike and biking attire?...well, sit down and shut-up, that's too political and politics have nothing to do with transportation choices!* Brilliant!

(BTW, I dig that DIY/direct-action lane marking; funny, me and a friend were contemplating taking similar action in the metro area recently, but nothing quite so bold. Something along the lines of painting "slow: bikes crossing" on the asphalt near the intersections of trails and roads. Pretty innocuous stuff, really, but it could help.)

Sorry, the anonymous post above is mine.

"Bicyclists should obey the traffic laws, period, and then cyclists would get more respect."

This, I simply don't agree with. Even if you could make all cyclists obey all traffic laws. We'll just have to disagree on that.

"This issue is not that motorists do a California roll at stop signs or are too agressive."

Actually, that has a great deal to do with this issue. I can think of a number of places along my commute where disobeying traffic laws is the safest way of going from Point A to Point B. At those places, obeying the traffic laws would be perfectly safe if motorists weren't driving too aggressively. For instance, try crossing from the right side of 14th Street down near the Mall in order to turn left without the assistance of running a red light and you'll see what I mean.

Mind you, I'm not suggesting a massive enforcement of traffic laws on motorized traffic (though it would solve some budget shortfall problems) - I regard motorists being overly aggressive as a product of our society, which has lost any real sense of civility. I don't think much can be done to change that. Rather, what I'm concerned about is my own safety and the safety of other cyclists. I do what I do on the roads to get from Point A to Point B quickly and safely - nothing more, nothing less.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader