« APB for car involved in hit and run crash last week | Main | George Hincapie interview this Friday »


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

Welcome back from vacation. So glad you caught us up on the Tragedy of Milloy.

Why bother with this chucklehead? Washy, you are way too analytical for the likes of Court, so to analyze his musings as you would a court, err legal, opinion will just be a waste of time. Clearly, he speaks and writes before he thinks. And spending time pointing out his inconsistencies is not worth the effort. Being coherent for a writer would seem to be something of value. That his sense of logic is such a failure says great things about his editors, who must really have their work cut out for them.

I am happy to know that my 5 1/2 year old son is a better bike rider than him. Look out for that puddle!

You had to ruin that nice vacation vibe by reading Milloy. Bummer for you.

His whole premise that cyclists are a menace because they don't know what they're doing simply because he doesn't know what he's doing was remarkably easy to spot as flawed. Hard to believe that he is allowed to write for the WP.

When I got to the part where horse poop and Segways* were the big concerns for cyclists, I had to close article for a while.

*Okay, Segways are a *bit* of a problem, but I'd rather collide with one of them than Milloy in his SUV while he was fiddling with the shifter.

I do think the bikeshare contributes to cyclists on sidewalks downtown, btw, even if their record with crashes/injuries is good.

Two things:

1. Milloy's assertion in the WTOP article - "Milloy says cyclists, like many Washingtonians, seem to think they are "special" and act entitled. In an aside, he lay the blame at the feet of the GOP." - is just bizarre, and left out there with no explanation.

2. Regarding the concern about bikeshare riders, here's a recent article from Slate. "Here's an astonishing fact about U.S. bike-shares: In seven years and some 23 million rides, not a single death has been tied to the programs."

It's the politics of resentment. Cycling and race are issues, which seem to bring it out in its most florid form. Any associated reasoning is usually post-hoc and almost always primitive.

Well then, Milloy is not interested in sharing the road. If after being told that taking the lane is the safest option, he still opposes it without contradicting that claim, then what he is saying is that safety is not the primary goal; the unimpeded movement of cars is. How can we have a discussion about sharing the road with someone who's values are so skewed from the norm?

Sadly on this point I think Milloy is with the majority of the driving public.

Sure, in the abstract, most drivers will readily support safety for all. But the actual moment when any driver feels the least bit inconvenienced while waiting behind a cyclist on a narrow road most will put prioritizing their needs over the cyclist's safety.

Just read the comments section on the WTOP article regarding the hit & run last week. See how many commentators completely shift all the blame from the criminal actions of the motorist onto the cyclist.

2. Regarding the concern about bikeshare riders, here's a recent article from Slate. "Here's an astonishing fact about U.S. bike-shares: In seven years and some 23 million rides, not a single death has been tied to the programs."

But does that take into account the number of induced cardiac events from attempting to power these heavy bikes up Meridian Hill?


I like "the politics of resentment." I stated in the first Milloy article that he was acting like a conservative Tea Partier, with his "if you don't do it my way you are doing it wrong" mentality. I think that "politics of resentment" phrase is good because it can describe the mindset of people from either extreme.

Yeah, when I went on Chris Core's show I remember having an exchange that went something like this.

CC: cyclists in the road force drivers to make unsafe moves in order to pass them
Me: No, drivers can just wait until it's safe to pass.
CC: We're not going to do that

And I wish I'd said "Then THAT's the problem. If drivers are unwilling to make safety a priority, then no behavior changes in cyclists are going to fix that."

And cyclists are guilty of this too. We sometimes trade safety for expediency. But, we usually trade our safety for our expediency. We don't normally demand that others take on more risk for our convenience.

The (very small) Libertarian in me asks, "Who the hell's business is it if I take risks on my harmless little bicycle?" That's between me, my family, and my insurers, especially in a contributory negligence state.

I do think some sort of arrangement needs to be made on rural two lanes. I spent two weekends in a row on the Skyline Drive, and at the speeds cyclists like me can maintain going up those mountain roads, it is an onerous requirement of motorists that they 1) must give 3 feet and 2) can't cross the center line except in passing zones. In that scenario, it could be miles before a passing zone and 20 minutes before someone could pass.

DE: that's why some states (California, for one) have a requirement to give way when 5 or more vehicles are waiting to pass you. Signs like this one are common in western states. They are intended for slow motor vehicles, but the law applies equally to bicycles.

Smedley: I get where he was going in the first sentence, resentment and all. I don't understand the bit about blaming the GOP. What does the GOP have to do with anything?

Note that Milloy didn't address the two biggest complaints about his story:

1. His tacit approval of violence against cyclists.
2. His belief that only gentrified neighborhoods are getting bike lanes.

He didn't answer them because he knows there's no good defense. So what does he do...

The classic technique of the bully is not to answer honest critiques, but to deflect and find new problems with his opponent. Watch any cable news show or listen to any politician make a non-pology for saying something offensive. It's easy to spot.

No one will ever convince a guy like Milloy that he's wrong because he doesn't want to be convinced.

Bizarre that he cites boom cranes as a hazard for cyclists. What?

It does remind me of an incident many years ago in D.C. I think it was in Foggy Bottom, during construction of one of the buildings on Washington Circle. Either a load of concrete or other construction debris or equipment fell off of the building or a crane. It smashed through the roof of a car, right behind the driver's head. Fortunately, the driver escaped uninjured (miraculously!).

I tried to look up the article but I can't remember the key details.

@DE: god knows, the most important thing on skyline drive is going as fast as possible so you can get to the end

Right, but no driver wants to be going 5 mph up a steep hill for 15 minutes, scenic views or no. I mean, as a cyclist, I would move over as far as reasonable when it appeared safe to do so, but if I were a driver and had a Park Police vehicle behind me, I would have no idea what to do. You have to give 3 feet, yet you aren't supposed to cross the center line, so either action could get you in trouble, yet going 5 mph up a hill for 15 minutes is likely to seriously try the patience of the officer behind you as well.

@DE: I've never seen someone refuse to cross the center line to pass a bike, as they had to do even before the 3ft law (because there simply isn't enough room on many roads to pass in-lane). The only change with the 3ft law is to make it clear that they should leave more space for the cyclist.

True, I've done it myself, but it's technically illegal in the jurisdictions I know of, and you wouldn't want to do it in front of a cop.

@DE: I've never had a cop behind me while cycling that didn't do the same thing. There's the letter of the law and then there's what people actually do. The important part is that the passing is done carefully.

If a Park Police officer is involved, you can be sure he'll find some reason to ticket the cyclist.

Can't say if it was deliberate or not but I was riding Hains point last weekend and a park police officer in a patrol car did the ole windshield washer trick just as he passed me.

It would not be Park Police in Shenandoah. They only operate in few urban areas. It would be NPS law enforcement.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader