Recent Comments

« 2nd Meeting for the Long Bridge Phase II Study scheduled for Sept 14 | Main | Pennsylvania Avenue Protected Bike Lanes could be extended to Washington Circle »

Comments

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

To me. Articles like this are only click bait. I imagine the majority of readers are either avid "bikers" or "biker" haters. Limited in between.

Like Courtland Milloy, I don't believe he believes most of the stuff he writes, but does it anyways for page hits. If that's true, in my opinion that makes the person so much worse.

Kunkle is clearly a tool and doesn't have his concerns in order when he's hating on cyclists going through reds. screw him.

At this point "biker" sounds like a slur to me. I try not to get caught up in arguments over what's PC or not but the choices we make with language are important.

And the argument that it's physically difficult to stop at stop signs so cyclists should be able to roll them has always annoyed me. I realize that many people cycle not for fitness or by choice. But for the many of us who DO make that choice and DO ride for fitness, to then turn around and ask that drivers make extra accommodations for us because stopping makes it harder just rubs me the wrong way.

"to then turn around and ask that drivers make extra accommodations for us"

There is literally zero "extra accommodation" being asked for here.

It's like reading something from a Trump supporter. You can't take it seriously because it's factually challenged/completely made up and full of slurs or ad hominems, but so many people do seem to believe it and jump on the bandwagon that you sort of need to take it seriously, and now you're basically involved in a 4th-grade-level argument.

I am also uncomfortable with the physics argument for stop signs, but I'll admit that's why I usually don't unclip. It's less a rolling thing as I don't mind stopping my forward momentum and restarting. I'll always yield the right-of-way, but I really don't want to put a foot down if I don't have to.

The police enforce the law against cyclists. Just last week I was waiting at a red light when an e-bike blew the light. I waited, though, and as the light turned red in the other direction, I began rolling through the crosswalk. I got pulled over by a patrol car who had also seen the e-bike, and then got reamed out (but no ticket).

So the police can, in fact, enforce the law. Against those who break it least.

@oboe - a law change (like legalizing Idaho stop) or simply permission to break the law is definitely an accommodation. You can argue whether or not it's reasonable, but I don't see how you can argue it's not an accommodation.

@jon

to then turn around and ask that drivers make extra accommodations for us because stopping makes it harder just rubs me the wrong way.

Very narrowly - the Idaho stop permits cyclists to roll a stop only when it would not interfere with cross traffic. So no direct accommodation needed.

No one responsibly advocates the anyone go thru stops in such a manner that it interferes with others right-of-way.

On a broader front I agree that, as a pedestrian and cyclist, I do want more accommodations made so that I can transport myself safely and conveniently.

@jeffb - so what you're arguing is that it's not drivers making accommodations, but rather society or the legal system or whatever. That's a fair point, I agree (figures after just saying word choice is really important, I use the wrong one)

The "accomodation" in question is free. Cyclists moving through red lights without interfering with traffic imposes literally zero cost to drivers. The same is true of "jaywalking," a crime that was invented by the car lobby.

I think this issue, like so much of politics, is all about relative status signaling. Drivers feel slighted that they have to wait (in their death machines) while others are able to carry on with normal life. Misery loves company.

Crickey, say it ain't so. I count on you to be my example of a cyclist who rigorously follows the law. I need to contemplate things for a while now.

In order of frequency, these are the things I have been yelled at drivers for.

1. Taking the lane/being in their way
2. Lane-splitting
3. Not wearing a helmet.
4. Breaking the law.

So, i think it's BS that the thing that bothers drivers most is scofflaw cycling (but admittedly this is just my experience).

(I've also had people yell positive things at me like "You can do it", but I'm not listing them)

"the argument that it's physically difficult to stop at stop signs so cyclists should be able to roll them"

Like I said, I don't think that's the argument. The argument is that it's easier to roll through them, that it's no less safe to do so and that - since we want to encourage more biking and less driving - it's a good policy to allow it.

People can disagree with those conclusions, but it's not fair to reframe someone else's argument.

I get the helmet wearing thing a couple of times a year too. I feel so proud now that I'm in the same company as WashCycle.

I've been yelled at for being in the lane, but what's more common and what I hate far more is being buzzed. (Sometimes they go together.)

I've had a horn blow or two from behind when proceeding after a stop early mornings in the city when no one was coming, but never a yelling at. Although once an officer admonished me through his window(I hadn't seen him), and I apologized and he went on his way.

The worst part of the buzzing is that it disproportionately happens when I'm half a block from a car stopped at a red light. They aren't going to get anywhere faster by getting around me, so it was for nothing. I want to explain this to them when I catch up to them.

Or it happens when the left lane is empty.

I loathe Kunkle. He thinks he's terribly clever, but he's just a dick.

The worst part of the buzzing is that it disproportionately happens when I'm half a block from a car stopped at a red light. They aren't going to get anywhere faster by getting around me, so it was for nothing. I want to explain this to them when I catch up to them.

Or it happens when the left lane is empty.

This squares exactly with my experience. When traffic is heavy people are too busy concentrating on their driving to play foolish games.

As to the question of whether cyclists get ticketed:

I seem to recall reading the numbers of tickets issued during one of the "smooth operator" ticket blitzes, and the number given to cyclists (and pedestrian) was an order of magnitude greater than their share of road users.Something like 20% of tickets for 2% of road users. And something like half of all tickets written by MPD are done during those blitzes.

So, i think it's BS that the thing that bothers drivers most is scofflaw cycling

This.

If everyone who ever threw a leg over a top-tube obeyed every single traffic law forever, a subset of entitled drivers would still lose their shit. It's not about the law. And, no, being a "good cyclist" won't fix the car culture.

Regarding what makes drivers angry - a few weeks ago I took the lane where double-parkers had blocked the bike lane. I was probably riding around 15 mph. A cabbie maybe 20 feet behind me laid on his horn, then swerved around my left (into the oncoming traffic lane as there was oncoming traffic), then back in front of me where he came to a stop because of a line of cars stopped at a red light. I passed him literally five seconds later, but slowed down long enough to have this exchange:
Me: "Good thing you swerved around me so you could stop at this red light five seconds sooner!"
Cab: "Stay out of the road! Ride to the right side!"
Me: "I would, except the lane was blocked, and in any case I don't have to. You can wait a few seconds."
Cab: "No, bikes don't belong in the middle! Stay to the right!"
Me, as I rode away: "OK, how about f@*# you."
Cab passengers I didn't notice until then: "OOOOOOOH"

You know, for the most part I agree with all of you. We may differ on some specifics, but for the most part we're coming from the same place.

But it really brings it all home when you're coming up 11th NW to an empty 4 way stop, and you come to a stop (no foot down but as much of a stop as any driver ever does) and coming the other way is a DC bike cop who looks neither left nor right and pedals straight through without so much as a pause.

You know what is missing from these stats is how much the police run the red light on camera, I am sure it is much higher than cyclists.

http://wjla.com/features/7-on-your-side/investigation-local-cops-caught-by-speed-cameras-evade-tickets

I was reamed out once too but than again, the cop failed to signal and use his seatbelt.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009

Categories

 Subscribe in a reader