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Why I don't read the newspaper

Leave it to a blogger to provide some facts for a change while the city rag prints ignorant opinions. Here's the final word on scofflaw bicycles v. innocent motorists. Thinking about it only makes me angry so I'm not going to post about it anymore. Breaking the law is bad, okay? Whether you're driving a car or riding a bike. Don't generalize and broadcast your hatred over either group, just be nice to each other and watch out for the idiots (bikers or drivers) who are trying to kill themselves and others.

Categories: bicycles

1 comment:

drvono said...

Hardly the final word! That blog makes some good general points, but some very unfair comparisons as well. Yes, it takes bicyclists more energy to come to a complete stop and yes, many drivers regularly perform the rolling stop. But there is a difference between a car slowing down to a near-stop, looking both ways, and continuing, and the bicyclist who goes right through as long as no traffic is coming. I have seen far more bicyclists knowingly sail through intersections without stopping than motorists running signs. More bicyclists running red lights. More bicyclists not taking turns at multiple-stop intersections. Sometimes it feels like they think they have all the rights of pedestrians and all the rights of drivers but the responsibilities of neither.

His ridiculous comments about road-hogging completely miss the point. He only says that cars have a much larger footprint than bikes, which is obviously true. They physically take up more space on the road. But that is not the point. Cars do not try to drive side-by-side in one lane. Cars and motorcyles do not drive side-by-side in one lane. The problem is that when a bicyclist rides on the shoulder or near the curb, it causes the automobile drivers to have to swerve halfway into the oncoming traffic lane to avoid them (since bicyclists generally cannot reach the speed limit). In areas where there is one lane each direction and no shoulder, this can especially be a problem. And yes, it does annoy me, especially in situations when there is a perfectly good unused sidewalk that the bicyclist could be using for everyone's safety (Como area - big time).

I don't mean to be down on bicyclists here. And you're right, breaking traffic laws is bad no matter what you're driving or riding. I love biking and feel for bicyclists, but it can be a hassle trying to share the road with them in a car! And when I'm riding a bike, it's a hassle to share the road with automobiles!

The only real solutions here though are 1) what you said, and 2) more places catering to bicyclists by offering wider shoulders or bike lanes.