A well written article worth sharing.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    A well written article worth sharing.

    I know this is preaching to the choir but this is very well written.
    https://medium.com/p/9316abbd5735

  2. #2
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    That's probably the best piece I've ever read on why people are so anti-cyclist, especially in the US. Interesting to hear that there hasn't been one death due to Citi-Bike.

  3. #3
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    I shared this article on facebook and one comment reminded me of another common complaint I hear. Cyclists take up the whole road/ride 2 wide. It's funny, I really don't feel like I see this much when I'm driving, but many drivers love to claim they come across it all the time.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the read, much appreciated. Minneapolis has a similar bike program (Nice Ride) and everyone I've talked to about the program has shown either interest in using it or appreciation that the option exists as an alternative method to walking or riding the bus or light rail. That said, I have experienced mindless driver hooting and hollering at human powered 2-wheeled machines. Not sure how that happened, didn't we all like to ride our bikes when we were kids?
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  5. #5
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    Very good article. I saw this come up on my FB feed the other day and read it.

    Bikeshare here in Indy took off really well. In fact, the city will be kicking off a similar (but more widely distributed) car share program in the fall that has small electric cars. Largest car share program in the world IIRC. The Bikeshare program is looking to expand even after only a few months in operation (and tens of thousands of trips), and neighborhoods are clamoring to be included in any expansions.

  6. #6
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    Good article.

    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    Cyclists take up the whole road/ride 2 wide.
    It depends where you are. Where I am, it is explicitly illegal for cyclists to ride side-by-side unless passing:

    Travel single file
    78 A person who is operating a cycle on a highway in the same
    direction in the same traffic lane, except when overtaking and
    passing another cycle,

    (a) shall not operate the cycle adjacent to another cycle
    travelling in the same direction, and
    (b) in the case of a cycle other than a motor cycle, where
    more than one cycle is travelling in the near vicinity of
    and in the same direction as another cycle, shall operate
    the cycle directly in line with and to the rear or front of
    the other cycle.
    But I think that's pretty draconian, and a lot of places just state that cyclists shouldn't impede traffic (or whatever).

    It's worth checking what's actually illegal in your jurisdiction, so that you can tell people to f-off when they're talking garbage.

  7. #7
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    Some cyclist can be real turds...I've experienced some that give us a bad name.
    Let's make like a Bike and get the Huck outta here...

  8. #8
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    Re: A well written article worth sharing.

    Quote Originally Posted by In-Yo-Grill View Post
    Some cyclist can be real turds...I've experienced some that give us a bad name.
    Same can be said of car drivers, which was a significant point of the article. I guess, I wouldn't even associate myself with people who are total jerks just because I play viola and they play viola or because I cross-country ski as do they. So why is there an association formed between all bikers, regardless of how they are riding?

  9. #9
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    I enjoyed that too, loved the bikesnob analogy about generalizing that all radio hosts are idiots.

    But I would have to say that part of the problem is that most cyclists are actually above the law - that is, they don't get pulled over and ticketed for traffic violations. Yes, many motorists get away with bonehead moves, but at least some of them get caught and punished. In most jurisdictions, with the possible exception of NYC (where bike behavior has actually improved), a ticket for a bike is highly unusual. We are not going to convince all cyclists to do the right thing through education, etc., there actually needs to be some deterrent.

  10. #10
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    ^ that's pretty unfair, considering that I'm sure that the vast, vast, vast majority of punishments handed out to drivers are speeding tickets and DUIs - not something you can really hand out to a bike. For redlights or stopsigns though, cyclists don't get ticketed and drivers don't get ticketed either, which seems pretty fair to me.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    ^ that's pretty unfair, considering that I'm sure that the vast, vast, vast majority of punishments handed out to drivers are speeding tickets and DUIs - not something you can really hand out to a bike. For redlights or stopsigns though, cyclists don't get ticketed and drivers don't get ticketed either, which seems pretty fair to me.
    Agreed. I was actually just having a conversation with a co-worker about this yesterday which stemmed from me sending him this article. Cops really only look for people speeding, nothing else. Speed is always used as a scapegoat for the cause of a car accident, when in reality, even if someone is speeding, it was actually CAUSED BY the person who blew the stop sign or red light or changed lanes without signalling or looking or failing to yield. For that reason, they usually only pull over speeders. I see people break laws in front of cops all the time and never get pulled over. I don't think it's fair for police to target cyclists for things drivers almost never get cited for. Now, if the police start to enforce those rules for cars, then I have no problem with them doing the same for cyclists.

  12. #12
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    Just because you've never received a ticket while riding a bike doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I see it on a daily basis in Denver. The DPD has stepped up its enforcement on cyclists because motorists are complaining. Yet, complaints by cyclists fall of deaf ears at the department. Personally, I changed my behavior after receiving over $600 in fines for moving violations while riding in a critical mAss. Thankfully, the charges were thrown out, but the point was made, by the system.

    As to the point of cyclists being above the law:

    "The likely conclusion is that people riding bikes donít break more laws or fewer laws than when they drive cars, but they do break different laws. Given that most cyclists are also drivers, itís reasonable to think the levels of lawlessness would be consistent."

    You're upholding a myth that "fall[s] apart pretty rapidly in the face of statistics."

    Police departments need to enforce traffic laws in greater proportion. I'm sure they would find many unlicensed, uninsured drivers and people with warrants. And as you say change the behavior of many motorists.

    There's a sad fact in this country: automobiles cause 30000+ deaths a year and no one cares. Guns kill 1/3 of that and it's a national debacle, I mean debate.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    ^ that's pretty unfair, considering that I'm sure that the vast, vast, vast majority of punishments handed out to drivers are speeding tickets and DUIs - not something you can really hand out to a bike. For redlights or stopsigns though, cyclists don't get ticketed and drivers don't get ticketed either, which seems pretty fair to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    I see people break laws in front of cops all the time and never get pulled over. I don't think it's fair for police to target cyclists for things drivers almost never get cited for. Now, if the police start to enforce those rules for cars, then I have no problem with them doing the same for cyclists.
    What about salmon and ninjas, would it be fair to ticket them?

  14. #14
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    ^ For salmon, sure. Although my route to work has a couple of one-ways that drivers like to "cheat" on (because when they do it it's "cute!") and I'd sure love those a-holes to get tickets too.

    For ninjas, I would question how often cars actually get ticketed for burnt-out lights. Or for illegally tinted front and side windows. Or for the bafflingly stupid new trend of tinting brake lights (which may or may not actually be illegal around here, but it should be). When a cyclist does it it might be dangerous, but a car doing something similar is way more dangerous.

  15. #15
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    I wouldn't mind seeing more tickets for biking infractions that affect others including running reds without stopping, riding the wrong way, riding 2 abreast when traffic is present, riding at night without lights...

    There are also plenty of victimless bike infractions that really need to be taken off the books. Idaho stops, as long as it's clear - I do them. Riding through sensored red lights after a stop, sometimes you have to. I have a light that will not change for a bike. If a bike is in the lane the cars won't pull up far enough to trip the sensor. That's not good for anybody.

    Yesterday I unintentionally ran a red. Why? because the yellow was only about 1 second long. The sensor didn't see me coming at 30mph so the yellow didn't get extended like it would if there was a car present. The light had just turned green, the 1 car moved through and within seconds it was red again. Had I been a car it would have worked.

  16. #16
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    I actually spoke to an officer once about enforcement of traffic laws on cyclists. He said there is often nothing they can do for enforcement, because it's so easy for cyclists to run from the cops and avoid them. I know one guy given a ticket on the bike. He was riding at night with no lights. He was also riding a slow city bike (not sure which one he was on, but he often commuted on an xtracycle), so trying to run from the cops was not much of an option.

    So I'd say that I agree that most cyclists actually ARE above the law. Cops just don't bother. Not like they bother much with other traffic violations, but I personally have been pulled over for burned out lights in the past (in Michigan in a construction zone). I was not cited (I had my bike on the roof rack, and the cop was a mt biker, so we had a conversation about mountain biking, and he told me to get my light fixed). But he got his point across. Around here, speeders have to be seriously blowing the speed limit to get pulled over. Frequently on my 20mi one-way commute to work, I don't see a single officer.

    It still doesn't happen often enough. Lots of cars where I live driving around with one headlight, or sometimes fewer. I've oftentimes seen cars with one brake light out of three operational at all, and the last one only barely so. As much as I grumbled about vehicle safety inspections when I lived in states that had them (PA and TX), those inspections HEAVILY cut down on the number of unsafe POSes on the road.

    So I agree that asking cops to crack down on ninja cyclists without doing anything about ninja drivers is ridiculous. Safety needs to be a priority for EVERYBODY. Citations should not be the only incentive, either.

  17. #17
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    Oh, on the traffic-safety front, something that's happened recently around here is that everyone is complaining about getting speeding tickets for going 9 or 10kph (5~6mph) over the limit.

    Everyone knows that you're allowed to go 12~15kph (7~9mph) over without getting a ticket - you've always been allowed to go 12~15kph over - so what are these crazy police doing?!?

    It's strange to watch the reactions to it. Personally, on the occasions that I drive I'll usually go 12~15kph over, because that's just what you do. Except that now...you don't.

    To me it was a really clear statement on the normalization of law-breaking, and how powerful a bit of enforcement can be. Now I just wish they'd do a hardcore crackdown on crosswalks, since 9/10 drivers around here (and I'm not exaggerating that) have been normalized to completely ignore them.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    What about salmon and ninjas, would it be fair to ticket them?
    Yes to both.


    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    ^ For salmon, sure. Although my route to work has a couple of one-ways that drivers like to "cheat" on (because when they do it it's "cute!") and I'd sure love those a-holes to get tickets too.

    For ninjas, I would question how often cars actually get ticketed for burnt-out lights. Or for illegally tinted front and side windows. Or for the bafflingly stupid new trend of tinting brake lights (which may or may not actually be illegal around here, but it should be). When a cyclist does it it might be dangerous, but a car doing something similar is way more dangerous.
    I've been pulled over for not having my headlights on. I was parked in front of a restaurant and my headlights were shining right inside, so I switched to my parking lights. When I left, I forgot to switch back to my headlights because it was a well lit area and my interior lights were on. I wasn't 1/4 mile out of the parking lot when I got pulled over. Of course, I had just bought the car and couldn't find my registration....the cop still didn't give me a hard time. It's ironic, because I'm a huge stickler for using all lights on a vehicle properly. I'm a bit of an automotive lighting geek.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    I've been pulled over for not having my headlights on.
    I once got pulled over twice within 1/2 mile on either end of town for having 1 headlight out. The second stop was hilarious "Do you know why I stopped you, ma'am?" Well yes as a matter of fact I do!

  20. #20
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    Interesting article. The bike is a bit counter cultural and people are attached to their car. Our existence says that we are maybe suggesting they could do better, or even worse, suggest that they are lazy, overweight, unfit, and damaging the atmosphere. The fact that these all too often are true, is no defense. I have found too often that the people most aggressive and combative are those clearly in the wrong. They don't see that when they point us out four fingers point back at them. When we are seen as a 'them' rationality does not apply.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    I shared this article on facebook and one comment reminded me of another common complaint I hear. Cyclists take up the whole road/ride 2 wide. It's funny, I really don't feel like I see this much when I'm driving, but many drivers love to claim they come across it all the time.
    I think sometimes this complaint comes from ignorance of the law. Where I live it is perfectly legal for two bicycles to ride side by side if there are two lanes of traffic going the same direction. I've seen drivers get upset to varying degrees (including attempted murder with their car) because of this, when in reality the cyclists are doing nothing wrong, the cars can choose to go around in the other lane. Sometimes it's just entitled drivers being jerks.

    Just yesterday I had another run-in like this, while passing me in the left of two lanes going the same direction, a "lady" honked her horn at me, yelled something about me not being allowed in the road, then cut in front of me, all as we are approaching a red light. I rolled up to her window and attempted to educate her, but she was incorrigible, insisting that her fear of being rear-ended meant that bicycles weren't allowed on the road!
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    Interesting article. The bike is a bit counter cultural and people are attached to their car. Our existence says that we are maybe suggesting they could do better, or even worse, suggest that they are lazy, overweight, unfit, and damaging the atmosphere. The fact that these all too often are true, is no defense. I have found too often that the people most aggressive and combative are those clearly in the wrong. They don't see that when they point us out four fingers point back at them. When we are seen as a 'them' rationality does not apply.
    I was going to say something similar to about half the great points you made above, but you said it better!
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