7.05.2006

bike lanes... where is the smart place to ride a bike?

an article about people clowning around in the bike lanes of NY

biking and bike lanes are no joking matter!

where a bicyclist chooses to place itself on the road is not an action without thought
or at least it should not be

the cyclist needs to anticipate and avoid the "worst case scenario"
the stopping distance at varying speeds must be taken into account
there should always be "an out"
bike lanes are not always the most safe place for a cyclist to ride
the right hand side of the right lane is not always the most safe place for cyclist to ride
cyclist must be alert in the door zone

it amazes me that actions of car drivers on the road
the way that a car will pass a cyclist then drift back to the right hand side of the lane
blocking the path of the cyclist that is moving steadily on the right
or worse yet
the turning or parking traffic in the bike lane
right turning traffic should take into account the cyclist that rides to the right of traffic

the cyclist here in Washington, DC is forced to take every inch of pavement that they can find
take it
as nothing is given

the car drivers will complain about the movement of the cyclist through the street
but
it the cars cleared a safe and clear path
if the cars just obeyed the laws
well.... then the action of the cyclist would be different
but... until that point the cyclist needs to grit their teeth and stick out there elbows and take the road

this weekend past I was quoted in the Washington Post
this brought up a certain amount of conversation at parties over the holiday weekend
people playing.... devil's advocate with me
people trying to tell their side
it gets annoying
I hate to have the arguement with people about this issue
as there is no opening of their eyes
it is never a conversation.... I know their perspective.... I own a car

people will bitch about the bicyclist on the road
there will always be a game of "show and tell"
someone telling me of one bicyclist and their action
chances are there were far more cars that held up their progression than bikes
yet... they center in on the bike instead of the cars

so often in this game of show and tell I like to ask the driver's speed
one person said... "traffic speed" which is a good answer
a good answer... but the real answer involves the term "speeding"
while the car driver speeds they need to be a tad more humble about the bicycle and its rolling through red lights or stop signs
as they are both modifications of the law
an extending of the parameters of what is the acceptable pushing of the limits of the law
honestly... there are points where people push too far and take too much
but... there are understandable accepted pushings of these limits

that is where the issues of common sense and common courtesy come into play
so many of the car drivers miss this level of understanding as they drive about town

if people got enraged at each car in the wrong as they do about each bicyclist in the wrong...
well...
there would be a lot of angry people around
but... people have come to accept cars pushing yellow lights and running reds, cars buzzing them in the cross walks, and cars speeding excessively
people accept that there will be cars blocking the flow of traffic by double parking and parking in no parking during rush hour zones... if it were a bicycle standing in the road.... there would certainly be a reaction... but they accept that car drivers will do these things.... so they do not respond
funny.... a jay walker gets spooked by a messenger on the streets of the city... where the passing messenger may be 5 feet away... not even close to making contact.... but the ped on the cell phone gets spooked just the same.... then they walk around looking to crucify all the cyclists
while they accept that the car drivers are nearly running them down with what would be a much worse "worst case scenario" if contact is actually made

2 comments:

Alberto said...

Guess I’m lucky that way, living in the Spanish booneys. I never deal with traffic problems so I appreciate the predicament of my fellow city riders. Great picture of Mr. Einstein, by the way.

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