By on October 2, 2018

public domain

“Peace is not absence of conflict,” Ronald Reagan once said, “it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”

And so it goes on the world’s roadways, highways, and, depending on your relationship with the neighbors, driveways. After the engineers are done gauging line of sight, measuring stopping distances, and calculating the necessary roadway width and angle for safe passage of a vehicle travelling the speed limit, we’re left to battle it out on the infrastructure laid out for us by city planners.

It’s a lot of responsibility. Maybe one day, perhaps sooner than we think, we’ll look back on such times and wonder how our betters at city hall or the legislature allowed us the ability to fend for ourselves on the road. Men and women, children and youth. Each depending on the closest person in their vicinity to not kill them.

Inevitably, conflict arises. And, increasingly (or so it seems) we’re facing conflict between motorists and a new breed of traveller: the disruptor.

Let’s be clear that roadways have never been relegated to just one vehicle type. People on horseback once had to pass slower moving wagons and carriages. Pulling around to pass, they might have encountered a man or woman ambling up the road, coming the other way. Good visibility on a horse, though. Then the French felt it was necessary to invent the bicycle, thus adding a new contraption travelling at a different speed, behaving in a different manner than all other road-going vehicles. In cities, plodding, horse-drawn omnibuses rapidly gave way to quicker electric streetcars fueled by an overhead wire, running on a dedicated track.

At least you knew a streetcar wasn’t about to dart left or right, looking for a hole in traffic. But they do make a better door than a window.

Today, green sensibilities have placed more cyclists on our roads than ever before. In many cities, these people sometimes represent a very vocal lobby that’s out of proportion to their numbers, capable of squeezing infrastructure — perhaps much-needed infrastructure — out of penny-pinching bureaucrats. No, I’m not about to go full Keith Crain here.

Urban cyclists and the much more disruptive (in every sense of the word) tide of electric scooter users brings vulnerable people into closer proximity with drivers now forced to share their lane with smaller, slower-moving vehicles. It’s a recipe for conflict, and it’s no wonder activists and engineers would prefer that these two modes of transportation remain segregated, either by distance or by obstacle. Still, it’s possible to co-exist peacefully, so long as you’re willing to accept some risk, open your eyes, and keep your anger on a short leash.

If you’ve ever been sermonized by a law-breaking cyclist, you know just how difficult it is to keep your temper under wraps. Same goes for that dude on the Bird. But in a civil society you must, just like you need to hold back from tailing that guy who cut you off. We haven’t really risen that far above the animals — we just wear nicer clothes.

I can’t profess to any innocence in this regard. I’ve done things behind the wheel in a moment of anger I later regretted, though never were punches thrown. Never was anyone’s hair mussed.

While scooter riders are a menace anywhere, my love/hate relationship with cyclists is something truly difficult to come to grips with. The two sides battle back and forth in my brain. On the one hand, I’m totally on board with the freedom — low-cost freedom, too — that bicycles provide. A nearly completely unregulated machine propelled by the user, with no fuel or insurance costs, that, if properly equipped and maintained, can go just about anywhere and last forever. It’s all so libertarian.

On the other hand, that annoying subset of cyclists, a group I’ll call the self-righteous scofflaw set, continually endangers themselves while claiming everyone else is the problem. The “You’re not supposed to hit me (as I cruise through this four-way stop at 20 mph)” identitarian type. Never mind rules, sharing the road, etc.; they’re on a bike and you’re in a car so you’re bad and they can never be wrong. If Karl Benz hadn’t patented the Motorwagen in 1886, you wouldn’t be a danger to me right now.

Well yes, and if my mother was a fish, I’d have once been a tadpole. Benz built his car 132 years ago and here we are, so take some responsibility for protecting your own life. Do your part.

The question we’re leading to is this: is there a type of non-car roadgoing transport you enjoy, one feel a kinship with, that the motorist half of your brain rebels against? Bikes, skateboards, scooters, motorcycles, buses, trams, you name it. All fair game.How do you keep the two sides settled?

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

78 Comments on “QOTD: Feeling Conflicted?...”


  • avatar
    FerrariLaFerrariFace

    In my neighborhood, we have both sidewalks and bike lanes. The cyclists tend to ride on the sidewalk while the joggers run in the street. Therefore, I’m throwing joggers into the mix. I enjoyed a good jog in my youth. Exercise is good. I get it. I’ve even heard the argument that running on asphalt is somehow better on your joints than concrete. I think that last bit is nonsense, but that’s another story. The point is, we built sideways for you so you don’t get run over. We maintain them for you so you don’t trip and fall. Use the gosh darn sidewalks.

    • 0 avatar
      06M3S54B32

      “We maintain them for you so you don’t trip and fall. Use the gosh darn sidewalks.”
      In nearly every State in the USA, it’s illegal to ride on sidewalks. Sidewalks are for pedestrians for good reason.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        I believe he’s primarily complaining about joggers on the roads.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        There isn’t a good reason. These are outdated laws the cycling community has forced politicians to maintain well past their expiration point. They were written at a point where cars where not much faster than bicycles. Today there is a big difference, while the difference between a bicycle and pedestrian isn’t that big. What’s hilarious is that all the wannabe Lance Armstrong’s that will respond to this will give reasons why a bicycle is not compatible with a pedestrian, and ignore the fact that that same reason is 100% more true between a bicycle and a car.

        • 0 avatar
          Syke

          In the first place, most urban cyclists aren’t “wannabe Lance Armstrongs”. They’re people riding the two wheeled equivalent of a Honda Fit. Transportation, nothing more, nothing less.

          And no, they have no business on the sidewalk. They’re vehicular traffic, and should be on the street along with scooters, motorcycles, cars and trucks. As part of the traffic flow.

          • 0 avatar
            markf

            ” They’re vehicular traffic, and should be on the street along with scooters, motorcycles, cars and trucks. As part of the traffic flow.”

            No they are not. You are a bicycle not a vehicle, you have no motor and cannot maintain the legal speed limit.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        it is legal to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk in Michigan, except in areas where it is explicitly prohibited (and signed.) Otherwise it’s fine; though it’s the rider’s responsibility to give way to and avoid pedestrians.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      In my neighborhood it’s housewives in full spandex gear power walking down the road, while the sidewalks go unused. Although a lot of the sidewalks are blocked because people are trying to fit two cars into a one-car driveway.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        In my neighborhood it’s housewives in full spandex gear power walking down the road…

        Well that’s distracting.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Hmm. Maybe people are walking in the street because the sidewalks are blocked by cars?

      • 0 avatar

        I see the same sort of thing in my neighborhood. A fairly active street lies to the south of our house – hospital/school accounting for most of the traffic. We have sidewalks on both sides of that street for it’s full length – 12+ blocks for the busiest portion. Yet there are still folks jogging/walking in the street itself. The sidewalk would seem to be the much safer choice. As to bikes, since we are a small community they are ridden on sidewalks or street with the exception of our main business district where they, along with skateboards, are prohibited on the sidewalk. In the very small town (1800 pop.) I grew up in we rode on street or sidewalk without issue simply due to the town’s size – the only exception being the two main streets which were federal highways – 169 & 30.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      I simply cannot comprehend why a jogger would choose to do so in proximity to noisy fume emitting vehicular physically dangerous traffic.
      There are so many other places to jog in many locales, bike roads, parks, residential streets.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I neither live nor drive in the city, thank god, so my contact with commuter cyclists, scooters, hipsters, etc. is for all intents and purposes zero.

    But my contact with middle aged, spandex covered fruitcakes who think they’re Lance Armstrong on the Tour de France is through the roof now that the weather is nice. Packs of them. Omnipresent. Around blind corners. Blowing stops. Riding three abreast in the lanes. At 20 mph beneath the flow of traffic.

    Where’s a drunk Salvadoran in an F-250 when you need one?

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      “Where’s a drunk Salvadoran in an F-250 when you need one?”

      Wow. How far ttac has sunk when a comment like that shows up, let alone being acceptable.

      Besides the racism, how does one become so armoured that one can advocate someone else die for using the public roads in a manner that is both very harmless and has strong redeeming aspects? Maybe you’re the one who needs to get out and exercise and socialize a bit.

      Have you ever attended a scene where a motorist has mowed down a group of cyclists?

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      You’re the kind of person who needs to go out to his car one fine morning and discover it’s been replaced by a bicycle. And that’s your transportation for the next six months.

    • 0 avatar
      nationwidejim

      You got the drunk part right, but he was from Mexico, not Salvador. And he was driving a Ram 1500, not an F250. The Sunday before Easter he was driving south on a two lane county road in Fairhope Alabama. He passed a car on a double yellow line he hit a lady riding her bike on the north-bound sholder head on and killed her instantly. I’m sure her husband and two children would find your post funny.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Can’t we all just get along?

    To answer the question, motorcycle. How do I reconcile the two? Whenever I’m driving one I try to put myself in the other’s position. If I’m on a motorcycle I try to understand that I might be hard to see and act accordingly. If I’m driving a car I try to see how the motorcyclist is vulnerable with no real protection and act accordingly. Keeping both in mind makes me a better driver of either

    • 0 avatar
      Waterloo

      I couldn’t have said it better. Riding a motorcycle has made me a better driver all around (at least I think!). As far as bicycles are concerned, I love riding but there is no way I would ride on the road, much to dangerous as far as I am concerned. I stick to mountain biking trails. Yes, a little strange considering my love of motorcycles.

    • 0 avatar
      v8fairy

      Best comment here! I drive and ride a bicycle – have two V8’s, and have been commuter cycling for many years, even before I had a 70’s Cadillac as a daily driver which certainly focused my enthusiasm for commuter cycling given that with a 500 cube V8 gas mileage wasnt its strong suit….

      When I’m driving, I look out for cyclists and give them plenty of space. And when I’m cycling, I try to make myself as visible as humanly possible with many lights and high vis, and keep out of the way of cars as much as possible – where there’s a cycle lane I WILL use it. As for idiots that blow through stoplights and ride 3-4 abreast, or as I saw earlier tonight ride at night with no lights and dressed head to toe in black, I totally understand why this frustrates drivers

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      You’ve obviously been riding for awhile. You’ve learned how to survive.

      I always considered myself fortunate that I was cycling for seven years before I got my first motorcycle. I’d already learned the skills I needed to survive among automobile jackasses (and contrary to today, back then car drivers were real assholes because before the environmental movement the only adults who willingly rode a bicycle as transportation were terminal DUI’s, mentally deficient, or anybody else odd enough that they couldn’t get a driver’s license – supposedly).

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Right hand turns.

    Making a right hand turn on a green light in a busy urban environment, with stop and go traffic, and having some bicyclist blasting down at full speed inside of you. You check your rear and passenger side mirrors, check where you are going and suddenly there is a flash on your passenger side mirror. Or the bicyclist was riding on the sidewalk and suddenly darts into the intersection.

    Making a right hand turn on a red light on a busy urban street and having some bicyclist blasting through the red, again mostly inside you. You come to a stop, check your passenger/rear view mirrors, check left for oncoming traffic, check where you are going and suddenly there is a flash on your passenger side mirror. Or the bicyclist was riding on the sidewalk and suddenly darts into the intersection.

    Or a bicyclist decides to blow through a 4-way stop.

    From what I understand of the laws, bicycles are not allowed to pass on the inside of a vehicle on the inside line. Bicycles are supposed to follow the same lane rules and obey street signals/signs just like motor vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      It’s the inevitable result of the “bicycle lane” idiocy taken to it’s inevitable conclusion.

      In the city, bikes should not ride to the right of cars, for any other reason than the occasional, highly controlled and minimal, turnout to let cars stuck behind them pass. Instead, bikes, like motorbikes, Birds and other cars, should pass on the left. Unless a car is slowing down for a left turn, or traffic is so clogged up that cars are largely stopped.

      Loudmouth champions of more urban bike lanes are just a bunch of clueless twits all around. Less interested in getting from A to B efficiently on a bicycle, than in bicycle interest group politics.

      People who actually ride bikes, or would ride them if it was less problematic, want stricter enforcement of bicycle theft (Or, the more evolved and advanced among us; laxer enforcement of vigilante responses to bicycle theft. Same thing, really.). Basically; treat theft of vehicle the same, whether it is a Bird, bike or an F18. Come up with a suitable penalty and amount of resources dedicated to solving the crime, and apply evenly. Noone literate gives half a toot about bike lanes (In urban settings. In Suburbia, with kids cycling to school, things may be different.) But as long as people continue to be conditioned to ride in so called “bike lanes”, they’ll continue curb hugging and inside passing ad infinitum.

  • avatar
    bg

    “The question…is there a type of non-car roadgoing transport,,,that the motorist half of your brain rebels against?…How do you keep the two sides settled?

    I’ve been bike commuting for 26 years. And my mantra is the same whether I drive or cycle:

    “It’s not you VS. traffic…you ARE traffic.”

    I bike the same way I drive…I follow the rules of the road, I anticipate the consequences of my potential maneuvers, I consider how my actions will impact others, I signal and communicate, I leave myself an out.

    I have mirrors, lights and a HORN, so that I can see and be seen.
    I realize that on a bike I cannot achieve the same speeds as motorized vehicles and choose routes accordingly.

    Of course, I’m not the cyclist blowing through stop signs with other vehicles present. I’m not the cyclist who suddenly changes lanes right in front of you.

    We probably won’t cross paths, and if we do, you won’t remember me any more than the burgundy SUV you passed uneventfully.

    I don’t care for much of the new developments in bicycle infrastructure. Aspects of it seems counter-intuitive to this long-time bike commuter. But some of it makes good sense.

    All-in-all, human nature being what it is, I would rather have a speed-hungry “obliviot” on a lightweight bicycle than in a 2-ton car.

    I drive and bike like an old man because…I’m almost an old man. So whether you are driving or biking, stop racing on the streets, stop pressing your luck, stop taking chances,start being smart, courteous and considerate.

    You may view my bike commute videos here:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/bgvideo62/playlists

    • 0 avatar
      happycamper

      This comment pretty much describes me as a bicyclist. In general, I tend to consider myself as part of the flow of traffic. Whenever possible, I choose routes and roads so that I won’t impair the flow of traffic.

      I commute to work once or twice a week, 28 miles one way. My route could be 2-5 miles shorter, but I am avoiding roads that aren’t ideal for bicycling or where I might be blocking traffic. I ride to relieve stress, not to add stress.

      In general, I look for roads with low speed limits and wide shoulders so cars can easily pass. Dedicated bike trails are ideal, but mixed use jogging paths and sidewalks are generally avoided. Most dog walkers and stroller pushers don’t appreciate a bike whizzing by at 20+ mph.

      • 0 avatar
        bg

        “My route could be 2-5 miles shorter, but I am avoiding roads that aren’t ideal for bicycling or where I might be blocking traffic.”

        Same here. I add two miles (about 10 minutes) to my bike route to avoid dangerous to bike streets.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Nicely written. We think alike on this subject.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Thank you for leaving no memories of you

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      I simply cannot comprehend why a jogger would choose to do so in proximity to noisy fume emitting vehicular physically dangerous traffic.
      There are so many other places to jog in many locales, bike roads, parks, residential streets.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    Here we go…”cars vs. bikes” is usually good for at least 100 comments and a lot of venom. And I don’t get why. In 30+ years of driving, I bet I’ve had to wait maybe 20 minutes TOTAL for bicyclists.

    I’m not sure bicyclists would even make my Top Ten Road Annoyances list.

    • 0 avatar
      06M3S54B32

      . . .”I bet I’ve had to wait maybe 20 minutes TOTAL for bicyclists.”
      That is a brilliant point Matt. Well put.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Yes, excellent point. I’ve never had a problem with a bicyclist, because I try to avoid areas/roads they use a lot and I’m try to be extra patient around them knowing they’re not all going to obey the rules of the road.

      Also, knowing that a conflict between a bike and a car will always result in the bike losing and I couldn’t live with that

  • avatar
    Maymar

    So, my wife takes the subway to work, and nearly every day she complains that, at the four-way stop nearest to our building, inevitably some driver will tear up and blow through a stop sign, even as she’s trying to cross (she has no problem letting cars go first if they get there at the same time, but that’s not the case here). And yet, we don’t paint all drivers as aggressive scofflaws. In my experience, most cyclists are the same – you’ve got the handful of aggressive dickbags, but everyone else is perfectly fine (if just as iffy on the laws as their four-wheeled counterparts). E-bike riders though, seem to be consistently oblivious.

    Personally, I ride to work when I can manage to haul myself out of bed 10-15 minutes early and the weather’s agreeable (the former is the bigger challenge), and being a rather suburban area, I avoid main streets as much as possible (most of my ride is through a park though), and I’ll admit to riding on the sidewalk for the last km, as there are virtually no pedestrians by my office (also, there’s no way I can do 60+km/h, but I can approximate walking speed easily enough). But, as both a rider and a driver, I try and remember what’s most accommodating for the other guy.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I’m both a bicyclist and a motorist. Up until I took this job almost three years ago, I was bicycle commuting. Generally, I’m far quicker to respond to changes in traffic than cars/trucks/motorcycles. Like bg above, I have lights, mirrors (but in my case) a bell. I believe that many of the incidents that happen is because you (as a bicyclist) cannot be seen by drivers.

    I will ride on roads and streets when a bike lane is available, but there are many places where I live that the differential in speeds would be suicidal if you were to try and ride on the berm of the road, therefore I take sidewalks. With this job, I’m 10 miles one way from the house and there are only 45 MPH+ roads to get here. It’s not real likely that I’ll be bicycle commuting again.

    I also have a tough time with folks who walk/run on the road when a perfectly good sidewalk is available, but that mostly affects me as a motorist. But, whether I’m in my car or on my bike, the phenomenal amount of people who think it’s perfectly fine to fsck with their phone while piloting a two-ton car is my biggest complaint.

    And, if we’re honest, many motorcycle riders are faint better than bicycle riders, when it comes to obeying traffic laws. I think they’re only somewhat better because they have more at stake, i.e., a way to identify them via a license plate vs. bicycles, which do not. Regardless, I still see a bunch of dipsh!t moves made by bikers who use their speed as a way to escape the situations they are involved in.

    With the advent of these battery powered bikes coming to market, some of which can reach 40 MPH, it will be interesting to see if there’s a push to register/license them in a fashion similar to motorcycles.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Part of the issue is that many cyclists see themselves as pedestrians with the same protections. Many states make clear the differences between those on foot and those on wheels (powered or not). Cyclists can’t blast in front of you thru stop signs or crosswalks and expect pedestrian level protections. When I cycle I stop (real stop with foot down) at stop signs and make myself seen. Either way, more people will create more possibilities for conflict. Ultimately, you’ve got to CYA regardless of right and wrong.

  • avatar
    2manycars

    I can’t speak for other countries, but in the U.S. bicycles should be restricted to roadways that have dedicated bicycle lanes. (They are already forbidden on some roads such as interstate highways.) Bicyclists should be forced to obtain bicycle riding licenses, bicycle registrations, and bicycle tags so they can be easily identified. ticketed, and prosecuted when they break traffic laws. They want equality on the road – give it to them, in spades.

    Motorists should be absolved of all responsibility if involved in an accident with a bicycle that is not in a dedicated bike lane or disobeying traffic laws.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      You want to make cyclists get an operator’s license, registration and plates, just like motor vehicle operators, then restrict them to roads with a dedicated bicycle lane and note that they’re already forbidden on limited-access roads, while motor vehicle operators are allowed to use all roads?

      And then you characterize that prescription as “equality.” That’s some high-quality thought process right there.

      Luckily, fundamentally unserious people like you are restricted to making bumper stickers rather than being allowed to make policy decisions like this.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Hmmn, how do you deal with moped (49cc scooter) owners?

      In Virginia, the scooter has to be titled and licensed, but the rider does not have to have a driver’s license. He is expected to carry some form of picture ID on him when riding and wear a DOT legal helmet. And the vehicle is not allowed to attain speeds of over 35mph.

      I guess you want to be able to run them over, too? After all, the only differences here is legal registration and a 15 or so mph speed capability.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        This is the problem. I would say, take driver’s manual, remove all car-related items, like “if you park on up the hill turn steering to the left”, leave sign and intersection related stuff and make people pass the test before they can use the road.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      If bikes were made legal on the interstates, I imagine a there would be bikers who would ride on them, and usually two feet out into the right lane no doubt.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      …And pedestrians should be forced to have a license number tattooed to their forehead and back. So that WE can prosecute them. And Force them.

  • avatar
    RangerM

    When you said “disruptor”, I honestly thought you were talking about protesters who claim the 1st Amendment gives them the right to stand in the middle of the road and prevent cars and emergency vehicles from passing over unrelated (to traffic) issues.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Part of the problem are those tiny, single-file bike lanes. But that’s a limitation of American infrastructure that wasn’t laid out with cyclists in mind. In many newer Chinese cities, the bike lanes are wide enough for a car with a barrier between the lanes for cars.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      That’s the ONLY way “bike lanes” make any sense at all. And you still need multilevel crossings at every intersection, to avoid crashes at right turns. IN a country with over a billion people often tightly packed, maybe that makes sense. Anywhere else, just mix it up. It’s not exactly rocket science.

  • avatar
    vehic1

    FerrariLaFerrariFace: Perhaps the asphalt is slightly softer, and would matter the tiniest smidgen – if you’re a runner with cheap, poorly cushioned shoes.
    The health benefits of asphalt-running on the joints, however, would be negated by impacts from a car or truck.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    When the article referred to “disruptors” I thought it was going to talk about the hyper-aggressive motorists who speed excessively and bully their way through other traffic.

    The odd thing about the article and comments is the outlook of people being pitted against each other. This seems pervasive in North American culture and seems to be getting worse.

    Another odd thing is the absence of references to experiences in other countries. I’d bet there is a strong correlation between those who have never been in another country, let alone ridden a bicycle in another country, and a car-centric point of view.

    Take Holland for example. People are raised to respect others’ right to use the roads and anticipate and accommodate the needs of others. This is in addition to extensive but not universal dedicated bicycle facilities and a law that defaults to blaming motorists for mishaps. It works. People get where they need to go without dying young from stress and heart disease.

    North Americans anticipate the actions of others on the roads in order to take advantage of others.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Been an urban cyclist commuter since 1969. Wholeheartedly in favor of bicycle lanes, but will also use any legal street (aka, if it ain’t an Interstate or other limited access highway, I’ll use it) in my daily commuting.

    Am not bothered by traffic in the slightest. Between 49 years of bicycle commuting and 42 years of motorcycles, I’ve long ago learned to treat the automobile driver as a complete blind and brain dead idiot until they clearly prove otherwise.

    Sorry, you’re not ‘gettoing’ me into a bicycle path. If I can follow the traffic signals, lanes, and the like (and I do) I’ve earned the right to be part of traffic. Just because you’re driving a car does not make you more important than me.

    And no, I don’t have a particular problem with the idea that automobiles need to give up some space in favor of bicycles. Maintain cities for the automobile hasn’t really worked out all that well over the decades, and if I lived in the city, I’d probably be using my bicycles for 90% of my transportation. Just like I did back in the Seventies when I did live in the city.

    Electric scooters. Don’t have any experience with them yet, Bird just attempted their usual practice of dumping a couple hundred off in Richmond one fine night, and the following morning the City of Richmond gathered them up with the message, “You’re going to talk to us first, before you start selling your service.” I can’t really disagree with that attitude. My initial impulse is to not trust scooter users as much as cyclists. I’ve always figured that the effort of having to use your own energy to get around town gives cyclists a slightly more serious attitude as to what their doing.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      you’re correct, you are traffic participant and you can use the road unless it says “motor vehicles only”. In many states however, there is regulation that if you ride 10mph or more under speed limit, you must pull to the side and let faster vehicles go.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      You are smarter than the average bike to my mind. It might also explain why you are still alive.

    • 0 avatar
      markf

      “Sorry, you’re not ‘gettoing’ me into a bicycle path. If I can follow the traffic signals, lanes, and the like (and I do) I’ve earned the right to be part of traffic. Just because you’re driving a car does not make you more important than me.”

      No you have not. You pay no road tax or registration fees and therefore contribute nothing to the maintenance of public roads.

      Your smug, entitled attitudes slow down traffic and you decide which, if any traffic laws to obey but never red lights or stop sighs.

      All you lumpy, pasty middle age men looks totally ridiculous in your Lance Armstrong wanna be spandex.

      Bicycles are for Circus monkeys and children, you are an adult but some transportation that has a motor and can do the speed limit

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Why would I use transportation that is slower than my bike in the city traffic where I commute and would require me to pay $350/month to park it at my workplace? Wouldn’t be a very “adult” decision.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    My brain don’t rebel at nothing. I just think that if everyone had respect to each other and followed the law of road, we all would be ok.

    Typical scenarios:
    – bicyclist doesn’t stop at lights
    – bicyclist doesn’t stop at stop signs
    – bicyclist rides on crosswalk
    – pedestrian crosses on crosswalk but on red hand
    – pedestrians cross wherever.

    you have to see faces of people when I DON’T let then do what they do. I actually stopped few times and told these m0r0ns what they do wrong. Like the guy on the bicycle who rides on cross walk. I told him that he is breaking the law, and he needs to dismount his bike if he wants to use cross walk.

    In Boston, they created all the bile lanes, etc. But cyclists just lost all senses of what is allowed and what is not. so, they’ve been ticketed just like cars lately. Police even have cycle campaigns.

    I don’t even care if people do some of these things but don’t do it when other riders and drivers are around.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      If you are not a police officer, you should probably refrain from law enforcement. Right or wrong doesn’t matter when your head is caved in, though I’m sure your enforcement is selective in the interest of self preservation. Don’t be that guy; if nothing else your input here is valued.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        so, if you see someone gets beat on the street you will turn away? To me that is same as idiots breaking laws that affect other people. Crosswalk rider is danger because for incoming driver pedestrian leaves time to respond, rider – not so much. Yea, I am not police but believe me, I put few people in their place. Like that dude a month ago walking “face in the phone”, walking right into me. I gave him good shoulder check. then when he fell oh his butt, I came to him smiling, gave him my hand and said, “be careful with that technology”

        And BTW… when they see me thanks to the haircut, they think I am police, off duty may be

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I ride human and ICE powered cycles. Not sure what there is to reconcile. Job one… don’t die. I keep sanctimony to a minimum on 2 wheels (refer back to job one). I’m not a fan of crappy cyclists or motorcyclists… well, or crappy drivers either. I feel like being a dick in/on your vehicle is deeply entrenched in American culture.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    …On the other hand, that annoying subset of cyclists, a group I’ll call the self-righteous scofflaw set, continually endangers themselves while claiming everyone else is the problem. The “You’re not supposed to hit me (as I cruise through this four-way stop at 20 mph)” identitarian type. Never mind rules, sharing the road, etc.; they’re on a bike and you’re in a car so you’re bad and they can never be wrong. If Karl Benz hadn’t patented the Motorwagen in 1886, you wouldn’t be a danger to me right now…

    MAMILs

    Middle
    Aged
    Men
    In
    Lycra

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    I recently returned to two of my favorite fun roads, Lookout Mountain near Denver and Tantalus Drive in the hills behind Honolulu. Both are now populated by bikes, which clearly makes them far less fun.
    On Lookout mountain a biker riding uphill at about 4-5 mph refused to let me pass for a good half a mile until we got to where there was good enough visibility to get around her by crossing the double yellow. Exposure time going around a 5 mph obstacle is near nil. The powers at be have also installed speed bumps across the road for much of the entire ascent. What a crock of feces!!

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      When passing in a car, you should always cross a lane divider. 3-4 feet clearance to the cyclist, pedestrian etc. And full throttle. Timidity kills everything. All the time.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Obviously this is a flamebait topic. But I’ve been commuting by bike every day lately, so I’ll rise to the flamebait. My commute is 3.5 very hilly miles each way, all in the city, and I’ve lost 15 pounds since I got on the bike.

    Everything I say is about the city. That is, low-speed and often narrow streets, lots of pedestrians, congested more often than not. Don’t relate your anger with rural spandex warriors to anything I’m saying.

    The key difference between a d!ckbag cyclist and a d!ckbag driver is that the cyclist’s actions rarely result in anything worse than bumps and bruises, while the driver’s actions quite regularly kill people. Yes, there was that one pedestrian in San Francisco killed by a cyclist a few years ago. Compare that to thousands of pedestrians/cyclists killed every single year by drivers across the US.

    That’s why complaints about “scofflaw cyclists” miss the point. Yes, it’s annoying when cyclists blow stop signs or lights, and potentially a bit dangerous if there are pedestrians in the way. But the truth is that it’s vanishingly unlikely that those cyclists will kill or seriously injure anyone, except themselves. They’re an annoyance, just like the oblivious guy who’s staring at his phone and runs into you on the sidewalk. The deadly hazard, and the problem that needs immediate law enforcement attention, is scofflaw drivers, who routinely run red lights and blow through occupied crosswalks.

    And keeping yourself safe on a bike often requires bending rules. I don’t go through red lights, and I yield to pedestrians in marked AND UNMARKED crosswalks. But I don’t always bike just like a car would drive. I’ll use a sidewalk or crosswalk (legal in my city, as long as the cyclist always yields to peds) if it’s the only safe way through a given spot. I’ll roll a stop sign if it will help me get through well before cross traffic gets there. I’ll filter to the front of a line if staying at the back would expose me to fast-moving cars. I’ll bike outside of a bike lane if the bike lane is unsafe (most common where the bike lane is downhill and in the “door zone”).

    If bikes ever make up more than 10% of city traffic, we’ll start to see laws reflect more of these realities of city cycling. In the meantime, both safety (of myself and pedestrians) and courtesy are going to take precedence over following every single rule.

    As far as cyclists delaying car traffic: if you’re in the city, tough t!tties. City streets aren’t there to move car drivers as fast as possible. They’re there for everyone, and occasional delay and congestion are just part of city existence. If you can’t handle that… housing’s a lot cheaper in the sticks.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      ” But the truth is that it’s vanishingly unlikely that those cyclists will kill or seriously injure anyone, except themselves.”

      if a cyclist does something stupid and I hit him with my car (the collision being *his* fault) and he dies, do you think that is not going to have any effect on me? unless you’re a complete psychopath, being a contributor to another person’s death (even if you’re completely blameless) will take a fairly heavy mental and emotional toll on you.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      + an awful lot.

      Laws against “scofflaw” cycling (within bounds along the ones you mentioned), make about as much sense as rules against sitting at home playing Russian Roulette. Yes, there is the far off chance that the bullet that just blew your brains out, over penetrates and hits someone else, but virtually ALL the risk is on you. Hence, you don’t need laws to restrain you from engaging in such activities.

      The activities that need regulation, are the ones where the risk befall others to a greater extent than they do you. Like playing a version of Roulette where you point the gun at random others’ heads instead of your own.

      Which is why literate traffic law enforcement mainly deal with the behavior of those piloting heavier vehicles. Not dudes stuck in wheelchairs who are “blocking traffic” by being a second late at clearing an intersection from time to time, hence “breaking THE LAW.”

      If car drivers predictably follow traffic laws, lighter weight trafficants are perfectly capable of threading their way through relatively safely and efficiently, without overly detailed rules for exactly what to do when, in every conceivable situation.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Haven’t you heard bike commuting is racist and sexist (see links). Something like 75+% of biking commuters are men, and almost all the men and women cyclists are white, so if they get hit by cars they deserve it due to racism/sexism. Check your privilege – commute by car.

    https://nypost.com/2018/09/01/nyc-should-stop-coddling-young-white-bros-on-bikes/

    https://nypost.com/2018/09/07/if-you-want-to-get-new-yorkers-talking-crazy-just-bring-up-bike-lanes/

  • avatar
    road_pizza

    “Our betters at city hall or the legislature”… our betters??? Try again, anybody that runs for office is far, FAR from being “betters”, in fact, given the actions of both political parties over the years it could be argued that they’re actually our inferiors…

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      This is a bit overstated and hyperbolic, but there is truth in hit. It is a sad irony that those who would be best at government have the common sense and good judgement not to get involved on inherently combative and dramatic politics, which leaves the field wide open for the egomaniacs and psychopaths.

  • avatar
    binksman

    I live in a rural area. There are few sidewalks outside the center of town, so everyone- pedestrians, bikes, the rare skateboarder, roller blading (the local middle aged women are bring that back), Amish horse and buggies, motorcycles, cars, trucks, and tractor trailers share the same road. About the only vehicles not on our local roads on a regular basis are those fancy golf carts you see in retirement communities in the South and Southwestern US.

    When my kids are at the public skate park, I tell them the same rules apply here as on the road. Watch out for bigger traffic that cannot stop even if they see you (teenagers on skateboards). Watch out for faster traffic that may not see you even if they can stop (BMX bikes). Watch out for smaller traffic that doesn’t know better to watch out for you (smaller kids doing anything). There’s only a few cases where the accident isn’t your fault to some degree. but its usually a combination of both individuals. It’s amazing how well the kids can get along at the skate park…

    That said, my two pet peeves on this topic are fancy bicyclists riding in groups blocking entire lanes and old people who shouldn’t be driving. Just because your bike cost as much as my car doesn’t mean you get the whole road. Sharing takes effort and compromise from both sides, so move over and travel in narrower groups. As far as old people who shouldn’t be driving, not a day goes by where I am not stuck for 5-10 miles with no or too few passing zones to get around some old fart doing 10-25 mph below the speed limit. Yes, there are local laws that could be enforced, but good luck finding an LEO to enforce driving too slowly for fear of being accused of “preying” on the elderly that constitute 75% of the population.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    Views from another country.? Does Australia count? We have recently been spending a fortune on bikeways and lanes and not having a long standing tradition of cycling, we have the same antagonism between cyclists and drivers as I am reading about here.
    I have no issue with 99% of cyclists but I am bemused by the fact that many cyclists will spend hundreds on Lycra and a GoPro but will not shell out for a mirror or bell. These should be mandatory.
    Licensing will never happen because carrying one creates an unsightly bulge in the Lycra.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      good laughs! You win this commentary thread.
      Most lycra multi color and patterned biking suits would embarrass me silly. I’d feel like a clown in such a getup.

    • 0 avatar
      v8fairy

      A bell, or even better a good airhorn is a damn good investment, agree with you on that. But all the bike mirrors I’ve tried share one feature – they’re damn near useless. This is why most cyclists dont have one

  • avatar

    Bicycle is meat on a stick. At least a motorcycle has speed and handing to counter balance the unprotected part.

    In NY, Vision Zero has caused streets to be re striped, lanes removed, “traffic calmed”. It has made driving in NYC much more difficult and slower, which is a feature, not a bug….oh, and parking has been removed and made much more expensive, another VZ initiative.

    NYC has bad weather six months out of the year, and this has been a huge effort to benefit a small number of folks, while making drivers, deliverymen, store owners, and residents suffer.

    I don’t hate bicycles or bike riders. The Spandex Militia in NYC has caused a lot of ancillary problems, though and those useless and little used bike lanes need to be taken off the major Avenues in Manhattan.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    I ride on the nearest state highway that happens to be a beach.

  • avatar
    don1967

    There are two logical “lanes”… motorized and non-motorized.

    They only reason cyclists aren’t put on the sidewalk where they belong is that doing so would force them to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, something which they are loathe to do. They want the right-of-way for themselves, no matter how disruptive it is to the 99%.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • el scotto: @SCE to Aux; I can think of three stand-alone Cadillac dealers. Lockhart Cadillac in Greenwood and Fishers...
  • Ol Shel: You should choose a car from a company that’s never had a recall, like: Nash, Duesenberg, Datsun,...
  • RHD: That’s a lot of money to put on the line for such a silly bet. Truth be told, ICE vehicles will be slowly...
  • DenverMike: The old fogeys say that. It assumes the grade coming up the mountain is the same one going down. Or...
  • Inside Looking Out: WRX, there too way to deliver the same message – politely and not very politely GFY covers...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber