[*BCM*] Cambridge po-po sighting
turtle at zworg.com
Wed Oct 13 16:25:47 EDT 2004
Boston Critical Mass <list at bostoncriticalmass.org> wrote:
> i disagree with the idea that more law enforcement of bicycles as if
> they're cars is actually going to make anything safer for a cyclist. so
> i'm riding in central square, and i run a red light. here's why it's
> 1) i know what the cars that i'm cutting through are more likely to do.
> i get a better view of them than cars beside me. they also get a better
> view of me.
I don't know what you mean by this one.
> 2) i get a headstart on cars. this allows me to establish myself in the
> lane rather than going "unnoticed" by the cars beside me.
Running a red light isn't necessary for this. You should always
position yourself as far into the lane as you need for safety. In a
substandard lane (such as those an Mass Ave in Central) this means that
you should be in the middle of the lane.
> 3) i can rider wider in the lane, and thus decrease my chance of getting
> doored. even when there are bicycle lanes, it's usually tough cookies
> for us cyclists.
See above. Also NEVER move into the door zone. And again, running a
red light has nothing to do with this.
Some of the consequences of running a red light include making other
road users more annoyed and aggravated (and more likely to drive
aggressively around bicyclists), hitting pedestrians or other
bicyclists (it's happend to me), or getting hit by a truck and not
being able to get their insurance to cover your medical and equipment
replacement bills because it was your fault.
I don't run red lights and I've never been hit because of my policy.
> fact of the matter is, it's two different worlds for cyclists and cars
> on the road.
The world is what you make of it! :-) I see it as the same world.
> then do something to fix it,
I do. I've volunteered for, worked for, donated money and services to
sustainable transportation causes (especially MassBike, where I worked
for two years) to try and establish bicycling as a socially and legally
acceptable form of transportation (and not just the recreational,
excercise machine that most people think of them as).
What have you done?
> so i don't have to watch all of my friends
> riding bicycles get hit. and so i won't get hit again myself."
While I completely agree that it's dangerous out there on a bike, I've
noticed two things:
1. It's not just bikers who get hit and harassed. Pretty much anyone at
all is fair game. Whether you are on a bike, in a car, walking, or even
trains (these days), people have no prejudice when it comes to putting
you in danger.
2. The danger seems to stem mostly from the tendency for everyone to
travel with little or no concern for anyone but themselves. It's like
everyone is stuck in some bad video game. (The folks who make Grand
Theft Auto could easily use Boston as one of their locations...)
I, do however, agree that enforcement should be the last resort, as
opposed to one of the first. Without a serious effort to educate all
road users (including bicyclists) of the laws and general safety
information, you really can't expect people to know what to do.
Something like 90% of car-bike crashes happen because someone is doing
something wrong (and that something is usually illegal). I'm sure the
figure for car-car or car-pedestrian crashes is similarly high.
Imagine how safe, and pleasant the streets would be if everyone
respected the laws and everyone else?
peace (on the roads) begins with you
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