[*BCM*] Why massbike owes me $20
lungfish at fastmail.fm
Sat Jul 23 13:11:55 EDT 2005
So I got pulled over last night too- some cops demands my ID, writes up
a citation for $20, and make plenty of entertaining banter in the
meantime. For example, like any self respecting individual I questioned
the need to show my papers to some cop for not having a front light.
They say that bikes are now LEGALLY THE SAME as cars. Hmm, that's
certainly different than previous laws which say that bikes have to
follow the rules of the road, but are still DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT than
So, knowing of Massbike's recent cop-collaboration, upon getting home I
look up the entire text of the bike legislation they just had passed.
So here are my questions:
-what is the utility of making cyclists identify themselves? We don't
need licenses, what is there to prove except that this legislation
furthers a sense of fear and state supremacy? I guess it's ok to
complain about "big brother" when you're talking about the president,
but not in regards to liberal politiking.
-Take a typical, unlit cyclist- no headlamp, no backlight, no "retro
reflective material on each shoe"- how is charging them $20-60 exactly
going to help them get equipped to bike safely?
-Where is this money going? Certainly not the the individual biker's
-Why is massbike putting in effort to pass unenforceable legislation
regarding car/bike interaction? And "recommending" signage?
- If this law went one step further, we'd need licenses to ride a bike.
This type of thing is exactly the type of "regressive tax" that
Democrats like to complain about- only this time it's not the
republicans doing it, so it's ok, right? At work, everyday, I see
people who can afford $300-$1000 bikes, either because they put all of
their money into bike gear, or (more likely) because they just have a
lot of money! I also see people riding bikes they found in the trash,
had passed down to them, or don't have the time or money to keep them in
good shape. Guess which of these are going to have more trouble paying
both $20 on their ticket? I might have a little bit of respect for
massbike if they did something that might actually benefit bikers in any
way- such as setting up this program so that the cops/ massbike buy
light sets wholesale, ticket bikers for the cost, and send them off with
a light set. But of course, who would do that? It wouldn't gain revenue
for the cambridge cops, would it?
The biggest flaw in this strategy of "cracking down" on bikers is that,
like any law passed from above, it teaches people to evade the law, not
to ride responsibly; that is, unless there is a cop on every single
street corner taking IDs and giving tickets constantly.
Telling bikers, on the massbike website, that the most important thing
they can do for bicycle advocacy is join their mailing list, is like
telling a battered wife to ask her abuser to take her back.
And one final word, it was obvious all along that, from the outset,
CRITICAL MASS WOULD BE ILLEGAL ACCORDING TO ANY OF MASSBIKE'S TENETS.
You people only use this list to advertise for yourselves- you are
parasites, and have no place on this mailing list.
http://www.fastmail.fm - A fast, anti-spam email service.
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