lfpeters at gis.net
Mon Jun 27 08:43:04 EDT 2005
Are Berlin and Amsterdam shining examples bicycle nirvana? The are
definitely wonderful rides for me. I have never felt so safe. (perhaps I
was only mesmerized by the architecture).
From: bostoncriticalmass-bounces at bostoncriticalmass.org
[mailto:bostoncriticalmass-bounces at bostoncriticalmass.org]On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, June 27, 2005 8:10 AM
To: Boston Critical Mass
Subject: RE: [*BCM*] cambridge
Yes. Cambridge is the most bike UNfriendly city or town I've ever
ridden in: The substandard and dangerous bike lanes (which are promoted
as begin "good for" biyclists!), the utter contempt for bicyclists by so
many of the police officers, the elitism and disregard for the average
person by the city officials (including many on the bicycle committee)
an outright dismissal of reasonable discussion on the issues, and the
waste of time and taxpayer's money spent on "proving" their own
preconcieved notions through sloppy and biased "science" and studies.
(They did a study intended to prove that bike lanes were good, and,
natually concluded that they were, but they somehow left out the part
where they collected information on safety - other than ASKING PEOPLE
IF THEY FELT SAFE!)
Oh, and the people who drive cars in Cambridge are simply far more
inattentive than I've ever seen anywhere else. It's not so much that
they are mean, just that they seem to be paying attention to just about
anything except what happens to be right in front of them on the road.
I have no explanation for this...
I have a somewhat different opinion of JP than Pete. I LOVE the fact
that JP has no (or almost no) segregated bikelanes. I like being
treated equally, rather than "special". ALL lanes are bike lanes, by
law (except some limited access expressways). Plus, you simply don't
get that "Get in the bike lane!" crap in JP or the rest of Boston
(except along the SouthWest Corridor, where there is a car-free
sidepath next to the sidewalk).
But back to Cambridge and the CM ride... If any of you were harassed by
the police, please call, email, or write a snail mail letter to the
city (bike committee, police department, mayor, etc.) being as
diplomatic as possible (remember, you are effectively representing all
biyclists here!) and ask them why the police were:
A. Blocking the bike lane?
B. Ordering the bicyclists to ride in the bike lane, when bicyclists
legally have the same rights to use all of the roadway as any other
vehicle operator has? (Remember, Cambridge is the city that hands out
"Bicyclists - Cars: Same Roads. Same Laws." stickers.)
C. Harassing bicyclists, blocking all traffic, and making the roadways
more unpleasant for everyone, rather than trying to work to make the
city a safer place for all road users.
Obviously, CM isn't totally innocent - as many people do intentionally
go slowly, run red lights, and weave all over the roads while riding in
the group - thus making it difficult to defend the riders as respectful
road users who deserve respect in return. But, from the sound of it,
the cops didn't care about that as much as they wanted to discriminate
against bicyclists (who should be in the special bike lane, and
shouldn't be on the "normal" part of the road with the rest of the
"real" vehicle users).
Sorry about the rant. It just really pisses me off that many in the
official bicycling advocacy world put Cambridge up on a pedestal and
parade it around as the shining example of what to do, when the reality
of it is full of so much of the opposite.
P.S. Yeah, I know that this email is not exactly in line with my
signature quote. I'm learning to be compassionate with everyone, even
my "enemies", but I still haven't quite achieved it when it comes to
those who pretend to be doing good, while actually treating people like
"One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we
seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must
pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means." - Martin Luther King Jr.
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