[*BCM*] The movement AGAINST cyclists
axw at michelmores.com
Mon Jun 5 10:11:46 EDT 2006
First off, I speak from bias. I had two nicely cracked ribs from a
cyclist who hit me while crossing a street. He was biking the wrong way
up a one way street, and of course screamed at me for "stepping in front
of him." 200 lbs at momentum is quite a bit to get hit with.
If I recall correctly, the article said that at ONE crossing, four
children and one grandmother have been hit by cyclists. Plus the other
person cited (who's been off work for three years) who was hit at
another location who's joined the group. The mothers found 60% of
cyclists jumping the red light, which is even worse than the 50% figure
the RAC found.
The problem with the "I don't see why bikes can't when it is safe for
everyone" logic, is that it is just as easy to say "I don't see why cars
can't when it is safe for everyone." Either it is, or it isn't.
From: bostoncriticalmass-bounces at bostoncriticalmass.org
[mailto:bostoncriticalmass-bounces at bostoncriticalmass.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: 05 June 2006 15:00
To: Boston Critical Mass
Subject: Re: [*BCM*] The movement AGAINST cyclists
Boston Critical Mass <list at bostoncriticalmass.org> wrote:
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> I stop at red lights, look all around me, then if it is safe, I go.
> The right of way should be as follows: Pedestrians, Powered wheel
> chairs, Cyclists, Vespas, Cars. (notice i did not mention suv's).
> Pedestrians can cross streets any time they want so long as it is
> safe, I don't see why cyclists can't cross intersections at red lights
when it is safe for everyone.
The problem with this is it's not reality. In reality, in the Western
World, there are traffic laws that generally don't descriminate against
different types of vehicle operators. Your own plan for traffic law may
well be a good one, but it's simply not reality right now. So, when you
disobey the actual traffic laws it shows the rest of us that you have no
respect for others, and gives bicyclists a bad name. Is that the
impression you are looking to express?
If you really believe that your traffic regulation is better, then
promote it to everyone and get it passed into law, or at least accepted
by society. In the meantime, if you have respect for others, they will
have respect for you, both on the roads and in the political arena.
Even if you don't agree with others, showing respect for their beliefs
and traditions gives you far more power than discounting them does.
> The interview paints a picture that all cyclists blindly run red
> lights and aim for small children...
Are you sure? I got a very different picture from the article. I read
that the author believes that only a small number of cyclsits are really
abusive while most others, such as the author himself, are simply not
aware of how dangerous their driving may be.
> Somehow I think there is an
> over protective mother who's child was nearly hit by a bike, and now
> she must start a crusade against all cyclists to prevent it from ever
Are you implying that kids SHOULD be hit or scared? Should parents just
sit down and shut up when illegal and dangerous behavior threatens their
kids? Should we just chain our kids to the sofa until they are 16 and
can drive themselves in armored vehicles to school and work?
I'm sure you don't really think that!
All cyclists, and motorists, and skateboardists, and horseback riders,
and everyone else should be respectful of kids who are using the
roadways. Vehicles of all sizes can easilly be quite dangerous, and the
operators of said vehicles are ultimately the only ones who can be
responsible for avoiding crashes and other dangerous incidents. We are
the adults here... Well, there are probably some younger folks on this
list, too, so maybe you aren't an adult, so maybe you have an excuse for
not taking responsiblity for yourself. Anyway for those of us who are
adults, we need to take responsibility for our own behavior, and that
includes being respectful of other people's rights.
> If it were a car that nearly
> hit a kid, there would be no crusade, just a woman with a lawsuit
> against that ONE driver, not ALL car drivers.
I beg to differ. Have you ever heard of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The message is, in fact, aimed at ALL drivers.
Also, as you may have noticed, it's not just a single incident. It's a
trend. Seen not just in England, but in the US, too. I think the
problem is that society, the government, and the educational system
hasn't taken cycling seriously. People aren't tought that bikes are
respectable vehicles on the roads that are subject to the same traffic
laws as any other vehicle on the roads. So, unfortunately, many
cyclists either don't know how to bike respectfully, or see bikes as
symbols of rebellion against the system. And non-cyclists, too, don't
get the message that cyclists are the same as they are, so they treat
cyclists as unwelcome outsiders on the roads. In either case, you get
dangerous (unintentional or intentional) driving by everyone. The only
cure I've seen is to promote the Same Roads, Same Rules, Same Rights
idea. I, myself, try to impress upon my students the idea that biking
is a normal and respectable way to travel.
"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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