[*BCM*] Longfellow / Cambridge Bike Police
gbuckland at gmail.com
Wed Jul 30 17:03:41 EDT 2008
I like that Max. We need systemic changes, not more tickets.
We have a system that radically favors cars. Huge, inefficient, polluting,
lethal cars. Their size speed, numbers, and the law are all on their side
in any matchup. What we need isn't more enforcement of traffic laws for
bikes OR cars. We need to redesign the system to give bikes more space,
freedom, safety, and keep them out of the path of motorists.
I was in Montreal a couple weeks ago and felt like I was in a dream - a
dedicated network of separated two-way bike lanes, complete with bike
traffic lights, criss-crossed the whole city. I could go within 6 blocks of
anywhere by bike without riding in traffic. I think this would defuse or
avoid almost all of the bike incidents described. Plus there will be more
cyclists and fewer motorists to start with - better for everyone.
We need Boston to look like one of these cities:
There will always be accidents. Sometimes someone is at fault, and
sometimes no one is. Self-righteousness on anyone's part doesn't help
(though it feels good in the immediate present). We need a system that
lowers the numbers and frequency of accidents, and we need more compassion
toward other people (car, cyclist, pedestrian, or anyone). We rely too
quickly on violence and confrontation to resolve conflict because it's easy,
but it's going to get us all killed (quite seriously).
I know I sometimes nurse bike-rage when someone cuts me off, or an SUV turns
right into me (as happened today near BU). I want to whip out my U-lock and
smash some glass just to feel like I'm on even footing with this hulking,
insensitive creature. But then the moment passes, and I know that 1) that
wouldn't *help* anyone and 2) there is a human there, who deserves my
respect and compassion.
That's about when I realize, we need to build a better system for bikers,
pedestrians, T-riders, skaters, unicyclists, joggers, pogo-stickers, humans
and levitators (and make urban transit by car obsolete, if not downright
Lastly regarding police: I really struggle with an institution whose entire
being is predicated on violence or the threat of it. I respect individual
cops as people, and I am generally law-abiding and courteous toward them.
But I think that the current institution of police is rotten to the core and
that increased police enforcement is rarely the best solution to any
I would like to read more solutions-oriented thoughts, like Max's. I think
there's a lot of creativity out there, and I'd love to see more of it.
With best intentions, but probably not the best words,
On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 4:37 PM, Max Roland Ekstrom <ekstrom at gmail.com>wrote:
> I think we should have a red, yellow, blue, and green light cycle.
> Blue means bikes can go. That would pretty much solve all my problems
> with trying to anticipate the green so I can get out of the way of
> cars without getting doored or crushed by fenders which turn into
> intersections without regard for cyclists. Until then, I'll going to
> go when the coast is clearest and live a longer life.
> Boston Critical Mass mailing list
> list at bostoncriticalmass.org
> To unsubscribe email list-unsubscribe at bostoncriticalmass.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Bostoncriticalmass