#1 By: Cory Doctorow, January 1st, 2014 12:01
#2 By: Kevin Thoman, January 1st, 2014 12:34
More like "To Obstruct and Make Swerve", amirite?
#3 By: Robert Prinz, January 1st, 2014 12:51
Here in Oakland where I live there are no bike lanes, there are only auxiliary car loading/parking/waiting/stopping zones that look like bike lanes. Delivery drivers regularly choose to park in the single bike lane, as opposed to one of the multiple other through lanes running alongside it. More than half the time I see a car stopped in a bike lane there is an open parking spot less than 200 feet away. This is a symptom of the open animosity, disrespect, and hostility (intentional or not) the average driver has toward bicycles and bike infrastructure, regardless of the actions of the people riding said bikes.
Blocking bike lanes may seem innocuous but it's stuff like this which turns ordinary people off to the idea of bicycling themselves, which means more cars in the street and less safety for everyone.
#4 By: Shuck, January 1st, 2014 13:02
In the SF bay area, I frequently see multiple cop cars stopped in the bike lanes - so the drivers can have nice long chats with each other. They'll stay there for quite a while, either double-parked or just five feet out from the curb.
#5 By: Eli, January 1st, 2014 13:22
#6 By: rider, January 1st, 2014 13:29
Yes because occasional blockages in the bike lane mean you should never have to use the bike lane.
So tired of this lame argument.
#7 By: mkirkland, January 1st, 2014 13:40
Oh I assure you, that animosity is entirely based on the behaviour of the people riding said bikes.
#8 By: Robert Prinz, January 1st, 2014 14:09
No, that's just an easy excuse that people use so not to have to take responsibility for their own behavior. Everyone on the streets (people in cars, on bikes, and on foot) frequently break traffic laws, but it's easiest to just point at the cyclists as the "scofflaws" because they are in the minority and easy to point out as the "other" who doesn't belong, in part because our infrastructure does the least to accommodate them as a group. Many non-cyclists I talk to notice the infractions made by people on bikes while simultaneously ignoring those made just as frequently by other road users, regardless of the actual impact of said infractions. It's called confirmation bias.
Putting a person on a bike doesn't change that person, so if there is a significant amount of rule breaking among unrelated individuals traveling by bike then that should lead us to believe the behavior is in reaction to the environment. This theory is also confirmed by the fact that cities with better bicycle facilities also see more compliance among bicyclists. Creating risky facilities for bicyclists also weeds out those potential riders who are more risk-averse, which creates a self-selecting environment for a more aggressive ridership.
#9 By: mkirkland, January 1st, 2014 14:23
You've managed to refute your own argument. As you say, there isn't the infrastructure for cycling, so cyclists will necessarily be the people willing to ignore the rules of the road.
#10 By: Acer Platanoides , January 1st, 2014 14:46
Bicyclists really do have a POV different from motor vehicle operators.
#11 By: Robert Prinz, January 1st, 2014 14:55
No, just because I admit that there is a significant amount of rule breaking among cyclists that could be mitigated through improved infrastructure doesn't mean that the same thing shouldn't also apply to drivers. Common driver infractions like speeding, unsafe/illegal turns, and yes even blocking bike lanes could all be lessened via design changes.
When it comes to changing attitudes, however, the most signicant thing we can do is to get more people to have an experience riding a bike for transportation, even if they don't do so regularly. This way they have a common experience with people on bikes they encounter while driving, are less likely to see them as an "other", and then become more rational and understanding about the actions of individuals without applying them to people in bikes as a "class". This is what makes public bike share systems like New York's CitiBike so powerful in terms of facilitating a culture shift.
#12 By: Kelly , January 1st, 2014 15:10
But this really has almost nothing to do with cyclists. Rather it is just another example of cops being assholes and breaking a law or rule just because they can get away with it.
#13 By: Acer Platanoides , January 1st, 2014 15:22
but it's easiest to just point at the cyclists as the "scofflaws" because they are in the minority and easy to point out as the "other" who doesn't belong,
this confirmation bias you speak of, are you aware of your own first hand experience with it? Many cyclists I talk to notice the infractions made by people in cars while simultaneously ignoring those made just as frequently by other road users.
This theory is also confirmed by the fact that cities with better bicycle facilities also see more compliance among bicyclists.
What sort of citation can you back up to illuminate this truth? Is it from an American cultural setting? Because reality and practicality matter in terms of what progress can be made on this issue, which does matter,
#14 By: Acer Platanoides , January 1st, 2014 15:22
About the linked blog, I see a lot of pictures taken by someone who is also stopped in the bicycle lane most of the time. And that picture of the van, it's live parked, there is a driver.
#15 By: Sam Paul, January 1st, 2014 15:23
Wait until they find out about UPS, FedEx and Beer Trucks.
#16 By: nox, January 1st, 2014 16:08
Yes, that's clearly the argument being made. Bravo.
#17 By: Val A Lindsay II, January 1st, 2014 16:47
Of course they do. It's the Bear dancing with the Ant; The Bear is never as aware of the nuances and the consequences as the Ant is.
#18 By: AnonymousViewer, January 1st, 2014 17:36
I see police abuse their parking all the time. I live in a large city and routinely watch law enforcement (detectives I imagine) park their unmarked cars (except for the gear inside) for hours at a time without a care. It is just one more little insult to the public that says, "The Law applies to everyone, but me and my fat friends eating lunch."
#19 By: AnonymousViewer, January 1st, 2014 17:37
LOL! Excellent point. I actually see those get ticketed on occasion. Usually the company just pays the bill. I imagine it is written off as a business expense.
#20 By: Beryl_MacLachlan, January 1st, 2014 18:34
I think the source of the impression that cyclists are particularly bad with traffic laws is that there are not well-developed expectations about which laws a cyclist will ignore--not in the same way those expectations exist for cars. I'm in Illinois right now, and can tell you that speed limits are treated as minimums, turn signals are used more than in some places but are still optional, pedestrian right-of-way laws are ignored to the point that is causes problems when a vehicle obeys them, and so on.
For all that, things are pretty predictable, and it's not a bad area to drive. From what I can tell, cyclists are a little less likely to be breaking a law at any given moment because, unlike motor vehicles, they aren't consistently speeding. But they're harder to deal with because they're too uncommon to seem predictable.
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