By “assholes” you mean that they refuse to ride in the gutter so motorists can squeeze by dangerously. “Share the road” means to motorists “get the fuck out of my way. My choice of transport confers special rights you don’t have”. To cyclists it means “please don’t kill me”.
You clearly aren’t in California.
West coast, but further north. Just giving up and ceding public roads to the exclusive storage and use of private cars is simply not something I’m going to accept. Getting into personal metal boxes, complete with sofas, entertainment systems and touch screens, and then getting in each others’ way, polluting the air, and killing 40,000 of our families, friends, innocent others and ourselves every year (and maiming and injuring hundreds of thousands), doesn’t have to be how it is.
Perhaps you live in a compact metropolitan area with an excellent public transportation system? If so this is a position of extreme privilege from which to make absolutist pronouncements.
I live in the suburbs of a regular city with a middling transit system. I’m not denying that millions feel completely dependent on their fucking cars. I just want them to stop leaving them laying about on public property, to stop killing people with them, and to think twice before accepting the status quo. While ever monster trucks and SUVs the size of a Parisian appartment, most with one occupant, are the most common vehicles on city streets, I can’t accept the arguments that appalling toll private vehicles cause is simply an inevitable cost of people constantly needing to be somewhere different to where they are.
Millions are dependent on their cars; there needs to be a massive shift in our infrastructure for that to not be the case (and it will never be the case that bicycles will be useful on Highway 1 near @jlw or me). When I was in college in the 70s we assumed oil would run out by now and everyone would be forced to find alternatives, but petro engineers were too damn good; you can blame them for the popularity of SUVs.
I am sure the ride is stunningly beautiful, and also pretty suicidal. The 3 Foot law plus the idiotic new CalTrans divot-ed center divider is making things extra scary for motorcycles, cars and bicycles from Tam Junction to Bolinas.
When the road slid due to rain storms 2 years ago it was fun to ride the remainder via pedal powered bike from Muir Beach to Stinson in relative safety. Kinda Planet of the Apes-ish.
Don’t let perfect be the enemy of great. Millions of people live in circumstances where better transit, and infrastructure for vulnerable road users, could dramatically reduce our toxic dependence on private motor vehicles. Rural areas are more challenging, but not many people actually live there. (That’s what makes them “rural”)
Don’t let perfect be the enemy of great.
Fine by me, I didn’t introduce the idea of an “ideal world”.
When I lived in rural England I walked to the greengrocer, butcher, etc for my food and could get to work in a nearby city by riding my bicycle to a train, getting on the train with the bike, getting off a few stops down the road and cycling the rest of the way. It was great, and I would love to be able to do that in the US, but for the foreseeable future it is nearly impossible nearly everywhere in North America. (Alas, it can’t be done anymore where I used to live in England either, as on the train I used to take they eliminated the guard vans – where I could stand with my bike – and the train has become disgustingly expensive.)
Meanwhile, let’s not excoriate @jlw for not being willing to bicycle on roads not suitable for bicycling, or the drivers for needing to use roads to get around.
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