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View Diary: Republicans are so petty they want to cut bike safety (126 comments)

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  •  I think lack of connectivity (6+ / 0-)

    is a problem. If we are serious about using bikes as a means of transportation (full disclosure - my husband bikes to work about 90% of the time) we need to educate drivers and bikers safe road sharing methods. Greenways are great and serve a large portion of the population, they just don't always go where you need them to.

    •  I have friends (4+ / 0-)

      who brag about acing cyclists off the road.  They think we have no right to be on them.  Where I live, I'm scared to death to ride on a public highway.  

      My wife was once pushed by a car rider going over a river bridge, and she narrowly missed going into the water. Apparently the passenger thought it was funny.  She won't bike on even a side road to this day.  

      Ask not for whom the ban hammer swings. It swings for thee.

      by Nada Lemming on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 11:53:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  riding on the road is not for everyone (6+ / 0-)

        there are different levels of skills - I certainly wouldn't send my younger kid off to ride on a state hwy - but my husband knows what he's doing and he knows it's legal - we just have to educate the drivers that they don't own the road. We live outside of DC in MD - there are more than a fair share of crazy drivers who assume that biking on the road is illegal - my husband was even pulled over by a policeman for biking on the road - he informed the guy of his rights and called the station chief to educate his force. My husband is a member of several bike advocacy groups and there have been improvements over the years - he has gotten wider shoulders put in whenever he sees that a major road is being repaved and he's very aware of what type of sewer grates they use.

        In the summers we go to Boulder Co - a biker's paradise - roads with wide shoulders - bike paths that connect and reasonable drivers.

        •  There are so many levels of WTF going on here. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ginger1, enhydra lutris, Sue B, murrayewv

          Educating drivers about cyclists' road rights is a great idea - I just haven't been able to figure out a way to do it in ~30 years as an adult cyclist. Maybe we could have all drivers (including cyclists) who are guilty of offenses against cyclists sentenced to bike safety courses, and then to spending some quality time out on the road on a bike so they get it from the cyclist's point of view. Most of the time, though, such punitive tactics are unhelpful. Even worse, IMHO, is when even the COPS don't know the law. We get yelled at to ride on sidewalks, for example, when in most localities it's against the law to do so at more than 8 mph. It's also dangerous as hell to do so in downtown areas, and often illegal in the bargain. We need to have this kind of crap smacked down every time it happens..

          Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

          by OrdinaryIowan on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:36:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  a start (and just a start) to educating drivers (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OrdinaryIowan, murrayewv, flight2q

            are the share the road signs that are popping up - but there is such a long way to go. Our local elementary school which is named for an environmentalist and located in a "walkable" community has no bike racks. My husband requested that they put some in and was told by the principal that any parent who lets their kid bike to school is out of their mind and any child who shows up on a bike will be suspended for the day. This did not sit well with the hubby who called the school headquarters and was told that the decision to put in bike racks is entirely up to each principal. Husband offered to have his advocacy group go into the school and give the kids and their parents classes in bike safety - the principal emphatically declined. It could have been a teachable moment - sigh. We have a tandem bike - so our son did show up most days on a bike.

            •  It's possible to remediate lack of information.. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ginger1, Sue B, kait, murrayewv

              but you can't fix stupid.

              Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

              by OrdinaryIowan on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:52:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Depending on the location of the school and the (0+ / 0-)

              safety of bicycling on them it the principal's position may be totally reasonable.

              No level of environmental correctness is worth dead or maimed kids.

              •  Topsy turvy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OrdinaryIowan

                In reality it is those driving their kids to school who are causing the danger you refer to. At this school it is our experience that half of the kids who are supposed to take the bus, are driven in a car. And a large fraction of those who are supposed to walk (less than 1 mile in a neighborhood specifically designed to be walkable and bikeable) are driven in a car.

                In such a situation we have a choice. We can either discourage those causing the problem, or we can make the victims unwelcome. Do you deal with the problem of bullying by expelling the victims so that the bullies will have less targets? I hope that would not be your choice.

                •  Wow! Some arrogance here! (0+ / 0-)
                  In reality it is those driving their kids to school who are causing the danger you refer to.

                  What about all the other cars on the road?  Or has your school built a private road system to each student's house?

                  half of the kids who are supposed to take the bus, are driven in a car

                  "Supposed to take the bus"?!?  Who decided that these kids were SUPPOSED to take the bus?!?

                  And a large fraction of those who are supposed to walk (less than 1 mile in a neighborhood specifically designed to be walkable and bikeable) are driven in a car.

                  "Supposed to walk"?!?  And who decided that?

                  One gets the impression that there are some would be ayatollahs at your school who want to micromanage the lives of the students and their families!

                  In such a situation we have a choice. We can either discourage those causing the problem, or we can make the victims unwelcome.

                  So you're going to discourage families from driving their kids to school?  Good luck.  I'm pretty sure you'll get your head handed to you.

                  Do you deal with the problem of bullying by expelling the victims so that the bullies will have less targets?

                  Sorry, Einstein, but driving your kids to school is not the same as bullying other people.

      •  i think you need to find some different friends. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ginger1, Iberian, murrayewv

        They sound like the kind of "friends" that would have had a great time enjoying a picnic lunch at a lynching. No disrespect meant to you, NL - I haven't seen anything in your posts to suggest you share their point of view.

        Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

        by OrdinaryIowan on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:24:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am a cyclist (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OrdinaryIowan, Jay C

          As I referenced above. It scared the crap out of me when I hear that stuff.  I shouldn't have said friends, though.  I meant co-workers, which pass as friends these days.  To be fair, I had told one of them that I viewed sushi as bait, while he was eating sushi.  

          Ask not for whom the ban hammer swings. It swings for thee.

          by Nada Lemming on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:30:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's where I hear it the most, too.. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jay C, Nada Lemming

            snatches of conversation with ignorant-as-bricks co-workers who are amused by acts of cowardice and brutality. Most (99+%) of the motoring public is at least accomodating, if not supportive - but it only takes one bastard..

            Your black cards can make you money, so you hide them when you're able; in the land of milk and honey, you must put them on the table - Steely Dan

            by OrdinaryIowan on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 12:43:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Understand that. We try very hard to stick (0+ / 0-)

        to bike paths.

        There's another issue:

        People are much more likely to ride their bikes if they feel safe doing so.  Protecting cyclists from idiot drivers who could kill them on a whim (or just carelessness) is a money maker/saver.

        Just the other day, my wife and I were on the tail end of our morning ride, going down a nice hill with a sharp left at the bottom.  A car came up along my wife and the driver shouted "Get out of the way."

        Pissed me off royally because I was up ahead a bit and didn't know it happened.  From here on out, I'll ride behind her and hope the moron in the black BMW shows up again.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 02:15:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  educate? (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah, no there;s not educating that's gonna make using a bike with 2 ton steel machines comin at ya, at 55 MPH.

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