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  •  When you were a biker, did you run (4+ / 0-)

    every single red light, like almost all of the bikers I see on the road?

    And it's especially dangerous/annoying when this means that a long line of cars has to pass the biker several times on a 2 lane road because the cars have to stop at lights, while the biker just ignores all traffic safety laws.

    •  Agreed. The issue isn't about equal access (7+ / 0-)

      equal treatment, or even equality.   Bicycles are supposed to obey the traffic laws, just like the cars.   I often drive through a university campus and have gotten to where I cringe every time I see a bicycle because more often than not they disregard every traffic rule.  Stop at a stop sign, not on a bike.  Give any sort of turn signal, not on a bike.  Right of way at an intersection, assume the bike has it, always.  Bikes belong on the road, not the sidewalk, insane I tell you.

      I've also had some issues with pedestrians.  They have a designated time and place to cross the road and when a single or even a group of them decides that they want to whenever and wherever it is suddenly convenient, it can create a real dangerous situation.

      In the end, most of it comes down to common courtesy.  If everyone followed that, we wouldn't need to make up rules and laws in the name of safety.

      "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

      by blackhand on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:20:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In not all places is this illegal. (9+ / 0-)

        In Idaho, where I live, the bicycle laws—passed in the '80s—are surprisingly progressive. The Idaho Stop Law allows a cyclist to treat a stop sign as a yield sign (requiring him/her to stop only if there are other cars to whom they must yield) and stop lights as stop signs (stop, the proceed). Right turns on red are treated as yield signs.

        Now, this is not an excuse to proceed willy-nilly through intersections without any situational awareness, but it does allow me to keep my momentum, especially in a residential neighborhood with stop signs every block, little to no traffic and decent visibility. Also, if I'm using the full lane in town—where I can maintain the same speed as a car due to traffic signals—I won't rush around the line of cars at the light, unless there is a bike lane and it's open (free of snow or other debris).

        Most states are different; however, I wish they would follow Idaho's example. In the 30 years since the laws were changed, accidents and fatalities have dropped considerably. While some people may be breaking the law, I would try to learn the bicycle laws of a state before judging a cyclist as an uninformed motorist, just as a general rule.

        "The patriarchal form of government readily becomes despotic, as each person may see in his own family. Fathers…behold with impatience a new character and way of thinking… An empire is an immense egotism." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 'The Young American'

        by JuDGe3690 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:34:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bikers burn carbohydrates, not hydrocarbons... (6+ / 0-)

      ...if I see one fail to make a full stop to conserve momentum - while I'm sitting on my ass behind the wheel, spewing CO2 out my tailpipe in air-conditioned comfort - I'll cut the biker a little slack.

      I do cringe, however, when I see a road warrior in neon spandex blast through an intersection without even coasting long enough to look left and right.

      “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
      he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

      by jjohnjj on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:53:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I almost ran over Lance Armstrong twice!! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tempus Figits, aratinga

        I live in Austin, and here the bicyclists and pedestrians act as if there are no laws, other than the fact they have the right of way in all cases.

        I can't defend the cops for how they treated the pedestrian they arrested.  However the area they were patrolling is completely out of control.  It is very difficult and dangerous to drive there because it is a busy part of the University of Texas campus, and students walk around like cars don't exist at all.  And a jogger that jaywalks while wearing earbuds so they can't hear cars honking or cops yelling at them, that is just the icing on the cake.

        The cops should not have arrested her, that entire event is entirely bogus.  However the fact she was jaywalking while jogging is a self-deafened state, she is part of the problem those cops were there to stop...  She is actually part of a problem a big larger than her bogus arrest.  So she deserves the ticket, if not several.

        But the cops are clearly part of a larger problem here in Austin as well.  They have a tendency to over react, and once they have a chance to calm down and rethink, they don't... they just keep on doing what they are doing wrong...  This arrested jogger is an example.

        but to explain the subject line, in my time in Austin, I have encountered Lance Armstrong exactly twice, and both times he was attempting to suicide under the wheels of my car.  Typical Austin cyclist... The first time I'm at a red light signalling a right turn, sitting one car back from the light.  The light turns green, and I'm driving forward, and as I reach the corner and start turning right, lance and another cyclist come speeding past me on the right, and bounce off my bumper as they illegally pass me in the middle of my legal right turn.  As they clear me and continue across the intersection, Lance turns to look at me, and shoots me the finger.

        The second time was a few years ago, before his big controversy...  I was driving on a public street, and was blocked by a large number of people in the road, that were the crew for a photographer taking a picture of someone on a bike.  I waited patiently behind someone directing traffic, as the photographer finished up, and they cleared everyone out of the road.  Once the road was clear, they flagged me to proceed.  As I'm driving by what looked like a movie shoot, someone suddenly takes several steps into the roadway with his back toward me...  so I slam on my brakes, stopping short of hitting him, and making enough noise to make him turn and face me, and it was Lance, once again giving me a dirty look as if I was the one that did something wrong.

        But yes, Lance with his cheating and self-absorbed way of treating the people around him is a perfect representation of the bicycle and pedestrian problem we have in some parts of Austin.  They feel so entitled to their "right of way" that they act like all cars must cease to exist when they are on the road.  Never mind that it is difficult to avoid running them over when they do something stupid.

        So forgive my rant... I think the cops were trying to do something we need... but they over reacted and failed to re-assess the situation once they had it under control.  No excuse for it.

    •  Where do you live, with such scofflaw cyclists? (7+ / 0-)

      I live in the SF Bay Area. We have a lot of cyclists here. Some of them, unfortunately, run red lights, but most of them don't.

      No place that I've ridden has "almost all" cyclists running red lights. I've ridden in over half of US states.

      I've observed that if I'm with a driver who says that "almost all" cyclists run red lights, I start pointing out lawful cyclists. "See that guy over there waiting? See that woman there? Also see those two drivers failing to come to a full stop at that stop sign?" And the person is forced to admit that they noticed bad behavior in cyclists but not good behavior, and don't notice bad behavior in drivers.

      •  Seattle (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JerryNA, thanatokephaloides

        I also see cyclists do what they want, when they want, all of the time.  Many also ignore pedestrians and expect them to stay out of their way on sidewalks and shared paths.

        The best safety item for bicycles are LED lights, used in the daytime as well as night.  You can see a flashing LED a couple of blocks away in the day, giving drivers ample time to adjust.  The alternative is the driver suddenly coming upon a bicycle and having seconds to avoid them (which is why they are so cranky about bicycles on the street).  If I drive without headlights on in the city, I always get cars trying to make turns in front of me.  If they can't see a car coming, what hope is there for a bicycle?

      •  scofflaw cyclists (0+ / 0-)
        Where do you live, with such scofflaw cyclists?
        It could be Colorado Springs, Colorado.

        Ever since the US Olympic Committee located here, our roads have been infested with "cyclists" like this. Neon spandex-clad scofflaw you-know-whats, who treat all their fellow road-users (cyclists, pedestrians, and motorized alike) like crap. These are to cycling what runners are to pedestrianism: folks functioning at an idiotic level because the blood has left their brains.

        I'm an old ex-highway cyclist. I followed the laws and used the best courtesy I could, including actually stopping when signs and signals called for it. Maintaining momentum isn't as important as showing a little love to your fellows on the road.

        But I guess that's all passe' today.....

        :-<

        "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

        by thanatokephaloides on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:34:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In Austin (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aratinga

        In Austin near the university areas, bicyclists and pedestrians act as if cars don't exist, and there are no traffic laws.

        We have a lot of wealthy people riding bikes, they aren't all students.  Many are legislators, lawyers, and other high-profile professionals.  Enough so that they frequently run media campaigns urging motorists to respect the bicyclists...

        But in my experience this is not just in Austin.  It is everywhere that you have a concentration of pedestrians and bicyclists.  College towns are especially bad, and many campuses are difficult to drive through because of the problem.  The college kids don't seem to even know the "stop and look both ways" rules... and they act like there are no traffic laws...

      •  Buffalo (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aratinga

        Where they are frequently riding in the middle of the lane straight at me.  I usually loop into the oncoming traffic lane in order to avoid them but there are often times when that is not even close to being an option.  At those times it frequently becomes a game of chicken where I am having to slam on my brakes in order to avoid hitting the person.

        There was once when I had stopped almost 100 feet in front of the cyclist and he ran into the front of my stopped in the road vehicle due to the fact that there was a bicycle coming directly at me and full line of cars in the oncoming lane.  Apparently the bicyclist figured it was easier for the car to swing to the side of the road and onto the sidewalk to avoid him from a stopped position than it was for him to leave the top dead center of the lane and give room so that both of us could get around each other safely.

        A person's character is measured by how they treat everyone. Not just your pet group.

        by Tempus Figits on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:54:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are saying that cyclists in Buffalo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aratinga

          frequently ride in the middle of the lane, going the wrong way in traffic? So that you're driving along, and all of a sudden a cyclist is coming right at you in your lane? That's insane.  

          It's hard for me to believe this is common cyclist behavior, merely because something like that is Darwin Award material. Cyclists couldn't make a habit of something so dangerous because they'd all be mowed down.

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