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My local powers that be are freaking out over poorly behaved cyclists:

Such has been the case in New York’s sixth borough this month, where the deaths of two pedestrians in collisions with cyclists on Philadelphia streets precipitated an uproar in the local press, a crackdown on cyclists by the police and a new round of proposed legislation to fight the perceived scourge of scofflaw riders.

Apparently, white people on fixies are the new menace on the streets.

As a mostly pedestrian and SEPTA taker, I can't really get that excited.  Sure, there was a little transition period when the new bike lane went in on my street, where drivers tried to figure out whether it was ok to park in it (no, but a few cyclists were a little douchy about it).

But overall, the experience of being a Philly pedestrian is that people are run over all the time by cars.  And that's been going on for quite a while.  I wish the powers that be would be a little more interested in dealing with that problem (link is to an NY case, but it's nearly impossible to get sent to jail for running people over anywhere).

This is a short diary because there's so little to say.  At least here we have a nice system of sidewalks, which suburbia doesn't provide.

UPDATE: Though Christian Lander seems a bit smug, he has a point about one view raised in the comments, which is that people should "ride in the park":

And finally, they love expensive Road Bikes and the accompanying spandex uniforms. This enables them to ride long distances and wear really tight clothes without any social stigmas. These types of riders will spend upwards of $5,000 on a bicycle and up to $400 on accessories, but will not ride to work.

In a city with one train on the x-axis and one on the y-axis, many people need their bikes to get to work.  That is why we have such a nice system of bike lanes.  This subway-taker would much rather people bike to work than ruin the sidewalk with those stupid garages because of the need for added cars.

UPDATE 2: Charles Mudede writes on this topic:

If the car is the shumba (lion) of the street, and the cyclist its mbizi (zebra), then the pedestrian is certainly its mhembewe (the buck). And we have in this jungle a continuum of arrogance: The arrogance a driver presents to a cyclist is continued by the arrogance a cyclists often presents to a pedestrian. The woman who almost ran over me a moment ago on the corner of Broadway and Pike had it in her mind that it was me who had to make way for her. And if I did not (I did—I had no choice in the matter), she would have rubbered me with her wheels. That is the law of the jungle.

I usually like his stuff, but in the city, the driver shows the same arrogance to the pedestrian.  He's sort of missing the point.  From the comments:

I was hit once in the middle of the crossing at 18th and Rittenhouse - just a bruised thigh and popped knee, but the SOB didn't stop. Cops couldn't find her. I have two friends who were hit while riding their bikes in the bike lanes on the Parkway.

That is my neighborhood.  I am not surprised.

Originally posted to theran on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 08:23 PM PST.


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