Originally Posted by mcbear
I am completely with you on the Critical Mass issue. I don't like that form of bicycle protest but that was not what Cigar was suggesting, if I read his post correctly.
And I also agree with riding down sidewalks, a big no-no. But that has nothing to do with riders who share the road.
As for the "vehicles that cannot avoid them", in an urban environment I was taught that a bike or pedestrian or child or dog could always surprise you and to drive accordingly. It's the law.
Merely speaking as a bicyclist and stating to automobile drivers "Obey the commuting laws and all will go well" and "get use to us" solves nothing.
That sounds to me a lot like the "critical mass" argument wrapped up in sweet words.
That argument cuts both ways. With rights also come responsibilities.
With the cacaphony of bicyclists seeking their "rights" to ply the roads, there
seems to be all to often a deafening silence with respect to their responsibilites.
Bicyclists seeking to share the road with automobiles ought to also respect the rules of the road, even though they are not required licenses to drive.
~~~they should obey all traffic laws, not run through red lights and stop signs, not ride in the middle of 40 mph traffic lanes at 15 mph and cause bottlenecks,
and not do figure eights on their bicycles in the middle of intersections so aas not to lose momentum and have to put their feet down and wait for the light to change.
The weight and speed of bicycles themselves simply dont lend themselves to mixing with traffic.
That is why I am for and personally respect them in large cities. The bicycles should stick to them and feel reasonably safe in traversing them safely.
And the drivers DO abuse the bicycle lanes.
~~~Beer and soft drink drink trucks routinely double park in them, as do privagte vehicles.
~~~Most bicyclists who use them can tell stories of getting "doored", by careless auto drivers who fling their drivers doors open without checking for cyclists before they open them.
~~~cars which cut across bike lanes without looking.
In sum, BOTH sides need to co exist by showign awareness and respect for one another, and obey ALL traffic laws.
Automobiles should be able to travel in the traffic lanes without being forced to deal with traffic law breaking, or slow bicycles in them.
Abandoning cars altogether simply won't work, yet. The distances are too great, children and infants, groceries and other impedimentia can't be easily carried on them, and bicycles aren't practical in snow and other adverse weather conditions, and just not efficient to travel longer distances.
I took the bus and walked whenever possible, but sometimes you simply cannot do it.
However, I do agree completely with your comments about the SUV being foisted upon a market that didn't need them to the extent that they were markeeted as essential for so many things.