Sunday, June 12, 2011

Four Wheels Good--Two Wheels Bad!

When on a bike, I take great pains
To stay inside the cycle lanes
There may be unexpected stops
But still, it beats the traffic cops.

Actually, the cycle lanes in and around Cuttletown are getting better, but they have been thin, poorly marked, and ignored by drivers. As cycle lanes often are. So when I saw the story of a cyclist, ticketed for riding in a vehicular lane, there wasn't much chance of me siding with the cop. Cars frequently use the bike lane when they need a bit of breathing room--and who can blame them? Much nicer to ding the paint on a bike than to face a truck nose to nose.

But come on--give the same consideration to a bike that needs to travel a car lane!

In theory, bikes and cars both are vehicles, subject to the same laws, and with equal claim to the road. In practice, some vehicles are more equal than others.


Svlad Cjelli said...

In Sweden, cyclists are definitely not pedestrians. They are vehicle drivers.

Cuttlefish said...

In theory, that is the case here. In practice, a good many motorists *and* cyclists are simply confused about what they are.

I know I have confused drivers by actually stopping at stop signs on my bike, and waiting for them when it is their right-of-way at a four way stop. They hold up traffic waving me ahead when it is their turn. On the other hand, I *always* stop, because cars do *not* always stop, and that is a fight I would not win.

Svlad Cjelli said...

Traffic in general is confusing. It's not unusual to see people doing strange things here either.

Die Anyway said...

Half the people in the world are below the Mean in intelligence. And they have driver's licenses.

I actually don't think that they are worse around bicycles. Look at the cars around you next time you're in traffic, at how many are dinged, banged, scrapped, cracked, parts falling off... They hit each other, trees, posts, buildings and sometimes bicycles. But of course, as you say, "that is a fight I [we] would not win."
And I have that same right-of-way issue. On the Pinellas Trail, a rails-to-trails bike/pedestrian path in my neighborhood, there are several street crossings where the stop sign is on the trail and none for the cars. I come to a stop as I should and figure I'll catch my breath, maybe take a drink, while traffic clears. But no... some car stops and waves at me. Now what? A car has stopped in the west bound lane but if there is traffic in the east bound lane I can't go because they don't have a stop sign and may not be prepared for a bicyclist to suddenly cross in front of them. So I have to wait anyway, while traffic backs up behind the stopped car. And even though I wanted to catch my breath or adjust my clothing or whatever, I feel compelled to cross as soon as I can. In the end, I probably would have made it across more quickly if the car had gone on by as it was supposed to. Instead, I'm inconvenienced, she's inconvenienced, the cars behind her are inconvenienced. A lose-lose-lose situation, but she probably goes home thinking she's special.
People are no damn good. ;-)