Bicyclists in the USA

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by MHanson, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. MHanson
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    MHanson Member

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    Those who wear helmets, drive on the right side of the road, stop at the lights and the signs telling them to stop, I have absolutely no problem with.

    Here in the Sacramento California area that makes about five percent of them.

    I spent six years of my childhood in Germany where I refined my bicycle use. You had to follow the rules there or it was a traffic citation. And being a juvenile in Germany with their court system I hear is no laughing matter, or was at least in the late 60s and early 70s. I never found out personally, I just heard stories from the more rebellious.

    Here in the US I only hear about those bicyclists who were intoxicated. Or those who failed to realize that a vehicle has a ton or two more than they do and can't stop as quickly when you go in front of them.

    Nothing is mentioned about them going on sidewalks even when bike lanes are available. Most don't stop at red lights, and I even saw one go right through a line of cars in motion who had the right of way when they, the bicyclist, clearly did not have it.

    It is no wonder why motorists here hate pedestrians and bicyclists. Even when we do follow the rules, if the majority just go about doing what they want, disregarding courtesy, safety, and the law, judging by the other posts I see here, we are all guilty in their eyes.

    I would love to see stricter enforcement, but with our more limited resources I don't see that happening.

    What will it take?

    Education is the only thing I can think of, but would such people who have so little regard to the proper way of doing things care?

    I hope the only answer is not to have them kill themselves with their own irresponsibility.
     
  2. Montrovant
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    Montrovant Fuzzy bears!

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    I won't speak to any of the rest, but as far as using the sidewalk, you're damn right I will, bike lane or no. You know how you mentioned the vehicles on the road being a ton or two heavier? That holds true in the bike lane, as well. And considering the many times I've seen people drive like idiots, including driving in bike lanes, I'll use the sidewalk every time.
     
  3. MHanson
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    MHanson Member

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    Not being able to verify your location, I cannot properly respond. As a pedestrian in the Sacramento California region, I have observed that the bicyclists are the most likely to run red lights, go head on into traffic without any kind of right of way. One was killed going right into the path of a light rail vehicle. That is what most bicyclists do here.

    And yes, there are pedestrians who do the same, going right into traffic expecting them to part like the Red Sea did for Moses.

    There are proper ways to behave in public traffic situations.

    You want to ride your bike on sidewalks when there is a bike lane available? Don't complain of us pedestrians on the sidewalks - in California we're not allowed to walk in the bike lanes made available to you, even if you do not want to use them.

    If any pedestrian or bicyclist goes into traffic and expect immunity for their recklessness, good luck.
     
  4. Montrovant
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    Montrovant Fuzzy bears!

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    Until recently I lived in Tampa, FL. Not too many available bike lanes (and too many places without available sidewalk, either!) but even when they are there, if there's a sidewalk, I'd use that instead. I've never felt safe on a bicycle in the road. I just don't trust people's driving enough. Also, the danger of crashing into a pedestrian or another bicyclist seems much less to me than the danger of being hit by a car :)

    As far as the other kinds of behavior you describe, sure, being reckless like that is very dangerous. Waiting for lights, not weaving through moving vehicles, these are fairly common-sense. I think the fact that many pedestrians won't follow those rules only underscores my point about the sidewalks, however; if pedestrians put themselves in danger not following rules or taking sensible precautions, why should I expect drivers to?

    Just to clarify, I have never complained about pedestrians on the sidewalks while riding a bicycle. They've got every right to be there.
     
  5. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    A topic close to my heart after commuting by bicycle for over twenty five years, summer winter spring and fall - before the electronic revolution made working from home possible. I have to admit after riding so long, I ride for my safety, and anyone who lives in a busy city who thinks riding along with cars in the same manner is a good idea, hasn't done it often enough. People can no more drive than they can think. They drink, smoke pot, reach for the CD, race to the next light, ignore traffic signals, pull in front of you at intersections and driveways, etc etc etc. Today they text and use cell phones. Picking on cyclists where mayhem is the rule of the road strikes me as off point. And while I ride politely there is no way in hell I would have survived so long if cars and I road together. They hate you already as traffic stales and they are stuck and you ride the ride bike lane or whatnot. I have been spit on, thrown soda and bottles at, had change tossed at me from school buses, pushed, and a few times purposely side swiped in open roads or early morning without reason. I gave up giving them the finger as some loonies will then try to run you over. So if some day a cyclist shoots your tires out you now know why. But I still love my American made bikes and bicycling.

    League of American Bicyclists * Home
    Injury Prevention | Bicycling Magazine
     
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  6. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    "Elegy for an English Bike"

    "Elegy for an English Bike" Podcast | Red Room


    "I sit astride life like a bad rider on a horse. I only owe it to the horse's good nature that I am not thrown off at this very moment." Ludwig Wittgenstein
     

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