| My July 3rd entry scored me another 15 kilobytes
of fame when it was excerpted
I think it's funny when people speak of cyclists and drivers as if they were
different species, when it's really circumstantial. You're a cyclist when
you cycle, a driver when you drive.
Anyway, maybe it's because I'm in the zone already working on my farewell
issue of Carbusters
that I took the time to respond to the commenters at
If I weren't already sitting at the computer considering how our cities could
be made more habitable, I would've been out there riding to the beach today,
practicing instead of preaching (although both have their places). My
a little sorry that
blog entry carried such a provocative headline, enough to rekindle the
road rage of some of the commenters here....
First of all, this discussion needn't be about divisiveness (i.e., cyclists
vs. drivers). The point is we are all sharing public space, and when we're
in/on vehicles, we are obliged to follow certain regulations. When I'm cycling,
I stop at red lights and stop signs. I ride with the flow of traffic. If
I need to take it up on the sidewalk, I gear down to walking speed. I cycle
right and am sick of people characterizing ALL or even most cyclists as reckless,
lawbreaking daredevils. Some are, it's true, but likewise there are many
scofflaw, inconsiderate, and incompetent drivers.
Yes, it was an accident. Yes, it was 100% the driver's
fault. Yes, accidents do happen. But the point of my entry at
http://www.zverina.com/2007/0703.htm is not that all drivers are bad and
all cyclists are virtuous. (Contrary to one nitwit's assertion, I've had
a license for 20 years and have even driven trucks professionally, so I can
claim empathy for drivers--I *am* one of you.) The point is drivers need
to be more aware of cyclists and one way to do this would be to increase
penalties for those at fault when they strike cyclists and pedestrians. You
got a problem with that? If the stakes were higher for careless drivers (such
as the one in my post), people might start becoming more aware of cyclists.
Likewise, a cyclist who runs down a pedestrian should pay the price.
If more provisions were made for cyclists, there would be less confusion
in those places where bikes have to assert their right of way under conditions
which do not accommodate them due to the negligence and unresponsiveness
of city planners and the traffic department. Seattle, for all it's green
talk, is an embarrassment when it comes to non-motorized infrastructure.
The streets were here long before cars. We need to figure out how to share
them as people. We could start by treating each other as individuals, not
-Robert Zverina, www.zverina.com
p.s. I find it both amusing and horrifying that there are those who complain
about cyclists' sense of entitlement. A bicycle occupies about 6 square feet
of surface area as opposed to a mid-sized car's 90 square feet. Bike's are
clean, quiet, do not require millions of tax dollars to subsidize their storage
(what's known by the misnomer "free parking"), and travel at a rate of speed
which seldom harms anybody, human or animal. Cars are loud, polluting, clog
the streets in motion and parked, and kill 40,000+ people in US annually
and flatten innumerable critters. So, who's sense of entitlement is more
inflated, driver or cyclist?