Cyclists Need Protection

I suppose this post comes perilously close to violating the middle P of our No PPR pledge (No porn, politics, or religion) here at The Parallax Blog.  Still, this is a subject I’m passionate about, so I figured I’d risk it.

Under Mayor Bloomberg, New York City has greatly expanded the number of bike lanes.  This should seem like a no brainer in terms of being a good idea.  But then I read this.  My reaction to the complaints of the drivers tends to run along the lines of: What a bunch of whiny bitches.

Let me explain up front: I do not live in New York City.  But as a cyclist who depends on his bike for daily transportation, I believe you can never have enough bike lanes.  The simple fact of the matter is that bike lanes save lives.  When I lived in Chicago, I rode my bike all over the city.  With the wide streets and many miles of bike lanes, I was reasonably safe.  I had some near misses with drivers and did take a pretty hard hit when I was doored by a guy in a cab who didn’t understand the concept of a bike lane, but for the most part, I had a pretty safe run of it for as much as I rode.  I have since moved to a smaller city in Connecticut.  There are precious few bike lanes here and I get paranoid when I ride because I’ve had so many near misses in a short amount of time.  Even when I don’t see my life flash before my eyes, the drivers seem to believe that yelling death threats are a good method of getting me to ride on the sidewalk.

Don’t get me wrong, most drivers leave me alone.  But there is a very vocal minority that seek to intimidate for seemingly no good reason.  It seems that vocal minority is making waves in NYC, trying to get the city to remove the lanes that makes biking safer for all cyclists.  The kind of anger that these anti-bike lane groups are nursing is what leads to incidents like this.

If you’re a driver and can’t stand the fact that you have to wait an extra five minutes to get where you’re going because a bike lane is saving lives, then you have some serious issues in your life that eliminating that bike lane is not going to fix.  These people need to grow up and learn how to share the road.

posted by Matt Wedge in Uncategorized and have Comment (1)

One Response to “Cyclists Need Protection”

  1. D. B. Bates says:

    Maybe we should force them all to drive in Italy, India, China, or any of a hundred other countries for a year. They’ll love the idea of bike lanes after that.

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