..If my rule-breaking is ethical and safe (and Idaho-legal), why does it annoy anyone? Perhaps it is because we humans are not good at weighing the dangers we face. If we were, we’d realize that bicycles are a tiny threat; it is cars and trucks that menace us. In the last quarter of 2011, bicyclists in New York City killed no pedestrians and injured 26. During the same period, drivers killed 43 pedestrians and injured 3,607.
Nor are cyclists pedestrians, of course (at least not while we’re pedaling). We are a third thing, a distinct mode of transportation, requiring different practices and different rules. This is understood in Amsterdam and Copenhagen, where nearly everyone of every age cycles. These cities treat bikes like bikes. Extensive networks of protected bike lanes provide the infrastructure for safe cycling. Some traffic lights are timed to the speed of bikes rather than cars. Some laws presume that in a bike-car collision, the heavier and more deadly vehicle is at fault. Perhaps as New York City’s bike share program is rolled out, these will become the case here.
Laws work best when they are voluntarily heeded by people who regard them as reasonable. There aren’t enough cops to coerce everyone into obeying every law all the time. If cycling laws were a wise response to actual cycling rather than a clumsy misapplication of motor vehicle laws, I suspect that compliance, even by me, would rise.
If Kant were a New York City cyclist. nytimes, 04.08.12.
too bad the law (eg. california vehicle code) doesn’t recognize this (except in idaho and other progressive places). fuck you, john forester. despicable old man sitting around in lemon grove (east san diego county) typing shit in bike forums refusing to believe the fact that bicycle infrastructure leads to higher cycling rates (like climate change deniers, but bikes), while still adding “Bicycle transportation engineer” to his signature. what a fucker. this man is the “father” of “vehicular cycling”, making bikes follow the same rules as cars in the cvc. so there’s your reason to hate him, too. (yeah I know I shouldn’t spread hate, but..) or now you know to ignore his comments if you come across him on the interwebs.