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Old 08-31-07, 09:53 AM   #1
noisebeam
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Editorial in local paper about cyclists and motorists

On a quick read it seems to be quite goodl, written by a cyclist.

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...h,michael.html

(Yes, its not an editorial, instead a letter to the editor)

Al
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Old 08-31-07, 11:23 AM   #2
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It all eventually comes down to a failure to enforce the traffic laws. Drivers drive the way the do because the laws aren't enforced. Cyclists ride the way they do because the laws aren't enforced. When the laws are seen to be a voluntary set of guidelines, people will feel it is within their rights to ignore those "voluntary guidelines."
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Old 08-31-07, 12:09 PM   #3
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It all eventually comes down to a failure to enforce the traffic laws. Drivers drive the way the do because the laws aren't enforced. Cyclists ride the way they do because the laws aren't enforced. When the laws are seen to be a voluntary set of guidelines, people will feel it is within their rights to ignore those "voluntary guidelines."
That's certainly true - but among a certain set of cyclists (not casting aspersions broadly), there seems to be a feeling that *no* rules apply to them. I mean, if you heard about someone *driving* on the wrong side of the road, or driving with one wheel on the sidewalk, people would freak out.
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Old 08-31-07, 12:19 PM   #4
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That's certainly true - but among a certain set of cyclists (not casting aspersions broadly), there seems to be a feeling that *no* rules apply to them. I mean, if you heard about someone *driving* on the wrong side of the road, or driving with one wheel on the sidewalk, people would freak out.
Of course, no rules apply to them because they're "not cars" (an argument I've heard far too often from these idiots)-- but they have a right to the road because they're "vehicles too."



If drivers drove their cars the way those "cyclists" ride their bikes, the streets would run red-- well, significantly redder-- with blood. Thank God they're on bikes, I guess. With more cyclists on the road, and more of them seemingly totally unfamiliar with any of the rules of the road (left turn from the right curb, across the path of the car you just passed on the right, anyone?), I'm beginning to feel that my chances of being plowed into by one of those JABs are higher than my chances of being hit by a car-- and the chance of their being insured approaches nil...

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Old 08-31-07, 12:27 PM   #5
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casting further aspersions broadly, the motorists that complain about bicyclists like to cite riders'not stopping at stopsigns' or 'not following (fallacious minimum) speed limits'

well, if they'd take a look aroud at the rest of the motorists, they'd see most motorists fail to stop at stop signs or follow speed limits. this double standard against bicyclists in the letters to the editor pages really gets my goat.
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Old 08-31-07, 12:31 PM   #6
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I mean, if you heard about someone *driving* on the wrong side of the road, or driving with one wheel on the sidewalk, people would freak out.
Nope. Drivers are on the wrong side of the road all the time. The most popular reason for a drive in the oncoming lane is to avoid a line-up when they are planning on a left turn up the road. This creates delays and accidents, but nobody seems to care.

Often when a tractor-trailer makes a right turn at speed in my area, the back wheels mount the sidewalk. Again, pedestrians just step back. I don't see anyone making panic 911 calls about that either.
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Old 08-31-07, 12:34 PM   #7
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O I'm beginning to feel that my chances of being plowed into by one of those JAMs are higher than my chances of being hit by a car-- and the chance of their being insured approaches nil...
I think you mean "JAB" or "JAC". Try to get your inane, overused BF acronyms right.
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Old 08-31-07, 12:39 PM   #8
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I think you mean "JAB" or "JAC". Try to get your inane, overused BF acronyms right.
Duly noted.
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Old 08-31-07, 02:06 PM   #9
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casting further aspersions broadly, the motorists that complain about bicyclists like to cite riders'not stopping at stopsigns' or 'not following (fallacious minimum) speed limits'

well, if they'd take a look aroud at the rest of the motorists, they'd see most motorists fail to stop at stop signs or follow speed limits. this double standard against bicyclists in the letters to the editor pages really gets my goat.
I generally agree, however in the case the author of the letter was balanced I think. He did call out different bad behaviors for each group, but put to task both motorists and cyclists to follow the rules.

I read a recent statistic (from the Tempe Police*) that said that over 10,000 bicycles enter and leave ASU campus area every day. In my observation many blatenly disregard the 'important' rules of the road (stops, directional) In other words, the local situation may be different than in other cities or in other parts of this city.

*The statistic was used to show how much opportunity there is for bicycle thieves which is why there are over 300 bicycles stolen every semester, they often report to several theft reports a day.

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Old 08-31-07, 02:12 PM   #10
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This guy blew at full speed a 4-way stop on my commute home yesterday. I was watching him approach, head down, not even looking. I don't think he noticed me until he was already in the intersection.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyEBKs5Kv9I

I also did not stop fully, I slowed, but was also 'interacting' with this cyclist. I know that if I had also not slowed I would have been at the intersection first, or maybe just at the same time.

You may not believe me, but I do otherwise top at this 4-way every day on my way home from work, even when I don't see any other vehicles. (Doubt me and I'll post videos from the past week of me stopping here with no other traffic ) I think there was something about the other cyclist not stopping or slowing that enticed me roll.

Al
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Old 08-31-07, 07:07 PM   #11
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casting further aspersions broadly, the motorists that complain about bicyclists like to cite riders'not stopping at stopsigns' or 'not following (fallacious minimum) speed limits'

well, if they'd take a look aroud at the rest of the motorists, they'd see most motorists fail to stop at stop signs or follow speed limits. this double standard against bicyclists in the letters to the editor pages really gets my goat.
I completely agree with what you wrote, but if you meant it as a criticism of this letter, I disagree. I agree that motorists act illegally a lot more than they pretend. Watch any stop sign in a residential neighborhood, and see how many cars come to a complete stop. Watch any traffic light, and watch how many drivers keep going after it's changed. And let's not forget the God Given Right to drive 5-10 mph over the speed limit. Very few motorists are in a morally strong position to be critical of cyclists.

But this letter actually did criticize motorists for illegal behavior, too. And we cyclists really need to do better about obeying the traffic laws that apply to everyone.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 08-31-07 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 08-31-07, 07:25 PM   #12
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I completely agree with what you wrote, but if you meant it as a criticism of this letter, I disagree. I agree that motorists act illegally a lot more than they pretend. Watch any stop sign in a residential neighborhood, and see how many cars come to a complete stop. Watch any traffic light, and watch how many drivers keep going after it's changed. And let's not forget the God Given Right to drive 5-10 mph over the speed limit. Very few motorists are in a morally strong position to be critical of cyclists.

But this letter actually did criticize motorists for illegal behavior, too. And we cyclists really need to do better about obeying the traffic laws that apply to everyone.
I never really see motorists blow through stop signs. Not to say it doesn't happen, just that it's rare. Sure, they slow down and almost but not quite come to a stop before rolling through, but I never see motorists just sail through without slowing, without looking.

I see cyclists do that all the time.
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Old 08-31-07, 08:04 PM   #13
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Here in the countryside I see a surprising number of folks barely slow for stop signs. I've even had them nearly hit me - when I'm in a truck! Somehow I think a Porsche is going to cost more to fix than my old Ford. They should be more careful.

I also see many many tailgaters. And speeders. Fortunately a moderate number of them in the day are service vehicles of various kinds. With phone numbers on them. I just call the boss and explain things. I'm an attorney, I saw this criminal or negligent act take place, they should know they'd be the ones sued, etc. I'm pretty sure I've gotten a couple of bad drivers fired. I'll even call when cycling.

Problem with idiot cyclists, first I don't see them. I only see the intermittent roadie. Unless I get into town. Second, what can I do about some idiot on a bike when I'm in a truck? Yell at them? That's not going to do anything. I ask the police to please stop and lecture the bozos!
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Old 08-31-07, 08:08 PM   #14
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I never really see motorists blow through stop signs. Not to say it doesn't happen, just that it's rare. Sure, they slow down and almost but not quite come to a stop before rolling through, but I never see motorists just sail through without slowing, without looking.

I see cyclists do that all the time.
But running a stop sign is still running a stop sign. If you don't come to a complete stop, don't whine that others come to an even less complete stop. (I mean the generic "you," not you personally Blue Order.) Plus, who's more dangerous to others? An SUV that slows to 5 mph or a cyclist who runs the stop sign at 10-15 mph?
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Old 08-31-07, 08:13 PM   #15
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But running a stop sign is still running a stop sign. If you don't come to a complete stop, don't whine that others come to an even less complete stop. (I mean the generic "you," not you personally Blue Order.) Plus, who's more dangerous to others? An SUV that slows to 5 mph or a cyclist who runs the stop sign at 10-15 mph?
I would be more concerned about getting hit, while on my bike, by the cyclist at 15 mph.
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Old 09-01-07, 01:05 AM   #16
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But running a stop sign is still running a stop sign. If you don't come to a complete stop, don't whine that others come to an even less complete stop. (I mean the generic "you," not you personally Blue Order.) Plus, who's more dangerous to others? An SUV that slows to 5 mph or a cyclist who runs the stop sign at 10-15 mph?
Cyclist, due to being less visible, harder to hear, and higher speed. If a cyclist hits another cyclist at that speed, it would be much more unpleasant than a comparitive 5mph nudge from a car.
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Old 09-01-07, 03:29 AM   #17
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. . . .Plus, who's more dangerous to others? An SUV that slows to 5 mph or a cyclist who runs the stop sign at 10-15 mph?
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I would be more concerned about getting hit, while on my bike, by the cyclist at 15 mph.
I agree that the stop-sign-running cyclists are more vulnerable to injury than stop-sign-running SUV's, but my point was about the risk to others. Generally speaking, law enforcement should focus on people whose actions put others at risk.
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Cyclist, due to being less visible, harder to hear, and higher speed. If a cyclist hits another cyclist at that speed, it would be much more unpleasant than a comparitive 5mph nudge from a car.
Are you serious? I await your statistics about the number of deaths and injuries that cyclists inflict on others. The problem with the "5 mph nudge" is that the ped could be hit at a much faster speed. The complete stop is required to encourage drivers to look around. A ped who gets hit by an SUV that ran a stop sign will be hurting, badly.

And back to my point. Cyclists should do a better job of obeying traffic laws. But cheating cyclists are a nuisance, not a threat to public safety.
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Old 09-01-07, 06:03 AM   #18
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I would be more concerned about getting hit, while on my bike, by the cyclist at 15 mph.
That's you; but then you seem to have a bug stuck somewhere about all the other cyclists who don't meet your selective standards about compliance with every line of the traffic code.

IMO, the level of your "concerns" and fears about other cyclists , are out of synch with the actual risk involved to you and others; out of synch with the concerns and priorities of the legal enforcement community, and out of synch with the concerns of the vast majority of cyclists and motorists.
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Old 09-01-07, 07:57 AM   #19
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I agree that the stop-sign-running cyclists are more vulnerable to injury than stop-sign-running SUV's, but my point was about the risk to others. Generally speaking, law enforcement should focus on people whose actions put others at risk.

Are you serious? I await your statistics about the number of deaths and injuries that cyclists inflict on others. The problem with the "5 mph nudge" is that the ped could be hit at a much faster speed. The complete stop is required to encourage drivers to look around. A ped who gets hit by an SUV that ran a stop sign will be hurting, badly.

And back to my point. Cyclists should do a better job of obeying traffic laws. But cheating cyclists are a nuisance, not a threat to public safety.
The basic fact is Force=Mass times Velocity... and the 4000 lb SUV moving at 5MPH is going to impart a lot more force into you than the 200 lb cyclist moving at 15MPH. Hitting that 15MPH cyclist will result in both of you absorbing the force, hitting the SUV will result in you absorbing nearly all the force.

Neither will be a pleasant situation however, and both should indeed do a better job of obeying the law.
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Old 09-01-07, 08:34 AM   #20
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The basic fact is Force=Mass times Velocity... and the 4000 lb SUV moving at 5MPH is going to impart a lot more force into you than the 200 lb cyclist moving at 15MPH.
Well, there you have it - a complete lack of understanding of physics in everyday life by most people.

If a 4000-lb vehicle with 4 wheels (which makes it stable) strikes a 200-lb two-wheeled (unstable) vehicle, the smaller, more unstable vehicle will get the short end of the stick every time. People just don't seem to realize how little car contact is required to knock down a cyclist.
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Old 09-01-07, 09:12 AM   #21
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Well, there you have it - a complete lack of understanding of physics in everyday life by most people.

If a 4000-lb vehicle with 4 wheels (which makes it stable) strikes a 200-lb two-wheeled (unstable) vehicle, the smaller, more unstable vehicle will get the short end of the stick every time. People just don't seem to realize how little car contact is required to knock down a cyclist.
Uh, I fully agree...

I think the only lack of understanding may be perhaps in the way I wrote it.

Two cyclists hitting each other will have the meager forces dissipated between the two, due to their nearly equal mass. An SUV, even moving at only 5MPH, will tend to impart all of it's force into the smaller mass of the cyclist.... it would be like hitting a brick wall.

Imagine a bowling ball hitting a ping pong ball.
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Old 09-01-07, 09:17 AM   #22
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Uh, I fully agree...

I think the only lack of understanding may be perhaps in the way I wrote it.

Two cyclists hitting each other will have the meager forces dissipated between the two, due to their nearly equal mass. An SUV, even moving at only 5MPH, will tend to impart all of it's force into the smaller mass of the cyclist.... it would be like hitting a brick wall.

Imagine a bowling ball hitting a ping pong ball.
genec -

I was agreeing with you and saying that you hit the nail right on the head.
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Old 09-01-07, 09:33 AM   #23
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I never really see motorists blow through stop signs. Not to say it doesn't happen, just that it's rare. Sure, they slow down and almost but not quite come to a stop before rolling through, but I never see motorists just sail through without slowing, without looking.

I see cyclists do that all the time.
I used to think that until I actually took the time to observe. My commute takes a residential street with schools, parks, pools. The speed limit is 30km/h (~20mph). In 30 minutes, I see less than 20 cyclists and all of them hardly slow down from speed ranging from 10km/h to 25km/h. In the mean time, there are hundreds of cars slowing down from speed ranging from 50km/h to 70 km/h (remember the 30km/h limit) and going through the stops from 5km/h to 25km/h. The thing is motorists slow down from a higher speed, but in the end, they go through the stop just as fast as the cyclists. The difference is they're dring a 2-ton enclosed vehicule and they are many more of them.
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Old 09-01-07, 09:43 AM   #24
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genec -

I was agreeing with you and saying that you hit the nail right on the head.
Cool. We are in full agreement.
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Old 09-01-07, 03:35 PM   #25
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Cool. We are in full agreement.
Great minds think alike, apparently.
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