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  1. #1
    Man of Leisure Ivan Hanz's Avatar
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    Columbus Dispatch letter to editor

    This letter to the editor was in today's Columbus (OH) Dispatch. I'm ok with most of the stuff, except the 'unnecessarily impede the 99 percent' and the 'big kids' roads' comment. Stupid Stiff.

    You can write the editor of the Columbus Dispatch at: letters@dispatch.com

    I'd link the URL but it's a subsciption service.

    Bicyclists must pedal to rules of the road
    Friday, November 26, 2004

    I ask all bicyclists to have the courtesy to confine their travels to those streets with speed limits that most closely reflect your pedaling ability; however, given the courtesy I typically observe on the roads in this town, I think that may be expecting a little much.

    And, as the road is the proper, legal place for a bicycle (not the sidewalk), I can calmly resign myself to the fact that bicyclists will continue to unnecessarily impede the flow of the other 99 percent of traffic.

    I do, however, have what I feel is a reasonable request: If you’re going to play on the big kids’ roads, will you please follow all of the big-kid rules like the rest of us? These include, but are not limited to, stopping at all red traffic lights and stop signs and signaling at appropriate times. I would be eternally grateful.

    ADAM STIFF

    Columbus

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    ". . . like the rest of us" When I take the trouble to watch, only about 5% of the cars actually stop at stop signs, and a slightly higher percentage signal their turns. I do all those things he complains about, but I rarely exceed the speed limit on my bicycle. Why pick on cyclists for traffic infractions when it is a problem with all types of road users.

  3. #3
    cab horn
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    Don't bother, hope they die in a collision with a parked bicycle.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Has anyone replied to this yet? I was tempted, but I don't think most people would believe their driving habits are that bad. I've always wondered how long these people could keep THEIR licenses if they were followed unknowingly and given a ticket for each observed violation, no matter how small. I think most drivers would accumulate enough points to have their licenses revoked just on the way to work.
    Last edited by Dchiefransom; 11-27-04 at 07:59 PM.

  5. #5
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    There is one type of public street that bicyclists should avoid if possible. Eugene A. Sloane in his book "The Complete Book of Bicycling" said that bikes should stay off of streets that have no parking. In my experience I agree with that 100%. Such streets have narrow right lanes and bikes do interfer with the normal flow of traffic.

  6. #6
    Commuter in Hampton Roads
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Gardner
    There is one type of public street that bicyclists should avoid if possible. Eugene A. Sloane in his book "The Complete Book of Bicycling" said that bikes should stay off of streets that have no parking. In my experience I agree with that 100%. Such streets have narrow right lanes and bikes do interfer with the normal flow of traffic.
    In Hampton Roads the Chesapeake and its tributaruies along with poor planning on the part of cities make this impossible. If I wanted to stay off of streets like this I would be confined to a three block radius by 7 lane super roads and rivers. Same goes for Mobile AL, and any other number of southern cities that grew out to become disgusting sprawling suburbs. These communities are series of subdivisions connected by the roads you are talking about. I am not going to abandon my bike because I might inconvience some soccer moms in expeditions and hummers.

    If your city allows for alternate routes to avoid riding on these streets your lucky and am happy for you. I , myself, will ride where I need to on whatever route I feel offers the best ride.

  7. #7
    Old dude on old bikes Seeker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Gardner
    There is one type of public street that bicyclists should avoid if possible. Eugene A. Sloane in his book "The Complete Book of Bicycling" said that bikes should stay off of streets that have no parking. In my experience I agree with that 100%. Such streets have narrow right lanes and bikes do interfer with the normal flow of traffic.
    Totally unrealistic guideline there. I wouldn't be able to go anywhere.

  8. #8
    Campy or bust :p cryogenic's Avatar
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    Same here... Knoxville is horribly designed (another southern city with idiot planners) and if we were to confine ourselves to roads that only had streetside parking, we'd never be able to go anywhere and be horribly out of luck. Luckily, many drivers around here are actually fairly forgiving towards cyclists and don't "buzz" us very often except when nearly unavoidable (though in those cases some just slow down and wait til they can safely pass). There are a few busy roads with small shoulders that should generally be avoided for various reasons but we have quite a few alternate routes here. Knoxville isn't friendly in the sense of having bike lanes, but friendly at least in the sense that there are multiple alternate routes to any given destination. Also, I do somewhat agree with most of what the person says. I do ride predictably and follow traffic guidelines, which is most likely a good part of the reason why I don't get blatantly disrespected by motorists.

  9. #9
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    This letter reflects the way many drivers in many areas feel. The trouble is, they're not looking at themselves in the mirror when they're complaining.

    How is it that, if a bike is going along 15 kmh under the speed limit, that it is more wrong than drivers going 15 kmh over the speed limit? Aren't the drivers breaking the law and cyclists not?

    Why can a truck or bus drive at the same speed as a bike and not receive the same admonishment? And as was pointed out earlier, stopping at all red traffic lights and stop signs and signaling at appropriate times are hardley followed by motorists at all times either.

    The fact that this was even printed shows a lack of respect to cyclists because it points to one group as guilty but not other groups equally as guilty.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
    [SIGPIC]http://www.wulffmorgenthaler.com/striphandler.ashx?stripid=57f6ca71-73a8-42a3-acc4-29e6d333df27[/SIGPIC]

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    I make an effort to follow the "rules" of the road. I try to ride on the "low traffic/slow traffic" streets for my own benefit, and to avoid impeding motor traffic. The one rule I am forced to break involves traffic lights. In my neighborhood, a "red light" for traffic on a sidestreet remains red until a motor vehicle stops over a sensor. The sensor then "trips" the light to green after about thirty seconds. A bike will not trip the sensor. So, if there are no cars within sight (especially those with bubble lights on the roof), I stop, and then move across the intersection.

    Most of the younger guys in my neighborhood ride their bikes as if they are in some sort of "reality show" contest for stupidity. They don't just irritate motorists. They irritate everyone on the road.

    A favored riding technique of these guys is to ride at top speed late at night with no lights and no reflectors. They well come around a corner at full speed, in the dark, riding in the middle of the street. Of course, they have no helmet on - their future hospital stays will likely be a taxpayer expense as well.

    Motorists are so frustrated with the "kamakize" bike riders that they often take out their anger on bike riders who obey the rules. Jerk bike riders make life more difficult for everyone.

  11. #11
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    Most of the younger guys in my neighborhood ride their bikes as if they are in some sort of "reality show" contest for stupidity. They don't just irritate motorists. They irritate everyone on the road.

    A favored riding technique of these guys is to ride at top speed late at night with no lights and no reflectors. They well come around a corner at full speed, in the dark, riding in the middle of the street. Of course, they have no helmet on - their future hospital stays will likely be a taxpayer expense as well.

    Motorists are so frustrated with the "kamakize" bike riders that they often take out their anger on bike riders who obey the rules. Jerk bike riders make life more difficult for everyone.
    Yeah well, maybe these guys should be looked at, but mostly, we live and die by our own stupidity. Just like drivers.

    In the state of Ohio's roadways, there are nearly 380,000 crashes – about 1,400 people are killed and 190,000 people are injured and, about 90 percent of fatal crashes and 88 percent of injury crashes were classified as driver error, according to Ohio Department of Public Safety statistics. Common causes were excessive speed, driver inattention and alcohol.

    So just who should we be setting our sites on? Maybe slowing the streets down is not such a bad thing to do.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 11-28-04 at 12:51 PM.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
    [SIGPIC]http://www.wulffmorgenthaler.com/striphandler.ashx?stripid=57f6ca71-73a8-42a3-acc4-29e6d333df27[/SIGPIC]

  12. #12
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    In my neighborhood, a "red light" for traffic on a sidestreet remains red until a motor vehicle stops over a sensor. The sensor then "trips" the light to green after about thirty seconds. A bike will not trip the sensor. So, if there are no cars within sight (especially those with bubble lights on the roof), I stop, and then move across the intersection.
    Have you contacted your local traffic engineer? In some cities, traffic engineers are sensitive to such concerns, and can better adjust the tripping device to be set off by bicycles.

  13. #13
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Gardner
    There is one type of public street that bicyclists should avoid if possible. Eugene A. Sloane in his book "The Complete Book of Bicycling" said that bikes should stay off of streets that have no parking. In my experience I agree with that 100%. Such streets have narrow right lanes and bikes do interfer with the normal flow of traffic.
    I agree with Seeker. If that's an accurate explanation of Sloan's position, it's just about as anti-cyclist as you can get. I've never slowed down a car more than a few seconds. Being slowed down for a few seconds (even a few minutes) is part of driving in the "normal flow of traffic." If auto drivers can't live with that, they, not us, should stay off the roads.

  14. #14
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    I just sent off my letter. Lets see if they print it.

    I read this letter on the internet this morning, and I just have to make a comment.

    According to Ohio Department of Public Safety statistics, 90 percent of fatal crashes and 88 percent of injury crashes on Ohio's roads were classified as driver error, mainly caused by excessive speed, driver inattention and alcohol.

    Perhaps cyclists impeding the flow of the other 99 percent of traffic is a good thing that will slow down drivers and will improve safety on the streets.
    "My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything" -Peter Golkin
    [SIGPIC]http://www.wulffmorgenthaler.com/striphandler.ashx?stripid=57f6ca71-73a8-42a3-acc4-29e6d333df27[/SIGPIC]

  15. #15
    Skidmaster teadoggg's Avatar
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    columbus was a pretty sh*tty place to ride a bike, in the city anyway. i just moved from columbus to chicago a few months ago and couldn't be happier. it's no perfect here, but it's way better than columbus. rarely would I ride my bike where a motorist didn't swerve into my lane to scare me, honk at me and swear, tell me to "get a car", or pull out right infront of me.

    i'll be in columbus for christmas and MAN, i'm not looking forward to biking in that city again.

  16. #16
    Man of Leisure Ivan Hanz's Avatar
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    That suprises me, Teadoggg. I ride around Cow-lumbus all the time and only get that stuff every once in a while. BUt I'm more in the suburbs than downtown, I suppose.

    And ClosetBiker, I watch the Dispatch daily to see if they'll print your rebuttal. I'll post it here. (They'll contact you before printing to verify, and it usually takes 10-14 days.)

  17. #17
    Skidmaster teadoggg's Avatar
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    sounds like you've had better luck than me! I guess I rode mostly on pretty busy streets, though. I've ridden hundereds of miles down good ol' high street, between worthington & downtown. Good ol' "need to be repaved" high street. =)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Hanz
    That suprises me, Teadoggg. I ride around Cow-lumbus all the time and only get that stuff every once in a while. BUt I'm more in the suburbs than downtown, I suppose.

    And ClosetBiker, I watch the Dispatch daily to see if they'll print your rebuttal. I'll post it here. (They'll contact you before printing to verify, and it usually takes 10-14 days.)

  18. #18
    Man of Leisure Ivan Hanz's Avatar
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    I ride up 'n down good ol' High St. quite a bit too. And they haven't repaved since you left (or since Jesus left, I think). 270/23N to Henderson. I usually take the bike path though, except in summer when it's filled with runners/bladers/bikers, or winter when it's unplowed. This time of year? I might see 2 people in the morn, 5 in the afternoon. But I'm very jealous of your Chicago bars that close at 5am, and play world-class blues

  19. #19
    Skidmaster teadoggg's Avatar
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    Man, I’ve got all sorts of memories on that bike path. When I was in high school, a friend of mine and I used to do something called “panty pansying” (some girls we were friends with made up that term). Basically, he and I would strip down to our underwear, hop on our bikes, and ride the olentangy bike path from Wilson bridge to Antrim lake, around the lake, to the park of roses, and then back. We’d do it in the middle of the nice, when we got out of our restaurant job.

    Haha, I feel like such a weirdo now.
    We got the girls to do it with us once, so that was awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Hanz
    I ride up 'n down good ol' High St. quite a bit too. And they haven't repaved since you left (or since Jesus left, I think). 270/23N to Henderson. I usually take the bike path though, except in summer when it's filled with runners/bladers/bikers, or winter when it's unplowed. This time of year? I might see 2 people in the morn, 5 in the afternoon. But I'm very jealous of your Chicago bars that close at 5am, and play world-class blues

  20. #20
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Gardner
    There is one type of public street that bicyclists should avoid if possible. Eugene A. Sloane in his book "The Complete Book of Bicycling" said that bikes should stay off of streets that have no parking. In my experience I agree with that 100%. Such streets have narrow right lanes and bikes do interfer with the normal flow of traffic.
    I wouldn't even be able to leave my neighborhood, or even the street I live on. Funny stuff.

    Al

  21. #21
    Man of Leisure Ivan Hanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teadoggg
    Man, I’ve got all sorts of memories on that bike path. When I was in high school, a friend of mine and I used to do something called “panty pansying” (We got the girls to do it with us once, so that was awesome.

    Yea, I ride on it at night sometimes, the only people I usually run into look like high-school age kids, obviously up to no good. Now I have to not only dodge all the rabbits, coons, deer on the path, I'll have to watch for little co-eds in their panties

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