Given that "cyclist inferiority" refers to the notion that cyclists are inferior to drivers of motor vehicles in terms of rights to be on the road...
Do you agree we have a policy of "cyclist inferiority" in the U.S.?
Do you agree we have a culture of "cyclist inferiority"?
Does one produce the other? Or is it a chicken egg situation where they feed off each other? How do we break out of the cycle?
I think we definitely have both the policy and the culture. I'm not sure which came first, but I don't think it matters.
I was talking to a traffic engineer today, whose specialty is bike facilities, and his cyclist inferiority attitude was blatant. So much of what he said was based on the notion that cyclists are "vulnerable" out there. He was careful to state that bike lanes are not for safety, but his other statements revealed a contrary belief. For example, he said that painting new bike lanes should get street services priority because cyclists need the most protection. When I said I didn't necesarily agree with that, he replied: "yeah, I know some cyclists like to 'take the lane', but most cyclists don't, and we have to design for the lowest common denominator, and I mean the lowest".
When I suggested sharrows instead of door zone bike lanes, he said he needed the bike lanes to keep motor traffic out of the door zones: the purpose of them was to create a buffer to keep cars 4-5' from parked cars and had nothing to do with bicycling! When I pointed out that he was saying the very space that he wanted demarcated because it was dangerous to drive a car in, he was requiring cyclists to ride in, by law, he replied that he didn't agree with all design standards. Anyway, the more I learn, the more I see John Forester was spot on about this cyclist inferiority stuff, and how prevalent it is.
What are your thoughts?