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Is there widespread hatred of cyclists?

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Is there widespread hatred of cyclists?

Old 04-17-15, 10:09 AM
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Is there widespread hatred of cyclists?

For starters, check out this link from a local Boston TV station and watch the embedded video.

The video was filmed on the Longfellow Bridge which runs over the Charles River and connects Cambridge to Boston. The bridge is currently undergoing major renovations.

The video seems to show a single car travel lane with bike lanes on either side that serve both directions.

What struck me when I first watched the video was the "I don't give a damn" attitude of the state trooper. The cyclist raised a reasonable safety concern and the trooper couldn't have been less helpful.

It wasn't until I read the comments under the article, though, that I began to reflect on the degree of hostility for cyclists. Whether the commenters are just a handful of haters or whether they reflect a widely held view isn't clear.

What is clear is that if this much hatred of cyclists is common, we who are cycling advocates have a very difficult task ahead of us.
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Old 04-17-15, 10:58 AM
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Pretty much says it all... Sure, cyclists can simply suck it up and move on, but the attitude of those sworn to "serve and protect" seems mighty callus in this situation. And indeed no doubt reflects the feelings of many. Of course getting more people on bikes can help to reduce the traffic congestion problems... but situations like this are very discouraging.



Note the quote from the officer in the video...

"No we don't really care about these bike lanes. It's pretty much the locals. This bridge is state."

Typical "it's not my job mentality... "
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Old 04-17-15, 11:19 AM
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and this one ...

"We don't really care about the lanes. That's for Cambridge and Boston people to harrass you with the, uh, helmets ..."

Massachusetts law requires anyone 16 years of age and under to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. I guess the officer doesn't care for that law.
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Old 04-17-15, 11:20 AM
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Is there widespread hatred? Well, are you Lance or are you homeless?
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Old 04-17-15, 11:22 AM
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Trying to have 4000 pound cars and trucks capable of easily going quite fast but with low maneuverability share space with 200 pound bicycles not capable of going fast but with high maneuverability creates huge conflicts which leads to considerable animosity between the two. Separate but equal is a bad idea for people but has worked exceptionally well for modes of transport in The Netherlands.
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Old 04-17-15, 11:27 AM
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astonishing - the local cops in "metrowest" are pretty good guys that look out for cyclists. the cyclist should come forward and "file a complaint"
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Old 04-17-15, 11:30 AM
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Two things come to mind. One is the power of audio and video recording instruments. Once this tape was released, pressure was put on the police. Public pressure can make a difference in changing deeply entrenched attitudes. Insofar as the comments are concerned, big cities are, well, big cities. People get irritated because their space is constantly being invaded. Boston is an amazing place but it has a heck of a lot of people crowded together. That's great in lots of ways but it does irritate people and those comments illustrate that problem.
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Old 04-17-15, 11:45 AM
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"Hatred" of cyclists doesn't just stop with motorists... here on BF we have a few posters that tend to be quite adept at being naysayers of things like bike lanes or other infrastructure for cyclists.

So the attitude of the cop is not just that of motorists alone...
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Old 04-17-15, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
One is the power of audio and video recording instruments. Once this tape was released, pressure was put on the police. Public pressure can make a difference in changing deeply entrenched attitudes.
Excellent article with lots of great links from the Electronic Frontier Foundation: What you need to know if you're going to record the cops
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Old 04-17-15, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by welshTerrier2
It wasn't until I read the comments under the article, though, that I began to reflect on the degree of hostility for cyclists.
Never read the comments. The local rubes come out of the woodwork any time there is a comment section regarding bikes vs. cars. If they stopped to think about it, other CARS are the most likely things to be "in their way". So they are already infuriated behind the wheel by the time they encounter a cyclist "slowing them down".
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Old 04-17-15, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by genec
Pretty much says it all... Sure, cyclists can simply suck it up and move on, but the attitude of those sworn to "serve and protect" seems mighty callus in this situation. And indeed no doubt reflects the feelings of many. Of course getting more people on bikes can help to reduce the traffic congestion problems... but situations like this are very discouraging.



Note the quote from the officer in the video...

"No we don't really care about these bike lanes. It's pretty much the locals. This bridge is state."

Typical "it's not my job mentality... "
Originally Posted by welshTerrier2
and this one ...

"We don't really care about the lanes. That's for Cambridge and Boston people to harrass you with the, uh, helmets ..."

Massachusetts law requires anyone 16 years of age and under to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. I guess the officer doesn't care for that law.
I hope the officer get's reprimanded in some way. Not some slap on the wrist.
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Old 04-17-15, 01:14 PM
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MassBike, a statewide advocacy organization, made an impressive response to the Longfellow Bridge incident:

In response to the Longfellow Bridge Video | MassBike

Last edited by welshTerrier2; 04-17-15 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 04-17-15, 01:15 PM
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What's the cop's assigned duty while he's stationed there? Is managing traffic safety among his responsibilities? Could have been having a grumpy day before the cyclist suggested how they should be doing their job...

Comments sections are for trolls.

Speaking of which, if you hang out long enough in A&S, you might very well also come away with the impression that there is widespread hatred of cyclists.

My experience on the road is that 999 of 1,000 are either supportive of or totally ambivalent about cyclists. While 100 out of 1000 might do something boneheaded and could very well indicate hatred to a cyclist trying very hard to find it, only 1 out of 1,000 seem to truly be vindictive about cyclists on the roads.

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Old 04-17-15, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
Never read the comments. The local rubes come out of the woodwork any time there is a comment section regarding bikes vs. cars. If they stopped to think about it, other CARS are the most likely things to be "in their way". So they are already infuriated behind the wheel by the time they encounter a cyclist "slowing them down".
+1
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Old 04-17-15, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
What's the cop's assigned duty while he's stationed there? Is managing traffic safety among his responsibilities? Could have been having a grumpy day before the cyclist suggested how they should be doing their job...

Comments sections are for trolls.

Speaking of which, if you hang out long enough in A&S, you might very well also come away with the impression that there is widespread hatred of cyclists.

My experience on the road is that 999 of 1,000 are either supportive of or totally ambivalent about cyclists. While 100 out of 1000 might do something boneheaded and could very well indicate hatred to a cyclist trying very hard to find it, only 1 out of 1,000 seem to truly be vindictive about cyclists on the roads.
+1 again.

BTW, I did hear two sensible comments associated with this entire so-called 'incident' -- from the two rational cyclists who appear at the very end of the news clip.
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Old 04-17-15, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by welshTerrier2
MassBike, a statewide advocacy organization, made an impressive response to the Longfellow Bridge incident:

In response to the Longfellow Bridge Video | MassBike
I am glad MassBike responded to the incident.

I wonder what the look on the officer's face would be. If he were to get cited by a City of Boston or City of Cambridge police officer for blocking the bike lane.
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Old 04-17-15, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
What's the cop's assigned duty while he's stationed there? Is managing traffic safety among his responsibilities? Could have been having a grumpy day before the cyclist suggested how they should be doing their job...

Comments sections are for trolls.

Speaking of which, if you hang out long enough in A&S, you might very well also come away with the impression that there is widespread hatred of cyclists.

My experience on the road is that 999 of 1,000 are either supportive of or totally ambivalent about cyclists. While 100 out of 1000 might do something boneheaded and could very well indicate hatred to a cyclist trying very hard to find it, only 1 out of 1,000 seem to truly be vindictive about cyclists on the roads.
I agree, with the caveat that the numbers change with geography (both directions).

However, it seems to me that the boneheads are a lower percentage than 10% (if we don't count the evening drunks) and the true haters may be even lower than 0.1% (although once we get down there it gets hard to quantify). Even the punish-passers don't generally come close enough to truly put us in danger, just close enough to get a rise out of us if we're willing to play their game.
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Old 04-17-15, 11:38 PM
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Who cares? I am an avid bike rider, I could care less what anyone thinks about it. Doesnt change a thing for me.
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Old 04-18-15, 12:40 AM
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I wouldn't say there is "hatred".

Police just don't seem to care where they park. They may stop a car for something foolishly insignificant, which then pulls over blocking a lane of the street (as is generally required to pull over as soon as possible). And the police don't care if they then block that lane of traffic for a half an hour, probably endangering more people, and certainly causing more traffic interruption than whatever was the reason for the original stop.

In this case, I agree with the rider's interpretation.



I don't see a lot of oncoming bicycle traffic, but assuming there is some, avoiding the car means merging into oncoming traffic.

At least if the officer had parked on the right side of the road, it would still have been an inconvenience to cyclists, but they would merely have had to merge into traffic travelling in the same direction.

The police officer he talked to was way off base. It also would hardly have been safe for the rider to stop to talk to the officer where he was parked on the bridge.
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Old 04-18-15, 05:31 AM
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Being out in public getting exercise and being physically fit makes people who aren't feel bad about themselves and hate you for it.
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Old 04-18-15, 10:04 AM
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I don't think there's widespread hatred of cyclists, but 30 minutes of reading A&S posts would probably turn most people into haters.
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Old 04-18-15, 10:11 AM
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I think the proportion of car drivers who hate cyclists is far less than the proportion of cyclists who hate car drivers.
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Old 04-18-15, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx
What's the cop's assigned duty while he's stationed there? Is managing traffic safety among his responsibilities? Could have been having a grumpy day before the cyclist suggested how they should be doing their job...

Comments sections are for trolls.

Speaking of which, if you hang out long enough in A&S, you might very well also come away with the impression that there is widespread hatred of cyclists.

My experience on the road is that 999 of 1,000 are either supportive of or totally ambivalent about cyclists. While 100 out of 1000 might do something boneheaded and could very well indicate hatred to a cyclist trying very hard to find it, only 1 out of 1,000 seem to truly be vindictive about cyclists on the roads.

The problem is that too many of the ambivalent act as if we simply don't exist.
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Old 04-18-15, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
I wouldn't say there is "hatred".

Police just don't seem to care where they park. They may stop a car for something foolishly insignificant, which then pulls over blocking a lane of the street (as is generally required to pull over as soon as possible). And the police don't care if they then block that lane of traffic for a half an hour, probably endangering more people, and certainly causing more traffic interruption than whatever was the reason for the original stop.

In this case, I agree with the rider's interpretation.



I don't see a lot of oncoming bicycle traffic, but assuming there is some, avoiding the car means merging into oncoming traffic.

At least if the officer had parked on the right side of the road, it would still have been an inconvenience to cyclists, but they would merely have had to merge into traffic travelling in the same direction.

The police officer he talked to was way off base. It also would hardly have been safe for the rider to stop to talk to the officer where he was parked on the bridge.
THIS. ^^^^

According to Massbike that was largely the worst part of it... parking in a manner that forced cyclists into oncoming traffic... shows a total lack of care or understanding on the part of the "serve and protect" officer.
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Old 04-18-15, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart
I don't think there's widespread hatred of cyclists, but 30 minutes of reading A&S posts would probably turn most people into haters.
That is only because those non cyclist "people" (allegedly fat lazy murdering redneck doofuses) don't appreciate A&S brand Bicycling Advocacy™ when they see it.
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