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Running Red Lights, another angle

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Running Red Lights, another angle

Old 10-21-07, 01:54 AM
  #1  
ignominious
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Running Red Lights, another angle

Running red lights. For those that do it, it's a calculated risk (albeit poorly calculated on a majority of occasions). Once you're across the controlled zone and you haven't been apprehended then that's where it ends.

Think again.

This is an extract of an e-mail from the Southwark Borough Co-ordinator of the London Cycling Campaign (LCC), which highlights another effect of running red lights.

Southwark is divided up into 8 Community Councils. They each meet every
couple of months to discuss very local issues and each presents a very
good chance to talk to local Councillors and key officers at a public
meeting.

For the past few years, around this time, Southwark Cyclists have
regularly picked up small grants from the Community Council under the
Cleaner Greener Safer scheme.

When these meetings started 4 years ago any cyclist saying anything was
liable to shouted at with "well stop cycling on the pavements then".
Nowadays traffic calming, home zones and walking and cycling are all the
rage...but moods are volatile. This extract below from a mail I've just
sent to Southwark Cyclists elist explains.

Barry
07905 889 005

***********
O......first Community Council Cleaner Greener Safer application has
just come home to roost. We've got 5,000 to build some bike parking
cages in Peckham...like the excellents at Barnes Wetlands Centre. Any
Peckham person out there want to take this on?

And at Bermondsey Community Council - for the first time in ages - a
father stood up and spoke eloquently about red-light jumping cyclists
outside Bermondsey tube station endangering his 8 yo daughter every
morning/afternoon on the way to school. Said sad weepy eyed daughter
there beside him. Then the Cleaner Greener Safer spot. Unlike at better
run CC's people weren't allowed to vote for their
favourites....Councillors decided. And none of our three bids got anywhere.
Bad yobs on bikes.

For context;
Southwark is one of the Metropolitain Boroughs of Greater London and as such is afforded a degree of autonomy from the rest of the city (as all boroughs are) in self-governance.
Community Councils are the means by which the Local Authority represents itself to it's constituents and canvasses on how it should conduct itself and expend certain allocations of public funding. They are held on roughly a monthly basis.
Any person, company or organisation is allowed to make an application for the allocation of public funding and in the past Southwark Cyclists, the aforementioned borough group of the LCC, has been successful in securing funding for things like an enclosed and managed bike track for kids, free maintenance and repair work sessions for the general public, quality bike parking facilities, improvements to cycle routes, national standard cycling education for a primary school of over 2000 children.

Now, because some people feel the need to ignore the rules of the road and increase the public perception of danger posed by cyclists to pedestrians and so on, funding applications are failing.

Perhaps those that think that running red lights is OK would like to offer a defence?
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Old 10-21-07, 02:39 AM
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Wahh, wahh, other cyclists are ruining everything for me, won't other cyclists behave, why won't everyone do everything the way I do, why if I had the authority I'd
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Old 10-21-07, 03:43 AM
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Breaking the law carries consequences; some obvious, some less so. Slow-rolling through a stop sign in a quiet neighborhood is one thing, but running red lights in a high-traffic area is just not a good plan, IMO. I'm sad for the OP and his neighborhood.
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Old 10-21-07, 06:43 AM
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Funding applications for cycle lanes, parking etc, are not based upon red light jumpers at all. It's easy for a city council to stop funding for the cyclist because the motorist always comes first. If they did say the funding was discontinued due to red light jumping, then this is only an excuse used. They never wanted to build them in the first place.
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Old 10-21-07, 07:17 AM
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WHy not just stop at red lights?
Red light/stop signs jumpers do affect public perception. Why build stuff for a bunch of criminals?
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Old 10-21-07, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post
WHy not just stop at red lights?
Because i see no point in waiting in front of an empty road maybe? Because i rather get a bit of a head start rather than race with the cars from the light? Frequently stopping also kills your momentum and gets annoying to be honest. I regularly roll through red lights at T-intersections, or those that are empty of traffic. If there is traffic, or i am at a major intersection i obviously stop.
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Old 10-21-07, 10:44 AM
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What's wrong with minding your own business? Ride your bike and have fun.
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Old 10-21-07, 02:32 PM
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OP-I am assuming that you are bringing out the often quoted argument against running red lights that "when you run a red, you give ALL cyclists a bad name and cause cyclists to be resented by drivers."

If the argument that breaking laws by a group of people leads to resentment of that group, then all drivers would be reviled, because everyone has seen a driver fly through a stop or blatantly run a red, but yet drivers are not universally hated.

Look, many people just hate cyclists, period. I'll be riding my bike down the street, obeying all laws, and people will yell, unprovoked, "Get the f@ck off the street!" The article you quote supports my position-

"When these meetings started 4 years ago any cyclist saying anything was
liable to shouted at with "well stop cycling on the pavements then"."

Running reds and stops is not unsafe, when it is done so in a way that it in no way interferes with anyone elses right of way. Many states have laws the allow cyclists to run red lights and stop signs (treat red lights and stops as yield signs), so it is very well established that running reds is a safe practice.
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Old 10-21-07, 04:22 PM
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Southwark must have really low taxes if they have stopped cycling funding due to a few cyclist breaking the law and motoring funding due to several motorist breaking the law. Count your blessings in all that tax money you save.
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Old 10-21-07, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by aMull View Post
Because i see no point in waiting in front of an empty road maybe? Because i rather get a bit of a head start rather than race with the cars from the light? Frequently stopping also kills your momentum and gets annoying to be honest. I regularly roll through red lights at T-intersections, or those that are empty of traffic. If there is traffic, or i am at a major intersection i obviously stop.
I guess obeying the law is annoying? What other laws do you ignore because they are annoying?

Are you such a weak rider that you have a hard time accelerating from a stop?
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Old 10-21-07, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post

If the argument that breaking laws by a group of people leads to resentment of that group, then all drivers would be reviled, because everyone has seen a driver fly through a stop or blatantly run a red, but yet drivers are not universally hated.

.
Sure I see cars run red lights, occasionally. But I RARELY see a bike stop at a light, or sign. Big difference.
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Old 10-21-07, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post

Running reds and stops is not unsafe, when it is done so in a way that it in no way interferes with anyone elses right of way. Many states have laws the allow cyclists to run red lights and stop signs (treat red lights and stops as yield signs), so it is very well established that running reds is a safe practice.
BS

I was almost hit AGAIN by a guy on a black Trek in Ft. Thomas, Ky. last night while he was running a stop sign. I put my foot out at him, and would have punted him away if he'd have gotten closer.
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Old 10-21-07, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
=Many states have laws the allow cyclists to run red lights and stop signs (treat red lights and stops as yield signs), so it is very well established that running reds is a safe practice.
OK, I'll call your bluff. Name five of the states that have these laws.
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Old 10-21-07, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Blue Order View Post
OK, I'll call your bluff. Name five of the states that have these laws.
Just one so far, Idaho.
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Old 10-21-07, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post
I guess obeying the law is annoying? What other laws do you ignore because they are annoying?

Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post
Better not take your car into downtown Cincinnati, Oh. around rush hour. You'd be at a stop light in a long line of cars, I'd go by and you'd never see me again. And if by chance you did catch up, I'd show you a few handfulls of roofing nails.
Is there more than one guy using this account?

Last edited by ghettocruiser; 10-21-07 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 10-21-07, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post
Sure I see cars run red lights, occasionally. But I RARELY see a bike stop at a light, or sign. Big difference.
Exactly. Cars do run reds, but it's far, far less common than a bicycle running a stop light or sign. In fact, I'd say those of us who actually stop for lights and signs are in the minority. All of the excuses always seem pretty BS to me. It seems to be laziness, really.
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Old 10-22-07, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post
Are you such a weak rider that you have a hard time accelerating from a stop?
Are you such a weak debater that you have to insult the person you're debating?

Do any of the folks who are passionate about not running red lights also work to stamp out jaywalking?
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Old 10-22-07, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
Is there more than one guy using this account?
I go to the front of the line, and stop at the stop light/stop sign.
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Old 10-22-07, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by YoungerNow View Post
Are you such a weak debater that you have to insult the person you're debating?

Do any of the folks who are passionate about not running red lights also work to stamp out jaywalking?
No insult inteneded. It is an honest question. Maybe people who run stoplights/ stop signs are weak riders that have a hard time getting up to speed? Just trying to figure out why otherwise normal people would just pick a law and ignore it.

There is no debating that riders should follow the law.
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Old 10-22-07, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by aMull View Post
Because i see no point in waiting in front of an empty road maybe? Because i rather get a bit of a head start rather than race with the cars from the light? Frequently stopping also kills your momentum and gets annoying to be honest. I regularly roll through red lights at T-intersections, or those that are empty of traffic. If there is traffic, or i am at a major intersection i obviously stop.
Same reason my friends and family give for speeding, for why it is okay to have three beers and still drive home, and for why even if you are falling asleep at the wheel you should keep driving. Yup all three are so incredibly annoying that it means you are only breaking an annoying law and it is therefore okay.
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Old 10-22-07, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mstrpete View Post
Breaking the law carries consequences; some obvious, some less so. Slow-rolling through a stop sign in a quiet neighborhood is one thing, but running red lights in a high-traffic area is just not a good plan, IMO. I'm sad for the OP and his neighborhood.
There is not really any difference. They are both breaking the law and just proving that cyclists do not want or deserve their right to be on the road.
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Old 10-22-07, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
There is not really any difference. They are both breaking the law and just proving that cyclists do not want or deserve their right to be on the road.
Sure. What about the THREE cars that nearly hit me yesterday running stop lights? Two making right turns without even slowing down, one making a left turn... WELL after the light turned red and mine turned green?

Do we have to mention how often cars roll through stop signs?

We won't even talk about speeders... or maybe we will. How about the guy that passed me illegally with less than 6" to spare when I was taking the lane and doing 35 in a 30 mph zone?

Can we cut funding for all the automobile-centric projects out there?
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Old 10-22-07, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
Sure. What about the THREE cars that nearly hit me yesterday running stop lights? Two making right turns without even slowing down, one making a left turn... WELL after the light turned red and mine turned green?

Do we have to mention how often cars roll through stop signs?

We won't even talk about speeders... or maybe we will. How about the guy that passed me illegally with less than 6" to spare when I was taking the lane and doing 35 in a 30 mph zone?

Can we cut funding for all the automobile-centric projects out there?
I'm sure that your thoughts make you feel better about yourself but I have a bet for you.

You and I will stand next to any stop sign in any city and I will give you $100 for every bike that stops at a stop sign if you give me $5.00 for every one that does not.

You know as well as I do that 99% of cyclists run stop signs and stop lights. Hell, just the other day I was pulling my big trailer, signalling and stopped (foot down) at a stop sign. When I started to go and make a right hand turn I was nearly hit by a woman who ran the sign and passed me on the right!!!

That crap happens all the time and other cyclists are amuch greater hazard to my health than cars because I know that the cars will have some respect for traffic laws.
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Old 10-22-07, 08:38 AM
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Any stop sign???? I'd take that. I can find a dozen stop signs that EVERY cyclist stops at. More than that.

Follow me around sometime, and count how many stop signs I run. (I'll give you a hint: It will be very close to 0% of all stop signs I come across)

I can show you stop signs that 90% or more of cars run every day. Stop lights as well (At least on right turns)

It's downright scary at times.
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Old 10-22-07, 09:41 AM
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Things are certainly different in your town then they are in mine.

Of course I live right next to a large university so that probably does not help my perception any.
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