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Re: [LoganSquare] Re: bikes & motorists

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  • Doug vanderHoof
    Wait a minute, that sounds so reasonable. Are you saying the cars park away from the curb and there s a bike lane between parked cars and curbs? That sounds
    Message 1 of 38 , Aug 31, 2010
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      Wait a minute, that sounds so reasonable.  Are you saying the cars park away from the curb and there's a bike lane between parked cars and curbs?
      That sounds way safer for everyone.
      Doug vanderHoof

      On Aug 31, 2010, at 8:30 PM, Laurie wrote:

      In Paris, France the bike lanes are between the cars and the sidewalk.  Cars and bikes don't compete or share the same space.  Bikes don't worry about jerky drivers and cars don't worry about jerky bikers.  Is it perfect?  Probably not.  But putting bikes and cars in the same space is pretty scary to me.  I walk and I drive.  When I drive I'm fairly anxious about all the bikes around me - EXACTLY because I know that one screw-up, whether it's me or a bike rider, can mean a hurt or dead biker.  I'm not looking for that.  

      Don't tell me to dump my car or just get use to being anxious around bikes on the streets.  In my opinion the whole bicycle path thing is designed poorly, as are the laws that throw us all together.


      Laurie Tanenbaum
      Grounds For Growth Landscape Design

      "There is no such thing as impartial history. The chief problem in
      historical honesty is not the outright lie. It is omission or de-emphasis
      of important data. The definition of 'important' of course depends on one's
      --Howard Zinn, 1922-2010, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train film
      documentary, 2004

      From: Christopher Gagnon <christopher.gagnon.chicago@...>
      To: LoganSquare@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tue, August 31, 2010 6:40:52 PM
      Subject: Re: [LoganSquare] Re: Logan Square Plaza meeting


      On Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 12:05 PM, jen bacher <any.such.name@gmail.com> wrote: 

      Attack the cyclists and pedestrians if you want, but we all know there are just as many if not more terrible motorists, and ultimately, a car hitting a pedestrian, the car is going to win.

      Actually, you're being far too charitable to motorists.  As I recall, cyclists make up something like 1-2% mode share Chicago. If 100% of those cyclists were lawless hooligans, their numbers would be vanishingly small compared to just a tiny fraction of lawless motorists.

      Our built environment has been engineered for motorists first and foremost for at least the last 50 years. During that time, pedestrians have been squeezed onto increasingly narrow sidewalks to make way for more cars, but let a few bicyclists or pedestrians try to get a little accommodation, and motorists start losing their shit.

      Honestly, doesn't it kind of make you laugh when motorists complain about how hard life is for them?  It's like listening to spoiled celebrities complain about how hard it is to be rich and famous--cry me a river, babies!  Seriously, I can't for the life of me understand how motorists, who make up 99% of all roadway users, can wind up feeling so horribly put-upon and victimized.  LOL, what self-centered brats--grow up and learn to share.

      Or don't.  Just keep muttering angrily inside your car while we help ourselves to the roadway like we did at Wrightwood, and on Albany, and hopefully at Milwaukee/Logan--and many more to come.


      Doug vanderHoof
      modern media
      Chicago + Seattle
      773.394.0029   voice+text

      Skype:  dvanderhoof
      Personal blog:  Tellingdetails.blogspot.com

    • Todd Gee
      Did you read those articles Alice? The very first one is about a cyclist hurting himself while running a stop sign. He hurt himself -- not someone else.
      Message 38 of 38 , Sep 9, 2010
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        Did you read those articles Alice?  The very first one is about a cyclist hurting himself while running a stop sign.  He hurt himself -- not someone else.  Your list of articles from all over the world even includes one that answers the question "Are cyclists a bigger threat to pedestrians than motor vehicles?" with a 'no'.  (And FWIW, that old story of the cyclist killing a guy by knocking him down the stairs is true, but it was a personal vendetta involving a nut-job [who just happened to ride a bike]). 

        And did you happen to see that other thread on this list?  The one about the four serious "accidents" in one day recently in just the Logan Square area? 

        Do cyclists hurt others? Sure, occasionally.  But you really don't believe that the hordes of maundering cyclists and jay-walkers pose the same risk to you than normal, every-day traffic, do you?  Let's keep the conversation grounded in reality.

        I stand by statement -- everyone has a moral obligation to operate safely in proportion to the risk caused to others by not doing so.  The way the vast, vast majority of cyclists ride, they're just not presenting a credible danger to the community around them.  So, if we're going to get our collective undies in a bunch about people breaking the rules, let's focus on those that can (and do!) actually put the rest of us in harm's way.

        All I'm saying is that the more dangerous the activity in which you're engaged is to others, the greater your responsibility to ensure that you don't hurt those around you.  This is true in any context -- from vehicular traffic to handling firearms.  Is this really so difficult to accept?


        From: Alice Singleton <mommyalizoom@...>
        To: LoganSquare@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wed, September 8, 2010 12:58:42 PM
        Subject: Re: [LoganSquare] Re: bikes & motorists

        "A cyclist doing all the 'bad' things that people on this list seem to like enumerating could, I suppose, run down a pedestrian and send them to the
        hospital (this is somewhat far-fetched -- I've never seen any news reports of it). (The fact that this cyclist can hurt *his/herself* is another issue and, I
        think, unrelated to this discussion thread.) "

        Some "far-fetched" examples:










        And this is similar to the ""far-fetched" experience my four-year-old daughter had in '02:

        OH! and about a decade ago a man was knocked down the Union Station steps by a cyclist. Coma, and death.

        I spend a great deal of my "driving defensively" time struggling NOT to hit overgrown, over-privileged, "got-a-halo-around-my-head-because-I'm-better-for-the-environment-than-you-are" nimrod cyclists. Last Friday morning, just as the light changed in front of Johnnie's Grill, I pull off and some fiftysomething woman in flip flop flies straight into the side of my car, attempting to "beat the light" that had not been in her favor for a good ten seconds.

        Every friggin' day in this town, and especially this 'hood, I run into  (pun intended) "Bikers on a Mission" - yep, that's right - you guys are always right, and we should swerve to miss you breaking the traffic laws and being incredibly bad citizens and risk our lives, the lives of our passengers and others on the road.

        The only cyclists in Logan Square that seem to "get it" are the Mormon missionaries.The remainder of you need to grow up, or take bike safety lessons at the Tabernacle on Wrightwood and Sawyer.


        From: Todd Gee <toddgee@...>
        To: LoganSquare@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tue, September 7, 2010 10:27:46 PM
        Subject: Re: [LoganSquare] Re: bikes & motorists


        Wow, so much discussion about bicycles and the removal of the special turn lane
        (from EB Logan onto SB Milwaukee). It's nice to hear people discussing it.

        One thing that sticks out for me, however is that people keep saying that
        (paraphrased) "everyone is responsible for following the rules" and "everyone
        breaks the rules". While I would agree in principle with both of these
        statements, I think there are some important nuances to keep in mind. (This is
        something I've spent a lot of time thinking about.)

        As someone else mentioned, automobile drivers pose a greater risk to those
        around them than do cyclists (and pedestrians) and therefore have a greater
        responsibility to be careful. This is an important point. While the Law is
        strictly black and white about things (as it has to be), there are practical
        differences. When it comes down to it, the more potential one has to do harm
        *to others* the greater moral obligation one has to guard against doing so.

        A car has far more potential to hurt *others* than a cyclist, so the driver of
        that car has more obligation to follow the rules, be careful, operate the car
        defensively, etc. than the cyclist.

        A cyclist doing all the 'bad' things that people on this list seem to like
        enumerating could, I suppose, run down a pedestrian and send them to the
        hospital (this is somewhat far-fetched -- I've never seen any news reports of
        it). (The fact that this cyclist can hurt *his/herself* is another issue and, I
        think, unrelated to this discussion thread.) That cyclist has far less
        obligation to follow the rules, be careful, etc.

        I'm not giving the cyclist a pass, I'm simply saying that I'm not going to get
        as upset about a cyclist riding like an idiot as I am about something even as
        benign (?) as a driver chatting on their cell phone while driving. A crazy,
        out-of-control cyclist is far less likely to hurt *me* or *my family* than
        someone driving through the slip-lane on a Sunday morning when the lot of us are
        returning home from the farmer's market.

        Will this further delay drivers? Possibly, but I don't care. In fact, I think
        that if we start building our streets to reflect that they're used not just by
        people in cars, we'll have a more pleasant place to live. Someone wrote that
        this will punish people who *have* to drive - who are themselves victims of "bad
        urban planning". Well, sure; but when do we start making changes? Do we have
        to live with those mistakes forever? I say let's take every opportunity to make
        our community a better place to *live* even if this makes it a worse place to


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