Slog Comments


Comments (163) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Cato the Younger Younger 1
Welcome to how I bike on Eastlake and Fairview. I spend about 20% of the time on the sidewalk (slowly) because it's a fucking death trap on the street for cyclists.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on November 30, 2012 at 9:47 AM · Report this
TVDinner 2
The data support you. We will not see a critical mass of cyclists until we see infrastructure that allows people to ride their bikes with minimal stress, and that means safe, separate facilities.

30 years of vehicular cycling has resulted in conflict, death, and the continued supremacy of the single-occupancy vehicle, with tragic results. No more.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 30, 2012 at 9:48 AM · Report this
Fnarf 3

People who ride their bike on the sidewalk deserve to be killed. If you're on the sidewalk, WALK YOUR BIKE.

If I'm walking on a sidewalk and you ride by on your bike, I'm going to kick your fucking wheel out from under you. I'll be doing you a favor, too, because I'll be keeping your from running down some old granny, who has infinitely more right to be on the sidewalk than you. Cyclists on sidewalks are terrorists.


If you're afraid of the doors, take the lane. IT'S YOUR LANE.

I ride in the street every day. Yes, cars are annoying. But if you're going to wait for separate facilities, you're going to wait forever. It's never going to happen. There isn't room for a separate facility for three percent of the vehicles, and you will destroy our cities if you try. I don't give a shit what they do in Copenhagen. WE DON'T LIVE IN COPENHAGEN.

Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Heh, while I'm not quite as virulent as Fnarf, I have to say that if you're riding on the sidewalk, please show some respect for the people actually using it for walking (it is called a sideWALK BTW) and not just mow them down because you're on a bike.

I can't tell you how many times I've been told to get out of the way by people on bikes on the sidewalk.

We really do need a better bicycle infrastructure, but until then, share the sidewalk too.
Posted by fuddy on November 30, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
I agree with Fnarf. You can't have it both ways.

My wife was just hit by a cyclist coming round a corner at high speeds a few weeks ago. Fucking asshole had the nerve to tell her to fuck off as he rode on his merry douche bag way while she was sprawled on the sidewalk.

It's war now.
Posted by tkc on November 30, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
You're much more likely to get in a collision riding on the sidewalk than in the street, even without a bike lane.

Scroll down to the section "Injury Rate per Mile" at…

Riding on the sidewalk really isn't the safer option.
Posted by decidedlyodd on November 30, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
douchus 7
Fnarf - DUM AS Fuck.
Posted by douchus on November 30, 2012 at 10:10 AM · Report this
chinaski 8
I''l take my chances with Fnarf kicking my tires out from under me. Should be easier to handle than a dump truck. Or even 3 tons of Prius.
Posted by chinaski on November 30, 2012 at 10:10 AM · Report this
emor 9
I'll chime in: you are more likely to get hit by a car if you ride on the the sidewalk.

As long as you take care whie riding in the intersections -- that's where most bike/car collisions occur. Note that while riding on the sidewalk, you still have to cross potentially dangerous intersection.
Posted by emor on November 30, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
Fuck cyclists that ride on the sidewalk. I've nearly been killed by so many of them. I should start intentionally making bikers crash when they ride on the sidewalk. Makes me fucking furious.
Posted by Faber on November 30, 2012 at 10:12 AM · Report this
DOUG. 11
Unless you're riding at 3 mph, riding on the sidewalk is way more dangerous that riding in the street. Wear a helmet and bright clothes, and take a lane as needed.
Posted by DOUG. on November 30, 2012 at 10:14 AM · Report this
Heeey, Fnarf did me better. I was just enraged by Dan Savage's suggestion that people ride on sidewalks. Fuck that. Fuck sidewalk-riding. I'm going to make it a point of trying to get into a fist-fight with the next cyclist I see riding on the sidewalk.
Posted by Faber on November 30, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
chinaski 13
All the bad asses come crawling out of the woodwork.
I ride my bike down the sidewalk on westlake every day. 8:30 am and 4:30 pm. Lets see whats what.
Posted by chinaski on November 30, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this
Weaving in and out between sidewalks and streets is a major dick move. It's akin to the asshole on the freeway who lane changes every two seconds to weave around traffic at 90 mph. STOP DOING IT.
Posted by j.lee on November 30, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 17
Have to agree with Fnarf.

I've been tempted to clothesline cyclists who use the sidewalk when they have a perfectly good road.
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 30, 2012 at 10:26 AM · Report this
Sidewalk riding might feel safer, but it's not: Drivers are not expecting anybody faster than a jogger when they pull out of driveways or take right turns on red. If you absolutely must ride on the sidewalk, go slowly--especially around driveways--and always yield to pedestrians.
Posted by Patrick McGrath on November 30, 2012 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Lugh 19
@ Dan and chinaski -- If you are too timid to use the street leave your bike at home and walk or bus. A few yards of sidewalk riding to avoid a hazard in the road you can't avoid otherwise, or to get to a bike rack etc. is reasonable. More than that and you've crossed the line. I know it's legal but it's a dickwad move.
Posted by Lugh on November 30, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 20
Sidewalk riding, I do it sometimes. Going uphill on the southern tip of Lake City way, for example. No shoulder, barely any pedestrians, traffic at 40mph... It doesn't just feel safer, it is safer.

The accident rates are higher for sidewalk riders because of driveways and intersections. In both cases, drivers will no be looking for someone going bicycle speed. So don't go fast on the sidewalk, it's safer for you (and the pedestrians to whom the sidewalk belongs).

@fnarf- You're a petty asshole. Hope you don't kill anyone during one of your drives back to the 'burbs after hitting the bars on Seattle.

@4- WALK TO THE RIGHT SIDE. I say this as someone who walks fast and also as someone who rides a bike on the sidewalk sometimes. If people are telling you to get out of the way often, it's probably because you are acting like you have a right to the whole fucking sidewalk. You don't. Now they should be saying "excuse me" in a polite tone, but them being in the wrong doesn't put you in the right.

Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 10:31 AM · Report this
@6 cites a good source about why it's more dangerous to ride on the sidewalk than in the street. The pertinent paragraph is below. Dan, you clearly are not a cyclist. Advocate away for dedicated lanes, but are endangering readers who might actually listen to you when you state that it is safer to ride on the sidewalk.

"People wonder how riding bikes on sidewalks can be dangerous. First, there is a greater chance of minor collisions with cyclists and pedestrians due to poorer visibility and restricted room and also a greater chance of falling down. However, the likelihood of a collision with a motor vehicle also increases. These accidents occur at intersections and driveways, the former more deadly. Unwilling to dismount and often unwilling to wait for the light, the bike rider starts across the intersection parallel to the main road, completely hidden from a turning motorist until the last second, when it's often too late for the motorist to stop. A study of these risks was made in 1994 and showed that sidewalk cycling is almost twice as dangerous as cycling in the street, and cycling against the traffic on the sidewalk is over four times as dangerous as cycling in the street."
Posted by David from Chicago on November 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
Westlake, son! 22
@1 except oddly, the only actual cyclist death on Eastlake/Fairview came from someone riding on the sidewalk and down a flight of stairs.
Posted by Westlake, son! on November 30, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
agree with Fnarf - TAKE YOUR PLACE in the street. That's how it works
Posted by myr on November 30, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
uh oh, fnarf and will in seattle want to kick my ass. Sidewalk is a last resort, seldom & scrupulously used, and I've had bad experiences as a pedestrian as well. That said, riding on the sidewalk is LEGAL here. At least WIS and Fnarf have something to bond around. Alternate transportation doth make for strange bedfellows
Posted by Randy Beaver on November 30, 2012 at 10:34 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 25
It depends on the road. If it's a narrow street with no bike lane and a cyclist is huffing and puffing but it's not safe to drive around and traffic is starting to back up -- all the while there's perfectly good unused sidewalk! In those cases the cyclist should use the sidewalk so the rest of us are freed from that frustrating and dangerous situation.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on November 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 26
Agree with Fnarf: if you're on the sideWALK, walk your bike. I'm sick of douchbag cyclists nearly mowing me down. In fact, I've started to throw them off their bikes-- better that than getting hit. It's actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it. (Hint: I'm planted and my center of gravity is much lower.)

Shit, maybe I should have classes teaching pedestrians how to do it. I suspect that if cyclists faced the same dangers on the sidewalk that they're imposing on pedestrians, they might reconsider their actions.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on November 30, 2012 at 10:38 AM · Report this
I ride all over the city and avoid sidewalks AND arterials. More often than not there is a quiet, less-trafficed street one or two blocks over. Usually the street has cars parked on both sides, so ride in the center to avoid being doored. My experience is that drivers can see you better, they drive slower, and there's lots more interesting things to look at. Leave the busy roads to cars. Sure it may take a bit longer but at least you arrive safely.
Posted by Never again on November 30, 2012 at 10:38 AM · Report this
Bicycling in Paris is a dream not just because of the occasional dedicated bike lane or the fact that there are bus lanes that cyclists and taxis can use, but because with streets hugely crowded with cars, trucks, scooters and motorcycles weaving everywhere, PARIS DRIVERS AND RIDERS PAY ATTENTION TO EVERYTHING. Transport on those streets is a collaborative effort, head and shoulders above anything I've ever experienced.

We in Seattle can't can't can't afford to pay for the concrete walls that could protect cyclists from our shitty, sloppy distracted drivers. Even if we could - and again, we can't - it wouldn't solve the problem of shitty driving.

I never hesitate to hop on a bike in Paris. I wouldn't ride in Seattle for love nor money.
Posted by gloomy gus on November 30, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
There will never be separated, dedicated bike lanes in Seattle, so stop talking about it. There isn't enough bike traffic to warrant them, and there sure as hell isn't enough room.
Posted by Chali2Na on November 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Report this
The illusion of safety fostered by ineffective bike lanes and sharrows creates more danger than not having them. No doubt about that. If you are riding a bicycle on the street, you are at risk. Never forget it and ride cautiously.

Riding cautiously will reduce, but not eliminate your risk.

Riding on the sidewalk brings new hazards and, as has been mentioned, doesn't reduce your exposure at intersections, which are particularly dangerous. In particular, I think that coming into an intersection at bicycle speed from the sidewalk may present more danger from turning vehicles than the street. These folks are looking in the street before making their turn and if they look at the sidewalk at all, they are not looking for something moving at bicycle speed. They won't look far enough back to see you coming.

On the whole, the sidewalk strikes me as more dangerous than the street - even when there's no bike lane.

Ride cautiously. Follow the law. Choose safer streets when available. Do not expect any protection from paint. Presume you are invisible. A lot of the time the safest thing to do is to take the lane.

What will motivate the city to build safe bicycle infrastruture? Probably nothing - never gonna happen. But they will be more motivated by motorists who complain that cyclists are taking the lane than they will be motivated by dead or injured cyclists.
Posted by Charlie Mas on November 30, 2012 at 10:49 AM · Report this
raku 32
Vehicular cycling nuts have killed thousands of people since they started influencing policy (causing no bike infrastructure) in the 70's. It's clearly outdated and dangerous, and they don't care, as evidenced by the roid rage and death threats in this thread.

Separated bike lanes are very clearly the answer. We won't "wait forever" for them - they've already started to appear in Seattle, Portland, Chicago, LA, NYC, all over the world. Sydney installed a handful and immediately bike ridership went up 82%. Now it's installing 55km of them.

They're dirt cheap and enhance cities. Saying they "destroy" them is absolutely ridiculous. The only "negative" to them, besides the minimal cost, is that they take a few feet of space from cars and can eliminate center turn lanes or a few street parking spots. Putting them in dense neighborhoods in Seattle, where already only about a third of people drive to work, is a no-brainer.
Posted by raku on November 30, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this
spaceapple 33
Cyclists have a tendency to treat pedestrians the same way drivers treat cyclists.

My suggestion- sell the fucking EMP for scrap metal and use the money to build dedicated bike lanes.

Posted by spaceapple on November 30, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Report this
@30: chicken and egg
Posted by Tawnos on November 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM · Report this
Fnarf 35
@20, you're wrong. A sidewalk is not a roadway; it is part of the room of the public street. It is perfectly acceptable to stand in the middle of it and admire the scenery, or read a newspaper, or walk into or out of a shop, or bend down and tie your shoe, or bend down and pick up a shiny penny, or load groceries into the back seat of your car, or chat with a friend you just bumped into, or whatever-the-fuck-else you want to do.

It is certainly not a pair of smoothly-moving lanes of robotic pedestrian movers, marching perfectly in step. If a pedestrian doing ANYTHING AT ALL is in your way? You are in the wrong. You are in their territory.

Walk on the right my ass. Get off my fucking sidewalk.

As for your feeble insults, I can assure you that I live in the city limits and commute by bicycle every day, rain or shine, and I never, ever, ever drive (or cycle) drunk. That doesn't make me an angel, it just makes me a citizen. You should try it.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM · Report this
Wow, apparently everyone, including Fnarf has their issue where they go all Stand Your Ground Road Rage Crazy.

"If I'm walking on a sidewalk and you ride by on your bike, I'm going to kick your fucking wheel out from under you. I'll be doing you a favor, too, because I'll be keeping your from running down some old granny, who has infinitely more right to be on the sidewalk than you. Cyclists on sidewalks are terrorists."--Fnarf

Wow. I'm a little confused--who's the terrorist vigilante in this scenario?
Posted by tiktok on November 30, 2012 at 10:56 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 37
@26- I feel pity for you.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this
raku 38
"Separated bike lanes will never happen" - this is not reality. Dexter already has one, they're being installed on Broadway as we speak. They're already all over the country and world. If we don't install them now, we'll be behind every other dense US city, just like we were with light rail.
Posted by raku on November 30, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this
Fnarf 40
@32, I am not a "vehicular cycling nut", and I support better cycling infrastructure when it's practical. It very often is not. That's just reality.

It is also ludicrous to suggest that "vehicular cycling nuts" have killed thousands; while thousands have certainly died (something like 750 a year in the US, I think? A tiny fraction of all road deaths), most of those deaths would not have been prevented by practical cycling infrastructure. Most of them are caused by poor cycling habits -- like riding on the sidewalk.

The answer to NONE of the problems with cycling in a city is "just ride on the sidewalk".
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
emor 41

So you physically attack people you see riding on the sidewalk? I call bullshit. And if you're thinking of turning your fantasy into reality: don't. If someone hits their head after falling off their bike, they could be seriously injured.
Posted by emor on November 30, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
Fnarf 42
@36, the asshole zipping down the sidewalk totally oblivious to the woman with the stroller, the granny with a walker, and the three kids walking home from school, and shouting at them to get the fuck out of the way, obviously. Wheel-kicking is a defensive maneuver.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
TVDinner 43
@9: Emor, there is some interesting data that turned up on the League's site this year about where fatal accidents occur. This is super preliminary data, but it does show that about half of the fatalities don't happen at intersections.

It'll be interesting to see if this holds up over time.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 30, 2012 at 11:10 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 44
I'm with Fnarf on this one. Unlike in Seattle, riding your bike on the sidewalk is illegal in Denver. Do you thnk that stops anyone from doing it? Hell no. After being knocked down numerous times, I now square my shoulders and take them out first. Tough fucking shit.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on November 30, 2012 at 11:10 AM · Report this
emor 45

Side note re: cycling fatalities.

The rate of cycling deaths has gone down since the 1970s. This did not happen entirely because of better infrastructure or better education. It happened largely because children don't really ride bikes anymore. Kids and their tragically fatal bonehead mistakes hugely inflated the numbers. I think this is related to the statistic that people who wear helmets are less likely to die: people who tend to not wear helmets are the kind of people who tend to make tragically fatal bonehead mistakes.
Posted by emor on November 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
@40: But the answer to cyclists on the sidewalk who *may* at some point in the future hit a pedestrian (the news is full of reports of those incidents, eh?) is the preemptively kick their bike out from under them?
Posted by tiktok on November 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
raku 47
40- It's very clear that separated bike lanes on major streets would prevent most bicycle injuries & fatalities. This isn't the only study but probably the newest.…
Posted by raku on November 30, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
lizlemon 49
When I first moved to Seattle, I was guilty of riding on the sidewalk sometimes when it wasn't too crowded -- but I always felt really nervous riding in the streets because I was kind of slow at riding my bike and could feel the drivers seething rage as they tailgated me. I would usually try to take smaller residential streets whenever possible. So I can sympathize with cyclists who hate riding in the streets but please be extra careful on sidewalks since it also sucks to be yelled at or hit by a cyclists because "you were in their way."
Posted by lizlemon on November 30, 2012 at 11:16 AM · Report this
I am a responsible bicyclist.

1. I do not run red lights.
2. I wear a fucking helmet
3. I do not have headphones on
4. I do not wear dark clothes at night
5. I invested a reasonable amount of money on a good light system.
6. I am always a few steps ahead. I am a defensive rider. I plan ahead. "What happens if that car suddenly pulls in front of me?
7. I yield to vehicles! They weigh more than I do. Do the math, who will win whether who is at fault or not!

I am tired of all you hippie riding a-holes who feels a self entitlement of some sort. That you are better than anyone else and that you have a invisible shield protecting you!

I am drive a car as well, and I am not sticking up for all drivers. There are a good share of idiot drivers out there as well, but that is another topic.

Have some common sense all you bicyclist out there. Take responsibility and protect yourself!
Posted by L.C.25 on November 30, 2012 at 11:16 AM · Report this
TVDinner 51
Also, all of you ranting about the impossibility of building good cycling infrastructure in Seattle have clearly been asleep while Greenways have been built in your neighborhoods.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 30, 2012 at 11:18 AM · Report this
I'm just going to assume I'm still a huge douchebag for riding my bike on the sidewalk, even though I don't ride full speed, I slow down for pedestrians and only pass them when I have plenty of room, I ring my bell to indicate my presence when overtaking or when approaching any blind corners or other low-visibility situations, I come to complete stops at stop signs and red lights and otherwise obey all pertinent regulations, I have a proper headlight, taillight, and helmet, and I keep my head on a swivel for vehicular traffic that might not see me.

Because blanket proscriptions are easier than using your fucking brain.

Sometimes I walk. Sometimes I ride the bus. Sometimes I bike. Sometimes I drive. Trust me, no matter how you're getting around, people doing any of those can and will do stupid shit that can ruin your trip or your day or your life. Look out for them, learn from their mistakes, and don't do the stupid shit they do when you're getting around that way.
Posted by Ben on November 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
emor 53

Wow, I'm amazed. That data suggests being rear-ended is the most common fatal crash. I only worry about those collisions while riding country highways. It's not really even on my radar in an urban setting. I guess it's not that surprising, though, as the cars in those collisions are probably moving faster than a car in a right-hook incident.

I'd be curious to see that statistics for all collisions, not just fatal ones. I'd bet that the the majority do occur in intersections. I think that data is more pertinent (even if it doesn't exists) because non-fatal collisions are way more common than fatal ones.
Posted by emor on November 30, 2012 at 11:20 AM · Report this
emor 54
Whoops I meant @43
Posted by emor on November 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
seandr 55
Biking will continue to be more dangerous than driving even with dedicated bike lanes. The risks of being a meat-bag wizzing through space at 20mph with nothing to protect you except a bit of foam on the top of your head are inherent.

P.S. Not only does biking on the sidewalk put pedestrians at risk, it puts the cyclist at risk in controlled intersections as cars nose into an empty crosswalk scanning the road for fast moving traffic before making a right turn on a red light. Amazes me that biking on the sidewalk is still legal in Seattle.
Posted by seandr on November 30, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 56
@42- So the terrorist is a figment of your imagination, then. You voted for Bush twice, didn't you?
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM · Report this
Part of the problem is where you put such bike lanes. Sad to say, some biking advocates can be complete assholes about this: it isn't enough that people bike, but drivers must be made to suffer.

You think I'm being hyperbolic? Exhibit A for my point is the Jarvis Street bike line in Toronto. A loooooooong overdue bike lane. The city had needed one for years. And where did they INSIST on putting it? On one of the most vital city arteries, the key north-south street between Yonge (the street that runs right up the middle of Toronto) and the DVP (the badly designed urban highway to the east). The most adaptable car route in the city because of its five lanes, the centre being southbound (into the city) in the morning, and northbound in the evening.

Did they put the bike lane on any of the other many north-south streets there which would have been better choices? No. Like an asshole neighbour who builds his shed exactly in the only line of sight you have to the lake (because he's enjoying fucking you over) the bike devotees were determined to mess with the most efficient non-highway east side car route in and out of Toronto's downtown.
Posted by seeker6079 on November 30, 2012 at 11:30 AM · Report this
Posted by Cassette tape fan on November 30, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
TVDinner 59
@53: Yeah, it really shook up a lot of my own thinking about injuries. It suggests that the accepted wisdom about this may not be accurate, but it's hard to know because there just are not sufficient data out there. That so many fatalities happen from being hit from behind shook me to the foundation, because that's the one type of accident you absolutely cannot control for. I think a lot of us feel a false sense of security when we're riding (50 is a perfect example of that) because we believe that we're somehow more competent and safer than those other people who do something stupid and get maimed/killed.

I think that's why when a cyclist is killed, the immediate reaction even among other cyclists often is to blame the victim. "Well, he wasn't wearing a helmet/was riding too fast/was being reckless/was stupid" makes other cyclists feel like they're immune from such risks. The truth is cycling is very risky because we have deliberately engineered our streets to be so. It's time to fix that.

Also, as most of you know, I ride with my two-year-old in a trailer, and I absolutely ride on the sidewalk in places where the street isn't safe. It sucks, because I have to ride slowly and I always yield to peds, but I believe in using the entirety of the urban environment to safely navigate my way through the urban jungle.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 30, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
stinky 60
In Seattle, it's legal to ride a bicycle on a sidewalk (in Vancouver, it's not). That's all you need to know. Somebody decides to do it, that's their choice, and taking action to make it unsafe for them as a statement is a criminal act. Taking action to make it inconvenient as a statement is an asshole move. Don't like it? Work to change the law. Think it unsafe? Don't do it yourself.

In my seventh decade on this earth, I can't ever remember being told to get out of the way by a sidewalk-riding bicyclist. Passed too close or faster than I liked, yes. Injured by one? Never. Whacked by a car on the road while riding my bike? Several times.
Posted by stinky on November 30, 2012 at 11:46 AM · Report this
Fnarf 61
@56, I see them every day. Some of them are presumably you. You don't see them, because you don't see anything; you certainly don't see the grannies, because if you did you'd GET OFF YOUR FUCKING BIKE AND WALK IT, OR RIDE IN THE STREET. Fuck you people.

And no, your laughable attempt to pigeonhole me has failed utterly once again. Not a Bush voter; not remotely resembling a Bush voter. Your accuracy rate is bubbling along at 0%. Fool.

@51, those "Greenways" are even less actual than sharrows. In fact, they appear to be nothing BUT sharrows, with the additional feature of total irrelevancy. There's supposedly one in Wallingford, where I'm sitting, but it doesn't go anywhere that anyone wants to go -- after all, if it did that, it would already be a heavily trafficked street. There's a reason arterials are where they are -- they go places where large numbers of people want or need to go.

"Greenways are routes on low-volume residential streets where people who bike and walk are given priority. It provides a safer alternative to busy arterials, which in this case, would be North 45th Street."

The problem here is obvious: I ride on the arterial because the stuff I'm trying to get to is on the arterial. Saying "here, ride on this residential street blocks away from where you actually want to be" isn't helping. And streets where bicycles are rare are far more dangerous to ride on than busy streets, where cyclists are expected.

Hilariously, the only photos I can find of the Wallingford Greenway, which is the only actually-constructed one (or at least signed), have parked cars outnumbering pedestrians and bikes by approximately ten-to-one-to-zero.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this
Sorry to rant on this topic, but this is one of the things that drives me nuts about people whose side I want to be on: green and/or alternative and/or mass transit folks. I want more people on bikes, I want more bike lanes, I want more urban trains instead of cars. And there's loads of folks like me.

But, while I can't speak for Seattle, I can speak about T.O., my home town. Bike lanes and trains would get a lot more support where their advocates aren't sanctimonious scolds vibrating with moral rage and determined only to play zero sum games with a side order of "we know best so well we don't need to listen to you!". Lots of people in Toronto want to get the hell out of their cars into subways. They're willing to pay for subways. They're willing to have their roads torn up for subways. So what do the alt-transit types give them? An insistence on light rail projects, which the public hates and which interfere with car flow. Lots of Torontonians want bike lines, but what does the City give them? They insist on it being on what's arguably the best car route in the city and then the City staff tell folks whose commutes are now a half hour longer that their projections and computer models say that they've only lost a minute and a half.

If we're going to have public and buy-in and support let's start with not sneering at people's actual preferences and experiences, shall we?
Posted by seeker6079 on November 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 63
@56: Maybe you should not insult other people's cognition so much, because from what I recall, you were the one on here sticking up for and trying to protect that "Violentacrez" guy's right to continue anonymously victimizing underage girls through reddit.

And that would take quite a dumb ass.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on November 30, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
dan should write a mega-post combining cyclists, pit bulls, gentrification/development and light rail to get every troll and angry cyclist to comment.
Posted by Cassette tape fan on November 30, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
NotSean 65
As a driver, I greatly prefer cyclists to be closer to the middle of the lane. I see them better; cyclist is safer with respect to my car.

The few times I nearly knocked a cyclist down was when they were riding in a bike lane. Once when they pulled up just a moment before I turned at an intersection. The other time, I obliviously opened my car door a moment after the cyclist flew by (whew!)

I try even harder to be safer now but, just being honest, cyclists in the center of the lane fare better around me.

Cyclists on sidewalks should not be.

Bike lanes on busy streets where side streets are present, should not be.

Posted by NotSean on November 30, 2012 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Fnarf 66
@59, I've seen those statistics before, which is why I recently dramatically upgraded my rear lights and am thinking about upgrading them more. If your rear light isn't roughly comparable to a car's, people can't see you.

Any cyclist who thinks that their little half-watt blinky is protecting them from anything is fooling him- or herself. In Germany, where cycling safety is taken seriously, and generator lights are required by law, blinkies are actually illegal. I know from driving that most motorists are not in fact actively trying to kill cyclists; they just can't tell where they are. Blinkies make it HARDER to spot you, not easier, especially if it's raining. Your light totally gets lost in the noise of streetlights, car lights, house lights, and the wet reflections of the lights of streets, cars and houses.

Knowing that "Christ, I think someone is over there somewhere" is not particularly helpful. What is helpful is extremely bright steady lights, preferably more than one, and lots of side-light, either from spillage or reflectors. Get better lights, people.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 67
@41: No, I physically defend myself from people who are about to hit me. Thankfully the two I've tossed attempted to slow down before hitting me, which means they weren't hurt that badly. And while I prefer not to seriously injure someone on a bike, I more strongly prefer not being injured myself. Particularly when the collision is entirely their fault.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on November 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
I was once a long-time bicycle commuter. My first year in Seattle, I biked to work every day. And that includes the winter. I also rode a lot for fun and competition. Then I got in a bike accident. No cars involved, thankfully. Still, I broke my dominant hand. And it was a big one. Turns out that there are lots of ways to get in a bad bike accident, even without cars: blown tire, potholes, etc.

Still, put in the time to build myself a new bike. It's a sweet-looking thing, too. Then, shortly before getting ready to ride again, a good friend of mine was killed by a driver making an insane maneuver. Just a random bullshit maneuver that happens sometimes. At that point, I just concluded that biking isn't worth it. It's just too fucking dangerous.

If anyone's in the market for a sweet custom-built bike, however...
Posted by Joel_are on November 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM · Report this
This convos been going on for a while, but I ride in the street. I've been hit several times and hand my arm broken in a hit and run.

I WILL ride on the sidewalk though. And if I do ride on the sidewalk for whatever reason, I go no faster than the speed of people walking on it, and if its crowded in any sense, I hop off.

But its very easy for me to roll behind someone walking, not pass them, and have them not even realize i'm there.
Posted by cpt. tim on November 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Fnarf 70
@62, "They insist on it being on what's arguably the best car route in the city"

Think about what you just wrote. Why is it the best car route in the city? Do you think that your reasons might apply to cyclists as well? Cyclists are coming from the same sorts of places as you, and trying to get to the same sorts of places as well.

But you're saying that they should be forced to ride blocks away from where they need to be.

Your point about the stupidity of at-grade light rail is well-taken, though. I gotta say, though, the respectability of the viewpoints of Torontonians is severely damaged by the existence of your fatuous (and just plain fat) mayor, Rob Ford (or "Robs Fords", as the Bike Snob calls him, because there's enough of him for three normal mayors). Douchebag -- and bike opponent.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
TVDinner 71
@61: Fair enough. You know, of course, that I haven't seen the Greenways, so I don't know how good they are.

Regarding the arterial versus residential street argument: I would love to see an ideal world where arterials are streets for transit and bikes, and not just single-occupancy vehicles. Right now, the cyclists who are willing to ride on arterials are those who are less risk-averse than the general population. A study out of Portland State found that all cyclists are willing to detour to ride on less stressful streets, and women more so. Interestingly, men will detour further. A half mile seems to be the average that riders are willing to detour, so Portland is installing its network of bicycle boulevards, which we're calling "greenways" now for political reasons, about every half mile or so.

I believe if we get a decent chunk of the interested but concerned out on the streets we will have a critical mass of people who ride bikes - note that I don't call them "cyclists" - and we will have reached the tipping point in terms of building better infrastructure. But we have to reach those folks first.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
"Patronizing "sharrows," imaginary bike lanes..."

I, too, want seperated bike lines. But your comment is wrong about sharrows (agreed - a waste of time & paint). Sharrows have nothing to do with bike lanes, real or imaginary. They indicate to all that that road is frequented by cyclists and to be aware. They are more like a deer-crossing signs.
Posted by TJ on November 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 73
@61- Well see fnarf, your irrational rage at a non-existent boogeyman is so neoconservative it had me confused. Perhaps if you weren't spewing spittle soaked vitriol like a Fox News viewer on a caffeine binge people wouldn't make these mistakes.

@63- You appear to have mistaken me for at least half a dozen people. I was one of the people here arguing that doxxing people for doing thing you find distasteful is a bad trend.

Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
chinaski 74
"I more strongly prefer not being injured myself. Particularly when the collision is entirely their fault. "

Which is why I ride on the sidewalk sometimes. No one has ever done more than cast a dirty look my way.
Posted by chinaski on November 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
I know from driving that most motorists are not in fact actively trying to kill cyclists; they just can't tell where they are.
And it's getting worse, given the window designs in the current crop of cars, which simply aren't as good at all-around vision as those of five or ten years ago. Fashions change, and the current design fashions are too good for producing blind spots.
Posted by seeker6079 on November 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
In the spirit of bipartisanship, I would like to offer a simple compromise: If you're going to ride on the sidewalk, don't be an asshole.

Or, even better, if you're going to be engaging in any activity in which you come into contact with other human beings, don't be an asshole.

Really, people...this isn't that hard.
Posted by stating the obvious on November 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 77
Bicycling on the sidewalk should be illegal for anyone over the age of 12.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Fnarf 78
@71, it would also be good if people would remember that there are many viewpoints. It's not "cyclists, er, people who ride bikes vs. cars", it's cars and taxis and delivery trucks and dump trucks and semis and motorcycles and pedestrians and and wheelchairs and walkers and strollers and joggers and rollerbladers and scooterers (kind of surprised that 'scooterers' passes spellcheck there) and and buses and streetcars and trains and boats on trailers and ambulances and fire trucks and every other kind of vehicle, and they all have special needs.

These special needs can and do conflict all the time.

I can go over and look at 45th and see that the recent improvements to make bus travel better, including "bus bulbs" at the stops and islands in the turn lane (to prevent cars from swinging around buses at those stops) actively make my travel as a cy-er, person who rides bikes worse.

But it's OK; the bus is (supposedly) getting more benefit out of the arrangement than I would from the old one.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 12:19 PM · Report this
@42: Oh, so it's not ALL cyclists on the sidewalk, just the uppity ones that you've deemed dangerous? What's your vigilante fantasy for asshole drivers--you know, people with a size/speed/weight advantage over you?

Posted by tiktok on November 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 80
@71- The Wallingford Greenway is full of parked cars. It's a residential street, after all. It does beat riding that stretch of 45th it parallels.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 81
@74: Which brings us back to my original point: that if cyclists knew that colliding with a pedestrian meant they would be thrown from their bikes, they would probably walk rather than ride on the sidewalk. Or at least ride much more slowly and cautiously.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on November 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM · Report this
chinaski 82
@78 glad you were able to calm down and make a post without CAPS.

Speaking of grade separation, it wouldn't need to cost that much to build an elevated bicycle "freeway". At least compared to monorails, tunnels, ripping up the road (and all that entails) and putting in streetcar rail, etc.
Posted by chinaski on November 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM · Report this
Fnarf 83
@73, IT'S NOT NONEXISTENT. You are blind or stupid or both if you don't see cyclists on sidewalks as a menace to the people using them appropriately. It happens ALL THE TIME. I saw one on 45th TODAY -- not just on the sidewalk, but blazing through the bus stop full of people.

Your own comment, "WALK TO THE RIGHT SIDE" (so you can blaze through on wheels) tells us that you have no idea who is using sidewalks or for what purpose (or not using them, because they're afraid of being mowed down by you). You are the fuckin' enemy right there, pig. That's not "neoconservative", it's fact.

@75, it's worse the other way too. Smaller, darker windows make it almost impossible to tell if a parked vehicle is occupied (and thus about to fling open a door) or not. Tinted windows should be against the law -- are, beyond a certain point, but unenforceably so.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Fnarf @70. Take a look at Jarvis on Google maps. There are many, many, many alternatives for the bikes. If the position you're taking is "if we're going to have it a bike lane it must only be on the best car arterial in the city!" then that's part of the problem that I'm highlighting. Bike advocates in Toronto (especially those on council) are often of that ilk: they live downtown and they work downtown and they bike downtown (more power to 'em, because I used to) and they automatically gravitate towards making drivers miserable rather than maximizing all kinds of traffic flow. That, btw, is one of the reasons that Rob Ford got so many damned votes (only about a thou+ shy of #s 1 and 2 combined): shitloads of Torontonians commute by cars, and a huge proportion of them want subways instead. Ford, for all of his idiocy, was the only candidate unequivocally saying, "let's not fuck over drivers" and "let's have subways instead of light rail".

Jarvis is great for cars because of the five lanes (take that away for bikes and it's just another road, south of Bloor) and because of the way that it connects to Mt. Pleasant, which continues well up to almost the top of the City's north end.
Posted by seeker6079 on November 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Fnarf 85
@80 that depends on whether you are trying to get to things on 45th or not. If you are, riding on 42nd isn't a lot of help. And I am much more afraid of car doors on near-deserted side streets than on busy ones like 45th, where traffic protects me from inattention.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM · Report this
Fnarf@70 re light rail: Be it a meal or a subway route, people'd rather pay more for what they do want than less for what they don't. This is where Ford very cleverly (as a politician, anyways) played on driver resentment against all the light rail plans: the sense that it was money spent that made some smug asshole feel better about putting you in your place. I honestly think that a lot of voters see it something like this:
"A subway will cost [say] $10b and is more expensive to retain down the road, whereas the LRT will only cost [say] $4b."
"Yeah, but the subway actually does something, is faster and more pleasant to use, and doesn't get in the way of my car and make all the vehicle traffic a nightmare and I don't have to wait in the cold and fucking snow, and I'd rather pay for what I want."
"But we want to make it a nightmare! That will force you to take the LRT that you don't want!"

LRT seems to have a disproportionate fan base amongst transit wonks, far more than it does amongst commuters and taxpapers, with little effort to match up public service with (or even consider) public desires. "Shut up, it's good for you" might be excellent for policy papers, but it's paralytically stupid for politics. And however stupid Ford is he's better at listening (or is perceived to be better at listening) to most voters than his smugger, smoother competitors.
Posted by seeker6079 on November 30, 2012 at 12:36 PM · Report this
TVDinner 87
@78: Of course it would be good if people would remember that there are many viewpoints and many modes of transportation. But I firmly believe that infrastructure has been built almost exclusively to accommodate cars (don't get me fucking started on parking) to the complete and total detriment of our climate, urban form, culture, public health, and general well-being in every possible way. I will always advocate for supremacy of non-SOV modes of transport, particularly human-powered non-SOV modes of transport, over other modes. And I do so unapologetically.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 30, 2012 at 12:36 PM · Report this
TVDinner 88
@85: Then ride in the middle of the street on a greenway like the boss you are, darling.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 30, 2012 at 12:38 PM · Report this
Fnarf 89
@84, you're not hearing me at all.

Bikes want the EXACT SAME THING as cars. "Those other streets, those are fine for bikes, this good street here is what I want in my car". You don't think that connecting to Mt. Pleasant is something a bicycle commuter would want to do? Every single point you're making applies to bikes as well. It's not just "the best car arterial", it's the best bike arterial too -- so share a little bit of it. You're not going to die. No one is saying "make Jarvis bike-only". It's YOU who are saying "Jarvis must be car-only, because I drive a car". Bike advocates aren't asking for everything; they're asking for a sliver.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
@89 .... aaaaand we're back to the shed and the sightline.

Yes, the bike commuter can use Mt. Pleasant. And, when you hit the five lines just below that he can move over one frikkin' block to preserve the best car arterial in the city.

Seriously, cyclists would win over more drivers if it wasn't -- in this case as a good example -- not just wanting just access to toys in the playground but the one fucking toy above the dozens of others that some other kid needs.
Posted by seeker6079 on November 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM · Report this
@61: There is now a signed (but not completed) Greenway on 39th Ave NE, paid for by Children's Hospital. 39th was the street everyone used anyway to leave the Burke-Gilman and head up into the hinterlands of Wedgwood. You'd use it, too, if you were heading north; it's a long, steady uphill, and there isn't much on the adjoining arterials (35th and 40th) that would make you want to travel up them exclusively. Sure, cut over to the PCC when you hit 65th, or climb up to Top Pot when you hit 70th, but otherwise there isn't much there there.

Going downhill (south), I usually take 35th or 40th instead because it's an arterial and you don't have to slow way down at the cross-streets like you have to/should when you're on 39th.

Anyway, it's more than just sharrows and signs; they put in islands on all the crossing arterials, so that you can go halfway across, and the plan is to put stop signs on all the crossing non-arterials (for example, NE 62nd St). Which points out the key thing about Greenways - they're mostly for people who are too timid to ride arterials like, say, me when biking with my 9-year old to school. Or people who don't want to use the arterial, like (apparently) most cyclists biking uphill for 35 blocks straight from the BGT.

Like the blurb from the city says, they're an alternative. You don't have to use them, but you can if you want. There are still sharrows on 35th NE (and maybe 40th; I don't pay that much attention to them), even though the Greenway is there a few blocks away.
Posted by Greg Barnes on November 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Fnarf 92
@87, yes, but as in the example I pointed out, the conflict isn't always between non-SOV and SOV. Sometimes, often in fact, it's between different types of non-SOV. Bike vs. bus, bike vs. light rail, hell, on 45th it's bus vs. bus half the time.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 12:48 PM · Report this
kim in portland 93
Dear Bikers,

I walk on the far right on sidewalks. I taught my kids to. Sometimes we walk single file when there is traffic. Sure it looks goofy, but one kid is hearing impaired and no politely worded request to pass or bike bell is going to be heard. So we have developed the assumption that we share the sidewalk with more than pedestrians. I ask you to please try to remember that some pedestrians may lack the agility to move quickly out of your way, some may lack the ability to hear you, others the visual ability to see you, et cetera. Don't assume we are going to move as you wish. And, I'll do my best to stay to the right. Let us keep a watchful eye out for each other.

Kind regards,
Posted by kim in portland on November 30, 2012 at 12:50 PM · Report this
south downtown 94
" Sydney installed a handful and immediately bike ridership went up 82%. Now it's installing 55km of them."

Sydney weather would help our ridership. Their streets are far wider than ours too.
Posted by south downtown on November 30, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
Much of the rancor surrounding this topic stems from what people think of when referring to a sidewalk. Given the widely varying situations in an American urban landscape, you'd think that if the Eskimos mythically have a hundred words for snow, Americans would have more words to describe their roadways.

Cyclists belong on roads, and sidewalks belong to pedestrians. Period. In general, I'm with Fnark, taking the opinion that if you can't stand the traffic, or if traffic makes you too nervous, take a bus, or find a different route.

That said, I can see how, in a sprawling metropolitan area like Seattle (in a nation with monumentally ill-conceived urban planning), there are probably vast stretches of city where the 'sidewalks' are entirely vacant, and the term is really a misnomer.

When I think of the idiocy of allowing cyclists on the sidewalks, I think of city sidewalks, like on Broadway or 5th Avenue downtown. But, as one comment suggested, there are places outside the city center, where the 'sidewalks' are rarely if ever used by pedestrians, and are probably wide enough to accommodate pedestrians AND cyclists.

Maybe there is even cause to consider re-classifying some disused sidewalks as alternative mixed-use roadways, painting a stripe down the middle to designate pedestrian and cyclists areas.
Posted by GasparFagel on November 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM · Report this
Fnarf, if you're so enamored of this tactic pre-emptively hurting people who make you feel scared, I suggest moving to Florida.
Posted by tiktok on November 30, 2012 at 12:55 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 97
@83- You saw someone not collide with a bunch of people and you're very upset about it. Forgive me for not finding this a very persuasive argument against my own style of riding, which doesn't involve blazing through crowds but does involve using the sidewalk sometimes.

And WALK ON THE RIGHT ought to be standard behavior for everyone, just like we drive to the right, stand on the right on escalators, drive on the right unless passing, etc... You're probably not the fastest person using whatever transportation medium you're on, if you're not keeping to the right you are being inconsiderate.

If I want to get to 45th from 42nd I head north at the appropriate cross street, then ride on the sidewalk till I find a place to lock my bike.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM · Report this
aureolaborealis 98
@67: By your description, it sounds like they're trying to stop/avoid as you assault them.

I avoid sidewalks unless the street is completely deadly, partly out of a sense that I have a right to ride on the road, and partly out of sensing how dangerous those side street crossings are. When I do ride on the sidewalk, I ride slowly. I have, even then -- or maybe because I'm riding slowly enough -- had the odd pedestrian who jumps in front of me to block my way. One of those people was so crazy that when I got off my bike to walk past her, she continued to physically block me. I've never made contact, but if one of them attacked me the way you've described, I would go into full self-defense mode, and you would probably think twice about attacking strangers after that.

I wonder whether the seething assholes end up attacking the people who are actually riding slowly and responsibly enough to be caught by someone on foot -- out of frustration at not being able to get the ones who are screaming by dangerously.
Posted by aureolaborealis on November 30, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this
John Horstman 99
Riding on sidewalks is insanely dangerous - it's WAY more dangerous for more pedestrians than is riding in the street dangerous for a single you. This kind of ridiculous self-important attitude (in this case, ignoring both traffic laws and safety concerns for pedestrians, though it comes up with respect to many, many cyclists' failures to signal, stop for stop signs, follow traffic lights, turn from or into proper lanes, etc.) does immeasurable and extensive damage to the campaign for pro-cycling policy by lending legitimacy to stereotypical and unkind views of cyclists. For all of our sakes, please knock it the fuck off. Obey the fucking traffic laws - you're ultimately even making things less-safe for yourselves (as well as the rest of us cyclists) by creating a climate of uncertainty.

The primary function of traffic laws is not to have everyone behaving in the safest way possible in every single instance, but to provide a system of predictable behaviors so everyone on the road can predict with relative accuracy how everyone else will behave, which is way safer on average than everyone doing what ze feels is safest in any given moment. When a sizable portion of a given population - in this case cyclists - ignores these laws, it creates a situation in which the behavior of any/all cyclists is unpredictable, which in turn makes the behavior of drivers of motor vehicles unpredictable for cyclists, as we don't know what they think we're going to do. Your position, Dan and Mistermix, is dangerously egocentric and myopic. If you really need the added sense of security, I'd much rather you drive (well), even given the environmental impacts, while still advocating for bicycle infrastructure.
Posted by John Horstman on November 30, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this
Fnarf 100
@97, eat shit and die, selfish motherfucker.

I encourage everyone in this thread to read kim in portland @93. You don't know who you're sharing those sidewalks with.

@96, I know you're a big tough manly man with nothing but contempt for people who are so weak as to be afraid. FEAR IS WEAKNESS, right? Fucking ape. How impressive your muscles must be.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
How many pedestrians have been hit by cyclists on sidewalks in Seattle in the last year?

"Near collisions" don't count--every car that passes me on a sharrow "nearly hits me".
Posted by tiktok on November 30, 2012 at 1:23 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 102

It's legal to ride on the sidewalks in this state.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Favorite thread in ages.
Posted by gloomy gus on November 30, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
pg13 104

Sometime in the mid 90's, on a summer Sunday afternoon, I was walking arm and arm with my then girlfriend on the sidewalk near Charlie's on Broadway. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a rollerblader whizzed up from behind, narrowly missed my shoulder at full speed and, out of control, nailed a parked car right in his ribs.

I ran over to see if he was ok. He snarled at me "FUCKING PEOPLE WHO WALK TAKE UP THE WHOLE SIDEWALK!"--and then he got up, flipped me off...and rollerbladed on the street...zooming right through a red light (almost getting hit by two cars.)

Yeah...people who walk DO take up the whole sidewalk. It's in the name. And anybody who is not walking on the sidewalk is wrong.
Posted by pg13 on November 30, 2012 at 1:36 PM · Report this
"eat shit and die, selfish motherfucker."

Aaaand yet here we are...severely violating the Treaty of Non-Assholery. Apparently, it really is hard. Must be time to start advocating for separate comment threads for each of us since we can't manage to share.
Posted by stating the obvious on November 30, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
TVDinner 106
@103: I agree most emphatically.

Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 30, 2012 at 1:39 PM · Report this
raku 107
94- Seattle is #2 in the country in bike commuting despite our weather and hills and crappy bike infrastructure. Portland is #1 with almost twice as many as Seattle despite its weather, because they do have some infrastructure.

The sunny cities with wide roads in he US have almost no bikers. Seattle isn't special. Build bike infrastructure, and people will ride bikes, especially people outside the road raging 25-50 year old white male demographic.
Posted by raku on November 30, 2012 at 1:43 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 108
@100- Wow, you off your meds? I don't think I've ever seen you this lathered and irrational.

I just read Kim's comment @93 and it says that she's aware cyclists use the sidewalk and she tries to make this sharing smooth and would appreciate if cyclists did the same. I wholeheartedly appreciate her sentiment and do in fact try to make sidewalk sharing (as much as I do it) safe for everyone. I do keep a watchful eye out, which is all she asks for.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 1:46 PM · Report this
aureolaborealis 109
@102: Where I live, too. And a good 50% or more of the motorists believe that bicyclists are legally required to ride on the sidewalks. My anecdotes about unreasonable/crazy pedestrians, though, are from my years in an East Coast metropolis.

We have some decent bike paths, but they tend to attract four-wheelers and snow machines. (It is illegal to ride them on sidewalks and bike paths, but that law never gets enforced.) Unless you're riding single-track in the woods, you're never completely safe from internal combustion mayhem.

I've found two things that have reduced my unhappiness while bicycling more than anything else: having obnoxious rear-facing lights so motorists aren't surprised by my presence and feel the need to lash out in some kind of PTSD display of vehicular violence; and planning my routes to avoid shoulderless roads and whatever else is stressful or dangerous.
Posted by aureolaborealis on November 30, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
"The sunny cities with wide roads in he US have almost no bikers."

Why? Seriously.
Posted by seeker6079 on November 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 111
@104- This one time I was walking and some asshole and his girlfriend were strolling arm and arm down the middle of the sidewalk and I was in a hurry so I politely said "excuse me" and edged past them and the girl gave me a dirty look and the guy called me an asshole.

Your point?
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 112
By your description, it sounds like they're trying to stop/avoid as you assault them.
Trying but not succeeding. They were cycling recklessly, realized they were about to hit me, and tried to brake. Rather than getting hit by 20 pounds of bike and 150-200 pounds of owner, I redirect the cyclist's momentum and throw them off the bike, so that I only get hit by 20 pounds of bike (at a glancing angle). Had they actually come to a stop, there would be no momentum to redirect and thus no way to toss them from the bike.

The "assault" only works because they were about to hit me. Is it your position that I should let them?
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on November 30, 2012 at 2:02 PM · Report this
"Yeah...people who walk DO take up the whole sidewalk."

Pedestrians...breaking the non-asshole treaty. To the point of pissing off other pedestrians even. Going to have to ban all pedestrians from the sidewalk now. One asshole shall punish them all.
Posted by stating the obvious on November 30, 2012 at 2:03 PM · Report this
Re that portion of the thread regarding sidewalks:
I've got a cup of tea with rum in it, hoping that the Second Amendment will enter this discussion.
Posted by seeker6079 on November 30, 2012 at 2:11 PM · Report this
Fnarf 115
@108, you also said you saw nothing to get upset about when a jackass rides his bike through a crowded bus stop, as long as no one gets hurt. You're an asshole. You don't give a shit about the people around you.

I'll bet you salmon the wrong way down one-ways and bike lanes too. I'm sure you've got a justification for it too. You're so awesome the rules don't apply to you.

I didn't see anything in Kim's post that suggested she was happy about having to march her family single-file down the sidewalk to avoid being run over by people like you. She just said she does it, because her hearing-impaired kid can't hear your oh-so-polite warnings. She and her kid are fucking terrified of you and your machine and your selfish, thoughtless attitude. Way to be a man, dude.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 2:25 PM · Report this
As a confirmed pedestrian, I applaud anyone's decision to avoid taking up the entire sidewalk. Whether they be on two wheels or two legs.

Keep to the right. Pay attention to--and be respectful of--your surroundings. And try to share. Coincidentally, this is the affirmative angle on the "don't be an asshole" rule.
Posted by stating the obvious on November 30, 2012 at 2:39 PM · Report this
Man, I get sick of pedestrians taking up the entire sidewalk as a pedestrian. Leave room for someone going the other direction to get past you, or for someone going the same direction to overtake you. I'm tall! I probably walk faster than you! Please keep to the right!

If you want to stop to smell a pretty flower or check out a cool snail or something, go ahead! I do it all the time! Just please take a quick glance around to make sure you're not suddenly veering into someone else's path to do it. Situational awareness!

@93: As a sometimes cyclist, and sometimes faster-than-average walker, thank you. I promise that when I am on my bike, I don't make any moves unless I know I've got plenty of room to make them. And I do everything in my power to make sure those around me know what I'm doing and where I'm going.
Posted by Ben on November 30, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 119
@115- I'm just going to assume that Kim actually meant what she wrote instead of secretly agreeing with you. She's never demonstrated a habit of hiding her opinions.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM · Report this
seandr 120
@fnarf: it's the best bike arterial too -- so share a little bit of it. You're not going to die.

Fnarf, you must not do a lot of biking.

As someone who was almost killed during a morning commute down 23rd Ave E on my way to the Montlake bus station, take it from me - don't ride your bike on an arterial. You could very well be seriously injured or killed.

After that incident, I adjusted my route to 19th Ave E and then Interlaken, which is a much safer and pleasant ride.

Posted by seandr on November 30, 2012 at 3:04 PM · Report this
seandr 121
@fnarf: And I am much more afraid of car doors on near-deserted side streets than on busy ones like 45th, where traffic protects me from inattention

Um, seriously, you might want to re-evaluate your risk assessment.

First, the sheer number of cars wizzing by means your odds of getting hit are higher. As for driver attention, on a busy street it's primarily occupied by stoplights, signs, lanes, blinkers, and the traffic in front and behind. The last thing you want to be in that situation is a small, unprotected entity that isn't flowing at the same speed as the rest of traffic.
Posted by seandr on November 30, 2012 at 3:12 PM · Report this
chinaski 122
Seriously though, who would have the moral high ground in this situation: 3 average women walking side by side on the sidewalk vs a bike with the 3rd wheel thing and a deaf kid on the back?
Posted by chinaski on November 30, 2012 at 3:19 PM · Report this
chinaski 123
@120 he probably doesn't do much riding south of Stewart or east of 12th. Dude youre doubly crazy to ride a bike down there.
Posted by chinaski on November 30, 2012 at 3:22 PM · Report this
kim in portland 124
@ Fnarf,

I regret if I left you with the impression that either I or my children are frightened of bikers, skateboarders, et cetera. We're not; the law where I am gives then permission to use the sidewalk and states that pedestrians have the right of way. I guess you could say that we expect to share the sidewalk. And, the hearing impaired one is a very successful long distance runner who is always training. I don't run a 6 minute pace over several miles. So they have learned to be observant and to not assume they are seen, and to navigate around slower pedestrians and faster bikes. You travel a lot, right? And, you learn to adapt. My kids ran 400 miles while we were based in Australia, they navigated KĂžbenhaven and Rome two summers ago. We are not scared, we are realistic and accept that others share the sidewalks with us. Thank you for caring.

Take care,
Posted by kim in portland on November 30, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
Fnarf 125
I'll be honest: I am flabbergasted that anyone, ANYONE, but the most selfish piece of dogshit in the world thinks its OK to ride a bike on the sidewalk. Gobsmacked.

It's not OK.

Kim, you wrote " I ask you to please try to remember that some pedestrians may lack the agility to move quickly out of your way, some may lack the ability to hear you, others the visual ability to see you, et cetera."

I see people failing to do just that every day. They blaze on through and get mad at people who are "in their way". You apparently have decided to just live with it. I haven't. I will never accept it. As a responsible cyclist I think irresponsible cyclists, who form a significant minority of the ones I see (but a large majority of the ones whose deaths I read about in the paper), are putting not just their lives but my rights at risk, because you're setting the hearts of non-cyclists against us.

Every sidewalk rider does this: you enrage pedestrians and motorists with your reckless behavior. And I hate you for it.

It's inappropriate. Machines belong in the road, not on the sidewalk. It's common sense.

@121, you might want to reevaluate your estimates of the amount of attention being paid by drivers on busy streets, where most drivers are on constant lookout, versus residential streets, where no one ever looks first because they assume that the street is empty like it always is. I guarantee, a wide-swinging door is ten times more likely in the latter than the former. And that wide-swinging door is much more of a threat than being passed.

As for arterials, there are different kinds. I wouldn't ride on Aurora. But I ride on Stone Way and I ride on 45th every day. I used to ride on 23rd when I lived on the Hill many years ago.
Posted by Fnarf on November 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM · Report this
anarchy burger 126
You assholes have no idea how lucky you are. I live in an ugly, sprawling college town so dumb that when you see a cyclist in the bike lane, it's even odds that they're GOING THE WRONG DIRECTION. It's terrifying and makes me explode with rage. When I used to bike to work, I would shout at the wrong-direction bikers or lower my helmet and bear down if they didn't immediately yield. I got in a fight with my ex when I said I would bump them into traffic if they didn't move; he said that was unethical.
Posted by anarchy burger on November 30, 2012 at 3:45 PM · Report this
@ 124. Kim, this is the internet please stop leaving well thought out, polite, rational responses. It confuses me.
Posted by -J on November 30, 2012 at 3:55 PM · Report this
@111. Ugh, yeah pedestrian vs. pedestrian can STILL be an ordeal. I hate walking shoulder to the wall along a sidewalk and have a group of 4 or 5 people taking up the whole sidewalk barrel down and not budging. I used to do the shoulder duck, but after seeing almost 0 people do the duck in turn, i've taken to just bracing myself and walking. If they do the shoulder duck... cool. They were taking the whole walk after all. If they don't... i'm not the one who will be falling.
Posted by cpt. tim on November 30, 2012 at 4:27 PM · Report this
kim in portland 129
@ Fnarf,

I accept that the law allows the sidewalk to be used by more than pedestrians. I accept that I cannot demand that they discontinue their use, because I'm walking or jogging. My statement about being watchful was about our very human tendency to assume things about each other. I'm visually impaired and I react slower sometimes. My child won't hear a bell being dinged. We walk to the far right, and sometimes single file, for our safety and because staying to the right is the polite thing to do. None of us can control the actions of others, but I don't believe in painting cyclists with a broad brush because some riders sometimes disobey the laws or act rudely. Painting with a wide brush seems like folly to me. And, I don't know anyone who appreciates having the worst assumed about them. Of course, you can have your opinion
and can toss mine into the dustbin. I'm sure you aspire to be a kind and respectful cyclist. Being an optimist I'd guess that all our Slog friends here, Dan too, do not wish to cause harm and aspire to be kind and respectful cyclists. They just choose to exercise their legal right to use the sidewalk on occasions they deem are necessary for their personal safety and have no wish to put pedestrians in danger either.

Posted by kim in portland on November 30, 2012 at 4:30 PM · Report this
chinaski 130
this has been so great I dont want it to ever end.
Posted by chinaski on November 30, 2012 at 5:00 PM · Report this
McGee 131
@111 Sounds like they know you well.
Posted by McGee on November 30, 2012 at 5:43 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 133
In This Thread: Threats directed at bicyclists for riding on the sidewalk & for riding on the road.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 6:39 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 135
@130- I know that feeling.

@131- I told you before, I didn't know you where already dating her when I took your mom out. Stop blaming me. I broke it off as soon as you told me.

@132- I feel like that is all you ever say.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 6:57 PM · Report this
As a hard of hearing person who does not "look" hard of hearing - no white hair, not busy chatting in ASL - I'd like to tell bicyclists that ringing that bell or saying "excuse me" quietly does me no good at all. If the pedestrian ahead of you gives no indication of having heard you, please entertain the possibility that the pedestrian has in fact NOT hear you.
Posted by agony on November 30, 2012 at 7:01 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 137
@134- I pay more in taxes for roads than I take out already, but you've heard all these arguments before. I guess the fact that you gain some pleasure from making death threats at people for simply being on the road and looking sexy makes it clear you have a lot of unresolved issues about body image, sexuality and potency.

I pity you.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 7:02 PM · Report this
I used to walk home from high school (in the 1990s). Why did I walk on private property for a few hundred feet? Because the "sidewalk" on that side of the street was just a line of paint over an area that flooded in the rain. Why didn't I use the real sidewalk on the other side of the street? Because there was no way to get to it without jaywalking through fast traffic.

So yes, I can see why cyclists don't want to use the token bike lanes. Because they're only usable for short stretches.
Posted by DRF on November 30, 2012 at 7:03 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 139
@136- I never pass unless I'm sure I can pass safely. What this might mean is that I've passed closer to you than I would have otherwise, what I would consider an impolite distance but moving at fast walk/jog speed. I and the vast majority of people on bikes (despite what fnarf's fevered imagination has conjured) are trying to ride safely and politely, but passing someone who is in the middle of a sidewalk generally means having to pass them closely which feels awkward even when it's done as politely and safely as possible.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on November 30, 2012 at 7:10 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 141
@35 - That attitude might fly in Seattle, but on any midtown Manhattan avenue, any idiot stopping in the middle of the sidewalk to read a newspaper or chit-chat with friends would rightfully have their ass kicked.

Hell, I've never even seen a midtown sidewalk closed for any reason - something woefully common here in Seattle - because the sidewalk on the other side of the street simply could not support the diverted pedestrian traffic. Yes, "pedestrian traffic." A concept that doesn't exist in Seattle.

Even in Seattle, though, people who are obliviously chatting with friends and thus blocking the sidewalk (or, my favorite, walking four-astride at a leisurely pace) are as big of an asshole as any sidewalk bike rider.
Posted by Free Lunch on November 30, 2012 at 7:44 PM · Report this
Hey, people who say loudly ride in the street:

I'm a person who rode in the street, in the correct lane, in a town without a dedicated bike path. The quiet streets weren't so bad, but there was one really freaking busy street that I had to be on regularly because it was the only street that crossed over a rivulet without me having to alter my route by a number of miles. People were never very good at adjusting their speed or distance from me, and I had a few close calls.

And then I got hit. It was midday, I was stopped at an intersection, the traffic started up, the truck behind the truck next to me wasn't paying attention, and blammo! I'm under the truck as the front right wheel is crushing my left leg.

I now have a rod and two pins in my leg, and live in a bigger town without dedicated bike lanes. I checked the laws, made sure it was legal, and now when I'm on a busy street I ride on the fucking sidewalk. And I will fight anyone who tells me that a pedestrian being annoyed by my passing them on the grass is more important than my fucking legs.
Posted by weatherwax on November 30, 2012 at 7:48 PM · Report this
OutInBumF 143
Good god- another bicycling post and we're up to 142 comments.
The law (paraphrased) in Washington State re: bicycling is: if you're on the road, you're a slow moving vehicle- ride according to vehicle laws. If you're on the sidewalk, you're a fast-moving pedestrian- ride according to the laws for peds. No rocket science here. Anything else on the part of cyclists, peds or drivers is rudeness.
Those advocating violence to cyclists, whether on the sidewalk or the street are fools. Like to see a ped throwing a cyclist get out of the assault charges- I'd sure make sure you were prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, just as if you'd walked up and punched me. I'd hope you'd serve a bit of time in the pokey, too.
Posted by OutInBumF on November 30, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
chinaski 144
you know what really chaps my ass? those fuckers who ride around no-handed.
someone should teach them a lesson!
Posted by chinaski on November 30, 2012 at 9:20 PM · Report this
More anger here than on Allegedly Gay Teen Kills Self threads. Weird.
Posted by DC270 on December 1, 2012 at 12:53 AM · Report this
Christampa 148
@146 - Yes, again, that is an actual threat that you are issuing, when you compare the weight of you and your truck to a cyclist and their bicycle. But that's okay: your ugly fucking mastiff weighs even less than a cyclist and would stand a much worse chance of coming out of a collision with a 4000 lb vehicle alive. If I'm about to hit a person with my car because of someone's inattention, you can be sure I'll try and avoid them. But some stupid fucking dog? Not a chance. Bump, baby.
Posted by Christampa on December 1, 2012 at 2:08 AM · Report this
@145:"No they're not. Other pedestrians will simply say, "Excuse me," and go on through. Bicyclists will get mad. Why? Because bicyclists, like all social parasites, are forever resentful of those who pay their way in life. So they take out their self-loathing on the nearest target."

How are "pedestrians paying their way in life" in a way that cyclists are not when it comes to sidewalk use?

What formula would you advocate using for determining an appropriate bike licensing fee, given the number of miles most bikes get ridden each year (few), their size and weight (slight compared to any other mechanized form of transportation), and their impact on the infrastructure (also slight, comparable to pedestrians who don't need a special licensing fee to use the public right of way)?

Also, I'd like to hear more about this theory of taking out one's self-loathing on the nearest target--my sense is that you speak from experience.
Posted by tiktok on December 1, 2012 at 10:26 AM · Report this
Walk to the right? This is Seattle. People will stop meandering all over the sidewalk on the day they stop driving in the passing lane.

@141 People walking 3 or 4-astride (and getting offended when I break through their ranks) really pisses me off too!
Posted by nifty on December 1, 2012 at 10:40 AM · Report this
Theotherkindofbiker 151
I never ride in the sidewalk, I live in the north east, where it's usually Illegal, as it should be. Some times I put one foot down & roll along the sidewalk, if it saves time or I need to get to a bike rack, but I never pedal while I'm on the sidewalk. I ride with Traffic & follow most traffic rules. I hate people who ride in the sidewalk, since it reinforces the notion in uneducated drivers that that's where I belong. I like to maintain a speed faster than 18 miles an hour in town, and frankly doing that on the uneven surface that is the sidewalk is dangerous. I do not plan to die in my sleep, I will probably die on my bike, however, all of my accidents are caused by my own carelessness & don't involve cars or pedestrians. Any roadway, like a bike path, that makes it unacceptable to ride as fast as humanly possible isn't ok with me. I'll take my chances with the trucks, if you door me I'll beat the shit out of you if I can still stand. Also, I ride no handed all the time, if your balance is good enough & the road is straight & clear there is no good reason not to, it helps me tell if there is anything wrong with the bike & is good for your abs. My record is about 8 miles.
Posted by Theotherkindofbiker on December 1, 2012 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Christampa 154
Your dog is probably no smarter than your children. Do they ride bicycles?
Posted by Christampa on December 1, 2012 at 11:19 PM · Report this
BLUE 157
Might as well be discussing pit bulls: no data, all opinion, mostly wrong.
Posted by BLUE on December 2, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Why not paint bike lanes on the sidewalks? Unless you've got a city as dense as NYC, there's going to be plenty of room for all the pedestrians even with a decent bike lane.

And it wouldn't be that hard for drivers to pull to the edge of the sidewalk and check before continuing to the street to check the street. Really, they should be doing that *now* for the sake of pedestrians.
Posted by EclecticEel on December 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 159
I am mostly pedestrian, and I don't mind bikers on the sidewalk as long as they are considerate. A few years back I was walking along the mountain to sound trail that runs along NE Beacon Hill when one of Seattle's omnipresent crazy ladies (this one of the sweaty angry biking variety) came by on her bike and started screaming at me about how the trail is not a sidewalk. I should have stuck an umbrella in her spokes.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on December 2, 2012 at 3:08 PM · Report this
NotSean 160
@158 You must be joking.

Your proposal would cause cyclists to feel entitled to some 2 or 3 ft space and encourage even more of a generally unsafe practice by even less considerate riders.

Here in Seattle, at a park called Greenlake, there is a perimeter sidewalk with a middle line to mark the boundary for pedestrians vs 'wheelers'. I go there often and I can say that, for any adult cyclists riding there, it's a terror path for both the rider and the walkers. Just step out of line by about 6 inches, and some tour-de-France-wannabe is gonna clobber you or your kid, and, as their apology, give you the finger afterwards.

I've been the rider there too and it requires a constant, highly-focused vigilance to avoid smacking everybody that crosses or might cross that yellow line. It is mentally exhausting and entirely joyless.

Frankly, it's a terrible balance of park users' interests.

Posted by NotSean on December 2, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
I ride my bike on the sidewalk frequently and have done so for 30 years. Never once hit anyone; never yelled at anyone; never had anyone yell at me; probably had a few close calls from time to time, but that happens on the street and crosswalks, too. The only time I've been "hit" by a car was on the sidewalk, though, and that driver was a maniac (and it was barely even a hit).

I read the first 20 or so posts and I'm unswayed: I'll continue to ride on the sidewalk whenever it suits me. Sorry, grumpies. And I'm as sweet as they come, but if anyone ever kicked my tire out from under me, I'd hit them over the head with my bike.
Posted by mitten on December 2, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
pinksoda 162
What I find utterly laughable about this whole interchange is how several of the more vitriolic responses are also from the great supporters of the "overbuild development in our neighborhoods" camp! (Yes, I'm looking at you, Fnarf. I usually agree with you, but in this thread, holy cow, man! Take a breath and count to ten!)

And Dan, thank you for starting this blown-up discussion! Really.

Honestly, people, we can't even get along now, and you're proposing an increase in density of more self-righteous, entitled people?! You do realize, don't you, that the folks who move into these new, richly dense neighborhoods are not going to think, act, feel exactly the same way that you do, and yet will be equally entitled to the (apparently already so limited) space that you're willing to defend here with preemptive acts of violence, right? This is a problem that is growing and needs to be addressed as we continue to develop our city identity.

In theory, I agree: bike in the street. However, things being what they are, I know (from my own experience) that's not always possible or safe. And when it isn't, I give myself a pass and conduct myself more slowly on the sidewalk until I can safely enter the street again.

Kim in Portland is again the voice of reason and temperance: we are not alone and the enemy is not the enemy - it is us. Messy, imperfect, making mistakes as we go along and hopefully learning from them.

For the record, I am also a fan of density, though not in the overbuild sense. More in the 'let's plan ahead for the future' sense and build what we will need for the income levels we'll need it for (hint, not the fake "affordable" housing one must earn over 65k to afford). I'd love to see more mixed income housing, and to have a city council that will find ways to help support it.

And, seriously, can't we all take a step back, quit insulting each other already and start really discussing this like the adults we're supposed to be?

Posted by pinksoda on December 2, 2012 at 4:07 PM · Report this
Mycelium 164
Used to live off of Rainier Ave, which for much of its length has no bike lanes or even shoulders - During heavy traffic or at night, riding in the street is quite terrifying (and depending on your starting point and destination, side streets may not be an option for the whole trip). There are very few cyclists on the street but plenty of pedestrian traffic due to the many bus stops. Bicycling on the sidewalk (with complete deference to pedestrians and extra caution at intersections and driveways) makes a lot of sense - drivers tend to scan the sidewalks at intersections/driveways due to the frequent pedestrian traffic and allow a cyclist to pass. Riding on the street tends to produce a lot of road rage, rearview mirrors clipping your clothing with too-close passes, and dangerous confusion from drivers who see few cyclists on the street and are not used to accomodating them. I bike on the streets in downtown, capitol hill, anywhere else where cyclists are common and drivers are willing to give me some space - but sometimes riding on the sidewalk (again, with complete deference to pedestrians and extra caution at intersections and driveways) seems like the safest option for everyone.
Posted by Mycelium on December 2, 2012 at 10:26 PM · Report this
Christampa 166
Here's Mister G, folks. He doesn't need evidence before accusing someone that they are dressing wrong. And when he hits cyclists who are dressed a certain way with his truck, well it's their fault for dressing that way. Just like those girls he raped.
Posted by Christampa on December 3, 2012 at 12:09 AM · Report this
Christampa 168
Yes, I am not surprised that you have only mindless name calling to resort to when you are demonstrably wrong about every single thing you say.
Posted by Christampa on December 3, 2012 at 12:54 AM · Report this
@166 @167 @168:
You called him a multiple rapist and he's the name-caller? How'd that happen?
Posted by seeker6079 on December 3, 2012 at 4:28 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 170
@169- I think that maybe the rape thing is a metaphor for how Mister G likes to threaten to kill people.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on December 3, 2012 at 10:50 AM · Report this
Christampa 172
Oh, have you just been telling people to be careful this whole time? I must have missed it between all the obvious threats and assumptions that they obviously were not being careful because they are Seattle bike riders.
Posted by Christampa on December 3, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Bob Anderton 173
Let's be nice people, it's not the law but it might make things, err, nicer.

Bicyclists in Seattle may legally ride on sidewalks, but also have a duty to yield to pedestrians and give an audible signal before overtaking and passing.…

Many, if not most, pedestrians have earbuds that prevent them from hearing bicyclists legally approaching. So my fellow bicyclist should SLOWLY pass pedestrians on the sidewalk. Another lawyer recently walked into my bike as I slowly approached and then stopped on the sidewalk because I could see he wasn't paying attention. He gave me the stink-eye, but I did yield to him. It's the law.

What is not the law but should be is that drivers should have a duty to yield to bicyclists on the street. More here:…

Bicyclists on the street are yelled at to get off the street. Does this mean ride on the sidewalk? But bicyclists on the sidewalk are yelled at to get off the sidewalk. So now we're back in the street.

On the sidewalk, bikes must yield to pedestrians. In the street, cars should yield to bikes. Right not that's not the law. But it would be nice.
Posted by Bob Anderton on December 3, 2012 at 2:08 PM · Report this
Christampa 175
Oh look, another word you don't understand the meaning of. Go figure.
Posted by Christampa on December 3, 2012 at 4:41 PM · Report this
Fnarf et al, don't be ridiculous. I'm not in Seattle, but on some of the major roads where I ride, the sidewalk is the only place that's remotely safe or even accessible for bikes. That doesn't mean I'm going to mow down a pedestrian. Practically nobody ever even walks on these sidewalks, but when I come across walkers I stop to let them go by, or if I'm going slow enough and there's plenty of room I'll say "hi/excuse me" and maneuver around them just as I would if I were walking a little faster. I'm practically never going fast enough to dart out in front of an unsuspecting driver at an intersection, and if I am, well, I stop and look both ways.

The idea of vehicular cycling is sweet, but just because I love cycling doesn't mean I'm not about to put my body and bike on the line to educate all the homicidal drivers out there.
Posted by Prettybetsy on December 3, 2012 at 5:11 PM · Report this
Christampa 178
@177 If you are talking to a wall in the middle of a group conversation, that does not mean that the conversation is actually about whatever nonsense you are blathering on about.
Posted by Christampa on December 3, 2012 at 6:31 PM · Report this
Mycelium 179
@165, I hardly fit the stereotype of the Seattle cyclist - don't own any spandex, and do in fact use ample lighting and wear bright clothing, but thank you for your concern? I've had drivers roll down their windows and scream at me to ride on the sidewalk (direct quote: "why the fuck don't you ride on the sidewalk!!!!???!!") but have never had a negative encounter with a pedestrian while riding on the sidewalk (maybe because I try not to be an asshole? Then again, I almost always bike in the street unless traffic patterns/road conditions make it very much unsafe).
Posted by Mycelium on December 3, 2012 at 8:37 PM · Report this
@177, I was talking (about my commute in the suburbs of a major city) to the vehicular cyclists further upthread, not to you. Everybody knows plenty about what overentitled drivers think of cyclists. But since you address me so charmingly, let me offer you my condolences for the fact that your time has passed.
Posted by Prettybetsy on December 4, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
@182 Congratulations, you've killed the thread. I'll let myself out.
Posted by Prettybetsy on December 4, 2012 at 5:04 PM · Report this
Actually, one of the funny things about the death match between Mr.G and non-Seattle folks about Seattle traffic is that it does rather parallel a problem with Toronto and the province in which it sits, Ontario: there's an awful lot of folks who want a say in how Toronto is governed but they don't pay taxes there. It's not unlike one of those old established neighbourhoods where everybody thinks that they have a veto over their neighbours' property. With the difference, though, that in our Toronto instance it's everybody on the street asserting that they get to judge how the biggest property owner manages his home and garden ... after he has paid for the road and sewer connections for everybody else on the street.

There. Now THAT killed the thread!
Posted by seeker6079 on December 5, 2012 at 7:48 AM · Report this
Actually, they don't all live in the same province. Disliking Toronto is a national pastime, so much so that so that the late, great Pierre Berton once remarked that Canada was in desperate need of a true national identity, because it couldn't get by forever on a shared hatred of Toronto. Everybody from Cape Spear to Cape Columbia to the westernmost part of Canada that doesn't have a cool name just ice and mountains has an opinion on Toronto, mostly negative, but it never stopped 'em taking the money. It's why Toronto (other than its perpetual and near-pathological inferiority complex regarding other major world cities) is in a constant, almost frantic hunt for the Olympics: it's the only way we can get some of the money back for infrastructure.

Funny, though. When it came to shutting up the town tighter than a mouse's asshole for the G20, complete with an army of cops and traffic barriers and consequent citizen rage the feds and province seemed to find their wallets. Weird, that.
Posted by seeker6079 on December 5, 2012 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Christampa 188
I wonder how mister g can survive the shame of not knowing how to ride a bike. Lashing out at people with better motor control than he has can get him by for awhile, but eventually he'll have to break down and end it all with his sawed off shotgun.
Posted by Christampa on December 5, 2012 at 9:57 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Commenting on this item is available only to registered commenters.