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Collision Course

Cyclists Claim Harassment by Seattle Police

Davey Oil was riding his bike up South Alaska Street toward Beacon Hill on August 31 after spending the day promoting the Bikery—a group that encourages cycling in Seattle—at the city-sponsored Car-Free Sunday in Columbia City. As Oil pedaled across Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, a long line of police cars rolled past him and Oil heard an officer's voice over a loudspeaker. "Hey you, pull over," the officer said.

Oil says he was reprimanded for riding more slowly than traffic and given a $103 ticket for not riding far enough to the right. Oil, a former bike ambassador for the Cascade Bicycle Club, says he knows the rules of the road and was stunned by the ticket. "I'm a trained cyclist, and I understand lane placement and when it's important to share a lane," he says.

However, Oil adds: "I think everybody who rides a lot has a story about getting pulled over for bullshit."

With the city spending at least $3 million a year to promote bicycling as a viable mode of transportation, there are more cyclists on the road than ever. In 2007, the Seattle Department of Transportation's downtown bicycle count tallied nearly 2,300 bike commuters, a 31 percent increase over 2000.

But even as the city promotes cycling, a growing number of riders are coming forward with complaints about antibike bias among Seattle Police Department officers.

"Every other week, we get an individual [with a complaint about SPD]," says David Hiller, advocacy director for the Cascade Bicycle Club. "It isn't an epidemic, but it happens with enough regularity that we'd like to see some changes." Hiller recommends that cyclists file complaints about officers with the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), which investigates allegations of officer misconduct.

One 25-year-old cyclist, who wanted to remain anonymous, filed an OPA complaint last year after, he says, an officer pulled up beside him at a stoplight, asked him why he wasn't wearing a helmet, and then told him that the officer's "'not getting out of the vehicle and kicking your ass is a courtesy.'" The officer told investigators he didn't recall the incident, and the investigation went nowhere.

Another cyclist, 59-year-old Bill Bloxom, says he was forced off the road and almost hit by a patrol officer who claimed Bloxom had strayed too far into his lane. Bloxom e-mailed a complaint to SPD but never heard back.

Attorney Bob Anderton, who rides his bike to his downtown office every day, represents riders in personal-injury claims. He says while some officers pull cyclists over for legitimate reasons—helmets are required by law, and cyclists have to have front and back lights at night—there are plenty of cops out there who just don't understand cycling.

"I talk to quite a lot of people who get in accidents, and the police come and [give cyclists] tickets for things they shouldn't get tickets for," Anderton says. For example, he says, cyclists have complained about getting tickets for "following too closely" when cut off by a car.

Tensions between cyclists and cops came to a breaking point in July, when a frustrated driver plowed into a group of riders who were participating in a monthly Critical Mass protest ride through the city. Several participants were accused of assaulting the driver after he ran into the crowd of cyclists.

Lucy Morehouse, one of the cyclists injured in the incident, says she was initially pleased with SPD's response at the scene. But as the night went on, she says, "officers from SPD... treated me with disdain [and] suspicion. That was extremely upsetting. I'd just been hit by a car."

In the nearly four months since the incident, no one has been charged.

Seattle Police Department spokesman Sean Whitcomb—who worked bike patrol in the University District for two years—says he's surprised by cyclists' claims of mistreatment. "I guess I'm a little puzzled there seems to be this impression," Whitcomb says. "There's absolutely no antibike bias within the department."

Whitcomb also recommends cyclists files complaints with the OPA or ask for a supervisor at the scene of an accident.

With the city planning to add 150 new bike racks, 19 miles of new signed bike routes, and 90 miles of new bike lanes by 2009, cyclists are hoping SPD will start taking their concerns seriously.

"[The police] have to protect us when we need to be protected," says Cascade's Hiller. "If we can't trust that they will take crimes against bicyclists seriously, then we're on our own, and it's not a fun place to be when you're dealing with several tons glass and steel." recommended

 

Comments (72) RSS

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1
How about some balanced coverage of the bikers for once. It's always, waaahh, waaaah, waaahhh, we get treated unfairly by cops and cars! My wife, who was crossing the street downtown in a crosswalk, was missed by inches by a messenger flying by in front of her, as he decided to run a red light! I wanted to take a bike lock to his head! He didn't say a word, he didn't stop and apologize, he just kept going. I see how they hop from the curb to the street, run stop signs, dodge through traffic. You don't see cars doing that...you don't even see pedestrians doing that! We all have to share the road AND the sidewalks. So treat others with respect and you will receive the same, but until you show a little bit of self-control and stop acting like the basic rules of the road don't pertain to you...don't be surprised if I stick a tree limb into your front spokes as you fly by me going 20mph on the SIDEWALK! JERKS!!
Posted by jay on November 12, 2008 at 4:50 PM · Report this
2
oh...FIRST!
Posted by jay on November 12, 2008 at 4:51 PM · Report this
3
Judging from the number of cyclists who whizz through Capitol Hill red lights and blow stop signs, the SPD doesn't seem to be anti-bike enough.
A $103 fine is a small, small price to pay for wantonly endangering yourself and others.
Please bike responsibly.
Posted by Screeching Brakes on November 12, 2008 at 5:45 PM · Report this
4
It surprises me how little police officers know about the law as it applies to bicycles. I was once pulled over by Officer Cassidy in Magnolia and told to get on the sidewalk because there is a "minimum speed limit" in Seattle. Of course, no such law exists. A call to complain to the and file paperwork resulted in nothing. I heard that the old coot retired. Perhaps the younger police officers know a little more about traffic law in Seattle. Perhaps.

As for the non sequituer comments about cyclists blowing stop lights, I find that a weak. It has nothing to do with it. I drove home today and saw not one bicyclist breaking the law, but I saw hundreds of auto infractions such as running red lights, changing lanes without signaling, crossing double yellow lines, and threatening pedestrians and cyclists. Hundreds.... in 8 miles.
Posted by Brad on November 12, 2008 at 6:44 PM · Report this
5
of course there is no accountability with the SPD. It's a bunch of d-bags that make way too much for what they do, and who have been able to throw accountability and responsibility under the bargaining bus.

but hey, they look super cool on the segways.
Posted by mike on November 12, 2008 at 8:25 PM · Report this
6
Realize that responsible drivers don't want bicyclists to come in contact with our "several tons [of] glass and steel." Cars can't stop on a dime - so yes, you can be following too closely, or making maneuvers which seem safe to you but scare the heck out of us motorists. Especially following the July Critical Mass incident, I detected an uptick in "agressive biking" such as cutting off cars, riding in the center of the roadway, etc. This is plain stupid. Share nicely with cars and keep the basic laws of physics in mind, and reasonable drivers will be happy to share the road.
Posted by DumpNickels on November 12, 2008 at 9:29 PM · Report this
7
OMG. The horror, the HORROR. Let's mobilize for our rights to ride bikes!

LMAO!

You gotta luv Seattle.
Posted by John on November 12, 2008 at 9:43 PM · Report this
8
You said:


...there are more cyclists on the road than ever. In 2007, the Seattle Department of Transportation's downtown bicycle count tallied nearly 2,300 bike commuters, a 31 percent increase over 2000


Why don't you report that in terms of relative numbers? What percentage of overall commuters go by bike? Two? Maybe three percent? Hitting the magical FIVE freaking percent that Portland has, after moving mountains, is a pipe dream for Seattle.

Your reporting is biased bullshit. You're a flack.
Posted by elenchos on November 12, 2008 at 10:00 PM · Report this
9
I feel that we as bicycles shouldn't be attacking anyone group but encouraging bicyclist to follow laws and be polite when encountering douche bag cops, if they are indeed that. And while we bicyclist encounter harsh views from the driving public that we must be aware that these aren't devoid of some legitimate cause. I myself have done some pretty dumb ass stuff and I learned pissed off cars and people that if I am pissing them off it must be for some reason and that perhaps I can improve my bicycling habits as not to interfere with these people and make them happy. While in the mean time I can educate my non-bicyclist friends good etiquette for the road and perhaps get them and other bicyclist to work together for better roads and more clear laws that we don't have to learn when we are getting chicken shit tickets... smile and enjoy bicycling and don't turn it into some douche bag battle with sides and conflict. TURN THE FROWN UPSIDE DOWN AND STOP BITCHING
Posted by RIDETORIDENOTTOBECOOl on November 12, 2008 at 11:38 PM · Report this
10
The traffic laws should be rewritten so that bikes are not obliged to stop at stop signs or at traffic lights. These signals should always be considered as yield signs in an effort to make the roads more conducive to biking and more inconvenient for cars. Also, at least one full traffic lane running in every cardinal direction should be reserved for bikes downtown.

I hope that more bikers start riding in the middle of lanes downtown; we should make it as unattractive as possible to drive downtown for the benefit of everyone! As a biker, you are risking your life heading down 2nd Avenue at 5:30pm, even with a bike lane there. Bikers should be given more space on the roads, not ticketed for taking up space. It is the fucking 21st century, you fucking morons! Stop promoting our dependence on cars, and do whatever it takes to get more bikes on the road in Seattle. SDP has been baiting bikers unfairly for a while now, the fucking pricks. Sure, bikers make stupid decisions on the road, but so does everyone on the road, drivers and pedestrians included.

FYI: The concept behind "biking" (for those of you who have obviously never placed your fat, car-cushioned asses on a bike seat) is that you want to remain in motion for as long as possible. Operating a bike relies on momentum, which is why bikers avoid stopping as much as possible. Every effort should be made to keep bikes working with the laws of physics instead of with the antiquated laws of traffic.
Posted by vacation on November 12, 2008 at 11:51 PM · Report this
11
To the conflicted and often naive car commuters of Seattle,
You are all out violent nut jobs, every time an article is written standing up for the rights of cyclists it's always the same response, "don't be surprised if I stick a tree limb into your front spokes as you fly by me going 20mph on the SIDEWALK! JERKS!!" (see: jay, the first on this blog thread). Does it not bother anybody else this and many other similar responses are always the first out the gate. I was a bike commuter 2 years in high school here in Seattle (8 miles to work after school Ballard to SODO) and I encountered so much hate and hostility that I was beside myself trying to figure out at the time why full grown adults were threatening a teenager. Motorist must understand: Yes, bicyclist's do stupid things but so do motorists, even the most dangerous bicyclist could only pale in comparison to the amount of damage a mildly dangerous motorists could do. Think of drunk drivers, cell phone talkers or anyone else willing to compromise other people's safety. Most cyclists have more control, can stop quicker, turn sharper, and pretty much avoid collision much more easily than any car.
I am no longer a bicyclist but a motorcyclist, year round, winter, summer, for better or worse, and to be honest I fear for the safety of bicyclist much more than my own. In my days of riding I was run off the road and had bottles and obscenities thrown out of cars at me and I was nearly riding to work, not trying to make delivery deadlines. I know how much this city that claims to be accepting of many things and forward thinking yet motorists do nasty things to bicyclists and then stay pissed off because the guy on the Kona is half a block further ahead of them for 20 seconds. Bicycles account for a small portion of commuters on the streets and a small percent of these bicyclists do dumb and erratic things. So, next time you see a bicyclist remember: they are sacrificing personal energy to where they're going not gasoline from war ridden country's, they're probably pretty cold (any time from Sept. to June) and they've been hearing people like you yell shit at them all week and they're probably in better shape than you so just keep your mouth shut and turn the volume up in your SUV that you're driving to work by yourself.
More...
Posted by S on November 13, 2008 at 3:06 AM · Report this
12
I fully agree with "vacation."
Posted by bikeallday on November 13, 2008 at 3:51 AM · Report this
13
In some other countries, traffic incidents are self-regulated based on conflict, injury and death - the HARD way. Here, we issue tickets - the EASY way. We don't seem to be learning our lessons: no excessive death here yet, so why argue over the EASY way? how about duplicate/ identical laws for road useage?
Posted by Pasha on November 13, 2008 at 5:30 AM · Report this
14
OK for those of you who view life from a metal box (car, then cubicle) look at it from this perspective. You're driving down the street when some guy in a tank runs into you and swears at you for getting in his way, when all you were doing was trying to get to work, or home from work, or to or from the grocery store to get food and you were obeying all applicable traffic laws in the process. You have multiple broken bones and are in a great deal of pain, and when the LEO gets there he insists you must have done something illegal or you wouldn't have gotten hit, and tries to make up something to give you a ticket for. All this while the EMTs are trying to treat your injuries and stabilize you for your trip to the hospital, and the cop is refusing to let you tell your side of the story. That's what getting hit on a bicycle is like, when you are still conscious at the scene. If you're not conscious then the cop and the driver just make up any old story that puts you in the wrong which leaves you stuck with all your hospital bills and loss of income while you recuperate.

And you wonder why bicyclists are distrustful of LEO?
Posted by Opus the Poet on November 13, 2008 at 8:14 AM · Report this
15
I am quoted as saying bicyclists need a rear light at night. I wouldn't ride without one, but technically (under RCW 46.61.780), you only need a red reflector.
Posted by Bob Anderton on November 13, 2008 at 8:50 AM · Report this
16
"I see how they hop from the curb to the street, run stop signs, dodge through traffic. You don't see cars doing that...you don't even see pedestrians doing that!"

No shit, moron, because it's physically impossible for a car to do that (incidentally, I do actually see lots of people doing all of the above)! Who's the whiner here, really? When people complain about cyclists, what I hear most is anger about our frequent stop-sign/street light running and riding on the sidewalk - and, yes, I do both of those things on a regular basis. WTF? Why get so up in arms over something that has nothing to do with you? I don't harp on the fact that drivers can go from 0 - 60 in under 60 seconds; hey, more power to you as you press down incrementally on the gas pedal. Good job.

Every time I read about these "curb-hoppers" I envision a gaggle of pedestrians magically appearing just in time to get plowed down by some inconsiderate, law-breaking biker. It makes for good copy but, seriously, how often does that really happen? For the record, I don't know of any cyclist who would ride 20 mph on a busy sidewalk (which IS legal, btw) - that seems equally dangerous for the rider, and I'm not buying it. Finally, an asshole who runs someone over is an asshole, no need to further categorize that person ... or to castigate a whole community of folks because of him/her.

Having said that, I'd rather be hit by a bike than a car any day (too bad I didn't get to choose!). As stated by DumpNickels, it really is a matter of physics, and every cyclist on the road realizes this at some uncomfortable point or another. Part of the problem is that people are so removed from the mechanics of their cars nowadays that they don't understand those physics. My bike doesn't have anti-lock brakes, shocks, etc. Braking hard takes a physical toll on my body when I am cut off, if my tires lock up, skid and I recover from it (hopefully) I have used almost all of my muscles simultaneously in order to do so. Not only do I have the same adrenaline rush a driver has under the same condition, I can FEEL it in my spent muscles.

I do believe that most responsible car drivers aren't out to get bikers, and I get it: bikes are inconvenient for cars (all of the vulnerability of motorcycles with none of the motorized maneuverability), but the potential for damage is what determines how I ride and how I drive.

Hey, wait, wasn't the article about police harassment?
More...
Posted by trainingwheels on November 13, 2008 at 8:57 AM · Report this
17
Only people who dont ride could complain about cyclists running a stop sign or rolling through a red light when there is no oncoming traffic for miles and especially because the cyclist can see that light is about to change anyways. A couple of things to think about: Bikes dont trigger traffic light capture devises, so if we can't run a redlight with jurisprudence on a side street with no car coming up from behind to trigger the light and no cars coming in the other direction for the bike to impede or for the car to send the rider visit with il pirate then we will get to hang with mr pantani anyway cause we will be stuck at that light until starvation. Also another reason why it is ok for cyclists to run stop signs and redlights is that because we are not in an experience proofed mobile steel and glass coffin we can tell when it is safe to do so (it is of course never ok to fly through intersections bike messenger style without regard to the long term interests of self and others). Also, why do people care when we leave an intersection early and safely? I had some psycho who was behind me at a stop light honking and screaming at me the other day when I was at the intersection of meridian and 185th because I started rolling forward as the light was about to change. My decision to to proceed did not affect her at all, but she chose to ruin her day with her freak out. If anything cyclists who roll through stops signs and lights are doing drivers a favor by clearing the intersection, maintaining their hard earned speed, and telegraphing to the drivers their placement in the lane so the driver can avoid emergency evasive maneuvers should the cyclist need to shoulder into the lane once through the intersection to avoid parked cars, potholes, manhole covers etc.... There are alot of douchebag cyclists out there, but most of us are doing our best to get to our destination safely and efficiently (side point: when you do the math cyclists get about 1,000 miles per gallon when you compare the average energy expenditure at 15mph to the joules of energy contained in a gallon of gasoline). I dont like driving my car because I feel like undergo a negative personality change behind the wheel and I do things that are not in line with my personal ethics or in the interests of advancing a sense of community in the place I live, I bet alot of other people feel this way on some level too. Think about it: what is the worst a cyclists can do to a car with some boneheaded stunt? Cause you to strike the cyclist and get a dent or a scratch in your precious enamel? Whats the worst a car can do to a cyclist with some boneheaded stunt? Im done preaching.

Oh yeah, and this stranger article was pretty poorly written and kind of stupid and unfairly biased, but that doesnt take away from the fact that bicyclist are doing you a favor by not being in a car so motorists should leave us alone when we cut harmless corners.
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Posted by chillaxpeople on November 13, 2008 at 12:03 PM · Report this
18
We have enough traffic problems here anyway. I am personally glad to see the SPD cracking down on anything or anyone that causes traffic. Pedal faster if you don't want a ticket! crybabies
Posted by dave on November 13, 2008 at 1:19 PM · Report this
19
Cops will be cops. A lot of them will be douchebags not just against bicyclists, but anybody they have to deal with. Make shit up, intimidate, act out against groups that they perceived have wronged them in the past. Most cops have this under control, but too many don't. The city actually needs more cops so that we can more easily weed out the unstable ones with power issues. Right now SPD is so understaffed that they have to err on keeping just about anyone they can get.
Posted by SPG on November 13, 2008 at 1:27 PM · Report this
20
Well, it must be lovely to be ABLE to bicycle to work -- I'm sure those of us who can't manage that athletic feat should just stay in our houses and to hell with us. After all, we're fat, ugly and need to "get up off our assess". Of course, those roads you want to ride down the middle of were PAID FOR by CARS, not a dime from bicycles sales or use. And the POLLUTION caused everytime a helmetless, arrogant young punk forces a line of cars to wait while they pedal down the middle of the road is TEN TIMES the pollution saved by riding to the bike!

Why don't we ask all those who want to cycle so desperately to work and on sidewalks and are of course, the superior and only important elements of the species to pay to build your own bike paths. How far will that take you -- about a block?
Posted by Davis on November 13, 2008 at 1:43 PM · Report this
21
No one else's hobbies are given this level of legislative attention and taxpayer subsidies. Cyclists have a sweet thing going, and should stop whining that it isn't enough.
Posted by Pedalhead on November 13, 2008 at 1:46 PM · Report this
22
Actually, it seems its often bikers who are doing the belly aching. You can't even get a cop if you're in a car. I ride my bike from the top of Fremont Ave often and sometimes I drive my car. I am apauled by how many bicyclists not only feel free to not wear a helmet but bust through red lights and follow way too closely and very often they are speeding. if they were in cars they would have their licenses yanked. Maybe the problem is not with the police but the city who gives lip service to bicylists, encourages them to ride but creates unsafe conditions for everyone.

Posted by gretchen on November 13, 2008 at 2:11 PM · Report this
23
Which is more worthy of ticketing:

1) Failing to wear a helmet and risk spilling one's own brains out all over the street, or

2) Talking on a cell phone while driving and risk spilling someone else's brains out all over the street?

While the latter seems much more worth the SPD's time, I think the former certainly captures more of their attention. Why? Because there's an apparent anti-bike bias within the department, as discussed in the article.
Posted by sequitur on November 13, 2008 at 2:46 PM · Report this
24
I've about had it with bicyclists myself. They run lights and stop signs and even ride in the car lanes (doing well under the limit) when there is a bike lane present! A couple of weeks ago while my GF and I were on our motorcycles in Kirkland, a bike rode between the lanes to stop in front of me at a light. We were in the left turn lane and when the light went green, sure enough he had the balls to try turning in front of us! Well, my motorcycle weighs 850 Lbs itself and I didn't budge an inch! I forced him into stopping before he hit a parked car and he got mad at me! Stupid biker.

You can't consistantly ignore the rules then cry about mistreatment! ride like the rules pertain to you too (which they do) and we'll respect your right to be there. Be a fool, and myh motorcycle will be very unforgiving to you!

Paladin
Posted by Paladin on November 13, 2008 at 2:46 PM · Report this
25
"No one else's hobbies are given this level of legislative attention and taxpayer subsidies."

"Of course, those roads you want to ride down the middle of were PAID FOR by CARS, not a dime from bicycles sales or use."

Just an FYI, many bicyclists DO have cars (I have two of 'em, actually), so if anything we're paying MORE than the average car driver to maintain the roads we're impacting less. That's an old argument, and repeating rhetoric doesn't make it true.

Now, the term "young punk" has been led, so let's go with that. I'm 37 (38 in January, Happy B-day to me!), college-educated and working at a white collar job. But ... I do still enjoy a good punk show!

Face it, habitual car drivers are throwing temper tantrums over a paradigm shift that IS coming, like it or not (hm, kind of like gentrification to my neighborhood). The only thing you can do is calm down, take a deep breath and figure out how you're going to deal with it.

Cause eventually, yes, you are going to have to deal with it ....
Posted by trainingwheels on November 13, 2008 at 3:38 PM · Report this
26
I am surprised, but not impressed, by the overall state of denial expressed by the pro-biking reasons as to why they deserve special treatment.

1) "they're probably in better shape than you so just keep your mouth shut" (very creative I must say...NOT!)

2) Operating a bike relies on momentum, which is why bikers avoid stopping as much as possible. ("gravity impaired"? I'm really not sure how else to put it. I guess cars aren't effected by momentum?)

3) Bikes don't trigger traffic light capture devises. (have you heard of a crosswalk? Bikes, unlike cars and pedestrians can use the roadways and the sidewalks?)

All the excuses being provided simply point out the fact that some of the bikers have no desire to follow the law. They feel they are above it, because they have chosen an ALTERNATE form of transportation. I put that in bold letters because that is the crux of the issue. It is not a mandatory form of transportation. You weren't born on a bike, it's a choice. Fully knowing the dangers involved and the harassment you take, you continue to CHOOSE to ride a bike downtown. Why? I'll never know. Various reasons I'm sure...some altruistic, some convenient..I feel pretty confident in saying that the majority of the 2% of daily commuters who ride bikes to work, do not live outside of the city and if so, not very far outside of the city. So, to make the argument that "when you do the math cyclists get about 1,000 miles per gallon when you compare the average energy expenditure at 15mph to the joules of energy contained in a gallon of gasoline" while pursuing an honest attempt at comparing energy expenditure, it is not intellectually honest. Someone who lives in Federal Way would spend an inordinate amount of time biking to work on a daily basis.

Back to the overall topic. Bikers have been granted the funding for their new downtown lanes. Funding is collected in taxes and tickets to pay for these lanes. Vehicles on the roadway get ticketed for violating the laws, and so do bikers. A majority of the bikers that commented are flagrantly stating that they do not believe the laws should pertain to them. You do not find this type of attitude amongst motor-vehicle commuters, they do break the law but they are not stating that they should not be held responsible for breaking it. I'm not quite sure where the sense of entitlement comes from some of the bike riders. Sounds like they might have come from a privileged home and feel those cultural norms they are accustomed to should now be offered to them by the rest of society. Sorry, not gonna happen.

So next time you're on your bike, on the sidewalk, and you get stuck behind a wheelchair and you can't get around them..for blocks at a time...you might get a glimpse into how the motor-vehicle commuters feel.

And if you break the law, you deserve a ticket.

Either pedal faster, or take the bus...you can still feel superior while taking the bus...if that's your thing.

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Posted by jay on November 13, 2008 at 3:49 PM · Report this
27
"I think everybody who rides a lot has a story about getting pulled over for bullshit."

I think everyone who drives a car a lot has a story about getting pulled over for some bullshit too. If you choose to ride a bike in a shared area for both cars and bikes, you must maintain an appropriate speed. Slow moving bikes often cause cars to swerve around them, creating the increased liklihood of an accident. I can't count how many times I've had to change lanes to avoid a slower moving bike who felt it was their right to go 10 under the speed limit slowing everyone else on the road.

Its not just the bad car drivers, or the bicyclists that pedal to the front of a red light, or use the road and sidewalks as an intertwining avenue to which they feel they should be allowed access to both.

Just today I saw a sherrif riding on 5th Ave S., riding on the sidewalk. I laughed, thinking the law would say he should be riding in the road. Then I saw a patrol car pass just behind, on the same road. Rules? What rules? The day before I waited at a crosswalk as a Sherriff drove on past, making eye contact as he did. The cars behind all stopped (God forbid they get a ticket for the same.)

If you drive a car, please be careful as there are many bicyclists that are simply trying to improve the environment and otherwise, they'd just be another car ahead of you in traffic.

If you are a bicyclist, don't cry bullshit unless you are following the rules of the road to the tee. In other words, go the speed limit, yeild to pedestrians, and stop running red lights and cutting through sidewalks to save time. You want to share the road, then please respect those of us who do.

The police will give you a ticket whenever possible, warranted or not, bike or car, so get over it.
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Posted by GrumpyShoe on November 13, 2008 at 4:10 PM · Report this
28
@ paladin, re:"doing well under the limit"

NB, that's a MAXIMUM speed limit. It's illegal for you to ride your motorcycle above it; it's not illegal for bikers to ride under it.

Where do you propose people ride their bikes? on the sidewalk? Suck it up and spend 15 seconds riding 15MPH instead of 30 - I guarantee it'll only delay you by a few precious seconds.
Posted by rococo on November 13, 2008 at 5:09 PM · Report this
29
Sir,

The unfortunate reality: for the bicyclist to obey and/or disobey traffic laws is the path to martyrdom.

There is no simple answer to this phenomenon. It is a question of infrastructure and legal code not meshing properly no matter anyone’s recall of the RCW or scores of stenciled sharrows herding Lemmus Velocipedes from A to B.

I commute everyday (Seattle-to-Bellevue-to-Seattle) and close calls are an everyday thing…rules followed or rules ignored…and it is only sheer luck that I have only once been strapped to a back-board and hurried to Harborview for x-rays and subsequent faux-narcotics. As an aside, it is the soft-connective- tissue, and not the bones, at least the pelvis, that really pains when smashed upon the street top…but I digress.

So, when you see a bicyclist in the wild and not adhering to the social contract, please be advised, they are only marginally better off than that saddest sight of all…poor dog abandoned freeway-side, confused and wandering and only moments away from a fate most cruel; your every attempt to save by solemn horn-honking only worsening the matter.
Posted by pqbuffington on November 13, 2008 at 5:33 PM · Report this
30
Bikes, like rollerblades, skateboards, and Segways, belong on the sidewalk.
Please ride carefully and use crosswalks safely.
Posted by Sarah M on November 13, 2008 at 7:12 PM · Report this
31
obviously the problem is we don't have enough car lanes, routes and trails. i thought the city council was going to add some car lanes but all they are is a bunch of stripes painted in the road and they don't protect us from the dangerous bikers, who also use the car lanes. plus, the bikers really don't seem to understand how damaging their blood and guts can be to the paint job on our cars. and they audacious idea to call it "sharing" the road when bikes get prioity to every lane, the speed of travel and even how roads are built. i'm feeling very oppressed. is there any hope?
Posted by upchuck on November 13, 2008 at 7:39 PM · Report this
32
Something occurred to me after reading through these comments...this isn't even a bike vs car issue. This is just some weird mutual venting of road rage issues that seem to be far too prevalent amongst everyone who has to commute.
Since I moved out of my office job and run my business out of the house, I'm rarely on the road around rush hour anymore, but on those occasions when I can't avoid it I've noticed how poorly everyone behaves and how it just wears you down. Get a grip people. It's just transportation, not a jihad.
Posted by From the home. on November 13, 2008 at 7:58 PM · Report this
33
the issue is justice and access to the commons.

just imagine if there were as many 'bike-ways' as there were free-ways.

despite the car-road-oil monopoly of the public transportation commons millions more contiue to join the billions of us who already ride bikes. millions more will continue to ride bikes whether or not the USerfdom bails them out. so really, were winning, keep your heads up.
Posted by upchuck on November 13, 2008 at 8:45 PM · Report this
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hey vacation, we should apply your law modifications to motorcycles and scooters as well. We're just as vulnerable to collisions with cars and trucks as bicycles are!

I could replace every time you mention bicycle with motorcycle and it would sound very appropriate and sane to myself. It wouldn't to a lot of other people, though.

We can re-write laws till the cows come home, and it won't make much difference for rider safety. We as a society need to recognize that the physical layout of our roads were never intended for two wheel transportation, much less pedal powered vehicles and change them.

Until we can change the layout of our roads, people will endanger you on your bike regardless of what the law says.

Logic would dictate that until the roads change, ride like everyone is out to kill you, and don't ride like an ass. This applies equally well to motorcycle riders like me.
Posted by motorcyclerider on November 13, 2008 at 9:11 PM · Report this
35
i get yelled at for riding in the street. then i get yelled at for crossing in crosswalks. there really is no way to ride that does not piss off the multitudes of impatient, angry drivers. Now i just ride however i feel is fastest and safest and if someone doesn't like it: I really don't care. I will either smile and wave when you honk at me, or calmly give you the finger; it depends how my day is going overall.
Posted by your horn can't hurt me on November 14, 2008 at 2:53 AM · Report this
36
All I have to say is even tho bikers can be annoying, I still have to say MUTHAFUCK THE POLICE!
Posted by free on November 14, 2008 at 10:28 AM · Report this
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Bicycling is not my hobby, it is how I get from A to B. I used to race cars in the SCCA, which made cars my hobby. And yet 90 to 99 times more money is spent on my "hobby" than on what I use for transportation, and has been for decades. Bikes are trillions of dollars behind cars in infrastructure spending, both on construction and especially maintenance.

What I'm finding disturbing about the comments section is how few people commenting here have any understanding of the vehicle code. Speed limits are not minimum speeds, bicycles are vehicles and have the rights to a full lane of roadway, but under the law are advised to keep to the right of the lane when it is safe to do so. Bicycles in most states are not permitted to use sidewalks, but apparently WA is one of the states where this is legal. There is no state where bicyclists are required to dismount and walk their bikes across a street except when legally riding on a sidewalk, when bicycles are in the lane as vehicles they are expected to behave as vehicles and remain in the lane while crossing an intersection.

And under the laws of all 50 states and DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico bicycles own the roads. Motor vehicles may use the roads as a revocable privilege, not as a right. This came about because of the massive and widespread destruction caused by motor vehicles at the beginning of the 20th century. If you think the 42,000 people killed by motor vehicles last year was bad (and it is appalling) the loss of life in the first 5 decades of the 20th century was even worse than it is now,even though there were millions fewer cars on the roads. The improvements that have been made are thanks to billions of dollars in safety research.

Just FYI I keep a blog that tracks people killed on or by bicycles, and the vast majority of people killed or injured riding are killed or injured by motor vehicles. And interestingly enough, worldwide there were 2 (two) people killed by bicycles so far this year, one in Oz and the other in L.A. CA. Or to put it in terms that make sense to car-heads the ratio in the US of pedestrians killed by bicycles to pedestrians killed by motor vehicles is 1:4000.

If our transportation system was a disease there would be a telethon every month...
More...
Posted by Opus the Poet on November 14, 2008 at 1:16 PM · Report this
38
I have want to write an “I anonymous” about this very topic called "Fuck you, you pretentious, self-righteous, pedal hipster, ass fuckers!".

Seriously, I care about the environment, I do. What I don’t believe as that most of you ( see above for description of who I talking to ) actually do! I live about every free waking second of my life I possibly can in the outdoors all year round. I am active in multiple outdoor organizations and groups, and throw my hard earned money, and more importantly time in genuinely supporting environmentally green programs, and activities. So in earnest, I support the idea of travel by pedal and crank ( legit bikers muff your ears ) . What I don’t support is your self-center, “ Hey look at me” I have a cool single speed bike, and I rule attitude.

Ride your fucking bike and shut the fuck up. Try concentrating on things other riders of the roads all seem to be obligated to pay attention to and abide by. Things like signaling, stopping at red lights, watching for pedestrians, going the speed limit while taking up a full lane of traffic, not being a fucking douche bag attention whore.

yeah I said it, so fuck you and get to pedaling, or get the fuck out of the traffic lanes. I’m burning gas here waiting for your ass to try and get up Capitol Hill with that mono-crank, brakeless piece of shit that you thought made you look so cool down on 2nd Ave. Meanwhile, me and the 12 cars stacked up behind you are just burning more fuel poking along at 8 miles an hour all watching how cool you are trying to ride up Denny hill like a Hamster being pinned down and analy ass rapped by a pit-bull.
Posted by disobedient on November 14, 2008 at 6:25 PM · Report this
39
disobedient,

you should get on a bike and enjoy the world instead of being jealous and hating on it. take your car and shove it up your lumpy fat khaki wearing ass
Posted by getabike on November 14, 2008 at 8:24 PM · Report this
40
I love saying this, so I'm going to repeat it for the 50th time:

Bicycling on a regular basis makes you into a very, very angry person. Which is not healthy.
Posted by elenchos on November 14, 2008 at 9:25 PM · Report this
41
hey "elenchos"! you are ugly and uninteresting. seriously... i am pretty sure that most people don't like you.
Posted by elenchos is ugly on November 15, 2008 at 1:35 AM · Report this
42
Why is it normal to disrupt other people's lives? There are buses full of struggling people, and trucks with underpaid drivers, and then there is a selfish bicyclist that wants to slow everyone down. If you want to protest against vehicles get a permit and protest, or ask the city to close the road. It's 2008, not everyone can afford to have so much time on their hands, get a clue!
Posted by Mishki on November 15, 2008 at 7:47 AM · Report this
43
Also note that most bicyclists in Seattle are coming from the middle class or higher. The poor don't have time for this, and can't afford this nonsense.
I grew up in a high rise with a bicycle in a very busy city in Russia. The roadways were for vehicles, it never crossed my mind to ride next to objects that are much heavier and move 3 times faster than me. It's like bicyclists in Seattle have some sadomasochistic tendencies. May be it's mental illness? Seattle is known for high rates of it.
Posted by Mr. M on November 15, 2008 at 8:02 AM · Report this
44
The City of Seattle can address much of the confusion of both drivers and cyclists by making riding on the sidewalk illegal. Bikes on the sidewalk follow rules of the pedestrian while in the street they are subject to the laws of the road. Switching back and forth is very confusing to drivers and dangerous for pedestrians and ultimately dangerous for cyclists.
Posted by 27" on November 15, 2008 at 10:51 AM · Report this
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damn selfish bike riders, indeed! don't they understand that when they slow us cars down it takes a lot of effort to depress that gas pedal to get back up to speed?!?!?
Posted by upchuck on November 15, 2008 at 12:05 PM · Report this
46
Bikers, please start carrying guns. Please use them to ward off police officers.

When you both kill each other off in sufficient numbers, the road will finally be safe for the people that really matter, the drivers.
Posted by YallSuck on November 15, 2008 at 2:04 PM · Report this
47
I love to see a cyclist ride like an ass. You know they are in for a world of hurt. Whether it is the newbie relearning to ride taking up a whole lane or the aggressive jackass going the wrong way full bore. I have no sympathy for cyclist underestimating risk.
Posted by snowball on November 15, 2008 at 9:40 PM · Report this
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Oh my GAWD, bicyclists are evil, pure evil! And dangerous! I really really hate how they can get through traffic more efficiently than I can in my car, at minimal expense, and not burn any fossil fuel AT ALL! It just ain't right for them to enjoy their commute, or their shopping trips, while I hate mine so much!! And it costs them almost nothing! And they slow me down on my dash to the next red light! Just so wrong! I hate them!
Posted by godzilla on November 16, 2008 at 7:23 PM · Report this
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Jay said:

"My wife, who was crossing the street downtown in a crosswalk, was missed by inches by a messenger flying by in front of her"

"don't be surprised if I stick a tree limb into your front spokes as you fly by me going 20mph on the SIDEWALK! JERKS!!"

Almost only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades you idiot. If you stick anything in my spokes, you better hope I don't get up, because I will stick that tree limb right up your ass you retard. Then, for act two, I will make you shit your teeth out for two weeks. How about them apples Senor Puto?
Posted by Darren on November 16, 2008 at 10:07 PM · Report this
50
OK, "vacation". While you are working with the laws of physics and not stopping at lights, us pedestrians will be working with them when you hit us and we end up injured. And when I'm in a car, I'll be working with them to squish you when you can't follow the rules.
Posted by almost been hit by cyclists 100 times on November 16, 2008 at 10:12 PM · Report this
51
"When it comes to speeding, many American motorists don’t worry about safety. They just worry about getting caught."

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/10…

44,000 dead by automobile every year, and you still hear folks whining about "those crazy cyclists".

Other countries (think N. Europe) have far higher rates of cycling than we do. Is the result mass craziness on the roads? No. Why?

Because if you don't like aggro cyclists you need to make cycling safer -> you'll get lots of normal folks biking and the aggro types will move on to, I don't know, turbo-charged skateboards or something.

We're not all that far from reaping the benefits of mass utility cycling here. (There are 400,000 folks moved by bike every day in Berlin. Think about how much money that city is saving in health care costs, transit, road repair, pollution-related costs (asthma, heart disease), etc, etc. etc.)

Do you want to be poor and stupid all your life? If not try and stop embracing self defeating public policy. Encouraging cycling can save us buckets of money. Why throw it away just because of the odd wack job cyclist?

Posted by bakfiets on November 17, 2008 at 12:32 AM · Report this
52
Every time there's an article about biking, everybody says, "Oh yeah? Well, I had a rude experience with a bike once! So fuck you, everybody!" Nobody reacts that way with cars. Has anyone ever said, "This one time, this guy cut me off, so now I oppose all highway investment!" No, they haven't, because that would be retarded, just like almost all the comments on this story.
Posted by TValley on November 17, 2008 at 8:15 AM · Report this
53
Automobile drivers break way more laws than cyclists by not stopping at stop signs, driving too fast, talking on cell phones, stopping in the middle of the street, driving agressively, etc. and are much more dangerous to people and the environment, while making our society dependent on foreign oil. Cars are just so damn convenient that people treat them like they are the most important things in their lives.
Posted by nickster on November 17, 2008 at 11:37 AM · Report this
54
Actually, I think what we're experiencing is that cars are damn inconvenient- at least for urban use. In my opinion, the rage against cyclists is out there primarily because they are yet another obstacle in the path of autos. Driver rage tends to flare whenever anything gets in the way- no matter what or who it is. Yes, it is hellishly frustrating to drive in the city. All that useless horsepower gets you nowhere in a hurry. But that is precisely why I don't drive downtown, or anywhere, when I can use a bike or public transportation.

The bike-haters just haven't figured this out yet, and the arguments they use against bikes in blogs like this are just silly:

1) Bikes are dangerous to pedestrians.
2) Bikers are in my way.
3) Bike riders don't obey the law.
4) Bicyclists don't pay taxes to pay for roads.

1-3: can be said of cars, only more so by an order of magnitude at least. F=MV^2, right? A 150-200 lb bike and rider at 10-20 mph are not capable of doing the damage a 2,000 lb car at 40+ mph can do. Simple physics, as certain enraged car addicts are so keen on threatening us with. And yes, there are scofflaws in cars- they are also capable of doing much more harm.
4: Bicycles don't need roads on the scale that cars do. They don't do as much damage to the roads they use. Cars and trucks need wider roads and highways, they do more damage to the roads, and so therefore they should pay higher taxes.

Bottom line- bicycles are a more efficient, more logical, safer, less expensive, healthier and less polluting mode of transportation than cars. Enraged motorists, I feel sorry for you, because there are none so blind as those who will not see.
Posted by godzilla on November 17, 2008 at 1:16 PM · Report this
55
Biking is my hobby. It's also my main form of transport, so I am one of those lucky people who gets to do what he loves about 1.5 hours a day, riding in this city and a couple others for over a decade.

I've never had a run in with the police.

I've never hit a pedestrian.

I've been in minor car accidents three times, once my fault (ran into a stopped car's side view mirror because I was trying to read some homeless guy's sign) and two the cars fault (signal your right turns please).

I wear a helmet and have multiple blinking lights.

I run traffic lights, stop signs, I take the lane when it's need for safety. I never ride against traffic and only ride on sidewalks in a few spots where it is safer than the road. I am much more likely to get in an accident on a sidewalk, humans move erratically, fire hydrants and signposts tend to be randomly placed, etc...
Posted by dwight moody on November 17, 2008 at 2:03 PM · Report this
56
The real reason everyone is so pissed off is one simple fact: Most humans have devolved into a bunch of fat lazy cattle that can't stand to see anyone break the mold most of you crybabies fit into. You sit in traffic on the 405 for hours, but you don't ever say cars are in your way.

As someone else pointed out, just because you get cut off by a car, or some ass blathering on their cellphone almost KILLS you, you don't call for banning cars on the roadway, or talking on cellphones while driving. You just can't stand to see anyone exercising, it is confrontational to the fat TV addicted middle of the curve slob in our current take a pill to get a hard on society.

Just shut up and deal with it you idiots. I ride a bike for transportation, for fun, and to stay in shape.

I am making no statement whatsoever, you read all your inadequacy's into your own pathetic equation. Wait, here is a statement. Your secret fear is that my hard ass/rigid cock might drill your wife/girlfriend/significant other into next week while you are watching TV with your football buddies. Better watch out fat boy, and get that doughy ass pedaling.
Posted by Darren on November 18, 2008 at 12:05 AM · Report this
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Darren and the rest of the spoiled middle class children who moved here young and living their clueless city dream. The rest of the world doesn't work like this. Busy cities don't stop for a bicyclist that wants to change the world at the expense of the poor. In fact, what you are doing, is pure capitalism. Capitalism is when you want to have more at the expense of many others. Having that space on the road at the expense of so many people in not just cars, but in buses, trucks, and other other physical objects of similar sizes that move at totally different speeds than a bicycle, is very capitalist. In a simple language, it's just no fair. And if you purposely want to do that, then it's called terrorism.

If you hate vehicles so much, why not to move to smaller towns where there is more space on roads and less vehicles??

What people on buses, people who have no transit access, delivery trucks drivers, have to do with your anger against vehicles? It's not their fault they have to drive or ride on the road that was designed for vehicles almost a century ago.

Try biking in rich neighborhoods, in front of ceo's and other rich shots in this city.

And finally get a permit and have a street to yourself so you can protest all day.

If you don't want to do any of these than it's just mental. You are looking for conflicts without any constructive outcomes. And you even prepare to hurt yourself and others by doing this. That's sadomasochism, pure mental illnes!
Posted by Mishki on November 18, 2008 at 9:48 AM · Report this
58
Bike riders are self righteous pussies!
Posted by bikerasshole on November 18, 2008 at 11:44 AM · Report this
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Mishki-
If all of the bicycle commuters abandoned bicycles and took cars to work and to shop instead, do you really think that city traffic will improve? Putting a few thousand more cars on the road is the answer? Do you seriously believe this? Delivery truck drivers do get my sympathy- but I am helping them by NOT driving my car downtown, by NOT adding to the demand for parking places and road space. You aren't going to go any faster than I am on a bicycle anyway- not anyplace between Mercer Street and Yesler Way at least. You should be glad I'm not one more car on the road, instead of accusing me of "capitalism" of all things. That is the silliest anti-bike argument I think I've ever heard! FYI- Bicycles were here in Seattle long before cars, in fact, some of the city streets in Seattle were originally bike paths.

Signed,
Former Poor Person who Wised Up
Posted by godzilla on November 18, 2008 at 1:40 PM · Report this
60
"vacation" is right! We must retool and rebuild the entire city so that it only favors bicycles!! Pedestrians should be targeted; bicyclists should be legally allowed to run over walkers, or shoot them if they DARE cross the street or use the sidewalk -- hey, pedestrians! Do you think the "walk" in "sidewalk" is for you??? No! It is for us, your bike-riding overlords!! And "roads" were not invented for carriages or automobiles -- they are for BIKES!! Everyone knows this! Only when bicyclists are truly hated by every motorist, pedestrian, child, parent, pet owner, and city worker will we achieve TOTAL VICTORY!!

Seriously, militant bikers are losers. Your hobby does not belong in my face. Think about it.
Posted by JF on November 18, 2008 at 6:32 PM · Report this
61
No, vacation is wrong...we should retool and rebuild the entire city so that it only favors cars!!! Oh, wait...
Posted by godzilla on November 18, 2008 at 7:44 PM · Report this
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Hey Mishki, you know what happens when you assume? You look like a retarded ass, that's what.

"Darren and the rest of the spoiled middle class children who moved here young and living their clueless city dream."

I moved here at 26, rode bikes and engaged in other sports my whole life, and grew up dirt poor.

"If you hate vehicles so much, why not to move to smaller towns where there is more space on roads and less vehicles??"

I never said I hate vehicles, can you point out where I ever even came close to stating that opinion?

"What people on buses, people who have no transit access, delivery trucks drivers, have to do with your anger against vehicles? It's not their fault they have to drive or ride on the road that was designed for vehicles almost a century ago."

Followed by: "Try biking in rich neighborhoods, in front of ceo's and other rich shots in this city."

and:

"And finally get a permit and have a street to yourself so you can protest all day."

and:

"If you don't want to do any of these than it's just mental. You are looking for conflicts without any constructive outcomes. And you even prepare to hurt yourself and others by doing this. That's sadomasochism, pure mental illnes!"

Last but not least, the cherry on top is this gem:

"And if you purposely want to do that, then it's called terrorism."

Terrorism!!! What's up with that? English may be your native language, but your penchant for high drama is evident in your mangled usage of said English language. George Bush Jr. and the boys down at Homoland Security would be right proud of you for slipping that in.

I ride at the speed of traffic, or fast most the time. I also am very conscientious, as others are not, and cars will run you down and kill you if you don't pay attention.

All I said was that everyone is a fat bastard that hates to see anyone exercising or coloring outside the lines. They like to bitch about the little shit while the big shit crushes them to death.

I also stated that if you don't watch out I will fuck your wife/girlfriend/significant other, because all that bike riding has me very fit and rather handsome, as well as extremely randy. This would bother you way more then me riding my "Terror Bike" around you and your precious car. See ya tards.


More...
Posted by Darren on November 18, 2008 at 9:24 PM · Report this
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I learned to ride a bike when I was five years old, and I've owned and ridden everything from old Raleighs and Peugeots to a Litespeed, a couple of Bianchis, and a Serotta. I learned to drive a car on my Dad's ranch on summer vacation when I was thirteen, and I still own and drive one today. I use not only a bike and a car to get around town, but I also travel by bus and walk as often as possible. I have no "side" in this argument, and my only goal is to be heard.

There are idiots who drive cars, ride bikes, drive and ride in buses, and walk on a regular basis. The ones that I've seen cause the most problems are the twenty-something young men in Capitol Hill and the U District. If they're not driving like jack-asses, they're riding their fixed-gear bicycles like the entitled little pricks that they are. When they get confrontational with each other on the roadways, the bicyclists lose - badly (an old Nishiki frame and some yellow mag wheels don't make one quite as invincible as one might imagine).

Cars aren't going anywhere. The vast majority of people on the roads will be behind the wheels of automobiles for a long time yet to come. The onus of responsibility for the safety of cyclists lies first and foremost on their own shoulders. Quit being aggressive fucktards unless you like intensive care units. And trust me, your fitness regimen that you are so convinced drives the ladies wild is a little tough to keep up when you're lying in a rehab ward as a quadriplegic unable to feed or bathe yourself. Although by the smell of you when I pass you on the Burke-Gillman, the bathing thing was never really your scene, was it?

BTW- This publication has displayed a bias towards cyclists and cyclists' issues. The Stranger knows who their audience is. Anti-cyclist sentiment in the SPD is probably a non-issue. Police officers reacting to rude and confrontational hipster kids and paranoid and delusional aging hippies (both with serious entitlement and mommy issues) is probably the real issue. Don't treat the people around you (including the po-po) like crap, and they won't treat you like crap. As for the issues with the way that people drive in this town, that is a whole 'nother article.
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Posted by Give it a break! on November 18, 2008 at 10:28 PM · Report this
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Of all the polarizing issues, this is the most infuriating. People die on roads every day, and none of the politics mean jack when compared to a life.

Bicycling isn't some postmodern crusade- you know the risks, live accordingly. Driving isn't some lazy awful thing- it's how our current society was built and it's necessary for a large number of people.

What people need to do is chill out and realize that threats to throw sticks into wheels or key the paint off a door are worse than useless. Kick your ego in the ass and put the safety of all travellers above your petty feelings and asinine thoughts.

This article was pretty bicyclist-centered, but it was informative to those who may need help with these issues; I don't really mind who gets upset over the craft of the article as long as people know what to do if they are mistreated.

Chill out, stop polarizing the issue, and start acting responsibly... if nothing else then by refraining from wild, blanket threats to other's safety or property.
Posted by charlie on November 19, 2008 at 2:28 AM · Report this
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why do you feel a commuting cyclist at a non timed red light with no cars in sight should have to use the pedestrian signal to cross instead of just safely proceeding through the intersection? Are you that brainwashed into the infallability of law? A common complaint on this forum by motorists is that cyclists slow them down (oh my god your might arrive at the mcdonald's drive thru at 5:13 instead of 5:12 and 30 seconds because of that 'annoying hipster on the fixie going up the hill') well changing a light using a pedestrian signal will add another 30 seconds onto your epic journey to the heart attack factory.

Also why has it been decided on here that cyclists are all members of the middle and upper class? Way to be us and them people. Most people I meet riding my bike to work are not on yuppie machines.

Also about someone in Federal Way not being able to afford to ride into Downtown on a commute. Depending on the time of day and the direction of traffic a combo bike/bus path SAVES time or at least there is a negligible difference. The next time you drive somewhere time yourself out the door until you arrive at your destination, and if you have the brain power figure out your average speed. You will find your number to be shockingly slow on trips under 20 miles.

Lets all pray for peak oil so all these angry motorists will be forced to either get fit and with it, or starve.

Oh yeah, and I like the points people on here try to make about how riding a bike makes you angry. How many roadie rage stories where a cyclist kills some foos are there? I only get angry when I am not on my bike for a couple of days, but I am sure that has less to do with my body demanding joy enducing endorphines associated with vigorous exercise, and more to do with me being an angry cyclist.

More...
Posted by chillaxpeople on November 19, 2008 at 3:12 AM · Report this
66
The reason I don't stop at red lights is because I can't stop, I have no brakes and my pants are too tight, fuck your wife shuffling her fatass in the crosswalk and fuck the police, we ride.
Posted by mbuddha on November 19, 2008 at 9:58 AM · Report this
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Mishki:

Actually, since I'm going from Lake City to Bellevue everyday, I do spend some time riding through Medina and some very rich people's houses. They have nice lawns. What was I supposed to learn by riding there?

I grew up in the country, and here's the thing about riding out there---there's no place to go. You have to go to the city to work, so it doesn't work for a bike commuter to live outside the urban core. Also rural roads are insanely dangerous for bicyclists, people drive fast, the shoulders are non-existent or crumbling, and the roads are often narrow, logging trucks have a hard time stopping... Aside from the nice fresh air, it's no safer than the city.

Also, you have no idea what capitalism means.
Posted by dwight moody on November 19, 2008 at 2:15 PM · Report this
68

Look at the infrastructure of cities like Amsterdam, where their bike lanes are about as plentiful as their tulip bulbs and pot brownies. Or, in Paris, there are now extremely inexpensive bike rental stations on nearly every block with thousands of bikes that have begun to dominate the roads. The city government in Paris subsidized the bike rental companies knowing that it would piss off drivers and clog the roads, but they are truly committed to curtailing pollution in their city and to moving transportation into the 21st century. I wish I could say the same about Seattle...

I can't wait until gas is $10 a gallon. Apparently, kicking Americans where it counts (the pocketbook) is the only way to make a difference.
Posted by vacation on November 19, 2008 at 7:31 PM · Report this
69
what's up with accusing the bikers of being stuck up richies??? like the poor can afford gas and car payments and all the repairs that are unavoidable, but bikes are just too expensive??? please be real...

and y'all need to remember that the roads are public space. and there is a max speed limit, not a min.

honestly i get the same crap when driving my car from selfish impatient drivers who feel that the only important thing is their ability to drive fast. i get honked at and aggressively snaked for driving too slow when i'm going over the limit!
Posted by upchuck on November 19, 2008 at 8:07 PM · Report this
70
I almost got hit by one of those dumbass bicycle couriers, on a sidewalk...downtown, a few days ago. Wtf are those morons doing on the sidewalks, anyway> I shoulda clothes-lined the moron.
Posted by moonweed on November 20, 2008 at 1:01 PM · Report this
71
Like I said, mental illness.
Posted by mishki on November 23, 2008 at 2:41 PM · Report this
72
Bikes aren't cars, they are more sustainable, equitable, and safer for everyone, they shouldn't have to follow the same rules. Do remember that car oriented society is at the root of many of our social problems. The most explicit example being; cars are the cause of most of the murders in this country. Priority in every regard should be given to bikers. Bottom line.

P.S. thanks for writing about this.
Posted by matt- on December 4, 2008 at 8:12 PM · Report this

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