News Jan 16, 2013 at 4:00 am

This Is Why Seattle Needs Protected Bicycle Lanes

A cyclist hit on Second Avenue.


As much as I agree with the point of your article, Dominic, regarding your last paragraph - correlation does not imply causation.
Actually, it does. It's pretty easy to measure the change in retail sales once you put in protected bike lanes. In New York, like in cities across America, when protected bike lanes go in, business activity goes up.
Many of our clients have been doored and left-hooked on the Second Avenue bike lane.

We recommend avoiding it whenever possible even though (or because) our office overlooks it (we've seen multiple crashes).

It's downhill, bicyclists can and should ride in the middle of the street with other traffic.
Every time a cyclist runs a red light they are saying "I'm outside the law," a political statement.
Every time a cyclist rides by a pedestrian within inches from behind, they are saying "I can maim and kill pedestrians without prosecution, being outside the law as I am." That's a political statement.
"I deserve special traffic lanes but don't pay license fees since I'm outside the law," that's a political statement.
Cyclists are their own worst enemies in public.
Hmm, it seems as though the Stranger wasn't happy with the comments the first time they ran this item, so they figured they'd try again to see if more "progressives" would chime in on the side of the asshole bicyclists?
Hmmm. As far as this re-run of this topic goes, I wouldn't object to paying a yearly fee to register my bicycle. As an "asshole bicyclist" I do my best to signal, and avoid cars, and obey stop signs. The point never was cars vs bikes, but making our PUBLIC roads safer for EVERYONE.
Bike lanes are more dangerous to the cyclist than having no designated bike lanes at all. Why? Bike lanes raise cyclist complacity. The safest bikers ALWAYS ride defensively. "I had the right of way" means nothing to the human churning the 20 lb bike vs. the 4000 lbs of metal being ferried by the often-unawares human. Does that condemn cyclists to a hunted prey mentality? Yup. When it comes to sharing the road with cars, bikers should be hyperaware, wide-eyed little marmots. Want a more enjoyable bike experience? Stay off the most heavily trafficked motorized roads.
I agree, although there's still fuckers who use the sidewalk instead of the bike lanes, on Pine up the hill.
I agree with Flow here. Back in the '90s I road through downtown daily without any difficulty. During rush hour you can go faster than traffic, and if it's not too busy, who needs a bike lane? Also, don't waste time with a lane that doesn't continue at least for several miles or is all downhill. The SDOT hasn't spent money wisely recently, painting slippery stripes instead of repairing bad roads, and installing barriers to all kinds of wheeled traffic. A few more dedicated pedestrain/bike paths across the city would be much better to increase bike ridership than haphazard bicycle lanes.
Having almost been hit a few times by people in a hurry to get onto I5, I wouldn't mind a little protection. I am pretty baffled by the "I think anyone on a bike doesn't deserve any safety consideration" comments here as I've never actually felt that while riding around, whereas in Boston I had a few people try to run me off the road while laughing at me. Perhaps they're nursing home bound and bitter about it? I'm most definitely not outside the law, nor are all the people in cars that I've seen run red lights, drive into other cars or pedestrians, or speed excessively. I don't assume that cars are inherently evil and don't deserve to be on the street because I've seen people do illegal things in them, I'm not sure why people make the same assumption about cycling.
If you've ever been to a city with protected bicycle lanes you would already know it's a win/win for motorists as well as cyclists. Cyclists don't have to worry about excessive risk and in turn they don't have as much temptation to be assholes about asserting their right to use the road. Considering that most motorists *don't* want to ram cyclists, it makes it easier for everyone involved.
@5: As a cyclist who follows traffic laws (technically, since I very rarely can speed, I obey traffic laws at a significantly higher rate than the overwhelming majority of motorists), I agree completely that asshole cyclists are a problem. By refusing to follow traffic laws, cyclists who do things like blow through stop signs or lights, fail to signal lane changes or turns (sadly, lots of motorists do this as well), or turn from/to improper lanes create uncertainty in the minds of motorists about how any given cyclist will act. This often results in the motorists not following traffic laws - especially right-of-way laws - meaning that neither cyclists nor drivers are able to predict how the other will act. The safety of our traffic system depends on regular, predictable patterns of behavior; far more than any individual act, disruption of these patterns creates dangerous road conditions for everyone.

That said, you seem to be suggesting that ALL cyclists are assholes. This is simply not true; you're either wrong, espousing bigotry based on ignorant prejudice, or you're willfully lying. Either way, that rather undermines your complaint about The Stranger re-posting the article (beyond the fact that the forum is theirs - they don't owe you, me, or anyone else a platform and can moderate, delete, dismiss, or post comments as they see fit).
Dominic, I challenge that it was the cyclists who politicized riding bikes. You can't tell me that Critical Mass wasn't a political act by militant cyclists. Don't blame everybody else for taking the bait.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.