Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 06:25 PM EDT
Contributed by: B' Spokes
The article I am responding to: https://medium.com/i-m-h-o/973a9ee48bc8
B' Spokes: First a bit from Slate on this topic:
"Something felt wrong. It wasn't injustice, exactly—all of these bikers broke the law. But was their behavior any great public-safety risk? Even after hearing about the spate of tickets, I haven't changed my behavior. What's the point of traffic laws for bikes? And if there is a point, is there any way to get me and my stop sign-flouting cohort to follow the rules of the road?"
(There's more interesting points in there as well.)
So while the article discusses "If there weren't cars, we wouldn't need stop signs [or stop lights]," what it misses is that if you put in bike lanes and detectors that detect bicycles you get a higher obedience to stop lights from cyclists. So what the police are really doing is ticketing cyclists for the failure of DOT to accommodate cyclists. That is an injustice!
Let's see if I can make a stronger case. Given the following (incorrect) summary of the law:
-> The law says the bicyclist has the responsibility to move aside and let you pass
And more recently something very similar: http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20130430133239834
So what's supposed to happen at an intersection if a cyclist is the first one at a light and some motorists feel it is the cyclist obligation to let them pass? What I am trying to get to here there is a social pressure that cyclists are not welcomed at intersections and should get the heck out of there. And there is a cycling sweet spot staying behind a platoon of traffic that has been queued at a light as "the bother" to motorist is minimal while maintaining this position.
So I find it very ironic that we want to "crack down" on this behavior when there is a element in there of trying to be considerate to motorists. If the police and the state is going to put out incorrect information, you have to expect some bizarre ways of trying to deal with this. So let me conclude with the Slate article conclusion:
"As a biker, my wish would be for police to crack down on more dangerous behavior, such as riding at night without a light or tearing the wrong way down a one-way street [or riding against traffic in general]. ... If cops started handing out more tickets for one-way infractions, bikers like me would probably clean up their most-outrageous behaviors. Once that happens, maybe all of us—cyclists and car people and activists and cops—could agree to leave the rolling stop alone."
Let's say we totally support strict traffic law enforcement and if the police were doing their job well we would see a lot of motorists getting tickets for failing to stop before making a right turn and passing a cyclist with less than 3 feet. The fact that it seems the police let these more serious crimes go unpunished and then ticket a cyclist for crossing a street with no traffic seems like harassment of cyclists. Does that fit within the Cyclists Bill of Rights for the city? http://www.baltimorespokes.org/article.php?story=20110308133257644