Update 5:02 – An update from Mike Seely’s piece. “Smith called back to say he regrets the KKK analogy. He feels, in retrospect, that it was over-the-top and obscures some of his more substantive points. “It’s the thinking about special treatment and blaming others that’s the issue. The violence is simply beyond comparison,” he says.”
David Smith, who is an advocate for “vehicular cycling“, a belief that over the last 5 or so years has been complete pummeled in the cycling community as ineffective at increasing safety, cycling rates and is suitable only for hardcore and fit “cycle jocks” was quoted saying;
“What we have now is, in my opinion, a full-blown, ripe, mature segregationist movement,” he continues. “Instead of white’s-only drinking fountains, we now have ‘bikes are good, cars are bad.’ We’re getting bike lanes painted into the streets that are a systematic violation of the rules of the road. Bike advocates, which have taken control of the mayor’s office and SDOT–it’s a national movement, so I don’t just want to pick on Seattle here–they use the same ways of thinking as the Ku Klux Klan used: ‘We are the good people; you are the bad people; we deserve special treatment; and if anything goes wrong, it’s all your fault.’ Isn’t that how we treated African-Americans at one time?”
Two things. First off the anti-bike facility commentary has completely gone over the top and in this case I find completely offensive. Talking about the KKK adds nothing to the discussion. Nothing.
Second Mike Seely does a disservice to his readers, intentionally distorting his reporting by only interviewing people that agree with him. He has shown he obviously doesn’t like the bicycling community. David Smith’s belief that vehicular cycling is superior has lost out because it just don’t jive with reality and represents a small minority of the cycling community. Most people simply aren’t interested in, willing to or even physically able to ride in traffic like a vehicle. David is right, the push for cycling facilities like those in Copenhagen has taken a hold in the US and around the world, but that is because it works.