Copenhagen Winter Cycle Chic by Colville-Andersen

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.”


The back and forth between Mike Seely at The Seattle Weekly and Tom Fucoloro at the Seattle Bike Blog about the 125th St rechannelization just went there.

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.

64 Replies to “Seattle Weekly: Bike Lobby, The New KKK”

    1. I don’t read the Weekly and didn’t know who Mike Seely was – until I was referred to his bog post where he complained about low use of bike lanes on road diets, and I thought I would call him and see if he was interested in understanding more.

      I think the author represented his own views better than mine – and I’ll take responsibility for my poor communication.
      I believe that when you communicate powerfully and clearly people will be much more likely to understand, and respect you while those who would take advantage of you will be less able to. And when bicyclists ad a strong effective layer of good solid communications to their bike riding so they can be quickly and clearly seen as “bicycle drivers” they can really improve their bicycling and from that example – improve their lives.

      So, check out how I represent my ideas at BicycleDriver.Com 
      You can do as much or as little as you like there, it’s a great place to Get Started learning solid traffic skills.

      David Smith

    1. Matt, is that a psychic gondola linking the KKK and Nazis, or is it more of a mental BRT??? ;D

      But seriously, I can’t take the author seriously if he thinks the bicycle lobby is equivalent to the KKK. When some bike activists plant a Buick nose-down in his yard and light it on fire to make their point, I’ll start buying into his argument a little more…

      1. “When some bike activists plant a Buick nose-down in his yard and light it on fire to make their point, I’ll start buying into his argument a little more…”

        What an excellent idea. One problem: How to tow and then lift the Buick using nothing but cargo bikes and human energy… I’ll have to work on that one… ;)

  1. To be fair, I DO think that cars are bad. There are very bad social, economic, environmental and health impacts due to our devotion to cars. If tomorrow half the people that drive cars started walking/riding bikes/taking transit (and transit service proportionally increased), the world would certainly be a better place.

    People like talking about a “war on cars”, and people around here like denying that there is a war on cars.

    I say that having a war on cars is a good thing! The negative externalities of cars are huge, compared to the externalities of bikes (or transit).

      1. I think people with their eyes open deny there is a war on cars because there isn’t one. The car infrastructure lobby is alive and well where as the transit/bike/ped infrastructure lobby is limping along and fractured along more than just those three lines (look at the vehicular cyclists…).

        The majority of Americans like to complain there is a war on cars because they are always sitting in traffic, something that won’t change no matter how many highways and road expansion projects are built. They see one bike lane go in while we currently argue about how to spend $4B on one highway and $4B on a bridge and they throw their arms up in the air, “see, war on cars”. That’s called car goggles.

        There is no war on cars…unfortunately. I don’t hate cars; they serve their purpose. I just don’t think our cities should be beholden to them.

    1. It’s very common to list all the detriments of cars…but a far more useful task would be to list both the minuses and pluses of Personal Transit.

      1. Well, let’s do that. Personal transit is awesome. It lets people go where they want to go without waiting.

        Most sorts of transportation have elements of the self-fulfilling prophecy — if people use a form of transportation, they’ll build their lives around it, cities will find their form around it, and its need becomes ingrained. Hence, personal transit that’s fast sucks, because it facilitates sprawl, which is bad on its face (esp. for the environment: habitat destruction, water runoff, increased energy use for transportation, construction, etc.).

        Personal transit that’s big sucks, because it has to be parked and in this mode dominates the urban form . This increases the distance between things (limiting actual density, especially peak actual density) without making them feel less cramped (doesn’t alleviate the feeling of density).

        Transit, generally, that burns fossil fuels sucks, in direct proportion to how much it burns. Transit that uses electricity is usually a little better. But it still sucks in direct proportion to how much it uses. Transit that requires the user to eat more food sucks, and just how much it sucks depends on how the user eats.

        I love personal transit, but the pinnacle of personal transit is the bicycle.

      2. Visit a many modern European city and you can see how well bicycle transit can work. Visit an ancient European city, and you’ll the effect (to me, at least) is tenfold. Dubrovnik, Hvar, Zadar, Venice, Portovenere, etc. – any multi-millennium old town on the coast of the Mediterranean. Tall-as-they-could-build them (maybe 5 stories) of small housing over retail and very narrow streets (far too narrow for cars). Walk to the baker for your morning bread, to the school, to the church, and to your work.

        They’re all at least half tourist towns now, so it’s not clear how a truly walkable city would scale for the modern times, but I can’t imagine a better style of city to be a template for the future.

    2. It is an ancient tradition in the Western world, perhaps even globally, that roads are open to the public, that anyone may travel freely. It was only in dark times or under repressive regimes that people needed permission to travel freely. Only criminals or madmen blocked roadways.

      To truly have a War on Cars must inevitably mean either restrictions on free travel via some policing action, or a war on property through the appropriation and destruction of cars.

      A War on Cars, much like a War on Drugs, means using the naked, coercive force of government against our own citizens- A Civil War. We should do so only rarely and only in grave extremes.

      If you do not mean this, I would argue you do not propose a war at all and should soften your language; say what you mean. If you mean this truly and intend to implement it, I think Godwin’s law is more than sufficient to describe my reaction to that. :D

    3. Cars are not bad. Cars are good. Widespread internal combustion is bad.

      Cars have brought a lifestyle of productivity to billions. Cars have allowed human beings to live lives of their choosing. Cars let me go where I want to go when I want to go there in a manner that is cost effective, convenient, and provides the maximum choice.

      Transit is also good for similar reasons. So are bikes. So are a good pair of shoes.

      Cars are good. Roads are good. Cars and roads that accommodate other forms of transportation are good.

      People who think flat out “cars are bad” are idiots.

  2. Invoking the KKK is nuts; the idea that going without bike facilities will improve cycling conditions is ridiculous; calling road diets a form of segregation is misinformed. But that doesn’t mean that vehicular cycling is discredited entirely as a concept. If you ever have to ride in the roads, even in the bike lanes, the principles of vehicular cycling are necessary to stay safe. The most fundamental of these are to be visible and predictable.

    Frankly, designers of separated bike infrastructure would do well to at least accept the more modest and hard-to-dispute claim that cyclists have a lot in common with drivers, and their driver-like needs are important. Our bike trails are loaded with lousy road crossings (I’d hardly call them “intersections”) along its entire length — poor visibility, poor markings, and signage telling users to yield at every road, no matter how minor (so the actual rules are ignored, in favor of a complex dance between trail users and drivers). Many bike lanes seem like they were hardly designed for travel at all — they look more like the thought was, “We have some extra space in this shoulder; let’s let people ride their bikes there and see how that goes!” And, accordingly, they get filled with rocks and broken glass and stuff that’s fallen off of cars, like any other shoulder. That’s the sort of design that happens when cyclists’ real traveling needs aren’t taken seriously. It’s the ideas behind vehicular cycling, primarily visibility and predictability, that bring these issues into real focus.

      1. 10 miles or more. I think if there was a way to put chips in license plates and randomly place readers throughout the city, we could then mail the speeding tickets to the speeders.

      2. I’m not sure that’s exactly true.

        First, people don’t really drive the speed limit; they tend to drive at a speed determined by their surroundings. There are lots of neighborhood Seattle streets with a 25-MPH speed limit where people don’t drive a lick over 15, if that, because they’re no narrow. And out in Snohomish County, roads with 30-MPH limits where people drive 45 or 50 regularly.

        Second, there are some times and places where vehicular cycling, in its purest form (riding down the middle of the lane you want to use, or perhaps slightly to the left, signaling and maneuvering just like a car except usually a little slower), does work great, and tons of others where it works a whole lot better than anything else you might try.

        Third, the principles that vehicular cyclists stress most, visibility and predictability, apply any time and any place you’re riding, even if you’re riding in places like cycle tracks and bike lanes, which some vehicular cyclists hate. They are also concerns that are always important when building infrastructure for bikes, though they’re often ignored.

      3. Vehicular cycling is fine when you have motorists and cyclists that “get it”. The problem w/VC is the minority in each group that are a bad example. Some cyclists are a hazard to themselves, pedestrians, and unnecessarily delay motorists. Some drivers don’t pay attention, don’t appreciate cyclists using the road “their road”, and generally drive in a way to teach cyclists a lesson.

        Bring more enforcement and education resources online to “attack” both minority groups and things will improve. Even in Bellevue most motorists get it. It’s just that the rabid and borderline homicidal minority is a bit larger here.

    1. I look at the ribbon of concrete they built for LINK from Seatac to Rainier Beach section and think — why not elevated bicycle freeways!

      That would satisfy the Hares and the Turtles.

  3. The soap box here at STB is getting a little big these days, what with taking on bike bashers and now bashing other media outlets.
    What’s next? Fashion and food reviews.

    1. I wrote about this twice previously over the last year. It’s just continued coverage of that original story and frankly I’m sick and of tired of people using violently charged language in political discourse. That is not acceptable.

    2. While this may be the Seattle Transit Blog, I think the common ground here is really about making Seattle a better place via improved transportation policy and projects. Bicycles, cars, transit and walking are all forms of transportation. There are offshoots of these topics (such as land-use discussions) that have impacts on the success of implementing a more balanced transportation system. Reporting on the discourse in other media outlets is completely on topic of the blog.

      BTW Mike, in case you haven’t noticed, there are occasional posts about transit excuses which have included restaurants. So get ready for the food reviews!!! And don’t forget about STB reporting on pantsless train day. A lack of trousers is a fashion statement.

  4. Because just like drug prohibition, speed limits are entirely effective at controlling actual speeds.

    1. That was supposed to be nested below a “drop the speed limit” comment in an earlier thread…

      1. EricL makes a good point here. I don’t know about his neighborhood, but there’s probably not a street in mine in which you could get a normal car up to 80 in normal circumstances without crashing it. The speed limit on my street is the default Seattle speed limit of 25 MPH. Most drivers stay well below 20 in practice. If you posted 80 MPH speed limit signs they wouldn’t make a difference — they’d be laughed at, just like if you put 45 MPH signs on I-5.

      2. I’m not trying to get into an argument here.

        My point was that it’s not safe or comfortable to ride my bike on most streets, because the cars are incensed that I am slowing them down by 4 mph.

        If your point is that we should redesign our streets so that people don’t feel comfortable driving over 20, then we’re on the same side. I just think that the posted limit should be lowered to reflect safe speeds as well.

        I can’t help pointing out your flawed logic on the I-5 thing, though. According to your logic, there should have been no increase in actual speed when the speed limit was raised from 55 to 60. People would naturally drive the correct, safe speed, right? Wrong, the average speeds jumped more than the limit was raised. And accidents and fatalities raised likewise.

      3. Be careful about causal oversimplification.

        There are multiple factors that govern the speed at which people drive on a given street. One of them is perceived safety, like Eric and Al point out. But another is the posted speed limit.

        It goes without saying that the posted speed limit is not the only factor that vehicle operators use in deciding what speed to travel. But the fact that it’s not the only factor doesn’t mean it’s not a factor at all.

  5. A Portland shows that of all the people who would be interested in riding bikes, more than 60 percent will not ride because they fear being around cars.

    That is loss for bicycling of 60 percent of the potential audience…or market.

    What would you say to a business that ignores 60 percent of the potential customers?

    The opposite of Vehicular Cycling is Utility Cycling…which is actually more akin to the type of bicycling done in your model cities like Copenhagen. In Utilitarian Cycling the bike is used as a simple, and in some cases low speed, tool to move a person around town, and add some wicker baskets and maybe turn it into an adult trike, and go shopping, carry goods, get to work and so on.

    The Tour de Francers in search of a velodrome have probably done more harm to the average person’s desire to own and ride a bike than one realizes.

    1. John Bailo, I wish you were around 25 years ago (maybe you were). That’s when I began riding longer distances in traffic as a young’un. It was trail by fire for a non-athletic young girl, and I persisted only because what was waiting at home was more uncomfortable than being on the road. It was exercise. It was seeing new sights. It was freedom.

      It was the cycle jocks riding in packs in their matching liveries that stood out. Though they were precious few in number, they made sure to leave an impression at every encounter with their smirks, sneers, “loser” signs and other welcoming behaviours. I felt embarrassed at my slowness, but I concluded that that’s how jocks were, bikes notwithstanding.

      Fast foward a few years to the early nineties and onwards. Vancouver was starting to seriously consider cycling infrastructure. I was so happy! I knew first-hand how stressful riding in traffic was, and how it deterred me from daily commuting as a working person. I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of negativity from athletically-oriented bikers and their libertarian cheering section. They were really, really upset at the mere idea of non-vehicular riding, and they made their presence known in every conceivable forum, including internet BB’s. It was whole lot of angry from a numerically insignificant percentage of the population, but it carried the day. City Hall was only too happy to listen, as they had little appetite for spending on bike infrastructure. Instead, they painted a few white bicycles on some side streets and added a a couple of traffic lights. With the maximum possible hoopla, of course.

      I have not been riding, due to illness, for two or three years now. Would I take up riding again during a remission? I shouldn’t even have to ask myself this question. But there’s just too much hate out there for my kind of slow and steady rider. Segregated cycling facilities throughout Vancouver in my lifetime? Only in my dreams.

      1. Why do you even care what other people think of your chosen mode of transportation/exercise?

        Once you stop caring about silly things like that, your life becomes much more free and fun. You can wear whatever you want, whenever, wherever. You can ride or not when/where you please.

        Oh and caring what people write on BB’s is totally useless, unless they are giving you good lifestyle advice! (like this comment to loosen up.)

        You know old people have this “purple hat” society that basically says, “If I want to wear a purple hat, so what?” Why wait to be old to be free?

    2. I agree so much with your last point. Just try to buy a bike for practical use on the roads in the US, and you’re sold a racing bike. Steel is a better material for bikes than aluminum or carbon, unless you’re exclusively racing the bike, but just try to find steel bikes here.

      That said, utility cycling and vehicular cycling aren’t opposites. John Foerster is pretty much the model of vehicular cycling. I own a copy of his book. He has a lot of good to say about utility cycling. If you think utility cycling means a sidewalk-integrated cycle-track has to be put in every place a cyclist might want to go, then you misunderstand the whole thing.

      I ride largely for utility — to get around town, as part of my commute to work. I carry a big, heavy cycle bag. Utility! But none of the roads I use have a separated cycle track. Vehicular! Some have bike lanes, but they still have right turns and even freeway ramp lanes that I have to negotiate, often with no guidance. I need my vehicular skills to achieve my utility objectives.

      I wish I didn’t need so many of those skills to get to work, but it will be a long time before they have Euro-style cycle tracks near my office in Snohomish County. They’re still building the sort of bike lanes and paths that the original vehicular cyclists rightly railed against in their early days.

      1. Huh? Mountain bikes and commuter bikes are widely available. Mountain bikes were invented on the west coast, and the commuter (hybrid) bikes are like mountain bikes but with smaller tires and lighter construction. The people who buy thin-wheel, drop-handle bikes either prefer that style or have a 1970s conception of a bicycle. The people who buy fixed-gear bikes are looking for something ultra-trendy.

        Steel is heavy when you have to carry a bike up a stairway, and it takes more effort to ride. It’s not necessary if you’re primarily travelling on paved roads.

      2. There are plenty of brands of steel bikes out there including some from big names like Trek or Giant.

        There are a lot of different types of bikes out there as well. Including many that are similar to European city bikes or classic English Roadsters. For that matter just because a bike has drop handlebars doesn’t necessarily mean it is a specialized racing machine. A cyclecross or touring bike can be quite comfortable to ride if the geometry is relaxed and the handlebars are at the same level or higher than the seat. You can even get drop handlebar bikes with room for wide tires and fenders between the forks.

        As for dedicated cycling infrastructure even in Europe it is sometimes necessary to ride on the road as the cycletracks and paths don’t go everywhere you might need to be.

      3. Mike,
        Steel is no more heavy than aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber for any bike you would want to ride as a utility or transportation bike. For that matter a steel racing frame can be very light. Light enough to win world-class races on.

        The problem with super-light frames is they tend to be fragile, especially if made of carbon fiber. If you are riding in the city you need a frame, forks, and wheels that can stand up to hitting potholes and curbs at speed. Generally steel and aluminum offer the best mix of trade-offs for this kind of riding.

        If you take a look at steel frame vs. aluminum frame commuter or hybrid type bikes you will find almost no weight difference in the complete bike.

        Personally I’m a big fan of steel frame bikes, especially if the frame is brazed and lugged, but to each his or her own.

      4. @Mike: The weight of a bike is insignificant compared to the weight of the rider, and, in the case of utility riders and commuters, the cargo. But aluminum and carbon have awful failure modes. In a crash, they fail suddenly and catastrophically, in ways much more likely to injure the rider than steel, which fails more gradually. A steel bike, after taking some damage, is often still ridable; carbon can hide damage, then fail randomly when you least expect it.

        If you want a bike that’s comfortable for long rides (that means you want road geometry, not something upright), but you don’t know your stuff, you’ll get pushed toward a racing machine, and you’ll get pushed toward carbon (even on touring bikes). I guess carbon bikes have high profit margins? When I bought my bike I told the guy I was looking to ride to work, and ride around for fun on the weekends, maybe do a triathlon every now and then, and I got pushed toward a carbon racing machine. 90% or more of the people that race at anything shouldn’t be riding carbon bikes because they’re simply not fast enough to be racing anyone but themselves (myself included).

      5. Why are cheap bikes so heavy then? I thought it was because of the steel frame.

        I used to live in an apartment with two stairways to the front door. My first bike was moderately heavy so my second one was lighter. It was still steel but it was small.

        I don’t feel safe on racing bikes so I’ll never get one. I like being able to reach the ground with my feet in an emergency, and I also don’t trust those narrow wheels on curbs and bumps.

      6. The weight of a bike is insignificant compared to the weight of the rider, and, in the case of utility riders and commuters, the cargo.

        Except if you have to pick it up — for example, to put it on / take it off the bus, or maneuver it up short flights of stairs when ramps aren’t available, or even just getting it into a bike rack.

        You’re right that the weight doesn’t matter when you’re riding the bike, but I know quite a few people who have bought lighter bikes specifically so that the bike is easier to pick up, and they’re very happy with their purchases.

      7. Over the course of bicycle ownership, my current preferred ride is about half the weight of my first bike. It is tremendously easier to propel, be it on flat grounds or steep inclines.
        And being able to lift it with one hand instead of two is pretty darn awesome.

      8. Re: weight. I don’t buy the “any material can be light” argument. It comes down to material strength – aluminum and carbon fiber have higher strength to weight ratios than steel. That said, with good engineering and manufacturing you can eliminate unneccessary materials in a bike’s construction, and by lowering your safety factors you can make it lighter still. This allows you to get a fairly light high-performance steel bike, but it won’t be as durable as a standard bike and will cost much more. And using similar methods you can get an even lighter aluminum or carbon fiber bike.

        So steel is one reason that a “cheap” bike is heavier than a higher end bike, but it’s also the design standard. Performance bikes are intentionally designed to be light, but the price is higher cost and shorter life. A thick, solid steel part could last you a lifetime.

        All of that said, aluminum is very price competitive with steel. Performance Bikes’ cheapest commuter bike is aluminum ($340, with fenders, chain guard, and rear rack), as is their cheapest geared comfort bike ($255, but only 7 gears makes this a less-than-ideal choice for Seattle – hops up to $300 with 21 gears).

  6. And another thing: blah, blah, blah. And: blah, blah. Literally rolling in the bike lanes laughing my Schwinn bicycle seat aching “you-know-what-off”. And furthermore: blah, blah, blah….

    Who gives a rip?

  7. “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.”

    While he generally may dislike the bicycling community this is more about attacking the Mayor in response to his Backpages/Child Prostitution position.

  8. One might take the position that Seely’s vehicular cycling strategy is misogynistic, and make both a more correct and far less hateful point than Seely has made.

  9. I’m prefacing this by stating that I haven’t read any of the previous op-eds about htis.

    Having been in Portland for the past 2 months, cycling as my main form of transit, I will say that I would attribute much of Portland’s success not to bike lanes, but to the bike boulevards, which are essentially “vehicular cycling” with a priority for bikes. In fact, on my 4-mile commute I spend less than 2 blocks in bike lanes (I spend more time on a sidewalk across the Hawthorne bridge).

    Just throwing it out there.

    1. I see your point. I love bike boulevards and find myself using routes that are similar to bike boulevards in Seattle. I would call bike boulevards slow “vehicular cycling” minus the cars.

      1. The problem isn’t the cars – It’s cars driven by people who are unaccustomed to being around bikes and/or feel justified about being impatient. Bike boulevards can give cyclists a place to ride where cars are still allowed but are not the dominant mode.

        While most of Amsterdam has segregated cycling facilities but cars and bIkes do mix frequently. When they do everybody pretty much gets along and rarely is a horn heard. You can’t believe it, coming from our culture, but it really does work – probably because most drivers also use their bikes frequently.

    2. I pretty much agree with this… except, I’m not even sure bike priority is strictly necessary. The bike boulevard seems to be an invitation for cyclists to ride in the middle of the lane instead of in the door-zone, but this is already their right, and in fact best practice, on this type of street! Many of Seattle’s neighborhood streets are very good for biking in this style as it is (I ride the proposed Wallingford Greenway route regularly when I’m going west, which is mostly uphill — going east I prefer 45th, so I can go fast on the downhill); a few improvements to major intersections, and some marketing, and I think they’d appeal greatly to cyclists much less daring than myself.

      1. +1 – that’s exactly why I like greenways as well. Making people feel more comfortable definitely increases number of folks biking.

    1. Three of the four bike-car accidents I’ve seen took place when a car was making a right turn across a throughgoing bicyclist (the other one involved a 10-year old kid going too fast down a hill and rear-ending a car, which was hilarious). In none of these was it a right-on-red; in all three cases the cyclist technically had the right-of-way, but put himself in a dangerous situation that he could have avoided. When I’m throughgoing, I get left of, or at least merge with, the left-most lane of right-turning traffic. When that’s impossible, there’s a simple rule: never undertake (undertake = pass on the right) unless you’re totally sure it’s safe; even then, don’t do it fast. At stop lights where there’s a bike lane to the right of traffic, I often stop behind cars with their turn signals on, leaving empty bike lane ahead of me. Undertaking in a bike lane is often invisible and unpredictable, and doesn’t leave me much space to maneuver if something goes wrong.

      Right-on-red sucks because drivers typically block crosswalks trying to execute it. But it’s no different, in that regard, from right turns at stop signs. I don’t think it’s a big deal on most American roads. Near the Broadway cycle track we’ll have both a cycle track and a crosswalk, keeping drivers stopped pretty far back. There, a right-on-red clearly should be banned.

      1. The other night in Ballard, I was about to take a right turn at Market and 8th (I had the green light). However, seeing a cyclist behind me and to the right, I waited mid-intersection, signalling all the while. The cyclist nearly plowed into the rear of my car, and for my efforts to avoid cutting this cyclist off – he yelled “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING, ASSHOLE??” and gave me his middle finger as he rode by on my right.

        Until cyclists can as a culture pull their collective heads out of their collective behinds and stop the aggressive behavior, the obscenities, the blatant (and unsafe) lawbreaking, they will encounter substantial resistance to accomodation.

  10. If there ever was a transportation mode “war”, it was waged by the automobile, and up until the 1970’s, cars won every battle. I grew up in an early post-war suburb that was deliberately built without sidewalks, for the simple reason that planners expected everybody would drive their car for every trip away from home (except for us kids on bicycles; the street would work fine for us too).

    My only point is, let’s keep a long perspective here. Bicycles and transit have a long way to go before they catch up with the 50+ year head-start that we gave the automobile.

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