[*BCM*] The movement AGAINST cyclists

David Hammond dabbotthammond at comcast.net
Mon Jun 5 21:07:28 EDT 2006

I stop at EVERY stop sign or red light. At my age and level of fitness, it
gives me a VERY welcome breather.

Dave - Getting on in years - Hammond

-----Original Message-----
From: bostoncriticalmass-bounces at bostoncriticalmass.org
[mailto:bostoncriticalmass-bounces at bostoncriticalmass.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 10:00 AM
To: Boston Critical Mass
Subject: Re: [*BCM*] The movement AGAINST cyclists

Boston Critical Mass <list at bostoncriticalmass.org> wrote:
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> I stop at red lights, look all around me, then if it is safe, I go.  The
> of way should be as follows: Pedestrians, Powered wheel chairs, Cyclists,
> Vespas, Cars. (notice i did not mention suv's).  Pedestrians can cross
> any time they want so long as it is safe, I don't see why cyclists can't
> intersections at red lights when it is safe for everyone.  

The problem with this is it's not reality.  In reality, in the Western
World, there are traffic laws that generally don't descriminate against
different types of vehicle operators.  Your own plan for traffic law may
well be a good one, but it's simply not reality right now.  So, when you
disobey the actual traffic laws it shows the rest of us that you have no
respect for others, and gives bicyclists a bad name.  Is that the
impression you are looking to express?

If you really believe that your traffic regulation is better, then
promote it to everyone and get it passed into law, or at least accepted
by society.  In the meantime, if you have respect for others, they will
have respect for you, both on the roads and in the political arena. 
Even if you don't agree with others, showing respect for their beliefs
and traditions gives you far more power than discounting them does.
>   The interview paints a picture that all cyclists blindly run red lights
> aim for small children...  

Are you sure?  I got a very different picture from the article.  I read
that the author believes that only a small number of cyclsits are
really abusive while most others, such as the author himself, are
simply not aware of how dangerous their driving may be.

> Somehow I think there is an
> over protective mother who's child was nearly hit by a bike, and now she
> start a crusade against all cyclists to prevent it from ever happening

Are you implying that kids SHOULD be hit or scared?  Should parents just
sit down and shut up when illegal and dangerous behavior threatens their
kids?  Should we just chain our kids to the sofa until they are 16 and
can drive themselves in armored vehicles to school and work?

I'm sure you don't really think that!

All cyclists, and motorists, and skateboardists, and horseback riders,
and everyone else should be respectful of kids who are using the
roadways.  Vehicles of all sizes can easilly be quite dangerous, and
the operators of said vehicles are ultimately the only ones who can be
responsible for avoiding crashes and other dangerous incidents.  We are
the adults here...  Well, there are probably some younger folks on this
list, too, so maybe you aren't an adult, so maybe you have an excuse
for not taking responsiblity for yourself.  Anyway for those of us who
are adults, we need to take responsibility for our own behavior, and
that includes being respectful of other people's rights.

> If it were a car that nearly
> hit a kid, there would be no crusade, just a woman with a lawsuit against
> ONE driver, not ALL car drivers.

I beg to differ.  Have you ever heard of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 
The message is, in fact, aimed at ALL drivers.

Also, as you may have noticed, it's not just a single incident.  It's a
trend.  Seen not just in England, but in the US, too.  I think the
problem is that society, the government, and the educational system
hasn't taken cycling seriously.  People aren't tought that bikes are
respectable vehicles on the roads that are subject to the same traffic
laws as any other vehicle on the roads.  So, unfortunately, many
cyclists either don't know how to bike respectfully, or see bikes as
symbols of rebellion against the system.  And non-cyclists, too, don't
get the message that cyclists are the same as they are, so they treat
cyclists as unwelcome outsiders on the roads.  In either case, you get
dangerous (unintentional or intentional) driving by everyone.  The only
cure I've seen is to promote the Same Roads, Same Rules, Same Rights
idea.  I, myself, try to impress upon my students the idea that biking
is a normal and respectable way to travel.


"One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we
seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal.  We must
pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means." - Martin Luther King Jr.
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