[*BCM*] Bostoncriticalmass Digest, Vol 62, Issue 34

jb fentner symboliceon at hotmail.com
Sun Aug 30 15:38:09 EDT 2009

i find them to be slightly helpful, but not really. bike lane or no bike lane i still ride at least 3 feet to the left of parked cars and i still freak out when some asshole in an SUV passes me quickly and closely enough to slightly push me to the right via wind displacement. a lane west of the BU bridge on comm. last night may have come in handy.. BU move-in (fucking SHITSHOW) and all.. altho i'm fairly sure people would've just decided that the little painting of a stick figure on a bike meant "double park here." i'm REALLY blown away by the fact that i didn't see any cars using the bike lane east of the BU bridge to get ahead in the post game traffic. i usually end up being forced to either ride smack on the middle lane divider or if i'm feeling really threatened on the sidewalk, where pedestrians are even more oblivious to the existence of cyclists. 
regarding bike cops, where i work in central square lots of them come in for coffee and whatnot.. i really don't get the impression that they actually care at all about cycling. it's more like being a bike cop is just a step above being stuck directing traffic.. and i see them riding on the sidewalk way more often than not. frankly i don't even see the point in having them. what exactly is their purpose? certainly not promoting bicycle awareness.. they can't really do much else. i mean, seriously, if i were to run a red light (well, first of all they never do anything about that anyway) in front of a group of them there's no way in hell they'd be able to catch me even if they bothered trying, so their purpose can't possibly be enforcing cycling laws.. wtf?


> Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 15:10:35 -0400
> From: charvak at alum.mit.edu
> To: list at bostoncriticalmass.org
> Subject: Re: [*BCM*] Bostoncriticalmass Digest, Vol 62, Issue 34
> Angela, if you're going 30 mph with freight in tow, you should be in
> the car lane, not the bike lane, right?
> Rob pointed out that different people view bike lanes differently, as
> optional or mandatory.
> I was riding along Mass Ave near Harvard Square yesterday.  There was
> an SUV stopped in the bike lane with flashers on.  I raced ahead to
> the two Cambridge bike cops and here's what we said:
> me: "Hey, there's a car stopped back there in the bike lane."
> CP: "And...?"
> me: "Do you care?"
> CP: "No."
> me: "So it's legal to stop a car in the bike lane?"
> CP: "She might be picking somebody up."
> me: "Look, she's still waiting there."
> CP: "She might be picking someone up, did you ever think of that?"
> After that exchange, I thought that we need more clarity about the
> proper use of bike lanes.  I've seen bicyclists wait behind stopped
> cars in the bike lane because they don't think they're allowed to go
> around.  I've seen people get dropped off from the car lane with the
> door opening into the bike lane and thought, "That's dangerous, they
> should pull all the way to the right."  And when I see cars stopped in
> the bike lane, I think that's inappropriate too.  The double standard
> is not reasonable, which is why we need clear rules.  Cars should know
> that they should either:
> "Never obstruct the bike lane."
> "Always check for bikes to the right before pulling into the bike lane
> as far right as possible to unload passengers."
> I see people obeying either rule, and it leads to dangerous confusion,
> so I just try to always pass on the left.  The Bike Bill makes that
> non-standard behaviour by explicitly legalising bicycles passing on
> the right.  It's like they set up the rules and paint bike lanes in
> ways to make cycling as dangerous as possible.
> What do people think?
> >
> > Message: 1
> > Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 12:37:47 -0400
> > From: Silivrenion <silivrenion at gmail.com>
> > Subject: Re: [*BCM*] Fwd: Comm Ave Bike Lane meeting Aug 31st.
> > To: Boston Critical Mass <list at bostoncriticalmass.org>
> > Message-ID:
> >        <d2cbdc10908270937p38888baat21f72bf92bcd3a84 at mail.gmail.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> >
> > If the bike lane was only on one side of the street, there would have to be
> > an elaborate bicycle lane merging system to move people from one side of the
> > street to the other legally with the flow of traffic. Some people actually
> > do like riding on the legally correct side of the road, after all.
> > The other concern I have is for freight -- I am a freight bicyclist. I carry
> > trailers full of cargo at ~30mph in the bike lane. You'd be surprised how
> > much help inertia is! Anyway, with a two-direction bike lane, there would
> > have to be a clear delineation between inbound/outbound bicycle traffic. If
> > I'm hauling half a ton of cargo, I can't stop very suddenly -- think of a
> > train barreling down train tracks. Bicyclists who pop out on the wrong lane
> > will get a nasty surprise if they don't pay attention.
> >
> > I like the idea of bicycle lanes on either side of Comm ave, with arrows
> > marking the direction of proper bicycle flow. Not only would this reduce the
> > chance of a dumb bicyclists attempting a head-on collision with a freight
> > bike, but it would encourage traffic to be more accepting of bicycles as
> > part of regular traffic.
> >
> > --------------------
> > Angela Morley
> >
> > Message: 2
> > Date: Thu, 27 Aug 2009 13:24:21 -0400
> > From: rob levy <r.p.levy at gmail.com>
> > Subject: Re: [*BCM*] Fwd: Comm Ave Bike Lane meeting Aug 31st.
> > To: Boston Critical Mass <list at bostoncriticalmass.org>
> > Message-ID:
> >        <e52ec4270908271024q2e73a4d5m9db93666e6c8331 at mail.gmail.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> >
> > I like bike lanes because they semi-guarantee some space to ride, but in a
> > way they kind of give motorists license to complain when bicyclists ride in
> > the main lanes.  Often times it makes more sense to ride in the lane
> > occupied by cars, despite there being a bike lane, for example if the bike
> > lane is in a dooring zone thanks to people parking on the street, and there
> > is heavy traffic.  Ideally the speed limit should be 10 miles per hour or
> > lower in all urban areas, to drive home the fact that the roads are dual-use
> > for motored and non-motored vehicles.   Going the bike lane route, cities
> > would benefit greatly from either banning or upping the costs prohibitively
> > for on-street parking, requiring people who choose to drive to park their
> > vehicles and walk from the parking lot or garage, and reducing heart disease
> > and obesity.  Obesity has recently been shown to be (causally?) linked with
> > severe brain dysfunction, so perhaps people who are increasingly less obese
> > will also make better decisions about transportation.
> >
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