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Old 05-24-2012, 05:15 PM
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
1,310 posts, read 2,119,448 times
Reputation: 1184


Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
In other words, you want the privilege of using the road without the adult responsibilities that go along with it.

I assure you that a bicycle going at speed can do considerable damage to an adult pedestrian, even more to a child. Who's going to pay the medical bills for that? Or do you just assume that it is not your responsibility even if the injury is caused by your actions? That kind of attitude goes quite a ways towards reinforcing the attitude that bicycles are toys for children, you know.

But leaving insurance out of it, how about licensing after a course in the rules of the road and testing to show that the bicyclist knows and understands those rules? Would you be open to that, and for the license to be renewed regularly just as those for drivers of automobiles and motorcycles are? I find it difficult to imagine a reasonable and responsible objection to that.

By the way, my husband used to commute to work on a bicycle, so it's not as if I object to bicycles. But I think those that expect to be accorded privileges really do need to willingly accept the same requirements as others having those privileges.
I do want the privilege of using the road. But I'm not asking to propel a 2-ton box in which I'm completely enclosed as speeds many times what a bike averages (well, I am, but I have a license/insurance for that ). So it would not make sense for the requirements to be identical.

By that logic, we might as well force anything that has wheels and propels a person to have insurance, since accidents might happen. Can you show me any sort of pattern that shows that bikes hitting pedestrians at speed while riding on the streets is even a minor problem? That stuff happens when bikes ride on sidewalks, where they do not belong. Riding a bike, you are far more aware of your surroundings and can slow down much quicker at crosswalks. I don't think your argument really holds water here.

As far as licensing, the reality in the U.S. and especially car-centric cities like Austin is that the vast majority of cyclists either own a car, scooter, or at least have a driver's license...and are quite aware of the rules. As owlman said, I see ignorance to the rules of the road as a secondary problem and the main problem as outright defiance of the rules (which I would be okay with increased punishment/fines for, i.e. running a red, going wrong way on a one-way street, not having a front brake or rear blinky). Most frustrated drivers I hear from are more bothered by cyclists willingly and publicly breaking the rules, rather than just not understanding them.

Since this is pretty off-topic, perhaps we should revive a previous thread about this topic. It's good to dialogue about this stuff.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:04 PM
625 posts, read 856,954 times
Reputation: 249
As a bicyclist, I get the "right," however, I do my best to avoid major streets, especially during heavy traffic. I'd rather meander and cruise sidestreets or stick to designated vs shared lanes (think Duval or Shoal Creek). Even better, hit a trail/path along the way, if possible. I understand the limitations if you are commuting, but yeah, cases like fixie-wannabe-courier-guy/girl in the turn lane of a busy intersection can be annoying.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:49 AM
Location: Central Texas
19,066 posts, read 34,163,328 times
Reputation: 18860
I'm cool with moving this to another thread, if you wish.

The point of licensing for adults using bicycles on the public roadways would be more to have an impact on the bicyclists themselves. Like it or not, far too many consider that they should be accorded the same leeway as they were when they were children riding their bicycles, only now it's on the public roadways mingling with traffic, and they DON'T take the rules of the road seriously (or resent deeply that they should have to abide by any at all, in some egregious cases).

Being required to pass a basic test and be licensed just like anyone else using a vehicle on the roads would be a way of making it clear to these folks just what a responsibility they are taking on.

I suspect, however, that because so much of the idea of bicycling on the roads for many people is that they aren't subject to the same rules as everybody else, there'd be major objection to this from those very people. How many of them there are might be able to be determined by that alone.

Where shall we move the discussion?
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:36 AM
Location: The Lone Star State
8,032 posts, read 6,815,320 times
Reputation: 5029
^Perhaps off of bikes. Very touchy for some!
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:55 AM
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
1,310 posts, read 2,119,448 times
Reputation: 1184
Originally Posted by sxrckr View Post
^Perhaps off of bikes. Very touchy for some!
And talking about the "worst thing about living in Austin" hasn't been touchy?

We're actually referring to moving this same topic to another thread, since it's off-topic for this one. We shouldn't avoid talking about certain things just because they're touchy...as a cyclist and a driver, I see things from all sides I'm all about open dialogue as far as making the streets usable for multiple modes of transpo.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:50 PM
8 posts, read 7,474 times
Reputation: 11
Traffic on I-35 and Mopac.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:12 PM
Location: Central Texas
19,066 posts, read 34,163,328 times
Reputation: 18860
The licensing for bicyclists discussion has been moved to the Dear Austin Bicyclist thread in this forum.
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:58 PM
33 posts, read 61,393 times
Reputation: 14
Originally Posted by joeandmich View Post
Whats the worst thing about living in Austin to you?
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:36 PM
277 posts, read 1,135,511 times
Reputation: 85
Default what is the worst thing about Austin?

...ok, I haven't read ALL 33+ pages of this thread, but I'll dare to put my opine out there (while donning my flame retardant suit). The worst thing about Austin: is it's obsession with youth.

I think this has a lot to do with the presence of UT and this dominates the culture/atmosphere. The internet startups play a large role as well. I do also think that as Austin grows, this influence on the culture will subside. It will continue to be a large part of Austin, but it will be just that: a PART of Austin, not the dominating factor.

Of course, you know, I wouldn't say this if I were young, because, well, I wouldn't NOTICE it if I were young.

But I came here as an older adult and am finishing out my corporate career here. So I notice it, especially in the professional arena.

The other bad thing? Those large cockroaches. Damn them all to hell.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:02 AM
26 posts, read 24,148 times
Reputation: 18
Couple things for me and oddly it all goes to traffic.

1. Panhandlers at every intersection along a highway route.
2. The city's refusal to perform meaningful actions to reduce traffic.
3. Toyota Camrys (If I get behind a REALLY slow vehicle on the highway, 9/10 it is a Toyota Camry)
4. Traffic stops where people pull off to the shoulder of the highway rather than off onto a side street. Pulling off is safer for me, safer for the officer, and keeps traffic moving.
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