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Old 04-30-2013, 02:30 PM
 
10,930 posts, read 5,011,295 times
Reputation: 4885

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Quote:
Originally Posted by alliance View Post
I'm sorry, but the pro-bicycle folks seem to have blinders on and be in complete denial of what really happens out there. Daily, bicyclists in the city do idiotic things that put themselves in danger, but also those in the cars around them in danger. The only reason I haven't killed at least one by now is because my car has fantastic breaks. But guess what? The car behind me might not. Or I could be forced to veer into the lane next to me, thus slamming into another car. Stop veering in and out of traffic at your leisure and flying through intersections at absurd speeds (a lot of times faster than the cars around them), then you can be holier than though about how mean people who drive cars are. Until then, obey the damn rules. They are there for your safety, not as an inconvenience to be ignored.
Not saying there aren't many moronic bike riders (because there are), but you see what you want to see. You're ignoring the countless good bike riders out there who do follow the rules and don't cause problems. But, I forgot, "bikers" are a monolithic group, just like car drivers...see one bad one, they must all be bad, right?...oh, right, that's not true...

For what it's worth, I drive far more than I drive (mileage). But, because I bike so much, I understand what it's like to be in both situations and act accordingly in each transportation situation (read: I know how much it can truly suck as a bike rider).

i.e.

- If I'm biking, I'm courteous to drivers/pedestrians. Always try to signal, or make contact with drivers/pedestrians before going through the intersection. It's not a huge deal if there's miscommunication between pedestrians (the worst that will happen is that I might scare them)...but if I mess up with a car, I'm at best lucky, and at worst dead/injured badly.

This last point is often used in arguments about the danger of a car breaking the law vs. a bike breaking a law. Obviously, a car that is thousands of pounds traveling at a minimum of 30 mph on most roads is gonna do WAY more damage than a bike traveling typically at 10-15 mph. I'm not saying this is a reason that bikers should break laws (because they shouldn't), but it is a very relevant distinction that does matter in the real world (whether one realizes it or not). And it is also why I'm always extremely cautious when biking on busy streets. Even if I wanted to run a stop sign (which I don't), it isn't worth injury/death that could come at the hands of a car.

- When I drive and I see a biker, I'm not a jerk and I don't try to pass them in the same lane, or force them into the door zone (a real danger, especially on compact SF streets). I'll always check my right blind spot before turning right into a bike lane. To pass them, I'll wait for a moment where I can veer all of the way over a lane/half a lane to pass the biker. Yes, even if that means I have to slow down to the bike's speed (what a concept!). It is perfectly legal (and often times safest) for a bike to take the lane, and I'm very understanding when a bike rider does this. If you want bikes to obey the same rules as cars, then you just have to deal with these types of inconveniences.


I'm not defending bad biking behavior/law breaking at all (because, again, it's wrong)...But I really think a lot of drivers have a gigantic misunderstanding of just how dangerous it is for bikers. Responses like yours, and ones you'll see around the internet whenever bike riding is the topic, are pretty typical...

For the drivers out that there that do understand what it's like, and drive well/safely as a result (which I've thankfully found are many), I thank you.
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,145 posts, read 29,563,622 times
Reputation: 26609
I wish bikers would follow the following rules:
Four Tips for Bicyclists at Stop Signs - San Francisco - Arts - The Exhibitionist


Ironically, after I posted my last post, I was driving home (in a residential area) and almost got hit by a cyclist who blew through a stop sign. The biker was going faster than I was. I had just come from a 4 way stop on the (short) block before, and if I had accelerated more from the stop sign, there would have been a collision since he would not have seen me coming The distance between the stop sign he passed and the intersection I left was maybe the distance of 5 houses, and the street leads up to a busy intersection with lots of pedestrians.

It is that sort of stuff that bothers me. Bikers going above the speed of traffic, of flying past buses, between the curb and the bus stop when a bus is coming. Or my all time fave, following the rule that is most convenient at the time. I.E. taking the green light and using the crosswalk at the same time and blowing through the stop light or stop sign to minimize the need to slow down.
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:51 PM
 
10,930 posts, read 5,011,295 times
Reputation: 4885
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I wish bikers would follow the following rules:
Four Tips for Bicyclists at Stop Signs - San Francisco - Arts - The Exhibitionist


Ironically, after I posted my last post, I was driving home (in a residential area) and almost got hit by a cyclist who blew through a stop sign. The biker was going faster than I was. I had just come from a 4 way stop on the (short) block before, and if I had accelerated more from the stop sign, there would have been a collision since he would not have seen me coming The distance between the stop sign he passed and the intersection I left was maybe the distance of 5 houses, and the street leads up to a busy intersection with lots of pedestrians.

It is that sort of stuff that bothers me. Bikers going above the speed of traffic, of flying past buses, between the curb and the bus stop when a bus is coming. Or my all time fave, following the rule that is most convenient at the time. I.E. taking the green light and using the crosswalk at the same time and blowing through the stop light or stop sign to minimize the need to slow down.
Moronic bikers exist. Cyclists are not a monolithic group, just as drivers aren't. I have no problem ticketing blatant violators, such as the one you encountered.

Best part of the article you posted:

"Let's find some traction on a citywide campaign to adopt what's known as "the Idaho stop" in a way that works for San Francisco. This Idaho law, on the books since 1982, allows cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs. (The animated video above was created by a man in Oregon, whose legislature is considering adopting a similar law.) In fact, the Idaho law has been so effective that now, even at stop lights, Idaho bicyclists can proceed following a foot-down full stop, conditions permitting.

People would argue that our city's vicious topography and political climate make an Idaho-stop campaign not worth the trouble, and Captain Obvious will point out that even Idaho's largest city is not as big as San Francisco. Nonetheless, adopting or adapting the Idaho stop would find thousands of otherwise lawful riders honoring a more tenable agreement, one that finally synchronizes cyclists' expectations with those of motorists. Meanwhile, those reckless honchos who still prefer self-marginalization -- by rolling rampant through crossings without hesitation -- would dwindle to an enforceable number."

I think it's the people that go full blast through the intersections that are the biggest problem, and I have no problem going after these cyclists with the full force of the law.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
631 posts, read 668,271 times
Reputation: 1214
Jade, as HockeyMac said, each cyclist is an individual person; we do not have a single hive mind. We go to work and sweat and bleed when we're cut. The problem is our infrastructure. When there's a perception that cycling is unsafe, only the bold, strong, and/or reckless will ride - so of course you see a high percentage of bold and reckless riders when poor infrastructure exists. When the general public feels it's safe to ride, you see a wide cross-section of humanity riding. Ride a bicycle for a week, you'll be shocked at the amount of undeserved abuse you encounter.

Please, do your part to make our streets feel safer for all road users. Pass slowly and give cyclists plenty of room. Look for bike traffic before you open your door. Drive the speed limit, or slower if conditions are poor.

We're just people like you, trying to get where we're going. When someone does something reckless, they acted as an individual, not on marching orders from Cyclist HQ.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,145 posts, read 29,563,622 times
Reputation: 26609
Quote:
Originally Posted by ketch89 View Post
Jade, as HockeyMac said, each cyclist is an individual person; we do not have a single hive mind. We go to work and sweat and bleed when we're cut. The problem is our infrastructure. When there's a perception that cycling is unsafe, only the bold, strong, and/or reckless will ride - so of course you see a high percentage of bold and reckless riders when poor infrastructure exists. When the general public feels it's safe to ride, you see a wide cross-section of humanity riding. Ride a bicycle for a week, you'll be shocked at the amount of undeserved abuse you encounter.

Please, do your part to make our streets feel safer for all road users. Pass slowly and give cyclists plenty of room. Look for bike traffic before you open your door. Drive the speed limit, or slower if conditions are poor.

We're just people like you, trying to get where we're going. When someone does something reckless, they acted as an individual, not on marching orders from Cyclist HQ.
I generally treat bicyclists like other cars. I switch lanes when I want to pass. Slow down to their speed when there isn't enough room to pass and so on (since I am mindful of the door zone). In return, I hope cyclists respect the rules of the road like the other vehicles. But put it this way, when I see a bicyclists cut off the pedestrians in the crosswalk, I am way less like to extend them common vehicular courtesy.

I don't feel compelled to give a cyclists (on their bike) the right of way when I am walking on the sidewalk. And I shouldn't have to be mindful of speedy bikers when I am walking on the sidewalk in a busy commercial district.

I am not anti-bike. Just anti-bratty-cyclists that don't respect the rules of the road. Unfortunately, when I see a bicyclist coming, I just assume they aren't going to bother to adhere to traffic lights and stop signs. That shouldn't be the case.

There are enough brats out there, that make the average person anti-sharing the road.
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
631 posts, read 668,271 times
Reputation: 1214
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I don't feel compelled to give a cyclists (on their bike) the right of way when I am walking on the sidewalk. And I shouldn't have to be mindful of speedy bikers when I am walking on the sidewalk in a busy commercial district.
There are certainly places where sidewalk riding is an unfortunate necessity, as I've noted earlier in the thread (El Camino Real). It irks me too though when I see cyclists riding on sidewalks in places where there's pedestrian traffic. When you see bad behavior like this, let them know it's not socially acceptable, tell them to "Get off the sidewalk!"
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,145 posts, read 29,563,622 times
Reputation: 26609
Quote:
Originally Posted by ketch89 View Post
There are certainly places where sidewalk riding is an unfortunate necessity, as I've noted earlier in the thread (El Camino Real). It irks me too though when I see cyclists riding on sidewalks in places where there's pedestrian traffic. When you see bad behavior like this, let them know it's not socially acceptable, tell them to "Get off the sidewalk!"
Very true! I live in Oakland, so there are plenty of areas where you can ride in the bike lane. My commercial district (one I frequent) is not bad for bike riding. There isn't a bike lane, and there is parking, but the lanes are very wide (nearly wide enough for 2 lanes, striped for one), and traffic goes slowly (lots of crosswalks, speed limit of 25, and most of the time you can't even go 15), so biking on the street is pretty easy. The sidewalks are also busy. Of course, there are lots of bicyclists zooming by on the sidewalk, who give you (the pedestrian) dirty looks for calling them out.

My other pet peeve is people biking on the uber busy/annoying street for bikes when there is a bicycle blvd the next block over that is free and clear of most vehicle traffic. (Ahem College Avenue). Especially when I see you travelling up the full 2-3 miles to Berkeley. If you have ever been on College Ave, it is basically obnoxious for all vehicular traffic, so I don't know why you would choose to go up it when there are convenient alternatives. [Think busy bus stops on every block, crosswalks on almost all blocks and most have mid block crosswalks, and street parking on both sides, residential driveways that back into the street....] I try to avoid driving up it most of the time. :P

Don't get me started on the skateboarders. I am almost got run over by a skateboarder on the sidewalk who just had to board down the sidewalk, and wasn't slowing down at the end of the block near the light.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:31 PM
 
406 posts, read 346,863 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyMac18 View Post
Not saying there aren't many moronic bike riders (because there are), but you see what you want to see. You're ignoring the countless good bike riders out there who do follow the rules and don't cause problems. But, I forgot, "bikers" are a monolithic group, just like car drivers...see one bad one, they must all be bad, right?...oh, right, that's not true....
I completely agree. The difference is that a bad driver that does something stupid in the city = most likely a minor car accident leading to a bad day. A bicyclist does something stupid = someone potentially dead in the street, and the driver's life ruined. Of course, you could argue any combination of the above, I'm just going with the extremes.

That being said, most bicyclists are fine. I see that everyday, and appreciate it. If you're not doing something stupid, then yes, I don't have a problem and thus, I suppose I ignore you.

I see just as many stupid drivers on the road of this city. More, in fact. But as I've said already, a bad driver means a bad day with a broken car. A stupid person on a bike means someone's seriously injured or even dead. All I want is to not be put in a position to accidentally kill someone.
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