Steve, I went and observed, like you suggested. I saw some cyclists ignoring traffic rules, and some following them.
I also saw pedestrians and motorists ignoring traffic rules.
“Perhaps if more bicyclists obeyed traffic laws there would be fewer accidents and fatalities?”
Same goes for cars and pedestrians.
Most car drivers don’t follow the laws either. Period. Speeding. Texting while driving. Running red lights. Drunk driving.
As for the “Lycra-clad Lance wannabes” statement, talk about ridiculous. An elderly man loses control of his bike on a trail, which results in the death of a pedestrian. Tragic, yes. An example of a Lycra-clad Lance wannabe scofflaw cyclist killing pedestrians as usual? Uh, no. In the U.S., it’s difficult to find the number of people killed by cyclists each year because there are so few. The only stats I can find are from a multi-year period in NYS, a populous state with dense urban and wide-open rural areas. Over a 4 or 5-year period, there was less than one death per year on average caused by cyclists.
On the other hand, 30,000 to 34,000 people are killed by drivers in the U.S. each year. (And that’s a big improvement from just a decade ago when drivers were killing over 40,000 people a year.) In addition, there are over 2 million people injured in those accidents caused by car drivers.
So tens of thousands of people are losing their lives and maybe hundreds of thousands of people have life-altering injuries from accidents and intentional assaults by car drivers and this is somehow not a problem? But an elderly gentleman accidentally kills a woman on a bike trail and that s somehow evidence of a widespread assault of Lance wannabes on the American way of life? Seriously?
To answer the OP:
- bikes are perfectly legal on the sidewalk in Arlington.
- bikes are legal on sidewalks in DC too, except in the central business district.
- when a biker rings a bell or calls a warning, it’s a courtesy, for safety.
Another point about the mischaracterization of the elderly man who accidentally killed a woman last year: Misinformation and exaggeration and blatant manipulation of facts to fit a personal bias smacks of Soviet or Red China-style propaganda. Straight out of Orwell.
So there is zero tolerance of any traffic violations or deaths caused by any cyclist, but because automobiles are somehow “patriotic”, it’s OK to kill tens of thousands of people and injure and maim hundreds of thousands more?
Should we start bleating “Four wheels good, two wheels bad” or something like that?
Well, I’ll tell you what is truly scary. People with an aggressive and entitled attitude riding around in 3,000-lb. mini-tanks, outraged when a cyclist or pedestrian breaks a traffic law but believing that a driver is entitled to do just that and more. Sorry to get off-track here, but those attitudes are not just a minor Internet annoyance. Those attitudes, coupled with massive steel and glass vehicles wielded as instruments of intimidation, are getting a heck of a lot of people killed. But for some reason, car drivers are supposedly all patriotic, law-abiding citizens. Whatever. Are all drivers like this? No, but enough are, including the propagandists here. Are all cyclists respectful of the traffic laws? No, but neither are all drivers (not by a long shot). And the cyclists are not killing tens of thousands of people on U.S. roads every single year.
So I guess if one person dies (by bicycle), it’s a tragedy. If 34,000 die and 2 million get injured (by car), it’s a statistic.
Michael, I see you expect people to actually think before they post. Or be fair. You’re going to be disappointed. Lots of just plain reactionary idiots out there. And the scary part is most have driver’s licenses.
As soon as runners stop using the bike lanes as sidewalks, bikers will stick to the bike lanes
I disagree. Runners should be running in the bike lanes and not on the sidewalks. Urban running on busy sidewalks is not safe for the runner or the pedestrians. I often use the sidewalk and head out into the streets when it becomes busy as walking pedestrians have the right of way.
I don’t know, I’m a runner and can’t stand seeing a fellow runner running in the bike lanes. I tend to stay away from the crowded sidewalks of say, Clarendon./Wilson Blvd and run the neighborhood behind said streets, especially in the Clarendon area.
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