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Auto Sanctity and Cycle Sanity

Weekly column by Loretta Redd

The weather has been temperate and the holidays long this year; a perfect time, it would seem, to pull out the two-wheeler for a healthy spin.  But let me issue a warning to all automotive drivers:  Santa Barbara cyclists have gone collectively insane.

SBView File Photo

I live close to the Mission.  That places me in the triangle of cycling hell.  There are the skinny butt, skinny tire, ‘serious’ cyclists in their neon billboard outfits who pump up and fly down the Riviera hills, the once-a-month leisure cyclists enjoying the slightly sloping straight shot from the Mission to the ocean on Laguna, Olive or Garden, and the impervious and death defying adolescent males who ride on anything, anywhere and anyway they wish, usually in tandem with their hormones.

Few wear helmets.  None seem to have acquired the ability to use hand signals.  Most must be blind, because they apparently cannot see a STOP sign.  All ask motorists not to run them over, while tempting them at every turn.

I don’t want to hit anyone on a bicycle- it would definitely spoil my day and theirs.   But as the adage goes, “The hardest part about riding a bike is the pavement.”

This morning’s lunatic award is a tie. There was  the cyclist screaming down Olive in a wide zig-zag pattern, not bothering to even slow at the STOP signs, one knee up high and then the other, leaning into the turns like some death-defying motocross moron, occasionally up onto the sidewalk, then back onto the street, as unwitting residents were backing out of their driveways and other motorists were caught off-guard by his darting back and forth between cars.

When I turned onto Victoria, I was greeted by an oncoming, helmet-free cyclist with his hands tucked under his armpits, sitting upright and singing along with whatever mind-numbing music must have been pouring from his headphones.  While in my lane, facing me, he swerved using his hips and made questionable use of his one ‘free’ hand to flip me off, while I later cleaned my brake-slamming, spilled coffee from my lap.

Guess who would be cited if I had inadvertently ended either of these joy riders’ jaunts through midtown?

Having owned Fleet Feet Triathlete in Atlanta back in the 1980’s, I remain a cycling proponent and  strong advocate for ‘sharing the road.’  The invention of the bicycle is among the best ever and we would all do well to use cycling for health, and to slow down our lives a little.

But I’m tired of the lack of etiquette and total disregard for the law when it comes to our peddling pals. Just so you don’t think I simply have a gear to grind, let me invite you to ride over those pesky little speed bumps of California Highway Patrol state regulations regarding bicyclists:

1. When moving slower than traffic, stay near the right edge of the road except when passing another bicycle or vehicle, when getting ready to turn left, when passing a parked car or other objects, or when on a one-way, two-lanes or wider road.

2. Whenever there is a bike lane, you must use it if you are moving slower than normal traffic. You may leave it when necessary to pass another bicycle, pedestrian or vehicle, when getting ready to turn left, or when necessary to avoid parked cars or other objects.

3. Keep at least one hand on the handlebars.  Bicyclists must ride on a permanently attached seat.  Carry no passengers unless there is a separate seat.

4. Give proper hand signals when turning or stopping. Correct signals are:

  • Left turn – Left arm straight out, pointing left
  • Right turn – Left arm pointed straight up, or right arm straight out pointing right
  • Stop – Left arm pointed straight down.

5. Before leaving a lane, give a hand signal.  Leave the lane only when safe to do so.

6. Never hitch rides by hanging onto or attaching your bicycle to a moving vehicle.

7. Bicyclists may not ride on most freeways.

8. Never leave your bicycle blocking a sidewalk.

9. Headphones covering both ears may not be worn while operating a bicycle.

10. Bicycles must be correctly equipped:

Helmet: a person under 18 years of age cannot operate a bicycle or ride as a passenger without a properly fitted helmet that meets the ANSI or SNELL standards.  (If it were up to me, helmets would be mandatory, just as they are on motorcycles.  They refer to helmets as ‘brain buckets’ for a reason)

Handlebar:  must be set so that your hands are no higher than your shoulders when you hold the steering grip area

Size: must not be so big that operator can’t safely stop bicycle upright with at least one foot on ground.

Brakes: must be able to make one wheel skid on clean, level, dry pavement

Night riding: bicycle must be equipped with a white headlamp, attached to the bike or your body, visible from 300 feet to the front and from the sides, a red rear reflector, white or yellow reflectors on front and back of each pedal, white or yellow reflectors on each side, usually attached on wheel spokes.

In support of my two-wheeling readers, let me assure you that I do not find motorists faultless.  Let me share some tips from on How Not to Get Hit by equally clueless drivers and pedestrians.

There’s “The Door Prize,” when a vehicle opens its door into the path of an oncoming cyclist, which happens to be  the number one crash cause in Santa Barbara.  Best way to avoid this unpleasant airborne experience?  Slow down, use caution, get a headlamp, and when possible, ride further to the side, and never on sidewalks.

Those same tips come in handy while avoiding the “Right Cross,” the” Left Cross” and the “Crosswalk Slam” as well.   For what the website refers to as the “Wrong Way Wreck,” simply never ride against traffic.  It’s 3 times as dangerous for adults, 7 times for children and probably 10 times as dangerous if you are on a Colorado high or in some other way, impaired.

The “Red Light” is referred to as the Stop of Death, because of the number of automotive idiots who never signal their intention to turn, and plow into the bicyclist when the light turns green.  I’m coming to the conclusion that really expensive, foreign cars now consider the turn signal to be optional equipment, while attention-distracting ‘entertainment systems’ are now standard.

To avoid the “Right Hook” and the” Rear End“, here are some simple tips: use your mirror.  Don’t have one? Get one.  Today.  Never move to the left without looking behind you, and always signal (see CHP #4) your intention.

To avoid being used as a launch pad from a read end hit like Wiley Coyote, get a flashing rear light, wear a reflective vest, use your mirror, choose wide, slow streets and don’t swerve in and out of lanes.

Cyclists need to ride as if they are invisible, not invincible.  The question isn’t “Will you crash?” but rather, “When will you crash?”   Regardless of the carelessness of cyclists who ride without helmets, mirrors, lights or brains, or the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act, a 20 pound bike will never be competition for a 3600 pound vehicle.

Good luck, Santa Barbara, especially around the Mission.  I guess whether you’re swearing at a bicycle or praying not to get hit while you’re riding one, at least there’s a church nearby.

108 Responses to “Auto Sanctity and Cycle Sanity”

  1. I wonder what will be the outcome of the first bike to complain about not getting 3 feet clearance from a car, whilst simultaneously riding in the traffic lane, with a bike lane being ignored just to the right, after blowing the last three stop signs because ‘my feet won’t come out of the pedals easily’. As if equipment issues are an excuse. Why spend money on bike lanes when few bikes are even going to use them?

      • Color between the lines

        Bike Lane: Painted line on one side and curb on the other with little bike symbols painted on the pavement.

        • Bill Davidson

          @Color between the lines: Well, at least you do better than most but you still miss the mark.

          Under California state law, bike lanes do need that white line and symbols and/or signs designating it as a bike lane. However, they need more than that. The beginning of a bike lane must have a “BIKE LANE” and “BEGIN” sign combination. Otherwise, it’s not legally a bike lane. A bike lane must be at least four feet wide if there is no gutter or at least five feet wide wide with at least three feet to the left of the gutter joint if there is a gutter. Otherwise, it’s not a bike lane.

          These requirements are in the California Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices and meeting those minimum requirements is required by California Streets and Highways Code 891 and the mandatory bike lane use rule does not require bicyclists to use “bike lanes” which do not comply with SHC 891.

  2. Anonymous

    What kills me about SB bicyclists is that its less about the exercise and more about walking around coffee shops in their tights to show off their junk. I bet more is spent on bike shorts than actual service and maintenance for their rides.

  3. Biking- hazardous to health

    In this same area bike riders are often found on the sidewalks, yelling at pedestrians to get out of their way too. Nor do they take kindly to pointing out painted bikeways right next to them, without flipping us off too.

  4. RexOfSB

    While riding my bike down State Street one sunny weekday afternoon, I was almost slammed into from behind by another bicyclist after I stopped at a midblock red light. “What the ***, man?” the rider yelled at me as he blasted by, as if my stopping at the light was a totally unexpected move. As Ms. Redd points out, a huge number of bike riders think road rules are for someone else. What really concerns me is the number of bikers who ride ast night with no lights or reflective clothing.

  5. el_smurfo

    Followed a guy from Mission Canyon to San Roque yesterday on Foothill. Guy was literally riding the middle of the road, during rush hour, with a line of 20 cars behind me. Even when we hit the bike lanes after Alamar, he just looked over his shoulder and smirked. It is so seldom that I see a bicyclist obeying the law in town, I always comment on it like I saw a freaking unicorn. At least the Mayor is prioritizing a bicycle master plan this year, so all of these problems will be solved shortly /sarcasm.

    • Bike gang members

      Does this mean we will have more facilitators and more task forces convened on bike gangs who flash their colors and threaten civilians, than we do about real gangs who flash their colors and threaten each other?

    • That section of road is to narrow for a bike lane, that white line you see is call an edge line, meaning the edge of the road, educate yourself.

    • Bill Davidson

      There is no bike lane on Foothill between Mission Canyon and San Roque. The travel lane is too narrow for a bicycle and a car to travel safely side by side within the lane. That means that under CVC 21202(a)(3) bicyclists are not required to ride far right because it is unsafe to ride far right. He had every legal right to ride in the middle of the lane and he was safer because he discouraged drivers from passing too close.

      el_smurfo, maybe you should go back to driving school and learn the rules of the road.

  6. Anonymous

    Ten bucks three out of five bicyclists don’t know the basic rules. I see bikes riding on the sidewalk on the wrong side of the street every day. SBPD needs to do stings like they do with the crosswalks. Thanks!

    • Jim Kaufman

      ten bucks three out of five motorists don’t obey the basic rules

      • Ten bucks three out of five people breaking the rules of the road do it in a car AND on a bike AND on foot… just saying…

  7. I agree about the stings, but there also should be regular citations. Bike riding on the sidewalk on Cabrillo is a particular problem, for instance, especially when there’s the beachway (aka bike path) available. The lower east side sidewalks are often used by bikers, probably afraid of the streets.

    Thanks for the column. A would-be more often city bike rider, I find the streets, the general driver behaviors, frightening but I think some of that behavior is because of how bike riders behave. That scofflawing creates an animosity in many drivers towards all bike riders.

    • Hummer is looking better

      I gave up riding my bike because of crazy drivers.

      I am close to giving up being a pedestrian because of crazy drivers, crazy bike riders and idiot skateboarders.

      Put that into your master plan, Madame Mayor. We do need more police, less expensive police. Put that into your next collective bargaining agreements also, Madame Mayor.

      We have raised a very narcissistic generation that is coming of age so all this personal scofflaw conduct is going to get even worse. It will take more external policing to keep this community safe for the rest of us and this needs to be factored into the budget.

      Saying we “can’t afford” more police is refusing to admit the role city councils played in creating this unsustainable situation for the rest of us by taking police union dollars and then having a fatal conflict of interest when it comes to collective bargaining time.

      • Good response to an important article. It seems that skateboard twits lose their training wheels on aging and metamorphose into entitled egoic bicyclists, instead. Just yesterday we were forced off a sidewalk by an irritable 20-something cyclist too lazy to use the expensive dedicated bike lane just a few feet away. l’m all for alternative transportation, and very pro-bicycle. But we spend a lot of time in Holland, and the bike-dependent Dutch would be shocked at the behavior of many of Santa Barbara’s smug cycling elites who carry the “skateboarder attitude” onto two wheels. Over there cars, bikes, and pedestrians flow pretty seamlessly because none claim special status and all accept some civil rules of coexistence. Here, cyclists are busy proclaiming their might beyond their rights and trying to intimidate 3 thousand pound vehicles with 20 pound frames and shiny butts, and simply herding pedestrians out of their self-important way. Civility is waning fast as the “all about me because I create my own reality” generations become more prominent. It will take many more cops and “yellow shirts” to enforce good manners since schools and families have failed so badly at installing responsibility, courtesy, and respect for others.

  8. patrick

    I commute on my bike everyday, usually two round trips, follow the rules and generally feel safe riding my bike cross town. I do get really irritated by other bicyclists who don’t follow the rules. The other night, I almost had a collision while riding over the Micheltorena bridge and narrowly missed a bike rider with no lights riding the wrong way in the bike lane. I wish everyone, bikes, cars, peds, etc would just follow the rules. One time I was T-boned by a pedestrian as I rode up the bike lane on State Street and he stepped off the curb to jaywalk without looking. Similarly, I frequently see cars blow through the mid-block signals, presumably distracted by the State Street commotion. I’ve learned to wait at the curb at the mid-block signals to avoid being rear-ended by scofflaw bicyclists.

  9. Katie Kelly

    Dear Loretta,

    I completely agree with you, and I am a cyclist. I think if cyclists followed what you write above, there would be a decrease in accidents.

    It doesn’t stop there, however, because most motorists are unaware of cyclists’ rights. This is where you come in. I’ll use your “Door Prize” example. That is exclusively the fault of the motorist. It is illegal to open a door into traffic, and this includes bicycles. I know that you know this. But most motorists don’t.

    What this means is, for example, when I give parallel parked cars ample room for random door-openings — because we know this can happen — I now put my life in great danger, as so many motorists don’t understand that all I am doing is obeying the traffic law, while protecting my own life. Lives could be saved if people just understood this simple thing.

    It’d be great if you could do a follow up piece, just to enlighten motorists of what rights cyclists actually do have. In no way does this excuse the crazy behavior you describe. It is maddening to see, because all it does is fuel flames.

  10. Anonymous

    Just this evening, with your story in mind, witnessed a guy on a bike riding on Anacapa Street in traffic, halfway into the left lane, no helmet, nonchalantly sitting upright with hands off the handlebars, placed under armpits…He thought he looked totally cool, but if he had hit a rock or a bump in the road, with a car following behind, he would have been run over and the driver behind him haunted.

    Clearly more education, changes and behavior and understanding from different points of view are crucial. Unlikely it will be part of the Mayor’s bicycle management plan–she’ll probably put Grant House in charge of it, now that he’s off the council, where there will be lots of appreciations but nothing of substance.

    • Bill Davidson

      Bicyclists are allowed to use the full lane on Anacapa Street due to the risk of doors opening in front of them and due to the risk of close passed due to the narrow lane.

      A bicyclist using the full lane there is not breaking the law. Maybe you need to go back to driving school.

    • Bill Davidson

      I forgot to mention, if you’re following a bicyclist so close that you can’t stop if they fall due to a bump or whatever, then you are in violation of CVC 21703: following too close.

  11. Anonymous

    Simple Answer: Time for state issued bike license. All bicyclist need to pass a simple instruction test on safety and road use and are issued a licensed or permit. Brilliant!

    • Taking license

      Great idea – if you are sharing the public road in any sort of moving machine, you need a license to be there.

      • Anonymous

        if the DMV wasn’t painful enough as is, one more dumb thing to pay for. Poor idea

    • Bill Davidson

      Licenses don’t seem to be making sure that drivers know the rules of the road or even comply with the rules that they do know. Most adult bicyclists are also licensed drivers. Why do you think that it will make a difference with bikes?

      • Liability accountablity

        DMV Licenses require proof of insurance which would be a excellent demand to make on bike riders as well. Many of them are reckless and scary and need to be held financially liable if they cause injury.

        And yes, this means parents are required to carry liability insurance for their kids if they arm them with bikes…. and fail to instill common sense and courtesy along with the equipment.

        • Bill Davidson

          Mandatory insurance is based upon risk to others.

          The risk of bicycles to others has already been assessed by the insurance industry and most have concluded that there was no reason to even offer bicycle liability insurance as an option. Go ahead, call your car insurance company and ask them if they offer bicycle liability insurance.

          Bicyclists don’t have the carnage numbers that motorists do.

          • Money pitifuls

            I think you can sue reckless bikers on their home-owners policies for personal liability accidents. Need to check.

          • Bill Davidson

            @Money pitifuls: Typically, the damage that bicyclists do is less than most deductibles. That’s a big part of the reason why insurance companies don’t offer bicycle liability policies. The rates would mostly just be to cover overhead.

            You’re trying to pretend that bicyclists are a major danger to others but the numbers don’t back that up. As always, you anti-cyclists a desperately grasping at straws for any way to pretend that bicyclists are a major problem when they simply are not.

            Motorists are killing 34000 per year and seriously injuring another 2 million and doing billions in property damage. They are the ones causing the real problems on the road.

  12. Anonymous

    There are reckless, dangerous, and inconsiderate people to single out and generalize from in any group you choose.

    Idiots riding bicycles, skateboards, and even those walking with their eyes on their phone on the sidewalks of downtown are examples of the above.

    I spend a lot of time on the road, in a car and on a bike, and I’d say articles like this try and make the above people seem like the majority. I see people roll through stop signs, traffic lights, on both two wheels and four. I see people driving 50mph on downtown surface streets, folks on phones talking, texting, eating, getting high, failing to check their mirrors, and the list goes on.

    On the bike I have people pass me within inches on an open straight road, pass over double yellow around blind corners, driving in the middle of nondivided roads. I’ve watched mothers leave the roadway while passing well over the speed limit on the outside of a double yellow blind corner in their SUV, while on the phone, with their kids in child seats.

    The cracker jack prize we call a drivers licence doesn’t do anything meaningful in preparing people for the life and death seriousness of a two ton car at 70mph. All a person can do is take personal responsibility for their actions on the roadway, but articles like this take the seriousness out of road use.

    I don’t want my life taken from me because a driver did not respect the lethal power granted to them, and I don’t feel your article gives the 35k american roadway deaths last year the respect they deserve. You shouldn’t be writing about this subject if you’re not willing to respect what comes with that drivers licence.

    Idiots blowing stop signs will be idiots in car and on bike, so don’t add fuel to the fire by creating animosity among people in situations you won’t be at the receiving end of.

  13. Paul Skilbeck

    The most dismal part of your bleating sanctimony, Loretta Redd, is that it makes PEOPLE driving cars feel justified in dehumanizing PEOPLE riding bicycles. Next thing you know, the cyclist is lying in a pool of blood. Tell me, just what are you trying to do to our civilized society? I might expect this kind of irresponsible tosh from an uneducated football fan, or a bloated buffoon on talk radio, but not from a doctor of philosophy. I shall be visiting Santa Barbara on January 21 and would welcome the opportunity enlighten you on the inherent dangers of tribalism.

    • Night Driver

      Paul, I ride and don’t hear her saying anything that should not be said. Drivers need to stop being distracted and stay in lanes. She notes that. But cyclists have a responsibility as well. If you are in SB, you will find awesome bike lanes and bike paths. If you were to look at the percentage (not everyone!) of motorists and cyclists, you would have to agree cyclists disregard Their laws more than motorists. I know I would win that bet!

    • “…I shall be visiting…” Yea, right. Try living here a while and then pontificate about “bleating sanctimony.” She wasn’t dehumanizing anybody, only remarking that in addition to our over-abundance of self-important SUV drivers, we are also blessed with a bounty of self-centered cyclists who don’t acknowledge that traffic rules apply to them, too. Clearly they believe in immortality. The car is more dangerous, true. And it’s far less agile. So cyclists must be responsible and share the road, not lay exclusive claim to it any more than autos.

    • Color between the lines

      Redd did not say that at all. Ditch the false flags and stick to the issues raised.

  14. Night driver

    I live in Goleta and 9/10 cyclists (especially from UCSB) do not use lights on their bikes nor wear helmets. Come on any night and watch the riders go up and down Stork. It is insane and I have almost hit at least three riders cause I can’t see them or know they are even there. Also, riding against the traffic in the bike lane should be a ticketed offense. As a rider myself, it is tough enough to watch out from bad drivers without having to play “chicken” with another cyclist coming head on!

  15. Joe Stevenson

    Complainers that are driving, you are in a car, do you really need to get places that much faster? I might add you all are just complaining about the 1% who are breaking the rules, they are the same people who are driving like idiots on the highway too.

    • Joe Stevenson

      plus bikes are zero emissions, gets you in better shape no need to pay for gas, parking fees or auto insurance machines. Ride more, drive less

      • Color between the lines

        The sidewalks are not even safe for pedestrians. Get real about sharing SB with cars.

        There will only be a small percentage of bike riders and I agree, it would be great if there were actually independent bike lanes like found in Europe and even converting unused sidewalks into dual carriage ways.

        But thinking you are going to turn SB into a biking town is wasting time and energy. I liked to use my bike and did most of my chores by bike but it got too darn scary for me and I gave it up. Not worth the risk to my life and health at my age. (70)

  16. It’s not a small percentage of bike riders that blow off road rules. I drive a lot as well and I know it’s more like 80%. In fact I can’t even remember the last time I saw a bike stopped at a stop sign. The exceptions seem to be the families on bikes, and the parents are teaching the kids to stop and look. Way to go! Maybe the racers can take a clue. And I really don’t get this idea that because it’s a hassle to get feet out of the pedals with the fancy gear, that’s a reason to not stop…too much trouble. Since when is the road someones personal workout zone? What’s clear is that bike riders are their own worst enemy. The ones that do stop and stay in the bike lane are a refreshment after a day of swerving morons and stop sign blowers. Keep up the good work and thanks for setting an example.

    My favorite…the guy who blows by me stopped at a stop sign. Then I pass him. Then he blows the next sign, while I stop, and I pass him again. Then he blows a third sign and once again I pass him. Each time I pass him he looks aggravated and annoyed! Starts yelling! I think he opened his mouth too big one day and his brains flew out. This is the guy Loretta is talking about. Along with the joggers in the bike lane going the wrong direction with a big sidewalk right there, sometimes the joggers are actually in the traffic lane and act annoyed when a car blows by. Many people seem to have only three friends these days…me, myself and I. Happy Motoring! And Biking too.

  17. Please don’t mistake, this is an opinion piece. You don’t state any real statistics based on fact, just your limited close minded observations. Such as, “few where helmets”, “none use hand signals” and “most must be blind”.

    While I’m not disputing your legal right to assemble words into a sentence, I do not like your negative close minded additude. All you are doing is stirring up more animosity between cyclists and auto drivers. Most of us are both.

    Everytime I drive on the 101, I’m reminded of how rude and selfcentered people are. People driving around in their one person castles acting like stubburn children that don’t want to share, towards other drivers! This terrible behavior is amplified when a grumpy driver interacts with a cyclist.

    My suggestion to the author, readers, motorists and cyclists is to realize that our additudes and how we treate others is contagious. Stop being complete assholes to eachother and maybe some day we can share the road and get along.

  18. I don’t think it’s fair to lump all bicycle riders into one group. It seems that each group has a particular law they like to break. I’ll try to break them down a bit as un PC as it may be. I have been a part of two of these by the way, lol….

    30+ white males, $2k+ road bike, helmet, colorful spandex, like running stop signs & riding 2-3 wide. dont often ride at night.

    Under 30 males of any race, tattoos, flannels and skinny jeans, sub $500 fixie(not to be confused with road bike but looks similar and often bright colored), no helmet, like riding on sidewalks, and swerving around a lot. ride at night sans lights.

    Under 20 males of any race, 20″ wheel bmx bike(often without brakes), no helmet or unbuckled helmet, main offense is bunnyhopping stuff and riding on sidewalks as well as general teen behavior. dont ride at night but if they did, wouldn’t have lights

    Under 25 female, beach cruiser of any kind, often in dress with flip flops with headphones, no helmet, rules broken: pretty much all of them. dont ride at night

    Hispanic M/F of any age, ill fitting bike, usually 20″ bmx style with bars leaned too far forward. wearing work clothes, no helmet, ride at night but with light. main rule broken: riding against oncoming traffic, and passengers on back pegs.

    50+ white M/F, on recumbent or hybrid city bike, high end rei cycling clothes, helmet with attached mirror, rules broken: none except for having a bad attitide. Ride at night with many proper lights and reflective clothing.

    • Color between the lines

      Good list, all the police have to do is profile the worst scofflaws and be done with it. Just like vagrants and gang members. The old 20/80 Rule – 20% causing 80% of the problems. Police, nail the worst bike punks.

  19. Multimodal transpo user

    Great piece. I wonder why, whenever anyone publishes anything about the perils of biking and driving in this town, everyone moves into sandlot baseball mode. You’re on team bike, or team car. Really, there are many that walk, bike and drive, and there are good behaviors in all 3 camps, and poor behaviors. It’s not an us / them, either / or argument. Bikes and cars are supposed to SHARE the road and what this article does is point out quite well how that’s not working so well because people aren’t being considerate of others’ rights to the same road. As soon as people move into defensive stance on this topic, you know a) which camp they’re in and b) that they consider their right to use the road supreme and c) they’re offenders of some of these egregious behaviors. Just share the road responsibly, peeps. Why is that so hard to comprende?

      • No contest

        It is not a contest. It is an exchange of views for greater mutual awareness for all concerned: bikers, walkers and drivers.

  20. Anne Illgen Salgado

    As the wife of an avid road cyclist, I admit to initial concern about the vitriolic comments made in the article and in response to it. I had to remind myself this is an opinion piece meant to get us all thinking about the consequences of ones actions (or lack thereof). In our family we use road bikes, city bikes, our feet, and our cars as transportation. We make every attempt to follow the rules of the road regardless of our mode of transport. And yet, we are still not perfect. Sometimes we drive a little fast on the freeway, sometimes we forget to use hand signals when riding our bikes, and yes sometimes we jaywalk when walking around town. We are not perfect people, but we do our best to protect ourselves and those around us, known and unknown.

    There are extreme cases in every scenario, but let us remember they are not the norm, and most often atypical cases. We never seem to remember the nice driver who let us advance first at the stop sign nor do we recall the cyclist who stopped to let the pedestrian cross ahead. It is because the extreme cases are the ones that resonate most within our respective communities.

    My father was in an automobile accident last month in which he was driving his car, following the rules of the road, and then hit by another driver who was not following the rules of the road, resulting in him now having to attend months of physical therapy. Sure, I am angry that my father was hit, but the reality is accidents happen every day and regardless of your mode of transport we all need to be careful, show an awareness of our surroundings and most importantly remember there is a human in the other car, on the bike, and on the sidewalk next to us.

  21. perfectly imperfect

    Recklessness of any nature is inherently dangerous. Be it in a car, on a bike, on the ski slopes or in within the local shopping malls. People are pushing up against each other every day, it seems.

    The bigger crime occurs when a motorist takes it upon themselves to play ‘enforcer’ on the roads. A cyclist could be found guilty of picking their nose in the middle of the roadway but a motorist who takes matters into their own hands, enforcing their perception of what is proper on the roadways, is a much graver threat to future of humanity.

  22. There’s a whole LOT of Rush Limbaughs here, who likely ALL think they’re Hemingway with what they scrawl here. If the collective ignorance here was radiation-proof, Fukushima would be secure, along with the remains of Chernobyl. Point of order, people — your insulated little opinions mean exactly NOTHING, much less have any force of law. Like so many small people, you ascribe the best of intentions to your own mistakes, and the worst to others who don’t share your toxic lifestyle.

    Bike riders do NOT need your APPROVAL to be on the road, and if I were YOU, I wouldn’t take this article as gospel, particularly when it comes to LAW. Look it up yourselves, and don’t try to spin any of it to benefit yourselves. It says what it says, and you are not judges.

    This author admits to writing to evoke emotion as well as discussion; emotion has little place in intelligent debate, nor does it solve ANY problems. Let yourself be PLAYED like that, and you’ll look more the fool than you already do.

    • Time out

      Godwin’s Law just invoked. There are good people here expressing blunt and candid opinions with the expectations that controveries are best discussed honestly, without rancor for mutual benefit. Hope you can join the spirit as intended.

      • Bill Davidson

        How is that Godwin’s Law? I see no mention of Nazi’s.

        Most of the people complaining about bicyclists are not good people. They are ignorant hateful bigots who think that their rights are being violated if they have to do anything as a result of a bicyclist being on the road. They are ignorant of the law. They are ignorant of bicycle safety. They are ignorant of driving safety. The only thing that they care about in regard to this subject is the notion that the roads are exclusively for motorists. Everything else that they say is just an excuse to rationalize that delusion.

        • Liability accountablity

          Any unfounded extremist slur triggers Godwin’s Law. Plenty in evidence here. Substitute Limbaugh references in this progressively addled, eco-freak town and this is what you get — mutual name-calling and the conversation is over.

          • Bill Davidson

            Limbaugh is actually given to making all sorts of extremist slurs; usually based upon nothing but his own delusions.

            That’s very much like what the anti-cyclists here are doing.

            The people who have a problem with bicyclists consistently show that they don’t understand the rules of the road with regard to bicycles nor do they understand anything about bicycle safety as taught by real bicycle safety experts such as the League of American Bicyclists, Cycling Savvy, Effective Cycling, Cyclecraft and Bicycling Street Smarts. The author of the main article here is in that group. She tried to pretend that she knew what she was talking about but she made multiple serious errors — the kind of errors that lead to bicyclists to getting hit by cars when they follow her advice.

  23. Bill Davidson

    I find it interesting that you complain that most bicyclists don’t wear helmets and yet the photo you post has all bicyclists wearing helmets. You also note that helmets are only required for those under 18 but you still complain about it anyway. Why do you care if they wear helmets? Oh yeah, it’s because you’re reaching for any lame excuse to hate bicyclists over nothing.

    Your take on the law is interesting to say the least.

    You note “California Highway Patrol state regulations regarding bicyclists” which is very funny. I hate to break it to you but the California Highway Patrol does not make the rules of the road. The California state legislature makes the laws and the governor signs them into law. The CHP hates this, especially when it comes to bicycles, because they have significant disagreements about what the law should be and so they frequently ignore what the law says so that they can pretend that it says something other than what it actually says.

    You start blowing it right from the start. Bicyclists are not always required to ride far right. If you read the actual text of CVC 21202, it contains exception covering many very common conditions where bicyclists are not required to ride far right. Back to the photo from your article, the lane where those bicyclists are riding is far too narrow for a bicycle and a car to travel safely side by side within the lane which means that CVC 21202(a)(3) exempts them from the requirement to ride far right. It is actually risky to ride far right in that situation which is why the law allows bicyclists to use the full lane there.

    Another common condition is when approaching a place where a right turn is authorized (such as a driveway). CVC 21202(a)(4) exempts bicyclists from the requirement to ride far right in that situation because by taking up the lane, they discourage drivers from just barely passing and turning right in front of them. As an added bonus, they give themselves some room if someone pulls out of a driveway in front of them and they make themselves more likely to be noticed so that drivers don’t pull out in front of them in the first place.

    One to your second law point, bike lanes. Again, if you read CVC 21208 it actually contains exceptions. Again, bicyclists are not required to ride in bike lanes when approaching a place where a right turn is authorized or when they need to avoid any unsafe condition.

    On point four, left arm straight up for right turn is not correct. Upper left arm should be pointing left and lower left arm and hand should be pointing up. Right arm straight right is also acceptable as an alternative. The latter is usually better since it allows the bicyclist to have their left hand available for braking and since the left hand usually controls the front brake which is the better brake most of the time.

    Bicyclists can’t ride on most freeways in urban and suburban areas but in rural areas there is usually no alternate route and so bicyclists are usually allowed. The on ramps have signs where bicyclists aren’t allowed. No sign prohibiting bicycles means bicycles are allowed.

    The best way to avoid the “door prize” is to maintain at least 5 feet from parked cars at all times. It’s not safe to ride close to parked cars because motorists violate CVC 22517 all the time.

    Riding as if you are invisible tends to lead to behaviors that make you effectively invisible. It’s a terrible idea. Bicyclists who know what they are doing ride in such a way as to make sure that they are seen.

    Seriously Ms. Redd, before you try to teach bicycle safety, you should take a safety course from a League of American Bicyclists certified safety instructor. You have absolutely no idea of what you are talking about.

    • Moving violations

      Okay Davidson we get you support responsible biking. So do we.

      What do you suggest for dealing with the scofflaws in the biking population that terrorize the rest of us so we can concentrate on a productive resolution rather than waste time with wounded defenses and tutoring in established facts?

      The goal is increasing our non-biking safety; not sweeping good bikers up with the bad. How would you as a good biker impose discipline on the errant members of this class of moving violations.

        • Yeah I don’t even know how the hell the handle the ‘terror’ line, I guess cyclist are equal to people blowing up buildings now.

        • Pedestrian horror show

          Yes, terrorize. I walk a lot. Terrorized by bikers on the sidewalks or screaming around corners coming across crosswalks is exactly the right word. Standing up to them gets even more vicious responses and verbal assaults. Deal with it.

      • Bill Davidson

        I don’t understand how some people feel “terrorized” by bicyclists, especially when they are driving cars. In 34 years and 750,000 miles of driving I have never once felt afraid of a bicyclist while driving a car.

        The sidewalk can be a bit scary but I think that terrorized is a bit strong unless maybe if you’re elderly and frail. Enforcement of sidewalk riding laws should be improved but an even better solution would be to promote bicycle safety education so that more people will know how to ride safely on the road.

        People ride on the sidewalk because they incorrectly believe that it is safer. Most collisions occur due to crossing conflicts; mostly intersections and driveways and ramps. Sidewalks cross those just as the main road does but bicyclists actually make themselves less likely to be noticed when riding on the sidewalk which makes them less safe.

        • Pedestrian horror show

          I am elderly, frail and terrorized every time a biker demands right of way on my sidewalk. As a pedestrian, the sidewalk belongs to me exclusively. I want to use it safely. Get the F off the sidewalks with your two-wheeled weapons of mass destruction.

          • Bill Davidson

            I agree that bicyclists should be in the road but education is a better solution that vitriol.

  24. Anonymous

    A major problem within this subject is that bicycles and cars are the same vehicle in the eyes of the law. Many laws and signage that drivers pretend they adhere to, make for more dangerous situations while negotiating on bike.

    For example, a stop sign intersection with no stop for cross traffic, which is a common scenario in SB. If you roll up to that on a bike, see the coast is clear, and roll through the stop, then you’ve exposed yourself to the hazard of crossing that street for a shorter time. Doesn’t sound like a justifiable reason, but in situations when you do need to fully stop, and you cross in a gap of traffic, you realize how slowly you cross and how fast traffic is. Should you not be able to get a footing on our pedals, or say your chain skips, well then you might be cutting it close with what looked like a big enough gap in traffic. Especially when cars are traveling much faster than they should be, which is again a very common scenario. It doesn’t take long until you just clear the intersection/hazard ASAP.

    Or if you’re going down the street with intersections at every block and you’re shadowing a car.Basically if I’m on my bike, and I have the shield of a car intersection after intersection and doing so means rolling through the stop sign as I catch up the car, you absolutely better believe that’s what I’m going to do. It’s safer for me, and at that point, I don’t put the law above my own well being.

    Another instance where doing the safe thing pisses off drivers is on narrow back roads. If I’m at speed on a narrow road, or on a corner, or hill, and the scenario of the car passing me leaves me with very little road, or could make for a blind head on collision, then I take the lane if possible. A driver might be held up for a few seconds, or 30 seconds, but it’s drivers actions in these scenarios that are the most terrifying. People either don’t slow down at all and pass over the center-line and put the rider, themselves, and whoever might be there to join them in a head on collision in a very stupid and preventable hazard. That or people try and be patient, and then out of frustration choose a completely unsafe time to pass,

    There are people that wait for a safe opportunity to pass, but far too many are willing to take their chances with a head on collision.

    People like the author are portraying folks on bikes as a nuisance on the road. While negotiating bicycle road users can be inconvenient, that can never justify a lack of caution and endangerment.

    I think this problem would be nearly completely eliminated if a significant amount of hours on two wheels, even two motorized wheels, were a requirement to use the roadways on four wheels. It’s a matter of education, empathy, and experience, or a lack there of, and it’s a shameful problem to have because people loose their life, or quality of life forever because of this.

    If everyone had to roam the roadways on a 49cc powerless scooter for year before before getting a drivers licence then society as a whole would understand just how dangerous roadways really are. Instead we live in society where the responsibility in operating a potentially lethal machine is less important than the immediate attention of your cell phone, radio station, and the belief that you’re gods gift to the road way.

    • Bill Davidson

      There’s nothing unsafe about stopping for stop signs. I do it all the time. If you’re having issues with your pedals then you need to work on your skills or get different pedals that you can handle.

      Controlling the lane in narrow lanes is essential for safety and it’s true that some people will take unnecessary passing risks. I’ve found that a bit of wobbling as they approach tends to discourage that a bit, though it’s not perfect.

  25. Me - me - me

    Oy, what a generation of entitlement excess we have raised. My way or the highway is the perfect analogy. Mee, mee, mee used to be warm-up vocal exercises. Now it is the theme song for 21st century USA. Every child is an honor student and gets to be what ever they want to be. Regardless.

  26. el_smurfo

    When debating religious zealots, you just need to look at the side spewing the most angry, hateful comments to see who has the weaker argument. Just a quick scroll sees motorists referred to as Limbaugh listeners (grievous crime if SB had one), bigots, radiation proof ignorants, toxic..and that’s just two twists of the mouse wheel. I’m guessing those spandex religious garments aren’t made in Chinese sweatshops then…talk about toxic

    • Me too me too

      el_smurfo….I just confirmed…Italian and Brazilian sweatshops. Check the labels on your own garments. I feel your love.

      Thank you Bill Davidson for your wonderful explanations.

  27. Ted Mills

    There’s a lot of hate in these comments (anonymous ones especially, no surprise there). I would assume a lot of these car drivers don’t bike around town. I drive and bike (and walk). You should all try these things–it may change your perspective. In a car I get impatient and road ragey, on a bike I don’t (I can’t really go faster than my body allows). And SB has some dangerous roads for bikes and plenty of bike lanes that people just park in (Anapamu for example).

    So encourage car drivers to get a bike and see what it’s like.

    • el_smurfo

      I walk 6 miles round trip to work everyday. Motorists, on a whole, obey the law (with the exception of crosswalks) and steer clear of injuring those not protected by a vehicle. Bicyclists ride double width, blow through even the biggest red light intersections, ride on sidewalks and block roads (like Foothill) where they are endangering themselves.

      • Bill Davidson

        California has no law prohibiting bicyclists from riding side by side.

        As discussed earlier, Foothill is too narrow for a bicycle and a car so the law says that bicyclists are not required to ride far right which means that they can use the full lane.

        Having to go slow for a little bit until there’s a safe place to pass is not the end of the world.

        Bicyclists have a right to use the roads. Get over it.

    • Hate bikes on sidewalks

      I hate getting run over by bikes on the sidewalks. Period

  28. Lagomarsino

    Thanks to leaders of the last decades Santa Barbara has more bike paths than almost any other city in the great State of California.

    • Bill Davidson

      Bike paths can be OK but I find that many tend to have a lot of pedestrians, including children and people walking dogs. Given how narrow most paths are and the fact that pedestrians and dogs tend to move with all the predictability of squirrels, I have to slow down a lot in order to get by them safely. It’s not too bad if I only encounter one every mile or so but sometimes on a weekend it can be almost continuous.

      These aren’t really bike paths. They are multi-use paths.

      On the road when riding my bicycle, I move like a vehicle. I am predictable which makes it much easier for faster traffic to pass me safely. I also get to go at my speed which tends to be in the upper teens to low twenties.

      Most of the roads I ride on most of the time have multiple lanes in the given direction. I’m not sure why some people when they are faced with the option of changing lanes to pass a bicycle safely or waiting behind the bicyclist and honking, choose the latter. My friend Samantha thinks that they think that the left lane has cooties. I don’t know if she’s right but it makes as much sense as anything else I can think of.

    • Actually we have very few bike paths are are falling behind almost every city. SANTA BARBARA IS FALLING BEHIND!

  29. Just an account of what we have to deal with out there.

    I was traveling eastbound on Cabrillo (a 2 lane in either direction road) on my bike at about 17mph. In-between the Chase Palm Park Center and Casa las Palmas I had an encounter with a newer model BMW Wagon sliverish/blueish, this segment is two lanes in each direction, i was riding in the sharrowed lane closest to the parked cars. He revved his engine at me from the back, coming within inches of my rear wheel! Then proceeded to come around me on the left and jerk the wheel and his car towards me, I felt like he was trying to put me into the parked cars. He then speeded off and I wondered why for less than a split second (because most of these guys want to yell or flip you off or something). Then I saw a moto cop pulling into Casa las Palmas right across the street where they often sit for speed enforcement. So I waved my arms violently and yelled so loud my voice now hurts “OFFICER!!!” 3-4 times (thinking that I might actually get one of these asshat drives for once) noticing that he wasn’t going to respond I turned my head back forward to try and get the plate off the BMW but he was long gone since I can only assume he saw the cop and hit the gas.

    After waiting for traffic to clear so I could safely make a U-turn I road back to the officer and said very sternly, [in a mildly gasping breath] “excuse me officer!” He then proceeded to use his arm to motion me back so he could get a clear line of sight with his speed detector, I said louder, “Are you often in the habit of ignoring people in distress!” He kept doing what he was doing for 20-30 seconds while I said that I was just assaulted by a car. A lot of words were exchanged most by me explaining what had just happened, he actually said he saw me waving my arms but didn’t think it was meant for him. He remained calm and in a seemingly smug tone, mentioned a couple times that I was keeping him from getting speeders. I was flabbergasted that he was annoyed that while I was trying to tell him I was just assaulted by a man driving a vehicle and his basic response was that I was hindering him getting his quota and that he was not at all concerned for my safety.

    About half way through all this lady came from the area of Casa las Palmas and proceeded to try and interject that when she was driving down the road she couldn’t tell who I was yelling at and that she doesn’t like it when she has to drive to work and there are 10-20 cyclist in the road, I yelled at her, “I don’t fucking care I was just one person, a cyclist, who got assaulted by a person driving car!” (I know thats not PC but people are just ignorant!) The officer eventually took my info and called it in, not as if it matters.

    To add salt to the wound about 1/2 mile after leaving the officer, right after the stop sign at Ninos, a car behind me laid on its horn and motioned for me to get out of the way, again in the sharrow lane, and no cars in the number 1 lane meaning he could have simply changed lanes and went around me. As if I wasn’t have a bad enough day, after that I came off the bike path onto butterfly beach, in the other lane coming towards me from the other direction was a trolley (front) a SUV and a car all going about 20-25mph the car in back decided that it would be just fine to pass the SUV and the Trolly over a double yellow making me come to a very precarious sandy road stop/avoidance, while she honked at me and flipped me off.

    I just don’t know what to say.

  30. Hard to believe someone would see two bicyclists doing dumb things and generalize to the entire cycling community. That’s the some-all, or hasty generalization fallacy at work.

    But if one wants to collect statistics, more power to you. Get some on motorist compliance as well.

  31. The police she I force the law on all regardless of what form of transportation they use. Bikers and cara that run reds and stop signs should be sighted. If you are behind a bike that is taking the lane in your car, you wait. In most cases the bike has a right to do so, even if he does not you still can’t run him over ( that is the law) so too bad for you. I drive and I bike. I hate riders who run red lights even when I am on my bike and let them know so.
    I follow he law, stop, use signals, have lights and high vis clothing ( which the author of this article seems to hate but make me safer). I told my girlfriend if I ever get run over to show my garmin GPS logs in court high will show that I stopped at all the signs even when the intersections were empty, although I know it will never get to a courtroom as the driver at the scene will tell the cop “I just dident see him”, everyone will call it an “accident”, the cop will let the driver drive away and she/he will text their merry way home with no penalty whatsoever.

    • Anonymous

      Do you also have a job? Oh yeah…bicycle evangelist.

      • I actually quite enjoyed my WRX and love my motorcycle too, but I am sick of how drives treat me on my bike out on the road. Thank you very much.

      • Bill Davidson

        Most of the bicyclists that I know have jobs, though I do know a few old retirees, and a few not so old ones that were very good with their money.

        Implying that bicycling advocates are jobless is just another childish attempt to dehumanize someone who is different than you. It just proves that you are a mindless childish hateful bigot. You can’t come up with a legitimate argument so you make up garbage to rationalize your irrational hatred.

  32. So that explains it

    Haven’t checked on this thread in a couple of days, but a quick scan shows Carson and David’s arguments are: I had a bad experience with a car. Now you will all feel my wrath!!!! I have noticed poor behavior on the part of bicyclists that seems to have its origins more in ignorance or carelessness. So they’ll learn. But there’s a separate camp that basically purports I OWN THE ROAD AND ALL OTHERS MUST BOW TO MY SUPERIORITY. Now, that’s really problematic. Because no matter how courteous drivers become, you’ll still be carrying that grudge and asserting your superiority complex on the road. You’ll still be blocking traffic riding wide into lanes, running red lights, and ignoring rules of the road, and that makes you dangerous to all of us. Worse, you’ll make it hard for the law-abiding bicyclists. Rethink this strategy, soon. You are setting yourselves back years here.

    • Can you back up your statements with an quotes from my statements because I have bad experiences with cars often. “My wrath”, no, the fact is that the BMW tried to smash me into the parked cars and I kicked it cause I knew his paint would matter more to him than what he was trying to do to me. “I own the road”, no, but I do expect to share it, there was no reason at all for the BMW to do what it did to me, there was an open lane to the left, I was not blocking traffic. I do not run red lights. How is a sub 200lb flesh and bones vehicle a relative danger to a 2000lb+ car? I might dent your car but you will severely injure me or worse if there is an incident on the road. I was following the rules of the road to a T when I was harassed by the BMW.

      • World view

        Carson, did you go to a pre-school when you were younger that taught you no one loses when playing musical chairs? Just askin’.

    • Bill Davidson

      @So that explains it: You are delusional to say the least.

      Riding on the road does not constitute thinking that one owns the road.

      Using the full travel lane is not illegal and bicyclists who do it are doing it because there are conditions which make it unsafe to ride far right. Maybe if you had bothered to pay attention in driver’s education then you would know that instead of making up your own imaginary version of the rules of the road.

      Bicyclists don’t block traffic. That is simply a lie. When I am driving and a bicyclist is in my way I move over to pass at the first safe opportunity which is usually immediately. The fact that I can do that means that I’m not being blocked.

      I’ve seen nothing from Carson Blume to indicate that he rides illegally in any way but still you pretend that that is what he does.

  33. Dan Goodman

    Hmmm, “Santa Barbara cyclists have gone collectively insane.” Sounds suspiciously like “all African-Americans are criminals” or “all Mexicans are lazy” or “all politicians are corrupt” or “all bankers are thieves”. I could go on but I won’t.

    Frankly I’m surprised such a ridiculous stereotype was allowed to go to print.

    The world is full of people who don’t follow rules and that is monumentally frustrating to those of who do follow the rules. And on the topic of rules let’s review The Golden Rule: do unto other as you would have them do unto you. We ALL need to think about that a bit more and that’s the only all-inclusive grouping that is legitimate.

    • Anonymous

      What a terrible argument. Skin color and race are not chosen, like the bicyclist’s smug lifestyle, and everyone knows that all banksters are, in fact, thieves and all politicians are corrupt.

  34. I Get It Now

    Now I understand Dan and Bill and their cohorts have a vested interest, Measure A Funds go to help pay for their evangelism. Hence the shilling of the bici centro links, etc there are taxpayer funds available.

    • el_smurfo

      There are always “taxpayer funds available”. Wish we could apply the Establishment Clause to all of these new Green Religions…

      • Who spends the city money is the question

        There are taxpayer funds to underground utilities in this city.

        All we need is a new city council majority to allocate existing city revenues and spend them on under grounding all utilities per prior General Plan recommendations; and stop spending that same amount on the current city council whims.

        • If you mean funds to get separate but equal facilities/infrastructure so that we do not have to worry about being harassed by drivers yes, yes we do have a vested interest.

          You know what the cost is to build 1 mile of roadway? $1.6 million to $74.7 million per mile lane. $43.5ish million between Carp & SB. You know what the cost is to build 1 mile of class 1 path (like the Goleta bike path) $641,342 on the high end. Class 2 (on-street marked bike lanes) $17,575 if you don’t just do it when you re-stripe the road and adjust lane sizes, then it is a 0 cost because it is just rolled in with maintenance.

          Since we are looking at spending $425 million (just on the section between Carp and SB) to widened the 101 only to result in the gridlock to be moved onto our city surface streets and by your own accounts that ‘bike are in the way.’ Why wouldn’t you want to get them out of your way by giving them a place to ride? Is it because you yourself isn’t going to use it? Well you want the bikes out of your way right? Or is it because you think bikes wont use it? Well this is where education (places like BiciCentro) and enforcement (cops) come in. In communities where there is a robust cycling infrastructure bikes and cars get along much better, look at portland.

          The argument not to fund cycling infrastructure especially by people that complain about bikes being in the way all the time is just silly. We have a problem, it is hard for bikes and cars to get along on the road, agreed. The solution, separate but equal facilities, at a small fraction of the cost.

    • If you mean funds to help create separate but equal facilities so we do not have the problem of being harassed by drivers, yes we do have a vested interest. You know what the average cost of a mile of freeway is? Cost Range from $1.6 million to $74.7 million PER MILE LANE. Class 1 path (like the goleta bike path cost and avg of $641,342 per mile, Class 2 on-street marked bike lanes cost $17,575 per mile.

      Now with Santa Barbaras growing congestion especially with the 101 working on having another lane added so it can more efficiently dump more traffic onto Santa Barbara surface streets thereby just moving the gridlock from the freeway to the surface streets, just the section between Carp and SB is going to cost the taxpayers $425 million. Why would you not want to ease the local congestion with some cycling infrastructure at a fraction of the cost? Wait, I know, ’cause you don’t use it?’ Well if you want cyclist out of your way you might want to support it. Or is it cause, ‘the cyclist won’t use it?’ Well thats where education and enforcement comes in, but in communities where a complete cycling infrastructure has been built the cars and bike get a long much better because they both have a place. Portland made it through 2013 with zero bike fatalities.

      • Bill Davidson

        Yes, they made it through 2013 but they’ve had some bad years for fatalities recently as well. They also have plenty of injuries in 2013. I would prefer not to be injured either.

  35. Thurs bike on sidewalk report

    Bicycle report Thurs – Cottage Hospital area:

    One bike on the sidewalk scared the dickens out of two separate pedestrians, weaving around and was too silent for either pedestrian to know what was coming up behind them. Got me, and then went on to get the other one. Biker was going against the oneway traffic, on the sidewalk.

    Pedestrians can avoid running into each other because they can walking stop instantly. Bikers can’t stop, when the pedestrian makes a move in an unexpected direction, as is their right. All pedestrians can do is scatter and run for cover.