My Eye is on the Sharrow

Today is Bike to Work Day, part of Bicycle Week and Bicycle Month (at least in my town), so I’m commemorating it with an ode to perhaps the most over-touted dab of street paint this side of something Banksy spritzed on a random wall.

Biking to work has become quite popular in the last few years. Lots of cool bikes are being built for commuting or urban transport. Boutique and big-name clothing companies are making clothes to absorb the sweat and coddle the genitals of bike commuters. It’s all about riding your bike to work, until you actually get out on the road. Then, you’ll probably encounter this odious little bastard:
arty_sharrow
That, of course, is Sharrow. He (and, yes, I’m gendering the fucker–he’s the absentee dad of road signage) is a symbol painted on roads so that your town or city government can claim to be “bike friendly”. Sharrow is everywhere, and though he may seem like a biker’s friend, those of us who ride our bikes to work have been around long enough to know that this fucker ain’t your buddy, for a number of potentially life-altering reasons.

First and foremost, he’s fickle. When the road is wide and a bicyclist can share the road easily, Sharrow or not, then Sharrow is your boon companion, helping you occupy a nice wide part of the road and soaking up the Spring sunshine. But as soon as the going gets tough—generally near an intersection–your new Sharrow bro is nowhere to be found. But don’t think that Sharrow has just fucked off to go have a beer or take a nap. He’s sent his woo-woo friend, the “Hope is a Strategy” sign, to protect you:
share-road-sign-k-4296
Once the tight spot is past, Hope is a Strategy goes back to shitting rainbows and bathing in glitter, and Sharrow is your pale, reflective buddy again, assuming you’ve survived the intersection without his help.

Aside from the fair-weather nature of his friendship, another problem with Sharrow is that he only appears on roads that are at best marginally suited for your bike. If a road is just a bit wider than a Sharrow-worthy strip, Sharrow’s big brother, “Let’s Pretend Bike Lane” (or LP as his frat bros call him), takes over. When LP isn’t sitting on the couch hitting his bong and playing Call of Duty, he looks like this:
Bike_Lane
LP is a little more paint-intensive than his younger sharrow bro, but he’s just as fickle, pulling the fade-away at every intersection. And while pulling out may be a good thing in the real word (especially for stoner frat bros), it leaves bike commuters in the lurch at the busiest intersections.

My point, in case it isn’t bloody obvious yet, is that a little paint and a few lines are not a bike infrastructure. I understand why bike-promoting organizations give out “bronze awards” to cities that throw down some paint and a few signs–they’re trying a little carrot along with the stick. And, to be fair, my city also has been expanding their bike paths. But if you’re bronze, shouldn’t you at least have one of these:
real_bike_lane
That’s a real bike lane, what Sharrow and Let’s Pretend hope to be when they grow up. It’s separate from traffic and doesn’t dry up and blow away at the first intersection. It costs money. It irritates drivers who are going to blame congestion on it. It takes a bit of political courage to advocate it. In short, it has the most important thing that slapping down a few Sharrows and Let’s Pretends lacks: a real commitment to people using bikes as transport in your city.

(photo credit for the sharrow pic: Rob@Flickr)






148 replies
  1. 1
    Eric U. says:

    cities can learn, we have a couple of places where there is a pinch point that have sharrows out in the middle of the lane. When they first painted them, they were in the gutter, which is the wrong message in a lane that is far to narrow to share

  2. 2
    J says:

    I think I’m in the ‘they’re somewhat better than nothing’ camp, and agree with Eric U. that improvement is sometimes detectable. One problem with narrow bike lane even if they don’t vanish at intersections is the frequency with which motorist’s park ‘temporarily’ in them, forcing cyclists out into traffic.

  3. 3
    Benw says:

    Hey, I see that Sharrow thing, too! Usually where I park my car, or where I pull into to make a right turn or get around another car! It’s super useful for my car, is what I’m saying.

  4. 4
    Davebo says:

    We’ve just added some of those “real bike lanes” in downtown but sadly it seems too many cyclists haven’t gotten the idea yet.

    They are wide, two way, painted green and have their own traffic signals installed. Yet far too many ignore them.

    I guess there’s a learning curve.

  5. 5
    different-church-lady says:

    As one of those seeming rare people who actually rides a bike at some times and drives a car at others (my goodness, who could imagine!) I share the general vibe of your post. But I also think sharrows, for all their significant flaws, do have one significant up-side: they’re a highly visible reminder to drivers that bicycles exist in the world and that cyclists are entitled to use roads (which is a concept some drivers seem to be deeply unclear on).

  6. 6
    Larv says:

    Preach it! I have several of those aspirational bike lanes around me. The best is when they have huge, wheel-eating drainage grates or other bike-unfriendly obstacles right in the middle of them. Or when they double as on-street parking.

  7. 7
    Davebo says:

    They did install blocks of a sort to prevent cars from moving into the lanes which is a nice touch.

  8. 8
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I have been bicycling for over 40 years, including to work, although for most of that time not in a city. I have lived and cycled in the then very bicycle-unfriendly Boston and NYC. The best advice I ever got, which stays with me to this day, is “ride fast, take a lane, act like traffic.” Those “dedicated bike lanes” like in the last pic are mostly worse than useless, as they end up taken over by people pushing strollers, double-parked delivery trucks, road debris, etc. I’d rather be riding in the traffic lane; I’m entitled to it.

  9. 9
    Larv says:

    @Eric U.:

    we have a couple of places where there is a pinch point that have sharrows out in the middle of the lane.

    That’s only a bike lane if the drivers agree that it’s a bike lane (hint: they generally don’t). Otherwise it’s an confusing and dangerous invitation to cyclists to swerve out into the middle of traffic.

  10. 10
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    “Two wheels good, four wheels bad.”

    When riding my bike I’ve experienced outrageous hostility from drivers. I always behave myself, I don’t ride in the middle of the street or anything like that. But some of them really hate me.

    I’m at the point where I’ve been limiting myself to bike paths.

    I used to work in a company that processed photos for police departments. I saw some horrific photos of crime victims, car accidents, autopsies. Shook me to the core.

    One set of photos was taken by police of a bicyclist who’d been killed by a truck. I’ll tell you this: don’t be fooled by “Law & Order” tv shows, where the cops are personally traumatized and insulted by everything they see. Judging from the photos I saw, in reality the cops find everything fucking hilarious.

  11. 11
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    The best advice I ever got, which stays with me to this day, is “ride fast, take a lane, act like traffic.”

    That has got to be some of the worst cycling “advice” I have ever heard in my life. You might be “entitled” to that lane, but the bus you get crushed under doesn’t give a shit about whether you are or you aren’t.

  12. 12
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Those “dedicated bike lanes” like in the last pic are mostly worse than useless, as they end up taken over by people pushing strollers, double-parked delivery trucks, road debris, etc.

    And storm drains. Nothing more fun than having your bike tire hit a storm drain.

    EDIT: sorry! I see Larv beat me to it.

  13. 13
    sparrow says:

    Thank you for this post!

    I have been contemplating jointing a Barre studio (ballerina type workout place) in downtown Baltimore, but we only have one car and my SO has it most of the time. The fastest way to get there would be to bike about 3 miles, but I am terrified of getting killed by the insanely inconsiderate drivers here (or even just the blithely unaware). There is practically zero bike infrastructure here, not even “Sharrow” except for a few roads unconnected to any others.

    So either I’ll drop the idea, or take public transit, which will make a single workout have an overhead of 2 hours. I might try going very very slowly on my bike using the least-travelled streets, but I’m still worried. We just have so many bike/pedestrian deaths here.

  14. 14
    LanceThruster says:

    Today is also the 67th anniversary of the Nakba. Ask yourself why the media that covers milestones from the Mustang to the Hula Hoop totally ignores this.

    Cui bono?

  15. 15
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Here’s a problem I had trying to find a bike I felt comfortable with: Every store I visited, the bikes were all racing bikes. I want handlebars high up. I’m not racing. I don’t want my head lower than my ass. I want to sit up straight while I ride.

    For a while I was tempted to buy one of those adult-sized tricycles I see some oldsters riding.

    When I was a kid my bike was a banana-seat with tall handle bars. As a 57-year-old, I don’t want an english racer.

  16. 16
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @different-church-lady: Haven’t been hit by a bus yet. You have to be aware of your surroundings.

  17. 17
    Larv says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    “ride fast, take a lane, act like traffic.”

    I sometimes do that, but it has it’s limitations. First, it only works in urban areas where the cars can’t reach high speeds either. And after a stop, where you can’t accelerate as fast as the cars behind you, the drivers frequently get enraged and try to pass you with an inch or two (or none) to spare. Same with hills.

    It’s a no-win situation most places. Either take your lane and piss off the drivers and risk serious injury in a collision, or break the law to stay safe and…piss of the drivers and occasional pedestrian.

  18. 18
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: There are plenty of options if you look around. Check some of the links mistermix put in the second paragraph.

  19. 19
    constitutional mistermix says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Bike commuter for 10 years, took a 5 year break to work at home, starting up again this year. Here’s my advice, which is a little different from yours:

    Scout out a route that avoids high-speed/crowded roads as much as possible: Start with how Google Maps thinks you should get to work on a bike. Hunt around to see if any bike infrastructure (like trails) roughly parallels it, or if you can use a residential street, lightly used alley, far back of a parking lot where nobody parks, etc. instead of a street. Try to use those as much as possible, even if it means a longer commute. The goal is to put yourself near cars as little as possible.

    Ride your route on an early Sunday morning before committing to it to see if Google and the real world match up. Assess tough spots – for example, on my new commute, there’s a tight underpass that I would never want to ride through in my bike. So I’m going on the sidewalk there (gasp, horror!). But I chose that sidewalk because it doesn’t have any driveways and very few (almost no) pedestrians every walk on it. I will ride a sidewalk in areas with tight roads and few pedestrians as long as I’m more aware and careful where the sidewalk intersects with the road.

    I wear bright colored clothing and a helmet mirror (as far as I’m concerned, my most important piece of safety equipment). I’m able to shift my commute to avoid rush hours and school bus drop off times.

    There are a couple of places that are still tough on my new commute. At those points, I get off my bike and use the pedestrian infrastructure that Baby Jesus and the invisible hand put there for me–the crosswalks and light-protected intersections.

  20. 20
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @LanceThruster: That bugs me too.

    I remember when Helen Thomas made her comments, and then suddenly had to retire. Bill Maher talked about her; said some snarky things about her. And Jon Stewart did as well, and showed an unflattering photo of her face in extreme closeup.

    Apparently some people just don’t count in this world. Some people get ignored by the media. It’s sickening.

  21. 21
    NotMax says:

    Still remember how befuddling it was to a very young brain when the bicycle safety etiquette drilled into us did a sudden one-eighty, going from “Always ride facing the traffic” to “Always ride with the traffic.”

    (Yes, this was back when we had to share lanes with the dinosaurs.)

    May the force Shimano derailleur be with you.

  22. 22
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Thanks. Interesting options. I was talking about my experience with bike shops, where the focus was testosterone-heavy. Everyone wanted to be Lance Armstrong.

    This was a few years ago.

  23. 23
    Punchy says:

    This post doesn’t read like something Mistermix writes. Too many f-bombs. Was this cribbed from something/someone else?

  24. 24
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    “ride fast, take a lane, act like traffic.”

    I think this is dumb advice, since bikes are not cars. Bikes should have their own lanes, etc. (see The Netherlands for examples) and I would be willing to pay more in taxes to make that happen. But being in traffic until there are enough bike lanes seems to be a very bad idea to me.

  25. 25
    opiejeanne says:

    My husband used to bike to work in good weather when we lived less than two miles from his office in the late 70s, early 80s, before the helmet laws and just before the rise of the “warrior cyclists”. The city had painted some of those Let’s Pretend bike lanes on the main drag and city hall had installed bike lockers in the parking garage. There was some incitement to bike to work, but I don’t remember offhand what the reward was.
    About midway, there was an intersection that had the right turn lane separated from the rest of traffic by a small island, and a woman in a Mercedes tried to run him down at that spot several times on his way to work. Same car and driver every morning. The last time it happened was the last time he rode his bike to work. He was angry and badly shaken because she came so close. He rode home at lunch and got his car.
    About a week after he stopped riding, a bicyclist was killed at that intersection because the driver simply didn’t see the bike.

  26. 26
    constitutional mistermix says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: In Rochester, there’s at least one bike store devoted to urban bikers and bikes (upright riding position, fenders, chain guards, practical racks). I’ll bet there’s one in your town. Look for an absence of spandex.

  27. 27
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @sparrow: Maybe a taxi would be your best bet. We’re also a one-car family now, and last year I had a series of visits to a surgeon for some suspicious mole removal. Close enough to walk, but I tried it one day and with no sidewalks and giant tractor trailers speeding past inches from my body, I decided to use a local cab service. Ten bucks (including generous tip) once a week.

  28. 28
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @constitutional mistermix:

    Look for an absence of spandex

    Exactly.

  29. 29
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gin & Tonic: So does the bus driver. You might be willing to take that chance. I’m not.

  30. 30
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @constitutional mistermix: Not that much to disagree with in your advice, actually.

    The frustrating part with traffic lights, though, especially if you seek out the lightly-trafficked areas, is most are controlled by “loop detectors” (those wires they cut into the road surface) which sense metallic mass, so can’t be triggered by a guy on a bike. So you either get off and act like a pedestrian, or you end up cycling through a red light if there are no cars in sight.

    I’m lucky – most of my commute is rural. In fact, it was a factor in choosing to buy the house we live in.

  31. 31
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Hmm… My reply above was directed at Mr. Tonic and not Mr. Shoemangler.

  32. 32
    different-church-lady says:

    @constitutional mistermix:

    There are a couple of places that are still tough on my new commute. At those points, I get off my bike and use the pedestrian infrastructure that Baby Jesus and the invisible hand put there for me–the crosswalks and light-protected intersections.

    One would think such would be obvious. But one lives in a world where the obvious apparently eludes the grasp of the average person.

  33. 33
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Jerzy Russian: Except I didn’t say that. Not sure why you’re replying to me with that quote.

    EDIT: sorry, didn’t see your above comment

  34. 34
    Punchy says:

    it leaves bike commuters in the lurch at the busiest intersections.

    If a bike commuter can’t handle a busy intersection or 3, perhaps he/she should not be riding to work every day. Christ, this shit reads like a spoiled dude-bro unable to fathom why there’s not a 6 foot lane in each direction to shuttle his $4K Kestrel straight to the front steps of his US Bank branch.

    I’ve ridden for years and been hit many times. Drivers are dumb, in a hurry, and unlikely to use turn signals. You get up off the pavement and brush it off.

  35. 35
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: As the FSM as my witness, I clicked on the reply button on comment #8 (the one by Gin & Tonic) and composed a thoughtful response. When I clicked on “Submit Comment”, the reply was somehow directed to you.

  36. 36
    chopper says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    that’s the problem with pushing bicyclists off into dedicated bike lanes; it gives drivers more motivation to think that the roads are just for cars. at least here in the us where running people down with your car is practically a birthright.

    much less stressful to ride on tho.

  37. 37
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Punchy:

    I’ve ridden for years and been hit many times. Drivers are dumb, in a hurry, and unlikely to use turn signals. You get up off the pavement and brush it off.

    At my age, and given how fast drivers drive around here, I don’t see myself simply getting up and brushing it off after a car-bike collision. Thus my bike is becoming a shelter for homeless spiders.

  38. 38
    cahuenga says:

    @chopper:

    it gives drivers more motivation to think that the roads are just for cars

    Avid cyclist here and I always operate under that assumption. If you believe any different your future may be severely limited.

  39. 39
    chopper says:

    @Punchy:

    You get up off the pavement and brush it off.

    until the one day when you can’t and don’t.

  40. 40
    chopper says:

    @cahuenga:

    as do i.

  41. 41
    divF says:

    @cahuenga:
    The law in California as of last year is that to pass a bike a car must provide at least 3 feet of clearance. As a sometime cyclist, I am fairly scrupulous in providing that clearance when I’m driving. I also know that the ticket for such violations can be pretty pricey.

    The other side of the coin is that I get a little peeved when cyclists don’t obey stop signs and traffic lights.

  42. 42
    JPL says:

    The city that I live in have mainly recreational bicycle riders but there are several laws protecting them. There are no dedicated bike lanes.

  43. 43
    Steve from Antioch says:

    If you will read any of the published studies on the subject, you’ll learn that shadows actually do improve conditions for bicyclists because cars will allow more room for passing on a road marked with shadows.

    So, yes, let’s have separated bicycle lanes and dedicated bike infrastructure and rainbow pooping unicorns, too. In the interim, let’s install cheap and easy shadows where possible.

  44. 44
    WereBear says:

    As a teen with no car, I biked a LOT. And my pet peeve was drivers who come up behind you and beep the horn.

    Hey, Jerk, I can hear your car a block away. I can feel the heat from the exhaust when you are behind me. Startling me out of my seat makes me want to HULK SMASH.

  45. 45
    ixnay says:

    As a commuter in Boston in the 70’s and 80’s, these guys were my gurus. You have to be aggressive and insist on your spot in the road. If you cower in the broken glass by the curb you’re just going to get doored or worse. O, and CONSPICUITY, be visible for FSM sake. http://sheldonbrown.com/commute/

  46. 46
    cahuenga says:

    @divF:

    Yes, I’m aware of this. I’m also aware that 3 cyclist were killed here in San Luis Obispo last year. Not sure the law will be much comfort as I’m being dragged under a car at 50mph.

    Also agree about bad cyclists. That ‘fixie’ urban douche style gives us all a bad name. Not to mention the SF asshats riding 4 abreast down Hwy 1 through Big Sur. Plenty of blame in both camps.

  47. 47
    constitutional mistermix says:

    @Steve from Antioch: I’m not going to dispute that a sharrow is better than nothing. My concern is that they’re being treated as far more of a infrastructure element than they really are.

    Rochester became a “bronze” biking city mainly by painting sharrows and let’s pretend bike lanes on roads wide enough to handle them. Almost nothing of substance was done to improve our bike infrastructure. We have lots of underutilized roads that could support real bike lanes. But the press release I linked showed the then-mayor patting himself on the back for receiving an award for a few gallons of white paint and a few signs.

  48. 48
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @LanceThruster: I first read that as “cue Bono,” and thought, please for the love of pasta, no.

    Of course it’s always a matter of (actual) cui bono.

  49. 49
    burnspbesq says:

    As long as there is a single F-150 in working order, anywhere in the world, no cyclist is safe. What is it about that vehicle that turns anyone who gets behind the wheel into a flaming asshole?

  50. 50
    Eric U. says:

    motorists and cyclists can coexist just fine on the same roads. To suggest otherwise is simply wrong. The number of people that can’t figure out how to pass a cyclist without losing their shit is actually fairly small, and the number that wouldn’t do everything in their power to avoid running over a cyclist is vanishingly small. Not saying this as an argument against bike infrastructure, it’s just that we don’t have to cower in the gutter just because there is no bike path anywhere nearby. The republicans are making sure that’s not going to happen anytime soon

  51. 51
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @WereBear: As a pedestrian on the sidewalk, I’ve been honked at while walking with my wife. For no reason other than assholes being assholes. We weren’t even on the street, just a teenager or a twenty-something wanting me to know he’s out and about.

  52. 52
    Belafon says:

    I’ve contemplated the 30 miles it would take to work, and while I want to try it some time on a weekend just to see if I can get between work and home, the 5 or so hours the round trip would take would cut way too much into my day.

  53. 53
    elmo says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    Try an Electra. They’re pricey, but you sit up straight, easy handlebar position, feet flat when you stop, and the gearing is easy on old knees.

  54. 54
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @burnspbesq: They forget that bicyclists also pay taxes to maintain the roads. (in theory)

    They believe the road belongs to motorists. Bicycles belong in the parks. Not to stereotype, but often I’ve seen “don’t tread on me” as well as anti-obama stickers on their vehicles. They are the assholes of the world.

  55. 55
    Kropadope says:

    I drive or walk, never cycle. I can’t speak for all drivers on the road, obviously, but when I’m contending with a cyclist I’m not angry, I’m scared. I am absolutely terrified about hurting people riding their bicycles, particularly on windy suburban streets. Once in a while there’s a concern I’ll get in accident while passing.

    It sounds like most of you talking about it have excellent bike habits, but sometimes you see people riding slowly, three abreast in busy traffic or other such asinine things. Not all cyclists are riding smart. It’s true we should share the road, but that’s definitely a two-way thing.

    And yes, I recognize that being totally reliant on cars is also totally asinine, but that’s the situation I’m in and there’s not a whole lot I can do to change it.

  56. 56
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @elmo: Nice bike!

  57. 57
    chopper says:

    @cahuenga:

    i miss biking around slo. not the major roads tho.

  58. 58
    cahuenga says:

    @Kropadope:

    Again, totally agree. People get hung up on their personal tribal transportation-mode, but it’s frankly assholes. They drive, pedal, walk and ride ponies. No tribe is immune.

  59. 59
    cahuenga says:

    @chopper:

    And if you’re into MTB is is Heaven on Earth

  60. 60

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    Take a look at bikes from Electra — they have a ton of “Dutch” bikes that are upright and made for commuting. Trek has a couple of nice models, though they stopped making my beloved Cocoa. And Schwinn still makes upright bikes — the Coffee was nice, if a bit rattle-y.

    The terms to look for are “comfort” or “cruiser.” There are a ton out there, but finding the right bike store can be a pain.

    Also, commuting cyclists would probably like Momentum magazine (http://www.momentummag.com). They have a lot of great articles about commuting, cargo bikes, etc. and a digital subscription is insanely cheap ($4.99/year).

  61. 61
    chopper says:

    @cahuenga:

    i also miss hiking bishop’s peak. it was basically in my backyard.

  62. 62
    catclub says:

    @Steve from Antioch: Rational, evidence based discussion is not really warranted here.
    It gives us a bad name.

    Bicyclists killed makes the news. So do pedestrians. car passengers, not so much.

    Approximately 1 bicycle fatality per 3 million miles – which works out to bicycling being quite safe.
    Cars: 1 per 67 million miles – safer by the mile not as much safer per hour.

    3 million = 40 years x 14 hours per day x 15 miles per hour — a lot!

  63. 63
    gvg says:

    hmm I grew up in Orlando which has to be one of the worst cities for bicycles ever. Orlando was I guess a nice small city until Disney arrived and the biggest population explosion you can imagine. A huge building boom happened and the city had to build many many new roads in what used to be swamps and cow pastures. Now taxes pay for infrastructure but usually happen at a more controlled rate. Even issuing bonds, the city was strapped for cash for a decade I guess. They bought the smallest amount of land for each street that they could build on to save money which translated into a few inches of blacktop past the white line, and open drainage swales right next to that. No place for bicycles, not even many sidewalks. This caused problems down in time as businesses built close to the road too and as the boom continued and traffic increased, buying more land to widen the roads would mean condemning profitable businesses to bulldoze and build a new lane. Mostly they just lived with traffic jams because they couldn’t afford to do that.
    I had a friend almost killed bicycling. A driver didn’t see him, passed so close that his handlebar got caught on the open window door frame and he was dragged along for awhile. Driver showed no signs of hearing him yell and eventually he got lose and landed in a ditch.
    Then I moved to Gainesville where about a 1/3 of the population is students at the University +45000. Bicycles were everywhere because on campus parking has been a unicorn hunt since my parents attended in the 60’s. These imaginary bike lanes as you call them were all there were but they seemed great to me. First everyone in Gainesville knew bicycles were around and paid more attention, police gave tickets for misbehavior and I think the bike lane flaws must have been worked out earlier because I didn’t see storm drains in bad places when I biked and the lanes didn’t seem to disappear either. Those lanes go all the way out to the country and rural pleasure routes and there were big groups and clubs that would go out on saturdays down those lanes. There were a few accidents, but it didn’t seem a huge rate compared to just the sheer numbers on bikes and cars.
    In the late 90’s the city finally worked out a bunch of issues and funded a mass transit bus system. Within a few years the bike racks were almost empty. If you are a student, your University ID gets you free bus rides, its a few dollars of your tuition cost. The bike lanes are still there. Some people use them, but the habit of expecting bicyclists has eroded I think. they still put them in on new roads. In good weather I still see the bike clubs in mass out in the country. My understanding is they think the big groups are easier to see and treated better by cars. I wonder about the future though. Buses help the poor a lot more and the weather isn’t always so nice. I was in the best shape of my life the 2 years I finished my degree here and I bet the current students aren’t.
    The contrast between areas that don’t have the lanes and those that do make me prefer the marked lanes. I also think a lot of the flaws can be worked out in time if you never stop pushing. However there are other infrastructure things that I think help more people and in most places its not something I would place a lot of effort in.
    On the other hand its a lot easier to build with bikes in mind from the start than to go back later so when the subject of new road approvals comes up, its a real good time to bring up the issue.

  64. 64
    cahuenga says:

    @chopper:

    Did you go to Cal Poly?

  65. 65
    catclub says:

    The evidence in NYC is that the best safety measure for bicyclists is — more bicycles on the road.
    See also: Holland.

  66. 66

    @Kropadope:

    I saw a survey last year that was done by (I think) the California Bicycle Coalition, and it turned out that drivers and cyclists both friggin’ LOVED separated bike lanes, especially ones that have a physical barrier like pylons or a curb. I expected cyclists to like them, but I was surprised at how enthusiastic the drivers were, and it was mostly for the reason you say: they’re terrified of accidentally hitting a cyclist.

    We had some of those green bikes lanes in downtown LA that got painted back to normal streets because filmmakers complained. Really. Assholes.

    Last thing before I head off to work — I’m always surprised by the people who extol places like Amsterdam as the nirvana of bike commuting but oppose separate bike lanes and other infrastructure in the US. They didn’t get to be bike nirvana by making everyone share space, you know.

  67. 67
    Gordon says:

    @constitutional mistermix: Great advice. In Albuquerque where I live 90% of the vehicle traffic moves on 10% of the roads (arterials). The other 90% of roads, mostly residential streets, will get you anywhere you need to go safely and conveniently. It does help that we’re built on a flat plain with few natural obstacles, and the streets are mostly a giant NS/EW grid.

  68. 68
    Karen in GA says:

    @burnspbesq: My husband has an F-150. Very helpful when buying home improvement stuff, helping friends/relatives move, and — hard as this will be to believe — taking my bicycle to the shop for badly-needed repair. I didn’t know assholes were good drivers who shared the road and felt no need to risk anyone else’s lives to get where they’re going.

    Anyway. I just came back from the vet. Had to drop off my now-oldest kitty, Phoebe (the World’s Most Affectionate Cat), whose breathing is labored and I have no idea why. As it happens, I spent part of the drive to the vet on a rural road with no shoulder, stuck behind four bicyclists. Look, I rode my bike everywhere before I left Brooklyn, and I know full well what assholes drivers can be (regardless of the make/model of their vehicles). But at least I knew my bike wasn’t as fast as a car, and I tried not to block traffic. Some of these morons think spandex makes them speed demons. It does not. It makes them look like fucking Despicable Me minions on wheels.

    (That insult, BTW, is directed at the maybe 5% of bicyclists who deserve it. I know the vast majority don’t. It’s just frustrating to be rushing somewhere and have to do 15 MPH behind a rolling roadblock.)

  69. 69
    Kropadope says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): Yeah, I see those separate bike lanes in the rare instances I feel like driving into Boston. I agree, it makes it way more comfortable driving. We have some sharrows here in the burbs, but a lot of the roads around here can’t even really handle that.

    Think “majorly windy and in use since the 1700s.”

  70. 70
    chopper says:

    @cahuenga:

    naw, just lived there for a bit while my wife worked at ASH.

  71. 71
    Gordon says:

    Best things about riding a bike:
    5. It’s good for the environment. Minimal carbon footprint
    4. It’s economical.
    3. It’s healthy. If I ride 100 miles a week I can drink beer and eat burritos and still keep my schoolboy figure.
    2. It’s good for your attitude. Half the time when I’m driving I’m grinding my teeth and wishing horrible deaths on everyone around me. Never happens on a bike.
    1. It is its own reward. A couple of weeks ago I was riding down a country lane past wildflowers and old farms, and thinking if I had a billion dollars I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.

  72. 72
    different-church-lady says:

    @ixnay:

    As a commuter in Boston in the 70’s and 80’s, these guys were my gurus. You have to be aggressive and insist on your spot in the road.

    Which is exactly why everyone thinks Boston cyclists are suicidal assholes.

    Then again, everyone else in Boston is an asshole too, so…

  73. 73
    Seanly says:

    I reside in Boise, ID. The City of Boise has many municipal parks, the Greenbelt, and lots of sharrows. There is a huge biking community. The mayor and city council are extremely bike friendly. However, by state law, the road system in Boise is under the jurisdiction of the Ada County Highway District who doesn’t share Boise’s enthusiasm for bikes.

    Here’s an article discussing one of the latest pissing matches between the city & ACHD.

    On a better note, my company has a project with ACHD in another part of Boise to take a 4 lane stretch of road and improve pedestrian and bike access. We’re looking to reduce it by one lane and provide better bike access. However, we also need to provide improved pedestrian access. Meeting ADA requirements on sidewalks (including adding sidewalks where none exist) is a big issue in many communities.

    The bike road shown in the picture is very tough to do in established communities. Right-of-way is very expensive and politically tough to acquire. Residences usually have more setback, but commercial properties can often have no setback from the ROW line. Reducing sidewalks to add width to the paved sections is tricky as you need at least 5′ for ADA access. If utility poles/boxes & hydrants need to be accommodated in the ROW, then the sidewalks will take up more space – maybe 6′ or 7′ to allow the minimum of 4′ near an obstruction. Parking lanes are usually 8′, travel lanes are 10′ to 12′ wide and it looks like the bike road above including the striped shy distance is probably 10′ though I’d guess you’re really want 12′. All those dimensions add up quick especially where bikes, businesses, utilities, pedestrians, parking & vehicle traffic all compete.

    EDIT: I’m a bridge engineer and am fine providing bike lanes on my bridges. We often have to provide a minimum shoulder distance which is wider than what gets paved on the roads. But I just get told how wide the bridge needs to be and don’t care all that much of how the roadway engineers decide to do the striping (lane painting).

  74. 74
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gordon:

    It’s good for your attitude. Half the time when I’m driving I’m grinding my teeth and wishing horrible deaths on everyone around me. Never happens on a bike.

    I recently realized that I only cycle when it’s not time sensitive. If I cycled to work, I’d probably have daily bike rage.

  75. 75
    Kropadope says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Then again, everyone else in Boston is an asshole too, so…

    This may be true, but you’ll find that around here we have a wide variety of assholes, most of which aren’t as disagreeable as you may think at first glance.

  76. 76
    different-church-lady says:

    @cahuenga: Amen.

  77. 77
    different-church-lady says:

    @Kropadope: In certain towns, “Fuck you” is just our way of saying “Hi!”

  78. 78
    trollhattan says:

    My “bona fides” are having bike-commuted 78 days so far in 2015–droughts tend to increase the opportunities–and work in the core of downtown. I’m one of at least five downtown bike commuters in my little slice of town, so there are a lot of folks doing the same.

    And it’s a daily double of joy and terror out there. I’ve crafted a route and schedule that reduces my direct exposure to traffic but there’s only so much one can do. I have seen it ALL when it comes to Bad Driver Behavior and along with infrastructure enhancements what we really need is drivers who actually follow the rules as establised in the vehicle code, starting with using that fucking lever poking out of the left side of the steering column. But, really, whose business is it whether you’re about to turn, merge, enter, exit, u-turn, park…? Fuck-em, right? Will leave not yielding right of way and blowing through stop signs and red lights for another rant.

  79. 79
    IdahoFlaneuse says:

    @Gin & Tonic: We are luckier here in Idaho. We have the “Idaho Stop”. Bikes treat stop signs as yield signs and traffic lights as stop signs. So if there is no traffic we can bike through the intersection. Down side is that better than half the population doesn’t know that, so they are always writing letters to the editor about the “law breaking bicyclists” as well as drivers lecturing us about obeying the law.

  80. 80
    kmurray says:

    The original post and some comments on here seem to be a little bad-tempered.

    I just wanna say; bicycles are fun! Get out there and ride.

  81. 81
    MaxUtil says:

    @different-church-lady:
    This a a very brief and simplistic summary of what is called “vehicular cycling” which is actually a very safe and effective way to cycle…IF you are a strong, confident, experienced cyclist. What this approach (and many of the proselytizers) doesn’t do is get new people onto bikes, get people who want to ride but are fearful onto bikes, or do anything else to slow, smooth, or make car traffic more safe for cyclists, pedestrians, or other drivers.

  82. 82
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    @Gordon: Can you address the biggest (for me) problem: after riding to work, say, in July, I’d be hot and sweaty. How does one adequately “clean” oneself without the use of a shower in order to not stink by 3PM? Is there an ultra-strong deoderant I can use? Go 3 squirts of cologne instead of 1? Washcloth off my body in the restroom?

  83. 83
    Seanly says:

    @IdahoFlaneuse:

    That’s not always a good thing – I’ve had cyclists here in Boise blow through stop signs even with visible traffic at stop sign. Personally, I treat stop signs as a stop sign because I’ve been hit twice as a pedestrian and don’t want to test my luck.

  84. 84
    different-church-lady says:

    @MaxUtil: It also doesn’t defy the laws of physics, which state, “When a cyclist and a vehicle occupy the same space at the same time, the cyclist is going to come out the worse for it,” not matter how strong, confident or experienced the cyclist may be.

    Perhaps one’s next of kin can find some small comfort in the fact that the human legal system said the strong, confident, experienced deceased was entitled to that patch of asphalt. Physics, on the other hand, is a honey badger.

  85. 85
    Kropadope says:

    @different-church-lady: Say what you will, but those strong, confident, experienced cyclists are far easier to contend with when driving. You can follow them at speeds above an idle and they’re usually positioned better to not be hit.

  86. 86
    Dave C says:

    Nothing in particular to add to this discussion (other than that, as a runner, I abhor encountering cyclists on the sidewalk), but I just wanted to say that the title of this post is epic.

  87. 87
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: I don’t know about others, but my workplace has both men’s and women’s locker/shower facilities. Good for the cyclists as well as for the lunchtime running crowd.

  88. 88
    different-church-lady says:

    @Kropadope: I do not find the center stripe to be a better position to not be hit than the curb. That’s whether I’m behind the wheel or behind the handle bars.

  89. 89
    LanceThruster says:

    I’m not trying the hijack the thread, but why do my replies disappear?

  90. 90
    JustRuss says:

    My town has sharrows, mostly where they make sense: Narrow, congested roads with lots of traffic lights/stop signs, so drivers aren’t going any faster than my bike. I like them in that case, they remind drivers that bicycles do have the right to be in the road.

  91. 91
    IdahoFlaneuse says:

    @Seanly: I am retired so I generally ride when the traffic is less. At major intersections I tend to treat the stops as stops and the traffic lights as lights. In residential area I use the Idaho Stop.

  92. 92
    Kropadope says:

    @different-church-lady: I have never once seen someone riding along the center stripe. When I see someone who meets the described classification of cyclists,they’re usually in the traffic lane, where they’re nice and visible, and conscious enough of their surroundings/confident enough to move over when it’s safe.

    Granted, they can go overboard in this regard, but the truly scary cyclists are the ones who don’t appear to do it that often.

  93. 93
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @different-church-lady: Need more straw?

    Nobody has advocated cycling down the center stripe. However, if there is no marked or notional bike lane, and the area between the right-side lane stripe and the curb or physical road edge looks sketchy, I will ride a foot to the left of the right-side lane stripe, as is my legal right. Obviously this does not mean riding on controlled-access highways.

  94. 94
    different-church-lady says:

    @Kropadope: Well, if you ever do want to see it, come to Boston. You won’t have to look hard or long.

    Granted, I did not mean traveling down the center stripe. It occurs at intersections when the cyclist wishes to make a left turn, and decides that being the fifth “vehicle” in line isn’t worth the inconvenience when one could simply ride around (or between lanes of) stopped vehicles and make the the left from the yellow paint. Which, of course, means that said cyclist is now on the inside of the road after making the turn and must somehow work their way back to the outside.

    Perhaps these folks don’t fall within your description — in fact, now that I think about it, I don’t recall you using the word “idiotic” in your taxonomy.

  95. 95
    different-church-lady says:

    @IdahoFlaneuse: If an Idaho Stop is used in a suburban area, and nobody is around to see it, does it violate any laws?

  96. 96
    ms_canadada says:

    @Davebo: We have them here too. People riding electric bikes, scooters, and wheelchairs, use them as well. Once there’s an accident, the city might look at who/what can use them.

  97. 97
    Kropadope says:

    Even when I come to Boston, it’s usually by train or just a quick in-and-out. I can’t stand driving there, in fact it’s on my list of least favorite places to drive.

    1. I-95 (particularly within close-priximity to Boston. 93 may be worse, but I never have to do it during rush hour)
    2. Bridgewater
    3. Providence
    4. Boston
    5. Brockton

  98. 98

    If it seems like everyone is out to kill you, it’s probably because they are.

    Ride safe!

  99. 99
    Elizabelle says:

    For bicyclists, from the NY Times: A New Resource for Biking Routes:

    …Bikabout, an online travel resource for everything bicycling, with information on bike-friendly lodging, traveling with bikes, renting them and where to ride them around town, along with tips on culture, etiquette and safety.

    The site, which began last year, recently introduced guides to Washington and New York City, soon to be followed by Atlanta, Milwaukee, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, adding to the 13 cities already available.

  100. 100
    Elizabelle says:

    Bikabout link.

    It’s bikabout.com

  101. 101
    mr_gravity says:

    @burnspbesq: Amen and Amen! Truer words….

  102. 102
    Origuy says:

    I used to cycle to work fairly often, when I lived closer. The first place I worked didn’t have showers, until the GM got tired of having one guy in particular come into his office sweaty from riding in. Then they found the money to install showers. There are probably tax benefits for doing that, at least in places where traffic congestion is an issue. Now I’m so far from work it would take a couple of hours each way. However, the public transit in the Bay Area is pretty good about carrying bikes. Once I get my bike fixed, I can ride it to the Caltrain station, take the train to the stop nearest work, and ride to the office.

  103. 103

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    What ended up helping for me was a quick mop-up in the bathroom with wipes plus getting a bunch of t-shirts from Target that are Duo Dry (made by C9/Champion). Regular clothes would leave me feeling clammy, but Duo Dry and other travel/hiking clothes wicked sweat better than other clothes. Other brands that worked for me were Columbia, Ex Officio, and Royal Robbins. Also, Momentum magazine (mentioned above) usually has really good commuting advice in their summer issues.

    Caveat: I work in a casual office where I could wear jeans every day if I wanted to. This plaid shirt approach may not work as well for formal workplaces where a suit is required.

  104. 104

    @different-church-lady:

    That’s a really bizarre thing to do. If I’m in a left turn lane, I stay to the RIGHT so cars can go to my left while I stay to the right. You know, just like slower traffic is supposed to. The only time I’m next to the yellow paint is if I’m making a left turn where there’s no turn lane. Hopefully my outstretched arm is cluing drivers in that I’m there to turn and not just hanging around.

    I suspect that a lot of bad bicyclists are also really crappy drivers, because they don’t seem to understand the rules of the road.

  105. 105
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Gordon:

    2. It’s good for your attitude. Half the time when I’m driving I’m grinding my teeth and wishing horrible deaths on everyone around me. Never happens on a bike.

    The regular cyclists I know are filled with perpetual rage about the fatal malignity of automobile drivers. Especially when they hear about somebody getting killed, which happens pretty frequently.

  106. 106
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @LanceThruster: I used to put the URL of my LiveJournal blog in the “URI” field of comments. Then I found that many, many websites started dropping my comments into the void without so much as an error message until I took it out. I think Balloon Juice might have been one of them. Probably some kind of strange spam filter.

  107. 107
    The Other Bob says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    The best advice I ever got, which stays with me to this day, is “ride fast, take a lane, act like traffic.”

    THIS X 1000.

    People disagree here, but they will be killed faster. You take the lane so that some idiot does not try to cram his fat car between you and the oncoming car because you are hugging the shoulder. By taking the whole lane you force them to slow down. If you are in a city, it does not matter because you are riding nearly as fast as the speed limit. On a country road, you force them to pass and it allows you to move right at the last moment giving you breathing room.

    Those “dedicated bike lanes” like in the last pic are mostly worse than useless, as they end up taken over by people pushing strollers, double-parked delivery trucks….

    Also agree. People who ride slow can have those lanes. Those of us who exceed 15 mph would not rather not run over little kids or people’s dogs, so we still ride in traffic.

  108. 108
    trollhattan says:

    Since we’re talking cycling, Sunday was the day the pros came to town. For those in the know, here are Cavendish, Renshaw and Sagan on the bell lap. Cavendish would win. Was chuffed to get the shot, since they’re going past at about 40 and it’s impossible to single out the key riders, just spray-and-pray with the camera.

  109. 109
    trollhattan says:

    @The Other Bob:
    Yeah, a mild-mannered “B-type” the rest of the time I have to plumb my inner “A-type” while riding riding in traffic. That and bright clothing and head and taillights. And keeping enough distance from parked cars to avoid the opening-door surprise.

  110. 110
    The Other Bob says:

    @burnspbesq:

    As long as there is a single F-150 in working order, anywhere in the world, no cyclist is safe.

    I am a cyclist with an F-150. Just saying.

    (BTW, When I bike, I find those who drive GMC Trucks are the biggest assholes. Minivan drivers are the most careless and Escalades try to race me.)

  111. 111
    Motivated Seller says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    The best advice I ever got, which stays with me to this day, is “ride fast, take a lane, act like traffic.”

    As a weekly Boston commuter for more than 10 years, this is advice is spot on. I would also add “Be VISIBLE“. Every time a cyclist gets hit, the driver always says, “I didn’t see them.”

    BTW @different-church-lady, bus drivers are the best drivers on the road. They give you plenty of space and never drive aggressive.

  112. 112
    The Other Bob says:

    BTW – I think the bike lanes disappear at intersections to force you into the proper lane. If you do not move into traffic, the right-turning cars will cross the bike lane. By having the bike lane end, you move to the lane that goes straight, turns left, etc.

  113. 113
    Will says:

    @different-church-lady:

    No, not “deeply unclear on”, actively hostile to.

  114. 114

    @trollhattan:

    Dooring is really the biggest problem with the Pretend Bike Lane since it still lets cars park along the curb. I’ve seen them in other countries where the parked cars are sandwiched between the traffic lane and the bike lane, which seems like a much safer way to do it since all cars have a driver but not all of them have a passenger.

  115. 115
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @The Other Bob: The Amsterdam-style ones have a physical curb between the bike lane and the road, not just a striped zone, which probably takes care of the double-parked trucks. And I think they might prosecute people without bikes who try to use the lane; they’re really bike lanes, not multi-use paths. All this strikes me as the right way to do it.

  116. 116
    catclub says:

    @Motivated Seller:

    They give you plenty of space and never drive aggressive.

    There was a post I read about a device installed in inter-city buses ( primarily) that encourages good driving, and also saves enough fuel to more than pay for itself.

  117. 117
    LanceThruster says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Thanks, Matt.

    That was kinda my guess but thought it was worth asking. I always wonder what’s up when I don’t even get a “Your comment is in moderation” message.

  118. 118
    trollhattan says:

    @LanceThruster:
    Occasionally happens to me too, and I never populate the URL field so there’s at least another way to trigger it. And what that may be I do not know.

  119. 119

    @trollhattan:

    There are certain forbidden words that can cause your comment to vanish entirely. They’re very strange ones, too, like the last name of Sherlock Holmes’ sidekick. I suspect they’re nyms of long-banned trolls.

  120. 120
    constitutional mistermix says:

    @The Other Bob:

    People who ride slow can have those lanes. Those of us who exceed 15 mph would not rather not run over little kids or people’s dogs, so we still ride in traffic.

    I probably ride at about 15 on a flat surface. I’m in no hurry.

  121. 121
    Larv says:

    @The Other Bob:

    Agreed. This is also why some cyclists will occasionally ride three abreast, which seems to piss off some of the drivers here. The idea is to dissuade drivers from trying to squeeze past in areas where they shouldn’t pass. One of the more common ways for cyclists to get hurt or killed is when an impatient driver starts to pass them on a hill or blind curve, encounters a car coming the other way, then swerves back into the cyclist in order to avoid the car. So cyclists will ride abreast in those kinds of areas to be more visible and prevent those kinds of stupid driver tricks. They very rarely do so for long, just until they get to a better passing area.

  122. 122
    LanceThruster says:

    @trollhattan:

    Thanks, troll.

    It’s a rare occurrence to be sure but I think I’ve only had it happen to me when I’ve included a URL.

    I don’t seem to run afoul of the trigger words.

  123. 123
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @LanceThruster: You made a good point about the Nakba anniversary. Sorry your comments got lost. Happens to me sometimes.

  124. 124
    cahuenga says:

    @Larv:

    Cyclists arbitrarily choking traffic by riding 3 abreast? Wonderful.

    This will not end well.

  125. 125
    different-church-lady says:

    @Will: Both, actually, depending on which specimen you’re examining at the time.

  126. 126
    BruceJ says:

    @Larv: Or bus lanes; that’s always a fun experience, trying to ride along in your bike lane when a bud tries to run you over (and given the speed at which buses and bikes move along streets with bus stops every 1/2 mile, it’s more like over and over and over…I’ve played hopscotch with a bus more times than I can remember…).

    We have one road in town that’s horribly congested, insanely narrow (they’ve crammed two lanes each way plus a center turn lane into a street that should be two lanes wide., at one of the busiest intersections in the city) and have festooned it with signs proclaiming Tucson is a ‘Bike Friendly City’.

    I commute daily by bike but stay the hell off the main roads if I can. Fortunately the city’s a very car-centric grid, so all the neighborhood roads are easy to use for riding.

  127. 127
    different-church-lady says:

    @The Other Bob:

    People disagree here, but they will be killed faster. You take the lane so that some idiot does not try to cram his fat car between you and the oncoming car because you are hugging the shoulder.

    I handle this by timing my riding and speed so that I am NOT in a pinch point at the same time as two cars.

    Call me crazy but I find this somehow a safer method than making myself into a fragile obstacle in front of an inattentive driver.

  128. 128
    different-church-lady says:

    @Motivated Seller: a) My experience riding buses says that results vary.

    b) I mention buses not because the drivers are bad but because the nature of their physical layout makes for hazardous operation no matter how attentive the driver is. They have significant blind spots and they are constantly pulling in and out of the territory where bikes operate. When I find one stopped for passengers I’m faced with the decision of moving past cautiously or stopping until I’m certain they will not be pulling right back out. And usually this will end up being a game of leapfrog, so to avoid it I’ll just slow down my pace to break out of the pattern, or take a different route.

    My over all point is: it doesn’t matter what the rules and laws say — in a collision between a motor vehicle and cyclist, it’s the cyclist who will come out the worst, no matter who was right and who was wrong. So ride like it’s your responsibility not to get hit, and nobody else’s.

  129. 129
  130. 130
    different-church-lady says:

    @cahuenga: Which brings up another good point: laws differ state to state.

    Here in MA they recently passed a law that said riding two abreast was legal. I though, “Okay, you people are officially idiots.” And I’m in favor of cycling friendly laws.

  131. 131
    trollhattan says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Having now experienced this three times I’ll relate what I’ve come to call the Number 51 Squeeze Play. The scene: a roughly ten-block stretch of a three-lane one-way downtown street with stop signs or signal lights at about half the intersections, and three or four bus stops along the way. Me in the slow lane doing 16-22, depending on head or tailwind, and the de facto arterial speed limit is 30. I am well ahead of the bus, which is also in the slow lane. I’m wearing a fire-engine yellow jacket and have bright flashing tail and headlights. Bus eventually catches me, pulls alongside straddling the slow and middle lanes then merges back on the slow (RH) lane while still alongside, forcing me to either to turn onto a side street or pop into an open parking space to not be crushed into a parked car. There is no way the bastard bus driver does not see me, otherwise I’d have been hit from behind.

    At some point I’m getting a GoPro and putting these incidents on YouTube and sending the transit district a link. Nobody believes me when I share the stories.

  132. 132
    cahuenga says:

    @different-church-lady:

    And as you said:, Being legal is cold comfort when you’re roadkill.

  133. 133
    different-church-lady says:

    @trollhattan: As I see it, the only solution to this is to encourage a war of all against all.

  134. 134
    Larv says:

    @cahuenga: Okay, I misspoke. Three abreast is probably excessive, but two abreast is frequently safer than single file.

  135. 135
    different-church-lady says:

    @Larv: This would be true how?

  136. 136
    Larv says:

    @different-church-lady: For the reasons I (and The Other Bob) outlined upthread. Do you really think cyclist groups lobbied for that law because they’re idiots or assholes?

  137. 137
    different-church-lady says:

    @Larv: No, I think they have questionable judgement. I’m failing to see how three fragile obstacles are somehow safer than one, especially if one of them takes a tumble in front of the auto they’re in front of.

  138. 138
    LanceThruster says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    And it was a reply to you, Germy. Makes it look like I ignored your own reply. It basically said the same ‘blackout’ applies to remembrances of the attack on the USS Liberty.

    Read an essay on the Liberty webpage about their heroism in a piece titled “In Awesome Peril.”

  139. 139
    trollhattan says:

    @different-church-lady:

    As I see it, the only solution to this is to encourage a war of all against all.

    Sorry, but I don’t follow. Can you elaborate?

  140. 140
    Larv says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Well, the logic has already been explained several times, so I’m thinking another one probably isn’t going to do the trick. Maybe try here.

  141. 141
    IdahoFlaneuse says:

    @different-church-lady: I don’t understand. In Idaho it is the law in subdivision and anywhere else.

  142. 142
    different-church-lady says:

    @trollhattan: I could, but it would ruin the snark.

  143. 143
    different-church-lady says:

    @Larv:

    Maybe try here.

    Uh, yeah… like I said, questionable judgement. Or in that case, questionable judgement with a layer of horsebleep over it.

  144. 144
    Larv says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Well that’s an informative critique. Undoubtedly it’s all those cyclists and cyclist advocacy groups like Massbike whose judgement is questionable, rather than you.

  145. 145
    different-church-lady says:

    @Larv: I’ve already commented on the Massachusetts law. I say this as a regular cyclist: it… is… idiotic.

    The major reason pedestrians get hit? Drivers don’t see them. It’s funny how nobody advocates that the solution is more pedestrians further into traffic.

  146. 146
    Larv says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I shouldn’t have to point this out, but pedestrians aren’t cyclists. They don’t normally use the same roads as cars. Bikes do. Bikes are already in the roadway, the question is exactly where in the roadway is safest and most visible. That’s not always as simple as you’d like to pretend.

  147. 147
    PIGL says:

    @different-church-lady: It’s good advice if you are young and/or athletic enough to ride that fast. I was, for decades, but not any more.

  148. 148
    ixnay says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Read my linked article from Sheldon Brown and John Allen.

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