I was feeling pretty calm this morning, until I read an article linked to by Cycle Dog. In this Opinion column in the DCist, the author discusses his right to all of the privileges of an automobile on the roads, and his right to ignore all of the laws governing the operation of automobiles when his mood dictates. This is followed by many, mostly angry comments.
I’ll say up front that I have run a few stop signs and red lights in my day. However, I don’t feel that I was right to do so, and I do it much less now than I used to. (I still have trouble at intersections where the lights are controlled by sensors. It seems that I don’t trigger them, so after a while, I just go.)
If we want bicycles to be accepted as rightful users of the road, we have to follow all of the rules AND be cautious and courteous at all times. It only takes one self-absorbed rider to give the wrong impression that the rest of us have to live with. (And the bike delivery boys from Jimmy John’s are pissing off enough drivers for all of us!)
My favorite quote from the comments is:
My question is, how should drivers react to someone on a bike who wants to take up a whole lane, but is going 10mph down say Key Bridge or Wisconsin Ave during rush hour?
I’d like to direct the commenter to this post.