Sunday, March 8, 2009

New York Times Article on Biking

Here's a NY Times article about how cyclist may need to change their ways, if they want a better bike scape.


Anonymous said...

I agree with the article, mostly. With the spring-like weather in Chicago, the number of cyclists has exploded and, though I enjoy the company, I've shaken my head in a very old-lady way as 75% of them ride straight into intersections through red lights. They don't even stop to consider the particular intersection or the pedestrian situation - they just go. I don't get it, but it makes me look bad. I stop at crosswalks if there's an on-coming car or a pedestrian. I stop at red lights, period. I say "good morning." This is all easy stuff. I also, however, rarely and briefly ride the wrong way down one-way streets or on the sidewalk, if the situation calls for it - so I guess I'm that cyclist who always thinks she's right that the author references :)


spiderlegreen said...

I gotta be honest. I have been one of those psycho-ninja cyclists, doing all sorts of crazy shit. But I am realizing that there is a better way to be. Plus, if I want the cycling environment to change, I'd better start acting a little more civilized. I haven't gotten to the point where I obey every traffic law.

I heard something a few years back about how controlled intersections are very inefficient, causing cars to wait much longer than needed. This is actually a pollution issue, because the longer a car runs, the more it pollutes. The city was going to invest in upgrading the lights, so that they would reflect what was actually going on, traffic wise. But nothing has happened yet. I think we really need to revamp the whole street system, so that cars aren't sitting at lights needlessly spewing out carbon dioxide.

But now that I think of it, why am I advocating making car travel more efficient. We should instead be investing in bike highways(the Greenwave in Copenhagen). Cars have their highways. They haven't done us much good, except spread us out. Why not bike highways? I'm not just talking about the trail system that we have now. It does have some utility but is more of an exercise option. We need safe bike options, everywhere in the city.

anna said...

Thanks for sharing that. I totally agree. Cyclists have a responsibility. I always abide by the traffic laws, so I sometimes understand why somebody wouldn't. After all, people will only respect me if I respect the traffic laws. I think it's as simple as that. Unfortunately to others I'm only "a cyclist" and hence a rowdy.

We don't have many "Tour de France guys" in Vienna, but surprisingly I've seen many of them in Zürich, Switzerland. But they do obey the law there much more than cyclists do here. I guess that's also because they have less traffic lights and a not so car-focused traffic planning.