If You Want to Stop Having This Debate… II

Where I continue to enjoy the entertainment provided by VCers and their ilk.

“Mighk is calling for a more thoughtful approach to where and how bike lanes are used. That point is being ignored by those who are criticizing his comments.”

I agree with a more thoughtful approach, but as Mighk has admitted, doorings rarely kill people in comparison with other forms of collisions such as rear endings. And yet he teaches people to ride in a place where such a deadly collision is more likely to happen. Furthermore, we get a bunch of bull about how dangerous bike lanes are where data shows that bike lanes are actually safer than nothing at all. He all ready admitted that:
“Yet many cyclists, including veteran Mighk Wilson, don’t think bike lanes are safe. And they worry about the trails, too.
“Riding along the edge [of the road] is the problem,” said Wilson, who teaches a cycling course. He also is a smart-growth planner with MetroPlan, which sets transportation policy in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties.
Wilson said bike lanes can give riders a false sense of security when, in fact, they are shunted almost off the road, where drivers might not see them, and bike riders often can confront debris and crumbling pavement.

Even worse, Wilson said, some bike lanes run alongside parking spots, with Edgewater Drive in College Park north of downtown Orlando a prime example. Motorists open their doors in the bike lane, setting up potential collisions, he said.”

However, on further examination of crash data, including his own, has shown that bike lanes aren’t the riskiest place to ride.

“It’s not helpful that the article has a quote from a lady who is understandably not comfortable in traffic juxtaposed against the advice that it’s best just to “ride in the middle of the lane.”

The lady is right. More and more cyclists each year die “legal deaths”: where they were riding safely, with neon, helmets, and following the rules of the road. After they die, there are no charges pressed as there is “no criminality suspected.” Thus, these are cyclists who are taught, by “experts” to put themselves in a place where they get killed. When they are blamed for their own deaths by VCers, their fellow Saavy Cyclists are complicit in their silence.

This is as I have predicted. When more people start vehicular cycling (sic), there will be more people who die when vehicular cycling. The total number of deaths will go up. This has all ready happened in places where people were foolish to put in sharrows, something I recommended against, and are twice as dangerous as doing nothing at all.


2 Responses to “If You Want to Stop Having This Debate… II”

  1. operasmorg Says:

    I should confess I’m the slippery type that like to ride to the right, but also avoid door zone like crazy (had a couple of close calls early). I’m also galled by some VCers who insist that nothing bad can happen to you if you just ‘take the lane’, though. It’s crazy how they think that cars can’t buzz you if you just ride in the middle of the lane.

    The last time I got buzzed I was dead center of the rightmost thru traffic lane doing south on Morena at the I-8 ramps (I was dead center only because that lane allows for both through and right turning traffic, and I wasn’t turning right to go on the freeway)… and that idiot grandma in the car probably wouldn’t have deliberately buzzed me if I wasn’t in the ‘take the lane’ position, even for the 10-20 seconds it took for me to be there (just through the interchange, I went back to shoulder riding after the ramps). :oP

    Most drivers I share the road with are nice, though. I get way more ‘thank you’ and compliments and waves than I do the heckles. All the heckles and other icky stuff I get from drivers, however, all come when ‘taking the lane’. That doesn’t mean that taking the lane is always bad, but it does come with much greater chance of pissing drivers off…. and not all drivers are conscientious considerate people. It is exasperating how VCers can’t seem to acknowledge that (and how a few love to presume to know how to stay safe on the road better than anyone who don’t ride exactly like they do).

    Anyhow! :oD Enjoying your blog as usual. Hope June is going well!

    • Fred Says:

      I love this comment. Thanks.

      I agree that you should ride where you feel safest. When there are many people getting in and out of cars, where there are people who just parked, and where there are people who are obviously ready to get out of their car, I ride further out into the lane, after checking to make sure it’s safe. Where there’s high speed traffic and no human activity around the car area, I’ll ride slowly and cautiously in the door zone. It’s a matter of common sense, as you know.

      Getting buzzed sucks, and there’s no magic “behavior” that you can do to make it stop. It’s never your fault as there’s a brake peddle that people should know how to use or they are a menace to us all.

      I do agree that there are many kind motorists and I spend most of my mental energy, while riding, keeping them in mind with love and gratitude.

      I also agree that there’s no magic bullet to making things safe. There are many different things that can be done, but we should be sure to keep testing things and to trust the data rather than self-appointed “experts” who know best from their arm chairs.

      June is well, I hope you are well, too.

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