Pity The Poor Downtrodden Cyclists Who Protest Having To Follow Laws

Background Reading


Photo by Kevin Montgomery

Photo by Kevin Montgomery


Hundreds of cyclists rode through The Wiggle yesterday evening in protest of a San Francisco police captain’s calls for a crackdown on bikers coasting through stop signs. But instead of breaking the law, protesters wanted to show the city just how bad traffic would be if every bicycle approached intersections just as a car does.

Traffic is no better when bicyclists break the law. The only difference I see (as a driver) is that I have a better idea of where a cyclist is when they come to a complete stop and wait their turn.

And believe you me, the idea of the traffic ‘getting worse‘ because cyclists have to wait their term is far better than the alternative. In fact the really disturbing behavior that cyclists engage in that makes things very bad is when they attempt to ‘cork an intersection‘.

Critical Mass-style Intersection 'Corking'

Critical Mass-style Intersection ‘Corking’

It is annoying on two levels. First the ‘corking‘ activity is illegal. And what adds insult to injury is when a group of Critical Mass Riders is deliberately strung out to prolong the agony of waiting at the intersection. There is never any real reason for this and as I said before the maneuver is illegal. If the CM is accompanied by uniformed officers (as it is here in Chicago), it should be they and not the volunteers who are doing the ‘corking‘.

This demonstration was childish at best. It proves nothing! The one telling thing about this is that normally when cyclists are running red lights they ‘filter‘ through traffic to reach the pedestrian crosswalk where they stop before illegally entering the intersection.

They do this because they tell themselves and others that actually ‘getting in line‘ along with the other traffic is ‘too dangerous‘. That evidently is a lie. They seem capable of taking the lane in Vehicular Cycling-style and making left hand turns like everyone else.

But they were aiming for the ‘maximum delay effect‘. This is of course silly, but when you are dealing with a group of ‘entitled prima donnas‘ they can get in ‘snit mode‘ quite easily.

Turn About Might Be Fair Play

The best way to teach these assholes a lesson about delay would be to have pedestrians crossing the protected crosswalks in a slow plodding manner than meant their left turn would have to wait until the crosswalk was emptied.

In fact when that bullshit corking business begins on a Critical Mass Ride it would be wonderful to see pedestrians scurrying to reach the crosswalk and delaying the CM-ers long enough to let them know how it feels. Fair is fair!

As Long As We Are Considering Pedestrians

It is pedestrians who are most vulnerable on our roadways. They are the only ones we have been able to kills outright and yet not have to suffer any of the punishments we want to heap on motorists for the same thing.

And where exactly do we encounter pedestrians, at crosswalks or to put it another way, at intersections. In fact when we try to roll through stop signs and red lights we are almost always doing so at a point in time when pedestrians are moving in a direction that is 90 degrees from our own.

If we amber gamble and lose it is likely that the pedestrians who step into the crosswalk are going to be our targets. And do we even think about giving them the 3-feet we demand of motorists? Heck no! They are merely the vermin we have to deal with on our way to gaining control of the entire transportation system. Once we get the cars tamed we can turn our vision towards lobbying for being able to ride the sidewalks with impunity and that will be a glorious day!

Let’s Take A Look At Ourselves

Anyone who thinks that this sort of ‘protest‘ makes enough sense to have it spread across the US to other states is perhaps a bit misguided. The problem here is not that police are cracking down on cyclists for being scofflaws, but rather that we give lip service to caring about pedestrians and then adopt practices which put them at higher risk! How can that be reasonable?

We need to ‘grow up‘. I find it shameful that the leaders of the ‘protest‘ are old enough to ‘know better‘. That is not now nor has it ever been the kind of legacy for which to be remembered.

Either wrap your head around the need to behave in a lawful manner, or take the goddam bus. Either way, it does not matter to me. But please, please do not try and legitimize stupidity in the name of personal freedoms and rights. We are not the only ones on the roadways.