Friday, January 14, 2011

Quotable Links...

It has been a while since I last referenced any quotable links on a Friday, but a couple have come to my attention this morning that really bug me and are worth sharing.

"Glendora Mountain Road should not be used by cyclists, horses, dog walking, etc... We need to ban the road from being used by cyclists." Alright then - first off, this is part of a comment written in response to a story on the death of Kevin Unck in the Glendora Patch. The Patch labels the story an obituary, says so right at the top, and in my book, that means you should leave the pulpit at home. If you have something to say, there is a place to do it; civility says an obituary is not that place.

Moving quickly to the second quote (though I will return to this one):

From New York City, "about 90% of bicyclists killed in this city died, in part, because they were not following the rules of the road... they were either on roads without bike lanes [emphasis mine], going through a red light or riding the wrong way down the street. The ghost bikes you see in the different neighborhoods that honor these fallen bicyclists only tell half the story." If you were able to read beyond that 90% statistic without giving up on the quote as being utterly ridiculous, you may have noticed the common theme linking the two quotes, the misguided belief that roads are for motor vehicles and motor vehicles only. I have said it before and will no doubt find it necessary to do so again, roads are for transportation, a means to facilitate movement between one place and another, by whatever means of mobility are available. Roads are not modal specific. The absence of a bike lane does not mean that bicycles are therefore prohibited. The misguided and legally incorrect belief that roads are for motor vehicle use only derives from the slavish over-dependence on automobiles that has been perpetuated in this country over succeeding years since autos were first introduced.

I call this auto-dependency syndrome (ADS) in which people become so dependent on autos for mobility that they cannot envision why anyone would do otherwise. Eventually, this dependence contributes to health problems necessitating an even greater dependence - it is all just a vicious cycle, and maybe a more detailed story for another time. Anyway both these quotes are perpetuations of the notion that bicycling is too dangerous to be allowed on the streets; it's adherents always seem to cite the relatively few bicyclist deaths, while almost universally ignoring the vastly greater numbers of motor vehicle occupant deaths (ADS again, remember, motor vehicles are necessary and therefore deaths by them are tragic but acceptable).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for letting me know that the Loop is open. Re Quotes: they would only make me angry, so I'll pretend I didn't see anything.


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