Sad, Sad Flame War

It’s day-after-Christmas-deadly-slow news day at the Seattle PI, and the question of whether or not cyclists should be licensed makes the front page, top of the fold. A total non-issue. The impact that bicycles have on traffic flow, safety, and street construction and maintenance in Seattle is infinitesimal. Not to mention that by using bikes for transportation cyclists are doing a the city and the planet a favor by not polluting the air, not consuming non-renewable resources, and not killing 40,000 people per year (as cars do in the U.S.).

By the logic of the pro-licensing people, we should also license every pedestrian who walks on a public sidewalk. Sidewalks are expensive to build and they take precious space away from car travel lanes and parking. And those annoying pedestrians also have to cross the street, creating big delays in car traffic flow, as well as safety challenges.

But witness the voluminous flow of car-centric bile in the PI’s “Sound Off” comment page. It’s all so sad, and so revealing of how very far we, as a culture, still have to go to recover from our addiction to cars.

One Response to “Sad, Sad Flame War”

  1. Dan Staley

    I went out on the MTB yesterday from the GF’s house, in a snowstorm, after about 7 inches fell. Christmas day, not much traffic (car every 1-1.5 minutes), not a problem to go around the cyclist, right? Wrong. A-hole in a pickup was inconvenienced and had to lay into the horn. I waved and wished him (almost always a him) a merry christmas. Not sure the message stuck.

    Otherwise, in Castle Rock area, the drivers are very courteous and almost always give me a wide berth. And in Enumclaw area, I had one incident (1) in the ~18 months I was there, young kid late for school. And I didn’t own a vehicle for 3-4 months there, and there weren’t no thing within walking distance from the house I lived in out there.

    My point: depends upon where you are. And I think how you ride too. Compared to Sacramento, Seattle was a cyclist’s dream. I enjoyed my time riding in Seattle. But I make eye contact, ride predictably, act like I belong on the road, etc. And I usually have a good ride when I’m in the city.


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