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Dear Urban Cyclists: Go Play in Traffic
The Wall Street Journal ^ | April 2, 2011 | P.J. O'Rourke

Posted on 04/02/2011 6:48:43 PM PDT by OddLane

A fibrosis of bicycle lanes is spreading through the cities of the world. The well-being of innocent motorists is threatened as traffic passageways are choked by the spread of dull whirs, sharp whistles and sanctimonious pedal-pushing.

Bike lanes have appeared in all the predictable places—Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berkeley and Palo Alto. But the incidence of bike lanes is also on the rise in unlikely locales such as slush-covered Boston, rain-drenched Vancouver, frozen Montreal and Bogotá, Colombia (where, perhaps, bicycles have been given the traffic lanes previously reserved for drug mules). Even Dublin, Ireland, has had portions of its streets set aside for bicycles only—surely unnecessary in a country where everyone's car has been repossessed.

Then there is the notorious case of New York City. Not long ago the only people who braved New York on bicycles were maniacal bike messengers and children heeding an abusive parent's command to "go play in traffic." Now New York has 670 miles of bike lanes—rather more than it has miles of decently paved streets.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

KEYWORDS: bikelanes; bloomberg; potholes
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To: bigbob

Most of your biking comrades disobey every rule of the road.

61 posted on 04/02/2011 10:02:21 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: the invisib1e hand

They sure as hell are. Coming out of my subdivision the road has a bike lane and sharrows, but you only see the insectide weekend bike warriors on the road.

62 posted on 04/02/2011 10:09:57 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Lorianne

They don’t care. IMO, every bike operated by anyone over that age of 18 should be registered, with a sticker for insurance purposes.

63 posted on 04/02/2011 10:12:55 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: OddLane
I suppose I'm an "urban cyclist" ~ since I live in a town with a population of about 500,000 people. I steadfastly and coscientiously obey MOST of the traffic laws (though I will admit to biking on the sidewalk on a few really busy streets with no bike lanes, but I always watch for and yield to pedestrians.) I racked up 3,500 miles on my Electra Hawaii Beach Cruiser last year ~ not to shabby for a 46-year-old housewife, huh? The best part? I lost 100 pounds in the process, woo HOO!

My city has been busily installing bike lanes all over the place, to the great consternation and dismay of pretty much everyone in my city. Personally, these bike lanes aren't anywhere near where I would want to bike, so I think they're pretty gosh-darned pointless. Frankly, I prefer to ride my bike as far away from traffic and cars as possible, so I do most of my riding on quiet residential side streets and on the rare bike trails around town. In fact, rather than bike LANES, I'd rather they spent the same money on some reasonably located bike TRAILS, but that's just me.

I love my bike.

64 posted on 04/02/2011 10:15:33 PM PDT by PERKY2004 (Proud wife of a military pilot ~ He's in his 28th year of military service and appreciates prayer!)
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To: OddLane

65 posted on 04/02/2011 10:16:13 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: Krankor

I have a love/hate relationship with spring. As soon as the forsythia blooms (love) the bike clubs start coming out of the woodwork (hate).

I’m in the country but close enough to DC’s ‘burbs where their clubs hit our area in swarms on weekends. Our pot-holed, two-lane roads are narrow, twisty and hilly with lots of trucks pulling horse trailers on them. I honestly dread coming upon them when they’re out.

The saying that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should comes to mind. Yeah, it’s beautiful here and you have the right to ride these roads, but is it really a good idea?

66 posted on 04/02/2011 10:27:34 PM PDT by Nickname
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To: PERKY2004

I lost 100 pounds in the process, woo HOO!

. . .

Congrats to you. That’s fantastic! You must feel worlds better. :)

67 posted on 04/02/2011 10:39:13 PM PDT by Nickname
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To: the_devils_advocate_666

Now there’s a cyclist that I could get behind.

68 posted on 04/02/2011 10:41:14 PM PDT by garyhope (It's World War IV, right here, right now, courtesy of "liberals, Islam and illegal immigration.)
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To: Revolting cat!
Is that Les Paul?
69 posted on 04/02/2011 11:18:03 PM PDT by OddLane
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To: PERKY2004

A friend of mine has lost a lot of weight through running marathons, but I guess biking is another good way of shedding pounds.

70 posted on 04/02/2011 11:24:08 PM PDT by OddLane
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To: AlexW
Thank you...I was expecting someone to jump me for the misspelling of the second dam,(damn) ...

The thing is, you communicated interesting info in a compelling way. That's all that counts on forums like this.

I'm a writer by trade; it's how pay my bills and has been for quite a long time. Maybe because of that, common typos and misspellings on internet posts are to me not even worth noticing.

Somebody can be a terrible speller and have less-than-stellar grammar and still be a good writer. On the other hand, someone can be an excellent speller, grammatically punctilious, and a meticulous typist, and be a lousy writer.

This is an internet forum of people discussing things, not a professional publication. Spell-check police on the internet need to get some priorities, IMO.

71 posted on 04/02/2011 11:34:54 PM PDT by Finny ("Raise hell. Vote smart." -- Ted Nugent)
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To: Lorianne; wolfman23601
In most places, riding a bike on the sidewalk is illegal. Riding a bike on a road is legal, except for freeways.

That’s the law. Change the laws if you don’t like them but at least know what the current laws are in your area.

Historical information for you both. When I was a kid, living in a suburb of LA, we always rode on the sidewalks. If a cop caught you riding in the street he would chew you out and tell you it was only safe to ride on the side walk. A few years later they passed the insane law that bikes HAD to ride in the street, thus increasing the bicycle death rate many fold. The reason? It supposedly wasn't safe for pedestrians for bikes to ride on the side walk. So, to save a few people on the side walks some bruises they decided to kill off bike riders.

BTW, I used to ride in the area I live in now, which is very unpopulated, but I stopped riding when I saw a guy get run over by a logging truck. It ran over his head, popped his brain right out on the highway like a grape. I made the instant decision to sell my bike and drive or walk every where after that.

72 posted on 04/02/2011 11:51:02 PM PDT by calex59
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To: Nickname

I live in a small town and now that the weather is warming up, the bike idiots will be coming in numbers. We are about 45 miles east of Sacramento so they haul their bikes up in trailors and in the backs of trucks, take up all the parking spaces in the one and only market we have here and then ride all over the streets acting as if no one lives here or ever drives on the roads. Quite irritating actually.

73 posted on 04/02/2011 11:54:05 PM PDT by calex59
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To: OddLane

Car owners pay for the roads. We pay with taxs and fees. We have to carry insurance. And we have sticter laws to follow. Cycleists blow thru stops signs, red lights, weave in and out of traffic.
Make the bikers carry the same type of cash burden we have to pay and I would say” welcome aboard”.

74 posted on 04/03/2011 3:04:20 AM PDT by Yorlik803 (better to die on your feet than live on your knees.)
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To: Anoreth

P.J. ping.

75 posted on 04/03/2011 4:20:20 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Nadie me ama como Jesus.)
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To: Navy Patriot

The Russian general has the right idea @ 1:40 in.

Best part of the movie to me.

76 posted on 04/03/2011 4:52:51 AM PDT by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: calex59

It is a rule in our house that you ride on the sidewalk when available. Common sense.

77 posted on 04/03/2011 6:51:05 AM PDT by wolfman23601
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To: calex59

I used to ride a little, too. Our house is very close to a recreational lake with beautiful, long bridges spanning it. We have a lot of pros who train here. So I decided to start riding, and did, until a lady who was on a ride at 8:00 on a Sunday morning got hit full force by a drunk driver. My life as a mom to my kids is much more important than my life as a cyclist. So I spin at the local gym and run at home. I will probably never ride the roads again.

78 posted on 04/03/2011 6:57:43 AM PDT by StrictTime
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To: the_devils_advocate_666


79 posted on 04/03/2011 7:04:17 AM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom!!! <sarc>)
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To: LoneStarGI
It really tweaks me that I have to yield to and watch for people who are stupid enough to ride a bike on a very narrow, heavily traveled road with no ‘bike lanes’ or shoulders.

Well, that's why they're trying to build more bike lanes.

I'd bike to work if I didn't have to bike through a ghetto, on pothole-ridden roads, to get there.

About 15 miles each way.


80 posted on 04/04/2011 1:01:43 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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