Today we looked at the raging debate over New York's bike lanes, with strong voices on both sides speaking their piece. Bicyclists are annoying menaces that don't follow traffic laws! Motorists are careless and don't care about helpless bikers! Etc. In truth, bicycle people can sometimes come off a bit more on the self-righteous side than the non-bicyclists, but not this person, thankfully.
As an avid cyclist who rides every day, I sincerely understand everyone's frustration with us. I've been hit by cyclists multiple times. (Thanks for the fractured wrist, yuppie Brooklyn Heights cruiser rider who's too good to look up while taking a blind turn!) And on every single commute, I see some dumbshit riding without a helmet, headphones-in, going the wrong way down the street. It's bullshit. I feel you cars. I really do.
But there will always be a need for bikes in NYC. Messengers need to get them their documents, parcels, etc. Delivery men need to bike to get you your take out. People like me need them because I'm on a razor-thin budget and can't afford a $100 Metrocard once a month. It's not a fad, it's a necessity. So since we're here to stay, we should do everything we can to make sure that all cyclists don't die unnecessarily. Remember, when a cyclists leans against your car at 10 mph, it's an annoyance. When a car leans against a bike at 30 mph, it's fucking death.
So give me a tiny sliver of your roadway. Sure you'll open your doors into that lane, park in it, fucking walk in it even though there's a sidewalk right there. But that little sliver of land between a 10 ton truck and your beloved parking spots will protect me from death at least a few times. So support higher fines, ticketing etc. for thoughtless cyclists. Fine. Just don't take away the one thing we have that keeps us safe. Please, I'm begging you, it's dangerous enough as it is.
Nice to read. I was once told by a biker who almost hit me on the street that no traffic laws applied to him. I was annoyed.