See something? DO SOMETHING.

September 12th, 2012

I get a ton of ‘state of the bike lane’ type emails outlining just how great the biking community is doing, and how much progress is being made toward creating a culture of tolerance and equality on the roads of Boston. And then I go outside and get on my bike, and as I roll around the streets, I wonder just what Spandex Sally and Fixed Gear Fred (who apparently won’t approve my comments any more, because it’s great to be idiotically optimistic, but not ok to be appalled and cynical) are fucking talking about. It’s all very well that more bike lanes are being put down, but what does that matter if they’re still being used as personal jogging lanes, loading zones, taxi lanes, and dropoff areas for Grandma and the Special Snowflakes?

Here’s an example of what I do every day while the rest of the spandex crew are strapping on their clip shoes and patting themselves on the back:

N. Harvard Lane Patrol

After about a half hour, the police finally show up (after I called three times) and ask the vans to move. Success? Not so much. The vans  just re-parked completely on the sidewalk. I called the police again, but didn’t really have the heart to continue waiting. At least the bike lane was clear.

N. Harvard Lane Patrol, Conclusion

In the 30-40 minutes I was there, 30-40 cyclists rode through. Not one of them gave any grief to the vehicles parked in the bike lane on this extremely busy causeway.  I  know that going to bike related events in your little spandex pants and caps is super fun, and you feel like you’re part of a something important. However, unless you’re actually helping to change the on-street,  every day culture of cyclist victimization, you’re essentially only throwing money at the problem. Bike lanes don’t make streets safer unless motorists respect them. If I had a dollar for every time a car, truck or bus swerved into the bike lane and hit me or came close enough to make me scream, I could actually afford one of those chic chrome bags all the cool kids wear. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Anyway, fucking do something, guys. And I don’t mean milling about drinking beer and chowing on pulled pork. Call the cops. Videotape some shit. File a report. Support not only bike lanes but RED LIGHT CAMERAS, and bike boxes, and more traps for cars. We are a long way from getting the respect we deserve.


On a lighter note, here’s a picture of Crash eating a lobster.

Memorial Day Weekend

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