The Hit Parade Continues

Written by Boston Biker on Aug 13

Seriously Boston Globe…you would publish this…really? Several people have sent me the link to the new Op-ed piece in the Boston Globe. I honestly don’t think this is worthy of much of a response, as it is one of the most poorly thought out arguments I have seen in a long time.

For those of you who don’t wish to waste 5 minutes of your life slogging through the op-ed let me summarize for you.

“cyclists are unruly, run red lights, slow down traffic, and we should ticket them and do lots of things to make there lives as miserable as motorists are”

My response would be: “WHAAAAAAAAA cry me a river lady”. Seems someone ate her bowl of shredded weep this morning. If you don’t like being in slow traffic why do you drive a car in Boston? You could take every bicycle in the city off the streets and it still wouldn’t make traffic move one bit faster. If you want to see the reason why traffic is slow, get in your car, look in the review mirror, see that person sitting in a car starting back at you…that’s the problem.


She then states that if the Boston city police ticketed every traffic infringement (cars/bikes/walkers) some sort of utopia would dawn in which cyclists would no longer exist, the streets would magically stretch out to the horizon, and she would be free to floor it going 100mph from point A to point B every day with nothing in her way. Of course in reality if the police did try to enforce traffic laws that is all they would do, because it is a shit storm of law breaking going on out there. Bike riders are no worse than anyone else, so the argument about how they flaunt the law falls on deaf ears to every other user group.

As far as the rest of the op-ed…well lets just say I am doubting the author has ever actually ridden a bicycle. If per some miracle she actually reads this I would be more than happy to take her out on a ride to show her just how much less road rage she would encounter when she is seeing this city as it was meant to be seen, by bike. Cruising through traffic, never having to look for parking, enjoying the sites and sounds of a beautiful city. I actually feel sorry for her.

Every day when she gets in her car she is prepared for battle, getting from one spot to another for her is a trauma, filled with stress and anxiety. We bikers know a different way, for us a nice bike ride can be relaxing and fun. We get where we are going as fast (more often faster) than people in cars, and yet we have fun doing it. Our calves look real nice too.

Someone pulled the old bait and switch on her. Car commercials promised her endless empty roadways where she could motor away the days free from obstruction and high on speed. Then as soon as she signed the contract BAM, tiny old fashion street layout, massive population sharing those streets, stop and go traffic, high gas prices, obesity, congestion, wars for oil, pollution, low resale value…the list goes on and on. We can only pity her, and hope that in her little raged out fantasy land she doesn’t end up hitting someone on a bike because she wanted to get to work 2 minutes faster.

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Posted in advocacy, bostonbiker, news | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “The Hit Parade Continues”

  1. By espresso lover on Aug 13, 2009 | Reply

    this woman has written other moronic op-eds for the globe, i’m amazed they print her foolishness.

  2. By Grim on Aug 13, 2009 | Reply

    Hey, send her a response email here!

    [email protected]

  3. By scott on Aug 13, 2009 | Reply

    what’s up with the globe bike hate? enough already.

  4. By x on Aug 13, 2009 | Reply

  5. By mdm on Aug 13, 2009 | Reply

    i’m about to move to boston from chicago and as an avid cyclist i’ve been doing my research on boston as a bike city…
    this op-ed is really worrying.

  6. By Paul on Aug 13, 2009 | Reply

    Since when did newspapers start printing comments by trolls and passing it off like it’s legit.

    Some cyclists are complete d-bags, undeniably. And I’m not against ticketing cyclists, as long as they could take measures to make sure they weren’t targeting cyclists disproportionately.

    But really, cyclists cause her to have road rage? By definition, isn’t there something wrong with the person who has road rage? Perhaps she was trying to be funny, but we are talking about defenseless cyclists versus heavy machinery (even if it is an f-ing hybrid!). Maybe instead of requiring licenses for cyclists, they should screen for road rage for motorists (and cyclists, for that matter). The problem is everyone thinks it’s a right, rather than a privilege to own an automobile.

    I knowingly take the risk of riding in city traffic (or rural traffic, for that matter), but I would like to eliminate that risk as much as possible by educating people and getting people like this writer to deal with her issues or get out of the car.

    More importantly, though, we really need a revolution in how we move about. We need to stop developing everything for cars. The car is not here to stay (see peak oil, Iraq war, etc.), and the sooner we transition, the better.

  7. By tim on Aug 13, 2009 | Reply

    After reading the article in the Globe (and getting a hearty chuckle every now and then) I now feel as though I can comment. As a city dwelling pedestrian (no car, no bike, just my legs), I have been wanting an outlet for my own feelings and this seems as good as any.
    I do happen to think that cyclists take advantage of their position–riding through red lights, often without ever stopping at all, darting through traffic, traveling at often higher than legal speeds, going the opposite direction on one way streets (even in their own dedicated lanes, where there are convenient directional arrows!), and let’s not forget riding on the sidewalk.
    Pedestrians certainly have their problems: jay-walking, text-walking, cell phone talking etc., no argument there. Frankly if ever I am involved in an accident where the fault lies with my decision to cross against the light, or some other personal choice, then, too bad for me. All I ask for is respect and consideration for my safety.
    All we walkers have are the crosswalks and walk/don’t walk lights. If cyclists are to be permitted to disobey the vehicular traffic laws, then pedestrians have no way of guaranteeing their safety. Taxis are enough of a worry, not to mention drivers who are on their cell phones, not paying attention. But they all still stop at a red light and travel in the direction of the designated road they are on. Why? Because it’s the law. And these particular laws are pretty darn effective at guaranteeing both pedestrian AND driver/rider safety.
    As far as I am concerned, bicycles are vehicles powered by the human being riding them–hence, a type of motored vehicle. As such, they should respect the existing laws guiding motor vehicle traffic. Is that too much to ask?

  8. By Dan Pugatch on Aug 14, 2009 | Reply

    ridiculous. all these artlicles lately are bullshit. why should 3 speed bikes be banned? im faster on a old three speed than most people are on fancy road bikes

  9. By Aaron Pikcilingis on Aug 14, 2009 | Reply

    I’m a cyclist and just as frustrated as everyone to see this, but the author does have one valid point: Bikes are, legally, required to follow the same laws as other vehicles (with a few exceptions, noted a few days ago here via a link to MassBike). We shouldn’t be running reds, stop signs, or riding on the sidewalk.

    So what do we do? I agree, it’s not every cyclist, but it’s way more than it should be. I’m tired of hearing people say “stop demonizing cyclists because of a few bad apples.” Let’s be honest: at an average light there are more cyclists running the red than waiting at it.

    I stood on the sidewalk in Porter Square on Tuesday for 10 minutes (waiting for a friend) and counted 22 people ride up on the sidewalk. That’s a problem that won’t be solved by pointing out that not every cyclist rides on the sidewalk. That’s a problem that causes pedestrians, drivers, and other cyclists to get annoyed.

    So what do we do? Does MassBike need to get responsible cyclists to stand in trouble spots and encourage people not to run the light, not to ride up on the sidewalk, not to ride the wrong way up a one-way?

  10. By Aaron Pikcilingis on Aug 14, 2009 | Reply

    As an aside, the article mentions the scourge of the Longwood Medical Area. I ride my bike in the LMA every day and anyone who rides, walks or drives here every day knows the *real* scourge are the turkeys.

  11. By Adam Pieniazek on Aug 18, 2009 | Reply

    Yeah, riding a bike is often faster than driving in Boston. The way I see it, car drivers should welcome each and every cyclist with open arms. More cyclists = less cars = less traffic.

  1. 4 Trackback(s)

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