Thursday, March 17, 2011

Morning Rant

I know I haven't been updating much at this blog lately, but while adrenaline is still pumping, I wanted to get out a short rant. I will always advocate for cyclists on the street, but as a cyclist who rides the streets everyday, amidst the aggro office worker drivers, I think it is rather absurd for Santa Monica to force cyclists to ride in the street by law. I'm a 20 something in great shape and can take all the shit drivers throw at me, figuratively and literally (my wife and I have both had objects thrown at us for riding bikes before), but there is no way the majority of regular folks are going to tolerate riding a bike amongst the aggressive and violent nature of our street environments.

As long as SUV drivers can honk, scream, yell, rev their engines, throw a tissy fit, and then proceed to threaten my life with dangerous swerving maneuvers as they deliberately cut me off, then speed off going 45 in a 30 zone before I can get a license plate (as happened to me this morning, and my giving chase sprinting at a racing pace of 25-30mph could not even come close to catching him), than our streets are not environments where cyclists are welcome, even if we have a right to be there. Our road culture is a failure of personal responsibility, a failure of engineering, and a failure of law enforcement. A bit fat F.

Unless real action is taken to make our streets safe, not fluffy platitudes from glacial local and state governments, I don't think it is a matter of if, but when, we have another Dr. Christopher Thompson, a driver who through deliberate action, attempts to kill a cyclist with their car. It could very well happen here in Santa Monica, and when it does, it will not just be the fault of the assailant, it will be the fault of us all, for allowing our streets to come to this.

1 comment:

Joe B said...

You said it. The #1 reason that I make about half of my bikeable trips by car, is aggressive Santa Monica drivers.

We're supposed to get a draft "bike action plan" sometime this month. Count on me to raise a stink if it doesn't address SM's dangerous driver problem.