It is starting to happen, what I predicted years ago: Wreckless bikers are ruining it for the rest of us.
Lawmakers have started to get serious about the idea of enforcing traffic laws and forcing bikers to have a "bike license" when they ride. Two examples from the last week are New Jersey Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker and Queens Council Member Eric Ulrich. The arguments in favor stem from the idea that cyclists use the same roads as motor vehicles (which of course are licensed). In addition to all the same reason why motor vehicles are licensed, there has been great concern over cyclists not being held to the same standard of safety as motor vehicles, which beyond licensing has stemmed to blatent violations of traffic laws.
This is proof of what I have been saying for a very long time, which I have outlined very clearly in my recent Bike-umentary. Below is a quick summary of 3 main traffic violations which are only an issue because selfish wreckless a-holes have to go and abuse what would normally be an unspoken priveldge of bikers...
1) Riding the opposite direction down a street: If a car driver decided to go down the opposite direction on a street, they would be pulled over immediately and not only given a fine and points, but probably jailed for public endangerment or something like that. The idea that cyclists think this is acceptable for them to do on a regular basis is purely asinine. Ok, fine, if you are going 1 block and there is NOBODY on the road (and I mean nobody, no cars, no bikes, no peds, no nothing), then maybe, MAYBE it could be acceptable. But the fact that people have abused this has made it so our streets are more dangerous beacuse of certain bikers, and caused a backlash on the biking community as a whole. The main culpit is delivery men. Delivery men who are in such a hurry that they are willing to put everybody else in danger so they can save 1 minute on their delivery time which they think will give them an extra $5 a day in tips. Well what's that $5 worth when you cross my path and I elbow you into a friggin light pole you worthless piece of...I only hope I can stifle my emotions enough as to prevent myself from crossing that line which puts myself in danger of violent criminal charges. Thanks, a lot, assholes, way to ruin it for the rest of us.
2) Riding on the sidewalk: Unless you are a young child, there is no excuse for this. Ride in the road. Period. What's that? Oh, you are riding on the sidewalk because you don't want to ride the opposite direction on the road? Oh, how friggin noble of you. Walk your bike you impatient, wreckless a-hole. The sidewalks are reserved for pedestrians, the most vulnerable class of street users. Because you disregard this, you are responsible for the recent crackdown on cyclist. Thanks, a lot, assholes, way to ruin it for the rest of us.
3) Riding through red lights: I have been very verbal in the past about the appropriate way to do this. It's very simple: Treat a red light a a yield sign. If no cars are coming and no peds are crossing, then fine, go through. But that's not what is happening. Instead, riders (and messenger are most guilty) will time it so they can fly through between crowds and cars, narrowly missing vehicles and peds in an apparently playful act of bravery. Well, guess what. You'll hit people eventually, or get hit. Personally, I don't care if you get hurt, other than the fact that you have an effect on healthcare premiums. You also give bikers a bad name. Thanks, a lot, assholes, way to ruin it for the rest of us.