Archive for Friday, September 15, 2006

Citing cyclists

It’s hard to understand why bicyclists aren’t issued more traffic citations.

September 15, 2006

Advertisement

The arrogance or don't-give-a-damn attitude of some local bicyclists is difficult to understand or accept. The same is true of the apparent indifference of local police officers toward issuing traffic citations to bicycle riders.

Here's one example. Wednesday morning, a bicyclist traveling north on New Hampshire Street barreled through the 10th Street intersection without any slowdown and with motorists stopped on both sides of 10th Street. He proceeded north, going full speed through the intersection of Ninth and New Hampshire streets, with motorists stopped on the east, west and north sides of the intersection.

At Eighth Street, the rider weaved around one or two northbound vehicles without stopping and shot through the intersection in front of cars stopped on the west and south sides of the intersection. He then traveled onto the sidewalk on the north side of East Eighth Street.

At no time on this three-block tour did he slow down at any intersection or pay any attention to the vehicles that were observing the traffic laws.

If there had been an accident, the bicyclist surely would have claimed one of the motorists had not yielded the right of way or some other argument to try to absolve the rider from any responsibility.

It is difficult to understand why police officers do not issue citations when incidents like the one described here occur every day throughout the city. What is their excuse? If it is all right for bicycle riders to ignore stop signs, why isn't it all right for motorists to adopt the same thinking?

Many, perhaps most, bicycle riders realize the importance of observing traffic laws, but an increasing number of riders seem to have the attitude that it is OK to thumb their noses at traffic laws and almost dare the public to protest this dangerous practice, knowing there is very little chance police officers will issue citations. There's also the question of whether fines will be collected.

It's a bad, dangerous situation and getting worse.

Comments

grimpeur 11 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, plenty of arrogance to go round. Learned as a motorist that he can get away with anything, so no surprise he rides the same way. Of course, his arrogance is as much a result as a cause of the attitudes of motorists around him, but he gets a pass if he's driving a car.

lelly 11 years, 7 months ago

I have been a vistime of road rage while cycling. Then first var at the stop waved me her right of way but the second car didn't see this and assumed I was behaving poorly. The honking and screaming out the window showed it was he who did not know how to behave. The wording in this article seems irresponsible given the kind of behavior it could lead to. I am of the opinion that there is a little bit of idiot in all of us. We've all made poor decisions and mistakes while driving (no matter what we drive: car, bike, boat, horse...). I would like this editor to apologize for his comments and point out that ALL illegal behavior (including jaywalking at the LJW...a HUGE problem) be cited...not just bicyclists.

Thanks

classclown 11 years, 7 months ago

Ban bicycles. If they can't play with their toys nicely, then they shouldn't have them.

eatit 11 years, 7 months ago

Same goes for those damn J-walkers, we should ticket everyone of those guys too huh?

sonshyne2002 11 years, 7 months ago

Safety first! Even if it is you that deserves a ticket. I sure as heck don't want to be the one that runs you over.

cantheman 11 years, 7 months ago

Yea your right i see those guys by the Journal world walking across the street without a care in the world everyday. Somebody should be citing them violations!

PunchDrunk 11 years, 7 months ago

classclown wrote: "Ban bicycles. If they can't play with their toys nicely, then they shouldn't have them."

Well, driving is a privilege too. By the above logic we'd have more bicycles on the streets than cars...which would actually be a good thing.

Chuck Wehner 11 years, 7 months ago

I'm guilty, I admit it when I'm on my bike I don't come to a complete stop at 4 way stops but I do slow down to almost a complete stop and make sure everyone gets there turn. You are right no person on a bike should just run thru a 4 way stop.

geekin_topekan 11 years, 7 months ago

The author wrote, "What is their excuse? If it is all right for bicycle riders to ignore stop signs, why isn't it all right for motorists to adopt the same thinking?"


I write; Who cares?Why would you waste your precious life on holding a grudge against a darned old bicyclist?Surely you hold your esteem much higher than theirs?Obviously you do by writing this letter to Ljworld but with this one sentence you've voided the very argument you were trying to make.Childish at best.Don't lower yourself for the sake of a guy on a bike.

cantheman 11 years, 7 months ago

Writer wrote "If there had been an accident, the bicyclist surely would have claimed one of the motorists had not yielded the right of way or some other argument to try to absolve the rider from any responsibility."

I write How the hell do you know what a cyclist would have done, I think most bikers are aware of there surroundings and for you to automatically assume what might happen, is pretty arrogant if you ask me.

sprango 11 years, 7 months ago

I'm pretty sure I know the cyclist in question. All of his co-workers lecture him, but not much has changed. Since somebody brought it up, I agree that the folks who work at the Journal-World and walk across New Hampshire are pretty arrogant and dangerous as well.

Sacerdotal 11 years, 7 months ago

ban automobiles

At least those that are not paid for yet. This would cut down traffic considerably.

as_I_live_and_breathe 11 years, 7 months ago

we could stop all that nonsence by just mowing them down with your suv. That'd make um think twice next time they ran a stop sign.

webmocker 11 years, 7 months ago

The JW Editor wrote: "If it is all right for bicycle riders to ignore stop signs, why isn't it all right for motorists to adopt the same thinking?"

It's not all right for bicycle riders to ignore stop signs. Duh. However, motor vehicles have significantly more potential for destruction of person and property than do bicycles.

(By the way, way too many motorists have adopted the same thinking. Just spend an hour on a Saturday afternoon watching any intersection along Mass Street between 6th and 12th Streets to be convinced.)

countrygirl 11 years, 7 months ago

So why doesn't the LPD ticket cyclists for not obeying traffic laws? Aren't the traffic laws supposed to be applied fairly to everyone? Or is there some special exempt group that I don't know about?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 7 months ago

"So why doesn't the LPD ticket cyclists for not obeying traffic laws?"

I'm not sure that the assumption in your question is correct, but even if it is, it's probably because they are busy with the much more common and dangerous problem of ticketing motorists for their infractions.

roger_o_thornhill 11 years, 7 months ago

Who says they don't? The writer of the letter to the editor? I'll bet the PD at least gives some stern lectures from time to time. Anyways if they don't it is probably because they are too busy with the many, many boneheaded drivers in this town.

countrygirl 11 years, 7 months ago

Oh, so because a car is a bigger and more dangerous object on the road, that makes the laws apply more to them? Silly me thought the laws applied to everyone using the roadways.

countrygirl 11 years, 7 months ago

And in case you didn't notice, this isn't a letter to the editor. It's an editorial, written by the editors of the LJW. Let's hope they did at least a little research before they went to print.

sprango 11 years, 7 months ago

And why doesn't anyone in this town wear a bike helmet? I moved here from California, where the liberal legislature required motorcycle helmets on everyone, and bike helmets on anyone under 18. But the liberals in this town won't be caught dead in a helmet. (They very well might be caught dead without one, though.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 7 months ago

"Let's hope they did at least a little research before they went to print."

Hope is all we have, sadly.

cantheman 11 years, 7 months ago

Yes the infractions are wrong theoretically speaking they should stop at every stop sign they cross. As a cyclist in this town, though from experience i use my best judgement when riding. If i come to a 4 way stop and the cars in my lane are going I too will go with them, if the other cars are going i will slow till they are through then proceed with caution. Now if at some during this crossing i get hit, and it turns out to be my fault then i would take full responsibility.
For the author to assume the opposite is my concern, pay attention to your own and I in turn will try and ride with a little more self awarness of my surroundings. At no point though have i ever seen anybody on a bike take full stops at every stop sign they come too.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 7 months ago

"I mean CREAMED by some car! That would be soooo cool to see!"

You're one sick puppy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 7 months ago

I think you need to brush up on the laws of physics.

Tony Kisner 11 years, 7 months ago

Dude, this editorial is completely bogus. I was late for my job, guy. I just couldn't get out of bed because of the wicked party the night before. I like, completely saw those cars, and like before they took me out, man. I like, would have just rolled over the top of the car like I was on Jackass II, totally kicking butt.

When bikes are outlawed only outlaws will ride bikes! YEEEAH!!!

grimpeur 11 years, 7 months ago

Dear editor,

First time outdoors, then?

Who the hell wrote this dreck--Rip van Freaking Winkle, who went to bed in 1880 and woke up Wednesday to see a jerk on a bike, then decided that was enough for him? Hey, bub, you obviously don't have much experience in the real world, so take my advice: ya better stay indoors, cuz you ain't seen nothing yet--wait till you get a load of the crappy drivers.

Editors, may I suggest you open your eyes and figure out that maybe it's the truly dangerous road users out there that are keeping the cops too busy to worry about mere discourtesy? Maybe take a walk or a bike ride downtown to find out what real discourtesy is?

Poor, poor downtrodden motorists. Last edit along these lines: how those mean old pedestrians amble across the street, making cars wait unnecessarily. Still nothing calling for stricter enforcement against motorists, though, which indicates that the author isn't really serious about courtesy or safety on our streets.

Yeah, the only thing that gets the editors' dander up is how motorists are so mistreated. There's a serious cognitive deficit here, or the author is so inured to the daily habits of motorists that he/she doesn't realize that only stiffer enforcement of the law (revocation, suspensions, impoundment, and patrol) against motorists will make a difference in the safety and order on the streets.

Or, more likely, as with most of the rest of the drivers, they don't want stiffer enforcement against motorists who speed, tailgate, run lights and signs, threaten peds and bikers, fail to signal, fail to yield, bull into crosswalks and sidepaths, cut off other road users, and otherwise commit acts of poor judgment and aggressiveness that make the author's complaint look silly and pathetic.

Could it be because the author, like most motorists, is among this group of routine lawbreakers, and so displays this kind of fake outrage to distract us from the real problem on our streets--the author's bad driving habits and those of the rest of the motoring public, and our willful ignorance of same?

Nah, couldn't be.

as_I_live_and_breathe 11 years, 7 months ago

Posted by countrygirl (anonymous) on September 19, 2006 at 10:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh, so because a car is a bigger and more dangerous object on the road, that makes the laws apply more to them? Silly me thought the laws applied to everyone using the roadways.

NOOO because a car is a bigger and more dangerous object on the road people on bikes , motorized or not and pedestrians too should take EXTRA precautions . just cuz you're RIGHT - won't make you any less dead.

and NOV sky... I did see that once and ... it was pretty awesome looking.. the car t-boned the bike square on. the rider rolled up over the hood, up the windshield, across the roof, down back window, down the trunk and into the street. He looked like a big human pin-wheel. If he'd a been covered in paint the car would have had a stripe down the middle, like a big metal skunk. VERY COOL. the biker had a helmet and good protective clothing and was less shaken up than the driver of the car.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 7 months ago

The next time you get rear-ended by another car because you had to stop suddenly for a cyclist that ignored a stop sign or a traffic light, tell me again how cyclists ignoring the rules of the road don't matter as much, because their vehicles don't create as much damage.

countrygirl 11 years, 7 months ago

The editorial wasn't about bikes and pedestrains taking extra precautions---it was about law breaking people on bikes. I'd just like to see traffic laws applied in the same manner for all who use the roads. Bikes, cars, trucks and motorcyles alike. I really think it would help cut down on some of the us vs. them mentality that we have right now between bike riders and motorists. And an aside to the gentleman on the bike on old 10 this morning between Eudora and the business park---thanks for the very bright jacket you had on today. I know there are usually some riders out on that road as I come into work in the morning so I try to keep watch for you all. The bright clothing now that it's darker really helps. THANKS!

sprango 11 years, 7 months ago

I had my car totaled as a result of an accident caused by a bicyclist crossing the street illegally. Said bicyclist found an opening in traffic and crossed the rest of the way, disappearing forever. Just like my car. Motorists know bicyclists are more vulnerable, so they cause accidents with other cars to avoid running over guys on bikes. Everyone who argues that any element of traffic is "more dangerous" than any other is being disingenuous. All traffic, when behaving arrogantly, is dangerous.

Roadkill_Rob 11 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure if it's safe to write an editorial like this...this "cyclist" sounds more like a "rebel" to me; breaking laws left and right on his bike...imagine what else he's capable of. Was his face painted? Sounds like a fan of the Insane Clown Posse to me.

reginafliangie 11 years, 6 months ago

Maybe the problem is that the officers aren't around to witness this law breaking, much like with motorist who do it. Ever watch how careful motorist get when a cop is around? They go below the speed limit and all of the sudden are using turn signals, etc. I'm sure the same is for bicylist. They see a cop and they behave. But I sure do hope that some are witness by law enforcement and given tickets. I too, have had issues with thoughtless bike riders. It is very annoying, but so are thoughtless drivers who think they own the road.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.

loading...