Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ridiculous "Protest" Called For By Colorado Motorists

In one of the most ludicrous "statements" I've ever heard, someone in the State of Colorado is looking to make July 25th a "Block Dangerous Cyclists" Day in the League of American Bicyclists Platinum Level Bike Friendly City of Boulder, Colorado. Apparently this individual, whoever it may be, is upset at the new State safe-passing-distance law. The following flyer is appearing all over the city of Boulder (reprinted below, exactly as posted):

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE

JULY 25TH BLOCK DANGEROUS
CYCLIST DAY BOULDER CO

ON AUGUST 5th new regulations limiting driver rights
regarding dangerous bicyclists will be the STATE LAW.

CYCLIST FLOUT COMMON SENSE, ENDANGER THOSE IN CARS ON
MOUNTAIN ROADS IN THE NAME OF SELFISHNESS; CARS WILL BE
FORCED TO CROSS DOUBLE YELLOW LINES ON DANGEROUS LIMITED
VISIBILITY ROADS DUE TO THE EXPANDED RIGHTS OF CYCLISTS.

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE HAS A LONG HISTORY IN THE UNITED STATES.
THE GOVERNOR AND OTHER LAWMAKERS WILL ONLY RESPOND TO
COMMON SENSE WHEN PUBLICITY REACHES THE GENERAL MEDIA.

ON JULY 25TH IN CELEBRATION OF DRIVERS RIGHTS MANY CARS
WILL USE THE LEFT HAND CANYON ROAD, DRIVE SLOWLY AND MANY
MAY BREAK DOWN UNEXPECTEDLY, BLOCKING AREAS TO THE CYCLISTS
ON THE RETURN LEG OF THE "SUNRISE CENTURY". PLEASE USE
JUDGEMENT DURING THIS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.

MANY WHO ALSO LIVE IN THE FOOTHILLS OR WHO HAVE BEEN
ENDANGERED BY CYCLIST BEHAVIOR WILL JOIN IN WITH THEIR
"DRIVERS RIGHTS" TO PULL OVER AND INSPECT THEIR VEHICLES
FOR ENGINE TROUBLE, SOUNDS, OR OTHER SAFETY ISSUES. MANY
CARS AND SAFE DRIVERS ALL WORKING TOGETHER CAN SEND A
MESSAGE TO THE STATEHOUSE TO RESTRICT CYCLING ON OUR ROADS
WHICH ARE OUR ONLY ALTERNATIVES DURING FAMILY EMERGENCIES,
COMMUTING AND REQUIRED DUTIES.

BLOCK THE ROAD DAY IS JULY 25TH CENTERING AT LEFT HAND
CANYON and nelson road. DRIVE SLOWLY FOR SAFETY AND PULL
OVER WITH FLASHERS as
SAFETY REQUIRES.

The absolute nonsense of this stance is almost too moronic to pass up. Let's start at the top. How exactly are cyclists riding "in the name of selfishness?" Roads are commons. They're available for everyone to use. And it only makes sense for those who are the least susceptible to injury, the motorists, to be required to make allowances for those who are most susceptible to injury, the cyclists and pedestrians, as they operate their vehicles. Pretty simple.

Second, "cars will be forced to cross double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads." Who exactly is forcing them to do this? No one but themselves. No one says that they have to pass RIGHT AT those spots. Wait till it's clear, then pass. Again, pretty simple. Driving slower is safer, anyway.

Third, faking breakdowns and purposefully riding slowly to block anyone from getting by is deliberately dangerous, especially if done on these so-called "dangerous limited visibility roads."

Fourth, who says that anyone has the right to tell people what kinds of vehicles they can and can't operate? Bikes are as legitimate a form of transportation as cars, end of story. Many of us use our bikes "for family emergencies, commuting, and required duties." Do we not deserve safe operation as well?

Finally, let's look at the concept of "drivers' rights" as this flyer seems to be indicating: basically, this person doesn't think that cars should have to slow down for cyclists or pass them at a safe distance. In other words, this person believes that drivers should have the right to endanger cyclists' safety. The answer to that is obvious.

And I hope that the Boulder Police, Colorado State Police, or whoever it is that monitors traffic on the route for this ride are out with the tickets and handcuffs for those individuals who are foolhardy and callous enough to endanger the rights to safe operation that all vehicles possess. Because not only are such morons going to upset the cyclists, they're going to upset their fellow motorists as well.

People, not speed.

5 comments:

  1. The most ridiculous part of all this is that the motorist has his panties all in a wad over nothing. The 3 foot passing law is little more than a feel good measure, unenforceable unless witnessed by a law enforcement officer, a sober judge, and an equally sober Baptist minister.

    Jamie, I did a cursory search on Google news for anyone arrested or convicted of a violation, but there were none. A motorist's usual defense is "He swerved in front of me all sudden-like!"

    ReplyDelete
  2. Has anyone in the area sent this in to the local authorities?

    Civil Disobedience and protests are one thing but, deliberately putting peoples lives in danger is something else entirely

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ed - agreed. 3-foot laws only affect those who would follow the law anyway, but the point it makes is that the law is looking out for the safety of cyclists. The implication, I think, is that motorists need to leave enough room for cyclists, period.

    The stories I've heard about cyclists who try to have it enforced is that it's basically impossible to prove unless the officer in question was RIGHT THERE, and of course, few drivers are going to risk being so close to a cyclist while an officer IS RIGHT THERE.

    OG - According to the news reported by David Bernstein on the Fredcast Cycling Podcast, the authorities in the area are addressing the issue with plans for increased patrols in conjuction with the Sunrise Century ride. Give the Fredcast a listen, it's one of the best roadie cycling podcasts out there.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with the analysis that these motorists are utterly stupid. However, I am a bike commuter and regularly ride in the monthly Critical Mass ride here in Santa Fe, NM. What these motorists are planning is only different from what we do in the fact that they already have the popular right of way. If I were to encounter one I would be enraged. I think must be a better solution than war between cyclists and motorists. I don't like the odds in that fight.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Why is stupid usually being shouted in type?

    ReplyDelete