Dear Bicycle Riders

dclxvi's picture

Dear Bicycle Riders,
Hi, how's it going guys? Now, I can real dig the whole riding bikes to work/school/other activities - the whole "Green" thing, right? Yeah, I can appreciate that... gas is expensive, not quite as expensive as it once was but conserve our natural resources. Or, maybe you just don't have a license? Well either way, here's my complaint:

When you're riding your bicycle you MUST share the road with people driving vehicles. Yeah, those of us who aren't so green... and the rules are that we are to share the road, which means we must ALL abide by the rules of the road... you know, little things like stopping at STOP signs and obeying traffic lights.

Pedestrians are required to abide by these little traffic signs and lights, why are you not required to also recognize them? I'm getting tired of seeing bike riders almost getting smashed because they just don't want to slow down when they come into an intersection. My money says that your bike won't beat the pounding a car can give it...

This morning was the straw that broke this camel's back. I came to an intersection and there was no vehicle traffic. There was a bicyclist about 20-30 yards up the street. I made my complete stop and I was entering the intersection when this bicyclist ran through the stop sign right into the path of my vehicle... I had to slam on my brakes while he gave me the finger...

So, STOP AT STOP SIGNS! OBEY TRAFFIC SIGNALS! All of the rules that apply to motorists and pedestrians APPLY TO YOU

simmer's picture

Amen to that. I have been

Amen to that. I have been gripeing about this for quite some time now. 2 weeks ago a bicyclist was riding in my blind spot and I slowed down and started to make a left hand turn. My turn signal was on and I was obeying all traffic laws. When I made the left he had to ditch his bike and fell to the ground to avoid being hit. He screamed at me. I stopped my car and got out. Not in a threatening way but rather to see if he was alright. He was calling me every name in the book and I said to him "you were riding in my blind spot AND didnt stop when I put on my turn signal, you want to explain again to me why this is my fault?" He was one of those hipster doofus people and was probably on his way to standard tap or Johnny brendas and of course he had no answer for me. He was breaking all traffic laws. I stood there and looked at him for an answer. He then dusted himself off and got back on his bike knowing he was wrong. I said to him, "and dont mumble under your breath when yuo pedal away, if you got something to say to me, say it to my face." He kept pedaling. The problem is I would have felt horrible if I would have hit him and done any kind of harm to him. Even though it was his fault it would have weighed on me greatly. I hope that these bike riders dont have to be hit in order to understand that they have to be aware.

lauraska's picture

I am usually a supporter of

I am usually a supporter of bike riders and a critic of the drivers who whine about them, but I've had a couple incidents lately that have made me rethink that position. A couple weeks ago, I was in center city at a four way stop. I was waved through by cars on the perpendicular street, and as I crossed, a bike rider came flying down the sidewalk (I couldn't see her coming because it was a tree-lined block) and into the intersection. I had to slam on my breaks to avoid hitting her, and she still crashed into a tree on the other side of the intersection. And she yelled at ME!!!

My message to bike riders is: get the hell off the sidewalk. You are not allowed to ride on it, and you are a danger to pedestrians, drivers, and yourselves if you do. If you are too afraid to ride in the street, as the law prescribes, then you shouldn't be riding a bike in the city. Period.

dan's picture

It's time for Round 17

It's time for Round 17 already?

lauraska's picture

I see it this way, Dan...if

I see it this way, Dan...if we get to vent on the forums every couple months, we are less likely to mow down a bike rider on the street. So really, you are doing a public service by allowing multiple threads on the subject! :)

BenPhila's picture

I bike to and from work

I bike to and from work every day..
AND I own and drive a car..
So I can see both sides of this problem. I am unable to turn it into a "us versus them" situation because I am both a driver and a bike rider.

When I'm on my bike, I ride in the street, on the shoulder, with the flow of traffic, not against.

When I'm in my car and come to an intersection and I have to turn, if a bycicle is along side of me, I yield to them until I can see they have cleared the intersection or have stopped. I also always check my side mirror before opening my door on the street.
I'm constantly amazed at how many people will just fling their car doors open without even looking behind them first.

My Pet Peeves as A Bike Rider: You know those yellow "Share the Road" signs??, um yeah..Thats not just a suggestion..If you want the bikes off the sidewalk..Stop crowding riders in the street..leave at least four feet between your car and a bycicle..Also , Don't race to the intersection so you can cut us off..(I'm looking at you cabbies and Septa bus drivers!) This isn't Mad Max, I'm not "the enemy"..I'm just trying to get to work..Check the aggressive driving, m-kay?

My Pet Peeves as a Driver:
Attention bike couriers both real and wannabe, Congratulations on spending half your year's salary on a fixed gear track bike. Okay, Mr. Extreme Mailman, they’re fast. We get it. BUT they're not car fast. You can't hog the center of the road as if you were a car THEN give me the stink-eye when I try and pass you. Oh, and we are all very impressed that you can balance on two wheels while standing still at an intersection. Bravo, and congrats again. You now possess the same skill sets as a trained circus bear.

stein's picture

I want drivers to be aware

I want drivers to be aware of my presence and expect erratic riding on my part. It makes them drive more carefully.

ps. track bikes, even with Deep Vs (now going out of style!) are cheap. even for a bike messenger.

jason's picture

benphila, i'm with you for

benphila, i'm with you for the most part, but SOMETIMES, when there's no shoulder and cars are going to be too close to you, I ride in the middle of the lane so people have to think before they pass me. I definitely do this when there are multiple lanes in center city, if we're really sharing the road, then I get this lane, you can get in the other lane to go around me.

but yeah, plenty of awful drivers AND bike riders

biggeo's picture

stein wrote:I want drivers

stein wrote:

I want drivers to be aware of my presence and expect erratic riding on my part. It makes them drive more carefully.

dude i see a very short life for you gee maybe us gas guzzlers should take the same attitude , flatten them before they get out of hand ,

stein's picture

Hey, if you want to go

Hey, if you want to go through the trouble of having that on your conscious, plus the wasted time waiting for the police and filling out the paperwork, going through the potential criminal and civil cases, etc etc just to prove a point than go for it.

But most people want to minimize their distractions/wasted time in life and will just go about doing what they are doing to get by as efficiently as they can. thus they don't want to get into car accidents even if they would be in the right in doing so.

netable's picture

THere is at least 3 times a

THere is at least 3 times a Day that I almost hit some idiot on a Bike', There are time's that I get so angry that the thought of Getting in my Truck and running them all over brings me some relief ~ If it were a video game, and each Biker ya hit' was 10 points' 20 points for a Hipster , I would hold the HI SCORE, I would win tournaments all over the Country.

The worst is Friday and Saturday Nite when there are tons of Drunk Bikers' (anyone sharing a roadway should have to follow all traffic laws' DUI included)

But I must admit' there are times that I don't follow all traffic laws so that makes me a hypocrite, but when I get a ticket, then I have to PAY for my inconsiderite behavior maybe Bikers' should be given tickets. The City could use that extra Money towards the Libraries and Fire Stations that they have to close..........Make them register and tag their Bikes too =)
And attend a Biker Safety Class LOL, bikers' are gonna hate me, I'm sorry' Have to admit though it just may help our City out of the hole =)

And that I have seen more then a handful of Bikers' who absolutely follow all the traffic laws'

biggeo's picture

stein wrote:Hey, if you want

stein wrote:

Hey, if you want to go through the trouble of having that on your conscious, plus the wasted time waiting for the police and filling out the paperwork, going through the potential criminal and civil cases, etc etc just to prove a point than go for it.

But most people want to minimize their distractions/wasted time in life and will just go about doing what they are doing to get by as efficiently as they can. thus they don't want to get into car accidents even if they would be in the right in doing so.

talk about missing the point, your saying its ok for you to drive like a nut and not worry about anyone else but you. as far as i'm concerned if you cause a accident and your on a bike i hope you have good insurance

Crustyzombiepunk's picture

lauraska wrote: My message

lauraska wrote:

My message to bike riders is: get the hell off the sidewalk. You are not allowed to ride on it, and you are a danger to pedestrians, drivers, and yourselves if you do. If you are too afraid to ride in the street, as the law prescribes, then you shouldn't be riding a bike in the city. Period.

it is one of my biggest pet peeves when I see a cyclist riding on the sidewalk. it's up there with riding down a one way street going the wrong way. but you can't imagine the amount of times someone in a car hogs me off the road screaming "get off the road!" or "you belong on the sidewalk" or whatever idiotic comment. makes me wonder if it's too easy for thos idiots to obtain a drivers license if they don't even understand these simple rules.

jason's picture

Crustyzombiepunk wrote:but

Crustyzombiepunk wrote:

but you can't imagine the amount of times someone in a car hogs me off the road screaming "get off the road!" or "you belong on the sidewalk"

ha ha. I've heard this plenty of times. Either that, or when you are riding in a perfectly reasonable manner on the shoulder and a car comes up behind you and starts honking as if you should pull off the road everytime a car wants to pass you

Crustyzombiepunk's picture

BenPhila wrote: When I'm in

BenPhila wrote:

When I'm in my car and come to an intersection and I have to turn, if a bycicle is along side of me, I yield to them until I can see they have cleared the intersection or have stopped. I also always check my side mirror before opening my door on the street.
I'm constantly amazed at how many people will just fling their car doors open without even looking behind them first.

My Pet Peeves as A Bike Rider: You know those yellow "Share the Road" signs??, um yeah..Thats not just a suggestion..If you want the bikes off the sidewalk..Stop crowding riders in the street..leave at least four feet between your car and a bycicle..Also , Don't race to the intersection so you can cut us off..(I'm looking at you cabbies and Septa bus drivers!) This isn't Mad Max, I'm not "the enemy"..I'm just trying to get to work..Check the aggressive driving, m-kay?

I bike to and fro work everyday and use it for the majority of my transportation purposes. I also own a car and drive that sometimes too. I see both sides of the coin as well. and I would just like to ditto everything you say. especially about car drivers speeding up ahead of a cyclist only to quickly turn at an intersection, thereby cutting off the cyclist and putting their life in danger. wtf! and yes, it's almost always a cabbie!

and the whole dooring thing. it amazes me that someone who lives in the city, knowing how crowded the streets are, wouldn't have the simple courtesy and common sense to look behind them before opening their car door. it sucks even more so because the constant behavior of these idiots makes me weary riding in bike lanes, which are supposed to be safe, because I'm just as worried about some idiot opening their door on me as I am about the car traffic behind me.

and I really don't understand this. I have pretty good vision. I can see several blocks ahead of me. I'll be riding my bike. nobody has gotten in or our of any cars for at least a block ahead of me. yet it is exactly the moment that I pass a car that the door violently swings open, as if they were attempting to kill me! I swear this happens at least once a day.

codergrrl's picture

You think its bad in cars, I

You think its bad in cars, I spend alot of time around Temple and God Almighty, I can't tell you how many times I've almost been run down on Broad Street by some kiddie late for class who doesn't think the red light is meant for them.
I don't own a car or a bike, (how "green" is that?), but if I'm hit by either one of them, there's gonna be some damage to both of us...and I'm old, I could break a hip!

snailgem's picture

codergrrl wrote:...I spend

codergrrl wrote:

...I spend alot of time around Temple and God Almighty...

! ! ! ! !

Crustyzombiepunk's picture

snailgem wrote:codergrrl

snailgem wrote:
codergrrl wrote:

...I spend alot of time around Temple and God Almighty...

! ! ! ! !

yeah I never heard of that intersection either.

codergrrl's picture

that doesn't read correctly,

that doesn't read correctly, I really don't spend as much time as I should around God Almighty!

BenPhila's picture

netable wrote:THere is at

netable wrote:

THere is at least 3 times a Day that I almost hit some idiot on a Bike', There are time's that I get so angry that the thought of Getting in my Truck and running them all over brings me some relief ~ If it were a video game, and each Biker ya hit' was 10 points' 20 points for a Hipster , I would hold the HI SCORE, I would win tournaments all over the Country.

Uhhh..okay..'Ha-ha'.. 'git er' done'.. or something..I guess..
Try to keep in mind most bike riders are not out there intentionally trying to "mess with you" on the road..Theres no mass conspiracy. .just equal parts idiot drivers and riders..
I've gotta say though, this continual "other-ing" of bycicle riders is troubling to me(ie. they're all 'hipsters'...'Green-freaks'..'not like us car drivers'..blah, blah and so on.)
As I stated before: I bike when I can and drive when I can't.. I imagine my transportation habits to be fairly similar to most city dwellers.
In other words: I'm just like you..So don't run me over.

Crustyzombiepunk's picture

BenPhila wrote: I've gotta

BenPhila wrote:

I've gotta say though, this continual "other-ing" of bycicle riders is troubling to me(ie. they're all 'hipsters'...'Green-freaks'..'not like us car drivers'..blah, blah and so on.)

nah I'm fairly certain that all cyclists are exactly like this;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIwMGkqa6Sw

dclxvi's picture

I drive all over this city,

I drive all over this city, everyday. I go through Bridesburg, Fishtown, Port Richmond, Mayfair, Center City & the far Northeast. I kid you not when I say I drive through these areas everyday. I would love to ride a bike to most of the places I have to go but throwing a 3 year old and 6 year old on the back of a bike would be highly inconvenient... I think it's great when someone can ride a bike to wherever they need to go... if I didn't work midnight to 8am in North Philly, I too would ride a bike to work...

My problem with the bike riders is the blowing stop signs, blowing traffic signals and it doesn't seem like they make any reasonable effort to slow down let alone stop. I rarely see them looking where they're going... And like I said, I drive through all of these many neighborhoods everyday and the only places I see this happening is in Fishtown and Center City...

And it tends to be the Hipster set not abiding by the rules of the road.
For any rider who intentionally impedes the flow of traffic, rides erratically to get drivers to notice them, blows a stop sign or traffic light - they should be ticketed also. Any driver would be ticketed for doing exactly what you're doing! Erratic driving (reckless driving) is an automatic suspension of driving priviledges in PA...

Don't think for a second that if you get hit by a car for riding carelessly that it won't be in the report written by any responding officer. You have the responsibility to make it as safe on the highway as anyone in a car

Lighterthief's picture

Its all about entitlement &

Its all about entitlement & attitude.... the obnoxious in your face bikers who intentionally flaunt traffic laws and obstruct vehicular traffic are equally AS annoying as the drivers who show bikes no courtesy.

I am mostly a driver but sometimes bike.

I will say it is sometimes HARD TO SEE bikes when you are driving. Bikers should be aware of this and use caution as well as reflectors. Cars may not be trying to kill you they just dont see you.

Also.... Cars/Trucks can really do damage to a biker and have alot more weight/speed so anxious drivers keep that in mind and give the bikes some room.

I do agree with the spirit of the original post in that bikes should indeed follow traffic laws.

snailgem's picture

can we all get along?

can we all get along?

stein's picture

Quote:talk about missing the

Quote:

talk about missing the point, your saying its ok for you to drive like a nut and not worry about anyone else but you. as far as i'm concerned if you cause a accident and your on a bike i hope you have good insurance

Nah, you are missing the point. I don't want to ride in an unsafe manner, I want to ride in a manner that convinces cars that I might act erratically. If you don't know what someone is going to do you are more careful.

here is an article that helps to explain the principle

The less drivers can assume about biker's actions the better, as far as I am concerned. It makes things safer for cyclists.

ps. the cops around here don't even bother to ticket people for most moving violations in cars. they sure as heck aren't going to bother pulling over cyclists who are capable of a lot less damage to property and others by riding in violation of traffic laws.

pps. bikes aren't allowed on highways.

netable's picture

BenPhila wrote:netable

BenPhila wrote:
netable wrote:

THere is at least 3 times a Day that I almost hit some idiot on a Bike', There are time's that I get so angry that the thought of Getting in my Truck and running them all over brings me some relief ~ If it were a video game, and each Biker ya hit' was 10 points' 20 points for a Hipster , I would hold the HI SCORE, I would win tournaments all over the Country.

Uhhh..okay..'Ha-ha'.. 'git er' done'.. or something..I guess..
Try to keep in mind most bike riders are not out there intentionally trying to "mess with you" on the road..Theres no mass conspiracy. .just equal parts idiot drivers and riders..
I've gotta say though, this continual "other-ing" of bycicle riders is troubling to me(ie. they're all 'hipsters'...'Green-freaks'..'not like us car drivers'..blah, blah and so on.)
As I stated before: I bike when I can and drive when I can't.. I imagine my transportation habits to be fairly similar to most city dwellers.
In other words: I'm just like you..So don't run me over.

There are time's that I get so angry that the thought of Getting in my Truck and running them all over brings me some relief ~ If it were a video game, and each Biker ya hit' was 10 points' 20 points for a Hipster , I would hold the HI SCORE, I would win tournaments all over the Country.

That above was being sarcastic' - but it is frustrating as heck that most bikers' I encounter dont give a shoot about anyone else on the roads'

I must say that I drive through Kensington, Port Richmond, Tacony and Fishtown' everyday and my negative encounters' with unsafe Bikers' is 100% - Fishtown' mostly on Frankford Ave, below Dauphin to Girard and all the little streets above Aramingo
So thats why I refer to the culprits as "Hipsters" or wanna be hipsters' is that unfair? Am I just stereotyping?

stein's picture

I bet you hardly see bikers

I bet you hardly see bikers at all outside of those areas.

and frankly your observations are just an example of confirmation bias.

jason's picture

in the biker's defense,

in the biker's defense, frankford avenue is an AWFUL place for bikes. cars FLY past you, and if there are parked cars or even worse, parked trucks, there is NO shoulder

jason's picture

in the biker's defense,

in the biker's defense, frankford avenue is an AWFUL place for bikes. cars FLY past you, and if there are parked cars or even worse, parked trucks, there is NO shoulder

dclxvi's picture

stein wrote:Quote:talk about

stein wrote:
Quote:

talk about missing the point, your saying its ok for you to drive like a nut and not worry about anyone else but you. as far as i'm concerned if you cause a accident and your on a bike i hope you have good insurance

Nah, you are missing the point. I don't want to ride in an unsafe manner, I want to ride in a manner that convinces cars that I might act erratically. If you don't know what someone is going to do you are more careful.

here is an article that helps to explain the principle

The less drivers can assume about biker's actions the better, as far as I am concerned. It makes things safer for cyclists.

ps. the cops around here don't even bother to ticket people for most moving violations in cars. they sure as heck aren't going to bother pulling over cyclists who are capable of a lot less damage to property and others by riding in violation of traffic laws.

pps. bikes aren't allowed on highways.

streets are referred to as highways under PA law... so they are highways - any paved road is a highway
are you keeping track of just how many moving violations cops are writing in this area?
plus if i ever do hit a wonderful biker, i can use that same exact article you posted to protect myself... because bikers are being purposefully reckless to cause these accidents.

Kat's picture

No one seems to mention the

No one seems to mention the plain white tee guys - usually two to a bike riding down the middle of the road so no traffic can pass. I think I posted this before - it happened to me going up Memphis. I was patient for a few minutes then I beeped my horn. He got out of the way finally but not before both of the mahoos screaming obscenities at me and spitting on my car. It's not all hipsters. Bottom line, both bikers and car drivers should be more aware and defensive in their travels and act less like assholes and more like humans.