The Chainlink

I got harassed by four separate motorists on my commute home this evening! I was riding down Lincoln, in the middle of the lane for parts of it because I didn't feel safe riding all the way to the right. Lincoln does not have a bike land, only sharrows. I don't like to ride inside of the door zone, and cars were passing me too close on the right. I got honked at a lot and yelled at. Same thing happened on Aldine. I try to ride down side streets because they have less motor traffic. I don't quite understand why the cars didn't go one block over to Belmont instead, if they were sick of being stuck behind me. A taxi and a Cadillac followed me for two miles, honking and yelling the whole way, while following too closely. Sorry for the rant, I am just getting frustrated with asshole drivers. Am I being too aggressive by riding in the middle of the lane?

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This is not going to be popular probably but for me it comes down to this:

The roads belong to the cars.

They were built for them, (don't even start that BS about the first paving being for bikes; we all know the roads of then and the roads of now are very different beasts and that the modern ones have been designed around cars) they are in the majority and until that changes we are secondary road users and I am OK acting like it.

Thunder Snow said:

DUG, I'm just tossing this out there as I find it interesting that we don't challenge our basic assumptions about who belongs on the road and who should make way for whom.  Yeah, maybe the cement truck wasn't the best example.  OK, say I'm riding a bike behind a car doing 25 mph in a 30 mph zone.  Do I have any expectation that the motorist will kindly pull over to the right curb to let me pass--the car is certainly maneuverable enough to do so.  I'd say hell would freeze over before a motorist got out of the way of a faster moving bicyclist.  It's built into our assumptions, both the motorist's and, remarkably, our own cyclist's notions of who belongs on the road, and who needs to make way for whom.  I'm suggesting that a cyclist isn't automatically in the wrong for taking a lane, just as a motorist isn't wrong for taking a lane, which they ALWAYS do.  I believe there's a give and take, a cyclist makes way for a car one moment, a motorist makes way for a cyclist at the next moment.  But right now, it still seems kind of one-sided: cyclists are EXPECTED to be subserviant to motorists by riding to the right, pulling off the road to let others by and so on.  Why is this?
 
notoriousDUG said:

I expect bikes to allow me past and a piece of heavy equipment or a large truck not to due the disparity in maneuverability.  Ever drive a road grader or cement truck?  They are not very easy to fit into an alley entrance or empty parking spot; in fact they don't fit at all.

That's a valid opinion and unfortunately it's the majority opinion of both motorists and most cyclists right now.  Hopefully this will change.
 
notoriousDUG said:

This is not going to be popular probably but for me it comes down to this:


The roads belong to the cars.

I think the problems aren't necessarily because roads are for cars instead of bicycles, I think it's because the roads are failing to meet the needs of the current vehicular traffic load. I regularly commute on Irving Park Rd between the Kennedy and Ashland. The only times I face challenges are when the traffic is backed up. Then people pass on the right, pull into parking lanes without looking in order to get onto a side road, run red light more frequently, and are generally a little hot headed and quick with the horn.
There never seems to be a big-picture approach to improvements. Improving bicycle infrastructure without addressing the neglected public transit issues (holy shit, bus lanes?) or the automobile roadway issues (no left turn arrows, two-lanes bottleneck into one, etc) isn't really making my life any better in terms of getting around this city. You aren't going to create a segregated system of travel city-wide, I think it's better to put efforts into accommodating a more hetrogeneous city street grid.


Thunder Snow said:

That's a valid opinion and unfortunately it's the majority opinion of both motorists and most cyclists right now.  Hopefully this will change.
 
notoriousDUG said:

This is not going to be popular probably but for me it comes down to this:


The roads belong to the cars.

First there were people walking, then farm animals, then farm animals pulling carts, then people on horses, horses pulling carriages, bicycles, cars, trucks, street cars, motorcycles, scooters, more cars, more trucks, drunks on Rush Street and now more bicycles. Roads have been meant for more than cars.

notoriousDUG said:

This is not going to be popular probably but for me it comes down to this:

The roads belong to the cars.

They were built for them, (don't even start that BS about the first paving being for bikes; we all know the roads of then and the roads of now are very different beasts and that the modern ones have been designed around cars) they are in the majority and until that changes we are secondary road users and I am OK acting like it.

Thunder Snow said:

DUG, I'm just tossing this out there as I find it interesting that we don't challenge our basic assumptions about who belongs on the road and who should make way for whom.  Yeah, maybe the cement truck wasn't the best example.  OK, say I'm riding a bike behind a car doing 25 mph in a 30 mph zone.  Do I have any expectation that the motorist will kindly pull over to the right curb to let me pass--the car is certainly maneuverable enough to do so.  I'd say hell would freeze over before a motorist got out of the way of a faster moving bicyclist.  It's built into our assumptions, both the motorist's and, remarkably, our own cyclist's notions of who belongs on the road, and who needs to make way for whom.  I'm suggesting that a cyclist isn't automatically in the wrong for taking a lane, just as a motorist isn't wrong for taking a lane, which they ALWAYS do.  I believe there's a give and take, a cyclist makes way for a car one moment, a motorist makes way for a cyclist at the next moment.  But right now, it still seems kind of one-sided: cyclists are EXPECTED to be subserviant to motorists by riding to the right, pulling off the road to let others by and so on.  Why is this?
 
notoriousDUG said:

I expect bikes to allow me past and a piece of heavy equipment or a large truck not to due the disparity in maneuverability.  Ever drive a road grader or cement truck?  They are not very easy to fit into an alley entrance or empty parking spot; in fact they don't fit at all.

I'm waiting for NotoriousDUG to state that the original purpose of the internet was to give bored losers an outlet on which to (troll) be contrarian, and that anyone who gets annoyed by the 'knowledge' he drops on us should move aside and go play in a sandbox or something.  

Gene Tenner said:

First there were people walking, then farm animals, then farm animals pulling carts, then people on horses, horses pulling carriages, bicycles, cars, trucks, street cars, motorcycles, scooters, more cars, more trucks, drunks on Rush Street and now more bicycles. Roads have been meant for more than cars.

notoriousDUG said:

This is not going to be popular probably but for me it comes down to this:

The roads belong to the cars.

They were built for them, (don't even start that BS about the first paving being for bikes; we all know the roads of then and the roads of now are very different beasts and that the modern ones have been designed around cars) they are in the majority and until that changes we are secondary road users and I am OK acting like it.

I hope it will to but until it does I am not going to act as if I own the road.  Fighting the battle for the roads at street level with a 2000 pound car ona 20 pound bike is a losing proposition...

Thunder Snow said:

That's a valid opinion and unfortunately it's the majority opinion of both motorists and most cyclists right now.  Hopefully this will change.
 
notoriousDUG said:

This is not going to be popular probably but for me it comes down to this:


The roads belong to the cars.

HAVE BEEN for more than cars yes but right now in design, marking and use they are mostly for cars and we as secondary road users need to acknowledge that. 

Gene Tenner said:

First there were people walking, then farm animals, then farm animals pulling carts, then people on horses, horses pulling carriages, bicycles, cars, trucks, street cars, motorcycles, scooters, more cars, more trucks, drunks on Rush Street and now more bicycles. Roads have been meant for more than cars.

notoriousDUG said:

This is not going to be popular probably but for me it comes down to this:

The roads belong to the cars.

They were built for them, (don't even start that BS about the first paving being for bikes; we all know the roads of then and the roads of now are very different beasts and that the modern ones have been designed around cars) they are in the majority and until that changes we are secondary road users and I am OK acting like it.

Thunder Snow said:

DUG, I'm just tossing this out there as I find it interesting that we don't challenge our basic assumptions about who belongs on the road and who should make way for whom.  Yeah, maybe the cement truck wasn't the best example.  OK, say I'm riding a bike behind a car doing 25 mph in a 30 mph zone.  Do I have any expectation that the motorist will kindly pull over to the right curb to let me pass--the car is certainly maneuverable enough to do so.  I'd say hell would freeze over before a motorist got out of the way of a faster moving bicyclist.  It's built into our assumptions, both the motorist's and, remarkably, our own cyclist's notions of who belongs on the road, and who needs to make way for whom.  I'm suggesting that a cyclist isn't automatically in the wrong for taking a lane, just as a motorist isn't wrong for taking a lane, which they ALWAYS do.  I believe there's a give and take, a cyclist makes way for a car one moment, a motorist makes way for a cyclist at the next moment.  But right now, it still seems kind of one-sided: cyclists are EXPECTED to be subserviant to motorists by riding to the right, pulling off the road to let others by and so on.  Why is this?
 
notoriousDUG said:

I expect bikes to allow me past and a piece of heavy equipment or a large truck not to due the disparity in maneuverability.  Ever drive a road grader or cement truck?  They are not very easy to fit into an alley entrance or empty parking spot; in fact they don't fit at all.

Um, so isn't a comment like this pretty much the definition of trolling?

you know what brendan, I think you might be acting out on a long standing grudge you have against me but using a new scree name to do it...

Or did you think I hadn't noticed who you are?

Zoetrope said:

I'm waiting for NotoriousDUG to state that the original purpose of the internet was to give bored losers an outlet on which to (troll) be contrarian, and that anyone who gets annoyed by the 'knowledge' he drops on us should move aside and go play in a sandbox or something.  

Gene Tenner said:

First there were people walking, then farm animals, then farm animals pulling carts, then people on horses, horses pulling carriages, bicycles, cars, trucks, street cars, motorcycles, scooters, more cars, more trucks, drunks on Rush Street and now more bicycles. Roads have been meant for more than cars.

notoriousDUG said:

This is not going to be popular probably but for me it comes down to this:

The roads belong to the cars.

They were built for them, (don't even start that BS about the first paving being for bikes; we all know the roads of then and the roads of now are very different beasts and that the modern ones have been designed around cars) they are in the majority and until that changes we are secondary road users and I am OK acting like it.

I'll second that request.  This thread has become too much of a troll fest.  

John W. said:

Please close this thread.  It should have never been started.  Persnickety.

I sometimes wish that Ning had a "mute thread" option that made a thread "disappear" from the main Forum view.  That way people wouldn't have to keep asking for threads to be nuked when hitting the "Stop Following" button on the bottom of the page isn't quite enough.

Personally, I don't have an issue ignoring a topic I am either disgusted with or have no interest in -but I can see why seeing it on the main forum page would bother some folks.  There is only a limited number of threads that fit on "page one."  Still, I tend to be on the "live and let live" side of things.   If the usual suspects want to duke it out in a thread it's best that they get it off their chest.

Another idea that I've seen in some forums is having a "basement" area or subforum that threads get banished to by a moderator without actually killing or stopping it when or just before they get to this point.  People won't even see the "basement" forum other than a link to it at the forum page.  Clicking on that link pops up a standard disclaimer that "There be dragons here" and that the area might have mean people saying mean things and to understand this before going any further.  Then just let the folks duke it out to their heart's content out of sight.  

I feel that this is a good alternative to censorship and dumping threads down the memory hole.  "if the boys want to fight -you better let em.  Saturday night's all right..."

A safety valve helps keep things from spilling out onto other threads which has become a common theme here with a few folks lately.  Suppressing a thread like this seems to just make it squish out onto other threads as unresolved butthurt just pops up into the next big discussion. 



Anne Alt said:

I'll second that request.  This thread has become too much of a troll fest.  

John W. said:

Please close this thread.  It should have never been started.  Persnickety.

At the risk of sounding "troll-ish," the dozen or so people who get into these personal-attacks/pissing contests also seem to be the ones who are most active on this forum. Granted, this is from someone who checks the forum with mild regularity and has posted no more than five times, so what do I know...


James BlackHeron said:

I sometimes wish that Ning had a "mute thread" option that made a thread "disappear" from the main Forum view.  That way people wouldn't have to keep asking for threads to be nuked when hitting the "Stop Following" button on the bottom of the page isn't quite enough.

Personally, I don't have an issue ignoring a topic I am either disgusted with or have no interest in -but I can see why seeing it on the main forum page would bother some folks.  There is only a limited number of threads that fit on "page one."  Still, I tend to be on the "live and let live" side of things.   If the usual suspects want to duke it out in a thread it's best that they get it off their chest.

Another idea that I've seen in some forums is having a "basement" area or subforum that threads get banished to by a moderator without actually killing or stopping it when or just before they get to this point.  People won't even see the "basement" forum other than a link to it at the forum page.  Clicking on that link pops up a standard disclaimer that "There be dragons here" and that the area might have mean people saying mean things and to understand this before going any further.  Then just let the folks duke it out to their heart's content out of sight.  

I feel that this is a good alternative to censorship and dumping threads down the memory hole.  "if the boys want to fight -you better let em.  Saturday night's all right..."

A safety valve helps keep things from spilling out onto other threads which has become a common theme here with a few folks lately.  Suppressing a thread like this seems to just make it squish out onto other threads as unresolved butthurt just pops up into the next big discussion. 



Anne Alt said:

I'll second that request.  This thread has become too much of a troll fest.  

John W. said:

Please close this thread.  It should have never been started.  Persnickety.


You bring up an excellent point here Matt.   But if it weren't for people participating in the discussions there wouldn't be very much content here to "check in on" now would there be?  

This is a paid-advertising site and ad revenue is driven by Page-Hits -first and foremost.  While there are many other great sections of this website that are a boon and a resource to area bicyclists it's the Forum Discussions that most probably generate the vast majority of these page hits and make this site commercially viable. 

My point above is that if there are a bunch of folks who are disgusted by the actions/words of some of the regular posters here, and would like to have the dirty underbelly of the engine that drives this machine kept out of their own view, perhaps a nice engine-cover would be a good idea to shield it from those who might not want to see or hear what goes on in the more heated discussions -but simple enough to open and enter for those who do. 

Matt Tennessen said:

At the risk of sounding "troll-ish," the dozen or so people who get into these personal-attacks/pissing contests also seem to be the ones who are most active on this forum. Granted, this is from someone who checks the forum with mild regularity and has posted no more than five times, so what do I know...


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