On Monday, August 18, 2014 3:48:28 PM UTC-7, Joy Beeson wrote:
This post is the first of a weekly series of grandmotherly aphorisms.
Each subject line will begin "AG:" for your killfiling convenience.
It seems obvious that the first thing you have to do is to learn and
obey the traffic laws, but it isn't that easy. You have to learn,
UNDERSTAND, and RESPECT the traffic laws.
If you don't understand a rule, you can't possibly obey it, nor can
you tell when it applies and when it doesn't.
joy beeson at comcast dot net
The above message is a Usenet post.
I don't recall having given anyone permission to use it on a Web site.
All of that is quite correct Joy but how many cyclists do you know that obey the traffic laws to the letter?
Traffic laws for cyclists are invented by non-cyclists and while they make sense in heavy traffic conditions they often make no sense at all on empty streets.
For instance - cars should ALWAYS stop completely at stop signs but bicyclists go a great deal slower, are generally higher above street level and can see opposing traffic more clearly. Also cyclists are the one's that would suffer from dangerously running stop signs. So their judgement is a great deal better than some traffic planner in an office somewhere.
Also - just the other day I was walking to a coffee shop early in the morning. There was a police car pulled over and they were apparently upbraiding a man for riding on the sidewalk. He was traveling opposite the direction of traffic on a one way street. The sidewalk was not only very wide but I was the only pedestrian on the street for three blocks in any direction.
While I was observing this a worker on a bicycle pulled out of a dangerous stream of traffic onto the sidewalk. The second cop started yelling at him to get in the street. He was a workman working three doors down from the corner from which he entered the sidewalk. And during this time the commute traffic continued to go through this section 10 mph or more above the speed limit with no action by the officers. And even worse - these cars are speeding through this section that contains small businesses and pedestrians and multiple crosswalk DESPITE the fact that they know that the lights are timed to give red lights on every single corner. And this is done to discourage cars from using city center side streets as commute lanes.
Until traffic laws are enforced in such a way that makes some sort of sense you are not going to find people that understand them in such a way to make traffic laws workable.
There doesn't seem to be any controls at all on speeders anymore in California. As a cyclist I used to see cars rolling stop signs. Now I see them not even slowing up even on busy main streets.
Well, I know the neighborhoods in which to watch for that kind of thing. And for the most part because bicycles are getting more popular traffic is growing more accepting and more polite to cyclists in general.
And now that certain people are growing older and riding slower this is a great deal more noticeable.