Friday, August 19, 2016

"Cyclists are the worst thing to happen to Boston streets"

Apparently, this discussion is far from being over and it's time to beat the dead horse again (a zombie horse?).

How many times have you heard the "brilliant" ideas that all bicyclists should be registered, licensed, pay "road tax" and obviously - wear a helmet?

I'm getting tired of explaining it yet again and countless pages have been written in rebuttal of such nonsense. Unfortunately, it has resurfaced. First, in a form of editorial by Joel Engardio for San Francisco Examiner. Joel wrote that all cyclists should be registered and have mandatory insurance. This would be their way to "put skin in game" and pay for the use of roads. I was going to write something smart to counter this fallacy but then I found out that Carlton Reid has already done it. And he did it well.
In defense of Joel, he later wrote his response to all the backlash he faced and it seems that he understood at least a little bit what was wrong about his original idea.

Now that we have visited West Coast, let's get back home to Boston. Things got really heated here this week. Drivers killed cyclists in Lincoln and Waltham, three pedestrians were struck in Dorchester, a driver crashed into a teenager in South Boston, an 8-year old girl was struck by car (and killed) in Mattapan, then 3 pedestrians were injured by a driver in the busy Downtown Crossing (The driver tried to flee the scene):
Do you see what's going on here? Do you see who's in fault?

It's obviously cyclists:
If only they were wearing helmets and riding in bike lanes! Unfortunately, they love to "practice anarchy". At least that's what Jaclyn Cashman thinks. She seems to believe that mandatory helmets and strict laws for cyclists would solve many problems with road collisions in Boston, despite statistics showing that it's the drivers who kill people, not bicyclists.

According to Cashman, the problem we face is that cyclists don't want to be "forced to wear helmets or observe traffic laws" and that's why we "should change the laws for bikers — require them to stay in the bike lanes, 
observe red lights, wear helmets". Yet she fails to notice that cyclists are required to obey traffic laws - just like anyone else using the street. Regarding the bike lanes - sorry Jaclyn, but if a bike lane is just a strip of paint squeezed in between the parked cars on the right and speeding trucks on the left, I would rather take the full traffic lane than being either doored by a parked car or clipped by a semi.

Cashman is a journalist and a radio host for Boston Herald. Engardio is a candidate for San Francisco Board of Supervisors. You would think that such people should be well-informed about things they want to talk about. Sadly, it's not the case.

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