Wednesday, October 5, 2011

those funny white and yellow lines on the road

I am an unapologetic liker of bike lanes.  You found me.  Done.  Yes.  I like them.  I like riding in them and I think it's one of those situations where more is better.

I think cars who spend time with bike lanes like them also, or should.  When bicyclists are not in a bike lane they seem unpredictable.  They're in an area that was scoped out for a single car width.  A bicyclist in the car lane translates to "on your turf and now there is less for you" if you are a car.  Bike lanes mark out a territory for a bike and that gives a car the happy feeling that they won't be fucked with.  A bike lane means cars never have to deal with that frustrating but legal thing where a bike "takes" (hahahaha, as if we could take a lane..) a lane to avoid having a car door opened in our faces.

Bicycle lanes are like a truce among a powerful nation and a far frailer one.  You get 90% of the road and we bicyclists get...the bit on the side that fills up with trash where we never bother repaving.

There are a few annoying bits that I'd like to call out.

Dear Cars held up by Massive Construction traffic taking place all over the Stanford campus:

Yes, this sucks for you.  Yes your commute is botched.  Yes you can see that green light up ahead and you know the traffic is not moving and you are totally freaked out.  Yes you are very unhappy and misunderstood.

I'm sympathetic, I really am.  I mean, nothing like this ever happens to me (I commute via bicycle, traffic for me is getting dusted by an ambitious roadie) but I'm still sympathetic because California is exerting it's niceness on me.


Please please please don't cope with your misery by pouring yourself into my skinny little bike lane in a vain attempt to advance your car four or five inches.  Please don't turn on your signal indicator and then lean over and block the bike lane even though you will not be able to turn off for another three miles and traffic is at a standstill.

What you have:  two fat SUV sized car lanes and a ton of traffic.

What I have:  one skinny bicycle sized lane covered in broken glass and other trash you tossed from your car or created when you were having an accident.. and no traffic at all.

What I want:  for you to stay on your side of the line, mkay?  

It is seriously unpleasant to be riding along beside a parking lot of cars  and I am pedaling cheerfully towards the green light that I at least will have zero trouble making (your problems are not my problems, admit it) and then get some ponderous elephant of a Lincoln Navigator rolling one big fat wheel over the line and entirely closing off my lane so I have to worm my way around it and also risk getting squished.

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