City Biking’s #1 Rule-Don’t Steal The Right-of-Way
Yesterday’s post at TreeHugger was another viewpoint on that perenially favorite topic…bad bicyclist behavior.
After reading Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz’ lame reason for not supporting funding for the city’s bike sharing plans – she says it will only encourage bad bike behavior – I talked to Bicycling and the Law‘s Bob Mionske.
Mionske, along with nearly everyone else in the blogosphere, took Fritz’ line of reasoning to its logical conclusion. If we withheld funding from new cycle services until all cyclists obey the law 100% of the time, then we should withhold all road repairs and sidewalk building until motorists and pedestrians hue to a similar level of compliance.
Yet we all know that civility is in short supply out in the traffic lanes, especially when rush, rush, rush hour is happening. Mionske said there’s one rule that everyone should follow, and that is Don’t Steal The Right-of-Way.
What’s great about this rule is that it covers (and gives guidance) on a multitude of sins out there. Cyclists and motorists not stopping when a pedestrian has a foot out in the crosswalk is stealing the right-of-way. Anyone running a red light is stealing the other traffic players’ right-of-way. Basically, all of us just respecting who has the legal right to “go first” does a lot toward creating chivalrous and civil streets.
Want more? Read this recent post on how this idea (and even going a little further, respecting people’s varying abilities) is inherent for Amsterdamers at Arriba La Chancha.