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Is it OK to Kill Cyclists? How About Pedistrians? People Continue to Die and We’re Left Asking Why?

Since the publishing of the “Is it Ok to Kill Cyclists?” op-ed in the Sunday NY times (11/9/13) by Daniel Duane, there has been a number of responses as the article has made the rounds through bicycle blogs and other related publications.

The main point of Duane’s piece, although not entirely clear (at least not to this blogger) was to illustrate how drivers rarely face criminal charges after hitting and killing cyclists, even when the motorist is at fault. The opinion gave some vague examples but didn’t do a good job of finding details about why motorists aren’t prosecuted or if cyclist fatalities are even investigated.

In fairness to the author, Daniel Duane did appear on a radio program to clarify his position and continue to champion the cause that drivers seem to be getting away with murder.

Here and Now on WBUR.org
Does The Law Go Too Easy On Drivers Who Kill Cyclists?

There was also a well done NPR piece over the weekend that brought up a discussion about whether the bikes should be treated like cars in regards to current traffic laws and how cities are designed, especially with the rise in the popularity of bike sharing programs.

WNYC-Gabfest, aired November 15th, 2013

The Pedaling Revolution Edition -Episode #65

On this week’s episode of Gabfest Radio, Political Gabfest panelists Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss what happens if healthcare.gov doesn’t work by Nov. 30, and whether bikes should be treated like cars.

The radio program used Duane’s piece as an example that it’s NOT, OK to kill cyclists while citing the opposite side of the coin, People who apparently think it’s perfectly fine (to kill cyclists) and uses the old argument that we deserve it because of our blatant violation of traffic laws. (laws designed for motor vehicles) Case in point, Christopher Caldwell from the Weekly Standard.

Drivers Get Rolled
Bicyclists are making unreasonable claims to the road—and winning
November 18th, 2013

Cyclists like the ones in New Hampshire, whose reckless riding and self-righteousness have earned rolled eyes nationwide and the nickname of “Lycra louts” in England, have tested the public’s willingness for compromise. As bicyclists become an ever more powerful lobby, ever more confident in the good they are doing for the environment and public health, they are discovering—to their sincere surprise—that they are provoking mistrust and even hostility among the public.

Read more: here.

Mostly this op-ed is an excuse to continue the defensive gross generalization of cyclists being mostly rich middle age liberals who are not blue collar enough. Caldwell venomously spews:

“They are, to judge from their blogs, more aggrieved by delivery trucks parked in bike lanes than drivers are by delivery trucks parked in car lanes. This may be because proportionately fewer of them have ever met a person who drives a delivery truck.”

He does make a few points that roadways are outdated and don’t include the physical space for bicycles. Also, there are some valid points that biking is healthy for both people and the planet, but most cyclists are just too self righteous and think they own the roadways so therefore it’s Ok to run a few over.

Somehow it seems that if you choose to ride a bicycle as a form of transportation, you’re somehow expected to act like cars and be their equal, but if your hit by one, then your treated like less than equal. In an attempt to reclaim a sense of humanity, that actual lives have been lost, letters to the editor of the NY Times evoke similarities to pedestrians.

In direct response to the Daniel Duane piece…
From the Opinion pages of the NY TIMES

Caution: Danger in the Traffic Lanes
By: David Berman
November 10th, 2013

No, it is not O.K. to kill cyclists with impunity, but neither is it O.K. to kill pedestrians, which happens a couple of hundred times a year in New York City. The problem is not a cultural predisposition against bicyclists; it is that nobody obeys traffic laws anymore, and that’s at least partly because nobody is enforcing them.

Read more opinions: here.

The Duane piece hit especially hard in NYC due the fact that there have been a number of pedestrians killed in the last month, many of which are children 12 and under.

Continue reading Is it OK to Kill Cyclists? How About Pedistrians? People Continue to Die and We’re Left Asking Why?

New Yorkers must learn to share…Bike Share. Citibike launches for annual members.

Oh the sacrifices we New Yorkers have had to make under three terms of Mayor Bloomberg. First we had to give up smoking in public places and not being able to light up at your favorite rock venue. Ok, we can deal with that, besides now we have these sneaky electronic cigarettes that plug [...]

Video Friday, 1/6/12

Oh yeah, It’s video time.

Seems like there is a lot of footage of Cyclocross around this time. Maybe cause, tis the season for getting down and dirty in the mud!

Like for instance, the UCI world Championships in Belgium. Videographer, Laurent Charras of Petitesreines has really captured some stunning footage. Here are a [...]

Video Friday-12/23/12

Have a happy holidays and a Happy New Year, here are some videos till the next time, 2012.

Hey, how’s your Albanian? Ecovolis has a bike sharing program in Albania and no part of the bicycle goes wasted…now this is recycling.

Ecovolis Love Recycling from Ecovolis on Vimeo.

Seen on Urbancyclistworldwide.com

In [...]

Grand Rapids, MI video

Clarence Eckerson Jr, videographer for streetfilms.org, is jet setting in Michigan. He discovered the streetfilms equivalent which can be seen in this video.

Tour de Queens Recap-Video

Tour de Queens recap from streetfilms.org.

“Transportation Alternatives’ 4th Annual Tour de Queens once again didn’t disappoint. 2000 riders navigated thru the 18 mile, family-paced course experiencing neighborhoods from Forest Hills to Jackson Heights. As usual the festivities started and ended in fabulous Flushing Meadow Corona Park in the shadow of the [...]

New video from Street Films

Check out the latest video by Elizabeth Press from streetfilms.org.

They’ve created a personalized visual storycorps project called: “My NYC biking story,” where they introduce us through a short video, to members of the diverse biking community of New York City. This episode features 23 year old Bin Feng Zheng who speaks three [...]

Streetfilms-MY NYC biking story featuring Steve O’Neill

Streetfilms.org has been doing a video series profiling NYC bike riders, entitled: “My NYC Biking Story.”

The latest is Steve O’Neill who’s been riding in NYC for over 15 years. Now he commutes with his 5 year old son Beckett.

Parking spots removed for bike racks…Believe it or not!

Forget Anthony and his Weiner, even bigger monumental news for NYC… Parking spots have been replaced with bike racks!!!

More from Streetfilms.org “>

Winter tips from Streetsfilms

On a recent trip to Chicago, Streetfilms.org put together this nice video about tips for dealing with the brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.