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Car vs Bike Tensions Heat Up — Carectomy - Removing Cars from People

Car vs Bike Tensions Heat Up

by Joshua Liberles on August 19, 2008

BikeCarViolence Car vs Bike Tensions Heat Up
Dan Cooley of Louisville, KY lost fifteen pounds in four months – and saved cash and a bit of the environment along the way. Cooley, like many, was fed up with rising gas prices and temperatures and turned to bicycle commuting.

But on the morning July 25th, Cooley fell victim to a malicious act of road rage while pedaling to work. After the driver of a Volkswagen almost ran him over, the car pulled to the side, and the passenger jumped out and began to beat Cooley before speeding away. Cooley was left with a concussion and torn ligament.

Cooley’s incident isn’t unique. In fact, as the NY Times reports, car-on-bike violence is on the rise nationwide. What isn’t clear is whether the spike is in proportion to the dramatic increase in cyclists. Previous studies have actually shown that cycling becomes significantly safer when there are more riders on the road.

Motorists currently face an unmanageable expense added onto their gridlock commutes. A surge in two-wheelers leaving them in the dust must just add to their seething fury. Some cyclists may not be blameless – they never learn how to ride as an adult and revert to their childhood experiences of cutting corners, riding on sidewalks or against traffic, or even blowing through traffic lights and stop signs.
As cycling continues to become more prevalent, voters demand more infrastructure to support their commutes, and the police and judicial system enforce cyclists’ rights, conditions will improve. In the meantime, keep your head up, obey traffic laws, and take pity on your steel-encased, stressed-out brethren.
Photo via flickr by by Natmandu

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 J.C. Sr. January 17, 2008 at 12:09 am

Heck—Even subways and buses? Can you imagine the millions of people getting around New York City any other way? Oh yeah in Tokyo they ride lots of bikes….. to the subway.


2 socialscientist January 17, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Thank you. J.C. Sr…

better cars just mean more sprawl
we need free public transit….



3 rob January 20, 2008 at 2:00 am

I wouldn’t wish too hard for high gas prices. I live in the UK and diesel is about $8 a gallon and increasing steadily.
The alternatives to cars aren’t great.
The trains are expensive, unreliable and there is never a seat.
Buses are reasonably priced and clean, but are not very regular outside major towns and are non existent at night in rural areas.
I like to cycle, but decent cycleways are rare and the roads are very busy even in the countryside. The road surfaces are very poorly maintained, a major hazard on a bicycle and when you park your bike, people nick bits off it (or sometimes the whole bike).
I live in a fairly quiet area, I hate to think what it’s like in rough areas.


4 Roger March 29, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Two factors here play in on Rob’s post. One is demand for public transit with no “guaranteed” users. There needs to be a demand before service can be provided. But, many folks refuse to take the plunge of carlessness as there are no other options in many places.

The other issue is without a car, one learns that many “trips” are unnecessary, and one stays home more, or in the “neighborhood” more. This is a fundamental change in attitude, which, surprisingly enough, leads to a simplifying of life. One still makes those trips deemed necessary or important, but most frivolous excursions are gradually deleted from one’s habits, leading to more time to pursue other interests or those things most important things in life, family and neighborhood relations.


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