Chicago is a bicyclers' city. We have miles of bike paths and our mayor is an avid cyclist. He also has an idea of making Chicago like Paris with bikes for rent all over the place. I like that idea. I live on the far north side of the city and work close to the Loop. I also need to drop off the kid each morning and I'm not doing that in a bike every day in the morning and evening. But I would love to have access to a bike to get around my work neighborhood without having to bring my home bike into the office.
The latest idea from the City Council is to crack down on drivers. Why? Because bicyclists have been killed and hurt by reckless cars. OK? I can get down with that. But the increase in wanting to protect riders comes after a rider went through a RED light and a SUV struck him and killed him. Apparently driving on a green is bad in the bicyclist world. Seriously, I saw bicyclists on TV say something like "You can't always believe everyone will obey the law." Um, that's what the rules of the road is all about. Yes, I don't hit the gas the millisecond the light turns green...I've seen too many cars run red lights for me to know better. But if my light is green and the law says that a bicyclist needs to stop on red, then I'm assuming it's ok to drive.
The article linked above says that the City Council wants to target bicyclists too, but so far that hasn't happened. Instead us drivers are targeted. I wonder if I hit a bicyclist who weaves in and out of traffic lanes if that is all my fault or not.
That said, I do admit to not always looking before I turn, but I feel like I do it 99% of the time. If I hit someone because I wasn't looking, fine, arrest me, fine me. But if I hit someone because they run a red light, stop sign, or ride in front of me while I'm driving, I don't think so. There needs to be a balance to responsibility on the road. When I'm riding my bike, I don't dart into traffic and usually do stop at reds and stop signs. I know if I hit a car, I'm probably going to lose.
Technorati tags: cycling