Infantalizing the Cyclist

In the News

A story in the New York Times today covers the remedial classes that cyclist scofflaws in New York are being sent to.

That includes those riders who were issued a ticket for not riding in the bike lane, for riding three feet on the sidewalk, and other infractions.

If the French, Swiss, Dutch or Danish could see us now they would be laughing their heads off.

Go to Paris, young man or woman, and see for yourself, cyclists riding on sidewalks because it’s safer than being mowed down by a motorist in a particular section: no tickets are issued.

That’s because the French, Swiss, Dutch and Danish trust that bike riders will not use their bikes in a dangerous way, and are only protecting themselves when they ride on sidewalks.

Add to that, in cities such as Copenhagen, there are enough safe routes where cyclists don’t have to ride on sidewalks or outside of bike lanes.

It’s all a matter of priorities and which part of the system is easiest to work on.  For the NYC government, cyclists represent everything that is wrong with the massive grid, the light system and the lack of safe riding lanes, because those structural issues are so hard to fix.

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