Thursday, October 7, 2010

What's Bugging You? ABC 7 gives airtime for all you haters

Dear ABC 7,

As a cyclist in Los Angeles, I fear distracted drivers every time I hit the streets. My first objective is to stay alive. Second is to obey the "Letter" of the law. If I feel my safety is better served by ignoring a traffic signal that doesn't acknowledge my presence, I will. One of a thousand more pertinent stories would be the number of traffic signals that violate CVC Section 21450.5. If the traffic signal ignores me, I will ignore the signal. This is perfectly legal.

That said, I feel sorry for motorists stuck in traffic who are forced to watch a cyclist zoom past them getting a great workout in fresh air, arriving at their destination refreshed and alive, while they accelerate their diabetes, back pain, asthma and heart disease, all the while idling away their money and spewing hydrocarbon laden aerial sewage into our collective mouths. It must be hard to be stuck in a mindset of 'needing' a car to live (or die?) in Los Angeles. Hopefully events like Critical Mass and CicLAvia can work to change that mindset.

I totally agree with SocialHistoryGuy who wrote:
An incomplete and sloppy news story by Carlos Granda about cyclists and motorists sharing the road. Yes, cyclists should obey traffic signals and signs, but the clipped quotes from the lady with the cycling coalition and the "Cyclists can ride in the bike lanes and on the sidewalk but defer to pedestrians" comments make this all about it being cyclists fault/responsibility. Very one-sided sloppy reporting. They showed cyclists performing left turn lane LEGAL riding and traffic lane vehicular riding, but never say an...
I'd also add that the way the story was framed is designed to create an adversarial tension between motorists and cyclists. I actually find that 99.9999% of motorists are very friendly towards me and almost always give up their right of way for me at every intersection controlled by a stop sign. I'd rather they took their right of way because I can predict their movements better that way, but I always wave and thank them regardless.

Carlos, have you run stories about the deadly danger of distracted drivers? I believe @OhaiJoe has some interesting reporting to share in case you're interested. Cyclists running red lights gets people all riled up but isn't the death and tragedy caused by selfish motorists more relevant to our daily lives? Are you bugged by cyclists personally? Or is this a story your editors rammed down your throat? Either way, a relaxing bike ride would do you some good and help you gain perspective on this issue. You could really use it. Let me know if you need to borrow a bike light.

Your friend,

The Engaged Observer


Megan Taylor said...

Well written Aleo! Very engaged...

Michael Ho said...

That Carlos Granda guy obviously doesn't have a bike.