This blog article featuring Bob Mionske has been reproduced here for our media archives. To access the original article, follow the link.
Treehugger: Curing Car Vs. Cyclist Road Wars With A New Rule: "Just Don't Steal The Right-Of-Way"
by A.K. Streeter, Portland, Oregon on 08.18.11
CARS & TRANSPORTATION (bikes)
Though a world-class cycling city, Portland lacks a bike share system similar to those in other great cycling cities such as Minneapolis, Montreal, Paris, Barcelona. Though bike sharing is considered to be important to attract new cyclists onto the lanes, lack of funds has hampered planning efforts. At first, 2011 seemed to be the year the city of Portland would fund bike sharing. But then, as a vote neared, opposition arose from Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who claimed she couldn't support funding bike sharing due to...bad bicyclist behavior.
"I may support a bike sharing program downtown when I see bike riders using downtown streets and sidewalks in a safe manner. Daily, I see cyclists in the Light rail and bus lanes in front of my office. I see cyclists riding on the sidewalks, endangering and harassing pedestrians. I see cyclists running red lights and making illegal turns off the bus mall. And these are presumably experienced cyclists. I believe a bike rental program downtown would only add to these unsafe behaviors." - Amanda Fritz, via Bike Portland
Though the idea of withholding funding to a system until all users agree to strictly follow the rules is a new line of logic (imagine canceling road improvements until car drivers were caught speeding), bashing scofflaw cyclists, or course, isn't unique to Portland or Commissioner Fritz.
In fact, holding cyclists to a "different standard" is rampant, says bicycle attorney Bob Mionske, author of the book Bicycling and the Law.
"It is hypocritical, but cyclists are held to a different standard," Mionske said. "Meanwhile, 7 out of 10 motorists admit to breaking the law."
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