Cyclists are from Mars, pedestrians are from Venus

Cyclists are from Mars, pedestrians are from Venus

To the editor:
Apparently, when bicyclists look at themselves in the mirror, all they see is how great they imagine themselves garishly decked out in spandex. They, apparently, do not see how their demands and behaviors make them cycling’s biggest enemy.

C.B. Moore III describes how a waterfront resident assaulted any cyclist who didn’t make a legal stop at the intersection of Prince and Union streets by jumping out in front of them (“Old Town needs a lesson in sharing,” January 10). How this noncontact situation can be an assault seems far-fetched, particularly if the pedestrian is in the crosswalk — where he or she has the right to be — and the bicyclist is breaking traffic laws by doing the cycling equivalent of a “California rolling stop” for an automobile.

And if the police really are landing hard on the pedestrian rather than the bicyclist breaking the traffic laws — as Moore describes — one has to wonder whether City Hall has decided on some fishy exercise in prosecutorial discretion at odds with prioritizing pedestrian protection. Vehicles normally are more strictly regulated than pedestrians, so if City Hall’s priorities are otherwise, pedestrians should be especially worried about their safety under this shared-street concept that officials are contemplating. It ends in pedestrians “sharing” the street with bicyclists at Prince and Union streets.

Will City Hall, in practice, allow bicyclists to drive aggressively around pedestrians?

Daniel Mehaffey (“The economic argument for more bicycle parking,” January 10) exemplifies hardcore bicyclists’ stilted spandex-clad worldview. He seems unaware why merchants might have mixed sentiments about hordes of bicyclists descending on their shops while other customers are present, given spandex’s and pedaling’s perspiration-producing propensities. Although no merchant is likely to publicly express such a concern, given City Hall’s subservience to whatever local business wants, we cannot rule out the possibility that officials de-emphasized bicycle parking because merchants quietly hinted at such a concern.

Bicyclists think in a different paradigm from the rest of us and even use a different language. One might be forgiven for concluding Mehaffey’s letter ends with a demand that merchants hand out free lollipops to bicyclists because lollipops are “cheap stuff.”

A search for “lollipop posts” yields “the word you’ve entered isn’t in the dictionary” from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and an Internet search brings back earrings, postcards and somebody’s blog. So is a lollipop post a rack with free lollipops?

Shouldn’t the editor at least have insisted he provide a picture of what he means for the benefit of the ignorant masses? Failing to do so only reinforces the tone of these letters, which seem to talk down to the rest of us.

– Dino Drudi