Friday, May 21, 2010

The Ethicist on a Bike

I love this guy's column in the NYTimes so I was intrigued when I heard he made this short film with Streetfilms about bike riding in NY. I can't help but be supremely envious of NYC's bike paths that run along the inside of car parking areas. Damn, that's genius! Now that our new commute brings us into a far more heavily-trafficked route, I must say I am starting to wish louder and harder for more bike-friendly infrastructure around here.

I like hearing what Randy "The Ethicist" Cohen had to say about riding the wrong way on a bike path/street (don't do it!) and interested in his take on bikes and red lights. While I do appreciate the "Idaho Stop," I still am in the camp that I must always stop for red lights-- mostly because the majority of the time I am biking, I have at least one kid, if not two or three, in/on the bike with me. I am aware of the modeling I do for them and I always want them to stop at red lights while crossing streets and wait for appropriate traffic signals to walk, bike, or drive. When they are older, I am happy to have the discussion with them about the "Idaho Stop" and risk assessment, but at the moment, we'll stick with the simple-- we stop at red lights.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I did have a bicyclist yell at me in a bike lane about going the wrong way. I thought it was petty because we were both on a lane that is an entire car lane that was converted into a bike lane, it was 6:30 in the morning and we were the only people in the lane for blocks and blocks. We had plenty of room to pass each other and because the lane is next to the curb, they've made it so cars have to park next to the lane so there you are not even near traffic. I thought it was a lame way to start out the day.

The rest of the time I try and use the bike lane in the direction of traffic. I also tend to go through red lights with the same rationale I use as a pedestrian-if there are no cars coming, I may go for it if it puts me ahead of the traffic. But I try and remember that it drives a lot of car drivers nuts to see bicyclists blow through lights and stop signs.