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Scofflaws

I Have Nothing But Problems with These Guys

I Have Nothing But Problems with These Guys

There is a problem with always holding the high moral ground. It means that everyone else is one of the damned.

I live and work close to the UCLA campus with its population of 29,000 students, many of whom travel back and forth from home on their bicycles. In this part of Los Angeles, there are a limited number of east/west roads suitable for cyclists. It is dispiriting for me as a motorist to have to deal with the attitudes of cyclists who do not feel that they have to follow traffic signals and stop signs, and who could suddenly morph from vehicular traffic to pedestrian traffic and crossing at crosswalks and scaring the Bejeezus out of little old ladies with their shopping carts.

There are two types of cyclists: the ones who are law abiding and those who insist on showing their contemptuous attitude. Usually this second group wears expensive brightly-colored racing designs and fancy helmets. These scofflaws treat automobile drivers as pond scum. A few weeks ago, I made a right turn going eastbound while a westbound cyclist made a left turn into my lane without any hint of a turning signal. He chased me down for almost a mile just so that he could verbally abuse me. He said that he was not required to signal a turn. (They don’t appear to be required to follow any laws.)

That’s why, today, as I exited the parking lot of the main Santa Monica Library, my heart was cheered by seeing a police officer cite a group of cyclists who had violated some law. When I told her about this, Martine was incredulous: She had never a cyclist stopped by the police. She is furious with cyclists who zigzag back and forth from the street to the sidewalk and brush by pedestrians.

2 thoughts on “Scofflaws

  1. I rode a bike to UCLA campus for five years, crossing what was the VA Hospital grounds (don’t know if it’s still there), going through a hole in a chain link fence, through a rather creepy tunnel under the freeway, eventually to the campus, a route followed every morning by a few hardy folks on bikes. I also rode a bike around Santa Monica for years, and my main form of transportation.
    But, I now won’t allow (if possible) anyone I love to ride a bike on city streets, because I have known several young people, meaning the younger generation, not my age, killed by cars. My daughter Angela insists she has a safe route down Venice Blvd. to Marina del Rey, but it still gives me the absolute creeps. No matter how obnoxious you may find the cyclists, the driver of the car has the advantage. If anyone is killed in a collision, it won’t be the driver of the car.
    Bikes are wonderful things, but they don’t mix with cars. If we want to use bikes in urban settings, we need to make more provisions for safety, for everybody.l

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