Monday, August 17, 2009

Ambivalent, not apthetic

Karen alerted me to news that 20 cyclists participating in one of the weekly rides in Kansas City got pulled over and ticketed -- to the tune of $95 each -- for running a stop sign, presumably all in a group.

Now, I'm not going to point fingers DIRECTLY at the weekly ride, or the nefarious behavior of the local yacht bicycle club, but suffice it to say, I'm torn. I most certainly do not want to stand in their defense. At the same time, I can't say I feel sorry for them.

They had it coming, but their transgressions as a group aren't much different than the transgressions I witness frequently -- by motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike. It just so happened that this group was preyed upon because it was easy, predictable pickings. Entrapment? Please.

I feel that this will give a lot of the bike haters (and believe me, there are many in this town) a reason to say "we told you so!", and that sets a bad precedent. While I don't know how the math works out statistically due to how unbalanced the transportation mode shares are, I can say that I see a LOT of motorists doing the same things that they accuse cyclists of. And I see a lot of pedestrians pulling some of the most asinine and brazen of jaywalking stunts, too (and NO ONE complains about them)

If cops are going to get into the business of camping out near intersections for the purpose of issuing "failure to stop" tickets, I would bet that Warren can think of an intersection that might be a good candidate...

Our society has become fueled almost entirely by entitlement and superlative self-importance. We're talking about a culture of individuals who in the not-too-distant future may happily throw all of humanity under the bus to spare their own existence.


MRMacrum said...

Our society has become fueled almost entirely by entitlement and superlative self-importance. We're talking about a culture of individuals who in the not-too-distant future may happily throw all of humanity under the bus to spare their own existence.

I often wonder if that horse has already left the barn.

I am with you on this one. No sympathy for the group. They blew off the sign and were called on it. Boo Hoo.

Josh Mitchell said...

I, too, have to agree with your "entitlement and self-importance". It's all too true about today's society. My main regret about this particular situation is the ammunition it gives the anti-cycling crowd.

J said...

Idaho has done a nice job of addressing this.

Anonymous said...

A good reminder that if bicyclists want to be treated like they have all the same rights on the road, they need to obey those same rules.

Does KC have a points system? And if so, will this get reflected on their auto insurance, leading to a higher insurance premium?

Chuong Doan said...

Those jackasses had it coming. They had been warned multiple times yet they kept making the rest of us cyclists look bad with their jackass behavior.
On the other hand, I bet over 50% of drivers roll through stop signs and red lights yet thats somehow acceptable.

The Unabashed Blogger said...

I want to stop at stop signs and I honestly can't think of very many I have rolled through, but I have rolled through them. I mean, at 5 am, there isn't a lot of traffic to speak of. I think I will have to make sure I am more careful about making sure I stop.

What I really have a problem with are red lights. Is there a known law or ordinance about these? Whether I am on my motorcycle or bicycle I have problems with the lights not being sensitive enough to pick up either bike and commonly have to 'run' the light. Some of the lights won't even recognize my suv or car.

I don't see why we can't all (cyclists and motorists)stop at stop signs. However, something needs to be done about the red lights.

J said...

Missouri is on it:

Anonymous said...


Regarding the traffic sensors, if you are having great difficulty with them at certain sensors, contact the town and ask them to adjust the sensitivity to a higher level.

kG said...

I think for SOME drivers and SOME cyclists, the "cop-didn't-see-it-I-didn't-do-it" mentality comes into play. The problem with SOME cyclists that do this... someone ELSE probably DID see it. The same motorists that get hacked off at bicyclists probably get hacked off at other drivers, too. Either way, these clowns suck.

Unknown said...

I could write the same exact entry for her here in Louisville (sans tickets but certainly with similar themes).

The answers are complicated, but I'm just gonna keep riding my bike as transportation and not as a toy. That's all I can do.

Venny said...

I like your yacht club reference. These people usually strike me as elitists.

I thoroughly enjoy reading this blog, but absolutely hate the title. I'm sorry, but calling your personal blog "KC Bike Commuting" seems a little arrogant.

Noah said...

Well, this was my first genuine crack at blogging. A lot of other personal blogs of bicycle commuters are _____ bike/bicycle commuter/commuting. So I'm far from alone.

And after more than 2 and a half years of regular posting, I really don't see much point in changing it. At least you seem to like what I have to say. And at least I'm still going strong on bike commuting.

Thanks, I guess?

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