Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oh Boy.

So I was wandering around the Internets tonite and I stumbled across something regarding some "concerned" citizens in Iowa trying to petition legislature there to BAN CYCLISTS FROM USING FARM-TO-MARKET ROADS. It struck me as odd that people would gather themselves to actually push for something like this. Either way they've set themselves up with a website and are inviting Iowa residents to sign their petition. You can see everything related to their efforts here (including the names of the people who have signed so far, even the ones that wish to be left anonymous....cowards).

Here's a sample from from the petition list. (I put my favorite lines in italics):

# 136:
5:10 am PDT, Jul 28, Name not displayed, Iowa

"Farm to Market roadways are no place for bicycles. Bicycles slower speeds and visibility makes them inherently dangerous for bicyclists and motor vehicles alike - this should be so obvious. Farm machinery is also slow and a dangerous mix with other motor vehicles (although much more visible), and for that reason, I would prefer that they too be banned from these roads; BUT the difference between the two are obvious - the use of farm machinery is commerce not recreation. I have a family with young children that depend on my welfare. My wife and I have determined that operating even a motorcycle is not safe behavior for someone in my position, let alone a slower moving bicycle! While I am generally a defender of personal rights, this may be one case where the law needs to be changed to protect people AND THEIR FAMILIES from wreckless behavior, not to mention we motorists. Bicyclists - quit worrying about your precious rights (better said PRIVILEDGES), and start thinking about your responsibilities!"

# 61:
Jul 25, 2009, Anonymous, Iowa

"Because bikers think that they need the same privledeges and rights and cars and they can't maintain near the same speed as a car. Plus it gets annoying hearing about bikers complaining about "speeding" cars or getting hit when they are riding on a road with blind curves and steep hills. The state has plenty of bike trails or other recreational areas for the bikers. Roads are for cars."

# 60:
Jul 25, 2009, Anonymous, Iowa

"It is unfortunate that a bike cannot compete with a car/truck/etc. in an exchange of inertia, but that's the way it is. The laws of physics cannot be changed. A vehicle's driver is then the one left holding the bag. A bike that does not yield, and that is usually the case, never seems to get the blame. Unfair. I would like to walk along the interstates."

# 52:
Jul 25, 2009, Rich Smith, Iowa

"They are a hazard to themselves and others, also when they get hit the driver of the vehicle is automaticly at fault. I too have encountered them riding three abreast and totaly ignoreing the cars. If They want to ride on the highways require them to spend a couple hundred up to six or eight hundred dollars for registration plates like I do for my car. Also I believe proof of insurance like we do would be in order."

# 51: (my personal favorite)
Jul 25, 2009, Pat Mcnamara, Iowa

"there is alot of money spent on farm to market road. Licence the bickiclist. Like the rest of of. I go to work as early as 5:30 and have to look out for the bikes. In the middle of the road."

# 7:
Jul 15, 2009, Leroy Wolfe, Iowa

"Until bycyclists are forceed to obey all vehicle traffic laws the same as cars, I oppose them riding on roads period."


Justin said...

Kris, thx 4 bringin this fars to lite, we n Iowa R tird uv bein hassold bie noiz kars an them go 2 fast... seriously, can't keep that shit up, too funny, you obviously pulled the most ridiculous petitioners out of the stack to highlight, but good on 'er, nonetheless... I love Iowa, but some of us sound really fuckin' stupid...

Ben H. said...

As much as I love cycling, I do agree with *some* of the comments made. Cyclists really need to obey traffic lights and signs. I generally ride to work 3-4 times a week (for a total of 21 miles round trip) in addition to recreational riding and I have seem many, many bikers run stop signs, coast through lights, swerve in front of traffic, riding at night with no reflectors or lights, etc. Just a few weeks ago I nearly ran a lady on a bike over because she didn't stop at one of the Munger trail road crossings that are clearly marked with (bike trail) stop signs. I do wish that bicycle education was mandatory for new riders. How would you enforce this? I have no idea, but there are just as many cyclists with bad habits and attitude problems as there are motorists.

Gunnar said...

For every bike I see failing to follow the laws (that while obligated to do so, are set for cars as the primary focus anyway), I'd have to say that I see 10-20 cars fail. Bicyclists rolling through stop signs? Cars do it more. Bikes running red lights? Cars do that more too. Funny, not may bicyclists break the speed limit (which except where stated on specified highways, are maximum limits), yet cars break this law ALL the time. Hmmm, if we should ban users from the road because they pose a danger, then cars should be the first to go. Cars kill more people everyday then bikes do. There are more degenerate drivers with no regard for laws and public safety then there are rouge cyclists.


This is a video (from Iowa) showing car after car running a stop sign. Hmmmm...

I have seen drivers drive without proper licence. They drive drunk. They drive in unsafe vehicles, with lights missing and/or broken or just not turned on. They drive recklessly. And I have seen drivers in vehicles that are over capacity of passengers and/or cargo.

So the argument of cyclists needing to follow the laws are moot. The laws are what they are and should be followed by all. It's that that if they don't we will revoke their right to use.