Thursday, June 18, 2009

Building Cycle Culture

My primary mode of transportation is bicycle. I have cycled in most of Boise and in my experience, like housing values, motorists' treatment of cyclists varies widely across the city.

In some areas of town motorists are polite to a fault as I have nearly wrecked into the back of cars that I am following as they lock up their brakes rather than make a right that they fear may cross my path, even though I've moved to the center of their vehicle once they signaled.

Other areas of town drivers are downright aggressive. I've been intentionally run off the road more than once. I've found the area around the mall to be particularly combative. I'm not sure it's specifically directed at cyclists as motorists seem to be more aggressive period in this area, but unfortunately it is the cyclists who have everything to lose in these conflicts.

Boise is a very bicycle-friendly town but in some places (Cole Rd would be one example) we need separate bicycle infrastructure that insulates bicycles from automobile traffic. The last month has illustrated that brain buckets and laws are the bicycle security theater equivalent of my shampoo bottle being confiscated at the airport.

Separate bicycle infrastructure is vital to the success of the bicycle as a safe transportation option in the Treasure Valley.


Random Guy said...

what gets me is the whole 'us vs them' stigma that is forming. Office banter about how stupid bicycle riders are, and cycling banter about idiot drivers. Can't the world just realize we are all idiots, we just come in different packages? :)