Saturday, April 25, 2009

PSA: Stop at crosswalks

Lots of people here think that it is optional to stop at crosswalks. But its not. This is a college town, not a driving city and I'm tired of just dealing with it. So here's my promise to you C'ville drivers who don't stop at crosswalks. If you don't notice me because you are speeding and/or talking to your stupid friends on the phone, I will run after your car and yell curse words at you. If you see me and don't stop, I will throw whatever I have in my hands at your car (at this point, I'd like to mention that I've started walking around with a brick - UVA has warned us of too many shootings, beatings, and stabbings for me to buy that we live in a "relatively safe community.")

As if you need more motivation, consider that my future earning potential is massive. Do anything to hinder that potential, and some slick lawyer will make sure you're eating nettles the rest of your life.

Good day!

Update: Today I saw an old man flick off somebody who didn't stop for him at a crosswalk. I emulated this strategy 15 minutes later and derived great pleasure from it. See what good stuff you can learn from the elderly?

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

One might add that, in turn, Charlottesville pedestrians should not freely walk into the road, expecting that cars will stop. Roads are for cars and driving. You walk aimlessly into them at your own peril.

Anonymous said...

I'd further like to add that prople riding bikes have no business riding in the middle of the road unless thay can actually maintain the speed limit. I'm sure that challenging youself to reach car speeds up a slight incline is fun. Driving behind you at 17 in a 25 is not.

Oh, this is directed at bike riders in general and NOT at the writer of this post, who for all I know rides his bike without clogging up traffic.

Anonymous said...

nice form fitting shirt yesterday. and also nice terrible column...again.

douche.

Rule 12 (f) said...

(1) You seem to be conflating two different people.

(2) No idea what 'column' you are referring to.

(3) If you're going to be rude, get off this blog, tyia.

Anonymous said...

5:47 sounds like he's ready for junior high...maybe.

Anonymous said...

Why are the "men" at this law school so catty and passive aggressive? Why don't you all just throw a walk-off, bitches!

Anonymous said...

Honestly, the person who posted at 5:47 made him or herself look quite pathetic.

Why be so mean? Honestly, why?

justincredible said...

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!!!!!!!11!!

FFJ said...

@ 2:58

I think you're forgetting the meaning of the word "limit." A biker doesn't have to go the speed limit to use the roads and the reason bikers ride in the middle of the lane at times is because they don't think it's safe to have cars passing them at the moment. As far as I know, aside form 64, there aren't any roads with a posted minimum speed. If there were and a biker failed to meet that minimum speed, I would understand your complaint. Besides, it's Charlottesville, nothing's that far away. Just clam down and be a bit patient with those of us who choose not to clog our atmosphere with ever more CO2 everytime we want to grab a cup of coffee.

Anonymous said...

As a proud and yet conscientious driver, I will attempt to "be calm and patient" with self-righteous bikers doing their part for humanity as long as these admirable bikers adhere to the traffic signs at intersections (which, almost unanimously, no bikers do). Wanting to be recognized as just another vehicle on the road cuts both ways. While doing this, I will try to suppress the glaring fact that any of these bikers who ever get off of their globe-saving bikes to use a commercial airplane -- even once per year -- leave a larger carbon footprint than individuals who drive their car every day. It will be hard, but we are all in this together.

Anonymous said...

I second the person who is driven crazy by bikers who ride in the middle of traffic lanes. You have no business taking time out of another person's day because you think it enhances your own safety. Ride on street's with biker's lanes if you are worried about the room you have.

Also, on Biker's safety. When you signal a left turn, don't assume the person will slow down. If you don't have room, wait, like cars do.

FFJ said...

"You have no business taking time out of another person's day because you think it enhances your own safety. "

Seriously? You're saying that another person's safety isn't worth a minute of your day?

"any of these bikers who ever get off of their globe-saving bikes to use a commercial airplane -- even once per year -- leave a larger carbon footprint than individuals who drive their car every day."

Sure, but you're not comparing apples to apples there. It'd take an extra week to bike rather than fly 800 miles. In Charlottesville, it takes an extra five minutes max to bike to class instead of drive. One of those options is reasonable, the other is not.

Also, you're argument's like saying because the guy

Anonymous said...

You have no business taking up somebody else's time for sake of your safety when you could, alternatively, take up your own time by taking an alternate route.

Bikers, as a group (not saying anything about any specific people) are incredibly inconsiderate on the road, mostly because they can be. I think it is hard to make a straight-faced argument to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

Hey jackass, roads came around before cars.

Anonymous said...

To the person calling the person annoyed by bike riders a jackass:

What is your problem? Are you 7 years old? If you have a point to make why don't you actually make it instead of simply starting with an insult and ending with what is, at most, a fragment of a thought.

Why the low level of discourse? Aren't we intelligent adults?

J. Crew Model said...

I'm on both sides of this bike/car debate so I think I have some perspective.

Bikers don't do anywhere near the amount of inconsiderate stuff that bad drivers do. I'm much less bothered by a biker riding safely (but slow) than with a fellow driver who can't figure out how to accelerate within 5 seconds of the light turning green.

And to paraphrase Muhammad Ali: "No biker ever threw a glass bottle at me."

FFJ said...

Yea, I drive when I'm back in my sprawling hometown and bike when I'm here or another easily-bikable town. I've never hit anyone (on the car or bike) but I've been hit three times by cars while biking. Each time the driver failed to stop at a stop sign. One time put me in the hospital. Having to drive a little slower for a block or two is nothing compared to waking up in the hospital because the driver thought your safety wasn't worth obeying the traffic laws.

Anonymous said...

Nobody said car drivers should feel comfortable breaking the laws. It is quite obvious that a person in a car who doesn't obey the laws is more dangerous that a person on a bike who doesn't obey the laws.

The point is that Bike Riders routinely break laws, acting like cars when it suits them, acting like pedestrians when it suits them, because they very rarely get ticketed. This is both inconsiderate to drivers (and dangerous to pedestrians) and incredibly dangerous for bike riders themselves.

The original point was simply that when riders clog up traffic by riding in the middle of the rode they take up people's time. They should, instead, take roads where they either can be at or near the limit (10mph under is not near) or feel comfortable on the side of the road. That seems a fair thing to ask.

Anonymous said...

It seems fiar to you because you're asking cyclists to give something up with out asking car drivers to give something back.

There are no posted minimum speeds on Emmett, Rugby or any of the other roads in town.

"The point is that Bike Riders routinely break laws, acting like cars when it suits them, acting like pedestrians when it suits them, because they very rarely get ticketed. This is both inconsiderate to drivers (and dangerous to pedestrians) and incredibly dangerous for bike riders themselves."

Have you ever seen a biker hit a pedestrian? I have not. I've definitely seen cars do it though. Bikers tend to ignore stop signs and the like when it's clear no one's coming and their actions pose no dangers. You sound like your just upset drivers get ticketed when they run a red light and bikers don't. Cars are much more dangerous than bikes though so it doesn't seem too weird for the rules to be applied more strictly against your 1 ton piece of steel than my 15 pound piece of aluminum.

And what about bikers going through an empty intersection at a stop light is so inconsiderate? If a biker cuts off a car, that's another matter but I can't say I've seen that happen and I doubt it happens too frequently because most bikers don't trust a car driver to be paying enough attention to avoid a biker that jumps in front of him.

And what roads do you think bikers should not be permitted to ride? You keep saying we should be taking alternative routes but you never mention which roads bikers, in the world according to Anonymous, are allowed to ride on and which they aren't. It sounds like you're just basically proposing that bikers not ride on the roads you drive on.

I'm sorry if you feel a bit guilty about driving to school and everywhere else but you shouldn't take it out on the bikers.

My original point is that drivers should learn they don't have an exclusive right to use the roads and when they drive like they do they threaten people's lives. They should, instead, either leave earlier so they aren't in such a rush, stay at or near the limit (10mph over is not near) or just be patient and go around the biker when there's room. That seems a fair thing to ask.

Anonymous said...

11:59 and several others:

I don't think the point is that bike riders are worse offenders than car drivers. It think it's that Bike drivers are offenders. Whether or not cars cause more problems has no baring on the fact that there are behaviors bike riders engage in that they ought to stop. Maybe you disagree with that, but stop talking about cars and respond to what's being said instead of this dangerous-ton-of-steel-carbon-footprint-straw-man.

As to alternate roads: it seems the vast majority of riders are comfortable on the sides of all roads. It's fairly rare that a rider rides in the middle of a lane, it seems to me. I am suggesting that these particularly safety-oriented (hardly a put-down) riders find streets that are less busy on which they feel safer.

Anonymous said...

It's can be hard to identify hostility in print. You guys should narrate, I suggested coolly.

Anonymous said...

Because I find this debate far more fruitful than any material on my finals, I'd like to continue it. The most effective criticism of cyclists/bikers is that they conveniently employ the argument that they are just another vehicle on the road when it allows them to complain about cars taking up lanes and not respecting them. However, when it comes to stop lights and (especially) stop signs, they pass cars (on the left and right) and run through them. This is not only dangerous and against the law, but it belies their good faith in arguments like these. This applies equally to the fiction that they are saving the environment while doing so.

Anonymous said...

I've seen many more people hit by bike's than by cars. Granted, the injuries are less severe, but I think it happens a lot. That's anecdotal though, I'm sure there are stats somewhere and perhaps they prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

2:46,

That probably has to do with the fact that traffic laws have not been well-tailored to address bikes. Besides, car drivers break the law all the time in ways they feel are okay because they aren't posing much of a threat to anyone. So I'd argue that by breaking the law in certain situations where there is little to no danger as a result, cyclists actually are acting like any other vehicle on the road.

Anonymous said...

Gotcha, you're jealous that the bikes get to go around you while you're stuck in line at the traffic light. Why didn't you just say so?

Anonymous said...

It's really sad that such a subject as lifeless as this can prompt such a childish back and forth. Why not make your points with out all the jabs?

Anonymous said...

This is quite simple. If bikers would like to cut in front of cars at intersections, etc., then they deserve to be run off of the road by cars, clipped by car doors, and generally disrespected (because, in the end, they are bikers). Feel free to break the law and be a nuisance to everyone but your fellow bicyclists -- just don't whine about it so much (which is the only thing that possibly unites all bikers).

Anonymous said...

As far as I am concerned, bikers should have the right of way over drivers. In some Asian countries, where people don't drive everywhere, and, coincidentially, aren't ridiculously overweight like all the people in this town driving from the law school to mcdonalds and back (or even shorter distances), there is basically a law that says if a car and a bike get into an accident, the presumption is its the car's fault. That's how it should be here, I think. Bikers should be given priority and people who choose to take a wasteful form of transportation to go 1 mile should deal with it.

This is not to say that there's any credibility to the assertion that bikers are on the whole more guilty of violating traffic laws than drivers - quite the opposite. Guess what, in VA if a biker is going an appropriate speed, he can ride in the middle of the road (and has to, sometimes, to do things like make a left turn, etc). The fact of the matter is that i have been biking at 25 mph (have a spedemoter) on a 25 mph road and cars behind me STILL honk even though i'm as far to the side as possible.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, 6:40 pm, insult people with wieght problems. This is what I am talking about. There is a discussion about bike riders and car drivers and thier use of the road. This is a bland, but moderately interesting topic. Gradually things get heated, which is mildly understandible. Now someone makes fun of people with weight problems. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? Honestly, have you never had your feelings hurt? Did you post that without thinking or did you think that insulting people was a good thing to do?

Anonymous said...

6:40 here,

Just to clarifying, I wasn't "insulting people with weight problems", i was jst saying that there's a relationship between it and driving everywhere, as opposed to people who choose a more healthy and environmentally friendly form a transport - i apologize if it came off that way, just saying that if more people biked, we have less of a national obesity epdemic that comes from a sedentary lifestyle and, well, driving everywhere.

justincredible said...

FWIW

cyclists are annoying at times (like old people) but unlike when old people getting behind the wheel, they don't risk harm to anyone but themselves. as long as they accept the fact that i'm occasionally going to hit them, i can accept the fact that they are occasionally going to slow me down.

Anonymous said...

Bikers got offended up in here.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 7:25. Bikers can drive as slow as they'd like and plainly disobey traffic regulations, as long as they accept getting clipped by the occasional car. Just. stop. complaining. Also, I'm starting an obese drivers support club, if anyone is interested

J. Crew Model said...

Ok, how about not. The conclusion of this debate cannot be "it's fine to hit bikers because sometimes some bikers do illegal things." I can piece together who most of the people are in this thread, and I promise that none of you (including myself) are so important that you need to drive recklessly ever.

I also know that none of you are so morally bankrupt as to think putting a biker in the hospital or in a coffin is an acceptable or correct outcome. So slow down, pass safely when you can, and STOP AT CROSSWALKS.

Anonymous said...

Last!

Anonymous said...

If you're going to hit me at will, I'll be slinging my bike lock through your car windows at will. Fair?

Anonymous said...

Well, that's assuming you have any semblance of a bike left after you pass my car on the right while we are all stopped at a stop sign.

Anonymous said...

If only we could properly align into two groups:

-Bikers and Drivers who abide by the rules
-Bikers and Drivers who don't

Such a division makes so much more sense than this Biker v. Driver battle we seem to be having

Also: as someone who thinks that riding bike's is great, I have a favor to ask of some people who have posted: Please, please, please stop making bikers sound so smug with your green-screaming-lecturing. Gives liberals and bike riders a bad name.

Anonymous said...

If bikers spent less time on the road and more time hugging trees, the world would definitely be a much better place.

Anonymous said...

If car drivers spent more time sucking what's coming out of their tail pipes and less time letting it spew forth into the world, the world would definitely be a better place

Anonymous said...

I don't see how mass suicide from carbon monoxide inhalation would make the world a better place.

Anonymous said...

7:09 =/= visionary

Hallam said...

http://www.charlottesvillenewsplex.tv/home/headlines/44021267.html

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a highly unfortunate but isolated incident of a tractor trailer striking a pedestrian definitively settles the debate of whether pedestrians and bikers have any responsibility to act prudently on the roads. Let's not be tawdry.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a highly unfortunate but isolated incident of a tractor trailer striking a pedestrian definitively settles the debate of whether pedestrians and bikers have any responsibility to act prudently on the roads. Let's not be tawdry.

Hallam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hallam said...

"/44021267.html" -- should have been at the end of that first link -- sorry for the confusion, don't know why I am too challenged to post the entire link w/o it cutting off. Anyway, it was a local news story that the c-ville police are cracking down on drivers who do not respect crosswalks and handed out a ton of violations downtown the other day.

Anonymous said...

Dear 4:52, 6:49, 7:20 and probably others,

You sir(s) seem to lack all sense of rationality about this issue. You have yet to countenance the point of the original post, which is that car drivers should stop at crosswalks. (No, this is not a referendum on pedestrian and biker responsibility - read the title of the post.) Instead you seem to believe that Americans have the right to drive whenever, however, and wherever - even if that means on the sidewalk (which crosswalks are an extension of - notice there are no crosswalks on the highway).

What makes this funnier (more sad?) is that you have no problem labeling (we'll use that term instead of "name calling") other posters as tawdry or insensitive all the while.

This leads me to conclude you must have a personal/emotional stake in these issues. I'm guessing one of the following:

1. Your dad assembles cars for a living.
2. You caught a bicyclist peeping into your sister's bedroom.
3. Your college $$$ went to pay for the medical bills of a hippie druggie when your mom ran him over in a crosswalk.

One more thing before you respond - its just a blog.

Anonymous

justincredible said...

"80% of cyclists dangerous lawbreakers"

http://the-riotact.com/?p=707

the author failed to mention that 3 of those 4 illegal acts were murder.

hth.

Anonymous said...

http://www.lvrj.com/news/15713602.html

People in cars killing people.

justincredible said...

eco-terrorists?

this officer thought so:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUkiyBVytRQ&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fgothamist.com%2F2008%2F07%2F29%2Fcyclist_thrown_from_bike_by_cop_is.php&feature=player_embedded

Anonymous said...

Full disclosure: I have yet to comment on this thread, but the 51 comments intrigued me. I do have to say, w/re: to "Have you ever seen a biker hit a pedestrian?" - yes. Although I think most responsible cyclists stick to the road, my biggest gripe is with little douches who think it's appropriate to not only cycle on the sidewalk, but speed back someone from behind without warning. This is incredibly dangerous and has personally gotten me hurt more than once in C'ville while walking to class. If you see someone doing this, please go Nancy Kerrigan on their wheels. You're not 7 anymore. Get your bike off the sidewalk.

Anonymous said...

What's the deal with freaking pedestrians??? They think they own the roads and the sidewalks. Just the other day I saw this guy walk in front of a car and the car had to hit his breaks. Then I saw a pedestrian yell at a biker who rode around him! And then last week two pedestrians asked another for the location of a restaurant and then beat him up! Pedestrians are a danger to everyone on the roads/sidewalks.

Anonymous said...

Omega watches

Oris watches

Rado watches