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What do you do to improve relations?

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What do you do to improve relations?

Old 03-12-19, 08:14 AM
  #26  
55murray
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Anybody else regularly remove road debris? Spilled firewood, lumber, large rocks, etc. It is easy for me to pull over and grab this stuff, much harder for a motorist to do so. They can see me do this with my bike visible nearby.
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Old 03-12-19, 08:28 AM
  #27  
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Once I got in a heated yelling match with a grumpy old man in a Suburban. Yelling across the passenger seat about state law & I pay $250/month in property taxes for the road & what-not. Brushing my with his mirror while I ride the speed limit (25 mph) has a way of sparking "not-joy."

I'm convinced it didn't make a hill of beans difference.

Instead, I've had luck humanizing my response. For example, when I was passed by a fellow employee at my workplace (30,000 people work there) I chased him down to his parking spot & told him: "I work here too." He claimed he thought he had enough room. I figured it was a good opportunity to let him know it was legal & totally cool to cross the line to pass the same as if I were a farm tractor, a horse, a fallen tree, or a pedestrian.

I think the disconnect is drivers are told: "bikes are vehicles" but they then don't have any follow up about expected behaviours around cyclists or what other laws apply or the exceptions to laws & it irks them.

I had a recent conversation with a co-worker that hates cyclists "in the car lane." It took a bit to sus out that his attitude was colored by a single 1/4 mile section of narrow road with a 25% grade that we have locally. "Cyclists go slow, hold you up, then bypass all the traffic & ride all the way to the stoplight. Inconvienant cheaters!" He says.

On that section there is a sidewalk & no driveways or other side approaches. I agreed with him, knowing the exact spot he is talking about. For that spot, the sidewalk is the safest, least obstructive place for a cyclist to be. He couldn't understand why a cyclist wouldn't just let everyone by. The idea that it was probably so steep that to have gearing low enough to climb it likely meant is was too low to get going was something he never would've considered. He now understands that the cyclist is likely feeling as trapped & is as uncomfortable as the driver & would go to the sidewalk if he could, but there isn't a way to get there.

A bit of empathy, & honest conversation off the bike about cycling specific hazards/concerns to humanize things seems to be a more productive approach.
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Old 03-12-19, 08:39 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by 55murray View Post
Anybody else regularly remove road debris? Spilled firewood, lumber, large rocks, etc. It is easy for me to pull over and grab this stuff, much harder for a motorist to do so. They can see me do this with my bike visible nearby.
I've brought along a saw and hedge trimmers to clear brush and branches growing into the road. This creates more room to share the lane or safe bailout space when I'm fully in the lane.
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Old 03-12-19, 08:57 AM
  #29  
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Leading by example on the road helps the most. If you follow the laws, people tend to respect you more (who knew?). If I'm talking to someone who dislikes cyclists, I'm a big fan of asking questions starting with "why" until that person can't justify their irrational belief.
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Old 03-12-19, 10:13 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
He now understands that the cyclist is likely feeling as trapped & is as uncomfortable as the driver & would go to the sidewalk if he could, but there isn't a way to get there.

A bit of empathy, & honest conversation off the bike about cycling specific hazards/concerns to humanize things seems to be a more productive approach.
Interesting bit there. I assume (from what I read here) that some cyclists really do have an "Eph You!" attitude towards cars, and relish taking the lane and being obstructionist ... but Most cyclists, based on years of interaction in real and virtual space, would vastly prefer Not to have a bunch of angry, impatient drivers sitting on their wheels, looking for a way to get by, even if it involves brushing the cyclist off the road.

It is so very rare to get a chance to talk to an angry driver after the fact, and explain that both of us are trapped by inadequate laws and inadequate infrastructure.
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Old 03-12-19, 08:23 PM
  #31  
Jim from Boston
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What do you do to improve relations?
Originally Posted by base2 View Post
…I think the disconnect is drivers are told: "bikes are vehicles" but they then don't have any follow up about expected behaviours around cyclists or what other laws apply or the exceptions to laws & it irks them…
FYA, just last week I made such an argument on a.public forum. I posted to our local regional Metro Boston discussion thread:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Just this morning on the 6-7 AM segment of the Jeff Kuhner talk show on WRKO, he discussed proposals by mayor Marty Walsh to decrease the speed limit in Boston to 20 mph, and increase the number of bus and bike lanes. He was vehemently against it, as were many of the callers, with snide comments about cyclists.

I called in as Jim from Boston “speaking for "Boston’s cycling community” and introduced myself as his Number One Fan among Boston cyclists. I made two points: bicycles are entitled to be on the road, and the more cyclists, the fewer other cars, and the more parking spaces available..

Jeff was pretty gracious, but I (accidentally) got cut off. Afterwards, he made some reasonable remarks about my call, but took me to task to speak for Boston’s cycling community, as “another protected class.” (Another WRKO talk show host, Howie Carr, once referred to us as Spandex-Americans. )

I sent a rebuttal text to the station, FWIW:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Hi Jeff,

I called in this morning to “speak for the bicycling community” insofar as I was certain to be the only bicycle commuter to call in. I was speaking for myself, but I am an active participant on an Internet Bike Forum, with much discussion about cycle commuting. I’ve been cycle commuting in Boston for decades so I do claim expertise.


Before I got cut off I was going to make my third point that cyclists are ultimately responsible for their own safety, and I agree with your subsequent comments about cycle-auto collisions.

In the “cycling community” there are two schools of thought about riding in traffic: As Far Right as Possible: close to the curb; or Take the Lane to be out there and visible to cars. Bike lanes encourage the former behavior, likely more tolerated by motorists.

Bike lanes are not that wide, but then cyclist is in the “door zone” in danger of opening doors from parked cars.
Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
Give 'em hell for me, Jim!
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
good, thank you Jim!
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Old 03-14-19, 03:27 PM
  #32  
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Today, as I was returning home, I was at the left edge of my side of the road (just right of the centre line) waiting for oncoming traffic to pass before I can turn left into the street where I live. A motorist, who clearly had the right-of-way slowed down to a stop. Of course I wouldn't proceed until I was sure this "nice-tard " was forfeiting his right-of-way, I waved a thank-you and made my left turn.
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Old 03-14-19, 06:16 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
A motorist, who clearly had the right-of-way slowed down to a stop. Of course I wouldn't proceed until I was sure this "nice-tard " was forfeiting his right-of-way, I waved a thank-you and made my left turn.
Tonight while driving a *gasp* motor vehicle home I came across a person on a bicycle making a left turn. The light ahead just turned red. There were seven people in cars behind me who would also have to stop at the red light. I yielded. The person on the bike waved and made their left turn.

This morning a person walking in a crosswalk, who CLEARLY had the right of way, waved me through. I pulled up my parking brake, shut off my engine, opened my door, stood up and waved ONE finger at the miscreant, and stood my ground until they crossed the road.

P.S. Nobody has the right of way. You can only yield it.*

P.P.S. A word that ends in tard and begins with mus, cus, uni, or leo are OK. Pretty much every other beginning....

-mr. bill

*bonus points for correctly identifying the only vehicles in Cambridge (our fair city) MA who have the right of way.
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Old 03-14-19, 10:08 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post


Tonight while driving a *gasp* motor vehicle home I came across a person on a bicycle making a left turn. The light ahead just turned red. There were seven people in cars behind me who would also have to stop at the red light. I yielded. The person on the bike waved and made their left turn.

This morning a person walking in a crosswalk, who CLEARLY had the right of way, waved me through. I pulled up my parking brake, shut off my engine, opened my door, stood up and waved ONE finger at the miscreant, and stood my ground until they crossed the road.

P.S. Nobody has the right of way. You can only yield it.*

P.P.S. A word that ends in tard and begins with mus, cus, uni, or leo are OK. Pretty much every other beginning....

-mr. bill

*bonus points for correctly identifying the only vehicles in Cambridge (our fair city) MA who have the right of way.
How does that help to improve relations?
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Old 03-16-19, 02:24 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Once I got in a heated yelling match with a grumpy old man in a Suburban. Yelling across the passenger seat about state law & I pay $250/month in property taxes for the road & what-not. Brushing my with his mirror while I ride the speed limit (25 mph) has a way of sparking "not-joy."

I'm convinced it didn't make a hill of beans difference.

Instead, I've had luck humanizing my response. For example, when I was passed by a fellow employee at my workplace (30,000 people work there) I chased him down to his parking spot & told him: "I work here too." He claimed he thought he had enough room. I figured it was a good opportunity to let him know it was legal & totally cool to cross the line to pass the same as if I were a farm tractor, a horse, a fallen tree, or a pedestrian.

I think the disconnect is drivers are told: "bikes are vehicles" but they then don't have any follow up about expected behaviours around cyclists or what other laws apply or the exceptions to laws & it irks them.

I had a recent conversation with a co-worker that hates cyclists "in the car lane." It took a bit to sus out that his attitude was colored by a single 1/4 mile section of narrow road with a 25% grade that we have locally. "Cyclists go slow, hold you up, then bypass all the traffic & ride all the way to the stoplight. Inconvienant cheaters!" He says.

On that section there is a sidewalk & no driveways or other side approaches. I agreed with him, knowing the exact spot he is talking about. For that spot, the sidewalk is the safest, least obstructive place for a cyclist to be. He couldn't understand why a cyclist wouldn't just let everyone by. The idea that it was probably so steep that to have gearing low enough to climb it likely meant is was too low to get going was something he never would've considered. He now understands that the cyclist is likely feeling as trapped & is as uncomfortable as the driver & would go to the sidewalk if he could, but there isn't a way to get there.

A bit of empathy, & honest conversation off the bike about cycling specific hazards/concerns to humanize things seems to be a more productive approach.
I think that too many motorists/people driving cars forget that that person who is on a bicycle is someone's brother/father/uncle/husband/wife/mother/sister/aunt. And is someone who is also just trying to get to work, home, the doctor's office, do their shopping, et cetera. All they see, is "something" that is in their way, and slowing them down.

We need to remind them that we're no different then they are.
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