9 Things Drivers Need to Stop Saying in the Bikes vs. Cars Debate

In Wired this morning, Adam Mann addresses some of the myths about cyclists and makes a lot of good points:

There are certain things guaranteed to set off an internet firestorm. Talk about climate change, mention Monsanto, or bring up the treatment of women in video games. And you can, especially in recent years, piss off a whole bunch of people simply by writing about bikes and cars. Nothing seems to bring out the angry caps lock and personal attacks faster than transportation issues.

A recent report showing more cyclists are dying on US streets prompted a remarkable number of stories about cyclist safety. And in the comments section of each, people rehashed the same tired arguments over and over.

So, before the next big wave of internet arguing, I propose we retire a few overused and underwhelming opinions in the bikes vs. cars debate. Though I drive and bike, my allegiances skew toward cyclists (feel free to scroll straight the comments and yell at me). But beyond my personal judgments lie a great many studies and data showing most of the pro-motorist arguments just don’t hold up. I know it’s hard to be wrong, especially on the internet, but here are a few sentences I hope we see less of in the future.

I agree with almost everything he says except for the part about bike lanes.

I had a driver get very mad at me the other day when I cruised through a stop sign. She beeped her horn and shot me a glance. When I saw her at the next stop sign, she was applying her makeup.

One comment

  1. Some good points. At the end of the day, there are plenty of other ways to get around towns and cities and for them to function well. Also, the problem with designing towns around the car (Milton Keynes springs to mind), is that you end up with segregated communities without any organic interaction with each other. All so that you can have a duel carriageway laid out in grid systems. The end result is places without a definate town centre or community. That said, at least MK built cycle tracks into the design.


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