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When bicycling is outlawed(46 posts)

When bicycling is outlawedcyclinseth
Dec 17, 2002 6:36 AM
will only outlaws ride bicycles?

In our current, selected administration's bid for global domination and oil control, they are forcing open more oil-consuming markets. Such plans include dismantling the railroad system, defunding MUTs and public transportation projects, stifling alternative energy projects and banning bicycling at the local level of government. All this to stimulate a greater number of single-occupancy motorvehicle traffic. And on the flip side, deregulating the automobile industry's compliance for greater feul efficiency.

So I ask, what are your plans when the federal agents bust down your front door to take your bicycle away?

I say, you can have my bicycle when you pry it from my cold dead hands.
I hope you're jokingPescador
Dec 17, 2002 6:41 AM
or at least locked away somewhere.
A good conspiracy can't be disprovedcyclinseth
Dec 17, 2002 6:46 AM
It's happening. You go into any "community" development that has spurng up in the past 15-20 years. Guess what you don't see. Sidewalks, and at least a 2-car garage in every house.
A good conspiracy can't be disprovedmohair_chair
Dec 17, 2002 7:20 AM
So if that has been going on for 15-20 years, how can you blame it on the current administration's lust for oil?

I don't know where you live, but nearly every new development I've seen in the last 15-20 years in California has sidewalks. And there hasn't been a house built here with less than a 2-car garage since the 1940s.
I don't know where you live, but...biknben
Dec 17, 2002 7:36 AM
I grew up in a neighborhood that was built in the 50's and 60's with no sidewalks. Now, developments not only have sidewalks, they have bike lanes, and MUTs connecting them to other developments.
The new trend is towards ped friendlylaffeaux
Dec 17, 2002 1:25 PM
The federal government has less to so with local street design than local planning commissions, developers, and home owners. The major trends of the 1950-1980s was to make neighborhood designed for the car. Not all communities were this way, but many were.

More recently there has been a movement called "New Urbanism" which has placed much more emphasis on accounting for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Smaller yards and houses combined with better designed streets and easy access to commercial services are being combined in new developments. Unfortunatley not all new communities are built this way.

As a consumer, you can make sure that any new home that you buy follows the principals fo New Urbanism. If the demand is there, more and more communities will change. It's going to take a long time to overcome the mistakes that were made in our past.
Don't worry, real cyclists don't use sidewalks IMHO. nmSpunout
Dec 17, 2002 9:07 AM
Kid's do, and they are the next bikers (nm)laffeaux
Dec 17, 2002 1:12 PM
I don't see sidewalks, but I do see shoulders and MUTs...fbg111
Dec 17, 2002 10:47 AM
all over the place. At least in Raleigh, NC.
It's no joke.gregario
Dec 17, 2002 7:02 AM
It's happening in some communities. Just this morning on my local radio station it was reported that the school board wants to "outlaw" skateboards, scooters, rollerblades on school grounds. Can bikes be far behind?
That has more to do with loitering, etc...biknben
Dec 17, 2002 7:40 AM
School board you mention is just trying to reduce loitering, vandalism, liability. The community should build a skate park and give these kids some where to play.
This happened once before, guys ...Humma Hah
Dec 17, 2002 6:58 AM
... In the middle of the last century, GM bought up the electric trolleys and replaced them with busses. Many cities and towns outlawed bicycles on the streets. The automobile ruled. Track cycling went from a big-time spectator sport to an eccentric and little-known hobby. Bikes were reduced to kid's toys.

Interestingly, it was an effort by public officials, including President Truman, to repopularize cycling, that got this situation at least partly reversed.

I don't think cycling will die, but don't fool yourselves that there are not forces at work who'll TRY!
Don't know what the current status iscyclinseth
Dec 17, 2002 7:10 AM
but I recently heard that the City of Chicago passed some kind of law that declared bicyclits not proper users of the roads.
Dec 17, 2002 7:17 AM
Chicago is bike friendly for a big city-the mayor even rides. Would like to see the source. . .
Where are you getting your information?Kristin
Dec 17, 2002 7:35 AM
Cycling is alive and well in Chicago and our mayor participates. Suburbs like Arlington Heights have active and well respected cycling commissions and a huge network of cycling routes. Plus, we are the land of MUT's.
I probably read it on this board, but I honestlycyclinseth
Dec 17, 2002 8:20 AM
can't remember exactly. But I do remeber reading that the federal government will be defunding MUTs for national highway projects.
You might be referring to....Gregory Taylor
Dec 17, 2002 8:30 AM
....a piece of litigation in Illinois a while back that arose out of a bike accident.

The state was working on a bridge, and had stripped the road surface, leaving gaps big enough to catch a bike tire but would be fine for an automobile. A guy out on a training ride hit the bridge, got a tire caught, and wound up with life-threatening injuries. The legal question was whether the state had left the bridge in an adequately safe condition for its intended purposes - the passage of traffic. This, in turn, raised the question of whether a bike going over the bridge was within the scope of the intended purpose of the bridge. The Illinios Supreme Court (I believe) held that the state had no liability because, boiling it all down, bikes ain't traffic and roads are built for cars.

Baaaaad decision.
"The bridge"MR_GRUMPY
Dec 17, 2002 5:46 PM
I think that you are talking about the bridge on old St. Charles road, south of Wayne. The bridge was in very poor condition for a long time. I used to have to be very careful whenever I crossed it. The way I heard it, the guy wasn't paying attention and went over it full speed. I think that the village used the "not intended user" defence, only as a legal tactic. It worked....
There are a few roads on the north shore that have been closed to bikes because of problems with traffic.
What you read was...Kristin
Dec 17, 2002 9:17 AM
A thread posted about Ridge Road in Evanston. Cycling is banned on Ridge Road and that there are signs posted on that street stating as much. Its is just one street, not the whole city of Chicago that has banned cycling. And technically, its not even in Chicago.

The hottest cycling topic within city limits has been the ban of bikes from sidewalks along 6 blocks of Sheridan Road. Sheridan is a major access way for cyclists between downtown and the northside. Cycling is still perfectly legal on the street. The problem is, that traffic is so crazy along that stretch of Sheridan that most cyclist prefer the sidewalk, which of course, peturbs the pedestrians--who we all know that the universe revolves around Chicago pedestrians.
There's info on the old cycling bans ...Humma Hah
Dec 17, 2002 9:35 AM
... of half a century ago, in Pridmore and Hurd's _The American Bicycle_. I don't recall Chicago specifically, but several major cities DID essentially ban cycling for a while. A major push, with top political leaders at the forefront, overcame the bans. That included mayors and the President.

Nowadays, you'll probably not hear of a top politico trying to ban cycling, but you'll often hear complaints from fat motorists and the organizations that represent them.

I'm FAR more worried about the middle bureaucrats. These are the folks who are tasked with devising plans so that cyclists and motorists can share the road with little or no additional cost but near-zero risk to the jurisdiction. I.e, they paint bike lanes where ever it is convenient. They're also the ones who recommend rules that minimize their own personal liability.
Yep! That's how LA lost its trolley systemRickC5
Dec 17, 2002 11:29 AM
Now LA is spending millions/billions attempting to build a subway system that people have no use for.
Urban legend?mickey-mac
Dec 17, 2002 8:52 PM
Growing up in Southern California, everyone hears the story about how GM, the oil companies, and the tire companies conspired to put an end to public transit by buying and scrapping the Pacific Electric Red Cars. My recently deceased uncle, who was a PE Red Car conductor, also took the story as gospel. Here's another point of view:
And for our purposes ...Humma Hah
Dec 18, 2002 6:55 AM
... what is important is that GM DID replace electric trolleys with diesel busses, and we're breathing the fumes on every city ride. They also invented "planned obsolescence", and encouraged America's infatuation with the automobile. They're just pandering to the public's wants, of course, but as parts of the problem go, they're very big willing participants. And they're no friend of cycling.

I've ridden across old trolley tracks, and they're not exactly bike-friendly, but at least they stay put, and I can deal with 'em. I've also gotten quite a few faces full of diesel exhaust, and it ain't pleasant OR healthy. And I've never been deliberately run into a curb by a trolley, but I HAVE by a city bus!
got any references for that info? nmDougSloan
Dec 17, 2002 7:05 AM
here's one ..dotkaye
Dec 17, 2002 3:02 PM
not quite federal regulation of bicycles, but definitely in favor of oil consumption..
Oliver Stone is looking for you ...HouseMoney
Dec 17, 2002 7:18 AM
he'd like to develop a new conspiracy project in which to cast Sean Penn and he needs a plot.

And regarding your comment "our current, selected administration", it's too bad about that Article II, Section 1 thing in the U.S. Constitution, isn't it?

Chicken Little is alive and trolling on the 'net.
Holy political paranoia, Batman!!! (nm)biknben
Dec 17, 2002 7:44 AM
I'm not paranoid, they're out to get you too nmcyclinseth
Dec 17, 2002 8:21 AM
Just because I'm paranoid, don't mean they're not after me (nm)MisJG
Dec 17, 2002 10:50 AM
cyclinseth's bike only makes left hand turns. nmLEW
Dec 17, 2002 7:47 AM
Just a comment on MUTs and cycling legislationbrider
Dec 17, 2002 7:55 AM
I'm wondoering about the movement of bikes from the roads to the MUTs. I know from the cyclists perspective that MUTs are the bane of all that is performance cycling, but there's a mentality that once MUTs are built, that the bikes belong there and NOT on the road. Been told this even by POLICE OFFICERS. My view is a bit different. I'm thinking more along the lines of making the ROADS more bike friendly, not removing the bikes from the road. I'd say, make it mandatory that all new road construction and road improvements included a minimum 3' MAINTAINED shoulder, without buzz strips.
BINGO! MUT = Bicycle Ghetto To Some PoliticiansGregory Taylor
Dec 17, 2002 8:17 AM
While most cyclists would welcome the construction of MUTs that create safe corridors away from traffic (I use one to commute to work - trust me, you couldn't do it safely from where I live without the bike trail), you risk creating the expectation, having spent the tax money to build the damn thing, cyclists should now leave the roads and restrict their activities to the trails. In our local paper (The Alexandria Gazette-Packet), there was a series of editorials about this issue. The U.S. Park Service had just spent some $$$ to update the Mt. Vernon Trail, and the fine editorial minds at the newspaper opined that, having spent the money, the Park Service could now please remove those irritating cyclists from the GW Parkway. I know the editor, and even he admitted that he wouldn't ride his bike or walk his dogs (GAAAH! This guy truly doesn't get it!) on the trail on a weekend because it was too dangerous and busy.

It isn't all gloom and doom, however. Over on Telegraph Road, VDOT has just finished a road widening project that - TA DA! - has a marked bike lane on the shoulder. Good job!

MUT's are good. Good roads are better. And enforcing the laws so that cyclists get respect on the road is best of all.
I am the ghost of discussions past....Ahimsa
Dec 17, 2002 8:18 PM
Ahimsa "Bike Lanes" 8/12/02 9:25am

Eerie...isn't it?

Wow... Are we getting like Bicycling Magazine?Gregory Taylor
Dec 18, 2002 6:13 AM
The same stuff gets recycled every six months or so. This time by different people. Full props to the A-Man for discussing this this first.
That has been done in MACartman
Dec 17, 2002 8:57 PM
A great organization has helped to pass laws that take into consideration bike/ped use for all new construction. Visit
All of you nay-sayers with your heads buried in the sandcyclinseth
Dec 17, 2002 8:12 AM
mark my words:

Within the next 5 years a bill will be rushed through a midnight session of congress that will require all bicycles to be registered, lisence-plated and owner-insured. Anybody wishing to, operate a bicycle will have to undergo a lisencing program beginning with bicycle-school (akin to driving school), be issued a learners permit which will require a 6 month, to 2 year probationary period where the applicant will be made to ride first on a bicycle-trailer, then an independent (not the manufacturer in Massachussets) bicycle with training wheels, then be required to take another test in order to remove training wheels, with mandatory testing every few years.
LOL! I can just picture a Colnago with training wheels!!HouseMoney
Dec 17, 2002 8:35 AM
Hmm, should one get the ti or carbon fiber training wheel brackets?

Good thing I wasn't sipping my coffee as I read your comments.
Laugh all you wantcyclinseth
Dec 17, 2002 8:40 AM
You will not have that option. All training wheels will be made from iron.
I don't know if that's such a bad thing.brider
Dec 17, 2002 9:27 AM
Bike school and probationary periods, that is. And how about making automobile drivers licenses into categories, as USCF licenses are. Cat 5 drivers can only drive on roads with a maximum speed limit of 25 mph. Cat 4s can go on 40 mph roads. Cat 3s can go on state routes, but not interstates. Cat 1s and 2s can drive the interstates. Only cat 1s can drive the hot cars. Anyone else up for this?
All of you nay-sayers with your heads buried in the sandwasabekid
Dec 17, 2002 10:11 AM
I am not sure if you're really for real, but I think you have been riding your bike with the seat tilted TOO FAR UP! It's starting to restrict your blood circulation and is affecting your cognitive/critical thinking ability.

Tilt it down a bit it'll, work wonders for you.

Good Luck...
sounds good to mechops
Dec 18, 2002 5:06 AM
That doesn't sound like such a bad idea. One of the main problems with the whole bike/auto issue is the way in which most cyclists handle themselves. Maybe some lessons in proper technique and ETIQUETTE are exactly what some people need to stop riding around like jackasses. The people that carry the self-righteous attitude typically don't strike me as the types that spend very much time on the road and therefore are less likely to have to deal with the fall-out(i.e. pissed-off motorists) from thier actions. Up with the man!
lay off the "X Files" for a whileDaveG
Dec 17, 2002 9:16 AM
I certainly support bike advocacy and cyclists rights, but I find your scenario a bit over the edge. When those jack-booted thugs kick down my door to take my bike you are welcome to a "I told you so"
Ill have to mount my Glock on the handelbars to protect my bikekoala
Dec 17, 2002 9:32 AM
illegality will only make it more popular - ask your kids NmSpirito
Dec 17, 2002 10:11 AM
The riding club will be an outlaw biker gang! CoOl! We can callSnowBlind
Dec 17, 2002 3:12 PM
ourselves the "Golden Horde" instead of the Golden Wheelman!
Oil market domination, Yes. Further oil consumption, No.GeoCyclist
Dec 17, 2002 5:38 PM
You are correct in the your assumption of the US government's current aim to dominate the global oil market. As the third world economies modernise, 25% of the worlds population will no longer be able to consume 90% of the world energy resorces. In the next ten years it is more likely the US government will give tax credits to cyclist before they throw them off the road; as cheap petroleum based fuel will be a thing of the past.