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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Defective By Design: Cycling in Seattle

posted by on July 26 at 19:04 PM


East Aloha street is the city’s designated route for cyclists to get East and West across Northern Capitol Hill.

Roll that in your mind, if you’re prone to think the Critical Mass people were asking for it. “The driver was in his right to run over, by accident or intent, several bicyclists. They were blocking Aloha—the major car route across North Capitol hill. The cyclists were intentionally blocking his way. And, he had dinner reservations!”

East Aloha street is totally insane as a bicycle route. It’s narrow, barely wide enough for two cars let alone cars and cyclists. Cars are idiodically street parked along the length—half on the grass, half on the street. (The self-centered jackasses who park their cars on Aloha deserve to have their cars sideswiped more often.) The road twists and turns, ramps up and down, with terrible sight lines. Cars, particularly those seeking a rapid zip across the hill, naturally gravitate to this street compared to those North and South of it. Nobody should use it as a bicycle route. East Mercer street, East Republican street or East Harrison street are all better choices, despite being broken up and littered with shitty drivers driving way too fast for narrow residential streets.

The City tells you, as a potential cyclist, to use East Aloha street as your route of choice—via the Seattle Bicycling Guide Map, a delightful service of the Seattle Department of Transportation. The document pretty much epitomizes the city’s contempt for cyclists—on the part of the police, the drivers, the transportation department and the government. East Aloha street is designated the same as 12th Ave East, an excellent cyclist route.

Let’s say you’re a decent, law abiding person citizen of Seattle who wishes to start commuting by bicycle—perhaps because gas, car payments and insurance have become too expensive to afford, because you’re sick of being complicit in our increasingly disasterous oil wars, because you’re sick of being out of shape and on the way to obese, or simply because you want to. You get a sturdy bicycle (with gears and strong brakes), a helmet, a light and rigorously follow all laws—laws you’ve read about in the city’s guide. You plan your route using the City’s suggestions and end up on East Aloha street as a result. Mr. I-have-a-dinner-reservation comes barreling up behind you. He attempts a crazy pass on a blind curve. (Aloha is all blind curves.) A car is coming the other direction, he didn’t see. He hits you, slamming you to the ground. He has a dinner reservation. He keeps going. You’re left bleeding on the street. You call the police. They laugh at you. You don’t have insurance—or your insurance refuses to pay, since you cannot name who hit you—so you collect your smashed bicycle and go home and hope your injuries don’t take a turn for the worse.

What a fucking joke. I don’t care how obnoxious and idiotic a cyclist is acting—if every stop sign is ignored, if every law is flaunted, if he or she is on the most idiotic street imaginable (Westlake, the Ballard Bridge, Fairview, Rainier all included.) If you are operating a motor vehicle of any kind, you simply have no right to run the person down or even attempt to run the person off the road, to assault or even attempt to assult another human being because you find yourself inconvenienced by a situation. And, let’s be honest: Even with the most heinous of cyclist behavior, the inconvenience is never more than minor. Nobody has the right to exact a death penalty. Whine, complain, bitch all you want. You are in the wrong for even threatening the act.

Driving is the single most dangerous thing we do, the most dangerous to ourselves and to others. When you get inside all those thousands of pounds of glass and steel and start moving, you are at your highest risk of causing devastating physical harm to yourself and others. Driving is a massive assumption of responsibility. Most of us take about as seriously as flossing. The effort taken to make the transportation infrastructure as safe as possible—for drivers—is the only reason more aren’t harmed each year.

I both drive and bicycle in Seattle. I’ve been incredibly frustrated by the decisions and behaviors of some cyclists. Nothing comes close to the raw fear I’ve felt as a cyclists facing an insane and incompetent driver. As a cyclist, I want to live. I follow every rule, wear every light, stop at every stop, never pass on the right, take the safest routes at off times of day. Despite this, I’ve been assaulted and left to bleed or die by such inept drivers, without an apparent care. Nobody deserves such treatment. Yet our city’s transportation engineers, law enforcement and politicians view the inconveniencing of a driver, any driver, as justification enough.

As a driver, I long for better infrastructure: Proper cyclist routes, with designated lanes and clear markings. Police that are as interested in the safety of the cyclists as the convenience of drivers. I’d be happier. The cyclists would be happier. The entire city would function better.

And so, “pro-cyclist” activism like Critical Mass doesn’t impress me. Creating “awareness” has done nothing to get such an infrastructure in place. The clot of cyclists on East Aloha street this Friday, on a route that shouldn’t be used by any cyclist at any time, did nothing to make my riding across Capitol Hill safer or more convinient—as a cyclists or a driver. Rather than dozens of cyclists in spandex on every first Friday of the month, I’d be far more impressed by four guys and gals in suits, down at city hall every day, demanding the only sensible thing: A proper infrastructure to match how our roads are used, and should be used.

RSS icon Comments


Didn't read, Jonathan.

Critical Mass uses violence and intimidation and then -- get this -- cries foul when they get violence and intimidation in return. So even if Critical Mass ever had a point, now nobody wants to hear it. Best to shut up about bikes for a couple years and hope everyone forgets about Critical Mass.

Posted by elenchos | July 26, 2008 7:13 PM


Then, why bother commenting? Allow me to quote from this very post:

And so, “pro-cyclist” activism like Critical Mass doesn’t impress me. Creating “awareness” has done nothing to get such an infrastructure in place. The clot of cyclists on East Aloha street this Friday, on a route that shouldn’t be used by any cyclist at any time, did nothing to make my riding across Capitol Hill safer or more convinient–as a cyclists or a driver.

And let me ask you this question: When it is justified to intentionally threaten the life of another person? Or threaten physical harm? Like the physical harm threatened by inept driving, crazy passes, absurdly aggressive driving? If your answer really is "if you've been inconvenienced for a few minutes, no matter how minorly" you might want to reevaluate your values as a human being.

Posted by Jonathan Golob | July 26, 2008 7:20 PM

Good work, Jonathan. I can't believe that writing this:

I don’t care how obnoxious and idiotic a cyclist is acting—if every stop sign is ignored, if every law is flaunted, if he or she is on the most idiotic street imaginable (including Westlake, the Ballard Bridge, Fairview, Rainier all included.) If you are operating a motor vehicle of any kind, you simply have no right to run the person down or even attempt to run the person off the road, to assault or even attempt to assult another human being because you find yourself inconvenienced by a situation.

Is even necessary.

The people driving the one-ton machines have the burden of politeness and decency placed on them at all times, simply because their choice of transportation device can murder people very easily. Bicyclists can pretty much only murder themselves, or pedestrians. That's why pedestrians should be treated with the most respect of all. All this whiny shit in the comments about people getting what they deserve is driving me fucking nuts. The car driver didn't deserve stitches. He might have deserved having his tires cut if he was endangering bicyclists' lives. But nobody desrves to be run down with a fucking Subaru, no matter how obnoxious they may be.

Posted by Paul Constant | July 26, 2008 7:26 PM

ha ha.

"didnt read, but, bla bla bla, therefore, bla bla bla"

fucking classic.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Posted by princess | July 26, 2008 7:26 PM

Now: calm down.

On your bicycle: pedal faster.

Posted by jebus h. xst | July 26, 2008 7:30 PM

Jonathan, agree with your vehemence about intentionality: generally, I don't believe anyone has the right to inflict violence by instrument, weapon, or person on another person except in self-defense, so the broad question of whether a driver of a car should ever intentionally hit or swipe a cyclist I'm in agreement on. It's a subset of a very large predicate on which society is based. Or at least I hope every day.

I am seeing, as you are, however, an enormous amount of jackass and asswipe cycling behavior, which has become worse in recent years. I see a lot of folks riding without helmets. That's illegal and stupid. It used to be just stupid. But it's also a personal rights issue, and I don't think the cops should cite folks for not wearing a helmet unless they're an adult riding with kids and their kids aren't wearing helmets. (Any parent who can't afford a helmet for their child in Seattle can obtain one through many different programs. It's not a shortage, unlike many social services.)

I spend about 45 to 60 minutes a day biking from home to work or child care and points in between on fairly well-marked U District, Wallingford, and Fremont roads. The cyclists bad behavior well overshadows bad car behavior.

Cars can easily kill cyclists or pedestrians. However, cyclists can also kill or severely injure pedestrians.

So can we re-educate cyclists to be less shit-headed at the same time we re-educate drivers to the same task? I would estimate at least 5 percent of cyclists fall into that category in my regular commute, engaging and far below 1 percent of drivers. There are more cars than cyclists, so I realize that that's biased towards cars.

I have a very simple plan I'm thinking of calling the city and Cascade Cycling about: an education campaign that would teach cyclists hand signals, incidentally making drivers aware of them, and using the carrot/stick combo of: "It makes cycling safer, and makes it less likely you'll be road pizza when someone doesn't understand your next move."

Posted by Glenn Fleishman | July 26, 2008 7:40 PM

left to die? how did you survive?
were you rescued? what happened?

Posted by chops | July 26, 2008 7:45 PM

You almost had me convinced. However, how about this scenario: A guy is about to make a right turn, and everything is clear. He goes slowly, when a cyclist going at 20 mph shouts at him to stop, hits the hood of his car and stops in the middle of the intersection. And, then, the cyclist's friend stops in front of the car (which stopped for the cyclist) and they proceed to scream at the guy and prevent him from leaving. Saw it happen in front of me.

Now, imagine that scenario with 20+ bikers surrounding the car, as was stated by the eyewitnesses. And, they're pounding on your car telling you that you can't move, and some of them also have knives. In the Friday secnario, Fear and Aggression played a large part in this. Adrenalin can make you do some fucked up things.

I'm not saying the driver was right. Absolutely nobody was right in this immorality tale. And, I'm not saying that anybody deserved being hit by a car. But, they most definitely didn't not deserve it based on all eyewitness accounts.

Posted by TheMisanthrope | July 26, 2008 7:54 PM

Bicyclists can pretty much only murder themselves, or pedestrians. That's why pedestrians should be treated with the most respect of all.

Funny that I've never seen Critical Mass cyclists respect pedestrians.

Again. Assholes. Thugs.

Posted by demo kid | July 26, 2008 8:04 PM


Almost convinced you of what?

There is a reason you won't see me participating in Critical Mass, or other similar events. I have no intent to justify the existence of Critical Mass, or anyone's assault.

I'm trying to convince you, the city, the police, the mayor--everyone--to build. better. infrastructure.

Education, of drivers or cyclists, won't cut it. The city's streets should be designed to keep the lowest common denominator as safe as possible. That means segregated routes, and a whole lot of paint. And some, some tiny, compromising of driver ease for cyclist (and pedestrian) safety.

Want examples? How about a painted climbing lane for cyclists on Lakeview as it crosses I-5? With a big ass sign instructing the dimmest of drivers to NOT pass on the blind curve. And then a police officer to enforce the existing prohibition against passing on a blind curve.
While we're at this route, why not enforce the right hand turn ban where Lakeview meets Eastlake? I've stopped counting the number of times I've been hit as a pedestrian by drivers making this totally illegal turn.

Easy, cheap, and effective. It'll make cyclists and drivers alike more at ease.

Fuck critical mass. And fuck anyone who thinks property crime against a car is, in any conceivable way, justification for violence against a person, any person.

As to this event. Yes, the driver was provoked. His property was threatened with harm. Part of driving--driving is a privileged and skilled task, not a birthright--is being able to control your temper and act with good judgment at all times. The driver's crimes are the more heinous, yet he wanders free in the city.

Posted by Jonathan Golob | July 26, 2008 8:11 PM

Jonathan, my point is that nobody is going to see this as an issue with two sides any more. You're trying to fairly weigh both points of view, but Critical Mass has skunked the bicyclist point of view. Now you know how Islamic moderates feel. Let's wait and see if reasonable bicycling activists get a fair hearing now. They won't and you're wasting your time.

Posted by elenchos | July 26, 2008 8:27 PM

First of all, I'm sorry you've had bad experiences as a cyclist. I've had them too. But, as a pedestrian and a cyclist, I have never had the amount of trouble with drivers as I ever had as a driver with cyclists. Having a better infrastructure is indeed a great goal, but getting people to actually make it there is difficult, especially when cyclists have really high percentages of bad behavior.

All that being said, you almost had me convinced that the driver was the evil villain of this scenario. Even reading the account in Schmader's post, I can't quite convince myself that the driver was the only villain in this scenario. And, none of the accounts have been able to absolve the cyclists of their crimes either.

I've never felt that violence is unacceptable under all circumstances. Protection of one's property is a perfectly acceptable reason for violence. This is why people who shoot burglars and get sued never seem to lose the case.

Running over somebody is a bit drastic. But, if you're surrounded by a group of amped-up bullies, what else are you going to do?

Posted by TheMisanthrope | July 26, 2008 8:31 PM

Parking on median strips either wholly or partially is against the law in Seattle. The police won't enforce it unless the homeowner complains though. I was told that flat out once. Oh well. I guess they know better. Here's a mantra to remember if you are a pedestrian or a cyclist *Police officers are drivers*. Even bike cops are also car cops, obvious enough if you've ever seen them pedaling uphill.

Posted by kinaidos | July 26, 2008 8:32 PM

Designated cycling routes are stupid, and should be ignored. If anything they do more harm than good, by giving cyclists the false impression that they've got a special right there. The same goes for bike lanes; I don't have references but back when I was a regular cyclist, League of American Wheelmen member, etc., it was a truism that bike lanes lead to MORE injuries, not fewer. Most responsible cycling organizations oppose them.

The simple truth is, you ride in the street with other vehicles, and you have the same rights and obligations that cars and trucks do.

What Critical Mass does has NOTHING to do with cycling, though. Their aim is confrontation. Well, here it is. This is EXACTLY what they're after -- they have angered a motorist until he has lashed out.

That makes them the instigator. They get zero sympathy from me. I'm sorry more of them weren't hurt badly enough to make them reconsider living here, and fucking off back to San Francisco where this kind of nutjobbery is considered standard practice.

Posted by Fnarf | July 26, 2008 8:34 PM


While I agree designating bad routes as bicycle friendly is profoundly unwise--it's kinda the point of this post, in regards to East Aloha--I completely disagree that all designated routes and specified bicycle lanes are worthless.

Compare taking Pike vs Pine between Cap Hill and Downtown. Pine, with its contiguous bicycle lanes, is the vastly more pleasant route to take up or down the hill. I just wish Pine was two-way further down into downtown, rather than the uphill lane starting East of 9th Ave. Well designed, well placed and well distributed bicycle specific infrastructure is key to making everyone happy here.

One of the better studies on the subject was done by researchers based out of Harborview in Seattle. They studied pedestrian safety, comparing the danger of jaywalking to using crosswalks. Crosswalks where the drivers are always forced to stop, with a traffic light or a stop sign, were the safest. Next was jaywalking.

The worst was a crosswalk for which the drivers could choose to stop. Some drivers, when observing a crosswalk ahead, decide to speed up to avoid having to stop.

My point stands: We need good, properly designed, infrastructure for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. That means pruning away designated cyclist routes that are unsafe, and building infrastructure that forces crappy drivers (those who speed up when approaching a crosswalk) to behave rationally (forcing them to stop with a sign or a light.)

Posted by Jonathan Golob | July 26, 2008 8:53 PM

I've been riding up Aloha (19th up to 15th and down to Broadway) a couple of times a week since Fred Hutch moved there in 1995. No accidents, no close calls, just a lot of considerate drivers! The uphill side is typically wide enough to allow cars to pass: I occasionally take to the sidewalk to allow traffic to pass.

Being an older person I generally obey all the traffic rules and expect motorists to do likewise. Cyclists and cars in general coexist fine in Seattle and I see little need for Critical Mass and its escapades.

I say this as one who was hit by a car while riding a bike (1980, Eugene, bike-town!) and nearly killed: got married on crutches as a result.
I've been riding daily in Seattle since 1982: worst thing that's happened to me is being knocked off by an opening car-door (only once).

I agree that some areas may be hazardous but Miller area to First Hill or Lake Union is a breeze. U-DUB via Interlaken and Montlake is similarly safe. Ditto Fremont via Eastlake and Burke Gilman. CD via backstreets: easy. Queen Anne: no good answer!

Posted by Andrew Taylor | July 26, 2008 8:55 PM

aloha is narrow and people have been parking that way for years. worked just fine until the CM crowd showed up. will work just fine after they leave. meanwhile you guys are getting enough of my tax dollars to spiffy up the roads so you can ride on them. what like 100 million bucks in that bridging the gap initiative is going to the 1 percent of you crybabies who ride bikes and who don't pay road or gas taxes? perfect commie agenda for this city.

Posted by Harry Callahan | July 26, 2008 8:55 PM

Thank you for this article. Jesus.

Posted by Melinda | July 26, 2008 8:59 PM

Harry Callahan: local roads are mainly paid for with property taxes. So as a homeowner who mostly bikes everywhere (thus causing less wear and tear on the roads then someone who drives), I say "keep spiffying already".

Posted by Melinda | July 26, 2008 9:03 PM

From my ongoing series of comments comparing urban design--which I keep meaning to write into a Formal Article--I have to note:

In Vancouver, the primary cycle routes are not just noted in a map produced by the city (both in electronic and in pocket, fold-up form), but *all the street signs* on the routes have little bicycles on them, and they have bicycles painted on the road with arrows. Also, many of them have intersections every few blocks that force the cars to turn (medians with divots for bicycles).

I live on a major bike route in Vancouver (the "BC Parkway/Off-Broadway" route) and my street sign is one of those. I'm in Seattle this weekend, and I'd forgotten how bad the situation as a cyclist really is.

Posted by Cow | July 26, 2008 9:37 PM

Oh, I'd add -- when I lived in Seattle (and owned a car--I sold it before moving to Van), I lived at 14th and Aloha.

I completely agree with Jonathan's assessment of Aloha. I biked to work, and I would go down Mercer to 12th to Pine/Pike (to get downtown) or to Jackson (to get to the ID/I-90).

Posted by Cow | July 26, 2008 9:39 PM

Golob, I'm usually with you, but your rant here is pretty crazed.

I've biked up and down that exact stretch of Aloha many times, and never felt it was particularly bad, especially compared to Capitol Hill's more notorious bicycle death traps.

Also: Mercer, Republican, and Harrison aren't arterials, so they have a lot of uncontrolled intersections --- hazardous if you're moving downhill quickly on a bike.

Posted by meh | July 26, 2008 9:41 PM

JG: CM means whatever you want it to mean. It's nonspecific. It's riding for the sake of riding, and that's fine and dandy. Nobody corners drivers on I-5 during rush hour and asks them why they're there. When I ride, it's because I'm riding, and the street is there for riding. That's all there is to it, and all there needs to be.

Meanwhile, you wanna put on a suit and lobby, go right ahead. I do that sometimes. And sometimes I ride a bike to show my right to the street.

Posted by TLjr | July 26, 2008 11:25 PM

Posted by Fnarf | July 26, 2008 8:34 PM
"Their aim is confrontation."

Bullshit generalization.

Posted by Sam Hill | July 26, 2008 11:44 PM

I'd say that I can't believe what bicycle apologists the Stranger staff are (and what shoddy journalism they're perpetrating, with all of these obviously biased "eyewitness reports"), but I'm not really surprised at all.

Imagine if this incident DIDN'T involve a bunch of entitled hipsters on bikes (the Stranger's key demographic) and that, instead, it involved a right-wing Christian fundamentalist anti-choice group.

That group decides to stage an un-permitted march and rally through busy city streets during rush hour. They march through our neighborhoods with utter disregard for the people who live there and the people just trying to make their way through there. They block off entire streets for lengthy periods of time and ignore all of the rules of the road-- crossing when they feel like crossing, where they feel like crossing. And they are aggressive-- REALLY aggressive. Yelling at passers by, berating people, some even getting violent.

Some in the crowd are drunk. Some have knives on them, antagonizing people, as they pass, obviously looking for trouble.

A man is attempting to pull out of his driveway and into the street, the street he lives on and uses every day. He might have a "reservation" to get to, he might have an emergency, he might just want to go to the fucking grocery store-- that's pretty irrelevant. What matters is that HE isn't doing anything wrong, he's just trying to go about his day.

As he pulls out of his driveway, he is surrounded by the anti-choice protesters. Aggressively, they tell him that he's just going to have to wait, that it's THEIR turn now-- despite the fact that they have zero legal authority to tell him to wait or to be blocking the road. In fact, they are breaking the law by obstructing traffic (not to mention countless other infractions).

The man is infuriated-- he tells them to move the fuck out of the way, he needs to go. (Wouldn't you do the same if you found a bunch of asshole anti-choicers blocking your driveway?) As he impatiently waits, some of the marchers pound on his car. He gets frustrated and tries to back up, only to find that there are people surrounding the back of his car, too. He accidentally hits one of them, not hard, and he stops.

He's blocked in. Trapped. After he accidentally hit one of them, the mob becomes more violent-- screaming obscenities. Hitting his car. Trying to open the car doors.

His pregnant wife is in the front seat, panicked. Panic sweeps over the man as well. What are they going to do? The mob is getting angrier. His window gets bashed in. The glass goes flying everywhere. Another window goes. Someone pulls out a knife. The tires get slashed. People are screaming, everything is a blur. Someone reaches in the driver's side window and punches the man.

In a blind panic, in self-preservation fight-or-flight mode, the man knows he needs to get out of there, get out of there now-- they have knives, they are angry, they are violent. He needs to keep his wife safe, he needs to keep the baby safe, he needs to keep himself safe. They have punched him, they have broken the windows, they have flattened his tires. He needs to go. NOW.

So he goes. Not far. Half a block. Maybe one block. The crowd is enraged-- HOW DARE HE!!! They pull him from his car and beat him, severely enough that he requires staples to the back of his head.

He was trapped, cornered, and put into a situation that was going to end poorly no matter what. While running into a crowd of people with your car isn't exactly a sane thing to do, no one is claiming that the man was in his right mind when it happened. His windows had been bashed in. He had been hit. People had knives. He wasn't operating on sanity, he was operating on self-preservation and adrenaline.

The anti-choicers are, as any one can see, entirely to blame in this scenario. The Stranger would be outraged-- taking to the streets! Throw the book at them! Lock them up! The bastards had it coming!

But, wait, no. These weren't anti-choicers. They were bicyclists. So somehow, in the eyes of the Stranger, that makes them above the law.

Traffic laws are there for a reason-- for EVERYONE'S safety. There is no reason that Critical Mass can't get permits, can't set a route, can't get a police escort-- other than the fact that they don't WANT to. They believe that they're above the law-- red lights, two way streets, right-of-way: none of that applies to them and their almighty "CAUSE." (Which is what again?... Anarchy?... Douchebaggery?...)

I am pro-bike. I am pro-mass transit. But I am anti-assholes and pricks who think that they can do whatever the fuck they want, to hell with everyone else.

Obviously these asswipes weren't hurt too badly-- the bike has a bent fucking tire and somehow Superman claims that a car "LITERALLY DROVE OVER HIS LEG," yet he ended up without a single broken bone. (Someone call Ripley's 'cause that's a-fucking-mazing.)

When you break the law, and then face repercussions because of it (like getting run over when you're blocking the flow of traffic), that's no one's fault but your own. Don't want to get run over? Don't stand behind a car.

Marches, parades, rallies, funeral processions-- there are policies in place to ensure that groups can congregate SAFELY and without completely disturbing the public. What makes Critical Mass above following the law?

This isn't the first time it's happened-- they have a history of violent aggression. Check out some of the videos that the martyred CMers themselves have placed on YouTube. A highlight is the one where they nearly beat up an elderly couple-- classy. Real classy.

Fuck Critical Mass and their "cause." Fuck 'em all.

Posted by Samantha | July 27, 2008 2:11 AM

When I gew up in Lacey and Olympia back in the late 70s/early 80s, we had designated bike lanes all over town. Imagine my shock when moving to Seattle in 1990 and there weren't any bike lanes to speak of. 18 years later and not much has improved. If Seattle was more bike friendly I would have kept my bike rather than depend on the bus.

Posted by elswinger | July 27, 2008 11:37 AM

You are trying to cross the University Bridge.

Suddenly, an enourmous yacht...the biggest you've seen, blares its horn. You and 1000 motorists must now stop and wait.

Why? Because of Right of Way. Boats had it first.

Well, guess what? Pedestrians (and by extension bicycles) also had it first.

In my view, at any intersection or any road, a pedestrian (or cyclist) has the Right Of Way by virtue of Common Law.

If you are going to allow some Fat Cat in Yacht to use this law to back up traffic for hours, then by God a person walking a historic trail or path that has been there for centuries also has the right.

And don't start talking about taxes. I own a car and pay taxes. If I ride my bike, I should be reimbursed and paid a subsidy for not using up road space and polluting the environment.

Posted by John Bailo | July 27, 2008 6:34 PM

Jonathan, you are absolutely right that Seattle's bike infrastructure is a joke.

Posted by Greg | July 28, 2008 9:03 AM

I lived in Seattle in the 90's and walked almost everywhere I needed to go from my house in Wallingford. I rarely met anyone else walking or riding on my morning commute or my evening return. I remember distinctly thinking to myself that I would never attempt to ride a bike around that town, because it just seemed dangerous--it was bad enough on foot. However, I'll never regret foregoing my car in that city. It's too beautiful to drive; you gotta be out there in that lovely, soft Puget Sound air!

If it becomes safer to bike around there, I may move back up from Cali. I love Seattle sooo much. You're all lucky to be there, even if the drivers all have apoplexy.

Posted by Holly | July 28, 2008 3:29 PM

The ignorance and outright lies against Critical Mass are astounding. The mission of Critical Mass is to meet some place.

And then ride a bike.

There's no agenda beyond that.

Let me repeat for those who are too dim, too brainwashed, or too disingenuous.

1) Meet
2) Ride

That's it.

Nothing else.

That's all.

So, a lot of cyclists clog up roads ONCE A MONTH. Big effing deal. Every hour of every day the roads of America are absolutely crammed with cars and trucks. But no sane person would suggest assault or homicide as a reasonable option. But for some reason, it's okay to consider such actions against a cyclist.


This nation is filled with morbidly obese man-children who would rather choose vehicular assault and prayer at the pump than getting out of their cars and addressing a multitude of their dysfunctions (by walking or biking), which has made our sad banana republic the laughing stock and pariah of the world community.

We are a joke.

This comment thread is ample proof.

They're people on bikes.

Out for a ride.

And they are being called thugs, terrorists, anarchists, and criminals.

America: clown nation.

Posted by Man on bike | July 30, 2008 11:25 AM

seattle is SO not liberal, and the comments here prove it. there's nothing liberal about cars.

i can't wait for the next CM, car-huggers be damned!

Posted by M | August 2, 2008 3:39 AM

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