I trust The Stranger to get it right when it comes to issues in the city. In your series on bikes this week you mostly do so….mentioning the true cost of the auto infrastructure and calling for more space for people and bikes.
My problem is that you just can’t resist calling it a “war between cyclists and cars.” I realize that you have a lot of framing, clothing and tickets to sell and like any commercial rag must therefore sensationalize stories to do so. But in this case you may tip the scales towards violence with your rhetoric. Many borderline narcissists, losers with no life and a big SUV to make them feel some power, even for a moment, may tip into full blown sociopathic behavior.
Can you describe it any other way? A person willing to kill or maim an innocent person because they are delayed for a few seconds is way beyond mere narcissism, and should be treated accordingly.
I have been riding Seattle streets for 100 plus miles/week since 1978. Here are a few things I have observed:
1. The motorists are becoming much more kind and gracious to me and my bike. It used to be that some fuck would TRY to hurt me about once a month with a car.
2. Courtesy is the lubricant of any road system, and will be returned in kind.
3. The police are biased towards cars. If you have any incident get a witness right away, a license plate, and a physical description of the driver. And, if you are knocked off your bike come up with a cell phone camera, not your fists. Document..document…document….
Cars and cities are natural enemies. The best way to break this monopoly is to allocate space to bikes and pedestrians. If a car is required to get around in a city…have you thought about how horribly elitist that is? Much has been written about the pollution, implied violence, road rage scums, etc.. But it is also very much an isolating factor, inhibiting cultural and artistic mixing by people that cannot afford to operate a car.
The best way forward right now is to get city council car fucks out in the next election. Here is a story idea to accomplish this perhaps. Why did Seattle tear out all the existing light rail in the early 20th century? What I have heard is that the people filed an initiative to keep them and the city council ignored the will of the people in favor of cars and rubber tire buses. That is a story I would love to know more about.