Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Driver's Take on the Cycle Track.

Mark Konkol wrote a piece in the Sun Times titled, "Drivers are the New Smokers," wherein he explored the issue of separated bicycle lanes. In this piece he relates the story of a bicyclist who comes out of the designated bicycle lane and enters the street. The author honks at the bicyclist. The bicyclist flips off the author.

I posted a blog on my firm website that discussed the legal ramifications of separated bike lanes, but Mr. Konkol illustrates the social ramifications. Regardless of the law, if a separate bike lane is provided, drivers expect us to use it and to stay out of the adjacent street. Imagine how indignant Mr. Konkol might have been had a realized that there may be law requiring bicyclists to use the cycle track instead of riding in the traffic lanes of Kinzie.

Most interesting is Mr. Konkol's apparent assertion that drivers are being persecuted because of their choice of conveyance. This is derived from his suggestion that driving is the new smoking in Chicago. Ahhh... How ironic that a driver should be threatened by the installation of a single separated bike lane on lowly Kinzie Avenue. It's not like the took a lane off the Kennedy... They just reduced a small side street to one through lane for mostly experimental purposes, and becuase of that a driver feels like his right to the road is threatened? A driver feels like his rights to roadways is being diminished becuase of the loss of a few feet of pavement along a dingy side street.

Fear not avid drivers. There are roads aplenty to accommodate your cars.