This tweet was making it rounds through Ottawa Twitter on Tuesday:
Anyone with a remote familiarity with using a street knows that the bicyclist pictured was exactly where he’s supposed to be, where the law tells him to be and where LEARN THE RULES! types would demand he be.
An Ottawa cop decided to set this driving enthusiast straight:
Of course, Constable Benoit wasn’t the only one to set Tommy straight. Many Twitter users weighed in to explain how obviously and clearly wrong he was. What was interesting was how Tommy dug in, and just wouldn’t admit his error.
Even when a cop told him he didn’t understand the rules of the road, he couldn’t accept it.
He attempted to save some dignity by blaming the bicyclist for not triggering the light, but that’s not a dick of a bike rider. That’s a dick of a city planner or politician. That bicyclist didn’t implement bad street design.
Don’t use little dots to let bicyclists trigger traffic lights. Don’t use beg buttons. These things regularly fail, and they’re just stupid street design, anyway. Make the damned lights change regularly. Give bikes enough time to get through. Always have a walk light with a green light. Never ever do a revert-red.
Twitter users were quick to note the other problem with this tweet and the all-to-prevalent sentiment behind it.
Bicyclists are regularly bitched out for not following the rules (or for other bicyclists not following the rules). They don’t stop at stop signs. They ride on the sidewalk. They filter (which may or may not be against the rules).
(Look through Tommy’s timeline. He starts complaining about bicyclists on sidewalks. What the hell does he want? Right. He wants everything to be about him.)
The rules, of course, aren’t suited for bicyclists. Bicyclists don’t need an endless string of stop signs or traffic lights. They don’t need intricate right-of-way laws. They don’t need massively segregated infrastructure. They can just ride their bikes. (Don’t believe me? Look at MUPs.)
So we’ve got horrible rules that don’t keep bicyclists safe, and, often, endanger them. Regardless, bicyclists tend to obey the rules. They round off a few corners here and there, but they still follow the rules 90% of the time.
However, when they go full-hog and totally, completely follow the rules, take the lane, act like a “vehicle” and do exactly what all these schoolmarm motorists nag about, they still get bitched out.
Why would you follow massively inconvenient rules when it endangers your life and opens you to further abuse from drivers?