a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by ErisHeiress
ErisHeiress  ·  2941 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I am a vigilante

I like this idea. I'm now considering making similar stickers, but with a bicycling bent -- I Park in the Bike Lane, maybe.

humanodon  ·  2941 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would like to put stickers on bike riders that go through red lights, but I can't catch them. I like the idea of riding a bike in a Western city, but people drive too fast and aren't used to recognizing non-cars as entities on the road. It also gets me riled when bike riders don't think that traffic laws apply to them. It'd be nice if there were a network of bike roads that were separate from regular streets, something elevated maybe.

kleinbl00  ·  2940 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ride a motorcycle. You'll get accustomed to the idea that the big boxes all around you are indifferent and inattentive to your death and that you are essentially playing Frogger with zero lives left.

Then when you hop on your bicycle you'll be thrilled by how little room you take up and the fact that you can pop onto the sidewalk when things get truly dicey!

humanodon  ·  2940 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I do. I've traveled a fair bit and it's only in the US that I find people who are so ridiculously unaware of the moment to moment situation on the road. The roads here are simply too safe for cars, the people drive too fast, and they aren't used to seeing anything other than cars or trucks as part of traffic. It's only in the US that I see such intense road rage. Especially over lane sharing. To be fair, lots of riders are shitty here too. They start off on big bikes to feel like they've got balls, then eat it and give the rest of us the reputation of being weekend warrior organ donors.

Anyway, maybe biking would be a nice change. I wouldn't have to worry about some asshole tipping my bike over in displaced anger caused by some other rider.

kleinbl00  ·  2940 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It comes from the fact that the drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco is the same as the drive from Paris to Zurich. The interstate freeway system allows you to rapidly cross vast expanses of nothing that aren't common anywhere but Africa and Central Asia and in town, the roads are designed to emulate the interstate freeway system.

Find a bike path. Ride it. Google actually does a pretty good job of giving you bike directions these days. According to Runkeeper I've biked 3500 miles in the past two years. My total investment was $800 for the bike in 2009, three sets of tires, a replacement crank, sprocket and two chains.

humanodon  ·  2940 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, I guess I didn't factor in how long distances might affect driving attitudes. I think most people from outside of the US and certainly many who don't tend to drive long stretches within the US forget how enormous the place is.

That's a whole lot of mileage on a bike!

kleinbl00  ·  2940 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The freeway system explains so much gigantism in the American car ethic. I remember driving around Switzerland and noting that the widest lanes there are about as wide as the lanes on bridge decks in the US. The widest lanes in the US, on the other hand, are about as wide as the narrowest parking lots over there.

Fun fact: Soviet armor was explicitly designed to weigh less than American armor so that Soviet/Iron Curtain bridges could be built that would support Soviet tank columns but collapse under the weight of American tank columns. Tankers in the Red Army couldn't be over 5'8."

AlderaanDuran  ·  2941 days ago  ·  link  ·  

| It'd be nice if there were a network of bike roads that were separate from regular streets, something elevated maybe.|

We have "The Greenway" here in the Twin Cities. Hard to get funding for, because bikes aren't taxed like cars are, nor do they use gasoline, so there's really not "biker specific tax" to pay for these projects unlike traditional roads. But slowly, every year, it gets better and better. Parts of the greenway are completely separate from roads, have tunnels, over passes, and it is almost entirely separate from roads out in the burbs. But as it moves into Minneapolis obviously that's not the case, and the overpasses and underpasses become fewer and farther between and at that point it just kind of turns into street riding. But they've widen the bike lanes, taken away traffic lanes, changes the speed limits, and the stop light timings on many of the roads that are considered part of the greenway. The make the speed limits so slow for cars (like 20 or 25), that everyone in a car just uses something else.

They are trying to make it run full east/west through the whole downtown and heavily populated areas, and convert roads into bike only for it at some point. But it's a process, and again, the funding is tough when the people who use it aren't paying any specific taxes to that infrastructure, so it relies heavily on donations currently.

humanodon  ·  2941 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I hadn't heard about that. I hope it gets the money, it sounds like a nice change.

ErisHeiress  ·  2941 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Biking can be great, or it can be shit. Depends on the city. I live in one of the top 10 bike friendly cities in the US, so despite the shitty winters up here, it's actually quite nice.

kleinbl00  ·  2940 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Please don't.

I ride a bicycle a lot. And I ride in LA. Often I ride through Santa Monica and Venice.

But I don't wear a helmet, and I don't ride on the last Friday of the month, because I really, REALLY, REALLY don't want to be associated with the Critical Massholes.

I have people try to kill me every day. I know they aren't doing it on purpose. They simply aren't paying attention. yet I know that me shouting out "pay attention" won't make them pay attention, it'll just make them surly.

People park in bike lanes. They don't do it to be dicks, they do it because they suck at parking. Putting a sticker on their bke that says "I Park in the Bike Lane" says two things: it calls them out for sucking at parking, and it tells them that ALL BICYCLISTS ARE ASSHOLES.

And we're not. Some of us are just enjoying some fresh air.

guybrush  ·  2941 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Depending on the location of the bike lane, I don't think it would have the same impact. I expect the above example works because it targets people parking outside their own properties, where they are identifiable. They become embarrassed or intimidated that someone in their local community is upset with them.

I am not sure that tackling anti-social behaviour with anti-social behaviour can be classed as a solution.

cgod  ·  2941 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm curious why you think it's anti-social, it seems entirely pro-social to me. It encourages compliance with sensible laws and protects vulnerable members of the community.

guybrush  ·  2941 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I agree that the intent and outcome is community focused, but the delivery is antisocial.

Its success is reliant on embarrassing a selfish individual or intimidating an ignorant individual. It doesn't necessarily educate the individual or give them an opportunity to defend their actions. It may cause them to reflect on their actions, but the objective is achieved through alienation rather than inclusion.

The individual circumstances will determine whether the ends justifies the means. I would be interested to know what other methods of protest you used and why they were not as successful.

cgod  ·  2941 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I have asked people "Could you please park on the street?" "Pardon me, there are kids riding their bikes on this street, could you park on the street?" "Hey, that isn't a parking spot" left a note. I've been told "fuck off" "mind your own business" or just looked at like an ugly thing and ignored. Twice I've had it seem like it might get violent, one of those times with my one year old daughter in my arms. I wasn't always perfectly polite, and I have after being told to fuck myself directed some choice invectives in return.

I would say anyone who blocks a sidewalk with their car doesn't really give a fuck about being good to their fellow man. They either don't really think of their fellow man (probably the people who act like they don't hear me or don't understand what I'm saying) or they are just anti-social pricks who only care about themselves and don't give a fuck to inconvenience others (the ones who want to get in my face about it).

I have gotten neighbors on my street to not block sidewalks, but I don't think they actually understand why they shouldn't do it, or why I care. It's as if thinking about the consequences of their actions when there is not personal downside to what they are doing is unimaginable. I live in a duplex. My next door neighbor has relatives who drive out in two minivans a few times a year. If we aren't parked in the driveway when they get here they park both of their minivans in the drive with the back one blocking the sidewalk. On THREE DIFFERENT OCCASIONS I have knocked on the door and asked them to please move one of their vans to the street. They look at me like I'm a dick or a fool shaking their head every time they see me. (I'm super nice about it, I like my neighbor, but not her relatives). I'm sure I'll be asking them to move their goddamn van again, I don't really understand why I have to keep doing that.

The other way society has for getting people to not block sidewalks is an expensive ticket, I would actually say that my method is probably a bit more gentle.

saldejums  ·  2937 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In Lithuania they distribute these stikers for free

cgod  ·  2941 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Find a discreet printer, or do it yourself. You only need to sticker one off duty cop to become a public enemy. If you make them you need to edit out the text of that sticker from your comment so that the text isn't searchable. I was sad that I couldn't get drop proxy to post the image and further obsqure my identity.

ErisHeiress  ·  2941 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This ain't my first rodeo, believe me.