Monday, September 27, 2010
Cyclists are inferior to motorists?
Comments by John Forester, P.E.
"I have used the term "cyclist-inferiority" in several applications, but these application all serve to describe aspects of the false concept that cyclists are inferior to motorists.
The political application is that it serves the motoring organizations, and therefore the highway organizations that they control, and in addition many politicians, to consider cyclists as inferior to motorists. By considering cyclists inferior to motorists, government can deny to cyclists some of the important rights that apply, in legal terms, to drivers of vehicles, but which are commonly supposed to apply to motorists, because cyclists and motorists are the only significant users of the nation's roadways. The rights denied are denied purely for the convenience of motorists. The most important of these are the right to use most of the width of the roadway, and the right to use roadways at all when bike lanes or bike paths have been produced, or those roadways which cannot be reached by driveways. The only reason for these restriction s that stands up to scientific analysis is the belief, on the part of motorists, that cyclists delay motorists.
The psychological application of the phrase cyclist inferiority refers to the cyclist-inferiority phobia, complex, or superstition, depending on severity of the case. This is the sense that:
"I, the cyclist, don't really belong on the road, which is owned by the cars, and that I am unable to follow the traffic laws for drivers of vehicles, or that if I did I would quickly be smashed."
John Forester, P.E.
Walk, bike, have fun! Peace, Bill