Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Re: Clueless Sailors?
I know this is a sailing forum, so I apologize for the drift, but…
An interesting thing is that pedestrians are objectively much worse than bicyclists, but there is very little pedestrian rage. Accident reconstructions and studies done with traffic cameras show that pedestrians are much more likely to violate traffic laws than bicyclists, such as crossing in the middle of the block or crossing against lights. Fatality statistics back that up: per mile travelled, walking is roughly three times as dangerous as bicycling.
Yet no one has pedestrian rage. I suspect it's because we are all pedestrians, but only some of us are bicyclists. So when we see someone crossing in the middle of the street we don't freak the hell out, we realize that we've done the same. And if a pedestrian is doing something incredibly dangerous and/or stupid, we think "that guy is a menace," we don't think "all pedestrians are menaces."
I would also like to correct the tax myth. People like to think that their gas and vehicle taxes pay for all the roads. It varies by locale, but nowhere in the United States is this true. Only about half of the cost of our roads are paid for by usage taxes and vehicle and gas taxes generally go to pay for highways, while city streets are usually paid for from property and sales taxes.
So if you are driving your car down the highway and pass a bicyclist you can feel a little smug, because your car paid for most of that highway and the bicyclist is receiving a subsidy.
However if you are driving your car down a city street and pass a bicyclist, you should give them a tip of your hat. You and the bicyclist both paid the same property and sales tax to build that road, but the bicyclist is taking up a smaller portion of it, is not putting any wear and tear on it, and at the destination will not take up a parking space.
People who object to subsidies to bicycling infrastructure are often blissfully unaware of the massive subsidies already in place for motorized traffic.
on a starboard tack