Most people on this forum would agree with or be aware of these issues, but he says many cyclists suffer from the "lycra equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome" when they talk about reciprocity on the roads.
Some quotes from the article:
For instance, the campaign promoting a new road safety law in New South Wales tells us:
"Drivers, bicycle riders and pedestrians all need to Go Together safely. We should all respect each other's space and ensure that everyone stays safe."
Most cyclists hardly need to be reminded to respect the space of a two-tonne vehicle travelling at 80 kilometres per hour just centimetres from their elbow.
Yet the wording, as well as the fines imposed, suggests cyclists have as much power to disrespect drivers' space as vice versa.
The idea that the space someone's car occupies on the road is personal space, where the car is treated as a proxy body with its own right not to be molested, shows just how far this notion of reciprocity has gone.
Automobility rules the road
The fact is the Australian road is not a neutral space. It is ordered by what sociologist John Urry calls the system of automobility.
Urry argues that this is the most transformative system the world has ever seen, one that puts the motorised vehicle at its centre. All other forms of travel, he says, "… have to find their place within a landscape predominantly sculpted by the car system".
As well as all the economic and political interests invested in this system, both public and private, we need to consider the social and cultural meanings these produce around the automobile.
In Australia, ideas of maturity, freedom and autonomy are powerfully entwined with the mythos of the car.
These "cultural preferences" are so strong that they often act to erase cyclists' legal rights and status not only on the road, but also in the courts and when dealing with police.
When cyclist meets driver on the road, both are notionally equal individuals encountering each other in a democratic, rule-governed and neutral public space.
But only if the driver chooses to make it like this. Otherwise, they are in a deeply asymmetrical relation, both physically and culturally.