How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

g-boaf
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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby g-boaf » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:39 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:I don't buy the jealousy argument. I think the reasons are (1) cyclists are perceived as more likely to break road rules, and (2) cyclists "get in the way" and slow traffic, especially on narrow / hilly / country roads. Go to any forum and you'll see variants of those two arguments over and over. (I don't think I've ever seen a post like "I don't like cyclists because they get through traffic faster than me").

I think cyclists can do their part to try to negate these two points. A couple of key road rules which cyclists break more - stopping on red lights and don't go on the wrong side of the road - are very visible ones. Yes I know it's only a minority, and yes I know it's less dangerous than cars speeding or texting while driving, but still: cyclists would have a lot better image if less cyclists broke these rules.


Car drivers also break the rules a lot too, just today I had one taxi driver near run me down in his haste not to give way to me crossing a road at a pedestrian crossing (I was already near half way across), 3 others running red lights. Despite that, motorists still have a squeaky clean image of never breaking the rules, right?

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby AdelaidePeter » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:58 pm

g-boaf wrote:
AdelaidePeter wrote:I don't buy the jealousy argument. I think the reasons are (1) cyclists are perceived as more likely to break road rules, and (2) cyclists "get in the way" and slow traffic, especially on narrow / hilly / country roads. Go to any forum and you'll see variants of those two arguments over and over. (I don't think I've ever seen a post like "I don't like cyclists because they get through traffic faster than me").

I think cyclists can do their part to try to negate these two points. A couple of key road rules which cyclists break more - stopping on red lights and don't go on the wrong side of the road - are very visible ones. Yes I know it's only a minority, and yes I know it's less dangerous than cars speeding or texting while driving, but still: cyclists would have a lot better image if less cyclists broke these rules.


Car drivers also break the rules a lot too, just today I had one taxi driver near run me down in his haste not to give way to me crossing a road at a pedestrian crossing (I was already near half way across), 3 others running red lights. Despite that, motorists still have a squeaky clean image of never breaking the rules, right?


I never said they didn't. But we do have an image problem. Presumably by "running red lights" you mean going through the light a second or less after it turns red. Whereas cyclists relatively commonly sail through when it's been red for ages. I'm not saying what these cyclists do is worse (and in terms of public safety, what cars do is definitely worse). I'm saying it's more obvious, and we'd do well to (a) not do it, and (b) encourage other cyclists to not do it, where possible.

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silentC
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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby silentC » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:08 pm

I don't buy the red light thing either. We only have three sets of traffic lights within a 100km radius. I think the main reasons are:

1. We're on the road and in their way
2. The Daily Tele ran an anti-cycling campaign as part of their war against Clover Moore so we're fair game
3. People are ignorant
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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby g-boaf » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:14 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:
g-boaf wrote:
AdelaidePeter wrote:I don't buy the jealousy argument. I think the reasons are (1) cyclists are perceived as more likely to break road rules, and (2) cyclists "get in the way" and slow traffic, especially on narrow / hilly / country roads. Go to any forum and you'll see variants of those two arguments over and over. (I don't think I've ever seen a post like "I don't like cyclists because they get through traffic faster than me").

I think cyclists can do their part to try to negate these two points. A couple of key road rules which cyclists break more - stopping on red lights and don't go on the wrong side of the road - are very visible ones. Yes I know it's only a minority, and yes I know it's less dangerous than cars speeding or texting while driving, but still: cyclists would have a lot better image if less cyclists broke these rules.


Car drivers also break the rules a lot too, just today I had one taxi driver near run me down in his haste not to give way to me crossing a road at a pedestrian crossing (I was already near half way across), 3 others running red lights. Despite that, motorists still have a squeaky clean image of never breaking the rules, right?


I never said they didn't. But we do have an image problem. Presumably by "running red lights" you mean going through the light a second or less after it turns red. Whereas cyclists relatively commonly sail through when it's been red for ages. I'm not saying what these cyclists do is worse (and in terms of public safety, what cars do is definitely worse). I'm saying it's more obvious, and we'd do well to (a) not do it, and (b) encourage other cyclists to not do it, where possible.


We don't have an image problem, the people breaking the law do. This collective guilt is rubbish. And what er, do you do about the car-driver-on-bike-shaped-object who is running the red lights? He's only on a bike because he lost his drivers license. You aren't going to stop him, he'll just tell you to get lost (or worse).

Running red lights is wrong, however you do it. Just a secord or less after it turns red is still bad, especially when the driver is going full throttle to try and make it through. That results in serious car accidents, the type that I see all the time. They should be forced to have rego so they can be fined and stopped from doing that. Oh, they do have rego. Hmm.

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby Arbuckle23 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:19 pm

The lack of rego argument does not cut it.

How many car owners report other car owners (when they run a red light) to the Police and get them prosecuted.
I would think a report very rare and Police doing anything based on that report even rarer.
Look at the lack of action on close pass reports to police in the states where they have a close pass law.

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby biker jk » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:26 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:I don't buy the jealousy argument. I think the reasons are (1) cyclists are perceived as more likely to break road rules, and (2) cyclists "get in the way" and slow traffic, especially on narrow / hilly / country roads. Go to any forum and you'll see variants of those two arguments over and over. (I don't think I've ever seen a post like "I don't like cyclists because they get through traffic faster than me").

I think cyclists can do their part to try to negate these two points. A couple of key road rules which cyclists break more - stopping on red lights and don't go on the wrong side of the road - are very visible ones. Yes I know it's only a minority, and yes I know it's less dangerous than cars speeding or texting while driving, but still: cyclists would have a lot better image if less cyclists broke these rules.


Irrespective of whether you buy the jealousy argument there is research suggesting that motorists are aggrieved because they perceive cyclists gain an unfair advantage on the roads for which they don't pay. This is a kind of jealousy.

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby silentC » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:01 pm

I don't know, I always put that line of argument into the disingenuous camp. I think it is an example of people who, being against something for what we might consider selfish reasons, try to come up with some more honourable objection. They don't want us to pay rego, they want us off the roads. I think the correct emotional descriptor is indignation rather than jealousy...
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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby human909 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:33 pm

g-boaf wrote:Running red lights is wrong, however you do it.

Hmmmm... If only life was so simple. Some people do argue the letter of the law. But if we go down that path there is so many rules being broken it is not funny.

I see cyclists doing it all the time because the laws and traffic signalling are not on the same page. On of the glaring examples is the use of bicycle lanterns at intersections rather that are not bicycle crossings. Every single light cycle groups of cyclists break the law. The light is red but there is a green bicycle symbol. Implemented in many locations in Melbourne yet it is not at all aligned with the law and it remains illegal for cyclists to proceed.

Better the lights are not prominent and I've seen plenty of motorists take issue with cyclists 'running the red'.

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby trailgumby » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:44 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:I don't buy the jealousy argument.

"But you don't pay rego!" - they hate that we're apparently getting something for free. Seems like jealousy to me.

They completely ignore of course the fact that rego contributes zip to road funding, that roads are funded by general taxes and council rates. Which we all pay. And bikes don't cut up roads, so in fact we are subsidizing motor vehicle users.

Motor vehicles kill 1300 and inflict life changing injuries on tens of thousands. Bikes, not so much. Yet they wanna register bikes. :roll:

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby g-boaf » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:04 pm

human909 wrote:
g-boaf wrote:Running red lights is wrong, however you do it.

Hmmmm... If only life was so simple. Some people do argue the letter of the law. But if we go down that path there is so many rules being broken it is not funny.

I see cyclists doing it all the time because the laws and traffic signalling are not on the same page. On of the glaring examples is the use of bicycle lanterns at intersections rather that are not bicycle crossings. Every single light cycle groups of cyclists break the law. The light is red but there is a green bicycle symbol. Implemented in many locations in Melbourne yet it is not at all aligned with the law and it remains illegal for cyclists to proceed.

Better the lights are not prominent and I've seen plenty of motorists take issue with cyclists 'running the red'.


Talking about cars, not bikes.

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby Calvin27 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:33 am

AdelaidePeter wrote:I don't buy the jealousy argument. I think the reasons are (1) cyclists are perceived as more likely to break road rules, and (2) cyclists "get in the way" and slow traffic, especially on narrow / hilly / country roads. Go to any forum and you'll see variants of those two arguments over and over. (I don't think I've ever seen a post like "I don't like cyclists because they get through traffic faster than me").


Well I would percieve:
- Rego argument as jealousy that cyclist can use the road
- Cyclist breaking rules is mostly about them shuffling through traffic which they are allowed to do stationary
- Cyclists slowing traffic which is about 50% legitimate and 50% because they are confusing general traffic congestion with the cyclist as the cause.
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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby fat and old » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:10 pm

silentC wrote:I don't know, I always put that line of argument into the disingenuous camp. I think it is an example of people who, being against something for what we might consider selfish reasons, try to come up with some more honourable objection. They don't want us to pay rego, they want us off the roads. I think the correct emotional descriptor is indignation rather than jealousy...


Like, and agree.

I think that some use the jealous argument as a form of self congratulation...."i'm doing the sustainable thing", "I'm fit and healthy and you're a fat slob" etc. Nothing wrong with that as long as you recognise it.

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby AdelaidePeter » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:19 pm

Calvin27 wrote:
AdelaidePeter wrote:I don't buy the jealousy argument. I think the reasons are (1) cyclists are perceived as more likely to break road rules, and (2) cyclists "get in the way" and slow traffic, especially on narrow / hilly / country roads. Go to any forum and you'll see variants of those two arguments over and over. (I don't think I've ever seen a post like "I don't like cyclists because they get through traffic faster than me").


Well I would percieve:
- Rego argument as jealousy that cyclist can use the road
- Cyclist breaking rules is mostly about them shuffling through traffic which they are allowed to do stationary
- Cyclists slowing traffic which is about 50% legitimate and 50% because they are confusing general traffic congestion with the cyclist as the cause.


I meant I don't buy the argument (earlier in this thread) that car drivers are jealous of cyclists not getting stuck in traffic. I agree there is some jealousy over non-registration, as you and a few others have pointed out.

But I would argue that rego is a scapegoat for other 2 real reasons (the 2 I listed, which are basically your points 2 and 3 above). i.e. it's generally, "cyclists break road rules so they should be registered (to make them more accountable)" (i.e. jealousy that cyclists can supposedly get away with breaking road rules) or "cyclists get in the way so they should be registered" (I'm not sure how registration would help that one).

The solution? Well general education would help (like in a very nice article by Matthew Keenan this week), but I still think cyclists can work harder to make sure that, as much as possible, we obey road rules, and don't unnecessarily impede other traffic.

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby andrewjcw » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:36 pm

It is interesting and there are many reasons cyclists elicit such responses, ranging from completely irrational and biased through to fairly predictable.

I think if driverless cars take off as many think they will, it could lead to a huge cycling boom in 30-40 years. I mean at the bare minimum, if you take all the drivers in the world and just took out all the angry aggressive ones, and made it so each and everyone used their signals as they're meant to, cycling in traffic would be an order of magnitude safer than it is now.

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby uart » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:14 pm

There is a fairly good summary of the things that motorists most dislike about cyclists in the link below. It's a pretty good read, and quite in depth too. The six motorist interviewed are however portrayed by actors, so the level of maturity displayed there might be a little higher than that of the actual motorists.


A good read: https://photos.app.goo.gl/q2TCNyKhofLwl5XN2

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby silentC » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:49 pm

Yup!
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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby g-boaf » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:24 pm

andrewjcw wrote:It is interesting and there are many reasons cyclists elicit such responses, ranging from completely irrational and biased through to fairly predictable.

I think if driverless cars take off as many think they will, it could lead to a huge cycling boom in 30-40 years. I mean at the bare minimum, if you take all the drivers in the world and just took out all the angry aggressive ones, and made it so each and everyone used their signals as they're meant to, cycling in traffic would be an order of magnitude safer than it is now.


30-40 years is too long. Who knows, I'll probably be dead by then anyway.

Maybe it's just time for all of us to just give up on riding.

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby trailgumby » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:47 pm

On reflection, I think our best hope is

1: the introduction of congestion charging - *real* congestion charging. None of this pussy footing around with an extra dollar on the bridge (in Sydney) in the morning. Hit them with a charge that will impact behaviour, and charge it for every entrance tothe CBD. We have the technology already for toll roads
2: Reintroduce indexation on fuel excise at a federal level.
3: When they whinge, and they will, the response will be "bicycles are free"

We need to stop subsidizing the motor car. We don't have a motor vehicle manufacturing industry (to speak of) any more. Why are we propping up foreign imports?

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby fat and old » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:35 am

trailgumby wrote:
We need to stop subsidizing the motor car. We don't have a motor vehicle manufacturing industry (to speak of) any more. Why are we propping up foreign imports?


To maintain the illusion of a first++ world lifestyle. Everything done by our governments is designed to do that. From Julie Bishop thinking that anyone else in the world cares what we think on North Korea to state governments giving up stamp duty to encourage property purchases to builders insisting that we need 4 beds and 3 baths. $6.00 cappamachilattes, $10.00 foccacisims and $20.00 designer hamburgers. $500.00 supersize TV's and $1,000.00 smart phones. $250.00 runners and $30.00 skanky dresses.

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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby Thoglette » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:23 pm

andrewjcw wrote: if you take all the drivers in the world and just took out all the angry aggressive ones.

And there's part of the rub: in three parts
a) there's no viable alternative to private motorcar use in many suburban centres in Australia. And those that exist are underfunded and are considered "loss making" whereas the various state road building departments piss through billions without ever contemplating their ROI. And this is before you consider the direct impact on health budgets from private motorcar use vs any other form of transport (hint: if a bus or train puts someone in hospital it's front page news)

b) that cohort of aggressive drivers is also likely the same mob catcalling at females and hurling abuse at anyone "different". As long as they do it from a position of power (their cars) where they are unlikely to be caught, they'll abuse that power imbalance.

c) Australian media has supported the angry entitled driver for a very long time (since the '70s). Particularly in Sydney, where the traffic is really not that bad (I was in Mumbai last year - now that's congestion) but everyone has to DRIVE FASTER. Anyone slower must GET OUT OF MY WAY while I race to the next red light. And any proposal to reduce speed limits to improve safety of vunrable road users is shouted down, despite the proposed limits still being way above the average actual speeds achievable (that is, being immaterial to trip times). The idea that "cyclists slow traffic' is laughable: every cyclist is one less car AND every tabloid commute challenge shows that the car is rarely quicker in urban contexts once you have actual congestion occurring.

Calvin27 wrote:- Cyclist breaking rules

Is mostly a result of stupid rules. Remove anti-dinking laws, remove MHLs, bring on the Idaho stop. Fix the stupid bloody red/green men (how often do you see a green traffic light next to a red pedestrian signal?!) and their rules. Now, obeying the stupid laws does "take the stick away" from the haters, but only to a degree.

AdelaidePeter wrote:The solution? Well general education would help

Including "marketing" or "propaganda" and "politics" but it's essential and must be an on-going campaign in the schools and in the media. Along with kicking the schlock jobs down (which BNSW/BV should do with a class action). Pressure the Health and Finance Ministers rather than the Minister for Cars and Trucks. We need to get kids back on bikes, which means making it safe to ride to school - which means minimising the access for cars (and increasing the use of busses and trains for older students).
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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby bychosis » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:49 pm

Thoglette wrote:Now, obeying the stupid laws does "take the stick away" from the haters, but only to a degree.

Obeying laws doesn't stop the haters from hating all cyclists because 'once upon a time my mate told me his sister saw a cyclist run a red light' so therefore all cyclists break the rules.

IMO the red light red herring is the biggest problem we have. Everytime someone wants to talk about cyclists 'they all run red lights'. Don't think I've seen one for a long time, but I don't cycle in the city much.
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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby Thoglette » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:13 pm

bychosis wrote:IMO the red light red herring is the biggest problem we have. Everytime someone wants to talk about cyclists 'they all run red lights'. Don't think I've seen one for a long time, but I don't cycle in the city much.


I ride in the city every day. With umpteen thousand cyclists coming in I can guarantee I'll see a dozen disobeying the red (many crossing just before the lights change but also generic "Idaho" stops).

Every week or so I'll see someone "bomb" though - that is, ride at through at speed, almost inevitably weaving through peds trying to cross in their brief part of the cycle.

Unfortunately, the idiots are highly visible, the rest of us are not. (When was the last time you recall seeing a Harley Davidson with quiet pipes & being ridden sensibly?)
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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby bychosis » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:30 pm

Thoglette wrote:
bychosis wrote:IMO the red light red herring is the biggest problem we have. Everytime someone wants to talk about cyclists 'they all run red lights'. Don't think I've seen one for a long time, but I don't cycle in the city much.


I ride in the city every day. With umpteen thousand cyclists coming in I can guarantee I'll see a dozen disobeying the red (many crossing just before the lights change but also generic "Idaho" stops).

Every week or so I'll see someone "bomb" though - that is, ride at through at speed, almost inevitably weaving through peds trying to cross in their brief part of the cycle.

Unfortunately, the idiots are highly visible, the rest of us are not. (When was the last time you recall seeing a Harley Davidson with quiet pipes & being ridden sensibly?)


So it is common, but I'd guess that most of those from the 'burbs that whinge don't witness it 'all the time'

Yeah, haven't noticed any quiet Harleys, but do see that style of bike riding within the rules 'mostly'
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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby silentC » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:36 pm

Like I said earlier, we have three sets of lights within a 100km radius. I have never had a motorist mention red light running in our 'conversations' about cyclists. It is always to do with being "in the middle of the road".

Red light running has zero to do with local anti-cyclist mentality. Neither does jealousy. Here it is pure bogan ignorance and impatience.
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Re: How we can change attitudes to cyclists?

Postby grimbo » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:54 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote: <snip> I still think cyclists can work harder to make sure that, as much as possible, we obey road rules, and don't unnecessarily impede other traffic.


I think this idea that we are all individually responsible for the actions of a group is wrong. The implication that an entire group of people are "illegitimate" until every single one of them is perfectly well behaved and law-abiding is just silly.

I would love to hear a car driver say that until every driver learns to drive properly, obey the road rules and not blow through red lights, then every car driver is culpable and not worthy of respect on the road.
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