Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Common Driver Behaviors

Steve Vance, who co-runs the Chicago transport blog Grid Chicago, is a huge bicycle advocate. He put together the following short video from clips he shot cycling around the city showing how drivers commonly behave on the streets of the city. If the video doesn’t display, click here.

7 Comments
Topics: Transportation
Cities: Chicago

7 Responses to “Common Driver Behaviors”

  1. Mordant says:

    I’m very sympathetic to bike riders and make every effort to give them their space. I salute them for many reasons. And I’d be tempted to join them on the roads if it wasn’t so dangerous and I had a place to clean up after a fifteen mile ride.

    But I also think that some bike riders do their community a disservice by ignoring a few traffic rules themselves. I am routinely buzzed by delivery people on bikes while I walk around downtown, and it’s a rare day when I don’t see multiple bikes blast right through stop lights and stop signs.

    I understand the need to conserve hard-won momentum, but listening to someone I’ve just seen blow through a light preaching about the need for others to obey the law doesn’t sit real well.

  2. Jim D. says:

    Bike lanes are no different than dedicated bus lanes – in my experience, they are only effective as long as automobile and truck drivers are educated about them, followed by adequate enforcement coupled with fines large enough to send a message to violators. Unfortunately, most of the cities I’ve been in that have bus lanes do a poor job of enforcement and instead send the message that bus and bike lanes are free for uses by motorists as they see fit.

  3. Steven Vance says:

    Thank you for share this Aaron. I’m responding to Mordant’s comments: I agree with you completely that people who ride bikes do a disservice to their community by ignoring some traffic rules themselves.

    Instead of me trying to eloquently describe why people who bike do those kinds of things and also that there are major differences in impacts on the road and in crashes of different vehicles, I’ll just print this analogy I heard at a community meeting on Wednesday in Hyde Park, Chicago, about a road diet and installation of a protected bike lane:

    “It doesn’t matter if a rock falls on a melon, or if a melon falls on a rock, the melon still cracks open”.
    http://www.stevencanplan.com/2012/my-new-favorite-traffic-crash-impact-analogy-as-heard-at-a-meeting-about-a-road-diet/

    Let’s separate the melon and the rock ;)

  4. Mordant says:

    Love the separation idea. I’ve read that the Netherlands goes to considerable lengths to do this, sometimes even on separate grades or levels.

  5. John Morris says:

    Yes, there is no way the dutch would have such a high percent of everyday riders without separated bike lanes.

  6. Anonymous says:

    In NYC it’s often a police car double parked in a bike lane (while getting something to eat).

  7. Troy says:

    I am very interested in knowing why the police in large U.S. metro areas seem to have little interest in enforcing laws about cyclists and bike lanes. Drivers behaving as in the video above is a common occurrence and are rarely if ever cited for it.

    I am a resident of a large metropolitan area and an avid bike riders. It seems to me that stricter enforcement of these laws is a win-win situation, creating safer streets and additional revenue for the city.

    Is is that police in large cities have too much on their hands given crime levels? Is it a “cult of automobile” phenomenon where public backlash might arise from stricter enforcement?

    Does anyone know of any work/research done in this area?

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