If I received a penny every time I heard drivers complain about aggressive cyclists that run stop signs, I’d currently own the most fabulous Lady bike collection and cycling wardrobe the world has world has ever seen.
While rolling-stops are common for myself and drivers alike, as a Lady I do not flaut the law! And this assumption about the mass based on the few continues to be a commonly (and ignorantly) uttered annoyance.
Well, when it comes to crashes, data coming out of Pittsburgh is finally showing the reality: even Ladies make mistakes, but the brunt of bad behavior is on the shoulders of our steel-enclosed counterparts!
More from the article on Post-Gazzette.com:
Only 1 out of 10 accidents resulted from a bicyclist running a red light or a stop sign. Four percent occurred after a bike rode on the wrong side of the street or up a one-way road.
Indeed, the biggest single category of accidents can be squarely laid on motorists: making careless turns, which account for 60 crashes, or 16.6 percent. In an accident, cars are four times more likely to sideswipe a bicycle while turning than the other way around, statistics show — bringing new meaning to the infamous “Pittsburgh Left.”
Looks like right and left hooks are a much larger issue than the running of stop signs by Ladies (and Lady-lovers)!
And, afterall, cars run stop signs, too. I know this personally after being hit on my bike earlier this year when a careless driver ignored a stop. And of course, the glaring difference: my minimal frame and 12lbs of aluminum vs. 2,000lbs of steel.
Finger-pointing aside, we should all be riding respectfully, obeying basic traffic control devices, and spreading smiles and loveliness throughout the city. We are our own ambassadors, Ladies!
It would be nice, however, for our respective cities to look into alterations in traffic laws for bikes, pedestrians, and skateboarders that are more fitting than the current control devices that are designed specifically for steel-coffins. In Paris, cyclists are being given the ability to treat stop signs and red lights as “yields”, recognizing the challenges of needlessly starting and stopping atop two wheels. Something to consider in, say, Portland, hmm?
Keep riding safely and smilingly, Ladies!