Friday, July 11, 2008

Look Out On The Sidewalks

Okay. Now, I would never never ever in a million years say anything negative about bicyclists, since I don't get paid by the pageview. I am pro-bike-lane, pro-mass-transit, don't own a car, and love and respect all of you prickly helmeted freaks. And the killing of a cyclist in DC is outrageous. Cyclists, continue your war with motorists unabated. You'll get no further argument on the subject from me.

But fuck you, Will Wilkinson:

People complain about bikers breaking traffic laws. Well, I’m guilty, and I’m damn well going to keep doing it. A lot of traffic regulations make sense for cars, but just don’t for bikes. For example, I ride home almost every day the wrong way up a one way street, and nobody coming the other way gives a damn. Why should they? I honestly don’t give a fig about my carbon footprint (and anyway, since I’m not a breeder, I really should get carbon carte blanche). But I like biking because it’s faster than driving — because I blow through stop signs, go the wrong way on one-ways, etc. Were I suddenly to become fastidious about heeding traffic laws intended to regulate cars, one of the main advantages of biking over driving would evaporate. So I think people who do give figs about carbon really ought to encourage bikers to break traffic laws, or at least promote EXTRA traffic laws for drivers, in order to increase the relative benefit of biking.

1) Traffic regulations aren't there just to protect and regulate cars or bikes. They're for everyone. That includes we poor souls who walk and ride trolleys and buses on the streets. Whatever your perceived moral or technical superiority or the indifference of/to those around you, it makes a difference. When you zip past the wrong way on a one-way when a rider is trying to get off the bus, or run a stop sign when somebody's trying to cross the street, it makes a difference. If I could condense my complaint about cyclists into one sentence, it's that just like the motorists they criticize, ultimately their concern is only for themselves and their contempt for the people who get in their way.

2) Where did this meme come from that says people who have children are environmental sinners and people who don't are saints? The argument that I am somehow responsible for all of the energy consumed and pollution created by my offspring is bad enough, but the pretense that because you haven't passed along your genes, that you can then consume and pollute as much as you want is atrocious. Since you're not breeding anyways, you won't mind when I tell you to go fuck yourself.

3) "[E]ncourage bikers to break traffic laws, or at least promote EXTRA traffic laws for drivers" is really the epitomization of the vacuousness of libertarianism. No rules for me, more rules for people I don't like.

This is the way I talk when someone tells me they don't give a shit about me or my family.

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