Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Wild West Suburbs

The US has a fine tradition of diverse and independent journalism.  In continuance of this tradition, Inside has done an undercover report and found that, get this, people have been injured while riding a pedicab.  They even went so far as to ride in one of this deadly contraptions for the report.  There were no survivors.

By contrast, motorized cab drivers are paragons of lawful and safe driving.  Here’s two of them not killing anybody:

Not to be outdone, I did my own “undercover” investigation of traffic this morning, dressed in disguise as myself riding a bike.  Nobody suspected a thing.  On my way down the Bryant Bike Boulevard, I counted driving infractions I saw:

1 blown stop sign
1 unsignaled right turn
1 blown-at-the-last-second red light
1 crossing into oncoming lane to make a left turn
1 Calvin pissing sticker

Keep in mind I only saw about a dozen cars as I biked down Bryant.  When I got over the Wedgetip Bridge and next to Hennepin/Lyndale, I quit tracking it because it would be like counting ants on a spilled ice cream cone, and because I was busy trying to not die.

As much as drivers whine about bikes not following laws, it seems to be pretty universal amongst drivers, too.  If you drove today, did you at any point exceed the speed limit even by 1mph?  Did you signal every turn and lane change?  Did you come to a complete tire-stops-spinning stop at every stop sign and light?  Did you try and beat any red lights?  Did you pass any cyclists with less than 3 feet?  In reality, everyone breaks traffic laws, and often it’s not even that unsafe.  Of course, if a driver sees a cyclist break a law, it’s unacceptable because in many minds, we don’t have a right to be in the road to begin with.

Meanwhile, a St. Louis Park cop is aggressively ticketing cyclists who don’t follow the 6” stop sign posted at this perilous intersection:

Ya never know when a 10mph ginormous and noisy train is gonna sneak up on you at this completely unobstructed intersection.  Also, my reports say that train robberies and stagecoach robberies are down 267% in St. Louis Park, with a margin of error of 267%.  Perhaps Inside Edition can do an undercover stagecoach investigation.  It might just be too dangerous.

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