December 6, 2011

Elitism

There's much ado about an article entitled "Are urban bicyclists just elite snobs?" It's really more thoughtful than the title, but it made me wonder if I am an elitist snob.

I'll admit it. I'm a snob just a lil' bit. Beyond the money saved and the calories burned, I am proud that my commute is environmentally friendly. That's not to say that I get to work and set up a shrine worshiping my commitment to the environment because I do that when I get home. No, I just feel that biking is a very healthy mode and that everyone should join me. If everyone were biking, the commute would be much safer, people would be healthier, and we could prioritize fuel use for the transportation of goods or more long distance trips. But that's when I realize that you can only do what you can and that bicycling might not be that appealing to people because sometimes it's not fun.

Speaking to what the article really rails against - running red lights - bikers should never do it. It makes us look terrible and according to an article in The Atlantic Cities, a study of an intersection in Portland showed that 47% of bikers ran red lights compared to 7% of motorists. That's insane to me. Just because you're reducing your carbon footprint doesn't mean that you have a voucher to break traffic laws. I hope that my fellow bicyclists will expend the extra energy to stop at traffic lights in order for communities to continue adding bicycling infrastructure.

At Columbus Underground, this elitist snob article is a forum topic. It's been tame so far but I'll keep track of it to see just how we, the cyclists, are thought of.

Next up: More about public transit

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