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Can't we all just get along? The car, bicycle, skateboard, pedestrian et al debate

typezed

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So a pedestrian, by nature of being the smallest user of the street network, is permitted to break the most traffic laws possible??
I don't know where I made that statement. However, if there were only pedestrians few rules would be necessary. It is only because automobiles kill people that everywhere we go needs to be controlled by traffic laws, by restrictions on our movement through public space. Right now the automobile dominates everywhere because it is the most powerful, most dangerous object on the streets. And people driving do expect others to get out of their way, even they're one lonely person in a car encountering 12 people on foot. If we really want to get along, automobile drivers would need to give up a lot of their 1950s expectation that moving cars most efficiently is top priority. Because cars kill, drivers should have the greatest responsibility to ensure that conflict doesn't happen with other persons using the streets. All this noise calling for bicycles to be licensed and insured to use the road because cars are licensed and insured is infantile - it's drivers feeling put upon because someone else finds a way to escape all their complications while simultaneously trying to maintain the dominant power of the automobile to impose its way everywhere it goes.
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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I don't know where I made that statement. However, if there were only pedestrians few rules would be necessary. It is only because automobiles kill people that everywhere we go needs to be controlled by traffic laws, by restrictions on our movement through public space. Right now the automobile dominates everywhere because it is the most powerful, most dangerous object on the streets. And people driving do expect others to get out of their way, even they're one lonely person in a car encountering 12 people on foot. If we really want to get along, automobile drivers would need to give up a lot of their 1950s expectation that moving cars most efficiently is top priority. Because cars kill, drivers should have the greatest responsibility to ensure that conflict doesn't happen with other persons using the streets. All this noise calling for bicycles to be licensed and insured to use the road because cars are licensed and insured is infantile - it's drivers feeling put upon because someone else finds a way to escape all their complications while simultaneously trying to maintain the dominant power of the automobile to impose its way everywhere it goes.
"Pedestrians may seem to step out of nowhere, but the automobile is the party that has just arrived at 60kph."

Read the bolded portion, then full stop. Why should we justify a pedestrian ever stepping out of nowhere? If a driver fails to signal a lane change or a turn (which happens often) there are thought of as a douche or turd, and rightfully so as no one can read your mind so it is upon that person to signal their intentions to others.

You may wish for the chaotic streets as seen in India but until and unless all rules of the road are removed we must all act within those rules. Furthermore, if you as a user of the streets choose to ignore the rules (for whatever reason) than you must be ready to accept the consequences both legally and directly on site. If you choose to dart out from behind a parked car in front of a car traveling 60 km/hr I find it ironic that you place the fault on the driver who, hopefully, was traveling at the posted speed limit and not the pedestrian who chose to cross at a non designated crossing zone.
 

RC8

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If you choose to dart out from behind a parked car in front of a car traveling 60 km/hr I find it ironic that you place the fault on the driver who, hopefully, was traveling at the posted speed limit and not the pedestrian who chose to cross at a non designated crossing zone.
The problem is not the driver or the pedestrian, it's the system that makes most pedestrian-filled streets in location N put up with 4+ lanes of traffic to accommodate people travelling from location Z to location A.

If you've ever had to cross a 2 lane street you know how easy it is to avoid being hit and how easy it is to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Small streets are safer and easier to use, but we widened most of them so that people from etobicoke were able to drive to work.
 

typezed

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"Pedestrians may seem to step out of nowhere, but the automobile is the party that has just arrived at 60kph."

Read the bolded portion, then full stop. Why should we justify a pedestrian ever stepping out of nowhere? If a driver fails to signal a lane change or a turn (which happens often) there are thought of as a douche or turd, and rightfully so as no one can read your mind so it is upon that person to signal their intentions to others.

You may wish for the chaotic streets as seen in India but until and unless all rules of the road are removed we must all act within those rules. Furthermore, if you as a user of the streets choose to ignore the rules (for whatever reason) than you must be ready to accept the consequences both legally and directly on site. If you choose to dart out from behind a parked car in front of a car traveling 60 km/hr I find it ironic that you place the fault on the driver who, hopefully, was traveling at the posted speed limit and not the pedestrian who chose to cross at a non designated crossing zone.
"Pedestrians may seem to step out of nowhere"

This is the bolded portion most important to what I'm saying. A pedestrian appears to step out of nowhere to someone travelling in an automobile at a speed that surpasses their natural ability to observe all that is happening around them. The driver's vision is also limited by the structure of the car surrounding them. Excuse me if I bungle the physics here, but this is about relativity. In the time the pedestrian has moved six steps, the car has moved several hundred metres. Relative to the position of the pedestrian, which party has come from nowhere? I'm not against people making efforts to co-operate with each other (I try to do this myself, especially when cycling). I just seems to me this thread is asking us all to get along by obeying RULES that only enforce the dominance of the automobile on our streets. The original poster thinks that ensuring that everyone follows the RULES is a return to basics. He recommends more RULES to truly return to the basics. I don't wish for the streets of India. I am only saying that to me this seems to be the streets at their most basic, where every user of the street needs to negotiate with every other, without the imposition of systems and structures that can't help but favour one party - usually the most powerful
 

James

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...
I just seems to me this thread is asking us all to get along by obeying RULES that only enforce the dominance of the automobile on our streets. The original poster thinks that ensuring that everyone follows the RULES is a return to basics. He recommends more RULES to truly return to the basics.
Once again, I believe you are misinterpreting my original post, as I clearly stated:

...
In my opinion, no matter how many bicycle lanes or special traffic signals or additional vehicle lanes or extra-wide sidewalks or custom markings on the ground are put in place, nothing is going to truly change until our attitude and tolerance of each other on the road as individuals change, regardless of what mode of transportation one is utilizing.
...
I believe I had clarified this point in a previous post, as follows:

I have already indicated in my very first post that this is the root of the matter. So now, how do we get people to change their attitudes, irrespective of what mode of transportation they are using? Licensing might help, but it is certainly not going to solve the problem at its heart. How about education? Educating pedestrians. Driver re-testing. How do we get people to start understanding that we have the privilege to share the road, not a right to use it in any which way we please at the expense of others.
I am not adamant on more rules and regulations, but to open up a dialogue, what is the most effective method of guiding private citizens in the right direction for the better of everybody involved? We are, by far and large, not an overly altruistic society. Do rules help the individual if it guides them towards a common goal? Can the betterment of society be accomplished by leaving the single person to determine the best means to accomplish this collective goal as an individual? Creating additional rules may be constituted as a band-aid solution but can it not be a mechanism to achieve our objectives? Just posing the question.
 

typezed

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I'm not in favour of anarchy and chaos on the road either. But we have so many rules, and whenever we sense a problem we add more rules, and then don't enforce them. As users of the road, most of us are almost driven to push against the rules, lest we feel like a prat or a brown-noser. Who can drive without exceeding the speed limit, without going 20kph over on the highway? Likewise, how many cyclists can comfortably sit at a red light at a T-intersection, or how many pedestrians can wait out a red light on a 2-lane street when they can't see a car in any direction?

Most people are co-operative. A good percentage of people use multiple forms of transportation, and can relate to other users. When I'm cycling, I usually stop at the end of the line of cars waiting at a red light. When I do this the next car will always respect my place in line, treating me as if I was a car waiting there. I can't think of a time when a car has pushed up beside me when I've waited alongside the curb at the end of the line (many cyclists however will push around me).

If we all push the rules a little, there are others who fancy themselves outlaws, or are self-indulgent, or just idiots, who care nothing about the rules, and who endanger others with their aggression and carelessness. We need better enforcement of existing rules to deal with these people, and a more visible regular presence from those who watch over the street. There's no amount of rule-making that will make these people care about rights versus privileges, or become suddenly co-operative.

If we are going to make rules, and if we're then going to enforce them, the greatest attention has to be paid to cars, because it is their destructive power that makes rules necessary in the first place. And I think we need to create more space for alternative forms of transportation, so that more people will use them, and when behind the wheel be more able to relate to the vulnerability of other users of the road. Without this, creating more rules and regulation and forms of licensing just solidifies the car-centric culture we already have, where everyone needs to fall in line so cars will be able to get across town as quickly as possible.

Edit: And this is my major point, why I've been commenting so much in this thread. We won't create greater usage of alternative methods of transportation by trying to force them into structures created for cars, in the mistaken belief this would be more equitable. Especially licensing, which would only push large numbers of people away from cycling at any time.
 
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ShonTron

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Most people are co-operative. A good percentage of people use multiple forms of transportation, and can relate to other users. When I'm cycling, I usually stop at the end of the line of cars waiting at a red light. When I do this the next car will always respect my place in line, treating me as if I was a car waiting there. I can't think of a time when a car has pushed up beside me when I've waited alongside the curb at the end of the line (many cyclists however will push around me).
I don't proceed on a red light at all, no matter if it's a T-intersection or not. As a pededstrian, though, I'll jaywalk on a red if the coast is clear (and will stop first and make sure), and yes, I do 120 km/h on the 401 when driving.

Hmmm. I don't usually stop at the end of a line of cars at a red for the same reason why I don't care of cars pass me in the same line when we're moving - the right lane can and should be able to accomodate both when safe. If there's a truck or bus, I won't creep up the right because that can be dangerous. And I certainly do not pass to the right of a car already starting to make a right turn - I'll wait behind or try to pass to the left, though many other cyclists won't do the same. I sense the fustration a motorist would have.

But what I do is wait my turn in the left turn lane (or left lane when making a left turn where no turn lane is provided), except the St. George to Harbord left turn where the bike queue jumps are provided (and since it becomes effectively a dual left turn, turning into separate lanes, this doesn't inconvenience the motorist waiting ahead). I can't stand it when I'm making a left with the cars (say at Beverley and Baldwin, where I often make a left towards McCaul/Elm) and a few cyclists race down the bike lane and make a wide left out of turn in front of me, but I won't change my practice.
 
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PinkLucy

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I also stop on a red when on a bike, much to the annoyance of my co-riders :) I figure if I have the right to ride on the road, I should follow the rules, even when they seem stupid. I would love to see some separate bike rules though for things like T-intersections.
 

nfitz

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"Pedestrians may seem to step out of nowhere.
Precisely. Driving a car at a busy intersection is a challenge, particularly when turning. Cars everywhere, pedestrians everywhere, streetcars stopping. Often someone parked where it's just not legal or safe. And bikes whizzing by as well. Your trying to watch all those things, and sometimes the pedestrians surprise you ... even when they are doing something perfectly legal for them. Like the 3 girls who I got a bit close to once, who had been standing on the corner, chatting away, long after the light changed, and then just as the rest of the traffic clears, and I start to turn, suddenly decide to dart across the intersection (I stopped in time, and didn't get in their way, but it was a good job I was watching them, and not the traffic that was turning in from the other direction). Or the streetcar doors that flung open again, after the stop, trying to watch a 5-way intersection with pedestrians (how many times are streetcars allowed to stop at the same stop, even though they've moved their vehicles, and are signalling a turn?).

Quite frankly, I'm happier not to drive in a dense urban area... I'm perfectly capable of doing it. But I'm well aware, that it's just too easy to be in an accident, with the tiniest of error - or even with no fault.
 

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Juan_Lennon416

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I love when TTC riders risk their lives to catch a bus or a streetcar. Utter foolishness! Can't people just patiently wait for the next one?
 

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