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Monday, March 17, 2008

Dear bicyclists ...

The Chicago Tribune on Sunday published a commentary by Cate Plys: an open letter to cyclists in the Chicago area. You kind of get the direction she's going in her opening salvo:
Yes, yes, we know. You're better than us. You care about the planet. ... You assume the people you leave in your two-wheel wake are marveling at the reds, greens and oranges -- envying you.

We're not. We're thinking that most of you are a bunch of smug, self-satisfied, frequently dangerous jerks. We're thinking you should lose about 10 pounds before subjecting the world to those bike pants again.
Plys is annoyed by Chicago's new bicycle ordinance, which levies fines up to $500 for vehicle drivers. The laws impose fines on motorists who turn left or right in front of someone on a bicycle, pass with less than 3 feet of space between car and bike, or park in or otherwise obstruct marked bike lanes.

But before you jump off the deep end, Plys says she's a bicyclist herself. Her concern is that the ordinance targets only motorists and that nothing is being done to punish cyclists who disobey the rules of the road.

Plys also contends that instead of focusing on ordinances such as this one or Chicago's bike rental proposal, the city should be concentrating on building a grid of bicycle paths common in European cities.

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