Are Seattle cyclists the most selfish commuters?

Apr 10, 2018, 6:56 AM
bike lanes, mcginn...
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan pushed the pause button on a Fourth Avenue bike lane project because of the untenable traffic situation it would present if, for example, there was a car accident in the area. Cue the insufferable outrage by a small group of perennially angry, incredibly selfish cyclists with super active Twitter accounts, but only 17 followers.

Related: Bicycling, again, is down in Seattle

In The Seattle Times, Mike Lindblom relayed the feelings of the city’s cycling activists upset over the move.

“We were told to wait until the One Center City planning happens to get near-term, high-value actions like the Fourth Avenue protected bike lane,” Seattle City Council O’Brien said per the Times. O’Brien is a strong supporter of congestion pricing. “And we waited. And we got nothing. We can’t wait any longer.”

“Right now, we are really disappointed,” Kelsey Mesher, Puget Sound-area policy manager for Cascade Bicycle Club, told Lindblom. “This feels like only the latest in a years-long pattern of pauses and delays.”

This attitude really gets to the heart of these activist’s selfishness. The context of this decision is pretty clear: Interim Seattle Department of Transportation Director Goran Sparrman warned that if we move forward with the plan, we’re one accident away from another #fishgate incident. But cyclists don’t care. They want to move forward with their pet projects, regardless of the damage it causes, because they legitimately think they’re better than drivers by not pumping pollutants into the air. Only, they seem not to realize that by making traffic come to a crawl, they’re just keeping exhaust-pumping cars on the road even longer.

Downtown commuters via bike represent only 3 percent of the commuting population — a number that is down and isn’t keeping up with population growth. Because, as it turns out, it’s not ideal to ride your bike in the rain to and from work every day for eight months out of the year. They want special treatment over the 97 percent of commuters. That demand is ridiculous, particularly because some of the loudest activists in the cycling community don’t have cars, thus don’t pay into the projects drivers do.

Usually, when drivers complain that the traffic is so maddeningly bad, one of these Twitter trolling cyclists will snarkily tell you that you should ride your bike to work instead. Well, how about this, cyclists: if you’re frustrated that don’t get your bike lanes, ditch the bikes and hop on the bus.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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Are Seattle cyclists the most selfish commuters?