Saturday, May 15, 2010

Driving without Dying

Thought about Clint on this one from our friends at in Louisville.

Found this one over at Copenhagenize and it’s got some really great points. Check out Jack’s 10 reasons to wear a helmet in the car. This coupled with another post by Mikael really got me thinking about the whole cycling helmet issue. Riding a bicycle down the street is not a dangerous activity. It’s the cars and neglectful driving that create the hazard. I’ve always had an issue with this from a parenting standpoint. The mother of my children is very much on the side of helmets. “The kids need to wear helmets when riding their bikes.” This I don’t have so much of a problem with when we’re at the skatepark or trails. That has a danger element thrown in. However, I feel they’ll be just fine riding over to their friends or up to the store.
Well, what about in the car? The spot where the real danger emerges from while traveling. Driving is dangerous as fuck, plain and simple. Over 1 million people die from car crashes a year. That’s insane! Regardless, communities still push forward with a carcentric infrastructure with no plans on vearing in another direction. As Mikael mentions over at Copenhagenize, we have to stop falling into this wear your bike helmet bullshit. Riding a bike isn’t dangerous, cars are dangerous! The general ideas behind so many bicycle advocacy measures focus on safety and honestly it makes riding a bike on the road sound scary. No wonder more people aren’t out there riding. All they hear is how dangerous it is to be on the road.
Bicycles are a fast form of transportation. However, here in America the landscape has been designed for the car. Nothing is convenient. I really don’t know what the answer is. How do you turn generations of thought around? We’re raised in cars in this country. How do you convince cities to take driving lanes away, narrow roads and reduce the amount of space for cars to travel in? I suppose this is nothing new and I’m just bitching and moaning as we all know these aspects. I’m just asking for everyone to stop making bike riding sound so damn dangerous and slow the fuck down if you’re driving. The speed limit is that, a limit. You can go slower.