The rise of bicycling and the expansion of bike lanes can at times provoke strong negative reactions in people, whether it’s at public meetings, newspaper comment boards, or casual conversations. Sometimes the arguments against bike lanes can border on absurdity and demonstrate an entrenched bias toward driving. Over the weekend, #ReplaceBikeWithCar was a trending topic on Twitter as people poked fun at these arguments; each tweet satirized anti-bike rhetoric commonly used to argue against bike lanes. Here are some highlights:
#ReplaceBikeWithCar “What bothers me about cars is how often you see drivers just completely disobeying all the traffic laws” — Jane Doe, MD (@DrJaneChi) April 5, 2014
You drive a car? Car drivers sure break the law a lot. The other day, someone in a car ran a stop sign on my street! #ReplaceBikeWithCar — Emily (@erpurc) April 4, 2014
Those drivers act too entitled already, giving them more car lanes will make it even worse #ReplaceBikeWithCar — Christopher Kidd (@BikeBlogChris) April 4, 2014
“We shouldn’t build any more car lanes until cars use the car lanes that are available.” #ReplaceBikeWithCar — Mary Lauran Hall (@MaryLauran) April 4, 2014
#ReplaceBikeWithCar “Cars have limitations. They aren’t a viable transportation option for people with disabilities or the aged.” Oh. Wait. — Amadi (@amaditalks) April 5, 2014
You’re seriously going to drive your car home? Ok, well, be safe. #ReplaceBikeWithCar — Zach Williams (@zacharywil) April 5, 2014
We’re sorry a bicyclist assaulted you, but you should have known better than to be out driving a car. #ReplaceBikeWithCar #PoliceLectures — Gary Kavanagh (@GaryRidesBikes) April 4, 2014
Over 30,000 Americans are killed each year by bikes. #ReplaceBikeWithCar — Copenhagenize/Mikael (@copenhagenize) April 6, 2014
As is often the case with satire, the above tweets (although somewhat humorous) illustrate an important message. The disdain many motorists show toward cyclists is merely a matter of perspective, and when viewed from a different angle many drivers are guilty of the same things they complain about.
We’ve written about it before, but it seems like the us against them attitude on both sides of the fence can be a serious impediment to progress when it comes to building bike friendly cities and increasing safety for riders and motorists alike. In this case, it’s nice that a few people on Twitter could have a bit of fun while pointing that out.