Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In

Today on the Streetsblog Network,
we ever-so-gingerly broach the issue of etiquette when pedestrians and
cyclists share the same space. Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty has
proclaimed pedestrian safety a top priority, and is backing up his
words with millions in federal stimulus funds and a pedestrian master
plan. Adam Voiland at DC Bicycle Transportation Examiner has also noticed a proliferation of signs instructing cyclists to dismount in pedestrianized areas.

signman.jpgRiding prohibited signs abound in Georgetown.

Do such signs work? Rarely have I actually seen a cyclist
abide by a dismount sign, though that's not to say they don't guilt
riders into somewhat safer cycling habits. I certainly feel
compelled to at least slow down when passing such signs. However, there
are also plenty of riders chafing at the new signs.

A colleague of
mine, a competitive mountain rider, shared her exasperation about the
signs after a pedestrian chewed her out for not dismounting -- as a sign
instructed -- near a bridge on the Mount Vernon bike trail. "The signs
probably caused -- or at least exacerbated -- the problem," she said.

"We’ve become overly concerned about safety, and we’ve forgotten that
what we really need on the bike paths [is] for people to exercise good
judgment."

Voiland goes on to cite the late Hans Monderman,
who believed that traffic signs often do more harm than good. Are
common bike-ped spaces appropriate laboratories for further testing
this theory?

Also today: Tuscon Bike Lawyer describes how local police add insult, and then some, to cyclist injury; Grist admonishes the media for soft-pedaling on climate change; a guest blogger on the N Judah Chronicles extols the communal virtues of San Francisco's MUNI; and BLDG Blog argues that transit product placement is a steal.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Long Beach Leads in Traffic Circles

Traffic circles aren't quite ubiquitous in Long Beach, but they're around. Riding and walking through the city one encounters circles in neighborhoods rich and poor, new and old.

July 12, 2024

Metro and Caltrans Still Planning 605 Expansion, Plus Four Connecting Freeways

Metro and Caltrans are planning to spend billions of dollars widening the 605, 5, 10, 60 and 105 Freeways. Really.

July 10, 2024
See all posts