As we engage with a wide-array of community members in our work to build a broad-based coalition supporting the transformation of the Wiggle over the next year, we hear time and again that pedestrians who live in the area are continually perturbed by the behavior of bicyclists on the Wiggle. While we here at the Wigg Party feel victimized by undue guilt by association (it seems many people allow a bad experience with a single cyclist poison their opinion of all cyclists – blatant “transportationism”), we are beginning to take more seriously the opportunity we have to communicate to our fellow Wigglers about proper bicycle etiquette. Our ultimate goal is to make the “Wiggle cyclist” renowned as the most considerate and polite species of cyclist in all of San Francisco. The first step towards that goal comes in the form of a plea from our own Ian “Earthwind” Heid to our fellow cyclists, that’s been sitting in our inbox since November. Take it away Earthwind!
Who blasts through stops signs faster than wha…!? I do for one. But I’m guilty of my number one vice doing it, hypocrisy. Why am I guilty? Well, because I believe in traffic laws, safety of streets, for one for all, etc. Truly I do.
The aforementioned are all things I believe we can agree on. Where we all disagree is with automobile owners. Being one myself (full disclosure) I can’t say I always like bicyclists either. There needs to be common ground.
we could all learn a thing or two here...
Part of gaining respect on the thoroughfares of any fair city is giving that respect right back. We as urban and suburban and rural and universal people use it with each other every day for the most mundane interactions, yes? Why don’t we use it when we are also at our most vunerable (site every study on traffic related deaths ever)?
Another aspect of integrating bicycles and vehicles is pure space. I understand that fully. Until that space is defined we need to keep in mind that while many of us use our bikes because we must/can/love to, the same applies to automobile owners (see! hypocrisy. guilty as charged), and unfortunately for many people it’s the musty option.
So here is what I propose advocates of city bicycling take up as MUST DOS!
LEARN YOUR HAND SIGNALS. – You ever been pissed at someone who didn’t signal their car? They feel the same, and often they are late or something, so they will run you over for an appointment, which they then will miss. But you are the one missing out… If you need help learning to guide your bike while riding with one hand you know the people to ask (hint: SFBC). » Read more: Use Your Brakes: An Opinion on Bicycle Etiquette by Ian “Earthwind” Heid