Coincidentally, Richard Roeper touches on the subject in his column today.
I always marvel at bicyclists and in-line skaters and joggers who put so much trust in the traffic behind them. They're very brave. Or maybe they just don't care if they're pancaked.I’m not attacking cyclists either; quite the opposite. I just think cycling works better on its own terms and not in conjunction with vehicular traffic. It may be a wild-eyed dream to hope for a large scale separation between the two, but it’s something worth thinking about.
Late Saturday night/Sunday morning, a 22-year-old bicyclist was killed on the North Side when he collided with a vehicle driven by a 29-year-old woman. I'm not saying it was the bicyclist's fault -- but when I hear about such a tragedy, I'm only surprised that it doesn't happen more often. (According to a Sun-Times News Group report, witnesses said the bike "came out of nowhere" and "tried to beat the light.")
I'm pro-bike. I have a bike. I'm all for bicyclists and skaters and everyone else sharing the city legally with motorists.
But I'm always amazed at the sheer numbers of non-motorists that put themselves right in the middle of traffic, apparently just hoping for the best.
Also, while cyclists in traffic are still few these days, any large increase I think would add to the danger exponentially and would not be offset by the reduction in motor vehicles. Again, I have nothing official to back that up, it’s just a guess.