Austin Cycling News

Cycling in Austin

The American Toy-Bicycle Syndrome

By • Jul 18th, 2008 • Category: Info
Bike riders are unpredictable. Motorists should not have to dodge or be delayed by bicycles. Much more like pedestrians than vehicles, bicycles should not be on the roads at all. If a separate sidewalk or other pedestrian/bicycle path can not be provided, then bicyclists must be kept out of the way of motorists by the use of separate bicycle lanes.
How did this happen, and how does it continue?

The Toy-Bicycle Syndrome began in the 1950′s and is based upon the concept of bicycling as children’s’ play activity, which in fact it largely was in the America of 1950. In the 1970′s a fitness-crazed adult American public discovered the modern lightweight 10-speed bicycle and the “bike boom” began. Millions of cyclists took to the roads and panic set in with motorists and transportation planners that had long held the belief that bicycles belonged on sidewalks. Thirty years later, those same concepts prevail and control the American bicycling environment.

Worse than ignorance alone, the American public and transportation establishment base their beliefs and actions on a false foundation. Motorists and the vast majority of bicycle owners have no understanding of the concepts and safety of proper cycling and how easy it is for motorists and cyclists to coexist. Rather than working for the little that is needed to make vehicular cycling safe, easy and practical on every road, American bicycle advocacy, decisions and goals are invariably based on the toy-bicycle syndrome.
Found at probicycle.com.

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