Monday, November 27, 2006
Why do so many drivers think "roads were made for cars, don't you know that??"
It's a natural social condition, but one that can be changed (though some people will always persist in thnking the big guy has the rights). For example, for the longest time, higher education was for the able-bodied only, as was access to many public buildings and businesses.
Think of any exclusionary situation or any powerful vs. powerless situation; the ones in the position of power simply don't understand what the problem is. It's no problem for them, so why should it be a problem for anybody else? WHy are we disrupting the "natural" "right" hierarchy of things?
With bicyclists in the minority, any time drivers are hangin' round they're going to be agreeing with each other about those annoying cyclists and building their own, self-supporting definition of rights and privileges.
CHanging laws has a seriously limited effect when the public opinion is ingrained (think South and segregation). I'm ready to meet and strategize for becoming a slow but inexorable force towards changing that "roads are for cars and bikes aren't vehicles" mindset :-) Think about the stuff that's worked for other minorities. We have one significant advantage over many other minority groups - the non-cyclists can become cyclists.
I *have* gotten the feeling that fewer people think it's silly these days.
I hope it is successful as it could create a different culture for riding and commuting and health, the environment, less dependence on oil, etc.