Several months ago the city of Crazy D., in dishonorable union with local bike advocacy groups, launched a campaign to 'educate' bicyclists here about traffic law and coerce them to follow it. Denver has been one of several N. American cities in which bicyclists have developed a functional disregard for traffic control devices, more often than not treating stop signs and red lights as yields, and also making use of the unusually wide and sparsely populated sidewalks as well as the streets. Of course there is a great deal of 'vehicular cycling' going on here as well, but if a bicyclist were to do as the Romans do in Denver he or she would probably not be waiting for that red light if the coast is clear. It's not like Portland, where strings of morning commuters wait in orderly queues at red lights.

The campaign was rather involved, with no small amount of police hours used to stop bicyclists (lawful or not), lecture them, hand them a color-printed card instructing them to follow the laws and record their names and birthdates for unspecified use. [See BRING THE IDAHO STOP TO DENVER.] This resulted in a string of absurdities, for instance, bicyclists who religiously follow traffic laws (there are some) were stopped along with everyone else and were obliged to listen to a police officer's often incorrect lecture about bicycle laws and have their names recorded.

To what effect, this crackdown? Nothin'. Denver bicyclists ride the same way they always have. They were neither cowed from riding nor cowed from riding in their time-honored free-lance fashion. In related news, the earth is still spinning on its axis and goin' round the sun at disturbing speed. Water still flows downhill. The crackdown had no effect whatsoever, other than wasting resources. The cyclists still move according to their unwritten rules and the police are back to ignoring them. I could've told you that, and did. There.

 

Another update: the city still hasn't fixed the messed-up sharrows on Sherman Street downtown [see GOOD SHARROWS GONE BAD]. They said it would be a while, and they weren't kidding.

 

It's been about 40 days and nights since I wrote about the seemingly disproportionate hostility of RTD bus drivers [UNDER THE BUS]. Since then I have been passed by two (2) RTD buses, and several hundred other vehicles, to give some idea of the relative frequency of these thngs. El numero dos. One blew by on 15th, the other on Lawrence crossing Broadway. Neither driver took the opportunity to run me off the road or into parked cars. That's some serious progress right there.

 

Don't murder me. Plee-ease don't murder mee. -- Grateful Dead