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I think something that often gets lost in all these "bike vs cars" debates is that most bicyclist - even those who commute primarily by bike - are also car drivers. There are very few people who exclusively get around by bike. So there really is no "us vs them" - there's just "us". And the folks that make up "us" are very diverse. Not all cyclists are anarchists and not all motor vehicle drivers are dangerous. There are plenty of great folks in each group - and plenty of jerks.
You always hear people complaining about bicyclists running lights, not wearing helmets, etc. Well, sit on any busy intersection in Portland for 5 minutes and you'll see plenty of cars running the light, speeding, etc. Which is more dangerous? And given how few cyclists there are compared to how many motor vehicles there are, which is more prevalent? There's plenty of room for improvement on both sides.
As far as the separate vs integrated debate. I think Roger has stated it best, Portland's separated facilities have gotten us ridership numbers the rest of the country is envious of and crash rates that are plummeting.
posted 5 years ago
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