City Hall Wants to Make It Clear to Drivers: Don't Be a Dick to Cyclists

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Just last week, we noted that while those long-delayed bike lanes downtown are great and all, it'll be a long time before Dallas drivers give cyclists their space. Texas motorists tend to feel entitled to the road, which they are loath to share with some spindly, non-motorized conveyance.

We learn today from the Morning News' Steve Thompson, that the city would like to encourage drivers' good behavior by fining them $500 for being dicks to cyclists.

The encouragement comes in the form of an ordinance governing bike-car interactions at intersections, which was added at the last minute to tomorrow's City Council agenda.

Under the ordinance, cars will have to give a lot more deference to "vulnerable road users," aka poor, unsuspecting cyclists. Rather than rocketing past a bicycle with the passenger-side mirror mere centimeters from slamming its rider into the pavement, cars and trucks have to leave the lane and re-enter it "only after passing at a safe distance." Cars are also not allowed to make a right turn in front of a cyclist until they are safely past. Last but certainly not least: The operator of a motor vehicle cannot throw items at a vulnerable road user.

The fine for violating any of those provisions would max out at $500. The damage caused by the pissed-off bike rider's house key will probably cost you more than that. So drive nice.

See also:
Dallas Has Its First Real Bike Lane, and It's in Oak Cliff


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77 comments
wrw22
wrw22

Such bullshit.  Those idiots are riding a child's toy in the middle of the street.  Grow up and get a car.

Shannon Adolph
Shannon Adolph

Hopefully there is an exception to these fines if the cyclist was also violating the law, as is frequently the case (failing to stop at a stop sign/light, going the wrong way, etc)

Rudy Cruz
Rudy Cruz

I won't be a dick if you won't be an idiot. Share the road: yes. But its rush hour traffic and Peddle Pete is making traffic back up worse. Biking for health? Not if it lands you in the emergency room.

Brooke Carlock
Brooke Carlock

Most cyclists I've run into (not literally) don't seem to follow the rules of the road. And one has darted directly right in front of me. Not smart.

Tabatha Patterson
Tabatha Patterson

There are two types of cyclists: Ones who follow the rules of the road and those who don't. I'll pleased as punch when cyclists stop being dicks to pedestrians as well.

Eric Kline
Eric Kline

I just moved out of Dallas and this is AWESOME!! Most of my problems werent y'all regular drivers but damn cabies... Hate those guys.

CJ Dylan
CJ Dylan

Damn. I still sounded like a dick

CJ Dylan
CJ Dylan

Hey, cyclists, believe or not you have to obey stop signs as well. No? Then don't complain when you bounce across my hood.

CJ Dylan
CJ Dylan

Awww. I can't throw things any more??

Crystal Means
Crystal Means

I agree although I would love to see cyclists actually utilize the bike lanes, keeping the road safe for us all...

pak152
pak152

i'll pile on. will the city enforce the laws that cyclist violate? such as running stop lights and stop signs?

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

I'm like many others here who are fine with this, as long as the city also starts holding bicyclists to the same level of responsibility.

Jaybird
Jaybird

I love the people on here bitching about cyclist, 1% of the public out on Dallas roads, being given accomodations.   It's like white people who bitch about the existence of BET and Univision. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

Are we going to get laws that fine cyclists for being dicks to pedestrians and runners on the city's trail system?  I mean, goose and gander, right?

jrbraddick
jrbraddick

Cyclists who don't observer the same traffic laws, run stop signs and red lights, lane split, etc are and should be subject to a fine.  I ride everyday and I'm on Bike Friendly Oak Cliff's board.  No bicyclist has the right to disregard the rules of the road, just as no motor vehicle has the same right.  This is simply about bringing up the traffic laws in this city to the same standards that other big cities in this country have been doing for years.  Dallas has been behind the game, but it's getting better.

unclescrappy
unclescrappy

What are the fines going to be for cyclists being dicks. They should have to pay an Annual registration fee the same as car owners have to. This will help govt pay for those bicycle lanes. Then they can get a ticket for cycling with an unregistered vehicle

MlikmanDan
MlikmanDan

But are they still allowed to shoot cyclists with paintball guns from their El Dorados? 

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

How about some no helmet tickets for the Morons in the picture ?

gmit
gmit

I respect cyclists, I treat them the same as any vehicle going a thousand miles below the speed limit. If you cant go the posted speed then get off the road.

 

I really love it when they bow up, like anyone gives a damm they get pissed. Assert your "right" to the road,  and then like everyone has already mentioned, run the stop sign

LokiLaufeyson
LokiLaufeyson

Shaddup, troll. I'd bet that half or more of the bikes I see at White Rock Lake got there on a bike rack attached to a car.

mgluckman
mgluckman

@AngelaHunt you really don't get twitter do u? You should get some guidance. Most politicians shouldn't use "dick" in a post. Just a thought

mmumby
mmumby

@AngelaHunt @Dallas_Observer Sure wish the ordinance would have defined what a "safe" distance is.

whiterocktrail
whiterocktrail

@AngelaHunt @Dallas_Observer Sure wish the ordinance would have defined what a "safe" distance is.

jesuspop
jesuspop

@AngelaHunt @Dallas_Observer @DMagazine bicyclist need 2 wear ANSI class rated HI-vis clothing,helmets and have lights on their bikes!?!

italianmatt
italianmatt

@AngelaHunt good, pedestrians get honked at too much as well

anon
anon

 @jrbraddick might want to tell some of your fellow BFOC members about the laws. I've seen them on sidewalks, riding the wrong way on a one way street because there are fewer cars on it, etc. 

not saying those of us in cars are perfect drivers, but the "everyone else was speeding" argument has never worked out well.

pak152
pak152

 @gmit apparently you are unaware that the posted speed is the upper limit not the speed you must be going.

TheJeremyAdams
TheJeremyAdams

 @gmit I USUALLY ride on a side street where the posted speed limit is 30 or less.  USUALLY the person who is yelling at me to "get on the sidewalk" is pissed because they where flying down the residential street around 40 MPH and "didn't see me."  As for "running the stop sign"  me and my bike total a little under 200 pounds and have a stopping distance at 25 MPH of around 6 feet.  Your 2500 LB car at 25 MPH has a stopping distance of around 20 feet.  Most cars in Dallas pull a "California Stop" anyway so what's your point? Here is the deal, bicyclist HAVE TO RIDE ON THE STREET per Dallas code, with the exception of the CBD.

AngelaHunt
AngelaHunt

@mgluckman You haven't been paying attention. Ill-advised tweets are one of my specialties.

TheJeremyAdams
TheJeremyAdams

 @AdultBabies  @Jaybird It's kind of a true analogy.  I hate those bicycle people and their fitness and their not buying gas and they're getting in my way.  Kinda sounds like:  I hate those TV channels for people who don't share my culture and my language and may music and my interests and they're getting in my way.

jrbraddick
jrbraddick

 @anon We're working with educational programs in the area and will start promoting educational workshops for interested individuals to learn how to ride appropriately. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @pak152  @gmit while that is true, there is also that whole driving at a safe speed thingy, and if you are going 5 in 30 down a non residential street, you are impeding the flow of traffic and will get your ass pulled over

CraigT42
CraigT42

 @TheJeremyAdams  So it takes you less effort and space to stop but you still don't, and then you use the kindergarten response of "he does it too".  Wonder why I just assume the guy on the bike is going to be a jerk?

 

TheJeremyAdams
TheJeremyAdams

 @ScottsMerkin  @CraigT42 We do.  There are several weekly road riding groups in East Dallas that are very good examples of how to ride on the street.  I suspect that most of what the upset motorists here are seeing is the result of the uneducated cyclist.  We all could use some education regarding the rules that govern car and bicycles on our streets.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @TheJeremyAdams  @CraigT42 you sir a fine example of cyclist.  good on you to recognize the safety and rules of the road.  Please educate the asshats in 2 wheels for us then,

TheJeremyAdams
TheJeremyAdams

 @CraigT42 I hear you.  There are some aspects of "entitled douchebag" that are required to SAFELY ride on the road.  Namely own your lane.  When I ride I do obey the laws.  I also ride just slightly right of center of the right lane, unless I am making a left then I ride slightly left of center of the left lane.  When I come to a red light, I stop.  If I am the first in the lane, I pull up to the crosswalk to let the cars activate the light (my trek can't do it).  I go out of my way to stay off streets with speed limits greater than 35MPH if at all posable.  I wear a helmet, lights, light colored cloths and light colored bag.

CraigT42
CraigT42

 @TheJeremyAdams    which absolutely no one said. As i said in my first post down below I enjoy my own bike and am 100% in favor of sharing the road.  But it seems like everybody who spends more than 2 weeks on a bike gets your "Fuck the cagers" attitude and then proceeds to make matters worse for everyone by riding like an entitled douchebag.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @TheJeremyAdams  @CraigT42  @AdultBabies  @Jaybird see youve missed the whole point, no one has said anything against cycling itself.  We are trashing the shitty cyclist who give the goods ones a bad name.  Again all you have to do is stop in line where you are riding like every other vehicle and most of the vitriol would go away.  Maybe you do, if so good on you,

CraigT42
CraigT42

 @TheJeremyAdams  @AdultBabies  @Jaybird 

I see no one hating on fitness or saving gas.  I see lots of people hating on having to stomp on the brakes or swerve into another car to avoid someone who is so determined to hold onto their "rights" that they feel they have the right to endanger themselves and others.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @TheJeremyAdams  @pak152  @gmit I get that, I totally understand you are not going to go 30 mph, I have no problem changing lanes to pass you, I have a problem having to pass a cyclist 5 times bc he keep passing at a red light

TheJeremyAdams
TheJeremyAdams

 @ScottsMerkin  @pak152  @gmit One would think that the folks making these laws have ridden a bicycle before and know that a most cyclists cannot go near the posted speed limit.  

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @TheJeremyAdams  @ScottsMerkin  @CraigT42 No, bikes don't get to choose which rules they want to apply depending on the situation.  Either they are traffic, and should follow existing traffic laws or they're pedestrian and should follow those rules.  And when I say they should follow existing traffic laws, i mean the laws in the locale they are cycling in at that time.  I don't give a rat's ass how it's done in CA or Europe.  There are laws here, follow them.  If the laws suck, work to change them.  Hopping back and forth and in and out of the 'grey area' is probably what gets most cyclists killed.  Cars, by your own admission, cannot react as quickly or as safely as a bicycle can.  'Grey areas' where bike/auto interaction is concerned, should be avoided at all costs.

TheJeremyAdams
TheJeremyAdams

 @ScottsMerkin  @TheJeremyAdams  @CraigT42 I guess there may be some gray area in this example.  Cars cannot drive in parks, but bikes can.  A bike can be either depending upon the situation.  A person pushing a bike down the sidewalk is perfectly legal, and that person would be a pedestrian .This whole thread has turned into bikes bad car smash.  And I think the intention of the article was to educate the driving public that harassing a cyclist could result in a fine.  Ultimately it would be the operator of the vehicle's fault if they hit a cyclist, much like it would be the operator's fault if they hit a pedestrian.

TheJeremyAdams
TheJeremyAdams

 @CraigT42 Well, I don't know about Dention (UNT) but when I went to WVU all streets bordering campus where cross walks were ever they touched campus and all street traffic had to yield to crosswalk traffic.

CraigT42
CraigT42

 @TheJeremyAdams  and cyclists don't?  if I was driving around with my head up my butt I would have 2 new bicycle shaped stamps on my drivers side door just from leaving UNT campus last night at 9:30.  One from a rider shooting though a stop sign, in the dark. the other from a rider rocketing out from between 2 apartment buildings to cross a street without so much as slowing down.

Both of which flipped me the bird when I slammed on my brakes to avoid turning them into smears on the road.   Oh and I wasn't speeding either.  The speed limit on that road 30.  i was doing barely 25 which is my default speed within 2 blocks of campus for that very reason.

 

TheJeremyAdams
TheJeremyAdams

 @CraigT42 That is not what I am saying.  I am saying that I do stop at lights and signs, MANY cars do not.  I do share the road, MANY cars do not.  People cannot get in their cars and drive around with their heads up their buts, and in my experience that is what most people do.  

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