Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fight the Power: Speed Limits on the Golden Gate Bridge

"Let every man determine thy speed of thy penny-farthing." - John Hancock

--Recently, the Golden Gate Bridge think tank known as the Building & Operating Committee has thought of imposing speed limits of 5 mph and 10 mph on cyclists. Despite the fact that, according to them, speed was a "contributing factor" in only 39% of accidents. (I'll play devil's advocate for a moment and just say that speed is a "contributing factor" in all bike accidents, by nature. That's called physics.) It also omits important information such as: what side of the bridge did this happen on? If it happened on the east side, where tourists walk and where cyclists have to ride before 3:30 PM on weekdays, then that could be solved by keeping the west side open to cyclists at all times. Also, how many of the accidents were caused by tourists?

There are lots of ways to lie with statistics and this is one of them. Quote some misleading stats and then call for action. This will make it look like they're doing something since the bridge renovation project--you know, the one that was supposed to begin last fall--has still yet to begin.

Here's my proposal:

Two sides. East side: TOURISTS. West side: LOCALS.

Should the proposed speed limits be enacted there will definitely be an uprising. I and the rest of my RIDE OR DIE brethren are fully willing to take any means necessary to fight this. I've yet to run from the police--by bike that is--but I'm fully prepared to do so. If that means breaking my LT by going 30 across the bridge, so be it. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

--My buddies Marek (Mellow Johnny's jersey) and Timo (guy who mentions breaking other guy's nose) were on TV about the issue the other day:

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