Bike lanes are a contentious issue in the earnest and dorky world of bicycle advocacy. Some people feel that safe and protected bike lanes are the key to getting more people cycling. Others feel bike lanes are dangerous places to ride, and simply lull riders into a false sense of security when they should instead be asserting their right to the road. Still others feel that bike lanes are an insidious conspiracy of the oil and auto industries, and that they're really just "fly strips for cyclists" designed to lure them to a place where they can be easily doored, stuffed in trunks, and driven to labor camps where they are then forced to melt down their own bicycles and use the metal build replacement doors for cars.
Personally, I like bike lanes. Not because I think they work especially well, but because I think they're symbols of respect. I like that someone has to go out there and paint little pictures of bicycles all over the city for me. So when people park in the bike lane (or stroll in the bike lane, or ride skateboards in the bike lane, or allow their Cocker Spaniels to relieve themselves in the bike lane) I don't get angry because they're inconveniencing me. I'm more than capable of riding among the cars, and often do. No, I get angry in the same way Archie Bunker used to get angry when Meathead would sit in his special chair. I deal with enough crap as a cyclist, and the least the DOT can do is give me my special chair and make municipal employees fluff the pillows for me every so often by freshening the paint and filling the potholes. And when someone's in my special chair I get really annoyed. Sure, I could go sit somewhere else, but I don't want to! Get the hell out of my chair, Meathead!
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