on the war on cars


I just read  wired’s 9 things drivers need to stop saying and to me it sounded  a lot like the things MRA say, and I’ve also heard them very often, except for the tax thing.

I’ve seen the comparison of cyclists and women more than once and it is very apt so I wanted to expand on it a bit, as a feminist and a cyclist.

Do cyclists break the law? Yeah,some of them do. they ride at night with no lights,they don’t wear a helmet,they listen to music, they don’t signal, they act recklessly.

so do drivers. drivers are ridiculously stupid and reckless. drive too fast and too close  and do dangerous things,specially bus drivers.

but it’s like a man and a woman. a man does something stupid_= he’s a stupid man but if a woman does something stupid= all women are stupid, but it’s never all men. NEVER.

women and cyclists are representing their groups whenever they step outside but men and drivers are alllowed to be individuals. unless it’s a women driver, cause then it’s “all women are terrible drivers”

another point is that often, cyclists will break the law for their own safety. a lot of the time, the reckless behaviour is in response to a car doing something reckless in the first place.

are roads designed for cars? well, Valdivia is over 400 years old so I don’t think there were cars in mind originally, but modern cities are designed for cars. the streets are covered with them. either moving or parked, they’re a nuisance for everyone not in them. and they ruin the streets. they’re full of holes. and drivers might not mind them much, since in car they’re not too anoying or dangerous specially in a big car but to a bike even a tiny hole can send you flying off the bike. and streets are full of holes and patches. often I have to swerve to avoid them cause they’re too big to simply pass over and then drivers will honk cause it seems to them you’re being stupid when you’re trying not to die.

and since this “road are designed for cars” mentality is so extended, cars will honk at you for simply existing. cause if a car is in the way, that’s fine, but a bike in the side of the road it’s unbearable, so let’s threaten and honk and do something stupid like get onto the other lane if that’s what it takes to pass them. this is specially true in bridges. I have to pass one every day,several times a day and drivers are particularly stupid in it.

it’s a bridge, I don’t have anywhere to go.

and I’ve said it before, if you can’t drive while sharing the road with a bike, then you can’t drive.

are cyclist dangerous?

Sure. but more than a car? absolutely not. and more importantly,cyclists are a danger to themselves.

when a driver is involved in an accident,they’re more likely to hurt others. when a cyclist is involved, they’re more likely to hurt themselves.

both a cyclist and a driver passing through a puddle could get someone else wet but iin the cyclist’s case,they’ll absolutely get themselves wet as well.

this assurance means that when a cyclist is being reckless they’re putting themselves at risk, but a driver can be in a terrible wreck and walk away fine.

so basically, we can’t measure the behaviour through the same lens when consequences are so different.

and let’s not forget road rage. what’s an angry cyclist going to do? maybe scratch your car? what do angry drivers do? they kill people. I think the driver’s exam should include a psychological test to check not just if you can drive but whether you should. some people go mad when given a bit of power, even if it’s something as ordinary as getting behind the wheel of a car.

Let’s look at metaphors

not too long ago, a man in japan attacked a school.with a knife.versus how many shoot outs have there been in schools in the US this year alone?

or how Feminism is hurting feelings while MRA and Misogyny are actually killing people.

there’s no room for bike lanes! they’ll cause traffic problems!

honestly my first response is “so what?” but these traffic problems, gridlock,less parking, are bullshit. if there”s bike lanes, more people would ride their bikes, so there’d be less cars.

there’s plenty of sidewalks here that are not only plenty wide, there’s plants,bushes and even trees. if they were taken out, then there would be plenty of space to build bike lanes.

take out the trees?! I love trees. but this city is full of them,everywhere, and clearly it’s not a problem cutting them down for more parking, even if they’re not even in the way, so cutting small,common trees  shouldn’t be a problem.

hell, I’ll go and plant kms of trees of every km of bike lane.

There is space, it’s just not being used. because modern cities are designed for cars. not even pedestrians, cause it that were true then traffic lights would not be designed to have pedestrian cross the street while cars turn into it.

cyclists are anti-cars! 

this is much like MRA comments of feminists being anti-men.

and I shall endeavour to explain in Malcom Reynold’s fine words “I got no need to fight you, I just wanna go my way”

Feminist, cyclist,gays, are not trying to convert you, they simply ask for safe spaces and equal rights.

Cars are useful. when it’s raining and there’s a lot of wind. when you’re going grocery shopping, when you’re off in a trip and have luggage. when you feel sick,sore or tired and someone driving sounds like a great idea.

the problem isn’t cars,but the over-reliance on the, to the point when people drive them two block to go to the store to buy three things.

it’s pointless to build bike lanes,there’s not enough bike lanes

“if you build it, they will come” I actually never saw field of dreams, but I know the gist of it. and as many,many,many cities have proven, if there are safe spaces for cycling, for sports,people will use them.

a war on cars!

yes,how awful.

Masa Critica, Valdivia, Octubre 2014

once a month cyclists meet up to all ride together and drivers whine about it for a week. cyclists feel  like that, outnumbered,overwhelmed,all the time.

drivers have all the power in the streets and it’s amazing how scared they are of anyone trying to take even a little bit of it. funny how much it sounds like MRA, like GamerGate, huh? “You’re doing something I don’t like/understand/approve! stop it! This is my space and you need my permissio to do anything! even if it doesn’t involve me at all!”

but cars are essential!

that’s debatable. they’re useful,sure, but people got along fine before them and many still live without them and manage.

I think public transport it’s far more important than personal cars. a clean,reliable,decent public transport system.


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