Critical Mass

13

Jan

Critical Mass

I think you’d be hard pressed to find any cyclists who doesn’t agree more bikes on the roads means safer cycling conditions for all cyclists.  How we go about achieving this volume of cyclists, however, is far more critical.

For those who didn’t make last months meeting, we had a pretty lively discussion prior to the start about the Critical Mass movement. For those who don’t know what Critical Mass is, Wikipedia has a pretty decent article describing the movement and it’s history.  Where the discussion gets interesting is when you start talking about how successful the movement has been versus how much negative publicity the movement has garnered.

There is a growing Critical Mass movement in Providence and I thought it was a good time to bring this discussion into the public light.  What’s your take on Critical Mass?  Is it necessary to get the attention of public figures and motorists or is it just likely to escalate the conflicts and bring in law enforcement?  Will a solid Critical Mass effectively demand attention in Providence?  Can Critical Mass exist in a non-confrontational way, where the cyclists send a clear message to motorists and government officials, without causing conflict?

20 thoughts on - Critical Mass

  • MattyCiii
    Reply Jan 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I ride Critical Mass in Boston regularly. I've ridden it in New Orleans once too. From what I've seen, it's 90% just fun loving people, having fun and loving it. Oh and obeying the law too.

    People make a big deal about corking, but I've seen funerals and motorcycle rides do corking too (see 90% above).

    IMHO, CM rides are shaped by the majority. If the majority is dominated by law abiding people who just want to ride together on streets on the last Friday of the month, people will do as they see… Abide the law.

    For less than $20 round trip you can come to Boston on commuter rail and see what CM is all about. It's a leisurely 10-15 beautiful miles. But it probably does not get interesting until April or May (my experience began June 2010 so I do not know how many turn out in the colder months). It is a wonderful, rewarding experience.

  • Reply Jan 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    People make a big deal about corking, but I’ve seen funerals and motorcycle rides do corking too

    I "think" funeral processions are legally allowed to roll through red lights and stop signs in order to keep the group together… could be wrong.

    Your point about motorcycles is spot on. I was actually up in ME a few years back, when we ended up in the middle of a hoard of motorcycles. They were pissed we ended up in the middle, two motorcycles passed in a no-passing zone and then slammed on their brakes in front of me. It was lucky I was on the ball and stopped in time. As my heart rate returned to normal, I saw the hoard blow through a red light stopping all traffic. This actually brings up another very valid question… why are there so many people who seem to hate cyclists on the road, yet are just fine with other motorists who roll through stop signs, blow through red lights, fly down the highway like it is their personal race course, etc. Where is the general uproar over these types of activities?

  • Critical Mass RI - V
    Reply Jan 14, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Well said, it's like: If a tractor going 20 MPH on the street, its perfectly fine.

    If I'm on my bike going 25, I get beeped, sworn at, and violently passed.

    Critical mass is usually seen by media and other activists as ignorant, rude, and law breaking. SF Posted arguments to all claims said by media and opponents. The biggest thing people say about critical mass is, "You guys run red lights!" Well why do we? We try to keep the group together, and heck, red lights were not made for bikes. Is it safe for a bicycle to take off with motor traffic at a red light? No. This is why other countries have separate street lights. You could say we're breaking the law, but you have to look at why we do it. Corking is the same way, it's for pure safety. Traffic is caused everyday, all the time. Why are cyclists being blamed for "blocking" an intersection for 2 minutes once a month?

    We need to show people we belong on the road, and it’s OK to ride a bike. Sometimes you need a different approach of things, and critical mass is one of them. In other cities, while media continues to blow it up, and police escalate it, Critical mass has had very positive impacts on bicycling.

    Critical mass shows we exist.

  • Reply Jan 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I have been in a couple of Critical Mass rides, neither of which were in Providence. I love the bike culture that CM brings out: commuters, art bikes, hipsters, young, old. As a cyclist, it's uplifting to see so many different folks coming together. But, I do not agree with the way in which the rides I participated in attempted to advocate bicycling. Maybe Providence is different, but judging from what you guys have said above, it seems to be similar: corking, light running, etc.

    CM rides sometimes eschew the rules of the road and thereby make cars and drivers antagonists. To a driver trying to get home on a Friday night these bums on bikes are breaking the law and ruining the start to his weekend. In fact, those bums are just some people trying to support something they love and have a good time before. CM would be a lot more effective if riders obeyed the laws that govern them, as traffic.

    But what about the mass? What about it? Why is it necessary to have the pack stay together? Drivers will understand that hundreds of bikes are in the streets for a reason. In the long run, the thinning out of bicycles would probably even be safer. If CM acted like traffic, it would eliminate one of the biggest beefs that drivers have with cyclists. A driver that isn't angry is a much safer driver.

    And if you want to advocate cycling, the best way to do it is off the bike, writing to your elected officials.

  • Labann
    Reply Jan 15, 2011 at 10:12 am

    "Critical mass" came from the phenomenon in China that when a sufficient quantity of bicyclists congregate at an uncontrolled intersection, they gain enough "presence" to proceed against competing traffic.

    CM and other mass rides were absolutely instrumental in getting bike infrastructure improved in Montreal QU, New York NY, Portland OR, and San Francisco CA. Advocacy with legal teeth has taken over, e.g., Transportation Alternatives in NYC. Confrontation was what worked, but those places have adequate budgets and revenues unlike Providence.

    I attended a few CM rallies in Providence (and elsewhere), but supporters here are few. A handful used to meet at Garibaldi Park under the pine cone. Most were students and young adults with an awareness of how little city/state does to support cycling but not much bike savvy. Speeds were limited by fixies and one speed bikes, on average 11 mph or so over short distances. We stayed together as a funeral cortege, but motorists hardly noticed us, less an activist event than social outing, which is fine. Riding alone suits me better… no high school attitudes, sudden competitiveness, or unexpected catastrophes to deal with. NYC already has an ordinance against mass riding with a hefty fine, but it's hard to enforce effectively when hundreds of thousands of individuals ride daily.

    Local riders I've discussed this with (NBW and other groups) tend to be weekend sportifs who have no interest in alternative transportation or cyclists' rights. Many of them drive minivans and SUVs that enclose their custom made titanium frames and Kyrium wheelsets. Venture to guess 120 psi, fragile tires. They'll congratulate anyone who makes life easier, but seldom put themselves out. Times I've organized rides that go through Providence I've recommended mountain bikes with fat tires, but, alone, with expert road knowledge and few problems ride through all the time (free to dodge cracks and debris) on my way to better venues.

    You'll post these articles but want no response from those who've actually been there, do you? Why not bring this up in May? Nobody's out there today.

  • Labann
    Reply Jan 15, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I love how this site truncates posted paragraphs with no particular pattern.

    "Venture to guess…" <25% of local cyclists commute occasionally or regularly by bike.

    "Something about crappy Providence roads being rough on…" 120 psi tires.

    Must be because there are now 13 signs of the zodiac… yeah, that's it, Ophiucus, the snake handler.

  • Reply Jan 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Playing devils advocate here…

    The biggest thing people say about critical mass is, “You guys run red lights!” Well why do we? We try to keep the group together, and heck, red lights were not made for bikes.

    How would you react if you saw a group of cars, traveling together, have the rear of the pack consistently roll through red lights in order to keep the group together? I doubt you would be very supportive, so why should it be different for bicycles? If the pack gets split, have the front of the group wait for the rest of the group on the other side of the light… or just have the front of the group ride slowly until the back of the group catches up again. It serves the same purpose, you have a big group of cyclists which are hard to miss by the motoring population, but don't piss them off by rolling against red lights.

    Is it safe for a bicycle to take off with motor traffic at a red light? No. This is why other countries have separate street lights.

    This is an entirely different issue. I assume you are talking about bike boxes here. Other countries and even some places in the US implement bike boxes, where a bicycle lane ultimately ends up in a painted box ahead of the stop line for cars. This way, when the light turns, bikes get across the intersection ahead of cars. This is certainly something that's currently being implemented in some US cities, but I believe you need bike lanes to make these really effective. Without them, you have no clear path for the bicycles to pass stationary traffic and end up in the bike box.

    Corking is the same way, it’s for pure safety

    Come on… corking exists to stop traffic flow. It's not about safety, it's about showing dominance on the road. Whether or not it's an effective, peaceful protest/advocacy mechanism is a discussion we can have, but you'd be hard pressed to convince me it's necessary for safety.

    The initial concept of critical mass is certainly good. I believe it is crucial to get large number of cyclists on the roads, to remind motorists that we have a right to be there. However, I think this needs to be done in a way that doesn't infuriate other road users (motorists mostly). If we can come up with a way to show strength in numbers while playing by the rules, we achieve both safety in numbers and at the same time take the wind out of the anti-bicycle rhetoric.

  • Critical Mass RI - V
    Reply Jan 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    How would you react if you saw a group of cars, traveling together, have the rear of the pack consistently roll through red lights in order to keep the group together? I doubt you would be very supportive, so why should it be different for bicycles? If the pack gets split, have the front of the group wait for the rest of the group on the other side of the light… or just have the front of the group ride slowly until the back of the group catches up again. It serves the same purpose, you have a big group of cyclists which are hard to miss by the motoring population, but don’t piss them off by rolling against red lights.

    Someone already mentioned motorcycles doing this, and people don't seem to mind it. Of course I can't speak 100% about the CM I recruit for in providence, because we rarely do this. However, If Critical mass in providence were to run a red light, and half the group gets stuck behind the light, you say that the group in front should slow down? Well what about the cars that are stuck behind the super slow moving group? And how are the people in the back supposed to weave through the cars tailing the front?

    This is an entirely different issue. I assume you are talking about bike boxes here

    A search of google images "bicycle traffic lights" shows my point here. They implemented many of these throughout bike friendly countries. The bike light works with the car traffic light, and it turns green before the car light, making sure the cars aren't right behind the bikes. It makes it safer and gives bikes a small head-start.

    ….Come on… corking exists to stop traffic flow. It’s not about safety, it’s about showing dominance on the road. Whether or not it’s an effective, peaceful protest/advocacy mechanism is a discussion we can have, but you’d be hard pressed to convince me it’s necessary for safety.

    It is about safety. We don't want any soccer moms plowing through the mass or getting stuck right in the middle.

  • Critical Mass RI - V
    Reply Jan 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I notice a few of you are saying that we should be more law abiding. RI law says that we need to stay all the way to the right, keeping single file.

    This defeats the purpose of CM. CM shows we exist and we are able to take the full lane(s).

  • Reply Jan 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Here is § 31-19-7 of the Rhode Island Title 31

    § 31-19-7 Number of bicycles abreast. – Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two (2) abreast except on bicycle trails or paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two (2) abreast shall not unduly impede traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.

    So it's actually completely legal to ride two abreast on all roads, assuming you don't impede the motoring traffic. Furthermore, as I read this, it's legal for bikes on a laned roadway to take the entire right lane. Laned roadway is defined in § 31-15-11 of Rhode Island Title 31

    § 31-15-11 Laned roadways. – Whenever any roadway has been divided into two (2) or more clearly marked lanes for traffic

    I guess my bottom line is I support the efforts of any group of cyclists whose purpose is to show that bicyclists exist and have a right to the road. However, I'd like to see this done in a constructive way. You can show the motoring population with pure numbers that we belong on the roads, without unduly impeding them. On a single lane road, having a mass of cyclists riding two abreast will naturally slow down the motorists. In a laned road, i.e. more than one lane in each direction, take the entire right lane. Both of these actions are likely to anger some motorists, tough for them. It's within the law and a good way to show we belong. Going further than this and purposefully making the lives of motorists unlawfully difficult, in my opinion, is going to do little more than draw negative attention from law enforcement and generate more hatred on the part of the motoring population. When we stand up in front of the legislature and demand more rights for cyclists… it's harder for them to say no if we are good sports about sharing the road while demanding our due.

  • Reply Jan 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    However, If Critical mass in providence were to run a red light, and half the group gets stuck behind the light, you say that the group in front should slow down? Well what about the cars that are stuck behind the super slow moving group? And how are the people in the back supposed to weave through the cars tailing the front?

    I assume you meant "were not to run a red light, and half the group…" If cars get stuck, they have a choice to make. They can either stay behind the group or, if it is safe to pass, go around the cyclists. As for the cyclists in the back, they can roll with the pack of cars and bicycles or catch up to the bicycles once the cars have passed.

    What's so bad with getting cars stuck in the pack, isn't this really the goal after all? If they are rolling along at bicycle speed, then critical mass has done their job. They've integrated themselves into traffic, cars and bicycles flowing as one. At this point, it becomes the responsibility of the cars to either just hang or, if safe to do so, pass safely. Either way, critical mass wins.

    However, If Critical mass in providence were to run a red light, and half the group gets stuck behind the light, you say that the group in front should slow down? Well what about the cars that are stuck behind the super slow moving group? And how are the people in the back supposed to weave through the cars tailing the front?

    … and I'm totally on board with this. However, it has nothing to do with running red lights. If instead of running red lights, we are talking about jumping lights… then I'd be very hesitant to suggest this in RI without the appropriate infrastructure as you point to other countries having. Never have I lived somewhere where red lights were so routinely run as in RI. I drive like it's winter all year long here, assuming that someone is going to "slide" through a light. I'm a big fan of red light cameras… put them up everywhere and make the tickets stick. That and automated speed tracking devices. The more the merrier.

    It is about safety. We don’t want any soccer moms plowing through the mass or getting stuck right in the middle.

    My point is that it's not more safe. If you have cyclists blocking an intersection where the opposing traffic has a green light, you are more likely to get the soccer mom to plow through the mass. People are very trained to "go on green" and assume their way is clear if they see a green light. I'm not saying this is right, driver always need to be aware of their surroundings and be prepared to respond to the unexpected. But it's not right of us cyclists to expect cars to stop when they have the right of way.

    I was actually the person who commented about the motorcycle pack and actually went to the extent of calling the police, so no, I don't think motorists think this behavior is okay. Apparently I was not the only person to call the police on the and they took the situation seriously. The police sent out a couple of cruisers and motor cycle cops to ride along with the pack of motorcycles, who behaved much better with their escort. There is actually a parallel here with Critical Mass in L.A. The police there have started participating in Critical Mass, sending out bicycle police to ride along with the mass. It's made the mass follow the rules of road and also added legitimacy to the effort, hard for a motorist to claim Critical Mass doesn't belong on the roads when the police are riding with the mass!

  • Critical Mass RI - V
    Reply Jan 16, 2011 at 7:50 am

    So it’s actually completely legal to ride two abreast on all roads, assuming you don’t impede the motoring traffic. Furthermore, as I read this, it’s legal for bikes on a laned roadway to take the entire right lane. Laned roadway is defined in § 31-15-11 of Rhode Island Title 31

    The key word here is impede. The average motorist will probably say "If he's on the road, he's impeding." Simple as that. Bicycles are not recognized as transportation to a lot of people, therefor, do not belong in the road in the eyes of many. Or people may say you need to go the speed limit to not impede traffic. Also, hows it fair that cars can take up a whole lane and bicycles can't? 1 car = about 4-6 bikes. If theres mass's amount of bikes, I think it should be completely legal to take up as many lanes as necessary. Not our fault people choose to drive something the size of a small room. RI also has a lot of streets with only one lane, so what then?

    I guess my bottom line is I support the efforts of any group of cyclists whose purpose is to show that bicyclists exist and have a right to the road. However, I’d like to see this done in a constructive way. You can show the motoring population with pure numbers that we belong on the roads, without unduly impeding them.

    I completely agree, but the mindset for people is that "if there is even one bicycle in the road, hes in my way." I get beeped at all the time, even if I follow every law.

    What’s so bad with getting cars stuck in the pack, isn’t this really the goal after all? If they are rolling along at bicycle speed, then critical mass has done their job. They’ve integrated themselves into traffic, cars and bicycles flowing as one. At this point, it becomes the responsibility of the cars to either just hang or, if safe to do so, pass safely. Either way, critical mass wins.

    You have a point, but it's really unsafe and even intimidating when a big SUV is right on your back tires. Critical mass has a lot of meanings, one of them being we need bike lanes, or separated bike lanes.

    My point is that it’s not more safe. If you have cyclists blocking an intersection where the opposing traffic has a green light, you are more likely to get the soccer mom to plow through the mass. People are very trained to “go on green” and assume their way is clear if they see a green light. I’m not saying this is right, driver always need to be aware of their surroundings and be prepared to respond to the unexpected. But it’s not right of us cyclists to expect cars to stop when they have the right of way.

    Weighing all the options, I think its a lot more unsafe to have big vehicles scattered in the mass.

  • Reply Jan 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    The key word here is impede.

    Your absolutely correct, but you dropped the word "unduly" and I think it's important. If a conflict were to emerge between a motorist and a pack of well behaved cyclists, riding two abreast, I think any judge would be hard pressed to rule in favor of the motorist. Bicycles are traffic and due their share of the road. If they are riding in a manner in which they do not "intend" to impede traffic, then I think the law will be on your side. I do think that "intent" is important. If the intent of the cyclists is to impede motorists, then it's going to be much harder to defend the actions of the cyclists. If, however, the cyclists are riding two abreast and following traffic laws, there is little a motorist can do to claim the cyclists are "unduly impeding" their progress. This is a good point though and perhaps something our legislative group should look into and see whether we can clean up the legal wording so it is more black and white.

    I completely agree, but the mindset for people is that “if there is even one bicycle in the road, hes in my way.” I get beeped at all the time, even if I follow every law.

    Which is why I really applaud the approach taken by LA critical mass and LAPD. Get the cops out there on bicycles, have them join a well behaved critical mass and see how these aggressive motorists respond to having a cop pull out of the pack and give them a ticket.

    Weighing all the options, I think its a lot more unsafe to have big vehicles scattered in the mass.

    I think it all depends on how the big vehicle is behaving. If it is following the law and not being aggressive towards the cyclists, then I actually think having a vehicle in the middle of the pack moving at the speed of the bicycles is a powerful and positive message.

  • MattM
    Reply Jan 17, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I've been silent on this thread, as I've never ridden a CM event, but have encountered one and of course seen the negative imagery coming from SF and NYC. I understand that for those participating in the ride, its a very social party atmosphere, and from the outside looks like a great time, especially if you know that the days destination is a local brew pub, music show, or some such. I was walking at the time, trying to cross a street to get to a play that was about to start, and was unable to do so because a ride of easily 100 riders came through, music blaring, bikes bedecked, and corked the cross traffic and blocked all other use of the intersection for one light cycle. As you can probably imagine, the people in the cars were incensed, I was annoyed at the tactic. My conclusion was that it looked fun, but I couldn't condone the tactics. I get annoyed at my "sportif" riding companions from the NBW when they barely pause at stop signs, roll stop lights, and act as though they have legal right of way on the bike path at road crossings where the path clearly has a stop sign, not the road. (though, interestingly, does a bike path crossing count as a crosswalk, in which case the crosswalk has precedence in determining right of way?)

    If the people who generally participate in a polite, law-abiding ride, I'm happy to support their efforts to raise awareness that bikes are on the road. Better yet, if you make it look fun, perhaps it'll be possible to convince some of the 60% of people who might consider bicycling outside or recreation to start doing so and have a stronger position to argue with State and Local planners that bike boxes, segregated facilities, bike lights, etc should be deployed. With the US Census reporting 1200 people state wide who commute by bicycle, its hard to ask for money to be spent on facilities, even if having those facilities could lead to a doubling within a few years.

    One of the problems I see with the statue, is what does Unduly Impeding mean? I've read somewhere else the definition of "less than the prevailing speed of traffic" (which of course allows for the prevailing speed to be above the speed limit, and frequently, IMHO, the biggest contributer to not feeling safe riding on streets. This does allow for the possibility that a pack of bikes riding at 12 mph is the prevailing speed.

    The key thing to remember, much like I like remind everyone, I'm a PERSON who rides a bicycles, is that those are PEOPLE in those cars, not motorists. They're people who want to get home, get their deliveries done, get to their childs event, and who are distractable and not necessarily focused exclusively on the task at hand and are easily antagonized by someone else breaking the rules at their expense. Antagonizing another person, never seems to me to be a good idea if one is trying to build consensus and support.

  • Labann
    Reply Jan 17, 2011 at 9:03 am

    A quick recap: bicyclists are discriminated against, motorists don't want to share roads, state laws and policies cater to motorists, and those posting here capitulate in shame.

    Traffic code wasn't written to control bicyclists and pedestrians, only motor vehicles. Motorists may be humans, but they're spoiled by speed and used to getting their own way. Time to demand changes, and some new laws have been enacted: Colin's and Frank's. But I hear of more blameless bicyclists accused than murderous motorists.

    All the way to the left means right of the travel lane, neither the gutter nor the curb unless lane ends there. And they imply a swath about 5 feet wide, but ONLY WHEN motorists are overtaking. Bicyclists don't occupy flat planes, but at least 3 feet and weave around obstacles sometimes. Curbs are no friend; road edges you can't ride off are unsafe. How about the wheelchair user who was hit by a truck last week? Bicyclists are perfectly entitled to cross to center for a left turn, pass on the left, and use all of the road as long as they don't duly impede. Sticking to the gutter could actually impede more often with right turning cars.

    Much of this is directly caused by traffic planning neglect. If motorists have complaints, direct them to Michael Lewis, MLewis@RIDOT.gov, instead of illegally blaring horn at bicyclists, who have more to complain about than them.

  • MattM
    Reply Jan 17, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Capitulate to what? A belief in a society where people behave in predictable ways, frequently defined by law, when using public resources so as to ideally increase the safety for all? Why do you continually denigrate so many because of their choices in how to achieve what I presume is a common goal: PEOPLE deciding to get out of their cars and use bicycles safely and comfortably?

    Yes, there has been a shift in the last 90 years from automobiles being considered an intrusion on the public way to a perception that roads are the sole domain of autos, and this is exactly why movements like Critical Mass and Bike Party are important to support. As with every decision, each of us has to decide individually what to endorse in terms of tactics and approaches to riding and evangelizing the bicycle.

  • Critical Mass RI - V
    Reply Jan 18, 2011 at 2:52 am

    I agree with last post MattM. Decide what things you want to support, and what approaches you may use.

    I'm more of a hands on person/protest person. So critical mass is more for me.

  • Jack
    Reply Jan 18, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Nicely put Matt.

    I think Critical Mass at its outset (1994?) was the right thing in the right place at the right time. Once people started to drive into the city to participate, it jumped the shark. it's time for a new brand of this kind of activism.

    I am more interested in gaining credibility as a cyclist in other ways – by simply arranging my transportation and spending choices to support the cycling lifestyle. Just ride and be a responsible and reasonable user of the roads or the paths. As Matt said, we are PEOPLE and people who happen to choose the bicycle over other means of transportation or recreation does not make us so special that we can stamp our feet to demand change.

  • Jack
    Reply Jan 19, 2011 at 7:09 am

    …riding in traffic is a leap of faith, but after developing some skills it can be done. Eye contact, a bit of skepticism and an open mind. Follow most of the rules of the road – even though they were created with cars in mind. Its not unreasonable to wait 30 seconds for the light to turn green.

    Yes some people in cars are inconsiderate. Yes some people text while driving. Yes the State spends money on highways that it should spend on more sustainable transportation options; but as voters who also choose the bicycle to get around, we are a small minority with a relatively small voice.

    The real critical mass will occur when there are enough people (or people who know people) who ride bicycles as transportation that there is a cultural shift that influences our elected officials and creates change. We can help that process by being active in spreading the word and pushing the right buttons. Such efforts are being done right now with this group. Our numbers are growing as is our influence. Get involved.

  • Labann
    Reply Jan 19, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Capitulators… are you cyclists or motorists? You congratulate yourselves on good manners while state sticks it to you. Every road upgrade ignores cyclists (or is it intentional?) and pedestrians. Having spoken before the TAC and written scores of letters to public officials, they answer, "Build yourself a grassroots organization (alone you're just a crank)" or "What do you expect us to to (other than rubber stamp every autocentric project)?" All they have to do to get to to drive (and fill tax coffers) instead of bike is to make it INCONVENIENT or UNSAFE to cross certain intersections – like Apponaug or Davisville or Hoxie or Memorial Square – in line with otherwise bikeable streets. You already can't ride on 25% of RI's roads; bridges and highways are banned. Once stripes are painted, they won't change for another 25 years. You've already lost many battles (Elmwood and Reservoir Avenues in Providence; Airport, Post and Warwick Avenues in Warwick).

    About the only thing this thread has said right is, "There are many ways to achieve a goal." "Shut up and ride right," isn't one of them. Making yourself a nuisance is what got roads adapted to handle more stinking motor vehicles. Unless you demonstrate you need bike accommodations by inconveniencing motorists, you'll never get them. You accept this mistreatment by allowing yourself to be marginalized. Get some backbone.

    The solutions to many bicycling issues in RI are very simple, mostly just paint on pavement or small bridges (often just short path over a culvert) across obstacles, plowing and salting bike paths. No motorist would stand for the kind of neglect. Some bicyclists think by not making waves they can avoid bike registration, further loss of infrastructure, or other onerous restrictions. Feds will give state all it needs to improve bikeability, which isn't much compared to motorability, but that's not RIDOT's agenda.

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