I'm not sure how broad the readership is on this blog, but hey, if I'm preaching to the choir so be it. I've been wanting to get some discussion going and this blog seems like a good forum for it. Ok, so ....
Anecdotally, I think most people have seen that there are more bicyclists on the roads these days. Here in Charlottesville it is very apparent due to the small population and geographic area, but across the country most cities are reporting substantial increases in bicycling as a mode of transportation. This is the good news. And, from what I have read, most reasonable people see this as a positive development.
There are however, a significant number of people that see bicyclists as an irritation. This is the bad news. My sense is that as the number of cyclists on the road increases, driver frustration will increase as well. There are some reasons to be worried about this as the combination of inexperienced cyclists and hostile (even homicidal) motorists comes to a boil.
This is my first post to this blog (or to any blog for that matter), so I intend to tread lightly here. But, I'm curious, how other Cville cyclists are feeling these days out on the road on their bikes. Are the drivers the same as usual or have you noticed things getting better or things getting worse? My own experience has been a little worse here in Cville. Inattentive and hostile drivers. What about other folks? Leave your observations in the comments section.
Its an interesting time for cycling in general. This summer a young woman was killed by a garbage truck while riding legally in a bike lane in Washington, DC in the Dupont Circle area. The reaction was impressive. There were vigils, news reports, and an ongoing investigation. My sense is that cycling has reached a new segment of people in big cities that previously had ignored cycling as a hobbie or sport. These people are professionals with influence and they are getting behind cycling as a legitimate mode of transportation. I would like to see more of that here in Charlottesville. If you have thoughts on how to broaden the reach of cycling here in this community beyond enthusiasts please also leave your thoughts.