The Philadelphia Weekly does not comment often on bicycling and transportation but when does it has been on the right side of bicycle issues. But a first glance at this week's cover story Trans Splats makes you wonder if the paper is caught in the lull created by the Philadelphia summer exodus.
The cover story was really a series of short pieces by different writers with opinions as to who is to blame for the cities gridlock and perceived road rage. The writers' myopic viewpoints offer plenty of suggestions as to what the other guy should do, no one suggested that they might be a part of the problem. Motorists are angry speedofiles who wouldn't yield to their own grandmother, cyclists are self-obsessed, sidewalk-riding, spandex-clad
lunatics, pedestrians are ipod wearing zombies walking into cars.
This is exactly what we don't need to make our streets safer. Since none of us plan on changing the way we get around anytime soon we need to find ways to co-exist. Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians could start by simply followiing the rules of the road and obeying all traffic control devices. Give Respect and Get Respect. And the Philadelphia Police Department needs to step up to the plate and enforce the law to put the bad actors on notice.
Philadelphia has a wonderful bike culture that only thrives in America's most progressive cities, it's part of the reason why it's livelier here than in places such as Allentown, Harrisburg or Wilmington. It's too bad that we are invisible to such a large slice of the general public.