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Chicago Cyclists Could Learn Something From... Philly?

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 21, 2011 2:20PM

The comments were heated last month when we posted about the rules of the road enforcement sting on bicyclists at the Blommer Chocolate factory. That and the subsequent crosswalk sting seemed to indicate that Chicago may be in for a new era of equal enforcement of the rules of the road.

A large number of cyclists saw the Blommer crackdown as more of a nuisance than anything else and, judging from what we saw bicycling around town this weekend, the lessons that cyclists must obey the same rules of the road as motorists didn't sink in. En route to the Tour de Fat we observed cyclists blowing red lights, riding in crosswalks with pedestrians and riding the wrong way down one way streets, among other moving violations. Our friends over at the Expired Meter posted yesterday that those two examples probably didn't go far enough and looked east to the City of Brotherly Love for inspiration on what was needed to get cyclists on the same page as motorists:

In stark contrast to a weak-willed Chicago, the City of Philadelphia will start taking action in August when they will begin ticketing both bicycle riders who ignore the law and pedestrians who are distracted while crossing streets according to the CBS outlet there.

Philadelphia deserves a big pat on the back.

On our city streets, everyone has a responsibility in being safe-not just drivers. Of course, because motorists are operating thousands of pounds of potentially lethal motor vehicles, drivers bare the biggest responsibility.

But pedestrians and bikers need to be attentive, alert and follow the rules-not only for their own safety but the safety of everyone else on the road.

Readers should know by now that we aren't the type of cyclists who believe every driver is in the wrong. Every bicyclists who blows a stop sign or acts an ass in an intersection because of an accident they nearly caused makes it harder for those of us who do respect the rules of the road. Maybe Philly, and the Expired Meter, is onto something here.