First of all, while I love all chalk messages (especially when Bart wrote 'I will always yield to peds' a billion times in that one Simpsons opening), I think we can all agree that one of the biggest problems that cycling has had over the years is yielding to P.E.D.s. I know that everyone who commutes by bike is a Lance Armstrong wannabe and I know that it's physically impossible to ride a bike without taking some or other kind of drug (such as Claritin), but I think it's a pretty irresponsible message. Don't yield to PEDs! Remain steadfast and unyielding. Maybe you won't win your commute and maybe you won't garner the millions of dollars of endorsements that come from "being the best bike commuter," but you'll sleep soundly at night. Especially if you use PEDs (Pillow Enhancing Drugs). Those you can totally use.
Secondly, what's WABA trying to do here? Is this some kind of cyclist toll? If they don't get no tolls, will they eat no rolls? Or could it be a trick? Maybe it's not a trick and they just want us to careen wildly into those "people," thereby normalizing cycling by treating it exactly like driving, wherein we crash into a bunch of people and experience no consequences whatsoever! Very clever, WABA. Unfortunately, it didn't work and while I stopped to take this picture, three cyclists rode around the gate, avoiding crashing into the paper people, and also failed the yield to the pedestrians using the crosswalk. Their loss. I waited until the WABAns lifted the gate and rode under, rather than through, the paper people portcullis.
How do I feel about this? Fine, mostly. I think it's a kind of funny effort to remind cyclists to yield in a spot where some cyclists don't always yield to pedestrians. Would I have felt differently about it if those two Bike Lobby toughs tried to shake me down for some money to spend on PEDs ("This is a stick up! Put your money and any allergy meds in the pannier!")? Sure, but that's not what they were doing at all. I don't think, anyway. Should I be offended that the Bicycle Advocacy Community (whatever that is) is reminding me, a bicyclist, to yield to pedestrians while no one from the Car Advocacy Community or the Pedestrian Advocacy Community is reminding those groups to be nice to bicyclists? I certainly don't think so. But maybe you do. Maybe you think any effort to alter the behavior of bicyclists is morally wrong, especially in light of the fact that there are far more consequential bad behaviors by other, non-bicycling groups that have much more negative societal impacts and that any effort to ask bicyclists to do anything differently is an effort spent on not addressing real (real!) problems. I mean, maybe I'd feel that way if it were police officers doing it and not bike ambassadors. Anyway, did you see this? What was your reaction? DO YOU HAVE STRONG OPINIONS ABOUT THIS, OR ANYTHING ELSE, THAT YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE? Have at.