Wednesday, December 5, 2007

'Cyclists should be shot'

So says former mayor of Madison Wisconsin Paul Soglin on his blog:
The bicyclists who braved the week's second storm should be taken out and shot. Spare them and the poor driver, when they skid on treacherous streets and slide under the wheels of a truck delivering fresh vegetables.
A post like that in a very bikey town is sure to be link-bait, but here's the link anyway. Several commenters note that if the roads are so treacherous, what is he doing driving out there? Who's the one creating the danger to himself and others?

Meanwhile, we learn that cops in the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves harass cyclists who legally ride on the city streets. According to St. Louis cyclist Jack Painter, police departments are leaving it up to the individual officer's discretion if they perceive cyclists are "impeding" traffic. Back in February, St. Louis County planners announced that key cycling routes may be closed to cyclists during the two years of Highway 64 reconstruction. Because of public outcry from local cyclists, local planners backed down from this plan, so now it appears that the police are sending the message instead to stop "impeding" traffic and get off the road and onto sidewalks.

See more information about the discussion with Webster Grove PD here.


  1. ...sheesh, fritz, now ya got me calling for the former mayor to apologize to the locals in madison...but hey, i was polite at least...

  2. That's my response too... he should apologize. And what's that about fresh vegetables? Kind of odd. Is he trying to be ironic?
    Biking Bis

  3. I didn't write about the Webster Groves incident on my blog because 1) I thought discussion on the was handling the issue well and 2) I saw it as a situation where the individual cop in question was ignorant of the law, not as a campaign against cyclists.

    Unfortunately, some officers in the St. Louis region are ignorant of state and local traffic laws and how they pertain to cyclists.

    I can't speak for the Missouri side of the river, but I'm hoping the League of Illinois Bicyclists' effort to educate the law enforcement community about traffic laws that apply to cyclists will make a difference.

  4. ...fritz, you mentioned that the post might likely be link-bait...the huge volume of responses was even commented on by his regulars...guess he struck a nerve... contention is that the kind of attitude expressed by the statement, "should taken out and shot", while maybe said in jest in the mind of the ex-mayor, is irresponsible in that it allows a certain segment of the population, who already have little consideration for cyclists, to further be dismissive in their actions...

    ...along the lines of, "well, if the former mayor thinks they're idiots, why should i be concerned about 'em ?"... will be interesting to see how soglin responds...

  5. ...fritz...if you're still following this, ex-mayor soglin did respond on 12/6/07 & again to a lesser degree on 12/7/07...he took snippets from various posts (including one of mine) & basically used them to defend his stance...

    ...what bothers me is that despite those of us who addressed soglins' irresponsible choice of words, that did not rate a response from the man whatsoever..., bottom line, no apology, which doesn't surprise me but the lack of response to the most contentious point is disturbing...

  6. Howdy all,
    I wrote a bit more about the Madison Teapot Tempest over on my blog.

    I have no idea what's up with the fresh vegetables crack, because there haven't been any crashes involving a cyclist and a truck here in Madison since summer before last. Or maybe the summer before. Let's call that one a Straw Man.