If I Owned the Road

Recently I found myself in this situation:

If I Owned the Road

And I wished I could show this dude what would happen if I really did own the road. Things would be very different.

If I Owned the Road

I wouldn’t have to take the lane ever again. People would have their roads back, and they’d be safer because…

If I Owned the Road

Bad behavior wouldn’t be tolerated.

If I Owned the Road

And parking wouldn’t be so free and flowing.

If I Owned the Road

And that’s just the beginning.

If I Owned the Road

No, drivers don’t realize how easy they have it. But, how about we make it a little easier for people?

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63 Responses to “If I Owned the Road”

  • Oh, I am so linking to this in my blog tomorrow…

  • highwayman

    As someone who loves riding his bicycle long distance *and* drives a truck for a living, please realize that many of us truckers do NOT want to drive the rig in the city –particularly Northeastern cities. We KNOW we should not be there, ergo we do NOT want to be there. The problem is our dispatchers and our salesfolk who cluelessly overpromise a clueless client, and force us to be there.

    It is not by choice that we drive in the city.

    For the center of Boston, a strict limit of 24 feet in length for motor-vehicles should be imposed, and more cross-dock warehouses should be built to transfer freight from larger to smaller trucks. Any business that wants or needs a truck longer than 24 feet inside the city center should get a police permit in advance, and have a police escort for the vehicle to & from its pre-arranged rendez-vous.

    Please go after the businesses for encouraging heavy truck traffic where it does not belong. We truck-drivers would be grateful.

  • KillMoto

    “Horns would be as loud inside sara as outside”

    Classic.

  • Vocus Dwabe

    Bikeyface, there is a country where cyclists already have all of the items on your wish-list – and more. Three clues for you: (i) it begins with an “N” in the official version and an “H” in the colloquial one, (ii) much of it lies below sea level and its inhabitants are given to wearing wooden shoes and (iii) you went there on holiday last year: that is, unless you were sitting in Boston and made it all up.

    Did you wear your trademark helmet when you cycled in that country? On the evidence of your drawings you didn’t. And did you feel at all uncomfortable or uneasy without it? By the looks of it you didn’t. So might that have had something to do with the fact that just about everywhere you went on your bike in that small country, you were physically segregated from motor traffic by nice solid concrete berms, and therefore the worst that was likely to happen to you was a collision with another cyclist and a few bruises to show for it, not a wheelchair for the rest of your days or an early trip to the cemetery.

    How did things end up like that? Because enough people wanted it, and back in the 1970s refused to listen to the traffic planners who, even in that country, were already trying to consign the bicycle to the museum as an everyday means of transport. So keep on grinding away: with time and persistence it can be done. A few weeks of traffic-fume smog such as they’re currently enjoying in London may provoke even the not-very-bright to ask, is it really sensible to go on building city transport around the internal combustion engine?

    PS. When’s the book coming out?

  • Tim

    love the one about the horn…as loud inside as out…brilliant

  • Vincent

    Vocus Dwabe > How did things end up like that? Because enough people wanted it, and back in the 1970s refused to listen to the traffic planners who, even in that country, were already trying to consign the bicycle to the museum as an everyday means of transport.

    “How the Dutch got their cycle paths”

  • Uncle Robot

    Fabulous Bikey Face – how about adding these – tailpipes would exhaust into the cars and trucks; operators of vehicles left idling would be required to apologize in public while locked in stocks; motorcyclists with loud bikes would be required to have the pipes exhaust into their ears; owners of useless vanity trucks would be required to donate them to developing countries – oh if I were King things would change. But alas, more drastic change is going to be forced upon us as the atmosphere heats up and climate change drastically alters our lives.

    • b-side

      Actually, our motorcycle pipes are right under our ears. Congratulations! One of your dreams has come true! We actually hear them the ENTIRE time we’re on our bikes! Imagine that!

      Maybe those annoying pipes stopped you from blowing a stop sign, then from watching us get carted off in an ambulance while you tend to your skinned knee.

      For reals, though… No need to pick on other two wheeled riders who are, more often than not, at more risk of great physical injury than you are. If we cannot be friends, can we, at least, unite in the face of a common foe?

  • Marcia

    Love your drawings and your outlook on biking….I SO wish YOU owned the road :)

  • Improper pluralization with apostrophes . . . .AAAAGGGGGHHHHHH make it stop

  • Marge Evans

    I LOVE this! you did it again, and made my day!

  • I love this post!
    I’d also require all police officers to serve at least a month of every year on a bicycle.

  • Barry Tranquada

    Love this Bikeyface! Thanks.

  • Good stuff :-)

    Besides what @highwayman already mentioned about trucks, over half a million people live in Boston. Food gets to them mostly by trucks. Even in ancient Rome, the transportation of food stuffs into the city (and wastes out) accounted for significant traffic congestion.

  • Rick

    You’re awesome. That’s all.

  • Wendy

    But you *do* own the road! AFAIK, If you pay rent in that area, part of it goes to property taxes which pay for the local roads. The road belongs to everyone… but motorists have written their own “rules” in their heads that cars have the right-of-way. I am hoping that this all will become as you have described it! Everybody benefits.

  • David Merfeld

    For years, I used to get all bothered when the cars honked at me. Then I had a simple realization: honking means they’ve seen me. A motorist failing to see a cyclists is the single greatest cause of car-bike collisions. So, just try to remember that the honking horn is a sign that you are significantly safer.

  • Nels Nelson

    This post was a sad premonition–just today a cyclist was killed in Sullivan Sq. by a garbage truck, might have been saved by sideguards.
    http://www.boston.com/2014/04/03/bdc-fatal-bike-acciden/GROpbbzwYSHNXWtvV46OPM/story.html

  • Just because I *am* superior as a bicyclist doesn’t mean I’m on some campaign to rub it in everyone else’s face. I appreciate the anti-thesis presented here, but if you want a dialectic to form, I’d caution that this post is very polar: it presents much of the same uni-polar “why don’t you see it my way” view that the very first block kicked off with.

  • Bill

    I agree with a lot of what you said, particularly in cities with dedicated bike lanes etc. but as I commute by car (2 hours by bicycle) in a rural area, I dont agree with things like heavy taxation on road users.
    My car cost £200 a year to tax, over 60% of my fuel price is tax… that is £60 per tank for me going straight to the govenment and any repairs have VAT added at 20%

    Cars in cities should be heavily regulated as most things are only a mile or two away, so cycling is fine, also it is easier to arrange public transport…

    I live 35 miles away from work (forced to due to high house prices near the coast) and public transport would take me 2-3hours as would cycling… I also often work long hours including 12 hour night shifts…

    put simply, although your ideas would work in urban areas, us country folk would struggle!

    • Jen

      Bill: In the US, cars are not taxed as heavily. Fuel costs are often governmentally subsidized. In most urban US cities, people on bikes are only paying about 5% less in road-related taxes than those driving cars. This is taking into consideration the cost of vehicle registration, licenses and gas taxes.

      Having friends who live in areas that are not very well developed, I understand where you’re coming from. Many of them, however, opt to drive to a ride-share location and either carpool to work or their ride-share is located at a major transit hub allowing them to take transit into the city proper. Often there are options, but people are sometimes not completely aware of them, and I know some bus systems can be insanely daunting.

  • RuRu

    If I owned the road…I would make exhaust pipes enter the inside of the car, because the fumes are oh so safe.

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