Road Rage Chronicles: Stop-gap the scooter!

As gas prices soar, people are turning to alternatives to cars. This is great, but there’s bound to be fallout. Enter: the scooter.

Nothing really wrong with them: great gas mileage, compact size, easy to park. And while they are a “bike” of sorts, they require registration and licensing like a car, and they are powered like a car. Therefore, should they be allowed in the bike lane? No!

Today, on my way to work, I was riding up a heavy-use bike route with a bike lane in San Francisco. Several bikers and I (and cars!) all come to a stop light. Rather like the motorcycle last time, a scooter attempts to cut into the packed bike lane to cut in front of the cars (an implicity “right” enjoyed by motorcycles). A middle-aged seasoned bicycle commuter thinks better than to let this happen and STOP GAPS the scooter; placing herself and bike perpendicular in front of the scooter. She lectures him on the proper use of the bike lane, his comments barely audible through his helmet. Suffice to say, when the light turned green he sped past us reving up his little engine in the usual motorized display of rage (which also burns valuable fuel!).

On Bike Lanes

Bike lanes are a luxury and a little one at that. Sometimes I don’t like them because they falsely give car drivers the impression that bikes MUST use the bike lane. This leads to confusion when a biker passes others using the right line (to the left of the bike lane), and when there is no bike lane on a road, a cyclists takes the lane. That being said, what little strip of a lane we got, especially during commute hours to be usurped by drivers turning right and motorcycles and scooters pretending they’re bikes is unacceptable. So, kudos to you, fellow commuter, for taking action!

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