Biking of Divisadero: Dick Move

I've always found biking along Divis to be quite nice, actually.  It's got a vibrant street life, only a semi-spoiled array of shops and businesses, folks hanging out at the Mojo Bicycle Cafe parklet, traffic moving at a seasoned commuter's pace—plus, it's one of the flatter ways to get to… Lower Pac Heights?

But, see, Divisadero doesn't have a bike lane. So the nay-saying rabblerousers at the SF Weekly aren't so down, writing that while intentionally running over a cyclist marginally inconveniencing Divisadero's traffic is illegal, that rider is committing the very worst of all bro crimes: a dick move.

“So if I'm driving down Divisadero,” [my dumbass friend] said, setting the scene from her previous afternoon, “And there's a bicyclist pedaling in front of me, and she's going really slowly along the entire length of the street, and there's a line of cars forming behind me, and there's traffic speeding by to our left, and the bicyclist has planted herself in the middle of the lane, and there's a perfectly good bike lane just a few blocks over — it still my fault if I accidentally run her over?”

I like to think of myself as a fair-minded person and, in any event, I am conflict-averse above all. So, after careful consideration, I responded to her question as dispassionately as possible, with one of my own:

“Do you mean, legally or morally?”

Damn.  I was thinking “You're a goddamn psychopath! Go surrender your license to the authorities! Seriously, I'm downgrading you to 'acquaintance' on Facebook” would have been a slam dunk.  Then again, not everyone spent their formative teenage years spitting at Hummers that carelessly edged them off New England's narrow roads.

But our fair-minded SF Weekly columnist gently explained—as to not upset his jumpy friend—that, no, you can't just (legally) drive over a person riding a bike.  But he did concede in the court of public opinion:

Obviously, I don't know the cyclist who was slowing down my coworker. Maybe she had a perfectly good reason to be moseying down the full length of one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city. But given that she had the alternative of a quieter street with a bike path within a few blocks ride and given that there was a line of cars cropping up behind her waiting to get by, I will join my coworker in pronouncing that choice to be both absolutely within a cyclist's legal rights and kind of a dick move.

And now you know.

[Photo by Gavin Newsom | via Streetsblog]