In an article about the effectiveness of speed cameras in improving traffic safety in Virginia, Reardon Sullivan told the Montgomery County Council, "I am against the speed cameras. I don't think they pick up one of the major hazards on our roadways in Montgomery County right now -- bicyclists."
More at SF Streetsblog, but holy moley, Reardon, you really need to lay off on whatever it is you're smoking. Automobiles kill 1.3 million people worldwide, with over 40,000 of those deaths in the United States, and speed is often a major factor in those deaths.
I'm sure a rider on a bike making up (at most) 2% of traffic poses a "major hazard on our roadways" when compared to the multiple tens of thousands of cars and trucks, each weighing thousands of pounds, spewing toxic fumes and noise pollution, that kill literally hundreds of people very day. WashCycle does a good job quantifying a few of the differences between bicycles and automobiles.
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Yeah, bicycles are a real hazard. They don't feed into the petro-war complex at all. They don't spew greenhouse gases (unless you've been eating bean burritos at lunch and even then the effect is negligible) and they cut down on traffic.
This guy sounds like a total fool. Better to be quiet and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt, Reardon.
Culture matters. If short sighted engineers such as Reardon spoke like this in Europe he would be laughed out of the room and would appear in editorial cartoons the next day. In the USA, the car-culture rules and his thoughts are given serious consideration. Jack
Bikes make people in cars have to slow down or alter course in ways that ruin the NASCAR fantasy so many drivers have. Bumper-to-bumper, fender-to-fender, pedal to the metal until ONE DRIVER WINS!!! People on bikes totally mess that up.
Clearly, there is something wrong with this ReardonSullivan guy. He doesn't comprehend the most basic concepts of statistics, physics, and energy consumption. Or he might just be plain ol' crazy. Maybe he's upset that the presence of cyclists means he cannot drive 60mph through residential neighborhoods. Of all the threats we're facing in our nation right now, cycling ranks down there with the Loch Ness Monster.
Cycling benefits society in so many ways. Our country has epidemic levels of obesity that are not seen anywhere else in the world and staggering health care costs as a result. We have problems related to global warming, unsustainable energy consumption, and traffic congestion. We have rising gas prices. Is it just me, or is cycling beginning to look more and more like a panacea? Maybe ReardonSullivan will be riding a bike when he can no longer afford to fill up that SUV he probably drives.