Friday, June 11, 2010

An Apocalyptic Hub

The Park & University intersection, an urban hub in SD, is so deadly and poorly maintained that it looks like it's experienced an apocalypse of it's own.

Recently, Matt Lingo shot this apocalyptic photo of said intersection:

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I thought it was appropriate and interesting that the only caption Matt decided to include was a short story about how a motorist near this intersection cut him off and almost struck him. Apparently, the motorist offered no apology and just sat there staring at him at he was shaking and yelling at her window.

Silly, Matt! Motorists don't have to communicate w/ you! They're in their own separate world and most certainly don't have to respond to human beings they almost kill. After all, your rights on the road are determined by how heavy your vehicle is and how much hegemonic power you have in ending someone's life! So, make way and forfeit your position on the road, you traffic "blocking" cyclist. Cyclists cause congestion, not motorists. Submit!


  1. I was thinking about the power relationship between cars and people yesterday (seriously...I was) and realized that because:

    1) Cars amplify the "natural" cruising speed of a human with very little effort (compared to a bike) while mimicking an alternate environment (temperature, music, air freshener, etc.)


    2) Cars are things that cannot have a dialogue, you (the driver) assume the role of commander that expects the world (outside the alternate environment) to unfold and move as you think it ought to. Your sense of self is distorted. In a car, your only means of communication is a honk, not a "hello."

  2. Very well said, hughesmaxwell.

    I like the language you use to describe this relationship.

    In regards to 'mimicking an alternate environment,' I'd say that this is true. Furthermore, the environment inside of the car mimics an environment that is familiar w/ the driver--that being a living room in a house. Along w/ that comes what I call a Living Room Mentality. Living Room Mentalities are fine...when inside of a living room. When steering 3,000lbs of high speed metal on roads shared by vulnerable users the Living Room Mentality should not be employed by the driver.

    Your second point is also excellent and very well worded. One's rights on the road should not be defined by the hegemonic power of one's vehicle. Unfortunately, this is an all too common social norm. Fortunately, the CVC 21200 says otherwise--Cyclists allowed use of full lane. I'd argue that this is one of the least known (and least practiced) laws in California society.

    Since cars, as you say, cannot have a dialogue--especially when quickly driving past you in frustration while honking--it's very difficult to inform aggressive CVC 21200-ignoring motorists about our right to the full lane.