Location: Missouri

Bikes Versus Cars in Kansas City

Is it war on the streets between bicycles and cars? Seems some would like you to think so.

KSHB-TV in Kansas City broadcast a piece they entitled Bikes Versus Cars on the Streets and muck-raking blog Tony’s Kansas City responded with It’s time to start issuing tickets to reckless Kansas City cyclists!!!

From the TV piece:

With higher gas prices and drive to go green, more people are trying out biking for transportation. But new bikers might not realize they’re jumping into a fierce debate between cyclists and cars over where the bikes should ride and who’s at fault during a crash.

From Tony:

In fact, all I hear from the vast majority of cycling advocates is obnoxious crybaby antics that liken the struggle of bicycle short wearing dweebs to the Civil Right Movement or the current Eastside Massacre that takes place every summer. Put simply, a cabal of well-organized, liberal, elitist hipsters are using political thuggery in order to remain above the law on Kansas City streets!!! Therefore, it’s time for law enforcement in Kansas City to start issuing tickets to cyclists who are caught breaking traffic rules!!!

Yes, Tony is rather fond of exclamation points and outrageous hyperbole.

Sure, there are cyclists who break traffic laws, just as there are motorists who do so. As one commenter put it: “Just remember that every time a driver speeds, every time a driver rolls through a stoplight, every time a driver blocks a crosswalk, every time a driver doesn’t signal a turn, those are just as bad as any cyclist’s transgressions, and they happen far more often…”

And is it really war on the streets between bikes and cars? Sure, there is some occasional tension, and the incidents of conflict get all the attention, but for the most part, cyclists and motorists get along fairly well — if not actual respect, then at least tolerance.

As Eric at KCBike.info says: “The idea of a battle between bicycles and cars has been fueled by several overwrought media reports of some isolated incidents this year. Now a local TV station has picked up on the meme. KSHB-TV 41’s Chris Hernandez (who is a cyclist) has filed a special report on the topic, using some pretty inflammatory language like “fierce battle” and “street fight” – words that greatly exaggerate the situation here in Kansas City.”

Anyway, check out the KSHB video (starring Noah Dunker of KC Bike Commuting and Brent Hugh of the Missouri Bicycle Federation, among others), and judge for yourself:

Also, read Noah’s reactions to the KSHB video, as well as to a couple other recent media pieces covering Kansas City cycling with which he’s been involved.

What do you think?

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web’s premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

One response to “Bikes Versus Cars in Kansas City”

  1. Dave says:

    Tony is worth the read if you want a laugh, other than that, his rantings are ridiculous.

    In the 9 months that I’ve been riding the streets of KC heavily, I can count the negative encounters using the fingers of one hand. Two were simple and apologetic negligence on the part of the drivers, and two were high school students driving their Daddilac yelling at me to get back on the sidewalk. In each case, it was easily dismissed due to the obvious regret, or the immaturity of the antagonist.

    Other than that, I’ve been very pleased with my reception on the roads. Then again, I stay clear of downtown and most busy streets.