Monday, January 18, 2010

Facebook Refuses To Remove Group That Encourages Violence Against Bicyclists

You're probably aware of the Facebook group that encourages violence against bicyclists and the request to get that group removed.

A great blog called sf.streetsblog.org did some nice research and got a response from Facebook regarding its decision to not remove the anti-bicycle group.

In response to the Facebook group that encourages violance against bicyclists who use the road, there's a Facebook group called I prefer to ride my bike in the street so deal with it you stupid motorist

I wish civility, cooperation and cooler heads would prevail when bicyclists and motorists share roads. But when motorists use inflammatory language to deny a bicyclist's right to use the road, tensions increase.

We have seen recent stories in the Orlando Sentinel about conflicts between bicyclists and motorists on country roads; an exchange of emails between the Lakewood neighborhood association president and the St. Pete Bike Club president over cyclists in the road; and I have even had my troubles with HART bus drivers who nearly hit me while I was cycling and told me they did not know there was a 3-foot buffer law that requires all motorists to pass a bicyclist on the road with a minimum clearance of three feet. We even had a Tampa police officer cite a bicyclist for riding his bike in the road.

I plan to keep an inventory of cases of local bicyclists who are the victim of hostile or dangerous behavior that you believe imperiled your safety such as this case in San Francisco.

If you have a bad experience or dangerous confrontation with a motorist in the Tampa Bay area, please let me know at this blog.

The first one came in the form of a comment just last week.

3 comments:

Donny said...

I figured they wouldn't remove it. And part of me is ok with that for "freedom of speech" worries, but I wish that the principle were better understood.

There are clearly threats of violence on that group, but still it stands. And to a group of hot-headed metal-surrounded crazies, that's likely all the encouragement they need to think that society condones their behavior. I think I might need to start carrying a self-defense weapon on the streets at this rate (since society/authority refuses to help out)...

Any idea what will disable/protect from a car?

GhostRider said...

Donny,

as much as I'm tempted sometimes, bringing a weapon (via concealed handgun or the like) into a tense situation merely ramps things up -- probably no good for anyone involved.

If you're dead set on it, a portable EMP device (ha!) or a gun with a caliber starting with a 4 or 5(.40, .45ACP, .454, .50AE, etc.) should suffice to punch through glass and steel bodywork.

Donny said...

GhostRider,

Thanks for your input, and it was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I would never carry a handgun; I agree that it would just escallate things. I don't want to cause harm to another person, just protect myself.

EMP is a good idea though... I've thought about it before, but still, what about people with pacemakers and the like? Maybe a directional EMP or HERF device... If their large metal weapon is disabled, then I have less to worry about and can just flee. =)