An interesting take on bike culture in America and the conflicts between drivers and cyclists:
Creating a New Normal
So why are cyclists so hated? Blame social-identity theory. Cyclists can be dismissed as a sub-subculture, one far removed from an American mainstream defined by cars and drivers. To a driver, a cyclist is an unpredictable outsider, someone implicitly less worthy of respect — or for that matter, of space on the road. And if one biker blows a red light, that’s evidence that all these outsiders are careless, whereas a lawbreaking driver isn’t held up as proof that all drivers are thoughtless…”People tend to look at the out group and overgeneralize them,” says Ian Walker, a professor of traffic psychology at the University of Bath in Britain, “while you tend to underplay the differences within your own group.”
With most American cities designed around the automobile, I believe that people’s mindsets are framed to create a close relationship between the idea of “the road” and “the car”. As a result, some drivers perceive cyclists as interlopers into a space whose original purpose was to serve the automobile.
What are your thoughts?