Some time ago while having what I thought was a friendly exchange of ideas and thoughts with a bike blogger in another city concerning cycling infrastructure. He retorted to my last response with, "You are a vehicular segregationist, this conversation is over!" Vehicular Segregationist? I sat and thought about that statement for sometime and throughout the next couple of days I pondered that statement and I finally came to the conclusion, that if what I wanted in the long run was for more people to feel that there was infrastructure in place that made them feel safe enough to choose cycling over a car. Then yes. I am indeed a vehicular segregationist.
I guess I also should explain that the individual I was conversing with is what is commonly known as a "vehicular cyclist." What's that you ask? To put it in the most basic of terms, vehicular cyclists firmly believe that there is no need for separated cycling infrastructure in the form of bike lanes or paths. They proselytize that bicycles are vehicles and should be 'driven' like vehicles on the road. For a better understanding of who these people are and their thought process I recommend reading, Vehicular Cyclists - Cycling's Secret Sect by MIckael Coville-Andersen at Copenhagenize.
What incited this post are two recent videos I happened to watch back to back and they could not be more night and day. The first is providing information for correctly 'driving' your bike in traffic. As you're viewing it, take note of how hard these cyclists are working. Note also how stiff, harried, and just plain uncomfortable they appear. Do they look like they are enjoying their commute? Do they look any less stressed than your average automobile driver?
This second video is by Clarence Eckerson of StreetFilms and was filmed during the Vilo-City 2010 conference in Copenhagen. Do you notice any difference between these cyclists and those in the above video? Do they seem stressed or harried to you? After viewing both, I'll let you decide for yourself which is better suited for increasing bicycles as transportation.
Are you a vehicular cyclist or a vehicular segregationist? If you have the brains to do some research and can think on a logical basis and If you also think about what is best for majority and not just for yourself. Then maybe you, like me are perhaps a majority of segregationist with a little of vehicular cyclist thrown in.