OKC is the deadliest city for cyclists in America

In theory, Oklahoma City should be one of the most bikeable cities in the nation. It’s very flat, built on a simple grid system, and the weather is always fantastic. Okay, that last one was a lie, but still – what excuses do we have left as a city to just sit back and watch people die because of shitty infrastructure?

Before we get into solutions, let’s take a quick dip into this article from Fox 25:

Steve Schlegel said he would like to see Oklahoma City do a lot more to make the area more bicycle-friendly. The owner of Schlegel Bicycles in Automobile Alley said he thinks this is the way the city is going.

“It’s a slow process with the bureaucracy and getting those dollars to actually producing the infrastructure,” Schlegel said. “It’s just making the realization that this needs to become a big part of it.”

A report shows Oklahoma City is not doing well with biking safety. The League of American Bicyclists said from 2012 to 2016, there were 34.3 deaths per 10,000 people biking to work. That number leads all large cities in the United States.

In a metro overrun with people paying more attention to their phones than the road, and who also have a generally hostile attitude towards anyone who is not riding in their SUV, it is genuinely terrifying to ride a bike in Oklahoma City. Every day when I lock the door and carry my bicycle down the stairs, I think about how it might be my last moment on earth.

Are you still with me? Probably not, but if you are down to leave your Lexus behind, there are a few events coming up where cyclists are standing up for themselves. After the death of local chef Chad Epley in a tragic hit and run, citizens have been spurred to action. Chad was a friend of mine, and as a fellow cyclist, we shared that bond of choosing to get around town without driving. He wasn’t the first to get murdered by a car, and won’t be the last, but he was well-known enough to be a catalyst for change in OKC.

The anger amongst our cycling community has been rising for years, and we don’t want to politicize the death of our friend, but to take our feelings of frustration about the dangerous mishandling of alternate transportation in Oklahoma City and ply it into something that will not only save lives in the future, but also encourage people to get out of their cars.

The more people who can ride bikes, the cleaner the air, lower the traffic, and stronger the districts. We’ve recently elected councilfolk like JoBeth Hamon and James Cooper, who eagerly want to improve accessibility. But we still have stubborn stalwarts like Stuart Chai, OKC’s City Traffic Engineer, who want to keep us stuck in the destructive attitude of the 1950’s where we just say “Why walk when you can drive?”

If you share the collective anger of me and the rest of us who believe that our streets deserve protected bike lanes and safe infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists alike, there are three big protests coming up. You don’t have to be a spandex-wearing dad with a carbon fiber racing bike to join. Get that old cruiser out of the garage, oil the chain, adjust that saddle, and ride with us.

Here are some events to attend:

• A Ride For Chad Epley

Tuesday, May 7th

This is my officially sponsored event of the three because I’m going to be speaking at this one. We’re meeting up at Stonecloud Brewing at 3:30, then taking up the entire northbound lanes on Classen to the place of Chad’s hit-and-run murder on 16th street. After a vigil at his memorial, we will continue on to the Tower Theatre for an event. Even though everybody at Tower probably hates me because I wrote a fairly negative thing about them on this site, we’ve smooched and made up to come together for this because we have a common belief in safe streets, and life is too short for petty grudges when cars are out here mowing down young people like they were feral squirrels.

• Ride Of Silence

Wednesday, May 15th

This ride, meeting up at the Myriad Gardens at 6:30, looks like the tamest of this list. Everyone needs to wear helmets, ride slower than 12 mph, and has the mission “to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.” If you’re looking for a casual cruise to show solidarity, this is the ride for you.

• Critical Mass Ride

Sunday, May 19th

In case you can’t tell by the barbed wire, this is the ride for the punx. Yeah, you’re likely to see a bunch of fixed-gear bikes out on the road, but those are the kids who are out riding every day. Even though there will be a lot of people in black sleeveless shirts and stick-and-poke tattoos, these are the people who rely on their bikes to get around, and important voices for this conversation going forward.

Whether you choose to participate in one or two or all three of these events, or decide to sit on the sidelines, please be aware of cyclists and treat them with care and respect.

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147 Responses

  1. Both Oklahoma City and my home town of Tulsa are very new cities in the scheme of things, and as a result they mostly grew up during the age of the automobile. Their development expressed open hostility to pedestrians in their scarcity of sidewalks and the frequency of outright barriers to pedestrian traffic.

    Hostility to bicycle traffic is a side effect of these towns’ historic pedestrian hostility. The deadly bicycle statistics are a result. “Share the road” is a largely unknown concept in our state when bicycles are involved.

  2. While its very true that people should NOT be messing with their phones while driving and that they should be paying attention. Especially to pedestrians and folks on bikes, there’s another angle to this. If you’ve ever been caught behind a bike (where there’s no bike lane) ON A HILL where you cannot safely pass and the traffic is backing up, then you’d realize how stressful that is. Sorry, but a bicycle should not be allowed that much control over traffic.

    1. So sorry it costs you an extra 30 seconds of drive time. People like you are the PROBLEM! Get over it and buy a bike!

      1. Nah. I’m not the problem. So, YOU can get over it. 🙂

      2. I think that Teresa and folks with her attitude towards bicycles ARE the problem. Or a big part of it.

        So sorry that Teresa feels stress when she encounters a slow bike in a narrow lane. How tragic for her!

        1. Seems like human nature to me?

          If there were an octogenarian on a Lark going 1 mph and clogging up a bike path I’m pretty sure the cyclists behind them would feel the same way.

          1. Incorrect. I’ve been on several group rides in which a faster group approaches either runners or a slower bike group. We have always waited until it is safe to pass.

        2. Nah. The problem is the snowflake-entitled-must tolerate everything attitude. How selfish that a biker doesn’t give a rip that he/she is holding up traffic. Oh, and last I checked, I’m entitled to my opinion. The snowflake generation hasn’t taken over yet. So, if you don’t like my post, just pass it on by. 🙂

          1. Lol, the entitled generation has been in power for a while, the boomers crossed all the bridges the Greatest Generation built for them then burned it so they could whine about the generations that followed them.

            1. LOL! The snowflake generation just thinks their in charge. Think again. LOL!

            2. Reading doesn’t seem to be your strong suit, Teresa. The Millenials aren’t in charge, the boomers are still in charge. And the boomers are just as entitled, if not more so, than the millennials, they just like to pretend they had it harder because the Greatest Generation made things a lot cushier for them.

          2. Ah Teresa finally show her true colors. Take that all you librul snowflakes. You make jerk right-wing comments don’t expect people to just “pass it on by”

        3. I drive fast, i can say the same thing about a slow driver being in my way. But I bet Teresa would find a way to say it is different. I routinely get stuck behind people driving 10-20mph less than the limit, i just have to deal with it.

    2. I’m hearing a need for consideration, and if your willing to hear the needs of cyclists…we value consideration as well. This article is about meeting the needs of cyclists and motorists alike…via a dedicated bike lane that doesnt interfered with motor traffic.

    3. Oh my gawd…..you have to wait 10-15 seconds before you can safely pass a cyclist. Life is so tragic.

      1. People who get stressed out by a minor annoyance like a slow bicyclist are the epitome of “snowflakiness.”

        Teresa may disagree.

        1. Traffic being held up due to a bike is not a “minor annoyance”. Its all kinds of wrong and shouldn’t be allowed. Like a farm tractor on a major road going 5 MPH. Same thing. Oh well. You snowflakes don’t get it. LOL!

          1. You have a very low threshold of “all kinds of wrong.”

            People who fail to freak out at such minor annoyances are not the “snowflakes.”

          2. Never mind that the cyclist *is* traffic.

    4. I agree with Teresa – no one is saying they can’t ride their bikes. But I happen to live in area that bike riders love to take and it is very frustrating when they want to take over the entire lane and do this during morning time traffic and pm driving home time as well. So as a driver I have to expect to wait on them and follow traffic rules – meanwhile many of these bikers I’m behind don’t observe the stop signs. I do own a bike and choose to ride it where it is safe and not causing a back up to cars. Like a track or the lake. Trust me – the bikers in my area have the time and money to take that somewhere else that doesn’t cause me to be late so they can get in their cardio on thousand dollar bikes.

      1. I guarantee you, go anywhere there’s traffic to a stop sign in Oklahoma and just set up a camera to record for a day. There will be far more motorists that don’t stop completely than cyclists.

    5. Get over yourself and get behind infrastructure projects that will make it better QYB and be part of the solution.

      1. You forgot the word “snowfake” there. Gotta have that.

    6. The biggest factor in slow traffic is other cars. No matter how much you complain about cyclists being in the way, they will never compare to the effect of 95% of OKC citizens choosing to drive everywhere. People need to recognize the convenience of being able to drive in the first place and recognize that choosing to drive is far more prohibiting to other traffic than someone choosing a bicycle. Take responsibility of the size and obnoxiousness of your car and calm the fuck down while behind the wheel.

      1. Your post makes zero sense. You’re implying that in all the car/bike scenarios that every car is driving fast, crazy, etc. I’m referring to a driver that is obeying the laws, comes over a hill to a bike, has to slam their brakes on, and then multiple cars behind them have to do the same. While the biker is just sailing along in their own little world without a care. Get it now?

        1. Unsurprisingly, Teresa is an example of the entitled ignorant; even her hypothetical scenario lends no credence or value to her perspective. Per Oklahoma law (§47-11-1202):

          “Every person riding a bicycle … upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle … except to those provisions of this title which by their nature can have no application.”

          It is the ultimate hypocrisy crowned by inexhaustible stupidity. That a chud like Teresa would cop such a flippant and ill-informed attitude with absolute earnestness, stomping her foot and DEMANDING special treatment, a can-I-speak-to-your-manager “hun” barreling down the generous lanes of OKC roads in a four-wheeled, three-ton, gasoline-powered juggernaut so she can get to the Sonic down the road before Happy Hour ends. People – or, “people” – like Teresa aren’t worth anger or scorn. They’re pitiful, hollow ciphers, the kind of dead-eyed automatons those of us with some life in their blood quietly fear becoming in those quiet, restless moments when we’re back in our hometown for a holiday. No, she and her ilk deserve only revulsion.

        2. Teresa, the point of my comment was that if you are so angry about a bicycle causing you to hit your brakes and hold up the flow of traffic why are you not equally as angry about traffic holding up the flow of traffic. I drive a lot and I commute a lot, I rarely get held up for more than a few seconds by a cyclist and I consistently sit in daily traffic going bicycle speeds because of traffic congestion. You can’t be outraged at idiot cyclists in your way without recognizing the effect that you and the rest of traffic, myself included, has on the road. If you really thought about it I’m sure the amount of situations where a bicycle in the had a real effect on you was pretty limited especially compared to how often the flow of traffic is held up by other cars. If you do happen to be held up by cyclists more than other cars please tell me where you live so I can move there, because it sounds like you have an excellent cycling community.

        3. If you have to slam on the brakes because there’s traffic ahead of you over the hill, well, then you were driving too fast for the conditions approaching a blind hilltop. That’s not on the cyclists, that’s entirely on you. Could have been a traffic accident or stopped traffic or debris in the road for all you knew before you got to the top. At least the cyclists are moving.

    7. Your complaint is as unreasonable as someone who drives a tractor-trailer complaining that he can’t pass your regular size car (or even SUV) on a hill, so your car ought “not to be allowed that much control over traffic”. Really, you act as if you think you ought to be allowed to run the bicycle over so as not to be backed up. As long as the less powerful vehicle (in this case the bicycle) is legally able to drive on that road, it is your responsibility as the more powerful vehicle to defer to it and to watch out for it, just as the tractor-trailer is obliged to defer to you and watch out for you, and that we are all obliged to watch out for pedestrians.

      1. You might want to re-read my posts. (Actually I don’t give a rip whether you do or not). I never said ANYTHING about running over somebody on a bike. I would never do such a thing. So, please do not put words in my mouth. And you are comparing apples to oranges because a car can maintain speed where a bike cannot. But a biker shouldn’t act like everybody should just deal with him/her while traffic is backed up. Period.

        1. I’ve re-read your posts. You are obliged to “deal with him” (put up with him) because he has a legal right to be on the road, just as you are obliged to look out for pedestrians walking by the side of the road. He is in no way obliged to defer to your wishes just because you are operating a heavier and faster vehicle than he is. Neither is the farm tractor, if he has a legal right to be on the road.

          1. Legal is one thing. Common sense is another. And the idiot snowflakes that passed this law clearly have never been in traffic behind a bike.

            1. > clearly have never been in traffic behind a bike.

              Oooor, more likely, they understand that traffic happens in a city, and especially in cities, that traffic is mixed mode.

              Look, if you don’t want to share the road with nonmotorized traffic, stay on the freeway and the turnpikes where they aren’t allowed. Oh, you can’t? Well guess what, that’s the same reason why people don’t ride exclusively on cycleways. Guess we’ll all just have to accept that we live in a society and not your own delusions of grandeur.

        2. Imagine if we were ALL riding non polluting bicycles. There would be no issues and then even our children and their children might have a cleaner world to live in.

    8. A bicycle is slower moving traffic and a legal vehicle, wait until it is safe to pass.

    9. Rather than get mad at the cyclist (which, statistically speaking in America, is just trying to get to or from work), go email your city councilor and let ’em know you want bicycle infrastructure on your route.

  3. Thank you for this write up and drawing attention to this issue. The bicycle can be a simple solution for a many of Oklahoma City’s problems.

    Good cycling infrastructure will help promote a healthy active lifestyle. We’re seeing high numbers of obesity, environmental issues such as smog, traffic congestion. More use of the bicycles would be a great way to combat of these

    1. I am not bothered by the people using bikes as a means of transportation who have no other option but the relatively rich douche from Nichols Hills on his $5000 specialized road bike using May avenue as their personal work of location can go fuck themselves. If you are just exercising go use one of the provided bike paths. You don’t see me unrolling my yoga mat on May to practice my poses.

      1. People who can afford to own and use a car but choose not to are as bad as the anti vax movement. Putting yourself and others around you in unnecessary danger so you can live the way you want.

        1. “Putting yourself and others around you in unnecessary danger so you can live the way you want.”

          this is just as true with a car lol

          “Particulate matter, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and other car pollutants harm human health. Diesel engines emit high levels of particulate matter, which is airborne particles of soot and metal. These cause skin and eye irritation and allergies, and very fine particles lodge deep in lungs, where they cause respiratory problems. Hydrocarbons react with nitrogen dioxide and sunlight and form ozone, which is beneficial in the upper atmosphere but harmful at ground level. Ozone inflames lungs, causing chest pains and coughing and making it difficult to breathe. Carbon monoxide, another exhaust gas, is particularly dangerous to infants and people suffering from heart disease because it interferes with the blood’s ability to transport oxygen. Other car pollutants that harm human health include sulfur dioxide, benzene and formaldehyde. Noise from cars is also harmful, damaging hearing and causing psychological ill-health.”

          1. I drive a electric car.

            1. where does your electricity come from? elon musk’s butthole?

              p.s. your initial post did crack me up, tho.

            2. I’m sure that collapses into a singularity so we’re not having to spend 60% of the metro’s real estate on the movement and storage of motor vehicles, too.

          2. If you really want to make the roads safer for people without cars to get around and decrease carbon than use the money to develop better public transportation don’t waste it on trying to make May Av bike friendly.

        2. I don’t think I’ve read anything as dumb as those sentences in a long, long time.

          1. They are actually very good points you are to stupid to consider.

            1. No, they’re really not very good points, or even partially good points. They’re dumb points, and I say that as someone who only rides my bike as recreation on bike trails.

        3. Cars cause 35,000 deaths per year in the states, who’s putting who in danger? Take cyclists out of all of these equations and you still have valid arguments. Driving is sucking money out of my pockets, taking up taxpayer money, and killing thousands of people. Sorry if some people see a better way.

      2. This!!! 🙂

        1. teresa found another redneck to agree with her…

  4. ‘Share the road’. How about share the law? No mandated lights/signals, no tags, no licenses, no insurance, inability to maintain minimum speed, and from what I routinely see no regard whatsoever for stop signs, stop lights, or the safety of other vehicles. Come over a hill pulling a trailer at 65mph to find a spandex crew rolling two wide at 5mph. Awesome. Slam on the brakes endangering livestock or other cargo, illegally cross a double yellow to pass, or back up highway traffic for miles for who knows how long. This is rarely seen with non-recreational riders but rather than ride at the multiple designated areas for bicycles the spandex brigade seem intent on causing as much potential danger and inconvenience for drivers as possible. Though I question if intentionally blockading streets is the best mechanism, I’m all for safer city infrastructure for bicyclists but what is to be done regarding the pedal commandos on state highways, access roads etc? If 3 additional feet is needed on roads perhaps the cyclists are prepared to fund such?

    1. Amen!!

    2. Tell me where there is a minimum speed posted on any city roads that are not highways or interstates.

      1. I included highways in my comment…but minimum speed is merely one of multiple safety issues caused by cyclists who by ‘share the road’ apparently mean hijack for their own recreation.

      2. Oh there isn’t. Its just called good ol’ common sense. Something that is non-existent now. Kinda like, McDonald’s has to put “Caution..contents are hot” on their coffee because some idiot tried to sue because she burned herself. SMH

    3. Cyclists should follow the law, and be ticketed just as drivers for not doing so. I’d have no argument against that, because the laws require cyclists to follow the same traffic laws.

      Drivers are still far more dangerous to themselves and others than cyclists are.

    4. In Oklahoma, even motorists aren’t required to have lights on if the speed limit is 25 MPH or less.

      Tags and licenses aren’t required for cyclists because they’re not heavy machinery that can blast through people and property causing catastrophic damage (unless they get a one-in-a-million lucky hit, in which case, it’s kinda hard to sue a corpse).

      Bicycles aren’t allowed to ride on roads with a minimum speed unless it’s also a designated bike route, which I can safely say after having mapped this for OpenStreetmap, there are zero examples of. If you meant impeding traffic, well, that only applies to motorized vehicles explicitly in the law, look it up.

      Traffic lights and stop signs? Cyclists violate those almost as frequently as motorists do (motorists far more if you go by raw numbers instead of ratios by mode).

      If you’re having to slam on the brakes coming over a hilltop because of slower traffic, then be glad it wasn’t a crash or someone’s load all over the road, because you were driving too fast for the conditions (ironic considering how much you were bitching about other people not following the rules).

      A standard bike lane is 6 feet across in the US (being one of the narrowest standard widths in the world), not 3, and most cities are favoriting closer to 8 or 10 now to provide a buffer between motorists and cyclists.

      1. Nope, not driving too fast. Driving like millions do every day and when confronted with bicycle gangs on the road one is confronted with a very similar situation to something like a crash, disabled vehicle, etc. Danger that is no fault of their own. Only difference is one is the unfortunate, rare but inevitable result of cars/equipment/judgement etc that eventually fail. The other is intentional unsafe recreation inflicted by those trying to utilize space that was not designed for bicycles and cannot safely accommodate them.

        You mentioned HWY 66, ironic since that’s a state highway with a 55-65mph speed limit which has NO shoulder for miles and miles. It can’t safely accommodate a car breakdown, much less bicycle traffic. Rant all you wish about what the state should or should not have done, we likely agree on multiple points including some referencing safe cycling. Nevertheless, our roads can’t safely accommodate bicycles and that’s not debatable. Their usage being legal does not change that.

  5. You know the old “Lake Road” around Lake Hefner? It’s a POS two lane blacktop pockmarked with pot holes that was first laid shortly after the Earth cooled. Anyway there are two pristine bike paths (one on each side of it) but no matter what time of day you venture out onto this street there will be someone biking on the street rather than one of the bike paths. Never fails.

    The wife and I have always wanted to know why is that?

    1. Because that road is an actual bike lane, with several signs that indicate such. Also, the crappy section of which you speak is only on the southbound side, near the shoulder, and is only a few hundred feet long. The rest of that road really is not that bad.

  6. The hate, stereo -typing of those replying to Teresa by her as “snowflakes” and the “spandex brigade” comments are emblematic of the intolerance, self-entitlement and outright animus so many motorists have towards cyclists in this community. I’ve been shot at, had objects thrown at me, had people get out of the cars wanting to fight me, had motorists swerve, never mind honk, at me, in the 31 years I’ve endured trying to ‘share’ the roads with OKC motorists. Small wonder we have such a vehicular homicide rate of cyclists. Smh

    1. Well, I’ve never done any of those things to a cyclist. That’s wrong. But its also wrong to think that the cyclist think they can just do whatever they want and everybody is supposed to adhere to that. Respect is a two-way street.

      1. No one here has argued that cyclists should get a free pass to do whatever they want, that only gets brought up by drivers who get pissy that the law allows cyclists to use the road as well. If cyclists are breaking the law and not stopping where they should, by all means, ticket them. But to argue that it’s the cyclists who are the initiators of this lack of respect is laughable at best. The problem is that drivers inherently aren’t safe, and then want to blame other people for themselves not being safe.

        When I was in college, I rode my bike to school because it was cheaper and faster than walking or driving (due to the fact that parking was woefully inadequate). I always followed all traffic laws, stuck to the far right side of the ride, always stopped at stop signs, etc. I can’t tell you how many times a zoned-out driver almost hit me because they were more interested in their phones/radio/driving food than they were in paying attention to the road. And that’s not just the college age crowd, it was all ages of drivers who feel protected because they’re in a metal-encased tank driving 50 miles an hour down a city road and thus feel protected in adverse situations.

        I don’t ride to work now, I only ride for recreation on bike paths, but I don’t really have many tears to shed over drivers being mildly inconvenienced by cyclists when the vast majority of problems drivers face in OK are self-inflicted.

        1. I happen to be a good safe driver that doesn’t believe in texting while driving or being distracted. Nothing about that is self-inflicted.

          1. Sounds like you’re a real lard ass that couldn’t get on a bike if you wanted to.

            1. Sounds like you’re douche bag.

          2. Teresa, quick test for ya. What’s your typical on-ramp speed the moment you enter a highway?

        2. The cyclists are the initiators regarding the current discussion because it’s not motorists driving on bike paths it’s cyclists riding on public roadways. That’s just how it is. Motorists are indeed dangerous, no question and no excuse for it. Plenty to work on there. Cyclists making it worse and ignoring the law themselves is not how to handle the situation. It’s simply a fact that as I travel down the road I’m safe, now I come over the hill on a two lane highway at 65 and here’s a train of bicycles two-wide at 8mph. That is now not safe and I am not the one to blame. Those backed up behind me are not to blame. The scared oncoming motorist who sees me cross a double yellow to pass is not to blame. The cyclists wanting to endanger others due to where they want to participate in their hobby are to blame.

          1. No, here you are the one to blame for not passing the cyclists in a safe manner. The public roadways are just that, public, which means in the absence of special lanes for bicycles, they are also permitted to drive on them.

            1. … unless, of course, for those roads the law forbids bicycles to drive upon.

            2. Nope, those who support laws which defy reality and common sense are to blame. A cyclist group often can frankly not be passed ‘safely’, period. But ignoring that reality among multiple others related to bikes on roadways, this state saw fit to pass laws allowing activity that is inherently unsafe and illogical….but hey, xyz cycling club just has to ride and meet at their chosen coffee shop in rural OK county, that MUST be protected at all cost. No logical space to ride in, no mandatory safety equipment, no tag, no license, no operator’s insurance I’m aware of, inability to maintain minimum speed, what could possibly go wrong…

    2. I noted my support for cyclists-safe infrastructure improvements. I’m all for bike lanes in all kinds of places, where are the cycling groups offering to fund their construction? Regardless, any animus I may have is for those who think their idea of recreation should entitle them to ignore traffic laws and endanger motorists. I like riding my ATV, it’s fun. That does not (and should not) entitle me to hijack a public roadway and put others at risk for my enjoyment. I feel bad for those riding a bicycle to work in urban areas or those cycling for various purposes in what should be a bike-friendly downtown. I get it. I support efforts to improve their safety, but the ‘spandex brigade’ is not about needs, it’s about wanting to ride where they want to ride and not caring if it puts others in danger (not stress, danger). Tell me how my truck and 24 ft trailer (or frankly a car for that matter) can safely ‘share the road’ with a trail of 8 bicyclists running two-wide on a two lane, double yellow, 65mph highway? How does one do that? Then we can move on to (entire groups) floating or outright ignoring stop signs etc…World of difference between Bob trying to get around downtown on his only means of transportation and Saturday morning hobby groups thinking the thing to do is hijack a public roadway for their entertainment.

      1. Exactly!

      2. The entitlement is breath-taking.

      3. Better question: When will motorists do that?

        The gas tax and vehicle registration fees certainly don’t cover the $8 million per lane mile that highways typically cost or the $6 million per lane mile of city street; it only comes too short by about two thirds. Tulsa’s third penny sales tax definitely does cover cyclists and the $78,000 per lane mile for bicycle facilities is a footnote on the city budget. And the state can’t even be bothered to spend the pittance of $11.4 million they approved in 2011 to put 146 miles of bike lane (so, 73 miles of bike lane on each side, one for each direction) on the entire length of Oklahoma State Bike Route 66 (which runs from about Pops to OK 33, wholly concurrent with OK 66). They didn’t seem to have problems finding $300 million (nearly 10 times the normal cost even!) to add a lane to the Turner Turnpike nobody asked for. Or another several dozen million to give McDonald’s and Philips an extra location at Stroud…

  7. I reject both bicycles and motor vehicles. I get around via instant teleportation.

    And now, I’m off to Barcelona for a late supper.

    1. thread winner!

  8. Anyone riding their bike on a major street during rush hour has a death wish! I saw such for years and would shake my head (not my fist) every time I saw it, knowing full well it would be just a matter of time before their luck ran out. I empathize with those who have to do so in order to work and I also empathize with those who actually hit one of the cyclists. It is a way of life in any major city.

    1. Given how close people drive to one another and how gung-ho people are to drive at-speed around blind curves and over hillcrests, I’m having a *real hard* time empathizing with someone who drives like that and kills someone. Their victim didn’t sign up for their bullshit.

  9. I moved here 14 years ago, from the east coast. One of the fundamental problems I see is that very few people in Oklahoma know how to drive. Oh, sure, they can operate a car, truck or SUV, but that’s only part of driving. They grew up never (or rarely) needing to cooperate on the roads, and so really don’t know how to do this.

    This lack of driving knowledge, experience and cooperation spills over into a magnified intolerance for people on bicycles. My solution would be to give people what they really want – no sharing. Set aside a system of roads reserved ONLY for cyclists. The people here don’t seem to be able to handle anything short of that.

    1. Yes, and I hear the East coast is the professional drivers mecca. Every time I go there I think, wow I wish everyone drove like these idiots and their uber drivers,

      1. at least you know what to expect out of a nyc driver. here? you could be driving next to somebody on i-35 and, all of a sudden, they decide to merge right into you, for no reason.

    2. I’m a good driver as is many in this state, thank you very much. And the good drivers aren’t to blame for a bike holding up the flow of traffic. Period.

  10. Uh Cory, two-abreast is the law. You don’t like it so you turn this into a ‘spandex brigade’ discussion and then want to worry more about “endangering livestock or cargo” You really just stated that? You worry more about that than human lives/limbs?
    Your and Teresa’s complaints also ignore the rules of the road and maintaining a speed that allows one to stop ‘within an assured clear distance.’
    Does it piss me off to see cyclists run stop signs? Hell yes, just like it pisses me off to see automobiles float and run stop signs, but unlike you, I don’t lump all motorists into a ‘spandex brigade’ kind of mentality. I just had a friend get run over by a car while he was on a designated bike route where every 1/4 mile there are signs that say “may use entire lane” and “change lanes to pass”. He was hit from behind. Cyclists are allowed to ride where it’s otherwise not posted not to. That’s also the law. My friend wasn’t riding down May Ave or NW Highway at 5:00 pm. (not the smartest thing to do, I’ll agree, but still legal). The stereotyping of cyclists as a bunch of law-breaking, inconsiderate, inanimate objects is what leads to the carnage in this City

    1. Letter of the law vs spirit of the law. The roads in Oklahoma city were built for cars not bikes and pedestrians but you are correct that they technically rave a right to use all the roads, but is that really the best way to use them in the way they were built to be used? Also most of the complaints are directed at a very specific type of recreational biker turning public roadways into personal exercise area.

      1. “Also Oklahoma Statutes Title 47. Motor Vehicles §47-11-804. Minimum speed regulation. No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law. “

        1. But a bicycle isn’t a motor vehicle, so is this the applicable law?

          1. what about bicycles with electric motors? %)

      2. Learn your history. Roads were paved because of bicyclists. You’d be more useful if you were less ignorant.

      3. You might want to look up what the League of American Bicyclists is and their role in American history. That’s where your paved roads came from.

    2. I actually didn’t compare worries but yes, I’m far more worried about the lives of motorists than I am one’s determination to recreate in an unsafe fashion. Nope, running within the speed limit and coming over a hill to a bicyclist going 5mph is not ignoring the rules of the road. It’s called driving. I have never come close to running over one, despite their insistence on doing their hobby in a manner that is inherently unsafe. I always get it shut down in time and wait..as the traffic backs up and at times while I watch whole groups of cyclists ignore road laws (including not riding ‘two-abreast’). I’m not trying to lump all cyclists in one group. I’ve repeatedly referenced those trying to get to work, recreate around a downtown that should be bike-friendly, my support of bike lanes etc. I also know who I repeatedly see cause unsafe conditions–the spandex brigade. No, that’s not every cyclist nor did I imply that it was and your friend’s situation is shameful, no question. I am aware of the laws. They are not as they should be and frankly as is they encourage unsafe behavior. The actions of unsafe people are to blame for the accidents–drivers and cyclists. Hijacking public roadways for a chosen recreational activity and demanding further legal allowances to do so is inconsiderate at best and in this case is without question dangerous. Legal and construction changes where bike travel can be safe is frankly an entirely different matter and one that I support.

      1. Cory , is there not a shoulder section they ride on ? Tell me they are not riding in the actual hwy lane . I am an avid cyclist but I would never think about riding on the actual lane of the hwy no matter how many riders there may be .
        As far as I know the law states that a rider must ride as close to the shoulder of the road as is safe to do so unless it’s stated riders may use the whole lane .

        1. HWY 66 for example has miles and miles where there is no shoulder. Access roads, no shoulder. There is no ‘as is safe to do so’ regarding a lot of what cyclists do. They don’t care. This is how they choose to do their hobby, they’ve succeeded in getting it legal, and they demand to be accommodated. Safety, logic, and phsyics have nothing to do with it.

          1. Worst thing? 66 between Edmond and Sapulpa is the first Oklahoma state bike route since 2011.

    3. Anyone who wants to be the “rightest guy in the morgue” has a mentality that’s way beyond the average person to figure out. But what do I know. The law also says you can chain smoke cigs while drinking a fifth of whiskey and snorting fentanyl laced oxy but that doesn’t mean you should do it.

  11. It’s a very skewed number. It is total deaths divided by a very limited number of bicycle commuters. We have a huge problem in Oklahoma City lacking safe infrastructure for bicycles.The planning department along with the MAPS 3 projects are making Oklahoma City safer. Oklahoma City can do better, a lot better! OKC needs $100 million in the MAPS 4 projects.

  12. Bicyclists are worse than Hell’s Angels. They think they own all the roads that were built for cars & trucks. Go to lake Hefner If you want to ride your bicycle & stay off the main roads made for cars & trucks.

    1. Your idea that the roads are only for cars and trucks is simply wrong.

      1. Can I drive my conestoga wagon down Reno? Roads are dangerous..ride at your own risk Lance Armstrong

        1. +1

        2. If it hasn’t been specifically forbidden by law, then yes, you may drive your Conestoga wagon down Reno. But I’d consult the statute book first, and the city by-laws before you startle people like that.

        3. You can, actually. Not sure where you’d go with it save for maybe the fairgrounds, OKC is less set up for equestrians than it is bicyclists.

  13. “No one should inhibit my rights to do my own thing regardless of the law. My personal time is more valuable than anyone’s life.”

  14. Don’t know where this puts me in this passionate discussion, but as a result of MAPS 3 the city paid some contractor to paint “Bike Lane” signage ever so often on the pavement of NW 19 west of Penn here in OKC. Many cyclists more or less follow this street west out to Overholser. But the magically created “bike Lane” did not increase the width of the street, did not seem to me to make anything safer, and a very few years later is mostly worn off or illegible. “Bike lane” in this case seems to be mostly a symbolic act that gave some contractor a nice deal, and did nothing to change anything about the actual situations that cyclists encounter – in other words, a “feel good” kind of thing to do. But maybe I’m misjudging it,…

    1. Just remember this all you bicycle rider haters. Now that our legislature has decided “Open Range” is the law and anyone can carry, don’t think your choice to use your vehicle as a weapon towards a bicycle rider will go off the way you think.
      And for all you “go to Lake Hefner” “stay off the roads” types, thankfully your dinosaur days are long gone.

      1. That’s the way to engage with the logical arguments against what cyclists are doing on our public roadways. Well done.

        1. My best observation is that I ride on the east side of the City. Not once has an African-American motorist harassed me. It’s always white trash and it’s always just because I’m on my bike, riding in , not blocking, traffic. It’s the same attitude those who say “go to the gym” or “why can’t I put my yoga mat in the street” or all the other inane remarks that are on this thread. Ignore the fact that legally bicyclists have a right to be on the roads and just stomp all over their rights. Funny, how when it’s about causing a brief delay in some motorist’s time, those rights get ignored.

          1. It’s a shame you’ve experienced that behavior. I don’t doubt it and oppose it. I don’t ignore the fact that a lot of what cyclists do is currently legal. I point out that despite the fact that it’s legal, it’s also illogical and inherently unsafe. While considering construction and other changes to make urban cycling more safe we should also reconsider the priority we’ve placed on catering to a small number of hobby enthusiasts (not commuters, not downtown cyclists, not those who choose cycling over cars) over the needs and safety of motorists.

            1. I wear spandex on my way to work and then workout on my way home. Not sure how to handle the situation if I have to have a great excuse and look like a commuter to ride on the road from now on. Maybe drivers should also be limited in how much and when they drive. After all, given the pollution, personal cost, city wide cost, and deaths that are brought on by driving, the city could really use a mileage limit per month for all cars!

            2. > I point out that despite the fact that it’s legal, it’s also illogical and inherently unsafe.

              Uuuh, I’m sure you’d like to have an extra $4-8,000 in disposable income. And there’s nothing inherently unsafe about bicycle commuting. There are unsafe drivers, but that’s not something you can fix, that’s on the driver. Fortunately, most drivers aren’t sociopaths.

          2. White trash? LOL! Talk about racist. Wow. Why don’t you leave this state.

          3. Darklord bringing the race into this discussion… Well done! Bravo!

  15. Cars will kill over 35,000 people this year in the US, bikes will kill zero. This year Oklahoma City will spend around $200 million repairing and widing roads for cars. It will spend less than $1 million on commuter cycling infrastructure. In Oklahoma City we’ve paved around 5,000 SF of roads and parking lots per car, a replacement cost of around $100,000 per car. That’s not counting all the extra water, sewer and other infrastructure we have to provide to service all that land that cars are eating up. Driving is extremely expensive to society on all fronts, drivers themselves pay between 10%-50% of the total cost, the rest is subsidized by governments or picked up by society in terms of externalities (parking, medical bills from crashes, pollution etc). Anyone choosing to bike over driving is doing us a lot of good.

    1. The vast majority of opposition to cyclists is not directed at those ‘choosing to bike over driving’. It is a direct result of the behavior of those choosing to engage in recreation that inevitably puts themselves and other at risk. The fact that some of their activity is legal does nothing to change that. Though funding sources are debatable, few strongly oppose urban infrastructure changes to allow for safe biking. The spandex brigade on the way to their latest rendezvous remains a totally different matter.

      1. You illustrate the problem here: people here don’t seem to understand, or refuse to understand that the bicycle is not principally a recreational item, but a form of transportation. So it’s another case of incorrect information leading to bad ideas.

    2. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-41306738

  16. So the strategy to make OKC more bike friendly is to block traffic and piss people off? You guys are geniuses!

    I wish it was safe enough for me to bike commute here, as I was able to do when I lived on the East Coast. But sticking people in the eye is going to create backlash, not progress.

  17. Roads are for cars not bicycles, horse drawn carriages, or wagon trains…welcome to 2019..go exercise at the gym or park.

    1. By the law of this land, you are wrong. If you don’t like the law of this land, change it. Otherwise, perhaps you’d like to move to some other place? Where bikes aren’t allowed? Like, uh,…where would that be, Blubbering One?

      1. Good luck changing it. ODOT and the city probably want federal money. And that federal money for roads comes with a big string on it, saying that the roads are for everyone, not just the motorized elite.

        1. Tell that to the Equestrian Commuters Society.

  18. So are these rides permitted and escorted by OCPD or are they just a bunch of people getting together trying to piss of a bunch of motorists?

  19. As a cyclist, I’m all about bringing more attention to this. However, I’m pretty sure that blocking an entire direction of traffic just solidifies the negative impressions that are pretty clear in these comments.

    Also, as cyclist, we need to be a little smarter about being in the streets. I like to ride to work when the weather permits. But I do my absolute best to avoid main roads with heavy traffic. This is not only courteous of others we share the road with, but also helps ensure that I get to come home to my son at the end of the day. But if you get stuck behind a cyclist momentarily, just take a deep breath and pass on the left. The 30 second delay isn’t worth the outrage

    There’s far to much entitlement from both sides in these comments. Consider yourself blessed if you have so little wrong with your life that this little stuff is what you get angered by.

    1. Well said.

    2. Which also shows something that I don’t think a lot of people in this thread are realizing: Displaced trips. You don’t see cyclists because they’re changing their route or the time of their trip to avoid you. There’s not fewer of them just because you don’t see them.

  20. People are free to move themselves from one place to another however they want(within the law.) At the end of the day, driving is a PRIVILEGE, a possibly dangerous privilege at that (and the numbers are pretty good.) A motorist is in a faster, more capable(dangerous) vehicle, and as such, assumes responsibility for its safe use, as we all do regardless of our mode of transport…

    We all share the roads, we all pay taxes on these roads, whether or not we choose a unicycle or a tank to get ourselves to our destinations…Be safe, everyone!

  21. OMG… I think everyone should eat a snickers and calm down…

  22. fun. *taps fingertips to fingertips* first thing i realized upon moving to okc: guess i’m not biking to work anymore. second thing: infrastructure underdeveloped in regards to cyclists to the degree that motorists probably hate cyclists for ‘getting in their way.’ third thing: will not be spending my later years here as it will take a length of time beyond that of what remains of my life to implement changes vast and complete enough to make a difference so as to continue my completely harmless-beneficial-to- the-environment-and-my-health choice to ride to work cycling fourth thing: second thing was proved as i gradually saw while reading the comments that the anti cycling posters in this thread are straight-up assholes. -that’s for you teresa with your sweet bible name. good job. great work. you speak your truth. fifth (once realizing fourth said thing): good fucking luck with the me me me me me attitude guys. that usually gets societies really far. it’s totally the way to go..the right choice. i dig it. sixth thing: now currently awaiting the get-the-fuck-out-if-you-don’t-like-it response as i fuck my beautiful gf with my amazingly ripped hard-manual-labor-cyclist-runner body laughing at you fat unhealthy twats. to that: don’t worry, i will

    unproductive, but i feel better cuz in OKC it’s all about meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. i’m learning, yay!

    que tengas un buen día

    p.s. your highway system is ass.

    1. I think it’s hilarious you complain about “me me me me” guys, while you wrote an entire (run-on) paragraph about yourself and complained the entire way through it. You call other people assholes, but apparently can’t see that you are being a demanding, entitled one yourself.

      To your “third thing”, about not spending later years here, good riddance. Please leave as soon as you can. We’ll all be better for it. Thanks.

    2. LOL! I couldn’t stomach to read all of your disgusting post. Half of it was quite enough. Anyway, my opinions are not directed to cyclists in general. Just ASSHOLES (like yourself) that don’t give a rip if they hold up an entire flow of traffic. Have a GREAT day! LMAO!

      1. You just laugh out loud all the time, dontcha, you funny girl.

    3. “as i fuck my beautiful gf with my amazingly ripped hard-manual-labor-cyclist-runner body laughing at you fat unhealthy twats. to that: don’t worry, i will”

      this guy probably looks at himself in the mirror to stay hard during said (alleged) intercourse…

  23. Wow, there’s a lot entitled cyclists in this thread. You guys don’t own the road. You are supposed to share it. It’s not my fault your hippy ass doesn’t have a car.

    You can call it a “brief delay”, but it can back traffic up a long way back, especially if there’s no way to get around. I can’t believe you guys sit here and have the gall to act like victims, and then chastise people for complaining when YOU rob them of precious time.

    How does it get more entitled than that? “I’m causing a delay for tons of people, but you all are the problem! How are you be upset and not want to be stuck behind me because you have places to go! God, you are so rude!!!”
    That’s what you sound like.

    1. The cars don’t own the road either, and the car drivers are also obliged to share it, just as the tractor-trailers are obliged to share the road with you.

      1. The car-driving public who pays for the roads and uses them for what they were designed for is who owns them. Yes, the spandex brigade are part of that public but they’re the part that see fit to hijack said roads and drivers because of how they wish to engage in their hobby. Again, this is not about the guy trying to across downtown to work or the couple trying to enjoy an evening in Bricktown. I’m all for changes related to those. But if I got a law passed that said my son’s ATV was road-worthy, that would not make it sane for him to drive it down HWY 66. No amount of campaigns or share the road signs would change that. Nor would his insistence on being accommodated to practice his hobby at the expense of others using the roads for what they were designed for. Good point on semis. License, insurance, safety equipment, minimum speed, and tag requirements. Along with special use permits for when their load width or other factors requires out of the norm inhibition of other drivers. I welcome any comparison you’d like to try to make regarding semis and cycling commandos.

        1. First, your idea about bicycling as being principally a hobby is wrong. It’s a form of transportation. Second, the *public* owns the roads, not just “the car-driving public”. That does not mean the car-driving public has greater rights (or privileges) over them than the bicycle-riding public, even if the car-driving public is greatly in the majority. My point about the semi drivers is that the semi drivers are as equally entitled to share your attitude, only reflected towards your car, since your little car or little SUV (little compared to their semi) makes it bothersome for them to freely and conveniently drive on the roads. After all, they have to watch out for you and you obstruct the flow of their traffic since they have to slow down for you. Somehow I don’t think you’d appreciate a semi-driver telling you to stay off the roads, but all your arguments about safety are even more valid when you compare cars and semis. Now if you think the presence of bicyclists makes it dangerous for you to drive, go to your friends in the Legislature and have them pass a law banning cyclists from the public roads. And if most of the drivers of Oklahoma share your attitudes towards bicyclists, maybe it would be a better thing for them to be banned since the State can’t guarantee the bicyclists’ safety. Until then, you just have to put up with it and learn to drive attentively and carefully, if you aren’t already doing this, no matter how tiresome and inconvenient you may find it.

          1. Though I do probably disagree with your contention about how many are hobbyists, I didn’t say cycling was principally a hobby. I referred to the hobbyists being the vast majority of the problem with cycling. Big difference.

            As I continue to note, I fully support construction changes to allow for safe urban cycling. Furthermore, I included cyclists in the ownership of public roads. ATVers and horse owners (like me) are part of that public as well, yet our ATVs and horses aren’t on those roads. Our roads are not designed for ATVs or horses. Just like they’re not designed for bicycles.

            Cars being on the roads don’t inherently make semi driving bothersome or dangerous. Car drivers are licensed, have required safety equipment, and can fit seamlessly into the flow of regular vehicle traffic, just like semis can most of the time. That’s how regular driving works and it has for decades. Can you say any of those things about the cycling group currently clogging up HWY ABC? What can be said about them is they successfully got the practice of their hobby legalized despite the fact that there’s no way for them to safely engage in such on public roadways.

            Demanding the right (or even getting it legalized) won’t make me riding my horse down the street logical or safe.

            I’m well aware of the current legal status on cycling and I drive attentively and will continue to do so, even if the next thing passed is ‘share the road’ with dog walkers. If I didn’t I would’ve already had run-ins with cyclists because they just HAVE to pedal their guts out on vehicle roadways. There is simply NOWHERE else they could go and they must get in 25 miles today…

            Drivers make plenty of poor choices, no doubt. But one of these activities was forced into an environment that was not designed for it and cannot safely accommodate it and it wasn’t the driving of cars.

            1. And just in case the above wasn’t long enough….as I’ve said several times, it’s not about convenience or ‘tiresome’, it’s dangerous….for both the cyclists and drivers.

            2. Well said – but can never be accepted by the biking crowd!

  24. grammatically correct run on 😉

  25. 100th!

  26. Putting “LOL” at the end of your dumb commentary doesn’t make your dumb commentary OK, Teresa. Nice troll job tho.

    1. My commentary isn’t dumb, but thanks for playing asshole LOL!!!!!!

      1. Epic thread alert

  27. Weather Alert: It’s raining so all you impatient motorists don’t have to worry about anything but your dumb asses driving into high water, because, well, you are impatient. Carry on and have a swell weekend.

  28. I have this theory that Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” is really the underlying sentiment depending on one’s perspective. Semi-truck drivers hate motorists in their way, or not letting them merge etc. Motorists demand their rights are respected by semi drivers who should get out of the left lane. Motorcycle riders demand that motorists “share the road”. Bicycle riders demand that motorcycle riders give them space, not blast them with their exhaust and that motorists “share the road.” On multi-use trails runners expect bicycle riders to “share the trail” all while the get irritated by walkers and baby strollers.
    Moral to the story: I’m getting a street legal tank. Just kidding. We are all OKC citizens. Let’s try to find a common ground

  29. Teresa,
    Based off all your typos, I’m guessing you might be suffering from fat finger syndrome. If you truly have this much disgust for cyclists, I urge you to try it once. Your arteries will thank you. I guarantee you that cycling could help you lose 100 pounds, so you could get down to a healthier 250 pound weight.

    Walk away from your computer, wipe the Doritos from your face, buy a bike, change your life today.

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