Polite bike activists mind their p’s and q’s while practicing civil disobedience
At Streetsblog, Angie Schmitt shares the heartwarming story of bike activism gone exactly right. Here’s what went down: A group of bikers organized under the banner of “Reasonably Polite Seattleites” took an existing bike lane and hacked a protective barrier together for it. But, being reasonably polite, they told the local transportation agency exactly what they had done — and made it easy for authorities to remove the pylons they’d installed.
And, in this case, politeness paid off. As Seattle Bike Blog writes, the city’s traffic engineer actually apologized for having to take it down. And then, he had his team install a permanent, legal protective barrier of their own.
Look how polite he was!
Hello reasonably polite Seattleites,
I have good news to share. SDOT worked with WSDOT to reinstall your thoughtful protector treatment on Cherry Street. SDOT and WSDOT agreed to monitor the installation to determine if additional changes need to be made. We also took this unique opportunity to make additional improvements. … Thank you, again, for your suggestion.
Moral of the story: When the adults in your life taught you to say please and thank you and to be respectful, they weren’t entirely wrong. Sometimes it’s fun to shout and yell and be disruptive — and sometimes that’s the most effective tactic. But sometimes people in power just need a polite nudge.
- Seattle Makes Guerrilla Bike Lane Permanent , Streetsblog