Rahm Emanuel's Quid Pro Quo Solution to the Cyclist-Driver Battle in Chicago

Double the fines for bikers that break traffic laws ... and the drivers that door them.

Image
Shutterstock/ForestPath

The stand-off between drivers and cyclists -- each wants the other to feel the wrath of the law; each feels slighted by the current state of infrastructure -- seems totally intractable.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has a old-fashioned quid pro quo solution: double all the fines on everyone!

That's the gist of his proposal yesterday, reported in the Chicago Tribune, which seems to respond to criticism from drivers that bikers are getting all the new infrastructure (a few new bike lanes) without any of the responsibilities.

Here's Emanuel, ever the dealmaker: double fines for cyclists who disobey traffic laws (from $25 to $50, with a $200 maximum). Double fines for drivers who "door" cyclists ($500 to $1,000). And stickers on the windows of every cab reminding passengers to look before they open the door.

Will it stop cyclists from breaking traffic laws or drivers from running them over?

Top image: Shutterstock/ForestPath.

About the Author

  • Henry Grabar is a freelance writer and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.