It's a shame that the police have to waste their time chasing down people on bikes and skateboards in downtown Charleston, but they do.
Because this bicycle problem is getting ridiculous.
As Glenn Smith reported this week, Charleston police are cracking down on bicyclists and skateboarders, many of whom obviously don't know the rules of the road -- or don't care. Many of them ride the wrong way down one-way streets, think traffic signals don't apply to them and, when it gets congested (and it's always congested in downtown Charleston) they just hop up on the sidewalk, which is also illegal.
The skateboarders could cut down on criticism by not lollygagging along in lazy S-curves down St. Philip Street like they own the place, which they don't. Their parents do. Maybe their folks should cut out the tuition payments and sign these numbskulls up for driver's ed. They can take some of these cyclists with them.
The worst thing about all of this, other than the safety issue and the nuisance, is that these people are poor ambassadors for the biking community.
If they keep it up there won't be any political will for bike lanes across the Ashley River, or anywhere else in this town.
If somebody drove a car the wrong way down a one-way street, you'd expect them to get a ticket. Same for anyone who jumped the curb and drove his truck down the sidewalk because it was too crowded on the street.
Some people on bikes do this, and get all prissy if you are in their way or have the gall to point out that they are breaking the law.
So what makes these people think they can do this and not get ticketed? You know, those bike laws are there for our safety, not city revenue -- that's what parking tickets are for.
Sooner or later, one of these goofballs darting in and out of traffic is going to get hit and it won't be pretty. Hint: The smart money is on the car.
The person in the car, whether at fault or not, is always going to look like the bad guy when sometimes it's really just Darwinism.
Unsafe at any speed
So let's hear it for the police. They have more important things to do downtown -- like stopping drug dealers, robbers and college students making too much noise in the streets -- but it's good to see they recognize the growing problem here.
This is a major safety issue, even bicycle advocacy groups realize it. They no doubt understand that the way to have a bike-friendly city is to not have people on bikes acting obnoxiously. Even people inclined to favor the rights of bicyclists would sometimes like to throttle some of these punks.
Unfortunately, it's going to take even more police action. Some of the bicyclists in The Post and Courier story said they are going to keep breaking the law because it's too unsafe to venture out on Meeting or East Bay streets in all that traffic. And they are right.
But thanks to the extreme negligence, and arrogance, of some bikers, the other roads in this town are becoming just as unsafe.
Follow Brian Hicks on Twitter at @BriHicks_PandC.