On Tuesday, Seattle Weekly Editor-in-Chief and proud pedestrian Mike Seely penned a column about House Bill 1018 and its language on driver-cyclist-pedestrian interaction. In particular, Seely takes issue with the part of the proposed legislation that says a "pedestrian is not relieved of the obligation to exercise due care" when a cyclist rides on the sidewalk with him or her. "Screw that," as Seely most eloquently puts it. That's when Jonathan Ehrich pipes in.
As a likely reference to Seely's line "Even before Mayor McSchwinn took office, [cyclists] represented the smuggest subset of Seattle citizenry," Ehrich writes:
As a pedestrian, I find it highly amusing that pedestrians and drivers alike often seem to believe that determining acceptable levels of smugness is a viable basis for public policy.
Indeed, Ehrich is on to something. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, as they say; and none are more squeaky (and smug) than cycling advocates.
So keeping their levels of smugness in check can very well be a barometer of how effective the laws pertaining to their activities are. Too smug and you're giving them too much slack; not smug enough and you've beaten them down too much, and then run the risk of inciting a revolt.