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My local Nextdoor is full, as ever, of whiners. Lately, car drivers have been squawking about streets that got closed to through traffic to ease pandemic exercise—give folks space to bike and run without having to make their way to a park. The Nextdoor whiners have been strikingly un-self-aware, so angry that the exercisers have been alloted so much space, not considering how much space has been given over to drivers.

It reminds me of some news articles from 1894 about arguments between Golden Gate Park bicyclists and horse-and-carriage drivers. As Morgan Fletcher noted when he transcribed the articles "Some of the same agitations between classes and castes, between four wheels and two are evident in these two 1894 articles as are evident now, in 2021." Back then, horse drivers were mad that bicycles could spook the horses, causing stampedes—but when a reporter asks if maybe, just maybe, we shouldn't have so many big skittish animals in the park, the answers were just kinda "inconceivable!"

Anyhow, you might give RIGHTS OF THE HORSE AND THE BICYCLE ON PARK ROADS a read if you want to marvel at this pre-earthquake time of bicycles dodging traffic and going for repairs on Stanyan Street. I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to copy stuff out of NextDoor, but you can get the spirit of it from this old-timey text.

Tags: pedestrian drama link

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