The philosophy that has pitted cars against cyclists for the last 40 years is finally dying - LA Times

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Take a ride on downtown L.A.’s first major protected bike lane and you’re rolling over something more than asphalt and paint: the symbolic end to vehicular cycling, an idea that dominated American urban bicycle advocacy for nearly 40 years.

In his influential 1976 book “Effective Cycling,” Californian John Forester argued that cyclists “fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.” In Forester’s paradigm, this means cyclists shouldn’t cower in the gutters, but should assert their place in the middle of a lane, where they should be afforded equal treatment by operators of motor vehicles — and the law.

Cyclists and bike lobbyists latched on to Forester’s ideas to the point where the phrase “taking the lane,” became a rallying cry. The law in most places still required cyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable, but adherents of vehicular cycling claimed their space on roads, bravely arm-signalling their left turns.