Bikes(Bicycles), cars, and people are an interesting triumvirate in the USA.
They all exist on the roads but in varying degrees of politeness and coexistence.
One of our co workers was almost injured badly while riding his bike(bicycle) Saturday in a residential area on a sanctioned city bike lane when an auto owner opened the door of his parked car directly, without disregard, in the path of the on-coming bike and our friend who slammed head first into the door.
Thankfully we feel he is ok but it does bring up this crazy relationship of the bike, the car, and the human.
If public transport was wide spread, the need for the car in an urban setting would be nil since the public transport and the bike would do the job.
[a funny aside- I see where some German sex clubs are offering free admission to those who arrive on their bike vs their car]
But in most parts of America the biker is considered a real pest to the car owners and drivers.
I feel this could be changed during drivers ed training. I would imagine most folks do not realize that the biker has some of the same rights as the car driver on certain non major roads. It needs to be emphasized more by authorities.
A friend told me the other day of an incident he experienced. He was in a biking group that goes about town once monthly. They group together and take up one lane as they are allowed by law.
Apparently a car driver tried to enter the group and hit one biker seriously. The car driver did not stop immediately. The bikers ended up surrounding his vehicle forcing him to stop until the police came.
Strength in numbers did the job in this case but most times a lone bike rider is at the mercy of luck and a higher being when on the paved road competing with the car.
Of course a tax rebate or credit for biking rather than car riding would certainly get a few more folks on their bikes and out of the car which would help their health, reduce gas demand, and make the totality of bikers greater so that they would have more leverage over the car driver.
I will have to admit there are times I am in the car and am forced to wait for a biker to pass and sometimes my initial instinct is one of perturbation, but thankfully I remember oh yea I'm a biker so I need to treat this fellow twin wheeler with respect.
Just be careful when you are biking out there and search google for your local municipal rights as a biker.