Members of the I Bike Budapest pro-cycling movement took to the streets of the capital on Saturday to create a “friendly atmosphere” for cycling in the city as well as calling attention to cycling as an environmentally sound and potentially fast means of transport . Good for them. The always hilarious – sarcasm intended – Index did a one-minute video report asking three bikers three questions: Do you really have to ride in the city? Why don’t you pay taxes? Why do you ignore red lights? The answers were trying to be funny but were so dumb that I won’t even bother citing them. Too bad. Because two of these are actually legitimate questions. I’m used to bikers demanding more and more all the time, yet they don’t really have good answers when asked about these issues. Let’s put aside if bikers belong in the city. They do. The city belongs to everyone. Taxes are a bit more exciting. As a driver I pay tons of various taxes, but then again I will be the cause of most of the Netherlands going under water any minute now, so that’s fair enough. What really bothers me is that most cyclists consider the Highway Code as more of a guidance than a mandatory set of rules. One-way streets are two-way for them, they won’t use the bike path even if there is one and they forget about red lights. They all must be colour blind. What bothers me even more is that if I cross a red light, park in the wrong spot or enter a one-way road in the wrong direction I get hit with a minimum fine of HUF 30,000, but I am yet to hear of a cyclist receiving a fine. Not HUF 30,000; any fine. So if the I Bike Budapest movement really wants to do something good, they should team up with the police and organise a city-wide control of bikers not adhering to the rules. But that of course wouldn’t create as friendly an atmosphere as shutting down the city for four hours…

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