Woman on bike markings on Negley
Kudos to whoever put them up an down Negley between Penn and Baum (and it looks like they extend down Baum).
I didn’t have my camera handy this AM while commuting to take a picture but it did make my commute that much happier.
Wow, I didn’t realize just how crap-tacular that picture is, but you can just make out the ponytail and boob-bump on the profile of that cyclist. Based on those attributes, I believe that sharrow is presenting as female.
Cycling is biased towards men in this country. Inviting women to join in is a good idea, I think. And the playful nature of the stencil contextualizes its underground source in a way that makes it acceptable. Like yarn-bombing.
“Cycling is biased towards men in this country.”
I never thought of that. I don’t think it is in Pittsburgh, is it? I see a lot of women on bikes and really never gave that part much thought. I just like the ponytail, it seems happy and not so boring.
Vannevar: “I think we need to break out of road-marking gender binaries. It would be a start.”
I couldn’t agree more. And I like the image edit!
Does it really make a woman feel better to see these?
For what it’s worth, the story of the “Cheryl” supposedly goes like this… one of the people putting down these guerrilla markings was talking to a guy about sharrows in general – unrelated to the female-oriented markings. They guy misheard and said, “what are they called? Cheryls?” and the “Cheryl” was born.
I like it that they’re called “Cheryls”. I didn’t know that. It’s a great name.
Are you people seriously arguing over the gender of an outline of a
person that has a ponytail and boobs? Imagine having real problems.
I love whimsical, humorous guerrilla art and ambiguous graffiti (not the big, ugly tags on private property/homes, mind you) . So, yes… this makes me happy. My gender has nothing to with it, nor the gender of the Sharrow Graffiti.
i think it’s actually davy crockett with a racoon-skin hat. or maybe some new-agey guy doing a yoga pose using two exercise balls
I see raccoons occasionally along the side of the road. Next time, I’ll cut off the tail and save it for you.
Ick. Thanks, but no. I was thinking more along the lines of a faux fur one that doesn’t have fleas and tire tracks.
Also, I should never Google ‘faux raccoon tail’ unless I want to learn about the mating rituals of Furries.
“Imagine having real problems.”
And who better to decide whether or not an issue is worthy of debate than a presumably straight white male
Alternative genders would be interesting
Alternative bicycle types would be interesting, too. Tandems, kiddie trailers and tagalongs might be good ways to emphasize that not all urban cyclists are skinny hipsters or lycra-clad speed demons.
I do recall seeing a stencil from the Pacific NW with a briefcase and tie flying behind, but can’t find it now…I really liked that one.
(Unlike Steevo, who *obviously* does not know his allotted place, I do realize that, as a presumably straight white male, I automatically lack credibility in any discussion of any form of economics, history, gender, race, or culture…that’s why I try to only talk about recumbents, distance cycling, and fart jokes. ‘Cause hey, dismissing people based on their skin color or gender rather than their words and actions is how the cool kids do things, right?)
The whole point of these symbols isn’t to be inclusive, it’s to be a standard icon that always makes its meaning unambiguous:
Do you really want drivers spending time on interpretation?
Those last seem clear enough. Yoda conducting an orchestra, with Amish guy on keyboards.
If Steevo is a cool guy, his infrequent postings don’t convey it. I recall him complaining as a vegetarian about me talking about veganism, bashing neighborhoods he doesn’t live in while trying to say that gun violence (in say Homewood) is a danger to cyclists, and is now saying “Hey, we don’t care if your gender isn’t included in anything, fuck you.” So yeah, if his actions are different than his words, I’d be surprised as anybody else. If Steevo has experience with gender studies, by all means, please weigh in.
“Do you really want drivers spending time on interpretation?”
Slowing down and actually looking at the road would be a positive change for a lot of drivers
Golly gee whizzz, I didn’t mean for it to turn out like this.
@Pierce: Don’t use someone’s skin color, gender, or sexual preferences as an excuse to dismiss their words. It’s that simple.
People, please take a step back for a sec and just try your best to appreciate this for what it is. Certainly, nothing is beyond critique, but it seems to me, these are just some well-intentioned people trying to draw attention to biking in Pittsburgh on streets that had no markings previously with a bit bit of humor by pointing out that, if anything, the “official” bike lane markings look a bit more like males within the dominant binary gender paradigm.
If the media asked me what I think of these markings I would say something along the lines of, “I understand why people are taking it on themselves to put these stencils down. The City isn’t keeping up with demand for safe, multimodal streets.” I would not say, “I’d be fine with these as long as they didn’t tilt toward any type of gender identity.”
Humor may be part of it, but I think part is calling attention to the irony that a progressive city development like sharrows often doesn’t adopt similarly progressive gender portrayals.
In other words, using male as the default gender is on the same end of the progressive-to-conservative scale as thinking roads are only for cars. Using female as the default gender (perhaps using “her” not “him” for someone of unknown gender, or making generic stick figures look female) is at the same end as painting sharrows or providing bike share, on that scale. When the city paints traditional sharrows, it’s mixing old and new thinking.
@WillB, obviously a male bike — check the pedal hanging down below the bottom bracket.
This is separate from the lighter discussion on gendered sharrows:
If your skin color, gender, or sexual preferences put you in a position to experience the least amount of problems in society and the greatest rewards, don’t be so quick to dismiss the concerns of those who aren’t in that position.
Doubly so when you’re not likely to have any experience with that other position. If he has some gender studies background, by all means, share it.
When somebody questions gender binaries in society and his response is “imagine having real problems,” those are words that illustrate the ignorance his position as a straight, white male has allowed him. I’m not dismissing his words based on those criteria, I’m seeing how those criteria are directly influencing what he’s saying.
But yeah man, maybe he’s right. Imagine having real problems. Like damn it. I just want to read this message board without having to worry about people complaining about gender binaries. I mean gender binaries probably don’t even have any effect on society. Maybe I should focus my critiques on even BIGGER issues, that effect even MORE people. Maybe animal use and global warming and how that’s causing extreme weather events across the globe! Oh wait, he’s complained about me talking about veganism too though…
From Will’s stencil, having people-less stencils is another option :)
@Pierce, check your PMs…no need to continue this online.
@WillB, thanks for injecting a note of reality. :-)
(Pesky reality, stomping all over my perfectly good theory.)
Would it better if the city included the image of a person in their sharrows? It’s another reminder for drivers that there are people on those bikes, a bit like Bike Pgh’s billboard campaign.
I finally got a chance to see these yesterday and I have mixed feelings. On one side, I applaud the effort. It is great when people take matters into their own hands and get things done.
OTOH, the position of these markings seems to be off (compared to the official sharrows) and there is no continuity, they abruptly stop at the Penn Ave intersection.
I am worried that the unscientific placement of these markers may lead to confusion among both cyclists and drivers. Confusion is not safe.
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