As cities have begun to see the financial and health benefits of cycling infrastructure, bike lanes have been popping up in more and more places throughout the world. Unfortunately, there are still some motorists who would scoff at that idea. They are, after all, in a car, so everyone else better get out of the way, cyclists be damned!
That's where Los Supercivicos come in, bravely protecting bike zones in Mexico City from self-entitled motorists who would use it as their personal luxury lane.
In this segment from the show Houston Programa, the civically-minded TV presenters quite epically confront offending drivers with a healthy dose of shame. It's in Spanish, but you'll get the idea. (Native speakers might find it a tad NSFW.)
A commenter over at Urban Velo was kind enough to provide a translation of the dialogue:
Cap guy: Bread!, Bread! Breaaaaad! Few are the spaces that have been given to us cyclists, for us to transit freely without any type of accident; and on top of that, well people doesn’t respect them. What this city needs for it to stop being chaotic is spaces for bicycles. So respect, because if you don´t, the Supercivicos are going to kick your ass!
Cap guy to red toyota: No no no no no, don´t invade the designated bike lane. Back up, because you are commiting an illicit. Be careful, easy now, we’re going to help you. Ok now, give it to ur car for have doing that, but don´t do it again, we´re watching….
Supercivicos to black toyota: You´re gonna have to back it up now, sorry, you’re in vehicle prohibited lane (sic). I´m sorry this lane is destined for bicycles and the busee. Thanks for your civility, thanks a lot!
Supercivicos to honda and others: …You´re going to have to back it up…And a taxi coming back there…, you’ve got to leave. Be it Honda, Ford or Volkswagen, we are not going to move because this lane belongs to us. It´s a bike and bus lane… No No, careful ma’am, you’re not passing, we’re sorry. Think before invading it. Do you know how many of these are for us to transit?
Honda Lady: Let me through, please.
Guys: No, i´m sorry, you have to back up. What´s the deal, respect stuff.
Honda Lady: Oh easy asshole! (rolls up window)
Cap guy: Ahw i love you. I love you mamma, all mad like that. Don´t get mad…Be careful, the witch lady got mad.
Afro guy: Don´t get mad…!
Cap guy: If you’re a relative… of the lady with licence plates 513-YMX, tell her not to so violent. Careful…
Lady in pink: they must learn to respect, to respect, because sometimes not even the law respects us, right?
Absent the imposing, multi-ton weight-to-throw of a motor vehicle or the strict oversight of law enforcement officers, clever campaigns of public shaming on the part of cyclists might just be the most effective way of keeping bike commuters safe from scofflaw motorists.
And after all, those wanting to take advantage of the openness of bike lanes need only one thing to do so legally -- a bike.