"I must have run more than a dozen red lights today. I also biked the wrong way down two one-block stretches. I went on the sidewalk twice, but I would not have done so had there been a pedestrian nearby. I scared no pedestrians. I posed no more to risk to myself or anybody than had I been a pedestrian doing the same thing. And I did stop for a school bus with flashing red lights.
What's more, like it or not, I'm not going to stop running red lights. Nor am I going to stop walking against don't walk sign. Condemn me if you want. But them's the facts.
So now, that I've got that out the way, what are we going to do about it? Encourage a civil society rather than a mindless rule-based society. The problem isn't bikes running red lights. The problem is bikes going too fast in front of pedestrians crossing with the light (which also happens when bikes turn with the light, by the way).
What does "yield to pedestrians" mean? Can I cross the same crosswalk that a pedestrian is in? Of course. But should I zoom right in front of a pedestrian even if there's no contact. No. That makes you an asshole.
In too many bikers' minds, the comfort zone of pedestrians gets no consideration. That might be safe, but it's not right.
Bicyclists need to realize that pedestrians want and deserve a little more distance than is absolutely necessary for physical safety. It might be safe to zoom one foot in front of a walking person. But it's rude. Startling pedestrians is wrong. And as a bicyclist, I make a point to never startle to pedestrian that is in the right.
We should encourage bicyclists to be respectful. Don't cross right in front of pedestrians no matter what. Right is right. Running red lights has nothing to do with it.
And I just have to mention that pedestrians who run red lights pose serious danger to bicyclists and themselves. But I don't want to start a non-jaywalking campaign. I just want pedestrians to not walk in front of me when I have the green light."
I'm against running red lights myself - based on several experiences with out of control cyclists riding the wrong way and running red lights. Gregory, on the other hand, goes through any red light as long as it seems safe. I do think Astoria Bike has a great point here though, cyclists should be respectful and do what's safest, whether that follows the 'law' or not.