Want to make people unsympathetic to the cause of bicyclists on the streets? Only follow the rules when it suits you.
Anyone who drives on never-to-be-widened-ever-ever-ever Manchaca Road (see page 142 here for details) knows that it has the tendency to get backed up going southbound during afternoon rush. So, it was no surprise the other day when I noticed a long line for the Stassney light. However, in this case, there was an extra backup in the right lane. (Thankfully, I was not in the right lane.) As it turned out, there was a bicycle in the right lane, and cars were waiting to get a chance to move to the left lane to get around it. That's all well and good.
However, as I sat at the Stassney light (the backup was enough that I did not make the light), I was rather surprised to see the same bicyclist riding up the sidewalk, but only until the light turned green. At this point, he jumped right back into the right lane of traffic, cutting off several vehicles that, I assume, had just gone through the trouble of trying to pass him earlier. I can only guess that at that point several of the drivers affected were not too happy about this situation, and about the bicyclist in general.
But Snowed, I hear you cry, it's legal to bike on the sidewalk! Yes it is, per Austin City Code Section 12-2-13: "Except as provided in Subsection (B) [a section that lists specific exceptions, not including any portion of Manchaca Road], a person may ride a bicycle on a sidewalk." Again, that's fine. However, the bicyclist in question ignored Section 12-2-14: "A bicyclist exiting from an alley, driveway, or building shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian on a sidewalk or sidewalk area, or to a vehicle on a roadway." The drivers I mentioned earlier were cut off by the bicyclist, in total violation of this section. I myself have almost hit a bicyclist who jumped onto Manchaca Road without even looking, about two feet in front of my car.
So, Snowed, isn't it legal for him to simply ride between the cars at a light anyway? No, it isn't, per Section 12-2-16 (B): "A bicyclist may not ride a bicycle between vehicles traveling or standing in the same direction within marked lanes of a roadway." The proper thing to do would have been for the bicyclist to wait in line at the red light with the rest of us.
Again, I have nothing about bicycles on Austin streets; I simply think more people would be inclined to treat bikes nicely if their occupants know and follow the law.