The idea of the balloon tires was offered as an absurdity to poke fun at some of the absurd demands of the bicyclists that I have read. There are obstacles like rail in streets all over the world and most not nearly as safe as the Seattle tracks. The rails are static, they don't move about like autos and if one can't deal with a static obstacle how would they handle the other?
If rubber is installed in the flangeway that still leaves the slippery top of the rail, which has caused numerous accidents especially when wet. While there at it, why not tile the beaches around Seattle, being there is always the threat someone could kick sand in your eyes?
The triple groove threat of SF cable car tracks.
I grew up at a time when adults were expected to be at least somewhat responsible for themselves, where every misfortune in life was not the fault of others. Even as a kid I knew I was responsible for my own safety and would not expect everything be designed so that even when careless there would be no harm. What to me is most troubling, how can an adult go public with the fact that they are so infantile that street rails present a conundrum that they can't deal with on their own? Does anyone feel shame or embarrassment at their own helplessness anymore?
I have had experience with cycle accidents starting at 4 years old. While riding my tricycle an incident left me with no front upper or lower teeth from an impact with the handle bars. A short time later my neighbor friend knocked out all his upper front teeth. This occurred while hunched over his Tonka dump, pushing it down the sidewalk at a run until the front wheels fell into a crevice horizontal to his trajectory. His parents did not file a lawsuit, they knew it was just one of those things and hoped the kid learned something.
Even as a child I would recoil from the embarrassment of trying to lay blame on others for a solo accident, most especially in front of my dad, for he would have said, "Sorry fella. it was your own fault ....", with a bit of advice added.
Well at least someone had the satisfaction of throwing an insult. What was most amusing and satisfying however, I expected the balloon tire quip would attract one, so thanks for verifying my foresight.