Monday, October 1, 2007

Prisoner of the Slave-Mobile, Day Two

Okay, it's not actually Day Two... more like Day Four. But I didn't come up with anything new that sucked about driving (notice I didn't say "anything at all") so I waited till today to point out the new stuff.

I got in a couple of rides over the weekend so I haven't been off the bike totally, which is good. And next week I get to get back on it for most of the time. So that will be very nice. Still, I was tired after the ride on Saturday, which was the long ride. We took the Olentangy Trail from Clintonville up to Antrim Park, where Duncan and I parked and ran around the Antrim Lake Trail for a while.

Today, though, we were back in the car. And I actually got to witness the aftermath of what may have been a bike/car accident. At the corner of Godown and Bethel, I saw some EMTs pushing a wrapped up victim on a backboard into the ambulance, and there was also a bike lying on the curb there. I don't know for sure if it was a cyclist accident but it got me upset. (See the previous post for the reason, as if you need to know why).

I am constantly amazed at how little regard drivers have for other people, to the point of being unsafe. I watched a car with no turn-signal on sit and wait for me to drive straight at a light after it turned green, then turn left right behind me. No use of signal at all.

I watched a car waiting to pull out of Dale Drive in Dublin onto Dublin-Granville Road, not even coming close to stopping behind the stop line. No, this monkey was pulled almost past the crosswalk in the left turn lane, forcing traffic turning left onto Dale to swerve around him. No idea of backing up to stay in the lane.

But my consternation this morning wasn't only for the drivers. No, I saw lots of cyclists today. That in itself was heartening, but most of them were doing it really dangerously. A couple of them were riding on the left side, many more on the sidewalk, and way too many doing the sidewalk/road hybrid.

It's frustrating as hell to advocate for safe cycling everywhere in town and then see so many people not following the rules of the road. This does two things for cycling in Columbus:

1. It perpetuates the myth that "those damn cyclists just do what they want anyway, so why improve things for them?"

2. It removes cyclists as a group of regular traffic-users. The feeling of safety in numbers that could go along with such riding and the benefits of groups of cyclists riding legally is completely lost.

These people who can't be bothered to follow the rules of the road and the guidelines of safe cycling are basically ruining our future for us before it's begun.

People, not speed.

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