Comment 41765

By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 09, 2010 at 12:58:05

Bike lanes really help in tough spots and it is frustrating to see them deployed so slowly when lives are endangered, especially when you know there is room.

The news was spooky to see yesterday because I was run down at about exactly the same time. An SUV driver honks, screams, then accelerates into me. This person gunned it and tried to brush me off the road, hitting me as he sped past, a loud bang as my elbow digs into his side panel. They didn't stop, just sped off. Two years of cycling and this was only the second time somebody deliberately used their vehicle as a weapon and tried to cause an accident. Since I didn't get any digits of the new york license place I saw no point in phoning the police; this was a hit and run but I wasn't hurt so I let it go. I have the flu and I left work early because I just wanted to get home and pass out, I was not interested in any problems. But I got home, opened a web browser, and saw that the young man had been killed at exactly the same time this road rage was happening.

Please note that the left lane was empty when this happened. This person had the entire road available to pass me. It was naked aggression.

There is a serious disconnect here. There is a dangerous lack of knowledge regarding who lawful users of the road are, and the rights and responsibilities. Even if you do your best and do everything lawfully and right, to some psychologically unstable people, you are an offense and cause of anger just for existing because you are infringing on 'their space'. Try to ride in the right lane on Upper James and see how long you survi

So cyclists are supposed to stay off the sidewalks but roads are perceived as dangerous because they are treated as urban freeways with insufficient knowledge of rights and responsibilities.

As for the person that hit me, what is amazing is this individual will most likely go home to their family, sit down and eat a meal, pretending to be a normal civilized person, oblivious to the fact that they almost angrily ground into paste a lawful and peaceful user of the road. Not a hippy with a political agenda, or activist riding to purposely inconvenience, just lil ol me, a dude with the flu trying to get home from work early. Yes. Perfectly nice decent people. Except when they get behind the wheel, they'd run down their own kids if they were crossing the street in front of them.

Newspapers and media would do a lot better for their social responsibility if they would run more articles and editorials to educate the public instead of fomenting more rage. How about teaching people what the rules are? The Star did something of the sort with its Mean Streets series a while back, but it was still done in a format to provoke arguments instead of truly educate the public what the laws and issues are. I don't understand why a more concentrated public service announcement type campaign is not being done to educate the public.

The young man should not have been riding on the sidewalk but with these attitudes and road configurations, there it is, countless cyclists on the sidewalk and little that can practically be done to enforce it. Roads are just user beware, Darwin meets the wild west. Disgusting. But I see it as a growing pain into the 21st century - it will pass but cost lives due to negligence at a personal level between citizens, and among those in a position to do something meaningful to help (media, city council, etc) but don't. And those of you who run somebody down in anger when the rest of the road is wide open .. shame on you you should be in a psychiatric hospital for assessment and counseling before you hurt somebody! Other people live in cities they are not your own personal freeways. There are billions of dollars of freeways that are all yours. City streets are exactly that.

Comment edited by mikeonthemountain on 2010-06-09 12:00:27

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