Comment 42446

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted June 24, 2010 at 23:43:30

After almost breaking a truck's window with my face the other day, and being told it was my fault "because there was no bike lane there" (apparantly riding on King St in front of Jackson Square is somehow prohibited, even though the cops are currently running a ticket blitz on the sidewalks). A few death threats and a little screaming, and I know exactly why people don't want their kids on the streets. I cycle virtually every day, and my kid has a chariot (beautiful machines), I've only ever walked him in it because I'm all to familiar with the danger of our roads.

If I took a shotgun downtown and started waving it around, firing it off and threatening people I would be locked up. Yet I can take my car down there, and run at high speed careening around cyclists, screaming "get the $&%=! off the road or I'll run you down" and nothing comes of it. In nearly a decade of serious cycling as my primary mode of transportation I've regularly had to fend off screaming motorists and death threats (sometimes a few times a week, or even a day), and I have never once seen anybody stopped by the police for it. It's the wild west, it claims very real fatalities (and many more injuries, most of which are never reported because the driver flees the scene, and it's happening all around us every day.

What terrifies me the most is that many of these dangerous driving practices (like rolling through blind corners) can kill far more than cyclists. Though I always seem to get yelled at for being on a bike, had I been pushing a stroller, my son would be dead. And if I'd been driving my car, their car would be T-boned right in the driver's side door. For gawd's sake people, if you must drive (and some of us occasionally must), be careful.

I would accept that this is just the work of a few bad apples if it weren't how strongly I feel the same emotions when driving - it's one of the main reasons I gave up driving for cycling in the first place. Biking burns energy, which calms you down a lot faster than sitting in a car festering. And should things get rough, and one is forced to chase an offending motorist, it works even faster. For this and a thousand other reasons, cycling just makes more sense as a mass means of transportation than cars.

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