October 20, 2011
I have friends who walked across the United States at 61 and 63. They came up against the brick-bats of a world made for cars 28 years ago. Their journey revealed the total disregard for humans over the automobile. It was evidenced in driveways, street crossings, short cuts, freeway overpasses without pedestrian or bike lanes, attempting to cross bridges with signs that warned NO PEDESTRIANS ON BRIDGE. Especially dangerous were freeways, four or five lane highways with no place for a walker or bicycle to cross without walking miles out of their way, and often no meridian center to stand on to make the second half of a crossing. The highway engineers were basically saying, you cannot cross this river or this highway, or this freeway if you are on foot. And, now, they wall freeways in with huge costly edifices to protect residents from noise.
This week I learned about the guy who got a $42 fine after killing a bicycler. Then another about a driver (who refused toxicology and breathalyzer tests) who plowed into five bicyclers. Five! Outrageous. The number of bicycle deaths is unacceptable. I got a message from Pot Calling the Kettle Black from Delaware who has a blog about bicycling in his state. It seems to me its time to go National with this problem. There must be a bike organization in every state. In any case, check out his blog at:
And BikePortland.org as well. If you are unfamiliar, as I was with the bicycling community, you will learn a lot. My whole perception of bicyclers has been quickened by this accident and has changed me forever. It shouldn’t take an accident. Previously, I thought of bicyclers as hobbyists, racers, trekkers, exercisers, but not as pursuing an alternative method of everyday transportation and long distance vacation travel, even though my youngest daughter is a bicycle commuter. It could be your son, daughter, parent or grand child who meets an offending vehicle on a bike. PLEASE DRIVE SAFELY AND MAKE IT A POINT TO SEE BICYCLES AND PEDESTRIANS.
As I said once before, the words are inadequate.
Maybe we should tax vehicles by the mile and more people would stay off the road or use alternative methods of travel for short distances, and promote public transportation.
Geez! All I do is rant anymore. Must be time for me to get back on the road.