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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Give Me Space! I'm a Road User TOO!

In one of my recent sojourns around town recently, I was nearly struck from behind approaching a traffic light. The signal was red, and I had taken the lane to prevent a right hook of myself and my wife. A Car behind us passed at nearly 40 mph and we were less than 50 feet from the red traffic light, did a close pass on my, the side of her car was about 4 inches from my handlebar mirror,cut a tire squalling right turn into the intersection, never even slowing down for the red light, nearly striking my wife in the process. This was one of my neighbors!

Is it just me, or are drivers getting more aggressive than usual? The close passes are getting more frequent. I'm thinking of putting video segments up from my rides, as a visual of what I'm talking about. I don't think I'm asking too much, for the space I need, to ride safely, am I? I might delay you 10 seconds if there isn't room to pass safely, and I'll move out of your was as soon as conditions allow me to do so safely.

The biggest need is for a bit of courtesy. I am not a loser who "Lost his license to a DUI", nor am I someone who "can't afford a car". I pay road tax and insurance on my car, and federal and state law protect my right to have access to the road while cycling. I follow the law as regards traffic safety when either driving or cycling. If I drive the speed limit, I am practically run over by drivers running 10-20 mph OVER the speed limit. When cycling, I can be riding AT the posted speed limit, near Columbian Park, as one example, where the posted speed limit is 25 mph, and cars seem to HAVE to pass me, often driving 40+ mph through the area. This is an area where children are present and also a school zone during the school year.

I also do long distance touring, and have ridden other states and cities. Lafayette, Indiana would have to get an F- as far as road courtesy. I've gotten more courtesy in Los Angeles, in either my car or on the bike! OK, rant over, but when you are driving around my town, in the near future, if you do a close pass on a cyclist, or endanger other drivers or cyclists.....well, don't be surprised if you make a guest appearance on the internet, courtesy of video!


Dan said...

I'm with you. The right turn cut off is the most dangerous maneuver I've seen.

I'd love to catch a bad driver on video! I wish I could keep the camera running all the time.

Unknown said...

I'm looking into a cheap long run camera system, I'll keep you in the loop! We can both post vids that way!

The Alley Cat said...

That's some neighbor you have. Yikes.

I remember one day when I was about to go into an intersection, I had the green light, and I hesitated because I couldn't get my foot into my toe-clips. I heard this huge rushing sound. I didn't move, but looked up. An eighteen wheeler blasted through the red light as it made a left turn through the intersection. Behind him was a car following too close to realize the light was red. Made me think twice about riding in that neck of the woods.

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