Monday, August 4, 2008

Revisiting a basic lesson

With rising gas prices capping now where in sight and well paying jobs moving into the past, many people in my town have turned to a new form of transportation. Their bicycle. Bikes are great. They're small, easy to park, manuverable, free to operate, self cooled (who doesn't like the wind in their hair), and offer an added benefit of providing the operator exercise. Operated according to the applicable laws and with the proper protective equipment (reflectors, lights for riding in the dark, a helmet worn by the operator) bikes are a safe and efficient method of transportation. Well, relatively safe. Unfortunately there seems to be a certain segment of the population who have forgotten that basic Kindergarden lesson called sharing. So let's review sharing as it relates to the road.

1) You do not "own" the road. The road is owned by the city/township/municipality/county and the citizens who reside there. And since we all pay taxes to use the road, whether we're walking, biking, or driving, we have as much right as you to be there.
2) Speed limits are posted for a reason. While you may not care about your safety (and frankly neither do we), we do care about the safety of everyone else on the road, so drive within the speed limits and keep them safe.
2.5) Driving with intoxicated/impaired/flat out drunk is illegal for a reason. Again, while you may not care about your safety, it's usually not the drunkard who gets hurt. If you're drunk, stay off the road.
3) Yelling obsenities is inappropriate, no matter how stressed/angry/tired/much of a jerk you are.

My hubby rides his bike to work, and I've been known pre-pregnancy to ride mine to run errands or to avoid having to find parking. I've had friends that have been hit by cars while riding their bikes, and I'm a daily witness to people harassing/disrespecting/endangering bikers (and everyone else on the road) with their inability to share the road and agressive driving.

A bicyclist was hit early this morning and killed on Sprinkle road by a driver (and alcohol is suspected to be a factor). Please, let's have this be the last one.

1 comment:

Holly Bee said...

Same Road, Same Rules, Same Rights!

You are a good one Jen! Ride Careful-Jen husband!

I ride too, and 3 years ago I went to Kalamazoo County Road Commission Meetings trying to say there was a need for more non motorized paths for bikes because gas prices were on the rise and more bikes would be on the road and I was told

"Just because Suzy Homemaker wants to take a Sunday ride with the kids doesn't mean the tax payers are going to pay for this"

I was also told "You're going to have to have a big old fund raiser."

Biking is not a top priority to the Kalamazoo County Road Commission.

I was also told the shoulder on Portage road was wide enough.

It's too bad human life is less important than filling potholes for hummers.