…wave it off
There’s a daily struggle on our streets across the county and around the world, a battle for respect and recognition. It’s a battle that’s waged not with words but with wheels, two and four wheels to be precise.
I am of course speaking of the battle for the bike lane, it can get ugly. I like to think I have a neutral position on this, having encountered horrible cyclists as a driver and horrible drivers as a cyclist. Oh yes, both sides of this conflict are guilty.
Cyclists: If you’re going to ride in the road, you have to follow the same rules as your co-road warriors. That means going the correct direction on one way streets and stopping at signals and signs that are telling you to stop. Do not blog through a four-way intersection going the wrong way on a one way street. You could hurt yourself…or a pedestrian who didn’t think to look for an idiotic bike that goes the wrong way on a one-way street and doesn’t stop at stop signs (true story…lesson learned: look both ways no matter which way traffic is supposed to be going. There’s no accounting for stupid.).
Cars: I know there are some oblivious cyclists out there, and they’re frustrating, but don’t get aggressive with them. I can tell you who’s going to win that battle—you and your car, but it’s not going to be a happy ending for anyone. Be patient and respectful of the bike lane. It’s there for the bikes, not to give you an extra lane to cram into so that you can arrive at your destination a whole 15 seconds sooner. Be nice and look for bikes.
Pedestrians: This is somewhat unrelated, but if you don’t want to get hit or yelled at by a cyclist, don’t stand in the bike lane while you’re waiting to cross the street. It’s not a sidewalk extension, it’s a bike lane, let the bikes have it.
Okay, now that I’ve got that off my chest, I’ll share the city of Austin’s plans for easing tensions between bikes and cars—waving. That’s it, the city’s started a campaign to promote friendly waving between cyclists and drivers (that’s five-finger waves, folks). I hope it works, I do.
Personally I’ve been using this technique for years as pedestrian, driver, and cyclist. I’m a waver, I like to think it’s a reminder that the nameless person you’re honking at or encroaching on with your car is in fact a human being. So, feel free to wail on your horn at me, all you’ll be getting is a smile and wave. Good luck, Austin.
Posted on November 8, 2014, in Humor, News, Opinion, Randomness, Thoughts and tagged Austin, bike lane, bikes, cars, driving, manners, Taylor Swift, Texas, wave, waving. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.