24 August 2011

Don't Blame The Bikers

Some obstacles I encountered in the bike lanes on an outing this evening:
  • a double-parked car
  • a taxi taking on a passenger
  • numerous jay-walkers going various directions, variously multi-tasking
  • a jogger, going the wrong way
  • several bikers, ditto
  • another double-parked car, this one with a bike rack on the back
  • a Prius making a left turn on red (!)
  • a young fellow on a skateboard, also going the wrong way
  • another taxi, another passenger
  • a man sitting on a milk crate
  • half of a mini-van trying to get out of a tight parking spot
  • a big puddle and some even bigger potholes
  • another double-parked car
  • taxi number three
Yes, I was once run down by a cyclist going the wrong way on a one-way street. Far more frequently, while cycling or walking, I've narrowly avoided being hit by cars. I've had run-ins with pedestrians not paying attention, with pushers of strollers and Halal carts, with rollerbladers and skateboarders, and other near misses beyond memory.

This is a busy, crowded city; everyone (except maybe the occasional tourist or toddler) is trying to get there (wherever "there" is) as fast as possible.

Unfortunately, there's a culture of blaming the biker. All I'm asking: remember the chaos that is this city's glory and its grit, and negotiate it lightly, recognizing the varying elements that contribute.