Thursday, 11 June 2009

Therein Lies the Rub

(With my apologies to Mr Shakespeare for misquoting Hamlet.)
This picture was on the editorial page of Monday's Winnipeg Free Press. I doubt Winnipeg is the only city where it applies.

As a cyclist who also drives, I am frequently irritated by my fellow bicycle riders. There are many in this fair city who seem to delight in flaunting every rule about riding in traffic.
-ride down the wrong side of the street,
-weave through traffic, and rarely signal,
-menace the pedestrians on the sidewalks,
-ride while talking on their cellular phones,
-blow through stop signs without even slowing down,
and generally give the 'good' cyclists a bad name.

As a driver who also cycles, I am frequently irritated by my fellow drivers. I often wonder how they managed to pass their driving test.
-veer wildly in their lane, or wander into other lanes, (what are they doing in there?)
-talk on the 'phone, text message, apply makeup/shave/fuss with their hair while moving,
-don't stop behind the stop line at intersections but instead stop well over the sidewalk, with their front ends in traffic, endangering cyclist, pedestrian, and motorist alike,
-change lanes without signalling and don't seem to understand hand signals,
-turn right infront of cyclists who are going straight on the same route,
-regularly run red lights,
and generally give Winnipeg a reputation as a haven for terrible drivers.

I am not without fault. There is one part of my route where I will not ride on the street.
The Jubilee underpass is narrow and does not provide any escape route if a motorist comes too close. There, I am on the sidewalk, but when I meet a pedestrian I will get off the sidewalk and onto the grass, or wait until they are past me, before moving on.

Until motorists and cyclists both learn to play by the rules, this will continue to be a problem here, as well as in other cities.

No comments: