Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Boston Idiots on Bicycles

I love this service called Jott. Basically, I have it linked to my cell phone and email, so I can call it, "jott" myself (or others), and it turns my speech into text, archives the original voice message, and introduces a sharable element by making the URL to the audio public, should I so choose.

Often, I'm jotting notes to myself ("Don't forget Mother's Day") or wacky things that I think might make for interesting entries here ("Asparagus pee" or "What is the appropriateness of someone farting out loud while at the urinal when you're the only two people in the bathroom?") While I haven't followed up either of those related jotts with a posting here, I did jott something during my drive to dinner last night that I must post.

The weather was great yesterday, which seemed to cause more bikers to hit the roads. By bikers, I mean Trek and Schwinn, not Harley-Davidson and Suzuki.

Last I checked, bikers are responsible for abiding by the rules of the road, just as car drivers are.

Yesterday, in the span of a minute, two idiots blared through red lights in and around Kenmore. On both occasions, I was the first car stopped, so I had clear views. And on neither occasion was the light changing from yellow to red.

One guy bolted through a red light, literally through a stream of pedestrians. Two people had to jump back to avoid being hit.

At the very next light, another biker sped through a red light almost plowing into a poor little old lady crossing the street in her violet pants, sun hat, and cane. At that light, waiting right next to me, was a Boston police officer on a motorcycle. He did nothing. Yet, if I proceeded through that same light right in front of him...I'm guessing I would have been cited.

When on a bicycle, it's one thing to come to a dead stop at a red light, and then cautiously proceed through. While still illegal, it seems safer.

It's another to ride through at full speed.

Lights are there for reasons, guys. And while the cars usually win during bike vs. car collisions, it's the people that get hurt during bike vs. pedestrian.


Kathy said...

Sadly, this also happens along Mass. Ave. in Cambridge by MIT. I almost got creamed at a Walk light by a biker when I was pregnant! Someday, I'm gonna lose it and grab one of them.

Ms Bart said...

As a regular pedestrian, I thank you for this post. I nearly got clipped last week by a cyclist going the wrong way down a one way street. (Note to self, perhaps violet pants are the answer. Or at least a cane that I can use as a weapon.)

Heather said...

I may not be correct, however I believe that if you are on wheels, two or four, or any combination. You must stop at all red lights just like the cars.

I am a bicyclist and this disgusts me, when people blatantly ignore the rules.

Lyss said...

I'm totally with you. It pisses me off to hear cyclists yapping about being treated fairly and drivers not sharing the road when the very same cyclists don't want to play by the rules of the road.

Anonymous said...

When this happened to me, 20 years ago in Kendall Square, crossing on a walk light (and how often do I do *that*?!), the bicyclist running the red who nearly took me out YELLED at me for being in his way!

Gary McGath said...

They're just as bad in Harvard Square.

There are times when bicyclists have to run red lights. There's one near my home where a green light is triggered by a car, but a bicycle isn't massive enough. I have to run the light, but I make sure first that it's safe to do it.

Joe said...

Strange that such a discussion should take place without considering the perspective of the cyclist. I'm a cyclist and have done so in many cities across the world. Boston motorists are aggressive and lack common courtesy. A taxi driver in Cairo, Egypt would be put to shame with what I've seen. Now, some common sense. A public road is a common good and all behaviour should espouse that which is held in common. Motorists - slow down when you see a cyclist and provide a safe distance when you pass by. Cyclist - lets stop at red traffic lights and good health to your ongoing routine.

Anonymous said...

When walking in urban areas with "problem cyclists", I carry a wooden dowel 3/4" in diameter sawed almost halfway thru. When circumstances dictate, it gets jammed into spokes.