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September 06, 2011


Max RZ

Sounds like you might be walking your bike much of the time if you are riding on sidewalks and always walking near pedestrians. If you still manage to get somewhere - well, good on you!

I definitely agree with your priorities in riding. In fact, taking the Darwinian survival metaphor a step further, I do think traffic is more like an ecosystem than a bureaucracy. There are niches for pedestrians to cross in the middle of the street (instead of a designated intersection) when cars and semis are idling at the intersection on either end. In so doing, a cautious pedestrian limits the possibility of attack to two directions instead of four, and can see them coming half a block away.

Likewise bicyclists find a niche somewhere between pedestrians and vehicles, with slightly different priorities and slightly different abilities. With a dash of some basic etiquette, this system can work very well.

Tell that to the disapproving puppy-lawyer eyes.


Artie - LOVE that you are riding your bike to work. More people should. If I can offer a personal and brief counterpoint to your sidewalk safety gambit:

Doors open up onto sidewalks. These doors are often heavy and/or virtually impenetrable glass. They have a tendency to open without warning. And they also have a tendency to spill people out on to the sidewalk when they do open.

If you think drivers are unaware of your presence on the road, pedestrians will astonish you with their lack of awareness of their surroundings.

Wherever you decide to ride and whichever laws you abide by, I wish you safe passage.

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