A few years ago as a I pedaled to work on my daily sojourn to work I would make a mental note of some of the more egregious behavior of my fellow cyclists and motorists on the road. I would award them the “Bad Bicyclist of the Day Award” or the “Dangerous Driver Du Jour Award”. If I’d had a blog back then I’d probably have posted the awards for all to see. These days I don’t see so much bad behavior either because people are becoming better cyclists & drivers (unlikely) or I’m just inured to such atrocities. Today I witnessed something that must be shared that must have caught my attention because it did not involve a bike nor car, but it happened on the road.
Let me preface this by stating that I have a fairly strict ethic of observing all the rules of the road when riding my bike. This includes stopping for red lights and remaining stopped until they turn green. I amazed by the number of cyclists who’ve told me proudly, even boastfully, that they never stop for red lights. This to me just defies all logic. I’m sure these same people would never purposefully run a red light while driving a car. Yet should a car with right of way come along the red-light running car has the option of braking hard, speeding up to get out of the way, and if worse comes to worse the frame of the car may protect you in the impact. A bicyclist braking hard will fall in front of a moving car (I’ve seen this happen), cannot outrace a car and does not have much protection from impact. Additionally, the oncoming drivers probably won’t even see you until it’s too late, so they will not be attempting to avert an accident. So you can see why I cannot understand why so many cyclists willingly risk their lives like this.
Anyhow, I was slowing down for a red light in Cambridge this morning, and alongside me came a man on a scooter (not a Vespa, but similar). He did not stop, nor even slow down but speed right under the red light and made a left turn. Seconds later, while I was pondering the gall of this, along came a jogger running down the street. Now you may have seen runners who run on the side of the road when the sidewalk is crowded or obstructed, but this man was running down the center of the street along the double line. He also, literally, ran through the red light. That cars with right of way were turning in the intersection didn’t seem to perturb him, he just ran right alongside them and made the drivers change their course.
When it comes to the roads in the Boston area, I can never say I’ve seen it all.