Bicycles are No Match for SUVs
I'm pretty sure we had snow on the ground two weeks ago, or at least torrential downpours. Our ability to deal with inclement and constantly changing weather is probably why Chicagoans are such hearty and resilient stock. Are you listening @amazon? There's nothing we can't accomplish in this town. Some of us even sail in all of these conditions @3rdcoastcruisin.
Because it will be a sweltering and humid day, I decided to take my two chihuahuas out on a nice long walk early in the a.m. That way, they'll veg all day as I go on about everything I have to do. As I crossed a small, almost empty street in downtown Chicago, I witnessed another bicycle/black SUV incident. I was crossing under the suggestion of the 'walk' street line, which is generally optional, for commuters of any kind, in this town.
Yet again, I see a black SUV turning left. A bicyclist comes whizzing by and almost gets creamed by the SUV. The bicyclist screams at the SUV - I turn around and yell at the bicyclist 'he had the right of way!' Admittedly the signage for bicyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles is not intuitive. However, it's getting better as people understand that the street sign will not flash simultaneously for bikes as the sign for cars. There will be a handful of casualties, no doubt, as it continues to get ironed out.
Two days ago, I feared getting shot. Today, I could have lived with the horror of seeing a young man hit, thrown from his bicycle, and attempt to calm the hysteria of the driver who unknowingly gave it. But, again, I didn't bring my phone. I need a break from my digital leash sometimes. I didn't want to hear it pinging while walking my dogs on a pleasant Sunday morning.
What's different between these two stories? The first bicyclist was riding a really old bike; he had no helmet. His total investment was probably $50 bucks. The second bicyclist was sculpted; he wore a spandex body suit with shorts to the knee. He had a helmet. His investment was probably $10k. They were both whizzing around with no attention to traffic or their surroundings. The first black SUV was driven by an angry man, mad at the world for some reason. The second black SUV was caused by, I think a woman (can't verify as I was visually seeing the bicyclist thrown from his bike while I was screaming) who was unaware.
So how do we govern for lack of awareness, dismissal of rules, apathy, anger, and manipulation? Right now, I think the answer is 'we don't.' There's no way we could create any stringent rules that could cover every situation. So we each have to do our best now and hope for the best from there.
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Alicia Dale is a strategic thinking Creative that understands the power of words to influence, change and build new infrastructures. This Blog is to capture ideas that have no where else to go at this very moment. Who knows how they will be developed? Or where they will go? For now they are sparkles of light easily stored where I can search and find them when they call my name again.