Monday, March 14, 2011

Just Because You Can Take It Doesn't Mean You Should Dish It Out

While reading I came across this essay about the mean streets and road rage involving drivers, cyclists and walkers. This got me to thinking about a couple of things.

First, I am grateful for where I live. Partially because of the greenways and partially because the drivers seem better than those described in the essay, I don't experience the hostile conditions many seem to deal with.

The second thought is about riding on mixed use trails. How many cyclists become the equivalent of the drivers they hate once they are the fastest vehicle? Are they terrorizing the runners, joggers, dog walkers, baby stroller pushers and other slow users of the paths? Are the bikes passing at a distance they feel is safe without regard to how the person on foot feels about that margin of safety? Do they get upset that joggers are running in the bike lane on the slightly softer asphalt rather than the hard concrete sidewalk just a few feet away? Are riders more concerned with turning the pedals to keep a good average time or a target heart rate to slow down enough when passing to make everyone enjoy their day?

Well, it is pretty easy to draw parallels between the way drivers sometimes interact with cyclists on the road and the way cyclists sometimes interact with pedestrians on a path. My thought for the day is just because a driver has treated you badly, you should not do the same to a pedestrian. In fact, I would state it even stronger. Because a driver treats you badly, you should know better than to do the same to slower travelers.

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