Learning to share is an early life lesson, yet many drivers seem not to have learned to share the road with bicyclists.
“I live and work and ride my bicycle in a small town. I obey all traffic laws and hand signal and so forth. Most people drive pretty stupid to pass me even though I hug the white line, although there are a blessed few drivers who follow the law and give me and other traffic proper space when passing,” they said.
“But this morning I was at the most stressful point in the short bike ride to work (when I have to pull into the center of the lane to make the left turn into the road that leads to my job),” they continued. “I looked behind me before my signal and the car right behind me revved up and pulled partly into the left lane to pass me just like, 20 yards before the turn. There were like 5 oncoming vehicles that they were racing to beat before the left turn and they came close to causing an accident.”
They then explained that the car turned into the work parking lot and it was their coworker. The OP said they crossed paths with the coworker later and told them their actions were unsafe and that they hoped they wouldn’t do it again.
“…they shouldn’t be driving a car,” ended one Redditor’s thoughts on the matter.
“Cars turn people into sociopaths,” commented another.
While this sentiment may be extreme, aggressive driving like this does deter many who may otherwise be willing from opting to ride a bike instead of driving a car.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation is the largest contributor to planet-warming pollution in the United States, accounting for 29%. Globally, passenger cars produce around 3.5 billion tons of carbon pollution annually, with a typical vehicle creating over 10,000 pounds of carbon pollution in a year.
Biking is a cheap, eco-friendly alternative to driving, but in order to facilitate the transition, we need better biking infrastructure so riders feel safe.
Research has shown that simply painting bike lanes on the street isn’t enough — proved by our OP’s experience — and that cities with protected and separated lanes for bicyclists had 44% fewer deaths than those without.
The Netherlands instituted traffic calming measures to slow traffic and make streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists and has three times fewer car fatalities per capita than the U.S.
“I can imagine people who don’t bike themselves don’t know how mean and dangerous it is when they do what your coworker did,” one more empathetic user pointed out to the OP.
Whether this is true or not, the more bikes instead of cars, the better, so let’s all do our best to share the road.
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