That is a fair and well-written comment. Why didn't you just reply to last week's column?
Anon is completely right. And there's a name for this behavior: illegal courtesy.
I run into with with cars that want to "be nice" and "stop for me" when I'm turning left on my bicycle and they (through traffic) has the right-of-way. NO. It is so incredibly dangerous to do that (as I learned early in my time getting around the city on a bicycle). Unless you can guarantee 100% that no car is going to try to go around you because you stopped for no apparent reason, that there are no cyclists riding on the shoulder which I can't see because you're all driving huge SUVs and pickups, etc., etc..., do not illegally stop to "be nice" and "let someone go". If I accept your illegal courtesy, and then smash into another cyclist that was legally riding on the shoulder and had the right-of-way, that's my fault.
Just be predictable. Don't try to be "nice".
If a pedestrian is already ~in~ the roadway, then yes, the driver is required by law to stop. No debate there at all.
The problem under discussion is drivers who insistently try to wave pedestrians across who are ~not~ in the roadway, especially if they aren't giving any obvious sign they're in a hurry to cross. @2 gets the crux of the problem for bikers and walkers both. Drivers need to be aware that when someone hesitates to cross a traffic lane in front of them, most likely it's because they see a hazard the driver doesn't. It's not personal.
Unless I live or take a Lime bike right off of the Burke-Gilman trail there's no way in hell I would bike around Seattle. I'm convinced most people who routinely drive and never walk or bike hate pedestrians and bicyclists. Our culture is conditioned to hate anyone who is in a position of weakness. Think Grand Theft Auto. As someone who only walks and takes mass transit if/when I approach an intersection on foot and a car looks like they will wait for me to cross I just turn and walk a different direction avoiding the intersection all together.
This is an issue with driver to driver in Seattle, not just driver to bicycle/pedestrian. Years ago, the one time I took up a driver on their politeness letting me in at a place where the traffic shouldn't have come to a stop, I didn't see the small car that then went around them in the two lane road, and I crashed into it. Now I'm extra cautious with the overly polite Seattle drivers who try and yield when it's not their turn. It can be maddening, as they just don't understand that laws trump their feelings.
The entire first paragraph is made up details that weren't in the original story. Regardless who's right or wrong this author is a weirdo for imagining a scenario in order to write a righteously indignant response
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