Friday, July 29, 2011

was it good for you? no. really. was it good for you?

In the morning this road is a little residential road which could stand re-paving.  In the evening it's a way too narrow road that could stand some re-paving.  In the evening there are cars parked on both sides of the road and that shrinks it down to about 1.5 car lanes, aka not really enough for cars traveling in two different directions.

This little road is a bit of a thoroughfare for bicycles.  It steers some to a bike bridge and others to bicycle boulevard.  It steers a third group towards yet another bike bridge that takes riders to downtown past a library.  The 1.5 car lanes fit a lot of bicycles because we are so skinny.  I note that the reason the cars have a hard time fitting down this road is not because the road is too narrow, it's because the cars (parked and moving) are too fat. 

It's after work and Contraption Captain and I are bicycling towards home, talking and leaning towards each other as we recount our days.  We are riding side by side and watching for car doors.  A car comes up behind us and I can tell from the way it's frothing at the mouth that it is frantic to get past these two horrible side by side obstacles.  I mentally shrug and move behind Contraption Captain.

The car passes us on the left but of course the road is so narrow, has been made so skinny with parked cars that the car is now in oncoming traffic.  And there is oncoming traffic.  Car #2 turns the corner at this moment and leans all over their horn in absolute outrage at seeing oncoming traffic in their lane, admittedly an unpleasant experience.  Car #1 gets in front of us but can't actually go any faster because we were traveling at about 15mph and that's about what this road can take. 

Car #1 gets to a stop sign but is so ruffled by having had to slow down for a bicyclist that they don't really stop which is a shame as there is a pedestrian crossing the street in the crosswalk.  The pedestrian (who appears to be a grouchy old man type of pedestrian) pauses in front of the car to scream at them and chastise them for not stopping and for their generally bad behavior.

Contraption Captain and I smother laughter. 

Car #1 finally makes it past the pedestrian and takes off with his exhaust pipe between his legs.  Or something.

This brings me to a picture I saw yesterday.  It's a picture of a supremely grief-striken girl holding a sign encouraging people to "Walk for Life" to support breast cancer research.  The sign indicates thet her mother has died of the disease.  It's a tragic and moving picture.  I looked at it for a long time, hoping that I would not die when my children were small and still needing me.  People wrote in talking about the importance of a cure so that no one else's mother dies.  All true, ok? 


I just want to say this: 

Without any research. 
Without any fund-raising. 
Without any act from Congress. is in our power to save lives now. 

Is it 200 feet to the end of the road?  Do you really need to pass that bicyclist?  Why not wait, that would be safer.  Is it a stop sign?  Think about stopping.  Do you not want to stop because those damn bicyclists don't stop?  Hey, didn't your mother tell you that just because everyone jumps off a cliff doesn't mean you should jump to?  Do right.  Turn away from wrong.

Nearly all of us drive cars at least some of the time and most of us drive all of the time.  Everyone who drives a car has the power to save a life.  Now.  Today.  Without research.  Yield and allow another driver onto the highway.  Let someone go in front of you who is signaling that they need to turn off.  Wait for that little kid on her bike who is slow to get underway when the light turns green.  Be slow and be patient and drive gently and you will be the person who saves someone's mother, someone's child, someone's friend, someone's husband.

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