Every summer in Chicago, I white-knuckle it.
No, I don’t mean with alcohol, alcohol’s one of those things whose inclusion or exclusion in my life isn’t all that important.
I’m talking about driving. With cyclists.
I just got back from a steering wheel-clenching ride down Broadway, utterly ineptly named, as it is far too narrow for cars, bicycles, and parked cars. Though I’ve had plenty of cyclists who assume I am more concerned for their lives than they, today that wasn’t even the issue.
These people were riding responsibly, not weaving, barely even running red lights (you cyclists know you qualify as vehicles, right? Thus the sting where the police were giving out tickets).
But still, even with cyclists who check for cars, who don’t laissez-faire their way in front of your car and back around the other way, who don’t glare at you for proceeding though your green light as they streak through their red, it’s a dangerous situation.
Bicycles have been around since the days of the penny-farthing (man, I’ve always wanted to work that into a blog post), and we’ll only see more and more of them in the city. We’ve got to come up with a way for cyclists and motorists to coexist in Chicago peacefully--a Midwest Peaceable Pedal Treaty, if you will.
Cyclists, please ride as though you give a little, tiny, bit of a care whether you survive the next block, and I will do my best not to hit you.
Which I’d do anyway, so I’m not really giving up much.
As for the crowded streets of Chicago, there’s that new protected bike lane that opened on Kinzie earlier this summer, which keeps traffic and cyclists separate.
Now that’s segregation I can believe in. And maybe I can relax my grip on the steering wheel.