DEAR AUSTRALIAN (FEMALE) ROAD RAGING DRIVER…
Dear Australian driver, who pulled down your windscreen and yelled “Get out of the way!” while I was on my way to work this morning:
I’m just writing to deeply apologize… for giving you the finger. Seriously, that was very immature of me, and I don’t know why I did that…(!)
I’ve been riding this road for several weeks, and no other driver has ever showed bad behavior as you did to me, not even the slightest. Contrary, we all try to do our best in traffic, and it’s been going great so far. It’s an amazingly beautiful commute that I do almost every day. When you and I met this morning, the road was empty of cars and I kept a little to the left, so you could easily overtake me if you wanted. So I was very surprised and chocked of your manners.
After some thinking, I realised you must be one of those people who has a massive aura of negativity around you and get annoyed with things that no one else cares about. Your life must really suck because of this. You might have had a really bad morning – but you seem to be the only one during my commutes so far who takes it out on other people in traffic. You might be one of those people who drives a shiny car, but lacks everything else. Like love and happiness. Which make me feel really sorry for you.
And I figured there must be something severely wrong with you and/or your life, when you didn’t stop at the STOP sign either (STOP means “stop”). I guess that’s what really upset me and made me act like a baby. It scared me that someone like you drive around on our streets without following the simplest of rules. (Perhaps you ignored this important rule as you realised that if you’d stop, I’d end up right next to you. But seriously, I’m not dangerous, and you’re an adult who should be able to stand up for yourself, right?)
Anyhow, despite your illegal, rude and dangerous manners, I shoudn’t have responded the way I did! Giving you the finger probably won’t give back your hope for humanity, and it certainly doesn’t makes you a happier person or a more respectful driver. I guess it is true what they say, that people’s bad energy and behavour is contagious: you really brought out the worst in me. Which is actually quite amazing that you did, because nothing bring me such joy (regarding how my mornings are) as choosing to ride to work by bike. Perhaps you should try it sometime.
Anyhow. Next time you pull down your window and yell at me, I’ll promise that I’ll give you a big smile and a friendly waive, perhaps a lollie too. You if anyone really needs it.
Once again, I’m really sorry.
Filed under Activism, Law
Led by Common Council member (and avid cyclist) Leah Golby, all 15 members of the City of Albany Common Council sponsored proclaiming MAY 2013 as BIKE MONTH IN THE City of Albany.
The resolution notes the Albany Bicycle Master Plan and the inclusion of the plan in the city’s “2030 Comprehensive Plan.” There have been 12 miles of bicycle infrastructure developed in the city, as well as 350 bicycle racks and 1,400 bicycle parking spots installed. The resolution also indentified the several major bicycle events in the city: a family friendly Earth Day ride, an annual Bike EXPO, Ride to Work Week, the Ride of Silence, as well as co-sponsoring bicycle events with the Albany Police. These actions have earned Albany recognition by the League of American Bicyclists as a “Bicycle Friendly Community.”
The Common Council made note of efforts by the Mayor’s Office of Energy and Sustainability, the Albany Police Department, and other entities to promote cycling as a safe and energy-conscious alternative.
The cycling community appreciates the Council’s consistent unanimous approval of the “bike month resolution” each year and looks forward to engagement with the Common Council as advocates for cycling in Albany and the Capital Region.
Filed under Activism, Law
Grant Petersen URBAN VELO 33 7-2012
In the course of an interview with Grant Petersen, founder and president of Rivendell Bicycle Works, in the July 2012 Urban Velo #32, there is this statement, that one might keep in mind:
“I also think that bike riders see cars as inanimate evil polluters and killers because they don’t see the face and eyes of the good person inside. They see the grill and headlights as a menacing face out to do them and the planet harm. It’s easy to forget that inside that polluting hunk of metal could be a kind pacifist who does a lot of good in the world. In the absence of absolute knowledge of who’s behind the wheel, that’s a good assumption to make.”
Of course, I pass this on the day following having been yelled at to “get on the sidewalk” by a big woman in a big car to while enjoying the shared lanes on Lark St. Maybe she did not notice that I am over 10 years old (in Albany – Riding on sidewalks prohibited –exceptions: children under 10 years of age. Chapter 359, Article 1, Sec 359-4.)
Want to measure progress on implementation of Albany’s Bicycle Master Plan? See the “Complete Updates” map.
In 2009, Albany issued its approved Albany Bicycle Master Plan. This was later adopted by the Albany Common Council within “Albany 2030,” the governing master plan for the entire city.
The ABMP featured a “20-Year Bikeway Network Plan”, an ambitious look forward to major routes, neighborhood bikeways, trails and greenways, and connecting bikeways outside the city limits. IBI Group Consultants prepared this visionary map under contract with Albany’s Planning Office with input from hundreds of cyclists and other interested persons.
Beginning in 2010 (when Albany boasted about 500 feet (!) of marked bicycle lanes), the city has forged ahead starting with bicycle lanes on Clinton Ave. (0.8 miles) and shared lanes/signs on Washington Ave. (0.6 miles).
As the city has repaved streets (2012 has been a banner year for this much-needed effort), it has marked many of them with the shared lane icons and signage. These include Delaware-Lark, Academy, and portions of Western, Main, Manning, Lincoln, New Scotland, Hackett, McCarty and others.
So here’s an idea – print out the “Complete Updates” map and then invite a friend(s) to cruise around the city to visit all the completed sections. Then – call the mayor during his Friday morning radio talk show (9:00-10:00 AM, 476-1300, AM 1300) and say “thanks.”
(Check back with the Mayor’s Office of Energy and Sustainability for updates.)
ROS State Ed Bldg 5-16-12
Albany’s 6th Annual Ride of Silence was on Wednesday, May 16 starting at 6:00 PM and 6:30.
Cyclists gathered at Albany’s Corning Preserve/Boat Launch and at West Capital Park/NYS Education Building for a silent tribute to riders killed or injured while cycling on local roads. The 20 riders were accompanied by a bicycle police officer from the University at Albany.
The slow-paced procession left the Corning Preserve/Boat Launch at 6:00 p.m. and then visited Jose Perez’s bicycle on Broadway at Quay St. The 12-mile round-trip route then met up with riders near the NYS Education Building and visited two more fatality sites. We finished up with two flat tires and a refreshing downpour as we cruised in town on Central Ave.
The Ride of Silence, which is held during National Bike Month, reminds us all – cyclists and motorists – to be considerate on the road for the safety of all. The ride also shows respect for those who have been killed or injured while cycling.
The first Ride of Silence was organized in 2003 to honor a Texas cyclist killed by a bus. Events are now held across the nation and in other countries, including Australia, Canada, and Scotland. For a list of locations and more on the history of the event, go to http://www.rideofsilence.org.
Across the nation, more than 600 cyclists are killed on the road every year. Local fatalities for whom there are ghost bikes include the following:
- Nicholas Richichi, 53 – Oct. 19, 2007, Fuller Rd., Guilderland
- Diva De Loayza, 40 – June 6, 2007, Western Ave., Albany
- Alan Robert Fairbanks, 72 – Oct. 29, 2006 (later died), Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and Route 5S, Rotterdam
- Jose Perez, 60 – Aug. 3, 2006, Quay St., Albany
- Joel Melnikoff, 49 – July 3, 2006, Rt. 32, Bethlehem
- David Ryan, 32 – June 29, 2004, Riverview Rd., Rexford
- Robert Zayhowski, 43 – July 16, 2000, Rt. 66, Sand Lake
Ride of Silence 2013 will be on May 15, 2013.