am I repeating the obvious? it is all about common sense and common courtesy

gwadzilla archive search on common sense
gwadzilla archive search on courtesy
there is usually an overlap in the mention of Common Sense and Basic Courtesy

Washington DC is the Land of Self Important
never has there been a population of individuals who feel a greater level of self entitlement
everyone is reaching for the largest piece of cake
lots of people expecting the door to be held open for them

not many people holding the door

times have changed
and not for the better
people no longer leave notes when they scratch a car in the parking lot through clumsy driving
no... they leave the scene
justifying their behavior by another person's wronging them in the past

sadly some of the only interaction we have with strangers is when we travel the street

people are driving on auto pilot
gwadzilla archives on the topic of auto pilot

this auto pilot is set so that there is not much attention to the variables around them
everything is blurred
it is as if the driver can not see beyond their dash board
stop signs and stop lines get the NO COP NO STOP rule

cars roll through seldom making a complete stop
rarely yielding the appropriate right of way
speed limits mean nothing
people slow for speeding cameras and not much more

worse than the zombies stuck in auto pilot are those that move about with illogical self-centeredness

rushing to get through the intersection before the pedestrian in the crosswalk rather than granting them their space
the runner loses the race to the point of intersection
the car could have slowed and stopped acting as a blocker for the runner trying to cross the street
instead the runner has to stop for a break in traffic because they were not granted their right of way
these drivers are a small percentage of of the population
but not so small that they are not an issue of annoyance in everyday life
these people are many... maybe one in ten.... which is ten in a hundred... a hundred in a thousand

oh... the gwadzilla archive on IDIOTS AND ASSHOLES is rich!

what is absurd is these drivers on so many of these roads make their aggressive passes dangerously fast and dangerously close only to be passed by the cyclist when they get stuck in the line backed up cars
the same traffic in the same spots at the same time everyday

these things are predictable
yet... the drivers are so agitated by the presence of the cyclist that they will risk that bike rider's life just to muscle in front of them

people become bullies in their cars
driving in a fashion that is counter to their daily personal
acting in ways that they would not act if they were not in cars
the language that they use
the honking, the yelling, the gesturing
is this how these people behave in non-car related confrontations in their day?

this week I took the long way to work on the days when I could

each day on Rock Creek Park the traffic was backed up in the same spots

the line of traffic headed downtown made it such that traffic could not pass over the double yellow line
in an effort to protect my best interest, me... I took the full lane

knowing that there would be car drivers who would try to make the squeeze between me and the line of parked cars

cars tailgated me
riding my rear wheel like they were trying roll in my draft

then when given the opportunity to pass they passed fast
some passed aggressively fast and obnoxiously close as if to teach a lesson
some of them nearly having head on collisions as they passed on blind curves not anticipating the obvious
most of these cars only to be passed by me miles ahead

showing that if they had stayed on my rear wheel they would have arrived at their destination at the same t
never realizing their illogical behavior
never considering the worst case scenario

never seeing me as a person or as the person I am
the husband, the father, the dog owner... someone's friend... someone who has a right to live to see tomorrow
just the person on the bicycle who is not really looked at as being a person at all
just the obstacle on the road

that they need to be in front of even if it gets them no where any faster

the thing about the car culture
when they behave in these obnoxious ways to pedestrians and cyclists it is not so odd
car drivers are obnoxious to other car drivers
the way they treat people outside of cars is no different

enough on this...
I am going to play with some photos I took today

1 comment:

Phil said...

Hey man,

I wrote a long comment on this, but then it got eaten by Google.

Explain to me again why you feel that taking the whole lane is justified? Based upon your descriptions, it seems to evoke/provoke profound irrational responses from drivers.

My understanding of DC Law is that bicyclists are required to ride as far to the right as possible, except to avoid obstacles or hazards or when making a left turn.