the logic is flawed... "I am not holding up traffic... I AM TRAFFIC!"

this morning was a pretty standard approach to work
gladly it was more dry than previous days
the rainy days are dangerous days
wet is something to complain about
but almost dying multiple times... that is something to cuss about

people are either idiots or assholes

I believe this to be true
sad... but true

I have certainly ranted on this notion before
chase the links... I used to get quite wordy... there was a time when people dug my wordiness

so this morning I was taking my pretty my straight route to work
no Metro Branch Trail... no longer loop through Rock Creek Park
just a mad dash down 3rd Street... onto Kansas... over to 5th... then Park Place
down behind Howard still on 5th
then some zig zagging onto Rhode Island then onto 6th

towards the National Mall
then onto my office at 600 Maryland Avenue SW
it should all be trouble free
except for one thing... well two things
cars and their drivers

so I am rolling along my way virtually incident free
well... not entirely
I have gotten creative
avoiding the conflict by avoiding the point of intersection
anticipating the flawed driving style of the cars around me
thus avoiding death or dismemberment

so I am on Park Place down by the Armed Forces Retirement Home... yes... the grounds of DCCX
there is a bike lane on this stretch of road
but I opt for the street
the morning routine is predictable

cars will be coming from the side streets... most every car stops after the STOP SIGN AND STOP LINE
making their stop with their bumper in the bike lane
if they stop at all
honestly... it gives me anxiety not knowing if they are going to stop

WABA and Bike Arlington have their PAL Campaign

I think that the cars need a PAL campaign
the bikes... are forced to adapt to the behavior of the cars around them
Predictable Alert and Lawful is a great concept... but arriving alive is more important than being LAWFUL

there is a method to my madness... I am putting myself where I am most safe
while trying to move fast and fluid

so I am cruising down Park Place and the behavior of the cars around me is as dangerous as the days before only slightly less dangerous than the rainy days
rainy days are the worst
drivers become more aggressive while visibility is decreased and stopping distance is increased
bad combination of variables

there I am... moving at a solid clip

there are two lanes
I am moving faster than the flow of traffic
the lane to my left is free... yet I hear the honk of a horn and the hum of a car engine not far behind me

so... I am cruising just outside of the bike lane
the honking behind me with the clear lane to my left causes me to do what the car does not expect
instead of moving out of their way
I move to the center of the lane... taking the full lane... then I with my left hand I point to the vacant lane to my left

still progressing forward I can see the light ahead is RED... we are about to queue... I will not make the light... I am not there in time to push the RED...
so.. I start to slow...
I point to the signal ahead then at the intersection I loop back to have some friendly words with the elderly black woman driving the mini van that followed close behind with the occasional message sent from the horn

I loop back.. her window is up... she is hesitant but she rolls the window down.. she has something to say... she has something to say... but she does not care to hear what I have to say
yet I share my ideas

with the window just cracked open I hear the simple rhetorical question...
"why aren't you in the bike lane!?!?!?!"

for this... I have a simple response
"each day I ride down this road... cars pull out of cross streets past the stop line... some stopping blocking the bike lane and others not stopping at all...
and then
there are the right turning cars that use the bike lane as a right turn lane... never checking for bicycles in the bike lane"

but the window has been rolled up before my words can be heard
then before the window is entirely closed I hear the words
"but you are holding up traffic!!!!"

classic... two ears and one mouth
yet people talk more than they listen
me... I have listened... I have heard the logic of the windshield perspective for years
so my rebuttal is not only preloaded.. but enlightened
their perspective is selfish and short sighted

"holding up traffic?"
I think not... I am moving the rate of traffic
if it were not for the cars around me
I could move faster
but more importantly


just as the car is traffic
the bicycle is traffic

now... funny the disdain that car drivers have for the cyclists
yet around them... the cars are the car driver's worst enemy
rush hour traffic could be alleviated if car drivers just tightened up their act a bit

double parking...
blocking the box...

if people just removed these two actions from their rush hour routine
there would be less traffic

cyclist are not causing the blockage
cars drivers are causing the blockage

cars are the cars worst enemies
not cyclists
while cars are also the cyclists worst enemies
and when I say cars... I mean car drivers
and when I say car drivers
I mean truck drivers... cab drivers... van drivers... etc.. etc... etc...

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