Monday, October 1, 2012

You know, I'd like to turn...

He started out by yelling "You know, I'd like to turn..."

He wanted to turn right. I was in front of him, waiting to go straight. It was a narrow lane, only one lane each direction; not enough room for him to pass me without one of us moving into the opposing lane.

I guess he thought I should pull up on the sidewalk to get out of traffic's way while I wait for the light? And so I guess he would expect the driver of a car to do the same? Does he yell at the cars in front of him when he wants to turn at a red light?  Because if I weren't commuting by bike, there'd be one more car on the road, possibly directly in front of him.
The generally accepted method for
indicating an intention to turn

The funny part is, I absolutely think that bikers should give room when it's available, and I do it all the time. When I'm the first person coming up to a red light, I look at the car behind me in my mirror and check for turn signals. If they're turning right and I'm not, I move left to leave room for them. So when this guy pulled up behind me, I checked--out of habit--for turn signals. Were either of them blinking? Of course not.

"You know, I'd like to turn..."

I looked back to double check his signal lights.  Still nothing blinking.  I kept my mouth shut. The light was already yellow and we'd be going any second.

And of course, when the light changed, he peeled out *way* too close to my back wheel, yelling all the way.

And now I'm home and trying hard not to hold onto the anger that this incident inspired. So as a part of my self-therapy I'd like to say this:

I believe that all users of the road should be considerate, regardless of their mode of transportation. 

However: it is not your inalienable right to make a right turn on red. The light is red. You may have to wait. Get over it. If I'm not making room for you, you can bet there's a good reason for it. Bike's don't move sideways very well, you know. And if there's no room for safe passing, you can bet I'll be wary. You see, I don't have a metal roll-cage around me, and I don't think that 15 seconds of your time is worth the risk of bodily harm.

Oh, and if you'd like to turn, use your damn blinker.

No comments:

Post a Comment