The Post published several letters in response to their editorial "Bicyclists are welcome in D.C., but they, too, should obey the law."
The first was last week and in it the authors asked if cyclists were welcome on the streets, where are our cycletracks? It went on to say that cyclists don't always feel welcome.
The other day, a woman in an SUV got behind us on Connecticut Avenue and began insistently beeping. When you are on two wheels and are being threatened by two tons of steel, it is more than a little intimidating. It was a beautiful day in front of the zoo, and the foot traffic on the sidewalk was such that even pedestrians had difficulty getting through. We asked the woman why she was beeping. Her response: “You were in the street.” When we asked where she expected us to ride, she drove off.
The rest all ran yesterday. The first of these is from a woman who feels that cyclists too often fail to signal when passing a pedestrian.
While some bicyclists do ring their bells soon enough for me to get out of the way, far too many do not. Some think a muttered “on your left” as they pass is sufficient — but if I do hear them, again it is too late to react. There is no place where pedestrians are safe from bicycles — on the streets, sidewalks or even off-road paths.
In the bicycle-pedestrian relationship, the walker is the one likely to come out the loser. The headline said it all: Let’s share the streets and walkways.
I'm not sure exactly what Ms. Hadary thinks she has to do to "react" to a passing cyclist. If a cyclist is doing it right, she shouldn't have to react at all. The only time when a bell is even useful is when a pedestrian might suddenly move into your path, and they're capable of hearing you (not wearing headphones). I have a bell, and I use it on the trails - largely for my own safety - but it is odd to imagine this rule applied to drivers who had to honk every time they were about to pass a car (I know, drivers have rear view mirrors so honking isn't necessary, but I hate it when cars honk before passing me on my bike). On her second point, about walker being "the one" who is likely to come out the loser - I'm not sure that's true. I've only seen one slow speed bike-ped crash and the cyclist ended up with an injured wrist. I'd guess the most likely outcome is two losers.
The second letter is from someone sporting the windshield perspective.
I’m more than happy to share the road — with those who obey the law.
So that would leave the roads in the DC area to krickey and an old woman who lives in Alexandria. Everyone else, hit the showers. The irony is that not sharing the road is illegal.
The next one is about a good driver-cyclist interaction
I had a bad bike accident on Massachusetts Avenue that was caused by the handlebars snapping off. A motorist whose name I never got immediately stopped, checked my condition, called an ambulance, waited until it arrived and carried my wrecked bike to my home in her car.
The overwhelming majority of drivers are respectful of cyclists and it's good to know that their are good people out there.
The last letter, well, you've really already read it. But I failed to mention in both my post and the letter that the fault analysis includes child cyclists, which is also likely to tilt blame towards cyclists.