Car vs Bike Tensions Heat Up
Dan Cooley of Louisville, KY lost fifteen pounds in four months – and saved cash and a bit of the environment along the way. Cooley, like many, was fed up with rising gas prices and temperatures and turned to bicycle commuting.
But on the morning July 25th, Cooley fell victim to a malicious act of road rage while pedaling to work. After the driver of a Volkswagen almost ran him over, the car pulled to the side, and the passenger jumped out and began to beat Cooley before speeding away. Cooley was left with a concussion and torn ligament.
Cooley’s incident isn’t unique. In fact, as the NY Times reports, car-on-bike violence is on the rise nationwide. What isn’t clear is whether the spike is in proportion to the dramatic increase in cyclists. Previous studies have actually shown that cycling becomes significantly safer when there are more riders on the road.
Motorists currently face an unmanageable expense added onto their gridlock commutes. A surge in two-wheelers leaving them in the dust must just add to their seething fury. Some cyclists may not be blameless – they never learn how to ride as an adult and revert to their childhood experiences of cutting corners, riding on sidewalks or against traffic, or even blowing through traffic lights and stop signs.
As cycling continues to become more prevalent, voters demand more infrastructure to support their commutes, and the police and judicial system enforce cyclists’ rights, conditions will improve. In the meantime, keep your head up, obey traffic laws, and take pity on your steel-encased, stressed-out brethren.
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