What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

05 January 2012

About Yesterday...

It's been a good day today. An unusual number of motorist smiled and waved at me, or slowed down when they saw me running on the road ahead, or yielded the right-of-way to me at an intersection. I can only suppose that all of Austin is reading my blog and caught yesterday's post.

As part of my work with Bike Texas, I read a lot of articles about cyclists. And as hard as I try not to read the comments, sometimes my eye is drawn down the page and I get sucked into reading, much like the proverbial train wreck. It's easy to forget sometimes that only a small percentage of highly motivated people are commenting on these forums and articles, and that most motorists aren't as angry/confrontational/obnoxious/etc. as the internet people. Thank goodness for real life.

How could you not love a car that's
this happy? Source.
I do still feel much as I do yesterday: Those who are in charge of the great big things that can do more damage have more responsibility than those who are in charge of a small thing when it comes to making room, getting along, and so on. I don't exclude individual responsibility in any way for any kinds of road users, but it's the "with great power comes great responsibility" thing. If you're going to drive, you must be responsible for what your vehicle does.

However, I'm also willing to spread the responsibility around to society. It's our collective lifestyle that pushes people to always be in a hurry, to multitask while driving, and to feel that "just this once" it's okay to be a little unsafe. And woe betide the worker who refuses to answer the phone while driving in the name of safety-- that can be a fast way to be unemployed. I still don't know the answer, but I'm pretty sure there's a better way.

And in the meantime, I don't think a couple of hours in a defensive driving class, perhaps one focusing on cyclists and pedestrians and their use of the road, would be un-called for. And for people like the unfortunate driver in yesterday's post, perhaps some therapy to deal with the regret and the nightmares he (or she) is surely suffering right now. I would rather be hit by a car than be the one to hit someone.

So, the comments yesterday were great. Let's keep them coming! What do you think?


Deniz Bevan said...

Maybe I shouldn't comment... I don't know how to drive (i.e. I don't have my license) and I'm a very aggressive jaywalking pedestrian :-)

The Golden Eagle said...

Sometimes I wonder why the internet is such a magnet for obnoxious people. People say such awful things.

I can't drive, either, but I do agree with you--it wouldn't hurt to have some kind of program on cyclists and pedestrians.

Su said...

@Deniz: I have a book checked out that I haven't started yet, but it's about the shift to a driving culture in the US, and one of the bits that I've read on transportation blogs is that "jaywalking" was one of the terms invented by the auto industry to shift people to auto-centric thinking. Like I said, I haven't read it yet, but it should be interesting to look it over & see what the sources say.

@Eagle: So true! :( I'm not sure why the internet brings out the worst in some people. And yeah, I think that's the position I'll stick with for a while. We don't necessarily need to keep drivers from driving, but they do need to have an eye out for non-cars.