A Near Miss

I got up this first workday morning back on Eastern Standard Time, at the same time by the clock, but an hour later in reality. I biked to the light rail station, and caught the usual train, which was unusually empty. “To work, James,” I said to the empty car.

After getting off at Convention Center, I always pass a dignified woman of a certain age walking the other way, then wait for the train operator to either ring the bell or wave me by the tracks. This morning the train went first. After it passed, the light on Howard changed to red, and I got a crossing signal. It was still dark, and I always wait to see if the drivers are really going to stop. A city bus braked in the lane closest to me, and a car slowed just behind in the third lane away. Usually that would have been good enough for me to start across the six lanes to the Convention Center sidewalk, but for some reason I hesitated.

Several seconds after the light changed a nondescript white sedan shot out from between the stopped bus and the stopped car. I watched it go by and felt very lucky. Even with my three front lights and reflective jacket, the driver would not have seen me around the bus until too late, and would not have had time to stop before broadsiding me in the crossing lane.

Later, Penny told me that a couple riding a tandem on Tobacco Road in Calvert County, at 3 PM, had been struck and killed by a Jeep Cherokee driven by a drunk driver. Link here. She was incensed that the driver was out on bail.

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