Dodging Pedestrians

According to the Baltimore Sun, Bikemore and the city are concerned about the interface between cars and bicycles. I have noticed delivery trucks and the occasional car stopped in the new Maryland Avenue cycle track:

… motorists continue to park in the lanes, making it dangerous for bicyclists, who are forced to dart out into traffic, advocates say.

“It’s a safety issue,” said Liz Cornish, president of BikeMore, a local bicycling advocacy group. “It’s just not enough to put a ticket on the windshield. It can lead to crashes.”

Citing increased complaints, City Councilman Eric T. Costello is proposing a bill that would increase the fine for parking in a bike lane from $75 to $250. It also authorizes the city’s transportation department to tow the parked vehicle immediately, as they are empowered to do with cars parked in the middle of the road.

But that isn’t my biggest issue. I’ve been wondering how to alert the authorities that someone is probably going to get killed on the new cycle track. Not a cyclist, but a pedestrian.

Some pedestrians stroll along the new bike lane as if it was La Rambla, instead of using the old sidewalks. That’s annoying, but at least I can see them from a distance. What scares me are the people that scoot across any part of the bike lanes without even glancing left and right for bike traffic. I can anticipate and avoid the people using crosswalks, but some other folk act like either A – they’ve never seen a bike using the lanes, or B – they assume we can read their minds.

Hear me, pedestrians. I have good brakes, but aging reflexes. You don’t want to be hit by a 250 lb man on a bike going 12 to 18 miles per hour anymore than I want to hit you.


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