safety on the roads
I’m not one for statistics, but it’s pretty scary to know that the amount of traffic fatalities has more than doubled in the last two years in Austin. Now you can see why I have stopped riding my bike on the road; I’ve stopped riding my scooter (after getting hit from behind, who can blame me?); and after FOUR PROUD YEARS of not owning a car, I now drive one every day. Even driving a car terrifies me! Why? Because I don’t want to fucking die on the road. It’s not that simple or easy to give up those things. These are things I love doing. These are things HUNDREDS of people LOVE TO DO. Why should we have to fear for our lives because of others’ inability to realize that they can seriously harm someone with their dangerously large and heavy machine they take for granted? Closed doors, closed windows, music blaring, multi-tasking—sure, nothing else is happening outside of your vehicle—not a damn thing, especially not the fact that YOU COULD KILL SOMEONE because you’re driving like an asshole.
And as far as cycling is concerned, two accidents come to mind immediately. And in both cases, the DRIVER DID NOT STOP TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for what they had done. Did you read that correctly? Read it again.
One was just down the street from my old apartment. My downstairs neighbor hit someone on his way home…to our shared apartment building. I couldn’t believe it. It seriously could have been me that was hit. I’m glad to know that Brian Lindquist survived, but unfortunately he had part of his brain removed and had to re-learn how to walk…
And, of course, Andrew Runciman. I didn’t know him personally, but I seriously wish I had the opportunity to have met him. I recently visited his ghost bike with one of his closest friends, Rick, who helps care for his memorial. When you’re driving down Lamar, look for it across the street from Torchy’s and Kerbey Lane, just in front of Red’s Porch. Visit it, learn about him, and understand that when you see a ghost bike on the side of the road, it’s not simply a white bike. It’s the memory of someone who was taken from us. Please take the time to read this recent article, which initiated this post.