Tuesday, May 06, 2008

May Day - Crosswalk Dangers

Greetings Readers

I was riding to work going on Arapahoe Road the other morning. Well, let me rephrase that I was riding on the sidewalk since I dare not take the street of Arapahoe during the morning hours of a work week.

I personally do not feel safe on a certain portions of Arapahoe Road. I would rather take the sidewalks then to tempt fate (or the biking gods).

So there I was coming to a major intersection when I see that the crosswalk light is a solid red hand signal. Which means do not cross. Yet, the streetlight is still green.

I know what I do. The crosswalk traffic does not have the right to cross since the red hand signal is showing. The street traffic has the right.

Here is the situation. I was getting ready to cross against the red hand signal when I hear and see a big black truck (sort of like that Dodge 3500 a month or two ago) out of my corner left eye.

Already I knew what was going to happen. This truck was not going to yield. And by all means the truck does not have to since they have the right of way. Yet, I did not want to stop since the streetlight is green.

Well, I slowed down slightly since I knew I was going be yielding. As I expected the truck did slow down a bit, but turned right at a faster speed than normal turn. I was already off the sidewalk corner and heading straight into the truck.

I braked and turned right with the truck. I turned right with the truck for about 5 feet then stopped to let the truck continue on its way.

I was wrong to cross/ride against the red hand signal. Period. Yet, I did. I did not get mad, nor did I shake a fist in anger. I looked for a second at the truck and then proceeded to get back to the crosswalk and continue on with my work.

Again, this has happened before and will continue so in the future. I am not a professional in the situation, but (I think)I know how to handle this situation. My main goal is to scare the driver for turning in front of me (meaning not yielding). Granted, the driver had the right and I should not have even thought about crossing against the red hand signal. I take full responsibility, but deep down inside I feel I should still be able to cross.

However, if I was on the street then I have every right to cross. And I have had other vehicles cut in front of me while turning. Those times I get mad and get my "don't fuck with me" attitude going. That is one of the biggest things I hate being done to me when I have the right of way. I literally have to brake and then I can hear and feel the rubber coming off my 50.00 dollar tire. I am not worried about myself - I am worried about the rubber that I lose on the skid braking. 50.00 Dollars!

I guess I do play a "chicken" game with a vehicle at times. So, I am sorry that I did write that I do not play "chicken" with a three thousand pound vehicle, when in fact I do every once in a great while. I would say I play a control "chicken" game, but there is no such thing as control when dealing with a vehicle on the roads of life.

By the way - the scheduler posting worked like a charm last night for 6:00 PM. Pretty Cool!


Until the next time

Daryl Charley
The Fallen Athlete

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