Philobiblon: Look before you walk: it is simple really

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Look before you walk: it is simple really

Boris Johnson is writing today in the Guardian about his collision as a cyclist with a French tourist. (More of the Tories' "green" campaign no doubt... although to be fair I believe does genuinely regularly cycle, unlike David Cameron, who does so for photo opportunities.)

But I do sympathise, having just, while cycling back from the British Library, avoided by millimetres a collision. This wasn't exactly a pedestrian, but a man washing his car (parked illegally close to the intersection with a major road), who stepped back to admire his greenhouse gas-producer, right into my path.

In a micro-second I had to decide whether I could afford to swerve around him, which I couldn't, as another car could easily come belting around the corner. Instead I yelled loudly, which made him jump out of the way, just in time.

There are more and more cyclists getting around in London, which is great, you just wish people like this would wake up to the fact that relying on hearing to judge whether it is safe to step into the road, is not a safe option. And as for the jaywalking mobile phone-users, well I won't get started on those...

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! Cyclists staying off pavements - that'll be the day. And as for stopping at red lights ...

Sorry to generalise about cyclists - we walkers don't like it either!

3/18/2006 07:13:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

I don't cycle on pavements and I don't usually run red lights. Occasionally I do, where the road design otherwise means dicing with death if you set out with the cars, but then only at a moderate speed, and with due regard to pedestrians. (I'll be happy to obey the letter of the law when motorists do likewise.)

3/18/2006 07:38:00 pm  
Blogger Jennifer said...

As a cyclist, I agree - the only places cyclists go on pavements is where the roads are unsafe.

I live in Sydney, where in the CBD cycle couriers do go all over the pavements, but they wouldn't if the cars were even slightly considerate.

You certainly realise when you cycle how much people rely on their hearing on quiet roads.

3/19/2006 03:22:00 am  

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