First a diary entry
Last Saturday night I went out to an early dinner with an older friend and returning to my apartment building stopped to talk to another friend just coming out. We had a lot to say to each other, it turned out. So we stood chatting for a while on what was a beautiful summer evening. Luckily, she had stopped me when I was already just inside “our” sidewalk to the building because around 8 pm two sidewalk bicyclists came speeding by side by side headed toward Q. We commented on how lucky we were to be out of the danger zone, the public sidewalk. As they sped by, I noticed two other sidewalk bicyclists, riding side by side, on the other side of the street, also barreling toward Q. At that point no pedestrian on either side of 16th could have entered the public sidewalk safely and yet there were plenty of walkers out on this nice night, including some who might have just been turning into 16th from Q. At the corner on both sides, pedestrians had to yield to let the bikers past. So as far as I could see no one got hurt. But what a shame that in DC’s Alice Wonderland world it is the pedestrians who have to yield to the bicyclists on the SIDEWALK.
Now for the question
One problem I notice in news reports and bike lobby propaganda is that people are assuming no pedestrians get hurt. Yet, whenever pedestrians have a chance to mention, in comments to this blog or other more famous ones, like popville.com or Greater Greater Washington, it is clear that people do get hurt, either by a direct collision or by having to jump awkwardly out of the way. Since I got hit in 2013 by bikers coming from behind me, side by side, I know that there’s really no good way to report to the MPD such an assault. The bikers are gone before you know it and, unless you have to be taken to the hospital, there’s really no way to get it on the “official” record.
But, here’s my question: Can you think of a way to “bank” these incidents of actual hits of pedestrians by bicyclists and the injuries caused?
NOTE: When I started this blog last year, I had hoped that pedestrians would feel comfortable reporting in here. But that has only rarely happened. So, perhaps another way is needed. Or if the suggestion is to use this blog, then we need to get the word out. And, speaking of words, I can keep my comments shorter.
It is important that we start building some kind of record for the powers that be.
Thanks for any suggestions.
And, don’t let the quiet August days relax you too much when you’re walking or biking. STAY ALERT. DON’T GET HURT.