|Approaching Bellaire Elementary from the North. Today's Subject Passed Through the Intersection About Where the Middle Car Is|
Nowadays, There's a Traffic Signal Instead of the Stop Signs. At Least He had a Green for THIS Intersection
|The Red Light at Highway 10. Back When it was Dark When I Got There|
Today's Scofflaw Was ANOTHER Guy on a Bike. He Crossed on the Left Sidewalk
and Swerved Through the Highway Traffic
One popular explanation for “safety in numbers” promoted by Jacobsen and many advocates is that motorists watch for bikes better when there are more bikes. I’d like to propose an alternate reason since I don’t see how ANY amount of added motorist diligence would help this tricky bike guy. Isn’t it more likely that with added bikes on the road, people on bikes have more opportunities to observe and simply ride less dangerously? Wouldn’t that result in lower crash rates? Motorists are trained NOT to run into things they see. That’s true whether that object is a bike, a parked car, a pedestrian, or even stuff floating in the wind. West of Amarillo, I was amazed to see motorists swerving all over the road to avoid running into tumbleweeds blowing across the highway. I suppose it is POSSIBLE that they were watching for tumbleweeds because there WERE a lot of them blowing across the road, but I doubt it. Avoidance training runs deep and it kicked in for the Motorists on Highway 10 this morning. Simply put, if the fraction of bikes shooting through intersections going the wrong way drops dramatically, the fraction of people killed doing such things will also drop. Maybe if people doing dim bulb stuff get yelled at by many more cyclists, they'll catch on.
|Heading North, This Morning, the Guy on the Bike Would Have Been Headed Straight Towards Me|
Certainly my loyal reader can think of other reasons for improved safety with added numbers – “with more bikes, traffic engineers stop ignoring bikes” is a personal favorite, but reduced DANGEROUS behavior seems more reasonable than others getting better at anticipating and avoiding that DANGEROUS behavior.
|My Track This Morning, With Bellaire off to my Right. Rocket Guy was Headed the Same Way Two Lanes Over to the Left|