Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Biker, walkers and drivers: at risk in Ft. Wayne and Allen County : Fort Wayne news, sports, jobs, homes, cars: "Now, even more people, not just kids, are resorting to bicycles to get around town, and it’s quickly becoming clear that many of them either figure they’re on a bike and can do anything they want, or they just don’t understand what’s legal and what’s safe."

Frank Gray's article is so needed and relevant right now, but I'm not sure the people who need the safety lesson most will be reading it.

I've noticed a distinct disdain, or distinct ignorance, on the part of walkers about how to walk on the road. Mainly, that one walks against the traffic. And if you value your life, you walk as far from the road as you can get, because people drive like bats out of hell and don't seem to care if they hit you are not. There's a lady who walks down Covington Road every weekday, winter and summer, and she walks with the traffic, in dark clothes, in the dark. She scares me to death. Over the weekend, I came up on a dad and son walking on Homestead Road, with the traffic--maybe I SHOULD have stopped and given them a lesson in how to walk.

And bicyclists--good luck. You are why Aboite New Trails exist, and if I were you, I'd hang my bike up until the trails are in place, because no road in our area--Covington, Aboite Center, or Homestead, is friendly to bike traffic. No berms, bad sight lines, and drivers who act as if these roads are part of their private Grand Prix. I hate to say it, but I hate seeing kids riding bikes even in the more populated areas, just because I think the roads are too dangerous for any pedestrians until the trail is done.

Bottom line is, we need a mass education program for how to walk or bike in traffic, and we need a system of alternate roadways so anyone walking or biking doesn't feel as if their life is in danger.

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