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Peaceful coexistence among cyclists, drivers and pedestrians
But let's all look both ways, whether we're driving, cycling or walking. Also, let's resist the temptation -- particularly common among drivers -- to look only for the same category of traveler. Drivers sometimes look right through cyclists and walkers because they're looking only for other vehicles.
Dear Dr. Gridlock:
I am a 60-odd-year-old man who lives in Foggy Bottom. Several years ago, I gave up driving and walk everywhere. When I want groceries, I either walk to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. I carry a bag in each hand and take my time walking home.
In the past year and a half, I have been hit by bikes on three occasions. I was hit on L Street between 18th and 19th; on 21st Street, waiting for a light so I could cross the street; and on 19th Street between K and I. Once, I was knocked on my face; once, wanting to break my fall, I put out my arm and hurt my shoulder; and, the third time, I merely wound up with a deep bruise on my leg.
At no time did the cyclists say they were sorry, and in two instances, they were, in my opinion, extremely hostile. If this was not enough, I have dodged far too many cyclists. I am reasonably certain that each and every time I was hurt, I was in an area where cycling on the pavement is prohibited. But the cyclists do not care, and the police do not care.
Someday, someone is going to be seriously hurt, and the accident could have been prevented if cyclists obeyed the law.
J. C. Reed
DG: Some cyclists have commented lately that a bike hitting a pedestrian isn't as serious as a car hitting a pedestrian. Reed didn't have to take a course in physics to know that a cycle can leave quite a dent in a person.