Cortney, our BBB (beautiful biking ballerina) told her story at Breakfast on the Bridge this morning about being sideswiped by a car. Neither she or her bike was damaged and the driver of the car stopped and started apologizing profusely. Cortney, though shaken tried to get in the state of mind thta would turn this into a teachable moment for the driver in an ever so kindly way.
So, in her kind and gentle way, Cortney led her in an conversation about what happened. While the driver admitted fault, by way of explaination stated that she thought Cortney would pull over to let her by. Cortney asked if she had done anything that indicated that she was about to pull over and and driver admitted, no she had not. But she assumed it anyway.
Cortney did explain that the lane was too narrow for a car to pass safely without going into the next lane. In retrospect, she wishes that she had called the police and had her cited for violating the Three Fool Law.
But I thought it was a telling thought process for the driver to say she assumed Cortney was going to pull over. Why? Because a car was coming by. The driver had more rights because she was in a car? Getting drivers to reflect on their grandiose sense of entitlement is a major feat.
There was a letter to the editor in the paper recently lamenting one Chattanooga's few bike lanes in St. Elmo. The writer lived on the street was was greatly upset that she was not allowed to park in the bike lane or the sidewalk. She actually had the audaciaty (don't they think at all?) to ask "do bikers need a place on the road? And do strollers need a place on the sidewalk?" She, with no ironly whatsoever truly, thought that other modes of transportation-biking and walking, should be impeded so she could PARK her vehicle. How do we get these people to do some self reflection on what they are truly saying...and expecting.
I know this is America, and Chattanooga is in the South and the car culture is greatly entrenched. But even in this culture, isn't there even a little bit of sense that being in a car does not grant the driver greater rights and protection then those out of the car?
I am glad that Cortney is all right and hopefully that driver will be driving with a bit more awareness. And as to the writer of that letter, I hope she gets a ticket every time she parks in the bike lane or sidewalk.