Peter Blau is a marketing consultant. He grew up in Westport, lives in Weston, and bikes often. He writes:
I’ve been out cycling a lot recently. So have lots of other people. And way more pedestrians too, than before COVID.
Trouble is, traffic is back with a vengeance now that retail and recreation is reopening. It’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed or seriously hurt. Here are some of the most dangerous things I see:
Drivers approach a biker, pedestrian or even a pedestrian/stroller duo, and swerve across the yellow line without slowing down. Sometimes they’re actually accelerating to “make it” before the oncoming car passes. I have seen near misses, and fear that someday one of these drivers will swerve back into his lane and kill whoever is walking or cycling by.
Pedestrians who walk well into the roadway, with their back to car and cycle traffic, sometimes while distracted by operating their mobile device. Or pedestrians who use the road when there’s a sidewalk available.
That was the case in a near-miss between my bike and a jogger in the road on Hillspoint just north of the beach. The guy yelled at me to “watch out!”” even though I could not swerve away from him, because a car was passing. My only choice was to brake, but he could have easily moved onto the sidewalk, or the grassy verge in between.
Group cyclists riding 2 or more abreast so they can converse more easily. This prompts unnecessarily wide swerving by cars. When there’s lots of oncoming traffic, it forces drivers to move at a snail’s pace, sometimes provoking angry motorists into an aggressive driving maneuver.
Now that COVID is less of a worry around here, we all need to focus on sharing the road safely. Remember: Let’s be careful out there!