- Walk in the street.
- Walk in the street two abreast.
- Drive too fast on slick roads.
- Ride your bike like a jackass in these conditions.
- Cross the street against the light.
Let’s be careful out there, folks. Safety is a shared responsibility. I have seen blatantly stupid behavior out there. If you are driving, slow down and accept that traveling will take a little longer for a while. If you are walking, be smart. Walk against traffic, on the sidewalk if you can, and single file. If you are biking, simply try your darndest to follow traffic rules. Those cars you are used to barely not hitting you are going to have a harder time braking in the slush and snow, so don’t bike like a d-bag.
Snowy Bike by dmolsen.
You must live in one of those nice neighborhoods that don’t have snowbanks, snow drifts or three inch ice sheets on the sidewalks. Congratulations.
I surely do live with that stuff, as we all do right now. But having those impediments is not an excuse for doing stupid things. My neighbors are allowing their kids to sled down a hill and into the street, where the traffic could easily kill them. I see people walking two abreast in traffic. All this is stupid behavior.
Maybe we can’t walk on most sidewalks right now, even though it is the legal responsibility of property owners to clear them of ice and snow. Yes, the property owners are lazy. Yes, it’s slippery. Yes, the street is clear. But be safe and smart when you take risks.
There is nothing wrong with cycling in this weather. The smart thing for cyclists to do is to bike on much less crowded roads than they would normally do – even if that means biking on snow covered streets. Drivers are going way to fast on streets that now have pavement, but reduced lane width.
Good idea to be safe out there on all modes of transportation, foot, two wheels, four wheels, or more.
It might also make sense in such an article to note that if you are driving, you should watch out for inevitable people who are walking in the street. Walking in the street is unavoidable when property owners have not shoveled their sidewalks. Most drivers I have come across have been great at sharing the road during this storm.
Good point, Jan. Don’t stop biking because the streets are messy. Just be smart, follow traffic rules and try to stay on the less traveled streets.
I saw a bicyclist today who is apparently surviving on dumb luck. weaving between cars, blowing through stop lights and talking on a cell phone. I laid on the horn when he cut me off and I had to stop suddenly. That’s dumb in great weather.
The most important thing is for everyone, whether on a bike, driving, walking, or on a Segway, to slow down a bit, be safe, remain calm and OBEY THE RULES. Bikers are generally terrible about that last point even in good conditions.
Rob – right on!
Um, just “generally” terrible?
If you bike, take Carl’s highlighted #4 to heart. Sad to say, I have YET to see a biker in DC follow ANY, repeat and I do mean, ANY traffic rules, including stopping for red lights (almost hitting peds xing with the appropriate light), riding the wrong way on one way streets (Q Street in particular), riding FAST on the *sidewalk*, never signaling, etc. And that is before we get to the messengers.
Bicyclists in DC seem to think no rules apply to them. I experience it most weekdays in Dupont. PLEASE, if you bike, follow the rules of the road.
I agree, cyclists need to follow the rules like everyone else. A few like me, do. Unfortunately, a very large percentage of drivers take out their aggression of driving on cyclists. You won’t know what I’m talking about until you start riding your bike in the city at lot. I see tons of drivers not following rules, texting/talking while driving, speeding, running red lights, and running stop signs, and not stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks. Cyclists are by no means the only ones. The difference is, drivers have 2500 lbs of steel surrounding them. Carl’s #3 is just as important as #4.
Dahozo and Jan, right on. I am an ex-bicyclist, simply because it’s not feasible for me to do that much anymore. However, I am one of those drivers that gets honked at by other drivers for stopping at stop signs and red lights. I don’t roll through them like lots of people do.
It only take one time getting hit as a biker or pedestrian to change everything and only one time hitting someone with a car before you go to jail. Remember – the person found most at fault is not going to have a leg to stand on. So if you get hit by a car because you are biking in a crazy way and not following traffic rules, you will not only probably have a serious injury, the driver’s insurance company will not pay for your hospital bills and you will likely be ticketed and possibly have civil penalties on top of that, not to mention repair bills for a car. Even minor damage caused by a bike can make a thousand dollars of damage to a car. So there’s nothing to lose by taking it slow and following the rules.
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