I was going to post this on Friday but thought I’d wait a bit. Calm Tranquillity Happy Spaces. It’s been a bad week for me out on Dunedin’s streets. Last weekend I had to step back from the path of a speeding van, which I wouldn’t mind to much… if I wasn’t on a pedestrian crossing. So if you drive a Chub Security van please watch out for pedestrians on pedestrian crossings. I wasn’t surprised though – which is kind of lucky otherwise my assumption he had seen me crossing and would start slowing, any time now, would have been wrong. It’s not the first time a similar incident has happened to me on that particular crossing however it has been the scariest encounter of the automobile kind I had had for a while not on a bike which brings me to Friday afternoon.
Last Friday I was cycling up Moray Place where it joins Burlington Street. It’s kind of a Y intersection. Anyway I had turned the corner – You can’t see on the map but the right of way is from The Princes St end of Moray place down Burlington Street – and next thing I know I am being forced against the curb by a taxi. A bang on the window makes him aware that I am there and I narrowly avoid being squashed, We both stop. I enquire (Probably not the most politely given the adrenalin factor) “Didn’t you see me?” or something along this line and he starts getting into me for being in the wrong place on the road? He refuses to tell me exactly where on the road I should be – (Perhaps that’s the problem) A pedestrian backs me up and given that traffic is backing up I decide to give up trying to figure out where exactly he expects cyclists to cycle and move on to the organic shop.
It didn’t seem like a major incident – and I have had worse encounters – but I was still shaking when I left the organic shop after making my purchase.
I know quite a few people who refuse to cycle on Dunedin’s Streets as they don’t feel safe. While not the best weather for a cycling city during winter – in the Summer months surely enabling people to chose a really efficient (perhaps most?) form of transport would be a good idea? So how do we educate drivers to watch out for bikes? I don’t have a solution but I know that since I started cycling in Dunedin my awareness of cycles on the road increased dramatically both in the urban environment and open road. What are your thoughts?
ps: Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a Google maps directions mash up that designed for cyclists that took into account the gradient of the path…