Bike messenger killed yesterday

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Anonymous's picture

Ugh, what a bummer in today's NYT. A veteran bike messenger was killed yesterday near 8th & 49th after apparently passing a double parked truck making a delivery and being struck by - get this - a cop car. As bad as that is, there is an accompanying photo of the cyclist's body covered by a blanket next to his mangled cycle. Sometimes being careful has nothing to do with it. If someone in a car hits you, the odds are not good. I need a drink . . .

Anonymous's picture
sonny (not verified)
Terrible, but...

A tragedy but a wake up call that we all need to be careful. Newspaper reports that messenger was riding no hands, carrying a cup of tea in one hand, a muffin in the other hand and was not wearing a helmet.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)

"The delivery and police vans blocked the view of any potential witness.

The wake-up call is that no matter what happens, the dead cyclist doesn't get to tell his or her story. But the cops do, and they always (yes, always) blame the incident on the dead cyclist. It's like spitting on someone's grave.

It's also assumed that if we're ""stupid"" enough to ride a bike in a militarized zone like New York City, we're putting ourselves in the line of fire and asking for trouble. Y'all buy that?

As for the muffin and coffee, who's to say the one wasn't in his pocket, the other in his bottle cage? Just because the cops or the driver says it, and a newspaper prints it, doesn't make it true.

More importantly, the point I want to make is that being careful just isn't enough sometimes. Do be very careful, carry a lucky charm, and be sure to say I Love You when you leave in the morning. Oh yeah, and fight for safer streets."

Anonymous's picture
dissenter (not verified)

So I guess the drivers and the police are always wrong - and liars - and cyclists are always right? Doesn't agree with my experience of NYC streets. There's usually some wrong on each side, and more care should be taken all around.
Cyclists are entitled to fair treatment, but as a population, we're not saints either.
Nonetheless, my sad regrets for a death.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Prove me wrong

"Be my guest--try to find one press account (or police report) that doesn't attribute the death of a bicyclist to the biker's own fault or, at most, a ""tragic accident"" that the driver just couldn't avoid.

The fault of the driver--for going too fast in a crowded area, passing too closely, turning or swerving sharply and without warning--is never, EVER, NEVER suggested, let alone established.

The automobile's capacity to inflict significant bodily harm would, in a rational society (as in many European cities), mandate extreme caution in its operation. But not here. Why? Because human life is less significant than exercising our right to behave like murderously selfish slobs.

And here is a rare instance in which I take no pleasure in being right.


P.S. I hear third-hand from an eye witness, another messenger, that it was the delivery van door that dealt the fatal blow."

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)
Another viewpoint?

The automobile's capacity to inflict significant bodily harm would, in a rational society (as in many European cities), mandate extreme caution in its operation. But not here. Why? Because human life is less significant than exercising our right to behave like murderously selfish slobs.

Is it possible that the reckless disregard and thoughtless endangerment of pedestrians, other cyclists and even autos with the right of way consistently practiced by delivery riders, messengers and even some members of this club have something to do with the lack of caution displayed by drivers? If cyclists behave toward others as though they are invincible and above the law, doesn't it follow that others might treat them in a similar fashion?

Two wrongs don't make a right but there is plenty of blame to go around on both sides. Neither cyclcists or drivers have shown by their actions that they deserve the moral high gound.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Pledge of malfeasance

"Dear Tom,

I hereby disavow any claim to the high moral ground.

Marshland is more like it. Not only am I (like most cyclists I know) inherently flawed, I am a wilfull sinner who has deliberately intimidated jaywalkers who stepped into my path, screamed at drivers, entertained very bad thoughts, and used a triple ring out of sheer laziness. And of course, ridden in Critical Mass.

But Tom, your point--which I take to be that ""none of us is perfect""--does not strike me as opposed to my claim that automobile drivers should not be permitted to inflict stress and trauma upon other citizens largely without consequence. (Of course, given the tortured syntax of that first sentence--where's the main clause?--I could be mistaken about what you mean. ;) )

In fact, your point seems to support mine: we're all so imperfect, we need to be saved from ourselves, we need restraints upon our worst behavior. In this case, that might include traffic calming design, congestion pricing, bridge tolls, and other means of reducing the volume of automobiles in New York. A good beginning would be, as the wise Dr. Schiffman has observed, simply enforcing laws already on the books--for speeding, illegal turns, blocking the box, vehicular manslaughter, etc. I bet we'd see a quick improvement then.

Now, the objection will be made that if I as a cyclist expect auto drivers to undergo restriction, I ought to be willing to accept restrictions myself. Mr. Zenkus notwithstanding, I don't believe I've ever made a blanket statement advocating lawless anarchy for cyclists. (Ever been in a paceline with me? Sheesh.)

Yes, I have ridden in Critical Masses (and enjoyed it). But I've also made it clear that for me this is an act of civil disobedience in the service of making an important political statement. This board has long debated the value of that statement. But for the time being anyways, we're all free to form our own opinions. Who knows what the next Supreme Court might bring.

By the way, I was leafletting briefly at the Union Square Greenmarket today. It wasn't exactly enemy territory, but I got about 199 affirmations and exactly one negative response."

Anonymous's picture
chris o (not verified)
answer to your question

Tom - No it is not possible. And it is unfortunate that on a cycling message board I read that the aggressive driving patterns in New York City are based on motorist reaction to cyclists. And that cyclists are the great menace while pedestrians and cars are their hapless victims.

I believe the reality is the opposite of your suggetion that reckless cyclists create reckless drivers. The drivers are relatively good in Manhattan, or at least their awareness of cyclists is high. But go to Queens, the Bronx and other places with very few cyclists (and no messengers) and the driving is aggressive, reckless and really sloppy. And that is true of the city highways where there are no cyclists.

Pedestrians are absurdly lawless and clueless. Cyclists can't touch it. But the driving has nothing to do with them, either. All 3 forms of transport are doing their own crazy thing, that is for sure.

Chris O

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)

"I'm sorry you have to read about opposing viewpoints even on a cycling message board. Perhaps you should stick to a forum where everyone agrees with you.

If you don't think watching delivery riders coming at you the wrong way on a one way street or cyclists blowing through intersections against a red light just as you are about to hit the gas because you have the green contributes to the overall stress motorists feel driving in the city, I don't happen to agree. And I'd like you to show me where anyone, myself or anyone else, has said anything like:

cyclists are the great menace while pedestrians and cars are their hapless victims.

To call that an exageration would only serve to state the very obvious and it hardly advances this dialog.

My point is that cyclists cannot put all the blame on motorists when a great many of them (cyclists) insist on riding lawlessly and recklessly themselves. And I believe that the lawlessness and recklessness practiced by cyclists, as well as mototorists and pedestrians, works to ratchet up the overall traffic nastiness that exists on the streets of NYC. No party is blameless and nothing will be accomplished by blaming any single group exclusively. As long as we practice an ""us against them"" mindset, the situation will never improve.

To respond to Carol, if your aim is enforcing existing traffic laws, great. In fact, I'm surprised you found even 1 dissenter in 200 respondents. But when you dismiss motorists as murderous selfish slobs as you did in an earlier post, you risk alienating those who would otherwise support your cause. I'll take tortured syntax over inflammatory rhetoric any day.


Anonymous's picture
Chris O (not verified)
Bring on all views but the anti-cycling ones of course

"Tom - You wrote of how cyclists ""consistently practice[]"" ""reckless disregard and thoughtless endangerment of pedestrians, other cyclists and even autos with the right of way"" and that this ""might have something to do with the lack of caution displayed by drivers"". I interpret your comments to mean that cyclists are the real wrongdoers and that cars are merely responding in kind. You imply that if all cyclists obeyed every traffic law, drivers would then behave way less recklessly and aggressively.

I did not try to exaggerate your comments. I would be very surprised if you did not believe bikes are a menace, even a great menace, to pedestrians and autos alike. I am sorry if that is not how you feel and I mischaracterized your views. I don't mind opposing view points at all. But your point is demonstrably wrong, and there is no evidence whatsover for it. And yes, I am surprised to read views here (but I am new to the Club) that express hostility to city cyclists and blame aggressive cycling for aggressive driving.

Chris O"

Anonymous's picture
Paddy (not verified)
That's not how I read it.

"I may be incorrect, but I think Tom is trying to indicate that neither the cyclists or the drivers are 100% to blame. He says:

""Neither cyclcists or drivers have shown by their actions that they deserve the moral high gound."" and ""No party is blameless and nothing will be accomplished by blaming any single group exclusively.""

To me this doesn't indicate ""hostility to city cyclists and blame aggressive cycling for aggressive driving."" as you suggest.

My take is that there are some very good, courteous, observant drivers out there. There are also some very dangerous, bad ones. The same can also be said for the cyclists. Yes, we do need to stamp out the dangerous driving. We mustn't also forget to take the log out of our own eye and stamp out the dangerous cycling.

Not that I'm a good one to talk as I'm not the best driver on the planet by any means, and judging by the cast on my hand I'm obviously a danger to one and all on my bike too!"

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

> We mustn't also forget to take the log out of our own > eye and stamp out the dangerous cycling.

While I agree with the theory of this argument, it fails to grasp that the danger imposed on fellow road-users. To wit, a cyclist-cyclist or cyclist-pedestrian accident is rarely fatal. A Hummer-cyclist or Hummer-pedestrian accident often is.

As such, it isn't much of a leap to conclude that Hummers obeying traffic laws is a more pressing issue than cyclists doing the same.

- Christian

Anonymous's picture
Paddy Atherstone (not verified)

">>To wit, a cyclist-cyclist or cyclist-pedestrian accident is rarely fatal. A Hummer-cyclist or Hummer-pedestrian accident often is.

Although that is true, you notice that you still included cyclists in the second group there? Hence I think the point still holds that cyclists too need to be more careful/law abiding etc. too.

Two further points here:

1. Pedestrians are also involved! They also need to be careful and considerate in their actions as well. However well everyone drove/cycled, there would still be accidents if pedestrians blindly ran out into the middle of the road without looking. I think it just further illustrates the point that there is not one group of people who should take 100% of the blame.

2. Just because accidents are not fatal does not mean that we should not worry about them. I do realise you put that they are just ""more pressing"" which is obviously correct but I think the point is worth making anyway. Even though cycle/pedestrian accidents cause less fatalities than accidents involving vehicles we should still try and stop these accidents from happening. I don't think it's an either/or here but rather that all can improve."

Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)

Thank you Paddy, you have indeed grasped my meaning.

Chris, you'll pardon me for saying so but I think your approach is a bit too black and white. If I allow for the possibility that the actions of cyclists have some influence on the behavior of drivers, you accuse me of saying that cyclists are the real wrongdoers. That is clearly not my intent. I merely think the behavior of cyclists is a contributory factor not the sole reason. Similarly, when you say my point is demonstrably wrong and there is no evidence for it, that betrays a somewhat rigid attitude. My evidence is the number of non-cyclist drivers I have talked to who decry reckless messengers and food delivery riders. Do you not think this colors their behavior towards cyclists when they encounter them on the road? I think it quite clearly does. Again (and again, and again) I don't assign all the blame on any one side but I also think to ignore the contribution of cyclists to this cycle (partially intentional pun) misses a crucial factor.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)


I was apparently more lighthearted in my response than you were, so I'll be more earnest now. The difference between us here is that while I made the effort to correctly interpret your tortured syntax, you have cast my more carefully crafted prose in a distorted (or ""inflammatory"") light.

If someone is put off by my straightforwardly calling people who injure of kill others while driving a car ""selfishly murderous slobs,"" so be it. I'm willing to alienate people who are offended by simple truths. (What would you call such drivers?) For my part, I find the sarcastic tone you employ here, toward Chris, at odds with the civility you expect from everyone else. As we are learning, it is possible to disagree with people in a relatively respectful way and without telling them to go to another message board if they disagree with us.

Beyond that, I have two big problems with the speculative claim that ""errant cyclists enrage drivers."" First, experience doesn't bear it out. Today, for instance, I had a little discussion with a dump truck driver who was trying to muscle me off of 33rd St. to get more quickly to a red light. I held the whole lane and then went back to speak with him. ""You should be on the side of the road!"" he yelled. I said, ""It's too narrow, and I don't want you passing a half-inch from me so you can race to the red light. You guys really have to learn to share the road. You're driving a big, dangerous truck."" He said, ""All right, ma'am, have a nice day""--without sarcasm.

My second big problem with the claim is that I am not responsible the actions of others.

I am, however, responsible for producing a very large meal, so goodbye and bon appetit a tous.

Anonymous's picture
chris o (not verified)
More cyclists (even reckless ones) make it safer

"My ""black and white"", rigid point is that drivers are not so bad in the city and in fact, are much better than those in the surrounding environs. Hmm, which side am I on?

The point that reckless cyclists in the city lead drivers to be MORE reckless makes no sense. (Unless these drivers intentionally try to hit or menace cyclists.) The fact that the highways and other parts of New York City have basically the same driving patterns, if not worse, than Manhattan would seem to disprove the point that cyclists are a contributing factor.

I have ridden a fair amount in the Bronx, Queens, and Yonkers, places with relatively few cyclists and no messengers, and it seemed a lot more dangerous - it is not even close. Granted, I don't have stats and studies in front of me but that is my clear and distinct experience.

Based on the driving in the surrounding areas and highways, my conclusion is that so many cyclists in the city make it safer for cyclists. This is true in spite of the fact that many of these cyclists are lawless and reckless. It is their visibility and presence that is the key (not their lawlessness) in raising driver awareness.

While I have no doubt that many drivers are irritated by reckless cyclists, I have grave doubt that they go the next step and try to harm these cyclists. That is a line that is very rarely crossed.

I admit that I am offended when a cyclist lays in the morgue and no one knows exactly what happened, yet we hear how there is blame to go all-around. I have never talked of blame and it makes no sense to me to speak of it in some blanket, general fashion.

When there is an accident, it could be all the cyclist's fault, or all the driver's fault, or some combination. But each incident must be taken on its own. So this ""blame to go all around"" makes no sense to me.

Happy Thanksgiving. I am going for a ride. (And then a drive later.)


Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Drinking AND Eating at the same time while riding? I doubt it.

It is said the deceased messenger was both eating a muffin and drinking coffee or tea at the same time while cycling. Do you believe that? Yeah, maybe on an open road you could ride with no hands, a cup in one hand and a muffin in the other. But slicing between vehicle in midtown? Nahhh.

So why would someone claim that of the deceased rider? A: You don't suppose to exculpate himself, do you?

An autopsy and investigation of the scene could likely determine the veracity of that allegation. Look for it. Nahh, save it; you won't hear or read it.

Double parking is against the law but the van from which a door was opened into the oncoming cyclist didn't get so much as a parking ticket.

Opening a door into an oncoming vehicle is against the law (Traffic and Vehicle Code). The person who did it didn't get so much as a ticket.

Consider: A couple years ago, or maybe it was last year, a cyclist was headed south on South St., a livery car was going north. The car makes a turn, turning into the oncoming cyclist, killing him. Turning vehicles must yield the right-of-way to a vehicle proceeding straight. Bicycles are vehicles under the NYS Traffic and Vehicle Code. The driver didn't get a ticket.

Consider: C. Three years ago a cyclist was riding where the law requires us to: as far right as is safe. A truck on Second Ave. cuts in front of him to make a turn onto 63rd Street, killing the cyclist. The driver is not given a ticket.

Conclusion:____________________. (I'll leave that to you to fill in.)


Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Richard (a law school drop-out) instructs John Z. in law.

"In the thread on licensing bikes, John Z. states, ""There is no organize(d) plot on the part of motor vehicle drivers to kill cyclists, most accidents are simply that, not justification for (a charge of) manslaughter.""

John, John, John. Wherefore do you summon and create the wholly imaginery specter that we're saying inconsiderate, inattentive, bully drivers conspire with one another to be that--your word, plot. No, they act individually as bullies, inconsiderate, reckless, incautious, inattentive drivers.

As for your thinking because they don't intend to kill someone, that exculpates them from a manslaughter charge, granted I dropped out of law school (not once, but twice), but you do know, don't you, you ARE responsible and liable for foreseeable consequences of your conduct.

Opening a door without looking has forseeable consequences.

Going through a red light has forseeable consequences.

Speeding has forseeable consequences.

Failure to signal a turn has forseeable consequences.

Turning from a non-turning lane has forseeable consequences.

...and a charge of manslaughter against those who kill in the course of the above should be one of the forseeable consequences. If it isn't, that's because there is no history of the police or DA bringing such charges against a driver for killing a cyclist. Or injuring him or her. At least not insofar as I know."

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

Thanks for posting your dropout law school advice to me on two different threads. We are very, very, very, fortunate to have such expertise contributing to this message board.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Ingratitude for cleaning up fractured English

One is always disappointed whenever a person cannot accept correction with grace.

One is further disappointed when one responds to it with gratuitious sarcasm.

Lastly, heretofore no mention was made of the vindictive person's fractured English in the original which I sought to shield. Were I a better person, I would omit this paragraph and alter the subject name but find when you edit a message, you cannot edit the subject name.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Did the door open on its own, without anyone opening it?

"Newsday reports an unnamed police official stated, ""It appears to be an unfortunate accident caused by the door
of the delivery truck.""

Uh, how's that? The door simply opened on its own? Not likely. More likely someone opened the door. Someone opened the door without first looking to see if someone was coming.

Time and again we read a cyclist is injured by a car. No, he was injured by the driver. The car has no mind of its own.

The car/truck/taxi doesn't will itself to turn without signaling.

The car/truck/taxi doesn't will itself to go through a red light.

The car/truck/taxi doesn't will itself to block cross traffic.

The car/truck/taxi doesn't will itself to turn from a non-turning lane.

The car/truck/taxi doesn't will itself to change lanes without first looking.

The car/truck/taxi door doesn't will itself to open.

Yet the driver isn't held liable because, you see, it was an accident. The driver was helpless. He just couldn't stop himself from: speeding, going through a red light, turning from a non-turning lane, changing lanes without looking, double parking, or opening a door without first looking.

And, you see, that's why we don't ticket drivers for injuring, maiming, or killing cyclists. Hell, it's certainly not the driver's fault. It was an accident and he shouldn't be expected to foresee there would be any adverse consequence to his speeding, turning from a non-turning lane, blocking cross traffic, double parking, opening a door without looking, changing lanes without looking....


Anonymous's picture
sonny (not verified)
All I Was Trying to Say

Just suggesting in my post that each of us has a duty to protect ourselves out there.

Anonymous's picture
Tom Hayes (not verified)

"I just want to support Richard Rosenthal's point that the ""fault"" lies with the driver of the car, truck, or bus. I am using the word ""fault"" here in its legal se nse; that is, the driver of the motor vehicle is culpable because cars, trucks, and busses are larger than bikes. Therefore I accept that when a bicyclist hits a pedestrian the bicyclist is at fault. As I am sure everybody knows, if a car hits another car from behind the driver of the car that is behind is always at fault no matter what the circumstances. The leading car may jam on his or her brakes while doing 50 mph. It doesn't matter. The driver of the following car is at fault. Similarly, if a car hits a bike the driver of the car is at fault.
Second, I think it is naive to believe that if cyclist were nicer (more courteous) drivers would be more respectful. Thre only thing that will make drivers pay more attention to cyclist is a strict enforcement of the laws regarding the rights of cyclists.

Anonymous's picture
Geo Carl Kaplan (not verified)

Second, I think it is naive to believe that if cyclist were nicer (more courteous) drivers would be more respectful. Thre only thing that will make drivers pay more attention to cyclist is a strict enforcement of the laws regarding the rights of cyclists.
This is a valid point.

In this case the messenger is not without fault. Any cyclist who attempts to thread his way between a double parked truck, and another truck alongside, moving or otherwise, has assumed the risk of imminent danger and bodily harm

Anonymous's picture
Tom Hayes (not verified)
fault again

"Perhaps the messenger may be to some degree technically and/or morally at fault, but my point is that he is not legally at fault. There is a very important distinction between these uses of the word ""fault."""

Anonymous's picture
chris o (not verified)
death on a bicycle

This post stupefies me and I will refrain from comment. I merely submit this one request:

If I am killed by a car on my bike, please discuss me and my extinguished life the way you would like to be spoken of, and pray that my death was not in vain. Do not kick me when I am in the ultimate down. Even if I made a mistake, even if I was in the wrong, this is my request. Thanks.


Anonymous's picture
Tom Laskey (not verified)

I guess I haven't been very clear since everybody seems to be grossly misinterpreting my point.

I think a majority of drivers in the city think of cyclists either as wreckless and dangerous messengers, food delivery riders who ride on the sidewalk and against traffic - and are generally unpredictable and unsafe - or those fancy dressed people who use those thin tires and blow through intersections at 25mph even when the light is against them. Now, imagine those drivers on the road in the right lane, with a cyclist riding along side them. Will this driver be inclined to move over to the left and give the cyclist more room? I would guess no. And what about situations where a motorists needs to show a little extra caution towards a cyclist, like going through an intersection or going around a turn? Do you think a driver that considers cyclists to be wreckless and unlawful will be willing to exert the patience to show that extra caution? I think it's doubtful.

I'm not talking about being more courteous, I'm talking about being safer and more lawful. All the blatantly unsafe riding that goes on in this city just fuels the prejudice of drivers against us. No, we're not responsible for that prejudice - there are other factors as well - but I think it's in our interest not to fuel it.

Anonymous's picture
mike (not verified)
it's auto drivers that cause unnecessary injury,maiming or death

"thats the same attitude and driving patterns that too many automobile driver display driving through neighborhoods that they consider inferior or with varieties of people that they may be prejudiced to.
the.. ""i am more important, get out of my way weak/inferior bicycle rider/pedestrian or i will hit you with my big strong car/SUV mentality""
they should be prosecuted for reckless driving and their privilege to drive an automobile revoked"

Anonymous's picture
Judith Tripp (not verified)
I agree with Tom L.

It can't do any good to thumb your nose at drivers of cars; it won't endear you to them. And I see guys doing that sometimes, in the park for example, taking up the whole roadway, riding several abreast. It just seems silly to antagonize drivers, they're much bigger and more dangerous (I mean what they are driving is). Not much we can do about the delivery guys, but I think drivers can differentiate between delivery guys and people riding bikes who are part of the traffic and as such obeying traffic laws, and I think they probably think less badly of us and that can't be a bad thing.

Anonymous's picture
Chris O (not verified)
stessing the stress

Tom - I do not misinterpret your point, I just disagree with it. I agree that many motorists are stressed by cyclist behavior, but I am skeptical that this leads them to lack caution around a turn or an intersection or anywhere else.

I can not accept that irate motorists want to deliberately (or subconsciously) injure or kill a discrete cyclist because of the sins of the collective group. Even if they did harbor the desire to hit a cyclist, surely they don't want to be involved in a hit-and-run risking jail time. Nor would they like to wait around for an hour or so to fill out a police report - and then deal with insurance issues, etc. This can not be happening in any statistically significant way. And any drivers engaged in such behavior do not deserve our understanding but our condemnation.

Cyclists are not the real stess for drivers. Cyclists do not in any significant way interfere with a motorist's ability to get from point A to point B and motorists know that. The overwhelming problem and the largest stressor faced by New York City drivers are other motor vehicles. And each cyclist can be said to make for one less car, thus diminishing the motorist's traffic nightmare.

Is your theory applicable to other cars and pedestrians? Do drivers act recklessly towards other vehicles (or pedestrians) based on the reckless driving (or walking) of some or is this disposition only expressed towards cyclists? I think the crazy conditions and reckless driving cause drivers to be generally more alert for other cars and pedestrians and cyclists. Much more alert about everything and anything that can happen.

More broadly, I find your point of view to be odd. We are to be studiously concerned with the stress cyclists cause drivers. This is the paramount issue between cars and bicycles. If we (responsible or not cyclists) are struck by a vehicle, we must understand the plight of the driver. But let us not concern ourselves with the stress drivers cause cyclists. Maybe that's too overwhelmingly apparent and boring, or just too PC.

Chris O

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
The psychology of driving

"Roll up the windows, lock the doors and I'm in my own little environment where nobody, NOBODY, can tell me what to do.

I don't really mean to hurt anyone, I just don't really think about it. In fact, I don't think at all when I'm driving since I'm already doing too many things at once - fiddling with the CDs, watching a DVD, talking on the phone, putting on makeup, screaming at the kids ...

I'm wasn't trying to run that pedestrian over but I was late, and distracted, and it's unfair that they have the right-of-way, and besides I was just ooching out a little into the crosswalk, how was I supposed to know that my 4000 pound FUV could kill someone at 2mph? And heaven help the SOB who tries to do that to me in the mall parking lot, the only place I ever walk outside. Hypocrite? Who, me?

Anyway, most of the time I wave them through as I'm ooching forward, even though they can't see me because of the glare on the windshield. Sometimes I yell out ""go ahead!"" even though they can't hear me either.

Oh, yeah, that pesky cyclist. I didn't really mean to hurt him, I just wanted to brush past him with my 4000 pound FUV and teach him a lesson but I miscalculated a little.

Red light? What red light?

I'm not allowed to make a right turn on red in NYC? Since when?

And besides, when someone in the left lane is squeezing me to the right, do you think I'm gonna risk my $75,000 sheet metal rather than swerve into that cyclist? No effin' way.

(It's not the stress, it's the inability to think critically, the belief in the auto manufacturers' hype, the fictionalization of life as seen on TV, the incredible competence of the vehicles themselves that *almost* makes up for the incompetence of the drivers, the loss of respect for other human beings [see the comment about TV], the loss of respect for driving as a complex activity that requires one's attention. End of rant.)


Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
familiar ring?
cycling trips