RIP

There was a horrible accident just off campus on Monday afternoon that left an AUS professor dead. The professor and his (72-year-old!) cycling companion were hit by a car, and both died instantly.

This news is horrifying to those of us in the AUS community for the obvious reasons, but also because of the spotlight it shines on the problem of bike/pedestrian safety in this country. Jeremy sometimes rides his bike in the area where this accident happened; I never have, but only because I'm skittish about biking off-campus. I don't trust cars around here when I'm IN a car, let alone when I'm relatively unprotected on a bike.

That said, I do ride my bike six days a week on campus. It's how I get to work, it's how I run errands, it's how the girls get to ballet class on Saturdays, sometimes on their own. And hardly one of those six days a week goes by without me witnessing some truly egregious behavior on the part of motorists toward cyclists or pedestrians. They don't know how to treat us (yes, this has become an us vs. them thing).

We are lucky to have marked crosswalks, most of which are incorporated into raised speed bumps. But cars still find ways to NOT stop for pedestrians/cyclists. It's appalling. In 2013, Miriam was hit by a golf-cart-ish maintenance car while riding her bike within 100m of our house. The front part of her bike was mangled, but she, aside from a few bruises, was fine. However, it took her more than a year to work up the courage to ride confidently again. I don't blame her.


It's shameful that people drive the way they do around pedestrians and cyclists. It is not that hard to SLOW DOWN, and keep an eye out for other people on the road. Seriously, not that hard. I know that even bike-friendly cities like Portland still struggle with motorist vs. cyclist safety issues. So we have a long way to go in this country, where in certain cities it is still illegal for women to ride bikes. I hope bicycle safety awareness on the part of motorists can change soon.

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