Friday, February 13, 2015

Tuesday Prompt: Ellen Hawkins: Roadkill

In between arriving at the bus stop and phoning my boss to say I’d be late, I was sideswiped by four bikes, an old lady on a scooter and a man in a wheelchair heading for heaven in a hurry. Lunatics, every one of them: lunatics on wheels. They’re all out there these days, bent on mayhem if not outright war. Helmets down against the blazing sun and flicking on their I-phones, cyclists dodge about like go-karts, mounting the pavement, lurching back onto the road, passing buses with only inches to spare then shooting across the intersection the minute the light changes. How they don’t all end up as road kill beats me.
            As if that weren’t enough, now the illustrious Municipalities have decided that bikers need their own paths and blow me, without any widening of the streets city workers have been painting blue lines and installing brick-sized concrete lane separators, which has only further encouraged the speed demons.  It’s not that I don’t like bikes or vans or people, it’s that if you put the whole lot together in a narrow corridor heading downhill, what you get is pandemonium, not order, a situation especially dangerous for pedestrians, the most likely losers.  Cars are great for those in a hurry, and bikes are cleaner, greener and good for your health, but if your heart’s desire is to roam on foot, well, you better don some armor because, like wildlife, you’re fair game. 

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