Why the feuding between bikers, drivers, and pedestrians needs to stop
By Jacey Gibb, Opinions Editor
It seems like not a week goes by where I don’t read at least one letter to the editor complaining about someone’s recent nightmare encounter with a reckless, rule-defying cyclist/driver/pedestrian. These citizen-written pieces needlessly bitching about this kind of stuff are as common as rain clouds in the Lower Mainland, and I’m beyond sick of it. Mostly because it’s pointless (I doubt that guy you almost hit because he was jaywalking is going to read your words and experience a Grinch-like transformation), but also because they’re ignoring a crucial fact: regardless of whatever means we’re taking to get from Point A to B, we’re all still people.
That’s right. Inside that speeding container of metal and gears is a fleshy human just like yourself. They may be momentarily behind the wheel, but the moment they leave the confines of their car, they magically become pedestrians. The same goes for bikers. Underneath that horrendous helmet hair and those fingerless gloves, cyclists are people too.
So why is it that some people continue to single out these different groups and slap an absolute on them? “All bikers think they own the road!” I’m sure they feel the same way about you, Captain Four-Wheels.
As someone who dabbles into all three transportation pools, I can say without much bias that I know where people are coming from. It’s annoying when a car almost hits you because they’re not giving you the right-away you’re entitled to because you’re travelling on foot. I know I always fume when I’m stopped at a red light and someone on a bike breezes past me into the intersection, either ignoring that they’re supposed to be following the same rules as drivers or because they’re completely ignorant of it. These types of situations are annoying to experience, but that doesn’t mean you have to take to the media and generalize an entire group of people. That’s almost the definition of discrimination.
Instead of just complaining about the way other people act, take the encounters and learn something from them. Be a more considerate driver or take more precautions when crossing the road. Regardless of whether you’re on four wheels, two wheels, or none, it doesn’t make you any less of a human being—and the same goes for those around you.