I stopped short as I was about to pull out of a driveway on Martin Luther King Blvd the other day just as a bicycle zoomed past.  Whenever the subject comes up lately, it feels a lot like our politics.

People take sides, dig in, and snarl at each other.  It’s as if bike riders and drivers are at war.

Bike riders argue that drivers do stupid things that are dangerous to bike riders.  “Sometimes, drivers don’t even see us,” they complain.

Drivers complain that bike riders break the rules by running through red lights and stop signs as if they don’t apply to them.  Sometimes bike riders create a lane where none exists, squeezing between cars just inches apart.  Actually, that happened to me once on the UNC campus.  A student on a bike tried to thread the needle so to speak.  He tried to squeeze between my car and the curb.  He didn’t make and plowed into the side of my car.

I do understand.  I used to ride my bike a lot when I was younger.  Now, I drive.  When I see a bike rider on the road as safely as I can I try to give him or her plenty of space.  Maybe if we all, bike riders and drivers alike, obeyed the law, concentrated on what we are doing, and watched out for the other person we’d have fewer accidents.  Let’s try that.  The rules apply to all of us.  Let’s all calm down, share the road carefully, and make an effort to live together in peace.

— Raleigh Mann


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