I Take No Responsibility for Killing You

That statement is for those of you who insist on riding their non-reflective bikes at night while wearing black hoodies and black pants. I'm very proud of you for conserving gasoline and remaining fit, but I CAN'T SEE YOU. Now that it's dark at like 3:30 each day, by the time I'm driving home from work, it's pitch black. There's been more than one time that I've jumped in surprise at bicyclers swerving out of nowhere and speeding off in the dark, visible only if you catch the whites of their eyes. I don't want to commit accidental vehicular manslaughter because some hipster insists on riding his midnight blue Schwinn home from an early happy hour at Sugar Mom's. While I'm on the subject, it will not be my fault if I hit you in my car because you're riding down the street against traffic. And if you insist on talking on your cell phone while doing this, you most certainly should be at least grazed by my bumper.

Other possible circumstances for which I will shoulder no responsibility in the event of your death:

1. If you amble across the street without looking up. You might be from California where cars screech to a halt at the suggestion of a bi-ped, but you are not in CA now and you should at least pause before walking out into the road.

I thought I would be able to come up with more, but I can't think of any others right at this very moment. Driving in Phildelphia in general remains a challenge every morning up 3rd street to work and every evening down 4th. Third street in the morning is an obstacle course of pot holes, illegally parked PPA ticket-writers, lane straddling garbage trucks and buses, unsteady bicyclists, and people for whom a stop sign means "gun it and run it." Fourth street later in the day is filled with out-of-towners inching along in search of street parking, aggressive SUV's trying to make the five second green lights from block to block, random, unending construction, and parking that alternates between the left and the right side of the street. Forget going down 6th because then you have to contend with people trying to get on and off 76 as well as the duck boats at Market St. and accompanying duck whistles.

P.S. It's Thanksgiving this week. I can't believe it. Radio stations are now playing Christmas music nonstop.


Karin said…
As much as I'd like to pretend that I appreciate the fact that people use bicycles to get around, the truth is, as a driver, bikers drive me NUTS! Especially on South Street coming off of 76, especially since I'm coming from work and I WANT TO GET HOME! The sidewalk is about as wide as a driving lane, and no one walks on it, yet bikers insist on taking up the whole driving line. And you can't pass them -- the road is too narrow.

This would all be well and good, however, if bikers actually adhered to driving laws. You can't have your cake and eat it, too. One biker might say, "I can't ride on the sidewalk -- that's illegal!" Yet the same person has no qualms running a red light.

Where are the flying cars? Didn't the Jetsons promise flying cars by now? Why can't we at least have automated cars like the ones in 'I, Robot' and 'Minority Report'?