Bike safety in Seattle and other gray, rainy places
Bicyclists please take note. The season has changed. It is dark outside in the morning and evening. You are invisible.
Another short, morning commute to the park-and-ride lot, and another idiot on a bike in dark clothes, and no more light than radiates off a firefly’s abdomen. Give me and other drivers a break. At least when the rider predictably sped through the red light at the intersection he was visible for a fleeting moment.
Bike riders need to be lit up fore and aft: bright lights, flashing lights, multiple lights. Zipping down the sides of roads, bicyclists are out of sight and mind for drivers looking for an opening to make a turn into traffic. Give drivers a break with reflective stripes on clothing and bikes. Those bright vests and eye-popping yellow pullovers help a lot.
OK, I will stipulate many drivers are idiots as well. They behave badly around bike riders or are completely oblivious to them. That puts the onus on bike riders to make their presence known. You are moving fast and appear out of nowhere. Those red or white strobe-like lights get seen by drivers.
I understand a humble request to obey traffic laws and protocols is a waste of time, so please make an effort to be seen. The weather and darkness are working against you.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
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