Today, a 22-year old cyclist was killed by a garbage truck as she crossed a sidewalk just 5 blocks from my home, about an hour before I biked to work. I’m normally hard to phase and distract from work, but this definitely got my attention. (I had no idea before today that riding on sidewalks is so dangerous, but I tend to avoid doing it anyway; as an avid pedestrian, I loathe bikers on sidewalks and, in particular, the ones that don’t warn you when they’re about to pass from behind.)
And I spent last Friday night in the E.R. because Michael got hit by a car door that opened as he passed — fortunately, he only needed some stitches on his hand (and lots of ice, elsewhere).
I tell lots of folks to join the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. They advocate for bike lanes, bike parking, trails and safety in general in the metropolitan D.C. area, and membership in the organization (only $35!) also gets you 10% off any purchase at most bike stores in the area. They also have lessons and materials on riding safety (that I should probably make more use of, apparently…).
So, do it. Join, and be safe out there…
- “Woman Killed by Garbage Truck in Dupont” (8 Jul 2008, DCist.com)
- “Cyclist, 22, Dies After Being Hit by Truck Near Dupont Circle” (8 Jul 2008, WashingtonPost.com)
(For fun, check out this happy place the DCist commentary led me to: MyBikeLane. Not certain I’ll be contributing…)