Thursday, October 17, 2013

Making A Clean Sweep

As a bicycle commuter, you expect to come across all sorts of hazards in your daily travels.  So it came as no surprise to my family to find me outside, on the street with a broom in hand and a dustpan clutched at the ready. Ready to sweep up a long swath of broken glass in the bike lane.
Brand spanking new

The city has gone to quite a lot of trouble adding to the existing bike lanes and upgrading the one they installed in my neighbourhood last year just before the snow fell .  First, the top surface of the whole road was scraped down.  A new type of asphalt coating was then spread across the whole expanse of road.  As my cycling daughter pointed out, the new surface offers better grip for bicycle tires.  
Is my neighbour the culprit?

 While turning my back to oncoming traffic (I'm in the bike lane so how could I be hit by a car?) and sweeping diligently, a neighbour stopped to harangue me about the bicycle lanes.  I know from past experience that this fellow never hesitates to call the city with even the most minor of complaints.  I am certain he is one of the motorists who contacted the city and had them eliminate the bike lane they installed last year which nessesitated all of the work that has been done this summer on our street.
Since I have to live near the guy, I wasn't prepared to argue with him.  Thinking I could placate him, I declared that as far as the bike lanes go, the city has made both motorists and cyclists unhappy. This set him off further into a spit - spraying tirade which wasn't helped when I politely asked him to move over so I could continue sweeping the broken glass onto my household dustpan.

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