L is for Lanes of Traffic

“When there’s no bike lane, you’re supposed to ride on the sidewalk.”

turn signal
1. In July, traveling north on that stretch of Interstate 90 in New York between the Pennsylvania border and Buffalo, closer to the former, there are four lanes of traffic, two in each direction.

The Wife is driving and is in the right lane. Another car is in the left lane, slowly passing us. Suddenly, a motorcycle darts between us! Another motorcycle is already ahead of the other car.

Then the motorcycles, in turn, proceed to drive between not one, not two, but FOUR pairs of cars, in about three minutes. I was happy no one got hurt.

2. I am riding my bicycle down my street. I am as far right as I can be, given the fact there is a string of parked cars. I can sense that there’s a car that wants to pass me, but there’s oncoming traffic, and this is not an option.

We catch a red light, and we both stop. I can pull to the right because there’s no car that close to the intersection.

The driver says, “There’s no bike lane.”


“When there’s no bike lane, you’re supposed to ride on the sidewalk.”

“NO, sir!”

“That’s the law.”

“You are INCORRECT, sir. Check your drivers’ manual. There’s a section on bicycles in there.”

Seriously, I used to carry around the booklet from DMV for such interactions. In my state, it is ILLEGAL for me to ride on the sidewalk, unless I’m under 14. (Note: I’m not.)

Apparently, this is a problem elsewhere.

3. Still, I LOVE riding my bicycle in the city, because I often find change on the ground, where the driver’s side door might be. I’ll stop for even a nickel, but not for a penny. Though if I stop for a mixture of coins – it has happened – I’ll get the pennies as well.

4. August: I was waiting for a bus, when a young man, probably in his twenties, asked me if I could “spare some change” so he could ride the bus. I told him that I could “spare a 50-cent change card” that I happen to have. (The fare is $1.50, and if I put in two $1 bills, I get the change card.)

His eyes narrowed as he said, teeth clenched, “Have a nice day.” I don’t think he was being sincere.
Now I Know: Slow and Steady Wins the Lottery

The Calculus of Bad Driving

ABC Wednesday – Round 19

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

20 thoughts on “L is for Lanes of Traffic”

  1. Honestly, I sometimes illegally ride my bike on the sidewalk because I just don’t want to die and the drivers in my area are… easily distracted and often inebriated.

  2. Yes, motorcycles are terribly dangerous these days – actually, I should say the drivers of motorcycles! We have some bike lanes but frankly, I’d rather ride a bike in the countryside where there are seldom cars whipping past above the speed limit. Great post and subtle reminder to everyone out there, whether in a car, on a motorcycle, or on a bike.

    abcw team

  3. I make a lot of left turns these days and have given up riding a bike. My greatest challenge is in being comfortable in an electric cart..feel less vulnerable driving the SUV!

  4. Even though we have bike lanes in some areas, I’d never ride my bike outside the mobile home park where I live. The bike lanes are often next to areas where cars park plus they seem too narrow to me.

  5. That sidewalk business would draw derisive hoots where I live; my 70-year-old neighborhood has had sidewalks for less than a year, and nobody older than four ever rides a bike on ’em.

  6. Traffic….horrifying experiences some time…
    Lanes look you describe here in you post are familiar to me too, the motorcyclists sometimes act if they think they own the pavement….

  7. I smiled at your change finding, it is surprising what can be seen, I know someone who put together a small tool kit with things found while cycling.

  8. I think he wanted “change” for something else. You were right to offer him the change card. I like riding my bike in parks–streets too crazy for me.

  9. I stopped riding my bike when I was knocked off it by a careless motorist.
    It was in the days before bike lanes, there wasn’t as much traffic on the roads then!
    Interesting piece about your traffic lanes. I have driven in the States and found it rather scary at first… so many lanes and road signs, We were travelling from Georgia Airport down to Orlando.
    I was rather relieved when Ian suggested we stop for lunch and change drivers; I didn’t volunteer to drive again!
    Fabulous trip, we drove through the cotton fields into the deep southern part of Georgia. I loved America despite all the crazy traffic lights, road signs and lanes.
    Interesting piece Rog.

    best wishes,
    ABCW team.

  10. I hate travelling on the motorway. Last Tuesday I had to change lane 4 times within a short span. So stressed I almost had a heart attack. I prefer the good old traffic lights.

  11. I agree. There are a lot of drivers that literally think they’re the “kings” of the road and have no regard for anyone else on the road. Blessings!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial