Letter to the Editor: Road courtesy is a two-way street


Jonathan North/Iowa State Daily

The City of Ames and Campustown are working together to add bike lanes to a number of roads around and to campus. The bike lanes are planned for Lincoln Way, Welch Avenue, Chamberlain Street and 13th Street. Bikers are currently using the same streets as the motorists and this proposal would help take care of this safety issue.

You never know what will happen. Today, I was in an accident. As I was biking north on Morrill Road, between the library and LeBaron Hall, a pedestrian saw me approaching and waited for me to pass. However, the pedestrian beside them didn’t even glance up. They stepped out right as I was passing the first pedestrian. I braked as hard as I could, and, even though I stopped the bike, momentum carried me over the handle bars and onto the pavement. It’s lucky there wasn’t a bus or car coming from the other direction, or I might not be here now. The real kicker of this incident is that the pedestrian who caused my crash didn’t even turn around or stop to see if I was alright. They walked away, busy listening to their music without apologizing.

It turns out that I’m not the first cyclist who has encountered a careless pedestrian not paying attention. Unfortunately, I will not be the last. Pedestrians need to be held accountable for their individual safety and recognize others when crossing streets and paths. They need to stop, look both ways and cross when it’s safe. They don’t realize how long it can take a vehicle to stop and the consequences that can occur if forced to stop quickly. It should be common sense to at least glance in both directions before crossing the street. Remember what we learned in elementary school: Stop, look both ways then cross when it’s safe.