Stone Way Lanes

One the joys of riding in the city, on city streets, is participating in "driver education." This is because, many drivers have gotten angry at me, and try to teach me where or how I should use the road. And then, it becomes a matter of me trying to correct their misconception.

A year or two ago, I got punched in the face (twice) for upsetting a passenger in a car, when I was using a bicycle lane on Ravenna Boulevard. He apparently wanted me off the road.

There have been other times, though usually I experience mild verbal harassment (threats) or intimidation. Both of which are illegal, though to what extent honking your horn to startle someone is illegal, I don't know.

This last week, I was on my way to Gasworks Park on Stone Way (south), on the beginning portion after Greenlake Way, before NE 45th Street. Riding in the left lane of a four lane road, I apparently was delaying passage of some driver. I didn't look back, but I heard some women shouting out behind me. I wasn't sure what was going on. The light crossing 45th was red, I stopped. The driver changed lanes to the right. I asked her what she was saying.

It was an older lady in a Lexus SUV. She started explaining her concerns… And I didn't really understand her point, but I did hear she didn't like was I couldn't keep up with traffic. Though ironically, I was at the same light she was at, so probably I wasn't inflicting any terrible delay to her drive home. And as for my part, I helpfully pointed out that I had every legal right to use the road and on this road, she could have easily passed me. It was her muddled understanding that if I couldn't keep up with the maximum posted speed limit, I should "move over". This has no basis in law.

Argument over? No, her final response was, "You should be polite." She was turning left at the light (probably blocking a line of cars), and I disappeared.

But just a half block down, I saw the cleanup scene of a car accident. It looked like one car hit the side of another in a turn. There was glass on the road, a tow truck, people milling about, and traffic was trying to get by. Perhaps they were impatiently driving (or exceeding) the "speed limit" and maybe they should have been driving slower? I assume nobody was badly hurt.

Coincidentally, just a few days after this event, I was driving down Stone Way. Stone Way has now been repainted and become a two-lane street with a middle turn lane and bicycle lanes on each side. They have effectively taken away one lane and given it to bicyclists.

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About eliasross

Blogging before the word "blog" was invented.
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1 Response to Stone Way Lanes

  1. baudman says:

    Hmmm… lady in SUV. Most of my run-ins with drivers (err.. that should potential for me dying) have been with SUVs.I suppose it's great that there's now the extra bicycle lane, but a shame that you paid for it with your face (in the grand scheme of things…)

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