Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

Backwards Priorities: Most Vulnerable Commuters Last to Be Considered

There's nothing scarier, as a cyclist, than witnessing a car-on-bike crash. That is especially true if you've got a toddler in tow.

false

For bike commuting parents like M.J. Kelly at the Cascade Bicycle Club blog, safety concerns carry an added measure of urgency.

Unfortunately, Seattle roadbuilders didn't develop too many routes with moms biking their kids to school in mind. After Kelly and her son Colin witnessed a crash this week, it really brought home her family's vulnerability, and the frustration with their current options:

As I stood on the fringes of the emergency vehicles, I pondered the intersection, while Colin clutched my hand and pondered the firefighters. I glanced down at my helmeted three-year-old (almost, four, he would be quick to add) and thought, “Is this a good street for us? I thought it was, but maybe it’s not. What are our options?”

So there we were, on Brooklyn and 47th, just trying to get from home to school and on to the office safely. Where should we be? I’m tired of feeling cars breathing down my back no matter which street I take. I’m tired of worrying that I’m going to get rear-ended by a driver who isn’t paying attention. I’m tired of not being able to get across needlessly high-speed arterials without taking my life in my hands. I’m tired of trying to do something modestly good by biking a few miles instead of driving, and feeling like I’m at battle.

Lest I sound totally beaten down, I’m not. I still have hope, but hope alone won’t amount to much. If more families are going to get around by bike, we need safer streets. And we need them now.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Transportationist asks, have we reached peak truck? The Transport Politic comments on U.S. DOT's rush to award high-speed rail grants in an uncertain political climate. And Portland Transport describes a condition he calls "monomodal fixation disorder."

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Metro Committee Approves $225M Cost Overrun for Westside Subway Section 1 Construction

Wilshire subway 4-mile extension section 1 (Western to La Cienega) budget swells from from $3.14B to $3.35B. Section construction is 91 percent done, now anticipated to open fall 2025

May 16, 2024

Transit Expert Jarrett Walker has Advice for Los Angeles

Jarrett Walker talks choice riders, all-door boarding, bus lanes, BRT, and making the bus system more legible

May 14, 2024
See all posts