Cyclists usually think of themselves when it comes to vulnerable users, but there’s another class I’d like to mention: pedestrians!
Like the recent death of Lauren Huddleston tragically reminded us, pedestrians are the vulnerable users in interactions between walkers/runners and cyclists.
As you’ve probably already read about, Lauren was jogging on the Katy Trail in Dallas, Texas when she abruptly turned in front of a passing cyclist. Notwithstanding Lauren’s contribution to this collision (she was wearing headphones and walked directly into the path of a moving bike), you have to wonder how fast the cyclist was moving to cause a serious head injury to another trail user.
I’ve been on shared use trails like this and been passed by cyclists going better than 20 MPH. I have some pretty strong opinions about people who bike like this because crowded trails are no place to cycle fast. If you want to go fast, hit the open road. If you’re on a multi-use path, go slow.
I was reminded of Lauren early this morning as I biked on a trail. I approached an intersection and saw an oblivious woman coming from an adjacent trail. I could see she wore headphones, and she wasn’t looking where she was going. I came to a dead stop short of the trail intersection and waited for her to walk around me, and still she walked right into me!
Do walkers need to pay attention? Sure, but as cyclists we’re the ones operating the more dangerous vehicle, and we’re the ones who should take care around the more vulnerable users.
Your thoughts and opinions?