liberty and/or death

I thank my lucky stars I don't work downtown and have to bicycle commute every day, both because the Liberty Avenue hill is stupendously humongous and because at rush hour, no one gives you an inch to spare riding up the two-lane portion of the road. You'd think that the part of the road where people have two whole lanes for their cars would be better, since you can be in one and then the car people can take the other, or even just go halfsies, for those ten seconds when they're passing you. In reality, the existence of two lanes, each one of which is narrower than the single lane up the hill a little further, causes people to try to cram by two at a time and doesn't allow much room for little old me or you on our bicycle. This is why the best choice is, annoyingly enough (if that's a word), taking more of the lane than we normally would and forcing the people in the right lane to go into the left, and making them honk at us. Much as they say (I wouldn't know, I'm from Pittsburgh) that bike lanes often end up causing problems for cyclists because they end up acting as the only safe zones for bikes, and make things like left turns more dangerous (if you're already in the lane, drivers are aware of you and more ready if you signal to get over to make a left) and generally reduce cyclists' visibility.

On a more pleasant note, I've seen several new "Share the Road" (or whatever) signs in and around Point Breeze just recently, and they make me feel nice at the very least.


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