There are a lot of things to be fearful about in the course of a day living in New York City. My list includes things like like tripping and falling into the subway tracks and walking under scaffolding and having it collapse on top of me. A former colleague used to refuse to walk under one of those ladders attached to an old fire escape in front of our building because she was afraid of being decapitated. Swinging cranes, slick subway stairs, everyone who lives here has their one fear that makes them really shake.
While you might think terrorist attacks top my list they don't. My greatest fear is being run over by a bicyclist.
In theory this fear should be easing now that the city has created more car traffic in order to build bicycle lanes. Pedestrians have the sidewalk, cars and trucks their lane , and now bicyclists theirs. They can pay attention to traffic lights and slow down at intersections like the rest of us. But they don't.
They come out of nowhere, running red lights and way too often riding against the direction of traffic. Each time I gasp, thankful I wasn't in their path.
It happened to me again just the other day. This time I thought for sure I was going to be splayed across Broadway and 66th. I had the light and there he went, helmet secured, eyes fixing on the road in front of him and not the pedestrians who had the right of way. He raced through his red light faster than the speed limit for automobiles and in the opposite direction of the traffic. What saved me was noticing the couple next to me stepping back as they caught sight of him a few seconds before I did. If not for that moment, my greatest fear would have been met.
They have their own lanes and now they have signs to remind them that the pedestrian has the right of way. Apparently they are still riding too fast to read them - because I still have my fear.
note: This is Day #12 of a 30 Day Experiment. Here are the details on how it all started.