Tuesday, September 3, 2013


19 miles per hour. That's the highest recorded gust of wind for Palmer today. I'm pretty sure that gust was this morning around 4:56. At least that's when the fattened raindrops started pelting my face with enough force to sting. Though the temps were nice this morning, the head and chest cold made for an unpleasant ride to the bus stop.

I really can't say anything about the commute today. It was good. Peaceful, even. Though the ride on Friday was a bit less - so. See, on Friday I commute to the university. I suppose any change of routine leads to new awareness of one's surroundings. The change in commute route also made me realize just how much I appreciate the off-street paths I get to take almost everyday for my commute.

In five miles of commuting, I was almost hit not once, but twice. The first as I was waiting to cross a busy intersection in the MUP in front of a school. I had the walk signal and as I was committing to the crossing a Suburu Outback comes screaming around the corner, stops to make sure that I have stopped, and then continues to drive through the crossing - completely ignoring right of way.

Now, I know what ya'll are thinking - I shouldn't be riding through a crosswalk. I get it. And any cop would say, in the event that I was hit, that I was in the wrong for not dismounting and walking. Though one could argue that when an MUP intersects with a roadway that the same rules governing the MUP should be applied, i.e., the crosswalk isn't so much a cross walk, but a light-controlled crossing just as if I were in the flow of traffic. But, regardless, I was able to get out of that one without anything negative happening.

On the way back to the bus to head home for the day I decided to take the long way round and come round the coastal trail and up into downtown on 5th street. From the coastal trail, 5th street is a two way, but at J street it becomes a oneway and folks moving east on 5th have to turn right onto J. No biggie. So I turn right onto J into the first lane, as I should. A truck coming west on 5th also turns onto J, though the driver does not pull into the first available lane, but instead crosses lanes on the turn and into my lane, the western-most lane. (J is also a one way) I hear the V8 pull in behind me and rev up before I hear the brakes squeal - the driver obviously didn't see me in my day-glow orange jacket and blinding red blinky light.

I need to get over to the left-hand lane to make a left-hand turn onto 6th. I look back and see the truck right behind me with the driver not really paying attention. I also see that the left lane is clear. So I put out my arm to signal my intent to change lanes and as soon as I do, the truck pulls into the left lane. She pulls into the left lane as I am committed to pulling in as well. She guns her truck and I can feel the whoosh of the mirror as it flies past me while I'm trying to keep myself from being hit.

I don't know if the driver was texting or what, but it's like she looked up and saw someone moving slowly in front of her and decided to race around rather than actually paying attention to what that person in front of her was doing. Could have been avoided had she followed the traffic laws to begin and turned into her own lane from the stoplight. Oh well. Made it home in one piece.

Sometimes that's all we can ask for, I guess.

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