Totally OT but I wanted to throw a positive experience on this thread. Today I rode my bike out to Golf Mill to do some shopping. I was headed west on Monroe where it dead-ends at the Cumberland intersection in Niles. At the stop sign I was turning right (north) on to Cumberland. I arrived at the intersection just behind a minivan that was not using its blinker. I positioned myself behind the minivan such that I was visible to the driver in the side-view mirror, with my arm out signaling a right turn. I heard, "Go ahead, I see you" from the driver of the van. I was shocked. As I rode by the minivan I said "Thank you for looking", and "Have a good day" to the driver. She said, "You're welcome. You too!” Just before that I was a little upset that she wasn't using a blinker and a little devil on my shoulder told me to pull up on her right but I knew that would be an unsafe decision. It was just nice to have a positive motorist interaction. I guess there's always hope.
I have noticed this too.. While I so appreciate it, i get frustrated sometimes, mostly when it has happened several times in one day where I am noticeably stopping for traffic(stop pedaling, put a leg down, pull to the side, wave them on to let them know I am not running through)to go through their sign they wait until I come to a complete stop to go through their sign. Sometimes I just want to go through, but you never know how they will react. They could gun it, they could swear and yell, or they could be understanding to how tiring it can be to stop and go stop and go on a bicycle.
Brian Kennedy said:I've also noticed that the vast majority of motorists yield to me at 4-way stops even if they were there first.
One common thread on...um...this thread... everyone is saying "Thank You". When i do experience courteous drivers, conscious door openers, aware pedestrians, and the likes, i make sure i give a very clear Thank You as positive reinforcement.
Keep showing the gratitude.
One day I was stopped somewhere on Chicago waiting for the light to change. A cabbie who was signaling to turn right was to my right with his window down. He struck up a conversation. I think he was flirting, but whatever! It was absolutely the nicest, most pleasant interaction I'd ever had with a cabbie and totally surprised me.
I always try to acknowledge when a driver has given me the right of way or otherwise been courteous (my inner voice says, "Thank you for not killing me."). I think it helps make that driver's next interaction with a cyclist more positive and ultimately benefits us all. Even if someone does something really stupid or dangerous, if it's evident it was unintentional and they apologize, I try to be polite rather than screaming an obscenity. It's all about the civility, baby. And god knows we all make mistakes. Of course, that's not to excuse carelessness; endangering a cyclist is wrong no matter what the intention was.
(I'm a human being, of course, and I lose my temper from time to time.)
Awesome stories David. You are the man for doing the E. Jefferson commute from Grosse Pointe Park to Detroit. It would be hard to explain the transiton that takes place the millisecond you hit city limits to out-of-towners.
David A. Pertuz said:Last spring I was riding down E. Jefferson in Detroit (where I lived until recently) from my home in GPP to downtown. Jefferson was in the middle of getting repaved, so the outer two westbound lanes were barrelled off. I was riding down the one open westbound lane when a car pulled out from a side street into the marked-off area next to me, then started to merge into me. I don't remember whether I shouted something first or he saw me, but he changed course, or I did. A few blocks later, as I was catching up to him, he rolled down his window and apologized for not noticing me. It was just a little gesture, but much appreciated. Little gestures can go a long way!
A couple of years before that, I was waiting at the light the foot of Woodward, in the middle of downtown, to turn onto Jefferson to go back home. I was in the rightmost of 3 or 4 lanes that turn left. When the light turned green, I left the line, and a car full of guys next to me, with all the windows down, said "I didn't see your turn signal, motherf***er!" and they all laughed madly. (It sounds hostile, but it wasn't.) A few blocks later, as I pulled up next to them at the light at the tunnel entrance, I stuck my left arm out and flashed my fist in a flashing-turn-signal motion, and they laughed even harder and I laughed too. I suppose that one just falls into the 'funny' category.