Last week, I was coming up Eighth Avenue toward Ahbau Crescent, behind Spruceland Shopping Centre.
I pulled into the left-turn lane, saw a pedestrian across Ahbau waiting to cross, made eye contact and nodded to let them know I had seen them, and they could cross.
The good news was, she didn’t step off the curb right away to cross.
That was good, because a cyclist, in the correct lane and wearing a helmet, came along Ahbau in the lane closest to the pedestrian and breezed right through the stop sign, continuing along the next portion of Ahbau without a care in the world.
If the pedestrian had stepped off the curb when I signalled that it was safe from my perspective, she would probably have been hit by the cyclist – and it would have been totally the cyclist’s fault.
He came up to a stop sign, and didn’t stop. He didn’t even come to a rolling stop.
He obviously didn’t bother to check for pedestrians at the intersection, because the woman was fairly easy to see.
No, he saw I was turning and therefore wouldn’t interfere with his continued progress along Ahbau, so he just kept going.
I would wager that he and his cycling friends complain any time a vehicle fails to give them the right of way, and rightly so.
But if you’re not going to observe the rules of the road yourself, your complaints about others ring quite hollow to me.
On the other hand, the next day I was driving in the downtown area and came to a four-way stop. Just before I came to a stop, a cyclist rolled to a stop at one of the cross-street corners. The rider came to a full stop and even took one foot off the pedal to balance herself.
I gestured to her to go ahead since she had been at the intersection first, she gave me a wave and then proceeded through the intersection.
I don’t know if she had a previous bad experience with a driver that made her wait for me, even though she was at the intersection first, or whether she was just being polite.
In either case, she did everything right. Even if I hadn’t been coming up to the intersection, I’m pretty sure she would have come to a stop at the intersection.
It may have been only a momentary one without even taking her feet off the pedals, but it would have been a legal stop.
That’s all I ask from cyclists. Obey the rules of the road, please.