By Lori Okami
I realize that we are all leading very busy lives and time is of the essence. But it's time to take a step back and realize that we each do not own the road and need to share it with all users....bicyclist and pedestrians alike. It's not about just being ultra patient and this goes beyond being a courteous driver.
I have caught myself racing through intersections, oblivious of the pedestrians waiting to cross. but I was taken aback this week when twice I witnessed a driver and biker having an unfriendly exchange...following the drivers obvious effort to try to get ahead of the biker.
That's when I realized what a jungle it's become out there. It's like we are all in a race for the million dollar pot and we have a 'get there at all cost' attitude. I'm fairly certain that none of the drivers were on an emergency call to the hospital or on their way to a million dollars.
We repeatedly post messages to all about the need to get more active and we try to encourage people to get out and walk, jog/run, and bike but on a daily basis. But are we sending people to their doom? (Moreover, we do NOT have bike-friendly roadways for such an 'outdoorsy' state!)
I ask readers everywhere to take a breath when you are getting behind the wheel and take particular notice of pedestrians, bicyclists and others who share the roadways. While you may feel powerful and safe inside your one-ton vehicle, that doesn't mean you rule the roadway. If that were the case, those monster trucks would be driving right over us at intersections.
Don't tail the bicyclist because you think he/she is going to slow. Don't cut right in front of them because you think you can beat them. Watch for pedestrians as you approach crosswalks, intersections and driveways. No name-calling or finger displays.
Pedestrians, bicyclist and other street-users also need to accept responsibility too. You are in a far more vulnerable position. Proceed with caution. Be aware of drivers as wel.
For the safety and well-being of all, let's drive (and live) with Aloha--especially here in the Aloha State!
*** I invite you to visit my website www.lifefitnet.com and participate in a short online survey that should take only 2-3 minutes to complete. No one’s personal, individual data is ever shared and the aggregated information is used to Build a Healthy Hawaii and better understand individual needs and preferences related to establishing healthy lifestyle habits. Mahalo for your support! Lori