Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A public apology

Dear "everyone-else-on-the-road",

I am sorry. I don't even know you and yet I judge you. I'm sure you hardly think about me (in fact your driving proves that you don't) and yet I am amazed at the rage I am capable of feeling because of your actions. 

I wish you understood that driving isn't just about you. Nor is it just about me (that is where my apology comes in). But first, we must establish that driving is about us as a collective group of people trying to accomplish something. 

When you want to switch lanes, part of being a productive member of society involves using your turn signal. Today I watched a shiny silver car (because we all know I didn't pay attention to the brand) switch lanes 6 times and eventually turn onto 12th from Cambie, all without using a signal! This almost caused 2 accidents in the 4 minutes I was watching. Who knows what happened before or after that. 

Driving isn't just about following the rules (though that does matter), it's about being strategic and thoughtful. If you are turning right, it is thoughtful and strategic to pull over to the far right, rather than turning from the far left of your lane, especially if there ample room to be on the right safely. Turning from either spot is technically following the rules, but pulling towards the right before your right hand turn allows others to go around you - and helps create a situation where you can't turn onto a cyclist. When making turns, pushing yellow lights, stopping for parking, etc, it is important to think about how your movements might affect others. That will help any number of accidents from happening. 

As much as I wish everyone drove thoughtfully, strategically and with regard to the rules and to others, I realize that this isn't the case. So this is my apology for my own road rage. It shocks me how quickly I become a mean, rageful human being. It amazes me that one drivers small act of ignorance can spark such feelings in me. And I am sorry for the places my mind goes in those moments. Driving makes me realize how much of a sinner I really am, and reminds how truly deeply I need Jesus. I can't even stop myself from being rageful at a poorly executed left turn situation, of course I'd need Him in the rest of life! 

For me driving is interesting - I love to drive. It's in me. Mitchell's love to drive. I also cycle every day, commuting to and from work. I love to cycle. It's becoming a huge part of who I am each day. For years I have been a pedestrian and walked or taken transit. When I'm on the road I try to keep view each situation from all of these perspectives. And sadly, when I'm a pedestrian I hate bikes, buses and cars. When I'm on a bus, I hate pedestrians, bikes and cars. When I'm driving I HATE cyclists, I distrust pedestrians and am bugged by buses. So fickle with my feelings. 

So to "everyone-else-on-the-road" I am sorry for thinking terrible thoughts about you. I wish I could say I didn't. Please accept this sincerest apology and know that when I drive I will try to think of you in nice ways, and drive so that I help you get where you are going...even if I think a few mean thoughts about you on the way. 

A very confused commuter,

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