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Dodging traffic again

5 January, 2010

As a goal-orientated person, I realize that it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of what’s directly in front of your nose, that sometimes the goal that needs to be delivered does not have an end-of-month or end-of-the-day priority, but what’s happening right now. I suppose that we all lose sight of that sometimes, and that I should therefore be a little more forgiving of the blind or inconsiderate SUV driver that nearly killed me today. It’s just plain frightening the kind of disregard, the kind of risks that certain anonymous strangers (who’s going to be oh-no! thirty seconds late for work) are prepared to take with the life of an easy-paced bipedalist.

The flip side of this particular coin is that as pedestrians we have a responsibility not to hand somebody a lifetime of post-traumatic stress disorder by playing chicken in rush-hour traffic (or consider carrying knuckle-dusters next time, just kidding). If I were to subscribe to the guaranteed misery of new year’s resolutions, one of them would be to do more morning runs (another would be to become more proficient in the use of kilometres and/or multiplying by five-eigths). Today I was out of the front door by 8am, which is unusual, but still that counts as rush hour, so the answer is just to go out a little earlier still.

Vancouver has come a long way in addressing the default enslavement we’ve inherited from autoculture (a part of many social problems if you ask me), recapturing a bike lane on Burrard bridge and expanding the car-free days concept. But we’re still lagging compared to many cities, not just in Europe, but even New York! This is hard to comprehend when we are surrounded by so much natural beauty. Where are you, Jane Jacobs, when we need you?

This nearly became another rant, which would have made it something like the third in as many weeks. The bile has not left my system, and it is time for me to deliver on my oft-stated plan to get out of the city for a run or five. I promise to you, long-suffering blog reader, if I can’t make it out the front door in time, then I will take the bus to Lynn, Jericho beach, UBC, YVR, somewhere, anywhere that doesn’t have cars.

Yesterday: three-and-a-half miles. Today: six miles.

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