Dereliction of Duty By the Louisville Metro Police as Epidemic of Red Light Running Hits University of Louisville Belknap Campus area

July 24, 2008

(The image at left is not my own, but grabbed off Flicker. It is similar enough to what I am about to convey and will suffice to illustrate).
A colleague of mine just yesterday noted to me that he’d read a report that traffic accident incidents were way down due to people driving less because of high gas prices. To this I expressed surprise, because my darker side assumed that drivers would compensate for the price trends by ignoring red lights and stop signs, thus raising the odds of accidents. Nothing in my everyday biking experience, though, had provided real evidence of this; people seemed to driving just as well or as badly as always.

This morning, though, my more cynical assumption received validation.

Within the span of a minute, just two blocks apart from one another, I witnessed two blatant runnings of red lights. And I’m not talking about drivers who made it just under the wire as the light changed from yellow to red—I’m talking about lights that had been red for a good several seconds. In the worst case, the second incident, the light had been red for almost 10 seconds. This was the sort of incident where pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers and car passengers who happen to have the right of way, aka. a green light, get killed.

The cyclist in this case was very nearly me.

The first incident happened at Third and Lee where I, safely passing under the yellow at Lee heading south on Third Street noticed in the lane to the far left behind me a large produce type truck barreling down Third with no intention of stopping. Mind you, cars on Lee heading east or west for the light at Third cannot be seen by anyone heading down Third, so someone trying to run the light on Third takes an insanely stupid risk. But this jerkoff, sitting high in his mega-truck would not have been the one killed, and his fucking ass probably knows that. I looked over at him and shook my head vigorously in disgust, but regretted my lack of quick-thinking in failing to look for a brand name or license number or truck code number as he passed. Things like this happen so fast that they stun you in your disbelief.

The second incident was even worse than this. As I was passing east on the green light at Cardinal Boulevard, a white SUV traveling north on Second Street at high rate of speed blatantly ran the red light after it had been red for at least five seconds and maybe as long as ten seconds. I had barely passed under the green when this fucktard whooshes by right behind my back tire; I could feel the wind and the rumble of the asphalt from his vehicle weight right behind me.

The guy was practically out of state by the time I could react in any way, which was to look back at him and mouth out loud, “Oh my fucking God! Another one!”

So was this a case of some SUV driver—angry at the world for his own stupid choice of buying a gas guzzling penis-extender-mobile now getting back at a $4-a-gallon-gas world by thinking he now had the right to obey or disobey whichever traffic laws he chooses?

Or was he just on a cell phone? Or asleep? Or just a fucking jerkoff. I would not be surprised if all four of these applied.

So how is it that I’ve got the traffic situation north of the UofL better covered than our vaunted law enforcement?

(Postscript: One day after I posted this, two innocent little girls with the right of way crossing the street at Floyd and Warnock on the eastern side of the UofL campus were killed by a maniac hit-and-run driver eluding police; just a few blocks from the area referred to in my posting. Fortunately, they caught the motherfucker. I volunteer my services to drive over him…)

-EG


$5,000+ These Fuckers Didn’t Get From Me

April 22, 2008

I’m sure all of you saw this motley crew of oil execs assembled before Congress a few weeks ago, mainly so legislatewhores could posture and put on an impotent display of righteous indignation in lieu of actually doing anything to push real alternative energy solutions. While most of you out there have been grumbling but continuing to line the pockets of these oilmen (and their multi-wifed brethren in the Middle East) I have been taking the bus to work, in tandem with my bicycle (and yes, winter doesn’t stop me).

It was two years ago this month (April) that I began this daily ritual, and in the process lost 30 pounds, increased my muscle tone and improved lung capacity, heart health, metabolism, blood pressure, circulation, digestion and so on—not to mention notching piles of unread books on the 20-mile journey each way.

Oh yes, there’s much to be recommended about the complete lack of stress resulting from letting someone else do the driving, not having to swerve and avoid maniacs and playing stop and go with my feet on a gas-guzzling pedal. I can sleep, read, dream, whatever. And I’m inside a vehicle bigger than a tank, so it’s pretty safe.

And it costs $29 a month. See how much gas that gets you–and how far you can get on it.

AS for me, I ride for free because one of my perks of employment is free unlimited TARC rides with an employee ID.

But the most satisfying thing of all is that the oil industry and the profit-gluttonous CEOs who are sucking up all that cash from you got no more than $6 from me over the last two years. (Had to fill up my lawn mower a few times; otherwise most weeks I use a gasless Scott’s reel-mower, just like my grandparents did.)

So adding that up, that’s about $5,000 or so that Big Oil didn’t get from me in the past two years.

And although I know this is an overused picture on the Internet, there is just no better F-YOU! photo ever taken than this one of Johnny Cash. So Big Oil, let Johnny Cash send my message to you loud and clear.

-EG


This is Why Cities Get Sued

May 23, 2007

100_0451.jpgWhat you’re looking at here is a foot-and-a-half deep hole on Langdon Drive next to Rolling Hills Plaza (a few steps away from the Dollar Tree) just off Westport Road in eastern Jefferson County (Louisville), Ky. This thing has been inviting car tires and unwary night walkers and bikers to fall into it for months now. It’s been there at least two months without anything being done about it, although I noticed this past weekend that somebody had finally at least put a caution horse with a reflector around it.

Somehow our society has money to waste in Iraq but not enough to fix minor yet potentially dangerous infrastructure problems like these. It’s about priorities, folks.

-EG


Fucking Retarded Drivers

February 15, 2007

 

intersection-in-prog-3zbb.gifNot one but two incompetent drivers endangered my life this morning by pulling sudden, illegal maneuvers as I biked south on the painted cycling path down Louisville’s Third St. on my way to work. My Road Hogs page tells the nearly-gory details (offline at present while  blog renovation is under way). In the first incident, a driver on my left pulled around and in front of me to make a right hand turn, cutting me off as I headed into an intersection.

In the second case, illustrated here at left, the stupid broad in the auto (on a goddamned cell phone, of course) actually momentarily braked at the stop sign as shcell-driving.jpge was supposed to in order to await passing perpendicular traffic (me—with the right of way—as represented in the little biker icon tooling up the bike path). She pulled out slowly into Third Street and stopped a little more, presumably waiting for me to pass. Then, unable to stand the idea of waiting one more second for me, she suddenly darts out right as I reach the intersection. I had to swerve hard left into the next lane to miss her. Needless to say, if another car had been to my left (like the other guy this morning), I would have been toast. What is it with you inconsiderate assholes?

Thblind-willie-crumb.jpgus, I dedicate today’s Rapidshare-linked tunes to you idiots of the infernal machine. The first is Blind Willie McTell’s 1930 recording of “Broke Down Engine Blues.” I hope that all you reckless road menaces—like our poor ole bluesman—find yourselves wailing and moaning that you “ain’t got no driving wheel” anymore. Also, django-colorized.jpgappropo our artist’s sightlessness is the blindspot that auto jockeys have for cyclists. The next tune, “You’re Driving Me Crazy,” comes from the primetime 1937 period of the great Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. It’s a bouncy tune, perfect background for nailing hapless pedestrians, bikers and law-abiding motorists.

-Evan