Respect sidewalks, avoid mowing people down

Illustration by Miles Huffman

I’ve been rear-ended twice in my life. The first by, at that time, a Butte College peer. No damage. Not even paint transfer, let alone a dent.

The second was more jarring and elicited from me a response of disbelief. It occurred on the eastside Warner Street sidewalk.

That’s right — I’d been rear-ended by a fellow walker. Seriously?!

This person had been so engrossed by something on that magical device known as a smartphone that I was literally run into.

Naturally the level of embarrassment on the part of this person was extreme. I decided to be kind and laugh it off despite the abrasion on my right heel.

Now I understand that the bike parking lot for the on-campus dorms is adjacent to a sidewalk. However, that sidewalk is not a runway for bikes.

Last week, a gentleman came riding out of that lot at an unsafe speed, narrowly missing a young woman walking north, and then proceeded to initiate swerving, evasive maneuvers around people walking south, including me.

And he had a smile on his face as if he was enjoying the whole challenge. Or maybe a sadist that likes to inflict little bits of pain, like the small cut on my right leg from being grazed by his pedal.

They’re called sidewalks for a reason. They’re not siderides.

Joseph Rogers can be reached at [email protected] or @JosephLRogers1 on Twitter.