Thursday, November 5, 2009

It gets dark fast now!

With the irritatingly late time change (Seriously, can't we get rid of Daylight Savings already?), I thought it was time to share with everyone some points about alternative transportation and darkness.

Take this opportunity (yes, you, now) to go change the batteries in your blinky lights. If you don't have a blinky light, go get one. Also take the time to make sure all of your reflectors are on and intact.
When you're out there riding, be sure to ride where you're supposed to ride. That's where motorists and pedestrians will be looking for you. This means stick to the bike lane, and ride with traffic. No bike lane? Use the right-hand traffic lane, and stay away from those opening car doors.

Transit riders!
Try and find a well-lit bus stop if you're going to be waiting a while. I've never been robbed waiting for a bus, but I have been robbed. It's not a fun experience, and it was somewhere dark.
If you're concerned about being passed up, try a trick I use when I'm waiting for a bus at night- use the display backlight of your cell phone to wave down the bus. This is especially good if you're wearing dark clothing.

Stick to the sidewalks where you can, wear bright clothing, and cross at a crosswalk. I rarely drive, and I still sometimes come close to running somebody over because they're jaywalking across University in a stunning all-black outfit.
Similarly, if you have to walk dangerously close to traffic, either a bicycle blinky or your cell phone display backlight can be used for that extra bit of visibility.

Remember, it's still a car-dominated world. Protect yourself from all the speeding metal death.

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