So there I am at a friend’s birthday party. I’d biked there, as it was within my two-mile rule: “If it’s within two miles of my nearly downtown home, the weather is fine and I have no kids to haul, then I should ride my bike.” To be clear, I’ve been riding my bike in WNC since 1978, and I ride most days of the week.
So I’m riding home from downtown. Yes, I’m wearing white, so I’m visible. Oh yeah, my bike has reflectors, lights, and I’m over 6 feet tall. … I work on the principle of being highly visible. Despite that and following every traffic law, rule and general idea possible, I was nearly run over by a taxi at a well-lit intersection—Hilliard and French Broad.
The Asheville Police Department said that they will “admonish” any driver fitting the description I gave. One taxi company was willing to consider that they do have a few cabs painted in that distinctive color scheme, but they were lackadaisical in even considering if they’d do anything at all.
This says to me what I’ve known for 20 years: The only way we are going to find justice as bicyclists is to do something about it ourselves. … I’ve kicked a few cars in my time (when I was wearing boots while I biked). You can always give the APD a license-plate number—that they will do what with? It is clearly illegal to hit the vehicle with your bike lock. For some reason, it is illegal to strike back at those who nearly kill you, but it is legal to nearly kill you. This is not a suggestion to do something illegal, but an acknowledgement as to how ineffective and misguided APD [can be].
So what was I to do after the taxi driver cussed me out for his nearly flattening me at a well-lit traffic [signal] when I had the obvious right-of-way and was highly visible? Somehow APD’s assurances that they will “admonish” the driver bring no hope. As if I’d expected it.
— Andy Weatherly