Excuse me while I have my hissy-fit. I’m definitely going to have my hissy-fit and feel a whole lot better for it. I’ve just come back from getting groceries and doing my month-end banking with watering eyes, sneezing fits and a nose that never stops running. Sound familiar? Two things made me want to stop and scream, “Beam me up Scotty and get me outta here!”
Back in March, just as our weather was warming up, all these gorgeous pink ornamental cherry blossoms and deep-pink plum blossoms burst into colourful blooms along every boulevard in Victoria including a 5-mile radius of my neighbourhood. Beautiful, but annoying and maddening for those of us suffering from allergies. I was much relieved by the time April finished and moved into May because my allergies stopped–the blossoms had finished their cycles.
But maybe not—something is triggering off an enormous spate of sneezing, watering eyes and running nose all over again. I had to buy 3-boxes of those mammoth size tissues as anyone with allergies can tell you–those regular tissues are useless. Okay, having allergies is not like getting the Big C or something equally as serious; nevertheless, allergies can be a huge pain-in-the-butt when you’re the sufferer!
Hissy-fit #1: Allergy sufferers should only have to suffer once in the great cycle of things–not twice!
This week my hometown is encouraging its annual “Bike-to-Work” week. Do you have it in your hometown? I am all for a healthy lifestyle and safe environment; however, we are not Europe, where biking is a normal way of life and their streets are adapted for both bikes and cars. In my city, bike lanes are the new buzz-words for politicians and environmentalists who advocate biking for your health and well-being. This is also a sure-fire way of getting elected. But often the need for bike lanes are not carefully thought out. A bike lane may start at Point A but it will peter out for a few miles and then suddenly pick up somewhere else.
I am as environmentally conscious as anyone else, but right now our streets are not safe for inexperienced bikers who ride their bikes for a short time on weekends only. It is the fiercely experienced bikers who can safely navigate their bikes effortlessly through traffic. And, did I mention all the summer road-work that has closed single lanes forcing drivers to steer themselves through a maze of orange cones marking their temporary route? AND the bike lane has disappeared?
If bike lanes are going to be the norm, then for Pete’s sake, (who the heck is Pete?). let’s put them in everywhere and make them continuous. The newest bike lane has been the talk of the town because this section of road is only 8 blocks long and has been closed for 10 months to install new underground pipes and sidewalks. Opened to traffic last week, it is a treacherous piece of road to navigate because the two lanes, incoming and outgoing, have been made narrower due to constructed bike lanes with a curb that made the bike lane elevated. Other bike riders have commented that they have never seen a bike lane that has been raised. The road is definitely thinner with its new sidewalks and fancy bike lanes. but to make absolutely sure, traffic slows to a crawl, the municipality has further installed their beautification project of garden centres, right on the centre median. What in the world were the engineers and architects thinking? Was all this designed on paper, decided it looked great and the okay given to go ahead and build it? Did the road architect/engineer ever do a test drive on the completed route and felt any pangs of regret as he steered around the centre islands and the curved bike lane? And most of all–being “Bike-to-Work” week, did any week-end bikers fall off the raised bike lane doing their healthy trip to work?
My Hissy-fit#2 are on bike lanes that end abruptly causing the biker to ride in front or behind you plus those “garden-centres” that sits in the centre of the road–beautiful but waiting for an accident to happen, especially on such a narrow street.
One more note–I recently heard that the municipality had proposed a new city bus route down this short section of street. The mind boggles at bureaucrats actually suggesting this with the centre islands and bike lanes already slowing traffic to a whimper at rush hour.Thank goodness, someone with brains vetoed that idea!
And yes, I do feel better now that my frustrated rant is winding down. Thanks for listening. . . .