The report says that he was killed intentionally at 6 a.m. by an SUV driver that suspected the cyclist, who seems to have been trying to steal stereos, broke into his car earlier. They had a huge fight in the street and an altercation, and then the driver chased the cyclist the wrong way down Marcus Garvey Boulevard.
This man cared so much about his car, which had been violated, that he smashed and totaled it into two other cars and a human being, who he killed.
This story has so much toxic rage attached to it that it’s hard to even know where to begin. Valuing property over human life, but hating another human so deeply and suddenly that you’re willing to trash the very property that triggered the rage, is hateful at best and psychotic at worst.
But the story has inspired friends to tell me about the road rage they’ve faced, and made me think about my experiences, too.
One friend told me she witnessed a man outside her home screaming at a child and mother on a bike because they pulled up on the sidewalk. My friend happened to be coming home later with her own bike and the same man yelled at her, “I hope everyone who rides a bike dies!”
She looked at him and he smiled at her. It made her feel really afraid.
The other evening I too experienced road rage, twice. One of the times was from a cyclist when I was walking, the other was from a jogger when I was cycling. It was really a banner day.
The following day, a driver pulled into the bike lane forcing me into traffic, and said “I want your phone number baby.” He followed me, driving slowly and catcalling me in the bike lane while I rode in the traffic on Morgan Avenue.
This is not an enforcement problem, this is a culture problem. We have got to do something about our attitudes and patience with each other. We treat each other dangerously and disrespectfully. Commuting shouldn’t be this scary.