Cars Turning Left at President & E. Fayette

Cars Turning Left at President & E. FayetteTuesday’s bike ride took me to Locust Point, but I took a different route than I usually do. Usually I take Guilford down and up to the Inner Harbor bike/ped path around  and up through Federal Hill, but on Tuesday, the very last thing I wanted to do was dodge pedestrians. I took Maryland Avenue down instead, dodging the cars turning on Franklin/40 and merging into one lane on that steep hill at Saratoga. I love taking all the lanes in this part of just-west downtown because there aren’t quite so many cars and besides, it’s just the safest way to travel. I zipped through the light and under the Convention Center and traced my way through Federal Hill until I was back where I’d usually be–flying down Fort Avenue, enjoying the hill that you only really notice on a bicycle. The ride back took me through Little Italy for a lunch date with N. and then it was back to President Street to Fallsway. Traffic here is always a trip, especially with the very worst bike lane in the history of bike lanes. Staying in it doesn’t mean you won’t knock your head on a rear view mirror or get tripped up by grates and gaps in the asphalt, and then you end up on the sidewalk. I snapped this picture waiting for the light to change at Fayette Street. Cars turn forever here, and even when you’ve got the right of way, it’s easy to get clipped by north-heading cars turning right or west-heading cars pulling through the crosswalk without slowing down. I negotiate this intersection all the time, and it frustrates me, all the time. But on Tuesday what I saw was City Hall being it’s caste-self amid the blocks of downtown buildings and the cloudy gray sky, and it was beautiful. Breathe in, breathe out, and know that this part of the ride home will always require close attention, no need to get yourself in a huff about it every time. And then the light changed and I was pedaling in a nice rhythm all the way home. You can see the same stuff on your bike day in, day out, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look different.

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