I got up early on Wednesday to ride my bike to campus so I could get there early enough for a thing that, if I’d read my email, I’d have known wasn’t actually happening. Oh well. It was a nice ride in the still-cool morning air–what counts as “cool” is different in the heat of summer, I’ll admit. I zipped down the same streets I take for my regular commute until I took a left on Washington and rode through Pigtown to Carroll Park to hop on the Gwynns Falls Trail. There’s a golf course here, one of several public ones in the city, reminding me that yes, there are people who play golf. I rode along the trail, up through the leafy part that covers up the car mechanic shops and junkyards that are over here. I saw a tiny bluebird and dragonflies and butterflies and other people on bikes, grateful that they decided to curate this nature for me to enjoy on my way to work, especially since it lets out at Wilkens Avenue.
That street is all cars and trucks whizzing by at way over the 30 mph speed limit. It’s the kind of street that makes me wish we had speed cameras at every intersection, and if you know me, you know I hate a surveillance state. The only thing that’s every proven successful in slowing down traffic, though, is a speed camera. You could build roads to slow down traffic–speed bumps, roundabouts, stoplights and signs–basically not building them like arterials that make speeding through them almost impossible to avoid, but the road’s already built. What now? What would it take to get drivers to genuinely slow the fuck down? I rode on Wilkens, but on the way back I took the sidewalk, crappy as that is, because I just didn’t feel safe on the road. It’s frustrating, but I don’t know what can be done to make drivers slow down and share. And then I was back on the Gwynns Falls Trail, grateful that I started and ended my day with a bit of this view, totally worth those couple miles on the main drag at the edge of the city.