A Great Essay on the Conflicts Between Road Users

I spotted this a few weeks ago in the online edition of the Seattle Times… a FANTASTIC essay called “Hell on Wheels: Is there no end to the stream of traffic insults?” by Bob Young about the clash between road users (bikes, cars and pedestrians). While the essay isn’t specific to bikes and focuses on the conflicts in Seattle, many of the themes contained within will be familiar to anyone who walks or rides a bike around their cities.

EVERYONE’S GIVING me the finger.

Driving or walking, doesn’t seem to matter. Men and women, they’re both putting the “ass” back in passive-aggressive.

The collective rise in blood pressure plays out in all kinds of ways: A neurosurgeon clubs another driver with a metal thermos; the head of the Cascade Bicycle Club gets fired, in part, for not leashing his bulldog lobbyist; one of my editors stalks a guy who cut her off and hectors him in a grocery store.

Even though traffic levels are generally down because of the recession, our streets feel meaner. Faster-paced lifestyles, angst about the economy, more distractions, less civility, a glut of downtown paving projects — it all adds up to more bile for many of us.

Take a look at the full essay by clicking here.


  1. Chip Haynes

    I’ve noticed that people seem to drive more agressively as the price of gas tops $3.00 a gallon, but trust me, folks- road rage is nothing new. I just saw a book on the subject- printed one hundred years ago!

  2. harry krishna

    excellent, the author did his homework. my only regret is that the people who need to read this don’t have the patience to read an article this long. they certainly don’t have this much patience on the road.

    i visited seattle in 1969, courtesy of uncle sam. i’ve always considered it an ideal place, a step ahead of the rest of the country. so this news is disquieting.

  3. harry krishna

    a side note, maybe a bit off point: i have had 3 automobile contacts since 1982, all by women drivers.

  4. Mir.I.Am

    Provoking article, Ghost Rider!!!

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