Opinion: How to be a friendly Green Lake driver

Looking at the title of this post, I almost want to erase it because it seems to me like this is not something the residents of our ‘hood should have to be told.  There has been some hot discussion lately about bikes and cars not getting along (do they ever?) and I finally decided to weigh in on a few issues that irritate me as a Green Lake resident.

I love the insurance commercial that points out the “you go, no you go” driver that makes us so unique in the Seattle area.  But I rarely get to see it in action because drivers around here don’t seem to stop long enough to give each other the “go” signal.  A few reminders I’d like to point out, that make us the friendly drivers the rest of the state thinks we are:

  • When two cars meet at a really narrow road (where parked cars make it impossible to both pass safely), and one car pulls aside to let the other through, its polite to give that car a smile and a short wave to say “thanks” when you pass them
  • When approaching one of the many unmarked residential intersections, never assume that you can go straight through at normal speed.  Always slow down and make sure cars aren’t coming from either side.
  • Also, when approaching one of the many unmarked residential intersections, remember that we are a very pedestrian-oriented neighborhood, and you may just want to glance around for pedestrians before blowing through.
  • When you come to a stop sign, or end of a road, please make your complete stop before entering the cross-walk.
  • Please remember that around here, honking is really only acceptable if someone is about to hit someone or something.  It is not acceptable if you’re impatient and don’t want to wait for a car to turn or a person to cross the street.  (see RCW 46.61.050)

Now, i have a bone to pick with bicycles.  I’m all for ’em, I think that people who ride a bike to work each day should be commended for helping cut down on traffic and pollution.  But please remember, if you are riding on the road, you must follow the rules of the road.  That means, that if a light turns red, you stop, because there just might be someone (ahem, *me*) crossing the street at that point.  I’ve only lived in Green Lake for five months and have already twice been in a situation where I was crossing at a legal cross walk, with the “walk” sign, and a bicycle blew through the light without thinking.

I love my neighborhood and I walk around it every evening (wearing reflective clothing in the evening, of course, so drivers can see me).  I would like to continue to love my neighborhood, so please don’t hit me with your car or bicycle!

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