The following is a guest post submitted by Scott Wagner.
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I just returned from a trip to Strong Memorial Hospital to visit Debbie, a cyclist who was seriously injured and taken by Mercy Flight to Strong after being hit and left to die by a drunk driver near Palmyra last week.
Debbie is recovering satisfactorily, but is badly hurt and clearly in pain. Her nurse says she asks if she will be able to ride a bicycle again. The answer is “yes, but not tomorrow.” She was clearly touched and pleased to have a visitor and to know that we care…
I gave Debbie a colorful blown glass globe to hang in her window, my copy of the book Around the World on Two Wheels about Annie Londonderry, and a card inscribed:
I told Debbie that she is very brave. Bravery is not going out and picking a fight, but is having the grace and strength to overcome misfortune when it occurs.
I reflected upon this as I was riding to work after the visit. I am an arrogant fool, deliberately leaving my convenient automobile covered with snow and tilting at windmills from my bicycle in subzero weather to prove a point.
Debbie represents those who are truly stoic and brave, for whom a bicycle is not just a toy but is their sole personal means of transportation. It is for Debbie and the thousands like her that I do this.
The focus of our society on lavishing extensive public resources on a transportation system which serves only the privileged while casting only crumbs to non-automotive transit is tragically wrong.
This public policy is just as much at fault as the DWI hit-and-run coward for Debbie’s pain, suffering, and possible future financial burden.
Equally culpable are those who, in their arrogant assumption of ownership and right to exclusive access to the road in their automobiles, pillory Debbie for winter use of the public infrastructure for which she also pays.
Tags: Annie Londonderry, Around the World on Two Wheels, bicycle, bike, crash, cycling, DWI, DWI hit-and-run, hit and run, Marcia Roberts, NY State Route 21, Palmyra, Palmyra NY, Rochester, Scott Wagner, Strong Memorial Hospital, transportation, transportation alternatives, transportation policy, Wayne County
This entry was posted on Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 12:07 am and is filed under Opinion, Reader Submitted Stories, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
Cyclists in the counties around Rochester may not be aware that they can make use of RGRTA’s regional bus systems serving Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, Ontario, Seneca & Wayne Counties. Buses operated by each of these systems are equipped with bike racks (as are RGRTA’s buses in the City of Rochester) to facilitate multi-modal travel for those not using cars. There is no extra fare for a bus passenger using the bike rack.