Roadside to Bedside: The Real Impact of our Transportation Policies

Roadside to Bedside: The Real Impact of our Transportation Policies

This article was scraped from Rochester Subway. This is a blog about Rochester history and urbanism has not been published since 2017. The current owners are now publishing link spam which made me want to preserve this history.. The original article was published February 23, 2015 and can be found here.

Scott Wagner, a local cycling advocate, visited a fellow cyclist who was seriously injured last week by a drunk driver. [PHOTO: Low, Flickr]

     The following is a guest post submitted by       Scott Wagner      .
      Submit your story today      .

I just returned from a trip to Strong Memorial Hospital to visit Debbie, a     cyclist who was seriously injured

external link

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...

Scott gave Debbie a copy of the book, 'Around the World on Two Wheels.'

I gave Debbie a colorful blown glass globe to hang in her window, my copy of the book     Around the World on Two Wheels

external link

about Annie Londonderry, and a card inscribed:    To Debbie from your friends in the Rochester Cycling Alliance and the Rochester bicycle community. We wish you a speedy recovery and all the best. When any one of us is injured, we are all hurt.

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.

* * *

Chris Gemignani

Chris Gemignani

Rochester, NY, USA