Michaela Merz

Bikers in Zurich

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I am everything, pedestrian, biker and also car driver.

But I hardly fear anything as much as bikers in the city. It seems that there are no laws for them or rather that they do not obey any laws. In one moment they behave like pedestrians when crossing the street driving over the pedestrian crossing and demanding right of way with an arrogant matter of course, just because they are on the pedestrian crossing.

 

Often they can also be found on sidewalks, but unfortunately not just in areas with dense car traffic and without any other possibilities to bike but also in quiet side roads. They unabashed go over any crossings even if the traffic light is showing red and I see more of those crossing the street at red that those who stop. They wear ear plugs and are either listening to music or talk on the phone. The statement that they are mainly endangering themselves is only partially true.

 

I was with my youngest one in the Bahnhofstrasse and was waiting for the green traffic light close to Urania. The light went green and a mass of pedestrians started to move from both sides. At that moment a lonely biker dashed along on his racing bike in the middle of the street. It was only centimetres which separated him from the pedestrians. As a pedestrian it did not make much sense to stop because the other pedestrians walking behind one would walk into one. I could feel the airflow from the biker and grasped the hand of my youngest to stop him walking on. It seemed like a miracle that the biker did not touch anyone.

 

Yesterday morning at 6 am I drove through an area with speed limit of 30 km/h at a speed of approximately 20 km/h. Suddenly a biker came from the left. I had right of way. He was very fast, I estimated 30 km/h. I stood on the break and I think we owe it to a miracle and my low speed that nothing happened. I was in shock. I had right of way, did everything correct and nonetheless only centimetres made the difference for a disastrous event.

 

At the age of 18 I always wanted to be right, cost it what it may. Today the results count. It would burden me very much if I were to hurt someone or make someone invalid, even if it were not my fault but his.

 

Bikers, remember the rules!! They are for your own protection.

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