I am driving my van down the street. Right hand on steering wheel, left hand twirling a few strands of hair, Katherine Jenkins mezzo soprano-ing Abide with Me, sun shining, alone in my thoughts and enjoying each breath I take. When out of the blue a bicycle comes out of the side street without stopping and finds herself right next to my van on the passenger side. Oblivious to the fact that she pretty doggone near caused me to have a panic attack; never looking, never stopping, never acknowledging I was here first or whose outer covering weighs a few couple-a hundred pounds, she drives her two wheeler with a feeling of entitlement which irritates even the most sane person. After this near death of an experience, I look at the bicyclist, she looks back at me. I stop at the next stop sign she keeps pedaling.
Shortly after this encounter, I get back into the groove, right hand on steering wheel, left hand twirling a few strands of hair, Katherine Jenkins still on the CD player and voila a man and his wife and their dog taking a walk. Dog, leash-less. Walking in front of its owners, stopping to smell the corner of the sidewalk, scaring passersby-owners in their own conversation and oblivious to the fact that this dog is not a child. I see kids stopping to move out of these parents' way backing slowly off the path to avoid the dog. I see the owners of the dogs smiling and saying he won't bite. Then continue their conversation and keep on walking.
If the drivers and even the pedestrians have to follow rules; why don't bicyclist and dog walkers? If we have to obey, I think they should also. If there is a stop sign and the bicyclist is pedaling, the bicyclist should stop and allow the car who was there first to go. Or better yet follow the rule that says the car on the right goes and then in clockwise order the remaining vehicles proceed. Obey. There is a leash law. Everyone knows it and yet when I remind you of it I hear "he won't bite", well I could care less. There is a leash law, obey.
When I see these two classes of people blatantly thumbing their noses at the law I get irritated. These are usually people who already feel some kind of entitlement, some exception because of who they are. These are the same people that I see on television when their dog bites someone or they get hit by a car that want to form a group and rally around the dog or the bicyclist cause. So, let's just say we all have to Obey the law and respect the space of all people - bicyclist and dog owners and me too.