Years ago before they changed Ford Woods it was supposedly safe to ride your bike. Unfortunately, there were drivers that thought Ford Woods was the perfect hang out and most cars usually cruised in and out, some without regard to the stop sign at the entrance. In one of those instances, I was hit by a car as I rode the trail. After that close call, I stored my Shogun Trail Breaker Mountain Bike for nearly 15 years.
With a little inspiration from my brother who took up bike riding religiously, I pulled the bike out of storage and decided to commit myself to riding at least 10-15 miles per day for both health and peace of mind. My daily trail takes me from Michigan and Greenfield to Andiamos to the University of Michigan Trail to Hines Drive up to Outer Drive. In that 6-7 mile route I have on a daily basis at least 3-5 close calls where I am nearly hit by a car again.
My brother ironically was just recently hit but not seriously while riding his bike on Outer Drive near the new Allen Park Mall as someone was pulling out of The T-mobile entrance. The driver said that he heard my brother call out to him as he was checking for oncoming traffic but didn't know where it was coming from. That's because he was only looking in one direction so he could scream out of there. His 300 dollar bike was replaced by the driver.
Closer to our Police Station you would think that more drivers would be careful
but it is in front of the Library and the Police Station that my close calls are frequent. No one allows for pedestrians or bikers anymore. People pulling out of parking lots or even just waiting for the light to turn green again are only looking in one direction for on coming cars.
What is even worse are the ones who have no bluetooth in their cars and still have the handhelds talking on the phone. Don't even get me started with texting. I am amazed that we don't have more kids being struck by cars as the yellow line where cars are supposed to stop may as well be pink with ribbons, either way the effort is moot.
Today, while riding here are the things that happened:
Michigan and Greenfield: The light on Greenfield turned red allowing me to cross. The light for Michigan Avenue is now green and a driver wanting to turn right on Greenfield did not allow for me to cross as he thought he had the right of way.
At the Comfort Inn Hotel entrance a car turning into the parking lot caused me to slam on my brakes as he was turning in. He actually waved to me thanking me for stopping so he could pull in. I called him an "idiot".
At the Police Station and the Library crossing the driver sped up without any regard to the stop sign before I could cross.
And finally, a woman sitting on her phone at the United Airlines driveway blocked my path as she pulled up over and above the stop sign and had no idea I was coming to her right as she was too busy looking to her left for oncoming traffic and talking on the phone.
Courtesy in this city has gone out the window. Too many people in a hurry and distracted. Because of my bike riding experience I have become a bit more tuned in to the pedestrian and the biker so maybe we should all take a day to ride our bikes and understand that there is an accident waiting to happen if something isn't done soon.
I realize that this is not universal to just Dearborn but on the other hand, we have been fortunate to have many trails like the Dearborn Community Center, The University of Michigan/Ford Estate trail and Hines Drive but we have to get there first in order to avoid the hazards of neglectful drivers.
We also have more kids in Dearborn enjoying the outdoors. Many a time I have had to come off my porch to stop speeding drivers who have no idea that a ten year old is about to come down from his driveway on his bike.
On that note, for those drivers who think that their neighborhood block is a drag racing strip I hope the Police finally catch up with you and throw away the key.