Sidecar Logic

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I was driving today when I nearly got into an accident due to a large and generally unaddressed problem in our roads today. Sharon Cuneta. No! I meant sidecars! My mistake! Lately they've exploded in number, as though the sidecars reproduce on their own, fueled by street-level pollution. There's one part in Taft Avenue where three lanes have already been occupied by sidecars hawking for a ride while one lane is delegated for everything else, including even more sidecars. Most of these sidecars wait for potential passengers coming from the nearby LRT station, and with ever increasing competition, pedicab drivers have gone so far into the station to call for passengers that they will sometimes start calling for passengers even before the LRT as come to a full stop, one station away.

The problem is that because these vehicles are supposedly not fuelled by artificial fuels (although some drivers are running mostly on cheap 120-proof alcohol) , they are not governed by any transportation agency. And because they don't have license to work with, pedicabs take it as a sign that they also don't have to follow road rules. It's just about as absurd as feeding lions raw meat with your bare hands in the wild because you aren't in a zoo that has rules prohibiting just that. The result is just complete anarchy.

So anyway, I was moving along the road at a moderately fast speed when a sidecar decides to have a nice chitchat with Death by emerging out of a pedestrian crossing section at full speed and then going towards the direction of my car, counter to the flow of traffic, as though it was challenging me to a game of chicken in the same way a fly challenges a swatter.

It happened in a few seconds, and thankfully I didn't go angry birds on the sidecar and was able to hit the breaks and bust my horn just in time for the sidecar to not join other sidecars in the great big illegal sidecar waiting area in the sky. The sidecar driver, after being stunned for a few seconds, finally popped out of his alcohol-driven haze without so much as showing any sign of regret, remorse, or sanity and finally went to a safer lane on the other side.

Oh did I just say that?

Ha ha. No. He didn't. He moved to another lane to counterflow and kept going. I gave him the staredown of a lifetime, along with a few words of advice that would probably be bleeped out should it have been aired on any medium governed by MTRCB.

Inside the cab were four girls, most of them college students, who looked like they just have been delivered a healthy dose of fear of the Lord by what had happened. These kids looked like they're from a family where the biggest threat to their life so far has been getting grounded and having their allowances cut off.

See that's my problem. Why would anybody in their right, functioning, non-insane mind decide that it is perfectly okay to ride what is essentially a cage made  of welded rusting spars and canvas attached to a bicycle being ridden by what could possibly by an insane person who has no qualms of meeting God before the day ends? What makes them think that riding such an infernal mode of transport along one of the busiest, most dangerous roads in the city is justifiable so long as you don't have to walk five minutes to get to where you're going?

A few years back (by few I mean less than a decade ago), when I was still in college, the only reason anybody would use a sidecar on a main thoroughfare is if the road is deep enough in water for humpback whales to swim alongside buses in Taft Avenue, quite possibly to  pickup passengers. And even then, we'd only do so if the sidecar looked sturdy enough to not decompose into a pile of rust before we got to our destination. It made sense. We rode those things so we didn't die (of infections and falling into a manhole or both) and not so we could feel what it's like living on the edge (of safe part of the road)

People are just getting lazier and lazier nowadays.  

No comments:


Search This Blog

Most Reading