Making sense of senseless
This past weekend was tough. The senseless hit-and-run-murder of Kelly Ann Boyce on a quiet street in Traverse City is unconscionable (RE). I’ve passed by the scene several times since Friday. It is my normal route. I’ve spoken to the neighbors who were awoken to the screams. I’ve sat and thought about what happened–trying to piece together an explanation to create some sense of it. I’ve walked the skid marks. It makes no sense. It’s horrible.
What happened last week isn’t a bike issue. It’s a human issue. It is a social issue, a reflection of society’s worse elements to turn an otherwise uneventful daily routine–in this case, a ride home from work–into a tragedy. Our streets and automobiles are too easily weaponized. It’s senseless, and it’s hard to make sense of the senseless.
What’s to be done
Yesterday, my neighbors were playing in the alley. The parents were teaching the youngest to be brave, to be balanced and to ride without training wheels. I came around the garage just as the mom let go of the seat and with a little push sent her daughter down the alley towards her dad. A simple moment that was perfect. She was riding, as the nature of bicycling, in perfect balance.
I was contacted by several people this weekend asking, “what are we going to do? Something has to be done.” I didn’t have an answer. I don’t know. Teach someone to ride a bike?
The details of this one event are unclear. How much of it is a reflection of anything other than deeper social issues, including our societal acquiescence & indifference to intrinsic dangers of the automobile. It’s a fact that over 32,000 people died on our roads last year and over 2,000,000 were injured. Where does this tragic event fit inside of those statistics? I don’t know. Is it even right to ask?
Whatever the circumstances, our collective goal needs to be to do whatever possible to make our a community a place where this doesn’t occur. Where a trip home, regardless of mode, is simply a trip home.
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