Monday, June 13, 2011

Goose Rules in Effect

Without signage or paint, boldly they crossed

I saw the birds up ahead on the multi-use path, crowding, queuing, you go no you go. When a break in the six lanes of traffic appeared, the leader boldly stepped onto the pavement. But I could hear the cars coming. About a quarter mile back, without looking, bicycle sense tingling, I could hear them coming, accelerating away from the light. Then I looked. A wall of cars, still accelerating, geese still crossing. So I set the bike on the grass, walked into the road, and waved. There were two or three seconds when I could tell the drivers saw me, but were not happy about the unexpected intrusion, and thought maybe it would just go away, and their acceleration continued. But they calmed down, I heard them slowing, a few brief honks, and everyone stopped. The geese themselves were both silent, no panic honking, and moved waaaaay toooooo slowwwwww. 

They were still in the middle of the road when the cars arrived. The people in the cars figured out why I had waved at them and seemed OK with it, generally. One person did honk at the geese but the birds appear to have been deaf. They crossed over the median at their slow, stately waddle-pace, and I couldn't watch because another line of cars was coming from the other direction. You might argue that there are too many geese out there anyway, pooping all over the place including the MUP itself yuck, but I also thought that it would be nasty from the automobile perspective to plow through geese at 45 mph so all around it seemed like a good idea to warn the drivers. I believe it all worked out OK this time, but as I rode away I couldn't help but wondering if it wouldn't be better for everyone (birds too) if those geese would just flap their lazy butts up in the air and fly across the road instead of waddling. Get up. Go ride.



  1. Love it! See, the geese are the smart ones. No hurry, no worries, and if they really need to, they can fly away. You were very kind (and very brave) to stop traffic.

  2. Thx JK, you describe the demeanor of these birds exactly. They could not be rushed. Waddling slowly across six lanes of traffic would not appear to be a good long-term strategy though.


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