You have probably heard of the one state solution and the two state solution, but I am a firm believer in the three state solution.
It's the only thing that I believe in any more, given the circumstances.
And my new stance came about just this morning! Let me tell you how it happened.
I was walking to work along the Mississippi River. The combined bike/walk path was packed down with an icy snow that had fallen over the weekend and been unattended to by the City. It wasn't the most pleasant footing, and it took some care to walk on. It seemed like horrible conditions for bicyclists, but for some reason they were out in force. November was nearly entirely free of snow and ice conditions, but it seemed like the bikers had packed it in by then and I had the walks to myself. But bikers are a contrary lot, and as soon as the conditions go bad they come out once again just to prove they can.
This meant that as I was walking along the icy paths bikes were coming up behind me to pass. I didn't mind this, and at first it was going pretty well. These are wide paths. I could hear them coming. I left them room. And they passed without fuss.
But then I heard a bike coming and I got a bad feeling. I looked directly at them to try and establish that I had seen them. I moved off the wide path to walk in a snowy ditch to the side. I slowed and eyed them as they approached to pass...
don't do it...
don't do it...
don't do it!
"ON YOUR RIGHT" The bicyclist called out.
It was there that the die was cast for all time. The three state solution was born in me:
There should be walking paths, and they should be wonderful, ubiquitous, and full of the right of way.
There should be bike paths, and they should be pretty, separate, and have direct routes for commuting.
And there should be roads, for cars, but only when there have to be because they are killing the planet and everything.
And none of these paths should ever combine. Never should they be shared, ever. Walking, biking, and driving, all separate, distinct, and alone in their own state of purity; the three state solution.
The cars are too piggy and dangerous and fast to work with others.
The bikes are too righteous, clueless, and obnoxious.
And the walkers are too fragile and full of soft parts.
Plus they can get a little irritable.