03 April 2010

What can make me lose my cool commuting.

My commute is basically a "good" route.
Maybe not as good as at the time of this picture but it is not so bad.

Coming home it tends to be around 7pm and the road is full and hectic. It is not easy to take a picture in the dark you will have to trust me it is worse.

I mean check it out, sparse traffic and a wide shoulder, and even additional space for pedestrians.


This happens. Despite there being bus stops you rarely see a bus stopping in a bus stop. (I think the mini buses stop there to not give room for another bus to stop.)

This mini bus has stopped just as the bus stop starts. So bicyclists (and even other traffic) have to swerve around them.

As you can see there is not much room for me to swerve and I need to check the traffic behind while avoiding the jaywalkers.

Today I did not have a close call but only because I was paying close attention. A driver was in a rush coming out of a Petrol station and even though there was another car ahead of him waiting to enter the road, he went on the waiting cars' left (we drive on the left) and edged out into the shoulder at speed.
A situation similar to what you see on the left. Now imagine if in this picture he had done that with another car doing the same thing on the blind side , just as I come along.

I could see it happening. I could of went into the lane more, if i trusted the driver. Instead I slowed and stopped by his window, which was right on the shoulder and asked him what he was doing.

He just looks at me like I am a raving lunatic, says nothing as he zooms off into traffic. The other car has still not seen a chance to get into traffic.

Am I crazy or do we have many of people who when they get in a car lose all humanity and are only thinking about how fast to get somewhere, with total disregard to who was first or the safety of other users of the road.

Here is a case where a mini bus pulls over just anywhere and forces the bicyclist and other vehicles to swerve around. If you go into the path on the right it is full of people and sometimes parked cars and temporary businesses.

In this section the pedestrians tend to stay on the sidewalk on the other side of a ditch which simplifies riding for me. But then you get crazy bicyclist's who ride on the wrong side of the road like in the pic on the left. In this section cars start to move into two lanes and i might have to swerve into the lane if there is no traffic. I usually yell at bicyclists doing this.

Even worse is motorcyclists who like to do the same.

Motorcyclists come in two types. The one like this one who stays off to the left of the lane, where i like to ride, at a speed just slightly faster than a cyclist, much slower than the cars.
The other motorcyclist drives very fast changing from left to right to middle of the road depending upon what is open.

This particular motorcyclist came between me and one of the other cars up ahead, very close, with his loads sticking out.

So sometimes I use this "sidewalk" but there is added danger. This mini bus has stopped and without any warning someone is going to jump out the door and into the sidewalk.

Technically I don't know if i should use this area. If it is a sidewalk I shouldnt. But is it meant for cyclists? and pedestrians are to walk on the other side of the ditch in the parking areas?

This is the only 4 lane road in Arusha. It is very narrow and for me to squeeze through o the left is the hardest part of the commute.

Worse is when they are coming up behind me racing their engines as they accelerate after speed bumps. When I drive a car here i just stay in the right lane as there is not room for a car and a bicyle in the left lane and there are always bicyclists on this road.

Then who can complain when 1km is on nice dirt road like this.

Maybe i can get a picture of the newest traffic light. It is a great improvement but it also means traffic sometimes flows faster, and hence more dangerous. There is a free left turn lane into town. Mini buses especially come roaring into this lane blaring their horn for pedestrians to get out of the way, they don't seem to slow at all but depend upon that horn and the pedestrian to RUN out of the way. Seems incredibly rude to me , but maybe the pedestrian is being rude walking across the road!


  1. What a free-for-all! All of the cyclists in your photos are not wearing helmets. Are auto-cyclist accidents common?

  2. Not as many accidents as you would expect, but they do happen. more bike with pedestrians and other bicyclists.