I ride VC 95% of the time, but there is a .5 miles strech near my home that is 40mph, 4 lane and always packed. I ride down it at 6:30 am with no problems, but when work is getting out at 4:30 pm, it's nasty. In the past I have alternated riding in the street (and being honked/yelled at) and cutting through parking lots and sidewalks to get home. One problem with this is that the sidewalk crosses a creek and the bridge is so narrow I cannot pass 1 pedestrian, much less many. Further, part is downhill, and has a few blind intersections. Many times I have nearly been hit because I was on the sidewalk. Yesterday, it was a driver turning right as I attempted to use a crosswalk. After slamming on the brakes, I shook my head clipped back in and tried to cross. Unfortunatly, the light had turned (very short yellow) and I was nearly hit crossing the street. I'm fed up, and need to deal with my fear; from now on I'm riding in the street, and taking a lane if I must.
As a side note, the rest of my ride is awesome. Cars almost always give me way more clearance than I need, and I don't hinder them unless there is an occupied parked car. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.
Sidewalks are dangerous
I'm going to suck it up and deal with my fear of the 40mph road (and the drivers on it).