Venting: Cyclists/Pedestrians vs. Motorists

The weather is getting nicer in most parts of the country, so more and more people are out and about. Walkers, runners, and bicyclists are all out crossing, sharing and using the roads alongside motorists.  This is often a recipe for disaster since pedestrians and cyclists are no match for two-ton pickup trucks driving at 45mph (or at any speed for that matter). However, if people would understand the law and drive responsibly, many of the dangers could be avoided. 

We get it . . . it is often infuriating when you are in a hurry and the family with the two strollers, three toddlers and two dogs are taking their good old time crossing the street in front of you. We also get how irritating it can be to be stuck behind a cyclist riding 20 mph or less down any stretch of road, for any amount of time. However, you have to understand that they are not doing anything wrong. Pedestrians and cyclists have just as many rights to those roads and you do.

Yes…it’s true. Those packs of cyclists on their twelve-thousand-dollar road bikes, decked out in matching spandex, with their alien-like helmets, water bottle belts, and riding gloves are allowed to ride in the middle of road. Even that lone biker on the antiquated Huffy is allowed to ride his bike right in your lane. It’s the law.

It’s amazing how many motorists are not aware of this. In all 50 states, cyclists are required to follow the same laws as motorists, and my “take the lane” by riding in the middle if it is not wide enough to share with another vehicle. (Better Bicycling Traffic Laws; The League of American Bicyclists)

Therefore, allow us to vent! This is for all of you road raging motorists who yell, scream, tailgate, throw things, or otherwise endanger the lives of pedestrians and bicyclists . . . YOU NEED TO STOP, CALM DOWN and BE NICE. Sharing the road is just a fact of life, and it is THE LAW! Always read and obey posted signs:

Slow Pedestrians Crossing

Stop Pedestrian Crosswalk

Bike Route

Bike Lane

Share the Road

Cyclists May Use Full Lane (R4-11 currently found in more than 8 states)

If there are no signs, YOU STILL NEED TO FOLLOW THE LAW! Pedestrians and cyclists are at a disadvantage when it comes to using the roads, so it is up to the motorist to use caution. A little inconvenience is much better than a tragedy. Be courteous drivers and decent human beings so we all can enjoy the great outdoors.

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