Just saw the blurb from last week’s post-traumatic-Thursday news on channel 15. The reporter tells us we can “learn” from those accidents.
Have to say the strong, clear message is: “If you’re going to insist on taking your right to ride [where you don’t really belong], stay out of the way and do everything you can to make it easier for drivers.”
Then the misinformed and irrelevant recitation of “safety advice for cyclists,” none of which would have helped the injured and dead cyclists. Riding on the sidewalk is hardly not far enough to the right.
Repeated emphasis on “close to the curb as possible,” by councilman La Due, who I had thought knew better, and even misquoting the law as stating that we have to “try to be” as close to the side “as possible.” Even better (note: sarcasm) was asserting that the car has just as much right to the lane, too easily be interpreted as “so it’s your responsibility to get OUT OF THE WAY so they can get past” (and that they have the right to be inthesamelane *at the same time*) … of course, not word one about the 3-feet that cars are required to give bicycles. It’s the right side of the *lane,* by the way, not the curb. Parking lanes… right turn lanes…
So, channel fifteen and Michael La Due, you mis-state the laws about what cyclists are required to do and ignore drivers’ laws and responsibilities. Thanks for nothing.
As far as the visuals of cyclists. starting with the guy on the cell phone: Did they go out and grab footage that day and this is typical stuff? I It is exactly the kind of cyclists-wandering-everywhere that gives ’em a bad name… but it’s an expected response given the roads and paths (See Gary Cziko’s photos of hazards), and clues and information are sparse.
The fact is that simply saying “follow the rules” doesn’t really work, and the people hurt and killed *were,* in fact, following the “rules of the road.” Sherry *had* moved over and there was plenty of room … the driver simply mowed her down anyway. (3 foot law?) The other two folks were on the sidewalk on the *other side* of the curb, dudes. So why say “there were accidents — cyclists, get to the right!” — I know why. You want us to Go Away.
So, just to say it because you can’t say it enough: riders are *more* visible further out in the lane. I am not further from teh curb than possible because I am Wanting To Assert My Rights. I’m out there because IT IS SAFER.
As the Safe Routes to School folks say: Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Encouragement. This report helped None Of The Above. (The reporter: Bret Buganski, firstname.lastname@example.org )
Under state law, bicyclists must travel as far to the right as practical, but practical is in the eye of cyclists, who may move farther into a traffic lane to avoid hazards, such as broken pavement, storm grates, shattered glass and parked cars. Cyclists also may move closer to the center of narrow lanes to avoid being passed too closely.
Although some motorist would like cyclists to be always at the right edge, it’s generally accepted that cyclists are safer and become more visible to motorists when then ride a little more into the street. Motorists should not think the cyclists are moving to their left, closer to the motorists’ path, just for the sake of irritation, but for safety reasons.