Letter: Bike riders should stay in their lanes

Graphic by Lori Deaton

On a recent Thursday, I had to make a business trip on Charlotte Street. Traffic was a little heavy in both directions. Now, I think that bicycle riding is a good all-around exercise for you.

Now, coming from my business on Charlotte Street, I had eight, maybe nine bicycle riders behind me, and traffic was slow. Now, the problem is they were behind me and in front of other vehicles, and on my right side is a new-looking bicycle lane not being used.

If the city spent all that money for you to ride your bicycles in, then use them and stay off my rear bumper. Also, use the crosswalk to reverse direction instead of making a U-turn in the middle of the road at oncoming traffic. Very dangerous.

Another problem with bicycle riders is in rural areas where I live. Please show some common sense and ride one behind the other instead of side by side and blocking the road. They act like they own the road, and when you honk your horn at them, you get some nice finger gestures. Very rude and selfish of them. They need to use lanes that were installed for them in town and be more graceful/courteous on the rural roads.

— Leonard Nickerson


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11 thoughts on “Letter: Bike riders should stay in their lanes

  1. gyp

    Regarding: “if the city spent all that money for you to ride your bicycles in…”

    How much money do you think the city (and the state, and the US military…) have spent to allow you to drive your automobile and subsidize its costs?

  2. indy499

    No vehicle operators ignore traffic laws more the bicyclists. They think they have some kind of green waiver which allows them to do whatever they want and then complain about cars.

  3. Taylor

    Legally bicycles are deemed to be vehicles and to follow the same laws as vehicles on the road. So regardless of whether there is a bike lane, or not, they have every right to be on the road as you do in your vehicle. The face that you are recommending that bikes “use the crosswalk to reverse direction” is absolutely absurd. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean that you’re correct.

    • gyp

      This is not even close to true. Never mind all of the “externalities” of automobile use, the wars fought over the past century to subsidize the price of gasoline…

      • WNC

        Yes GYP about 66% of road cost in NC com from fuel taxes. The rest comes from taxes also, vehicle fees, tolls etc.

  4. joelharder

    This letter was a missed opportunity to call-out bikers who don’t wear bike helmets.

    • Frosty

      Wearing a bike helmet (aka brain bucket) is a personal choice for bicyclists over 16. I always wear one. I worked in an ED and when I see a bicyclist riding without a helmet, I think “organ donor”! I think the same when I see motorcyclists in other states riding without helmets. I am happy for the children under 16 that NC has a law requiring them to wear a helmet. At least the state cares for their health and well-being even if their less than caring parents don’t.

  5. chandler

    Have you ever used this forum to complain about other drivers? If so, then perhaps there is more balance to your comment than there appears. Of course that doesn’t change the fact that what you have written is inconsistent with rules of the road. Based on NC law cyclists 1) may, but are not required to use bike lanes or any other usable paths adjacent to roadways 2) have the same first-come-first-serve lane rights as motor vehicles 3) can overtake traffic in a bike lane adjacent to roadways 4) are not allowed to use pedestrian-only crosswalks without first dismounting. (There are other rules, but to address your “points” that’s all I need to list.) What this means in less technical terms is the cyclists riding behind you on Charlotte were within their rights. And to clarify number two above, cyclists in rural areas have rights to the entire lane in the direction of their travel. If you overtake them in a car you are required to slow down and pass when the oncoming lane is clear. And when you make that pass, you need to give a 2 foot cushion between your vehicle and the left most cyclist in the lane. There is no law or is it even common sense to ride single file. Now, does what I’ve written here mean there aren’t boneheaded cyclists who break rules of the road? Absolutely not. There are plenty of them just like there are plenty of drivers who flaunt the rules.

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