Cyclists, take care; motorists, even more so

I drive. I bike. I walk. Bicycles are legally allowed on 99 percent of sidewalks. Pedestrians can cross streets at crosswalks against the light. Does this mean that a bike can act as a pedestrian and cross a street against a light, especially if there is no oncoming traffic? Legally, if the person is walking the bike, then yes. What's the difference?

Cars pass bikes most of the time. That's okay. Why is it wrong for a bike to pass cars that are stopped? Also: Honking your horn at a bike actually increases the likelihood of the bike having an accident.

Bicyclers visually perceive exactly what is on the road more acutely than motorists. We sometimes suddenly veer if we see glass, sand or other hazards. A gust of wind can blow a biker so that we have to struggle to keep control. That's normal.

I pay my city, county, state and federal taxes both because I own and operate a motor vehicle and because I pay property taxes, sales tax etc. Yes, I've seen too many bicyclists act rude, dangerous and indifferent. I've witnessed far more motorists misbehave much more frequently. A bicyclist who is dangerous puts their own life at risk. A driver who misbehaves risks committing murder.

When I participated in the alternative-transportation planning meeting, I pointed out that the part that was missing was educating drivers. Nobody understood my point. My conclusion is that it'll take motorists murdering and injuring more bicyclists before we gain our rights to the road. The legal system and law enforcers are no help.

(P.S. Fellow bikers, please wear white or reflective clothing and lights at night: I can't see you if you're dark.)

— Andrew Weatherly
Asheville

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2 thoughts on “Cyclists, take care; motorists, even more so

  1. Cheshire

    Where are you getting that it’s legal to bicycle on sidewalks? Last I checked the law, it’s illegal in NC. As for passing traffic stopped at a light, that’s called “filtering”, and is illegal everywhere in the US except california. This isn’t california. All those cars who just passed you now have to do it all over again when the light turns green. It’s frustrating at the least, and it makes the general patience cars have for cyclists diminish rapidly. YOU may not get the road rage you caused, but some other cyclist who doesn’t deserve it probably will, through no fault of their own. Bicycles are traffic, too: with the same rights and HELD TO THE SAME LAWS as cars. Wait your bloody turn at traffic signals, alright?

    As for cars: take a breath and realize how easy it can be to safely pass a bicycle. You only need to have one set of tires in the other lane to give a cyclist the room they need to stay out from under your car or be run off the road. At least it’s not some leaf looker or whatnot going 15-20 under the speed limit in a full-size SUV…you’d have to wait forever to pass them or just hope they turn soon!

    Just the other day I heard a guy laugh about how he likes to “give ’em a scare, is all” by swerving at scooters and cyclists. Don’t people realize what the consequences could be anymore?

  2. mitch

    Where are you getting it’s legal for pedestrians to cross against a light? Also, riding on sidewalks is not only illegal, it’s dangerous. Furthermore, passing stopped cars at an intersection is not only illegal and dangerous, it’s rude and stupid. Before complaining about educating drivers you need to educate yourself.

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