cyclists need to actually share the road…and obey the laws

 

When people in favor of bicycle lanes get up in public meetings to demand more room on the road, it is scenes like this one above which make me somewhat unsympathetic to their cause.  See, unfortunately the ignorance photographed above this morning in Paoli happens far too often.

This photo came with the following comment:

So, it’s not often that I get on my “soapbox”, but these people are grown men, not boys, and they ride ….and take over the whole road. Not only did they ride in the middle of the road while chatting with each other, but when we got to the red light at Lancaster Ave in Paoli they looked both ways and went through the RED light.

Is it okay to break the law because you are on a bike? I’m happy to share the road with bicyclists, but it would be nice if they would respect the law and the people who have to share the road with them!

Amen. 

To this I add the problems with dealing with these cyclists on the trails out here in Chester County. They often zoom by on a trail with little regard or care for small children with their parents on bicycles or people who are just walking, let alone walking their dogs. 

And these cyclists also often show complete disregard for crossing the road safely when the trails break over busy roads. Three of my favorite examples are where the trail breaks over Ship Road, Phoenixville Pike, and Bacton Hill Road. We all are supposed to slow down for them, but they can just disregard stop signs, traffic lights , and other rules of the road….with great regularity. And if you honk at them they glare at you and can actually be quite nasty.

On the roads, a lot of these inconsiderate cyclists give good cyclists a bad name. Not only do they completely block the road or just entire lanes of traffic, but they are also NOT keeping up with the flow of traffic while they do so, and can be quite aggressive. I have a couple friends who are runners who have actually been run into by cyclists  on the roads then the cyclists yelled at these people basically for having the nerve to be out jogging. And the cyclists are actually running into people because they’re not paying attention

Have you ever been on the road that actually has bike lanes only cyclists ahead of you aren’t using them at all? Why are we putting our taxpayer dollars into these “road improvements” so we can “share the road” when they don’t know the first meaning of what it is to share the road?

When you’re driving and you come across cyclists like the ones photographed above, or the ones who also travel in packs and zigzag in and out of traffic, it is nerve-racking.  If you as a motorist hit someone on a bicycle you know it’s going to be bad, and the problem is it’s someone grossly UNfair because they created the dangerous situation in the first place.

I know a lot of cyclists are going to read this post and be really angry. But the thing is this: they need get the point across to their fellow cyclists that they are sharing the road and trails with other people and  vehicles and that they need to obey the same rules of the road as the rest of us.

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4 thoughts on “cyclists need to actually share the road…and obey the laws

  1. If you look closely at the photo, you can clearly see a huge puddle seeping into the road from the right. I am guessing that these riders were just going around the puddle and that they were back within the correct lane as soon as they got around it. I have ridden on roads like N Valley in Paoli… which have no “bike lane” and where it is safer to ride in a pack in the middle of the car lane than it is to go single file along the right side. Most roads out in our suburbs do not have bike lanes, and the shoulders of car lanes often have storm water grates, debris, sticks, ruts, and other obstacles which would make a bike crash. I think the rude cyclists you describe are the exception, rather than the rule, and am sorry you’ve had those experiences. One comment about the local trails… They are rarely wide enough for cyclists to pass people who are out running or walking side-by-side – so the only way to safely alert them that you are approaching from the rear is to call out – often loudly as many are chatting or wearing headphones and pay no attention when a warning is called out politely. (Ie: “on your left!”) Some of the “shouts” that you describe may have been to people who were not sharing the trail well themselves. I always run along the right side so bikes and faster runners can pass me on the left and recommend that others do the same.

    • No, the cyclists weren’t dodging puddles they were taking up the entire width of the road.

      And just because a road doesn’t have a “bike lane” it doesn’t mean they can take the entire roadway up.

      Also with regard to trails the cyclist you’re describing are not the same ones I am describing. The ones I am describing are the ones who just barrel through at warp speed with no regard for anyone or anything.

  2. Speaking about disobeying the law. How about the stop signs clearly displayed on the Chester Valley Trails for the all bicycles that cross the pubic road., why do they think don’t have to stop. I have had many cyclist just speed through the intersection without stopping. They also give me an attitude when I don’t stop for them. Hello, pedestrians have the right away and we are required to stop for them. NOT YOU BIKERS We don’t have a stop sign, YOU DO CYCLIST. Loss your attitude and follow the laws that we all are required to.

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