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How to share the roads?

September 22, 2010

I will preface this by saying I am a cyclist and a car owner.  I suppose this gives me a greater insight into the tension I see everyday between cyclists and drivers.

I learned how to drive on the east coast in Massachusetts where cyclists were few and far between on the shoulders of the roads (bike lanes are catching on).  I never really had to check my rearview and side mirrors for a car and a cyclist, just a car.  Now I am in Boulder, Colorado and there are cyclists everywhere.  From those in bike lane to those keeping up  with traffic, they are something to be aware of at all times.

What I wanted to bring up today is this: what can cyclists and drivers do to share the road in the safest way? Here is what I found out from Boulder’s Bicyclists Rights and Responsibilities Page:

“Obey all regulatory signs and traffic lights
Just ‘cause you lost your training wheels, you don’t rule the road. Your bike is considered a vehicle, just like a car, and you must obey traffic laws…  Stop completely at lights and stop signs.

Enter crosswalks at pedestrian speed.

Lighten Up: Use a headlight mounted to your handlebars at night. Equip your bike with rear and side reflectors. It’s the law.

Use hand signals.

As a driver I cannot plead more for EVERY CYCLIST riding at night to have some  form of  light.  It scares me (as a cyclist and driver) to be constantly looking for a person who will not show up unless my headlights are on them.

That is careless and disrespectful.

Now there is no driver’s responsibilities page but I think it would include:

  1. Stop COMPLETELY before the crosswalk when taking a right hand turn.
  2. Give an open car doors length when passing (especially on residential streets).

Now I have to ask for your help.  Is there anything that should be added to the list?

From → Road Biking

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