Comment 10764

By Frank (registered) | Posted August 09, 2007 at 12:41:40

Sean, I'd have to loan you my design manual. It's nearly impossible to describe without looking at a picture.
I do believe that if there's a multiuse pathway cyclists should use it for recreational cycling. If I'm cruising along at near traffic speeds on a bike then by all means use the road. I think you might find the answer to your problem about people passing you and not letting you turn left in changing the location where you bike. Use the middle of the lane or the left side. I can't remember where I read the suggestion but I read it with respect to motorcyclists complaining about people passing them and not moving over completely into the next lane. If you're using the left or centre of the lane, a driver will be forced to move over completely in order to pass and it'll also allow you to turn left when you need to. Having said that, I've seen a lot of cyclists on the road, and it's a veeery rare occasion that I see a cyclist signal any turn that they're making. Also, I changing laws won't change drivers' attitudes towards cyclists. My suggestion is that if there's a bike lane, there's no need to worry about passing cars cutting you off or getting angry when you pass them, you have your own lane. I'd like to see studies/statistics on your assumption that increasing the number of cyclists using a shared roadway will be safer and that having a bike lane made specifically increases accident rates. I agree with increasing the viability of cycling however I don't see your logic in this. As cycling use increases in the bike lane, drivers will also be trained to look there. As your driving down a road you should be observing what's going on around you anyway, didn't your driver's instructor teach you to "scan"? A bike lane is part of the roadway, the shoulder if you will. When there are parked cars along the side of a road, do you keep an eye out to make sure that a door doesn't open suddenly in your face? Same idea. The lane is right there - adjacent to yours. If the bike lane has more potholes, the reason is because it's usually limited to 1.5 metres on the side of the road which of course is where the most pavement failures will occur. Changing the lanewidth would help. I know the potholes are an issue because I've nearly lost my chance to have kids on account of a few. Also, your basing your assumption that the rules will work on the fact that cyclists will abide by them? I wonder how many cyclists would know the rules of the road with respect to them if I stopped them? I would bet the number would be fairly low. How would this make things more predictable? I have driven down busy streets many times just to see a cyclist "squirt" out of a driveway into a travelled lane with no regard for oncoming traffic. In fact, this weekend three cyclists pulled onto Highway 20, which by the way has more potholes on the lanes that on the sidewalks, none of them were wearing helmets and I had to try to avoid getting rear ended by the driver behind me as I slammed on my brakes while they zigzagged through the lane on their way back onto the sidewalk. People need to follow rules that are in place (both cyclists and motorists) before there should be any talk of changing them. If you're proposal to yeild at stop signs is a choice that the cyclist makes, you're also proposing a double standard. That means there is no predictable behaviour on the cyclists part either.
If you're planning on changing laws, how about putting a little more teeth in the helmet rules?
You said that everyone should be justly represented by laws, I agree. However that's subjective. Also, a car hurts more than a bike. I hit you with my car, whether you're biking or walking and it'll hurt a lot more than if you hit my car with your bike. So yes, there is a balance in rules and regs but the balance you propose would treat cyclists as if they were motorists and I dont believe that's a very smart approach. Once I see seatbelts, roll cages and air bags on bikes then you can expect the rules to change drastically.
Bottom line is, bikes are vastly different from cars and the majority of rules are in place to preserve your safety. If you can PROVE with numbers that your proposals increase safety, then let's do it. As far as I'm concerned, logically, your proposals don't increase safety at all.

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