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Posted at 10:32 AM ET, 05/31/2010

Motorists, bicyclists should share the road

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Bruce N. Shulman
Silver Spring

Unlike Bruce D. Levitt [letters, May 27] and apparently other cyclists who wish to limit access by motorists to some roads, I believe motorists and bicyclists can coexist if all obey the law and go out of their way to recognize the presence of others. I wonder how Mr. Levitt would respond if anyone suggested that cyclists be limited exclusively to the bike lanes that are increasingly available to them.

Unlike some, I applaud the recent placement by the D.C. government of a dedicated bike lane on 15th Street NW. This lane has reduced, but not totally eliminated, the dangerous mixing of cars and bikes on nearby roads, including 16th Street. Nevertheless, I continue to witness an incredible number of violations by bicyclists, including but not limited to going through red lights and stop signs, weaving through traffic, and turning from the wrong lane. Worse yet is the failure by many cyclists to have lights or reflectors or wear bright clothing so motorists can see them at dusk and at night.

Perhaps The Post should report how many cyclists were cited by police for violations during the past year. If Mr. Levitt and other cyclists wish to improve an unacceptable situation, they should start by making a minimal effort at obeying the law and recognizing that both cars and bicycles are entitled to use the same streets.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | May 31, 2010; 10:32 AM ET
Categories:  D.C., D.C. politics, HotTopic, traffic, transportation  
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Comments

I'm not local, but living in a rural area popular with weekend cyclists, I can totally sympathize.

Here cyclists continually exhort drivers to "share the road," but they don't seem willing to share ... they want it all.

As in DC, they don't obey stop signs and stop lights, but they also violate laws to ride single file, signal turns, and all sorts of other vehicle codes.

I often want to ask them where they live so I can come to their houses and block their streets with my recreational pursuits.

Posted by: theRealCalGal | May 31, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Just require a vehicle check and a test for knowledge of the laws before granting a license for all bicycle riders. All of them need to know the laws and prove it.

Then we may start to make progress.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 31, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Gee whiz @GaryEMasters - car drivers have to take those tests, and can't seem to learn the rules are not just a test.

Car-drivers should learn how to stop before an intersection, not in it. How to share crosswalks with walkers, how to not turn on red when the sign says not to, how not to block the box without thousands of signs telling them what to do, how not to rush through a yellow turn arrow, how not to turn right from the left lane (MD drivers, I'm looking at you idjits) etc. etc.

Test for knowledge hasn't helped car drivers learn a darn thing, it seems. But yeah, bike riders that break the traffic laws should get tickets, and should be held just as accountable as car drivers. Which, in DC rush hour, is not at all, not at all.

Posted by: Greent | June 1, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I commute by bike, and I obey all of the traffic laws. I still get grief from drivers. I'm all for enforcement of the traffic laws on everyone, drivers and cyclists alike. I'm not sure most drivers are really in favor of that, given the near-universal disregard of speed limits among drivers.
Y'know, you really can't complain about people picking which traffic laws to obey when you're doing the same thing.
FYI, I insist on my right to use any road the law says I can. Frankly, I don't care if you like it or not. That's your problem.

Posted by: krickey7 | June 1, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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