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Archive for Tuesday, September 7, 1999

BIKE SAFETY

September 7, 1999

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To the editor:

As president of the Lawrence Bicycle Club, I would like to respond to the letter by Dick Walker of Baldwin City regarding cyclists on his daily commute from Baldwin to Lawrence.

I agree with him that the cyclists should not be three-abreast on the road. The law allows only two-abreast. That is the only point in his letter on which we agree.

I plan to visit the Douglas County sheriff's office and make sure that the department is aware of Mr. Walker's threat to cyclists' safety as stated in his letter.

I did not realize "motorists" were free to kill at will those they consider in their way. My understanding of the law was the vehicle coming up from behind was responsible for avoiding any collision with the traffic in front of it. If that slow-moving vehicle had been a farmer pulling a hay wagon at 15 mph, I doubt if Mr. Walker would have reacted the same way as he described in his letter after coming up behind some slow-moving cyclists.

Safety of both cyclists and motorists is a concern for our club, and has been for years. We are interested in a share-the-road approach, rather than us-against-them.

The road where this incident took place is a very popular route for cyclists. Mr. Walker even mentions in his letter that many times he has come up behind other cyclists. If you are driving a route in your car every day that you know is a popular route for bicyclists, why then are you not even more cautious?

This does not excuse the cyclists riding three-abreast and I think they should be ticketed, not put to death. I wish every cyclist would follow the law. I wish every motorist would too.

It is true that every cyclist is no match for a 2,500 pound car, especially when it is being driven by another human being with absolutely no regard for your life or your safety.

Jim Turner,

Lawrence.

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