Archive for Sunday, July 6, 2008

Motorists, cyclists share responsibility

Randy Breeden, a 17-year bicyclist who racks up about 7,000 miles a year, has had many close calls on the road. He outlines some safety measures motorists should follow when approaching bicyclists.

July 6, 2008


Motorists, cyclists share responsibility

The recent death of sheriff's lieutenant David Dillon was a traffic reminder for bicyclists and motorists to share the road. As weather warms and gas prices rise, drivers should expect to see more cyclists. Enlarge video

Members of the Lawrence Bicycle Club head east in formation on North 1400 Road during their weekly ride on Wednesday. With higher gas prices and warmer weather, motorists should expect to see more cyclists on the road, and both groups need to follow the rules of the road to ensure safety.

Members of the Lawrence Bicycle Club head east in formation on North 1400 Road during their weekly ride on Wednesday. With higher gas prices and warmer weather, motorists should expect to see more cyclists on the road, and both groups need to follow the rules of the road to ensure safety.

Here's an illustration we ran in July 2008 to help remind bicyclists and drivers the rules of the road when it comes to biking.

Here's an illustration we ran in July 2008 to help remind bicyclists and drivers the rules of the road when it comes to biking.

For Randy Breeden, bicycling isn't always a relaxing spin. Drivers have cursed him, buzzed by him and honked at him.

Breeden, a 17-year bicyclist who racks up about 7,000 miles a year, has had many close calls. Some have been so close that they have raised the hairs on his arms.

"It is just like your life is being threatened," Breeden said. "A motor vehicle has so much power over you, and you are out there on your bike with no protection."

Last week, Douglas County Sheriff's Lt. David Dillon was killed when a motorist struck him while he was bicycling along North 1400 Road, just west of Eudora. While many in the cycling community were shocked by Dillon's tragic death, it also served as a reminder to both motorists and cyclists to share the road and be more cautious.

Last year, vehicle accidents resulted in two bicyclists' deaths in Kansas and 280 injuries. In 2006, the state reported six deaths, which contributed to the 773 such deaths nationwide.

With more traffic on country roads, bigger vehicles and drivers with more aggression, Breeden, who is an officer in the Lawrence Bicycle Club, said the sport of cycling "isn't getting any safer."

The two modes of transportation could be coming into contact with increasing frequency, said Becky Pepper, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the Kansas Department of Transportation.

"I think it is important for bicyclists to remember that, when they are riding, to follow the rules of road and for motorists to remember that there could be an increase of cyclists on the road with warmer weather and gas prices increasing," she said.

Sharing the road

The conflict between drivers and cyclists is a long-standing one. The first car accident was reported to have occurred when a driver hit a bicyclist in 1896. Letters to the Lawrence Journal-World from one side of the road or the other are proof enough that animosity sometimes exists.

Drivers complain that cyclists don't follow the rules and take up too much space. Bicyclists say they have as much right to the road as anyone and drivers pass far too closely.

In 2006, Pete Anderson wrote a letter to the editor after he witnessed one bicyclist repeatedly blow through stop signs while riding down Louisiana Street. Two years later, he continues to see cyclists who break the law. He also is frustrated when he follows bicyclists who are bunched up on country roads.

"What worries me, you got a deep ditch on both sides of the road. And, if you try to get around someone, you either stay on their side or meet oncoming traffic," Anderson said.

What's on the books

By state law, bicyclists have the same rights to roads as motorists do. With the exception of interstate highways, they can be on any state or local roadway.

They also have to follow the same laws such as coming to a complete stop at stop signs and signaling if they are going to turn. If they don't, they can be ticketed.

State statute says that cyclists should stay as "near to the right of the road as practicable." That language gives cyclists the leeway to keep a safe distance from the curb so they can still maneuver around debris, potholes and opening car doors, Pepper said. Often that means riding about two feet away from the curb.

Every state in the country allows bicyclists to ride two abreast. And Eric Struckhoff, chairman of the Lawrence-Douglas County Bicycle Advisory Committee, said there is good reason to do so.

Riding two across makes bicyclists more visible to drivers and allows them to communicate without taking their eyes off the road.

"It's a safety issue as well as a social issue," Struckhoff said.

The city of Lawrence has an ordinance regulating bicyclists to single-file riding, and some patches of road are designated as such.

As for vehicle drivers, the Kansas Driving Handbook says that motorists should pass at least four feet to the left of bicyclists.

That means most of the time, drivers should make sure the opposite lane is clear so they have the room they need, Breeden said.

"Let off the gas. Just that split second isn't going to make you any later," he said. "Wait until it is safe to pass. Don't get mad, just take a deep breath. We are not going to impede motorists hardly at all."


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 12 months ago

It must be horrible to be physically incapable of riding a bike, Marion, and being so angry about that that you have to lash out in such a juvenile way.

Baille 7 years, 12 months ago

Good question, Dan. I don't know who he is, but you might check with to see if Lawrence has a Small Phalli support group meeting. Might be able to pick up a lead there.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 12 months ago

I've never really gone much for spandex, highscore, but it's used mostly because it's appropriate for the activity. Loose shorts can cause chafing, especially on rides of more than 10 miles or so. Little running shorts can look kind of silly, too, but would you recommend to a distance runner that they wear blue jeans?

peach_plum_pear 7 years, 12 months ago

Roads are built for getting from one place to another safely!I use my bike for transportation in town, and I can tell you that I've had many an impatient driver give me a scare by passing within six inches of me on Kentucky or Tennessee streets. I try to ride on the sidewalk if I can, but oftentimes people park their cars or set their trash cans out directly on the sidewalk. I love it when I can use bike lanes, such as the one 19th.Please, drivers and cyclists, put safety first. I know that getting stuck behind and bike can frustrate drivers in a hurry, but all i am is someone trying to get where i need to go in an affordable, clean and timely manner. I'm not trying to slow you down or otherwise inconvenience anyone. Everyone please be a little more patient and alert.

yankeelady 7 years, 12 months ago

Most of the county roads no longer qualify as "back roads." Especially the nice smooth paved roads out towards Lonestar Lake and southeast from town towards Vinland. The posted speed limits are 55 and they carry a surprising amount of traffic. Mostly on the weekends when the bike clubs are out. And since it is hard to tell which club the large packs belong to, they are all considered the same. I too have seen a few courteous bicyclers, very few, and never the large packs. Blocking an entire lane when you can only go 20 mph is not sharing the road.

Hilary Morton 7 years, 12 months ago

Guys, just read the article. Bikers as well as motorists need to become more aware of one another. Bikers need LIGHTS AT NIGHT. It's illegal not to have them when riding at night, so get them, already! Motorists, bikers ride on the street, and not just for a leisure activity. Just what the video states, more and more of us are riding our bikes for transportation in the city, now, and don't expect us to ride on the sidewalks. Bikers need to signal, actually STOP at a STOP sign, or light. Drivers need not honk, or pass just inches away from a cyclist.Stop arguing, and start following the rules, and avoiding tragic accidents.

Bone777 7 years, 12 months ago

The sidewalk is not a good idea either. I have walked out of stores and almost been flattened by bicycles.SideWALK

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 7 years, 12 months ago

All the close encounters that I have had with cyclists have been the cyclist's fault. There are many cyclist who follow the rules of the road, but I see many more who do not. The most common one I have seen is to ride the bike in a crosswalk against traffic. The cars with the right of way have to stop and wait for the moron to get out of the crosswalk. Crosswalks are for pedestrians, not cyclists. Cyclists have to follow the same rules as motor vehicles. They are not pedestrians and do not belong on sidewalks.

skinny 7 years, 12 months ago

I have seen bicyclist ride down the middle of the right traffic lane of Clinton Parkway when right next to them is a 8 foot wide bicycle path the city of Lawrence spent 1.8 million on.Go figure!The next time the city wants to spend that much monry on a bike path I will vote no!

1Patriot 7 years, 12 months ago

Bicycle Safety In Kansas, bicyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road as motorists. Please ride safely, be courteous to other roadway users, and abide by all Kansas traffic laws. Always ride a well-maintained bicycle and know your riding limitations. You should be able to ride comfortably with minimal strain at least half of the total distance planned to be covered each day of your tour.Helmets: Bicyclists are strongly encouraged to wear American National Standards Institute (ANSI) , or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), or Snell Memorial Foundation (Snell) approved helmets at all times.Paved Shoulders: Bicyclists are strongly encouraged to ride on paved shoulders which are equal to or greater than three feet in width whenever they are available.Ride to the Right, With Traffic: Ride with normal traffic flow and ride to the right side of the roadway. If lane width allows, stay within two feet from the curb or roadway edge which will allow you maneuvering space to avoid debris or potholes. Lane markings are for your safety and benefit.Be Predictable: Do not surprise a motorist, pedestrian or other bicyclist. Hold your line. Act predictably and avoid sudden movements. Do not show off by stunting or weaving in traffic.Group Riding: Ride in single file on the right side of the roadway. Avoid overlapping wheels.Use Arm Signals: Signaling intentions is essential to let motorists and riding companions know what you are about to do. Pedestrians: Remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way.Be Easily Seen: Wear brightly colored clothing and have reflectors on your bicycle. When riding after dusk, the bicycle must be equipped with a white light visible at least 500 feet ahead and have a reflector visible at least 500 feet to the rear. A flag is useful in increasing your visibility on rural roads.Child Carriers: Carriers must offer the child protection from rear wheel spokes and a strap to secure the child.Railroad Tracks: Stop within 15 feet of railroad crossings. Cross railroad tracks at right angles. Trains always have the right-of-way.Other Important Safety Tips: Be extra careful at intersections, listen for overtaking vehicles, brake carefully in wet weather or on slippery surfaces, load your bicycle correctly, drink and eat properly, and be careful of dogs and other animals.RIDE DEFENSIVELY:MAINTAIN A SAFETY FIRST ATTITUDE. IN A CRASH, WHETHER YOUR FAULT OR NOT YOUR FAULT YOU LOSE. USE ALL YOUR ABILITIES TO PROTECT YOURSELF.

kuwxlady 7 years, 12 months ago

All cyclists need to obey traffic laws, that's a no brainer. I ride my bike whenever I can, and I signal, and get to the right as much as I can, stop at traffic stops. In Wisconsin, a lot of roads have a bike lane which is awesome! I've only seen one of these in Lawrence, and no where else in the whole state. And to the gas-guzzers that are complaining, not ALL cyclists don't obey the traffic laws! It bugs me too when I see someone on their bike and they don't obey the laws. But with gas prices the way they are, we're going to start seeing more and more people riding their bikes, so get used to it! Just get over and deal with it. Oh yeah, it's good exercise too...ain't no shame in that! Keep riding cyclists, but don't forget the rules of the road!!!!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 12 months ago

So I guess you've met all the demands you made in your above post, right, Marion?

Lonestar1 7 years, 12 months ago

Team Spandex has as much respect for the average "nice day" bicycler as they do for cars. You block THEIR path and RIGHT to the road.I recall one day when I was accosted by a pack of rabid cyclists, while I was out riding my horse. They yelled that I had no right to be out riding, in MY neighborhood! Team Spandex are the intruders into my world! I some times wonder if the attitude of the SERIOUS cyclists, doing what ever they want on the road, is fostered by the bike club. I don't know what they are trying to prove, but when they ride in a pack, they are much less willing to "share the road" than they are when it's only two or three bikes at a time. And not nearly as friendly. If there are no other cars on the road, I am still expected to STOP at the stop sign, not just blow on through. I can see just as well as a bicycle, but you can bet the Sheriff would remind me of that stop sign, even if nothing else was on the road.I think it may be time for the authorities to issue a few citations, equally to bikes and cars, that richly need to be reminded of the "rules of the road".

fourkitties 7 years, 12 months ago

There was this time I was going to Z's coffee shop to write a paper. I am a biker too so I looked around making sure there weren't any. (it was about 9pm in may about 2 years ago) I was absolutely sure there weren't any pedestrians or bikers in my lane or oncoming and pulled into a parking spot. As I was pulling up my computer and papers to go in this screaming young lady comes up to my window knocks ferociously at it and says "you almost hit me.. you didn't see me!" I looked at her kind of cockeyed trying to figure out where in the world she would have come from...She was wearing a very dark jacket with black pants and a dark big purse. She kept screaming and ranting and raving that I'd almost hit her. I was so confused at where she had come from. Then I started to question in my mind why she was wearing such dark clothing at 9pm and expected me to see her. Even after I'd made sure no one was there. I just yelled back at her as loud as she was yelling and told her "your right, I didn't see you! Where did you come from?" Till this day I'm still confused as to where she came from... I have a theory that she was going south on New Hampshire ran the stop sign just as I was parking and thought for some reason she was in the right of way even though I was there 15 seconds before she even went through the stop sign. Every time I am on a county road and there is room I go to the other side of the road and pass. I give them 10 feet. Comfortable room. In town I'll do the same if its safe and I have no problems slowing down for other traffic to pass so that I can pass the biker. I am totally biker friendly. I don't know what was stuck up that bikers butt that yelled at me but I think her sitting on the seat made it much worse.

Joe Hyde 7 years, 12 months ago

Anyone wanting to take up the sport/activity of long distance bike touring would do well to join the Lawrence Bike Club. From the members I've met over the years, the LBC is composed of mostly laid-back riders even though these same relaxed types will set out on some serious long-range trips. Biking Across Kansas being just one example.LBC is definitely into using all the safety practices that allow a group of cyclists to travel our roads and highways without hogging the roadway. "Cluster riding" is something they just won't do unless they are rolling on a stretch of roadway that offers a long, clear view behind. Almost everybody has rear-view mirrors on their helmets; they look out for one another's safety.What I'm saying is that LBC members will ride side-by-side to socialize, which all cyclists enjoy doing...but they instantly switch to the safer, single-file configuration anytime approaching traffic or road conditions call for using a safer group formation.It seems around here the worst offenders for hogging the road are the KU racing team and the Topeka Bike Club. I've encountered these groups while driving through countryside with very steep hills (where you can't see what's on the other side of the hill?). Pop over the top and there they are, bunched up from fog line to centerline, sometimes even spreading across the centerline.I'm constantly afraid that some day there'll be a multiple "Bowling For Dollars" type collision happen in Douglas County, where a vehicle pops over a hill, there's no time to react, and the driver plows into 20 cyclists who didn't have enough common sense to keep themselves on that right shoulder in single file when riding through countryside with sharp hills and tight curves.

HighScore 7 years, 12 months ago

"it is understandable that cyclists avoid that bit of ghettoization"I run those paths along Clinton Parkway everyday. There is nothing "ghetto" about those 8' wide sidewalks. Those sidewalks and the SLT paths are some of the best maintained sections of paved walkway in Lawrence. I noticed some firework remnents in a couple sections on the SLT paths yesterday, but I doubt you will see them after this weekend.

Brandon Deines 7 years, 12 months ago

The ant-biking rhetoric is a joke. Are there cyclists that don't get over when they should, that run stop lights, and otherwise don't ride responsibly? Sure. But there are irresponsible people in every segment of society, including and especially the automobile driving segment. Having to slow down for fifteen seconds so that you can safely pass a cyclist isn't going to negatively affect your day. Lighten up. Have a heart. As to the bike path along Clinton; I've ridden it about 6 or 7 times. I've gotten two flats from glass or other trash in the curb cuts, and another time, I had to slam on my brakes because a car turned right in front of me. It's the most dangerous place I've ridden in this county.

1Patriot 7 years, 12 months ago

The reason or point of why I would like to see bicyclists be required to have license plates is so that when they are caught breaking the law there will be a paper trail back to the owner of the bicycle as there is a paper trail back to the owner of an auto when they are caught breaking the law.

Dan Alexander 7 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

kuwxlady 7 years, 12 months ago

Hey Commuter!You bring up a good point! I believe in WI, you have to have a license plate on your bike. I remember when I moved back to KS I was surprised I didn't have to. I could be wrong. But I actually agree with you. Why not extend this to cyclists?? It makes sense to me! Motorcycles do, so why not bikes? I'd be more than happy to register and get a plate! And also to get insurance! People need to learn to work with the systems here so everyone can be safe, drivers and cyclists both!

weatherguy48 7 years, 12 months ago

As I've stated before on this board, I have no problem with cyclers, but I've been seeing something startling out there lately.Those little 'tent' things you can tow behind your bike and put your baby/toddler into. WHY do people do that? It's the most unsafe thing I've ever seen. I've seen people towing their children across 23rd street.

texburgh 7 years, 12 months ago

To the anti-bike folks posting here - your paved roads were developed not for cars but for bicycles. The Good Roads Movement which led to paving was created by bicyclists who formed the League of American Wheelmen (now the League of American Bicyclists) in the late 1800's. Auto riders owe a debt of gratitude to bicyclists. You'd be driving only on dirt if not for bicycles.Here's a bit of the history:The Good Roads Movement was founded in May 1880, when bicycle enthusiasts, riding clubs and manufacturers met in Newport, Rhode Island to form the League of American Wheelmen to support the burgeoning use of bicycles and to protect their interests from legislative discrimination. The League quickly went national and in 1891 began publishing Good Roads Magazine. In three years circulation reached a million. Early movement advocates enlisted the help of journalists, farmers, politicians and engineers in the project of improving the nation's roadways, but the movement took off when it was adopted by bicyclists.Groups across the country held road conventions and public demonstrations, published material on the benefits of good roads and endeavoured to influence legislators on local, state and national levels. Good road advocates involved themselves in local politics. Support for candidates often became crucial factors in elections. Not only advocating road improvements for bicyclists, the League pressed the idea to farmers and rural communities, publishing literature such as the famous pamphlet, "The Gospel of Good Roads."

Sigmund 7 years, 12 months ago

"Every state in the country allows bicyclists to ride two abreast. And Eric Struckhoff, chairman of the Lawrence-Douglas County Bicycle Advisory Committee, said there is good reason to do so."A City of Lawrence ordinance requires single file riding. so everywhere BUT Lawrence feel free to ride two abreast. As for those "roads designated as such" they are meant to use bicyclist bodies as moving traffic calming devices. Merrill painted those there not for bicycle safety but to slow motorist down. Is it any surprise the majority of my close calls have happened in the patches "designated as such" with drivers in a hurry who were not calmed by a panted line and were more worried about crossing the centerline and hitting oncoming traffic than hitting some guy on a bicycle?

Baille 7 years, 12 months ago

The sad part is that Team Spandex is going to end up paying for Team Back Fat's medical bills for those Golden Years filled with heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke-induced dementia. Yuck it up, High Score. I would think you might want to consider a deal instead where Team Spandex would agree not to make fun of your muffin tops, back fat, and dunlap if you agreed not to call their functional riding attire "rediculous."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 12 months ago

What is the point of registering bicycles? Just to make it a hassle to ride a bike? Bikes put zero wear and tear on the roads, and relatively incapable of causing much damage otherwise, so requiring a tag would be a pointless exercise that does nothing but add a layer of bureaucracy for no good purpose.

peach_plum_pear 7 years, 12 months ago

I bike on Tennessee because I LIVE on Tennessee. Cyclists have just as much right to use main roads in town as drivers.skinny says "I have seen bicyclist ride down the middle of the right traffic lane of Clinton Parkway when right next to them is a 8 foot wide bicycle path the city of Lawrence spent 1.8 million on. "The problem with this attitude is that it ignores the people that rely on their bikes for transportation - of which there are plenty of in this town. When we need to make left turn on a multi-lane street, it necessitates riding in the middle of the lane for at least half a block.

Jim Knight 7 years, 12 months ago

This is really a disappointing collection of posts. What if we just substituted a race or religion for the term bicyclist? Would you be so hostile? Sure, some bicyclists are rude or law breakers, but that doesn't mean all cyclists act that way, and in fact the majority are respectful of the law and others. Indeed, some drivers are drunk, or talk on cell phones, or speed, or eat their dinner, or text message while driving. That doesn't mean that the majority do. So many of the comments on here serve no purpose but to stir up hatred. I think maybe a few of you should take a good look in the mirror and ask yourselves why you need to be so mean and hostile. In fact, a few stress-relieving spins on a bike might be just what you need.

rosemw 7 years, 12 months ago

Bicylists need to obey the laws as well as motorists. I have seen several ride through the red lights, or even pull right out in front of you while entering the intersection... some don't even look when crossing the intersection.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 12 months ago

"I have seen bicyclist ride down the middle of the right traffic lane of Clinton Parkway when right next to them is a 8 foot wide bicycle path the city of Lawrence spent 1.8 million on."Given the poor condition of those paths, all the pedestrians walking their dogs, curb cuts at intersections (which cars turn into in front of cyclists) and the numerous broken bottles thrown there by motorists, it's understandable that cyclists avoid that bit of ghettoization.

labmonkey 7 years, 12 months ago

Lets see....some cyclists on this thread want to avoid the bike trails because of slower pedestrians and dog-walkers while slowing traffic on the road....sounds a bit hypocritical to me. Informed-You are breaking the law by taking up 1/2 a lane by not staying as far right as safely possible and you will probably get hit someday. Remember, the laws of physics are against you.Baille-Just because I choose to not cycle on the road to avoid getting hit by something 20x's my mass, doesn't mean I don't run on a track or workout in the gym to stay in shape. We will probably be paying for the likes of you when you get hit by a car and have to be in rehabilitation for two years. DanAlexander-Way to talk tough on a LJworld thread, Putz.

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 12 months ago

I haven't heard anything from Merrill yet. Merrill states that development doesn't pay for itself and wants impact fees. Do cyclists have to pay to register the bikes? Why not? Maybe they can help to pay for the bike lanes that cyclists want.I try to share the road with cyclists but I have seen too many of them cycle worse than motorists. I stopped at 4th & Michigan and a cyclist was coming- he was about a tenth of a block away from the intersection and the intersection is a 4 way stop- and decided he owned the road and went straight through the 4 way stop. I had started to move forward but stopped and he yelled and cursed at me like he owned the road. Maybe I shouldn't have stopped and let Mr. spandex hit my car and get injured? If he would have hit my car, would he have to pay for the damages? With what? Is the Bicycle insurance?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 12 months ago

"If visibility is limited, inevitably someone further back in the line of cars gets impatient and tries to pass several cars and about 20 bikes. "In which case, the bikers are a cause of annoyance, and the car driver would be the cause of any accident.

1Patriot 7 years, 12 months ago

I'm all for bicycles to be required to have license plates and insurance. Think about, if you are in an accident involving someone on a bicycle, who's insurance is going to pay? Is a bicycle considered an uninsured vehicle? Also I think we should have a minimum age for riding on the road. All bicyclist should be required to take a defensive riding class so they are made aware of the rules of the road and all the traffic laws they are required to be following. I was driving home from work one day last week when a bicyclist went right through a stop sign that I was stopped at, and this is not the first time this has happened. I could see them riding up behind me, as they pulled up on the right side of my vehicle I was wondering if they were going to stop, they did not. There was a parked car on the side of the street and there could not have been 3 feet between my vehicle and the parked car. The bicyclist went between me and the parked car and through the stop sign like they owned the road. When it was "my turn" to proceed through the intersection I did, and when I came upon the same bicyclist a block or two later I had to come to almost a complete stop behind them before I went around them. At the next stop sign I deliberately pulled as far to the right as I could hoping the bicyclist coming up behind me would stop "behind me" as required by law. I was way to hopeful as they passed me on the left and blew through the stop sign! As he passed me he yelled at me for hogging the road!I especially love it on the weekends in downtown Lawrence. I don't know how any of the business can afford to operate on a weekend. I took my family shopping downtown a weekend or so ago and could not find a parking spot anywhere. We parked in the parking garage behind the bank. I was very surprised when every store we went to was almost empty, I was assuming from all the parked cars the stores would be packed with shoppers. I finally asked the sales clerk where all the people were and she replied those were the "bikers." People drive to downtown park their "cars" on Mass street, unload their bikes and ride around town! Nice! All the ecology mined people are spending gas to get them to a place where they can ride around and be "green" for a few hours!

storm 7 years, 12 months ago

There is absolutely no good reason why a motorist can not wait his/her turn to pass a slow-moving vehicle - including a person riding a bike, a person driving a tractor, or a person driving their horse and buggy, or even waiting for a funeral procession or pulling over for emergency vehicles. The real problem is joggers who don't use the sidewalk when one is provided because motorists don't expect pedestrians in the street.

Crossfire 7 years, 12 months ago

Cyclists have the right to ride the streets of our communities and this right is formally articulated in the Kansas Vehicle CodeCyclists are both environmental and traffic congestion solutions; andCyclists are, first and foremost, people - with all of the rights and privileges that come from being members of this society1) Cyclists have the right to travel safely and free of fear.2) Cyclists have the right to equal access to our public streets and to sufficient and significant road space.3) Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated law enforcement.4) Cyclists have the right to the full support of our judicial system and the right to expect that those who endanger, injure or kill cyclists be dealt with to the full extent of the law.5) Cyclists have the right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.6) Cyclists have the right to urban and roadway planning, development and design that enable and support safe cycling.7) Cyclists have the right to traffic signals, signage and maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling.8) Cyclists have the right to full access for themselves and their bicycles on all mass transit with no limitations.9) Cyclists have the right to end-of-trip amenities that include safe and secure opportunities to park their bicycles.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 12 months ago

Spandex bike gear is usually colorful which is a plus. Cycling wearing some colorful attire is a good idea because darker colors blend with most all surroundings.Bike lighting front and back is a good ideaSlowing to pass cyclists is a good idea. It does not require more than several seconds although it may seem longer if a driver is angry about cyclists in general.Sharing the road is always a good idea.Motor vehicles likely violate stop signs,speed limits and traffic light signals far more often than cyclists do. The question becomes why? The LPD could write multiple citations daily if the staffing were allowed. This is far more dangerous to all on the roads than bicycles could ever be.Motor vehicles kill people everyday.Bike trailers are a very good idea. Taking the time to pay attention is the drivers responsibility. Cyclists and drivers be aware of each other. Cyclists dress to be seen.

Curtis Martell 7 years, 12 months ago

I'm going to refrain (mostly) from debating all the non issues here like bike licenses, banning bikes, the tax issue, who owns the roads, the ecology of cycling, the social benefits/costs of cycling etc. My message to all the apparent bike haters is to consider the request to just slow down and legally pass a cyclist or group of cyclists when you encounter them. If you think about it the encounter won't last more than 10-15 seconds of your life and you won't have to waste so much time writing on this forum. I've read several comments in the forum recently about an example of a cyclist doing something illegal like running a stop sign on their bikes and therefore bikes should be banned from the roads or whatever. What about the motorists, should they be banned because they drive poorly? I recently I saw a person in a car driving 60 miles per hour down Iowa Street. Then 2 motorcyclists doing wheelies at high speed on 23rd street both with no helmets and one with a passenger. Recently a driver with apparent road rage drove up onto the bike path at West 27th and K10 and almost ran over me on my bike (on the path) stopping at the last second when he finally turned his head to look where he was going. Then I was riding my bike on the bike path last week and a driver pulled out in front of me when I had the green light hitting and nearly running me over and damaging my bike. Yesterday I was driving a car on Clinton Parkway and a motorist was travelling 15 MPH below the speed limit! Then he signaled left and turned right at the intersection! Jeeze! So do I conclude that cars should be removed from the roads? No cars are great I use them all the time and I just think motorists should follow the posted traffic laws and pay better attention when they drive. I ride on the bike path and I ride on the roads. Sometimes I want to ride 10 miles and sometimes I want to ride 50. Sometimes the bike path has walkers and children and dogs so I might ride down the big hills on the Clinton Parkway instead of the path giving them the path. After all there are 2 lanes each way on that stretch of road, and usually light traffic so motorists and me have plenty of space on the roadway. Those paths were not built exclusively for the use of cyclists and cyclists are not required to use them exclusively. Continued next post...

Baille 7 years, 12 months ago

Bikes on the road follow the same traffic laws - with a few exceptions as a mv. Bikes on the sidewalk follow the same traffic laws as pedestrians. If there is a bike path for the EXCLUSIVE use of bikes (meaning a bike lane on the roadway in Lawrence) the the cyclist must ride in that path and follow mv traffic laws.Of course, cars have to follow these rules, too. That means stopping AT the stop line or sign - not ten feet in front of it blocking the intersection; yielding to pedestrian walk signals (like for instance at the southbound Kansas river bridge); and not parking your mv across sidewalks. Frankly, I hate seeing cyclists riding badly. They give a bad name to all of us who like to ride and give fodder to the uninformed neanderthals whose opinions are well-represented above. But I also hate having to drive with stupid motorists - rolling through stop signs, hurrying to beat a yellow they can clearly stop for, stopping in intersections, driving below the speed limit in the left lane, and on and on and on. But I don't see what good any of this is doing. I mean if the goal here is to piss and moan about dumb, inconsiderate people or to share horror stories about dumb bikers and stupid drivers, we are doing very well. (Who has ever heard of an Armani bike suit? Why does labmonkey think that posts clearly addressed to someone else are somehow about her? Why don't people learn the difference between a multi-use path and a bike lane before posting? ) On the other hand, if the goal is to discuss ways in which to make sharing the road safer and more pleasant for everyone, we are doing a horrible job.

Curtis Martell 7 years, 12 months ago

I'm one of the people riding out to Lone Star every Saturday morning with a rather large group. Sometimes the cyclists in the group ride don't ride 2 abreast and I agree that is a problem. In my opinion if they (we ) were ticketed for it a few times the practice would cease. So actually I agree partially with many of the "anti bike" people posting in this forum, but I disagree with the licensing bikes, or banning bikes or whatever. As an avid cyclist I don't appreciate the reference to me as "Armstrong wannabes" and other derogatory comments. I am just a regular guy who rides and races bikes. I don't want to be Lance Armstrong I just want to enjoy the outdoors, get in shape and compete just like the softball players, golfers, swimmers and runners. I just happen to do it on the streets and highways. Oh, and cycling is not subsidized by the city, state or school districts like football, baseball, basketball and soccer. Nothing against those sports, just want to point out cycling certainly doesn't cost the taxpayers as much as those other sports. Hey madmike, name calling and the like is no substitute for understanding and actually dealing with the issues at hand. You are another great example of how the public discourse in this country has devolved from discussion, understanding and compromise to rancor and divisiveness. And the issues at hand to me are 1) cycling is a popular and legal activity but many motorists don't like cyclists or cycling 2) it happens to be dangerous 3) Its more dangerous because cyclists are at the mercy of inattentive or hostile motorists in much larger vehicles travelling at high rates of speed 4) Both cyclists and motorists need to be cautious, use common sense, and follow the rules of the road. 5) motorists and cyclists are both ignorant of the laws and last but not least, 6) Mr. Dillon was tragically and accidently killed while riding his bike, we still don't know exactly what happened except he was struck from behind by a motorist. Continued next post...

Curtis Martell 7 years, 12 months ago

I drive a car and ride a bike. I don't have any problem passing a cyclist or a group of them. It requires me to slow down for maybe 15 seconds and make a legal pass just like if it was a combine tractor or little old lady. A bike takes up about 2 -3 feet of the roadway. If motorists can't negotiate passing a cyclist, then they should get driving lessons. I have been passed on the roads by literally tens of thousands of automobiles. Most of the time, and I mean 99 out 100 times, motorists are not impeded but make a legal pass and everything is fine. The issue of cyclists on the roads is quite nearly a non issue for motorists. You are at great risk from getting into an accident with another motorist. Of course everyone can point out an example when a group of cyclists slowed them for several seconds or perhaps 30. Is this really an issue?? Several seconds delay. Think about it. Hey 1patriot, bike don't need licenses. If a cyclist gets pulled over by the police, then they get ticketed I've seen it happen. The bike does not need a license for the rider to be ticketed. A bike is a vehicle and if you cause an accident you will be liable. I have to say in over 25 years of cycling, I've never seen a bike cause an accident with a car, only the opposite. Oh and one more thing. Gas prices are not going to stop going up in the foreseeable future so motorists need to face the fact you will be seeing more cyclists on the roads. They won't be the spandex crowd but less skilled and experienced bikers and will arguably require greater caution on the part of motorists.

HighScore 7 years, 12 months ago

"Team Spandex", that just cracks me up. I think it is funny to see all these Armstrong wanna-be's in full spandex gear. The worst are those 250+ pounders that insist on wearing a full spandex outfit. Are you really going to go that much faster if you look like some alien space traveler? I am sure that these outfits deflect the wind and make you slightly more aerodynamic, but seriously, how many of you are breaking records or are in a serious competition that requires you shed a few seconds off your route? You people look rediculous.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 12 months ago

"Those sidewalks and the SLT paths are some of the best maintained sections of paved walkway in Lawrence."Perhaps the condition of the paths has improved in the last few years since I was last out there. I quit riding out there because they had deteriorated so badly in many spots, especially west of Wakarusa.I have found the SLT path better than the Clinton Parkway path, largely because it's separated somewhat from the highway-- further from bottles being thrown, and you're less likely to be cut off by turning cars.

Xwards 7 years, 12 months ago

Labmonkey....what route from Lawrence to Eudora would you suggest?

BigPrune 7 years, 12 months ago

Not to be a killjoy, but why don't these people ride the SLT bike path? It cost millions to build and was specifically built for bike riders.

Sigmund 7 years, 12 months ago

1Patriot (Anonymous) says: "I'm all for bicycles to be required to have license plates and insurance. Think about, if you are in an accident involving someone on a bicycle, who's insurance is going to pay? Is a bicycle considered an uninsured vehicle? Also I think we should have a minimum age for riding on the road. All bicyclist should be required to take a defensive riding class so they are made aware of the rules of the road and all the traffic laws they are required to be following."All great points! No riding on the main streets unless you are 16 years or older, completed classes on defensive riding, pass a test on the rules of the road, registration and proof of liability insurance. If bicyclist wast equal access to the roads then they need to be equally responsible. Otherwise stick to the sidewalks, bike trails, and residential streets.

imagold 7 years, 12 months ago

Why do motorists have to slow down and wait to go around cyclists? Is there some reason that the cyclists can't move over and stop and let the motorized, faster, larger, licensed vehicles have the lane? That is what I was taught to do on my bike on city streets all those years ago and it still makes sense. I've seen farm equipment move out of the way if they have the room and let traffic go by because they know they are slowing traffic. It would mean maybe one bike on the side of the road rather then a string of cars slowing down to make room for a bike.

labmonkey 7 years, 12 months ago

If there is a wide shoulder, cyclists out of common sense should ride on it....not block traffic. It's not like the laws of physics are on their side (300 lbs @ 10-20 mph vs. 4000 lbs at any speed). If there is no shoulder, cyclists should perhaps consider a different route. With roads like the one between Lawrence and Eudora, an accident is bound to happen and guess who loses everytime in a cycle/car accident.

Richard Renner 7 years, 12 months ago

Cyclists do not always ride the SLT bike path because it does not go where they want to go. When I road ride i choose the route with the least amount of traffic but that does not mean that I won't have to deal with some. Common courtesy and understanding between both parties is all I ask for. If I display responsibility in my riding I hope it will be returned.

yankeelady 7 years, 12 months ago

As a long time resident of rural Douglas county I am well aware of the problems with the bikes. I don't think anyone who lives in the county, especially on the flatter roads realized they were living on a bike path.The feeling that we get is that we have no right to be on the road when the bike club is out. On weekends during nice weather there are times when it is almost impossible to get past all the bikes. they ride 5-6 abreast and take up an entire lane. If visibility is limited, inevitably someone further back in the line of cars gets impatient and tries to pass several cars and about 20 bikes. The most frightening thing I have seen recently was the couple on a low slung bicycle for 2. They were seated very low to the ground . The problem was I approached from behind, around a curve next to a field of corn. Thankfully there was no oncoming traffic or I would have had no where to go and no time to stop. And yes, I go slowly in those areas this time of year, between the bikes and the wildlife it can be tricky. I almost hated to see this article, it always seems after a discussion of the problems, the spandex types get even more militant.

BaxterC 7 years, 12 months ago

I have to admit I am pretty "anti-bike". I don't mind bikers who respectfully ride to the side of the road but the bikers who consider themselves equal to cars can be annoying. Most of them switch lanes without signaling, they get pissed too easily if a car rides too close to them but then they also ride too close to other cars especially when stopping at a light. They city should really let them ride on the sidewalks. If they expect us to stop our car and wait to get over into another lane on a busy road, we can just as fairly expect them to stop and get off their bikes and walk past pedestrians on sidewalks when the situation arises.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 7 years, 12 months ago

I would like to ride a road bike, but I just can't get into the whole spandex thing so I stick to mountain bikes instead. Anyone considering buying spandex should realize that you'll end up looking like this:

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 12 months ago

What is the point of registering bicycles? Just to make it a hassle to ride a bike? =============Not necessarily. Registering a bike with the police department makes it easier for the police to return it to the owner in the event that it gets stolen. The LPD is also part of the National Bike Registry database, so a stolen bike can be returned even if it is found in a different state. From what I remember, it only costs $1 to register a bicycle. That's money well spent if you're riding a bike worth several hundred dollars. Most people who get their bikes stolen rely on a description like, "It's a black Trek, but I don't know the serial number." That narrows down the search to about 2 million bikes.

Baille 7 years, 12 months ago

Ah, Sunday evening brings my latest close call with a driver. I was heading east on a designated bike route when I approached an intersection. The north and south bound lanes were controlled by stop signs, and the east and west bound lanes had no traffic control devices. It was dusk, but I had my lights on in front and back, and the intersection itself was lit with overhead street lights. As I drew close to the intersection a northbound van pulled up and stopped several feet past the stop sign. After a brief pause that I was hoping included looking both ways, the van turned into the westbound lane by cutting me off and forcing me to slam on my brakes and skid my bike tire toward the curb. As I passed between his back bumper and the storm drain, his back end was close enough to touch. I am not saying I did, of course. Lucky for him, I never applied for my concealed carry. :)I have no problems with sharing the road with a motorist. I drive on occasion myself. My problems is with the large number of motorists who have no idea how to comport themselves appropriately or follow the basic traffic ordinances that regulate their use of the road. It is always the - many - that ruin it for the rest of us.

FMT6488 7 years, 12 months ago

I was looking back on some old posts and found that bicycles issues have come up quite often on the J-W site. One poster(s?), mentioned that the cyclist(s?) had been assaulted by vehicle passengers and drivers more than once. I remember reading about the cyclist being hit by a thrown beer bottle when riding on the sidewalk, having a laser shined into his/ her eyes (this is more than just harassment - it is actually putting the riders life and vision at risk!), and other examples. For a city that purports to be bicycle friendly, the posts here sure sound to me like the bicyclists in town should be in fear of their lives! Many of these posts sound as if the drivers would like nothing better than to run every bicyclist off the road (if actually run them over!). With posts like this, in a city now allowing concealed carry, I wonder what a little "road rage" on the part of a bicyclist would look like?

storm 7 years, 12 months ago

Only drivers who always stop BEHIND a stopsign or a crosswalk, can speak out if they want bicyclists on sidewalks instead of roadways. Those drivers are few.Everyone go read jimknights post. Now move over for people that are riding their bicycle.

deskboy04 7 years, 12 months ago

I don't ride a bike. I drive a car and pay property taxes on that car. I buy gasoline for the car and pay a tax on that. Doesn't that money go to fund streets, law enforcement, etc. Do bikes pay any taxes to use the roads? Just curious.

Baille 7 years, 12 months ago

Bikes rarely pay taxes because it is very hard for them to hold down a job without opposable thumbs.

Baille 7 years, 12 months ago

"It is illegal to ride on the sidewalks of Lawrence, Kansas, except during the yearly bicycle race unfairly imposed on Downtown merchants, at which time the law seems to be forgotten."No, it's not.

hail2oldku 7 years, 12 months ago

Ah, Monday morning brings my latest close experience with a cyclist. I'm sitting at the stop sign at 9th & Lawrence Ave. waiting my turn to go through towards 6th Street. The motorcycle which is to my left at the 4 way stop preceeds to go through at his turn. As he clears the intersection and I begin to proceed north towards 6th a bicycle rider comes flying down the hill and blows through the stop sign. Luckily for him I was able to hit the brakes and avoid the collision.I have no problems sharing the roads with a bicycle. I'm a liesurely cyclist myself (and with gas prices climbing I see myself becoming a regular fairly soon). My problem with the bike rider though is the cyclist like the one I ran across this morning. It is always the few that ruin it for the majority out there. If you want the respect of the motorist, you need to obey the same laws that the motorist does. Stop at stop signs and red lights. Ride on the proper side of the road (or side walk). Yield when appropriate. Etc. , etc., etc.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 12 months ago

Just a heads-up to people who ride bikes: If you ride at night please make sure your bicycle has a headlight and a red (preferably flashing) tail light. It's difficult to see you in areas where big leafy trees block out some of the street light illumination, particularly in east Lawrence. Lights are only a few bucks at Target, so equip your bike and enjoy a good safe ride.

kuwxlady 7 years, 12 months ago

wow, can't we ALL just obey the traffic laws and get a long??? Geez people!

Baille 7 years, 12 months ago

It shall be unlawful for any person to ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk within any business district within the City or upon any sidewalk within a distance of 100 feet from any store or business place or place of assembly or where specifically prohibited by posted sign. It shall not be unlawful for police officers or other law enforcement personnel assigned to bicycle patrol units to ride upon any sidewalks while in the performance of their official duties.City Code 17-702Unfortunately, I don't see that "place of assembly" or "business district" is defined anywhere in the code.

hail2oldku 7 years, 11 months ago

" I have never once almost hit a cyclist, but as a cyclist I have almost been hit twice by cars this year - and I religiously follow the traffic/pedestrian laws."I can make the same statement myself, but only because I was aware in my car and the cyclist was not. Unfortunately, the story I related yesterday repeated itself today with what I believe to be the same rider.I have had a cyclist ride right into the side of my car because they ran a stop sign at a four way similar to what I have experienced the last two days at 9th & Lawrence Ave. That is one reason this current dumb@ss has not met the same fate. I've also seen the Tour de Larry types that lazz has encountered recently. Being a good (and conscientious) rider or driver yourself does not make you immune to seeing the crazy rider or driver. If you say you have never seen such a creature out there, I offer that you are either very lucky or very sheltered because even some of the elite riders that have come to town the last couple of years for the college championships have been observed not following the rules of the road while on their training rides in and around town.

hail2oldku 7 years, 12 months ago

Informed, I agree with you and as I said I have no problem sharing the road. I think our friend Baille however is either over generalizing or being hypersensitive about vehicles.Yes, the Sunday experience is one that I have encountered myself, in the middle of the day even when a driver underestimates the speed at which I was approaching on my bicycle. I've probably done the same thing myself - because I know that I have with other automobiles on more than one occassion and had to accelerate to correct my mistake and avoid an accident.The difference between Baille's account and mine with the bike this morning is at least the car stopped at the controlling device where as the bike flat blew through and ignored the stop sign.Yes, you are correct that there are plenty of auto drivers who do the same thing for a variety of reasons, though I've yet to experience near as many cars taking a left turn on red as I have seen bike riders.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

" I have never once almost hit a cyclist, but as a cyclist I have almost been hit twice by cars this year - and I religiously follow the traffic/pedestrian laws."Exactly my experience, too. And I suspect the same is true for most competent bike riders who also drive.

Baille 7 years, 11 months ago

Sure I did. Several times. I watched a dude blow across Mass three nights ago with no helmet, no lights, and no regard for traffic laws. I wrote about it.But these anecdotal stories do nothing but create misperceptions about a whole class of people whether they be drivers or cyclists. That is my point.For many who have posted on this topic in this and other threads, every cyclist is some cowboy who can't follow the rules of the road. That is simply not true. There are idiots who ride bikes. Conceded. Many times over. But there are far more idiots who drive cars, trucks and motorcycles. Those drivers present a far greater danger to the safety of me and my family and they create far more property losses nationwide - and yet we do not talk about restricting their privileges to drive or operate a motor vehicle.I, too, am acutely aware of my surroundings as a cyclists. I am not going to get hurt to prove I have a right to be on the road, but at the same time all this talk about crazed cyclists is stupid. I have never once almost hit a cyclist, but as a cyclist I have almost been hit twice by cars this year - and I religiously follow the traffic/pedestrian laws.

bd 7 years, 12 months ago

I think they need running lights, brake lights, and turn signals just like a motorcycle!You are nothing to me other than a lighter, slower, non motorized cycle that does not obey the laws some of the time!I have commuted around Clinton Lake for over 20 years, I have see it all!

fu7il3 7 years, 12 months ago

"wow, can't we ALL just obey the traffic laws and get a long??? Geez people!"If there is one truth I have come to accept, it is that people will never completely obey traffic laws, and will never completely get along.

Baille 7 years, 11 months ago

Where did I say that? I have repeatedly said just the opposite. Do you not read the whole post? Just skipping to the end? Do they need to be shorter?Look, I have seen (I HAVE SEEN) dumb bike riders do stupid things; however, I have never once in my 20 + years of driving on average 20k miles per year almost hit a cyclist. However, I have seen more stupid things from dumb drivers and I have seen first hand the horrific consequences of their stupidity. For every isolated story of some dumb bike rider, I can counter with three stories of dumb Nascar wannabe, Tour de Donut Eater drivers, but again what's the point?

Baille 7 years, 12 months ago

I was riding home Saturday night when some guy in a bike ran the red light at the northbound Kansas river bridge. He had on no helmet and he had no lights in his bike.Saturday morning while driving out to the lake, I watched a guy pull up to the left hand turn lane at 23rd and Wakarusa, stop at the red light, and then run the red light.Two weeks ago I was riding my bike along the sidewalk and came to an intersection where I had the walk signal. A car turning off the main road had a yield sign, but came to the intersection and tried to blow right through. I had to slam on my brakes and skidded to a stop in the intersection.This morning I was driving to work when I passed a Hamm's truck heading the opposite direction. He was carrying a load of gravel but didn't have the cover on. Consequently, as it went by it sprayed my car with gravel. One big rock and...Last summer I was driving northbound on the SLT when some hotshot in a Corvette convertible blew by me on the right hand shoulder. I was doing 65. He had to be doing 80.i could go on (the guy who rear-ended my pregnant wife at a stop light, the guy driving too fast around a curve that crashed his car into my fence, the guy that took out my mailbox this winter, and on and on and on), but so what? What's the point?

kuwxlady 7 years, 12 months ago

fu7il3:Yeah you're right! It's just funny to sit back and watch everyone debate, complain, threaten each other over this. Oh well, just gotta accept and move on, by riding my bike as safely as possible! :-)

lazz 7 years, 12 months ago

thought of this thread when i got the scare of my life last night --driving home about dusk, south on Mass, turned right on 19th, heading west. As I approached the first intersection -- Vermont Street, which has stop signs for both of its approaches, while 19th does not -- from out of NOWHERE zooms a guy on a bike, FLYING south down the northbound lane of Vermont. I have no idea whether he saw me or not, but thankfully I was just sorta out for a ride, not going anywhere in particular, so driving slow, because this dude ROCKETS out of that intersection, from the wrong lane, no less, totally blew through the stop sign, and not only that, cut his turn sharp, angled straight across the front of my car.I locked up the brakes, my dog in the back seat crashes into the front seat, and I look up just in time to see that S.O.B. flipping me off.On top of all that, the dude was riding a super-nice bike, he had on an expensive racing-style helmet, snazzy bike gear, and leather gloves. He wasn't the sort of aimless dope we're all wary of when we see them wobbling along on some crappy bike, worried what sort of unsignalled turn they're about to make ...

Baille 7 years, 12 months ago

Hey, deskboy, your question is answered generally at

Baille 7 years, 11 months ago

This morning driving to work, I saw a guy on Kasold blow through a stop light by crossing the stop line and the walkway and then stopping in the intersection. Travelers with the green light had to brake and then maneuver around him.Last night heading south on Iowa, some guy in a Mustang pulled across two lanes in front of oncoming traffic and pulled in front of me forcing me to quickly switch lanes to avoid rear-ending him.I would also bet that several people drove home tipsy last night, parked on the sidewalk, blew through a stop sign, and/or drove too fast for then existing conditions.

Baille 7 years, 12 months ago

Sure, Marion, but what's the big deal? Those laws have been quoted before. I don't see one law you cited that the majority of cyclists I know don't follow. Personally, I use detachable lights that I carry with me when I will be riding late.The pedal thing is interesting, though.And we have been through the 1590(d) thing ad nauseum. Surely we don't have to cover that again. There is a cite to the case that discusses the bike path provision. Bottom line is that refers to an exclusive bike path. There aren't very many of those in and around Lawrence.

lazz 7 years, 12 months ago

great rant, dena.and for whatever it's worth, i never honked at the guy who flipped me off. i did nothing, absolutely nothing, except stop in time to save him from serious injury.

bd 7 years, 12 months ago

I wish you bike riders would finnally decide WHERE you are going to ride- on the road or sidewalk or both????Decide on one and do it!Sidewalk or street!

yankeelady 7 years, 11 months ago

it works both ways of course. I have called for bad drivers as well. And I have stopped to see if bicyclists needed help. It is common courtesy.

lazz 7 years, 11 months ago

small world (or town) dept. ...last night i saw the very same guy who blew through a stop sign in front of my car at 19th at Vt. do the exact same thing on 7th Street, flew through a stop sign and directly in front of a car that had to lock up the brakes to avoid him. he never slowed or waivered ... it's like he's riding a closed street course in a race or something ...

astromama 7 years, 12 months ago

I sincerely hope we can all just get along, respectfully. I recently began riding with my 14 month old son in a bike seat and although I am VERY careful when he is with me I am alarmed at the hostility towards cyclists in this town and concerned that OUR right to the road will not be respected. It is so much simpler, cheaper and greener to ride a bike and I'll take a bike ride over strapping my child in a hot car seat just to drive 10 blocks downtown any day! Please just be aware of one another, and be aware that a lot of us parents enjoy riding with our children so let's not let road rage or personal beliefs about who 'owns the road' make that road less safe for the babies and children out riding it.

hail2oldku 7 years, 11 months ago

The point that there are people in cars/trucks/motorcyclists that are idiots has already been conceeded Baille. You don't seem to want to acknowledge the same for bicyle riders.Do motor vehicle drivers need to be more attentive? Yes.As a bike rider though, I make myself even more aware of my surroundings because I know that I am going to lose those confrontations with a car.Do I use my hand signals? When in traffic yes, but I'll be the first to admit that I do not when not in congested areas.I do announce myself on the bike paths when passing another biker/runner/rollerblader, many other riders (including those in the bicycle club) do not.The rider(s) that lazz came across seem to be all too frequent around town. Those people are the ones that give cyclists a bad name.

yoornotmee 7 years, 11 months ago

I have no problem with cyclists who follow the rules. I have a HUGE problem with cyclists who run red lights and stop signs and disregard other obvious rules. If I'm driving and I hit a cyclist who ran a stop sign, who do you think is going to get the blame? I don't want to be liable for some dumbass' carelessness.

denak 7 years, 12 months ago

Ok, I have no doubt that the cyclists are going to j ump all over me but I don't care. Cyclists just need to get the h**l off the road. You don't belong there.You can't go the same speed as the drivers and you put us and yourself in hazard.I am so sick of cyclists who do not even remotely attempt to obey the freaking road signs. Do you people not know what a stop sign is. If you don't, freaking find out!I have had to slam on my breaks several times because some dumb bicyclists just breezes through the stop sign. A stop sign is not a suggestion. It is a stop sign! Learn what it is for.And while you are at it, put some reflective lights on. And have enough sense to not wear black at night. And learn...and use...hand signals. And by hand signals, I don't mean flipping someone off when you fly through the stop sign....again... and they honk at you.As you can probably tell, I am sick and tired of cyclists who don't have any sense whatsoever. I have had a few close calls because they think they own the road and that motorists should accomandate them regardless of whatever transgressions they are committing.And I'll be &&^%%& if I end up in court, traumatized, my kids traumatized because some stupid cyclists did not, again, stop at a stop sign or use any common sense and I hit him(or her).Dena

hail2oldku 7 years, 11 months ago

One step ahead of you Informed, though dispatch did tell me that given the location and time of day they couldn't guarantee someone would be in the area of the intersection (shift change is my guess).

hail2oldku 7 years, 11 months ago

" I have never once almost hit a cyclist" Perhaps I worded my response incorrectly.Congratulations, you are very lucky. So am I because in my 30+ years of driving, I haven't hit a cyclist, but I have been hit by one and still see the horrific consequences three or four times/year in my nightmares 10 years after the fact. I haven't almost hit the same one two days in a row now though he almost hit me which triggered one of those nightmares last night.I would venture a guess however that the percentage of poor cyclists out there is proportional to the percentage of poor drivers. I will give you that the percentage of drivers falling into this category will continue to climb because of cell phone usage, etc.

Baille 7 years, 11 months ago

The cyclist absent some other facts that would lead one to conclude you were negligently operating your car.

yankeelady 7 years, 11 months ago

Perhaps we should all program the sheriffs dispatch number into our cell phones. (not 911) Then the next time you see anybody doing something blatantly stupid/illegal, make the call. I think if a deputy sees a pack going 4-5 abreast 20-30 deep,or blowing stop signs, they might take action. And yes, out in the county that is not unusual, it's like trying to pass a semi---a really slow, wobbly, unpredictable semi.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

" A motorist will be punished much harsher if they hit a cyclist than a cyclist will be if they hit a car."Well, duh!! denak.Of course that's the case-- when you put yourself behind the wheel of a vehicle weighing 2000 lbs. or more, and propel it to high rates of speed, the potential for disaster is great, so, of course, the responsibility is great. If you want lesser responsibility for your actions, then take actions with lower potential for harm to others. Like maybe riding a bike instead of driving a car.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

"Like maybe riding a bike instead of driving a car."Why do you think kids are allowed to ride bikes, but not drive cars?

Baille 7 years, 11 months ago

"" A motorist will be punished much harsher if they hit a cyclist than a cyclist will be if they hit a car.""But that is not true. Running a red light gets the same fine for car or bike. Hitting something gets the same fine whether for car or bike. Am I wrong about this?In restitution a driver of a car may have to may more, but that would only be if they caused more damage. If the bike caused an equal amount of damage, the cyclist would be required to pay the same. There is no lesser standard.In a civil sense the standard of care is the same: reasonable care under the circumstances then existing. Now the circumstances for the driver are different and that may require the driver to take or refrain from certain actions, but the standard applied to the driver is the same, i.e. reasonable care.

denak 7 years, 11 months ago

For those who read my rant, and feared for my mental health and increase chances of a stroke, I thank you for your concern. :)However, since we are still talking about this subject, I tell you why cyclists and motorists do not "share responsbility." The term, "sharing responsbility" implies that there is a equal relationship. That both motorist and cyclist share in exactly the same level of care. This isn't true. They do not have the same level of care because they do not have the same level of punishment. A motorist will be punished much harsher if they hit a cyclist than a cyclist will be if they hit a car. If a cyclist wants "shared responsbility" then take the equal punishment.Obviously this won't happen because the harm generated by a motorist hitting a cyclists is greater than the harm generated by a cyclists hitting a car.The motorists is punished more even if there is very little to no injury and even if the cyclists is at fault. The motorists will get a bigger fine and in some cases, depending on the amount of injury, a higher charge. Cyclists know that they are held to a lesser standard and that the punishment for breaking the law is less for them, so they have no real reason to obey the law.If cyclists want to share the roads, and share responsibility, make their fines equal to motorist's fine. If you hit my car, then you should be fined the same amount as if a car hit me.If you aren't willing to do that, get off the road!Dena

Curtis Martell 7 years, 12 months ago

Hoooold on there a minute Douglas County Sucks! Whoa! That is the most twisted logic I've seen up here in a long time. You seem to be operating under the assumption that all the bike / car incidents are caused by the bicyclist. Dave Dillon was hit from behind by a motorist - that is a fact. Dave was on the Sherrifs department so I assume he knew not only the risk of cycling, but the laws that apply to cyclists and further, that he was likely obeying those laws when he was hit. So, it seems to me that law enforcement would honor his death and help prevent others by ticketing motorists who speed, drive reclessly and make illegal passes of cyclists. Let me recount my ride to LoneStar lake last evening: 1 car going about 85 mph in a 55mph13 cars making a pass in a no passing zone1 guy riding a 4 wheeler on 458 with no lights, no license and no helment. 3 Douglas County Sherrifs dealing with a domestic issue or fight at the Lone Star beach1 cyclist following all the rules of the road. Oh and another thing. The drivers test and property taxes for car tags doesn't weed out the stupid motorists. Great ideas Einstein. Hey, the Bush adminsistration needs more brilliant guys like you!

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