Letter: Sharing the road
I am a professional driver driving an 18-wheeler truck 6 days a week locally. I have seen many cyclists and have found that the majority are using too much of the road for the conditions. Cyclists are in the middle of the road when the allowed edge is fine. They stop in the middle of a lane at a stop light only to go through a red light when there is a break in oncoming traffic. Riders have deliberately rode in front of me and refuse to move over. The general consensus seems to be “I have a right to this road and I am going to use all of it.” Many riders seem to think its OK to practice their racing skills on the road. When was it OK to practice racing on the streets?
∎ Cycle lanes, (such as in some areas like Northampton) an 18-inch lane on the side of the road marked by a painted line.(In my entire driving career, I have never seen a side of a road where its condition is so bad that the only place to travel was the middle of the lane.)
∎ Cyclists ride against traffic. This way they know exactly where the oncoming car is at all times versus right when it is upon them when the vehicle wants to get by. Plus, the vehicle driver knows the cyclists has seen them.
∎ Licensing bikes (like motorcycles with license plates for riders over 16 years old) so riders can be identified/reported when they violate traffic rules. A plus would additional revenue, too.
In general, I personally think that mixing bicycles with motor vehicles is just insane. If human-powered transportation is allowed to mix with traffic, eventually will all types be allowed? We can’t be discriminatory or prejudice. Where will it end? Roller blades? Skateboards? Sounds silly, yes, but then so did allowing bicycles to ride in the middle of the road with cars and trucks not to long ago.
Sharing the road is a two-way street. Cyclist have a right to use a road, but not the right to block it. Should bikes be allowed on the road? Yes, as long as they keep to the side out of harm’s way.
They have a right. Let’s hope they don’t end up dead right.