Share the Road

That is the title of a government campaign here in Arizona and I have heard it in other parts of the country, but it seems some motorist just do not want to share the roads with cyclist or pedestrians.  For the most part I find motorist perfectly willing to share the road and drive way around me (seriously am I that wide?), but there are a few who refuse to share the road and see how close they can drive next to you (I am talking mere inches).  Some people choose to yell or throw things, neither of those have happened to me, but they have happened to Matt plenty of times.  

For those of you who don’t know, a cyclist is supposed to travel in the lane just as a vehicle and obey all traffic laws the same as a vehicle.  For the most part cyclist obey the traffic laws, although I will admit that I do see some riding the opposite of traffic or on a sidewalk (that is for pedestrians).  In fact along the highway I often ride on the sidewalk (I do get off for pedestrians), even though I know better, because cars are scary.  

I was reading this story today on cnn.com about a Critical Mass bike ride.  Critical Mass originally started to show how cities have become unfriendly to cyclist, unfortunately in some instances it has gotten out of hand with altercations between cyclist and motorist, but that’s not the point of this post.  One of the commenters on the cnn article stated that cyclist should not be allowed on the road because we do not pay for the roads.  Well we all actually pay for the roads and we all have rights to use the roads.  Here is one article in answer to the question if cyclist should pay to use the roads and here is a lengthy article on the right to travel by human power.  I couldn’t find any articles that actually had hard numbers on how roads are funded, I did see one posting that said the government accounting in that area was too fuzzy to interpret directly.  

So, the next time you see a cyclist on the road please be courteous, don’t pass too close, don’t honk (cyclist are pretty aware of the traffic around them and they can hear your engine, well maybe not if you are in a prius), don’t swerve at them (we really don’t find it funny), and you really don’t need to yell or throw things at them either.  Of course, I am pretty sure all the readers of my blog are courteous drivers, so thanks for listening to my vent.  Oh and if you do want to ride here is an article on cyclist safety with links to a bunch more articles on the same topic.

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