Dan Pichiotino: Bike problems?
June 25, 2011
After seeing the multiple online comments after last week's bicycle invasion I just had to chime in.
Fact: Bicycles are vehicles and, as such, are subject to the same rules of the road as any non-commercial car, truck, motorcycle, etc. The fact that you need no license, insurance or any knowledge of traffic laws to ride your bike down the road (or sidewalk, which is illegal) is where the problem lies.
Fact: Colorado roadways are designed for motorized travel and commerce. Notice the "bike path" is less than 6 feet wide and two-lane roads are 24-feet wide. Just to clarify, the roads aren't designed for cyclists to travel four abreast and at 30 miles under the speed limit.
Sure, cycling is a great activity for the whole family and something we want in our community, but your groceries don't come here by bicycle, nor does lumber, nor nearly any of the goods we have here or anywhere in the valley. People who disobey traffic laws while driving a car are ticketed and after enough points can lose their license. Why doesn't this happen with bicycles?
State and local law enforcement have a responsibility to start issuing warnings and tickets to irresponsible cyclists and ensuring safety for cyclists and motorists alike. Maybe even put "share" back in "Share the Road." I don't consider myself a bike-hater, but it is a fact that irresponsible cyclists create a tremendous hazard on Colorado roadways and disrupt commerce by their careless actions. So all you cyclists remember this when you pass on the right, ignore a stop sign, or move along at 30 mph below the speed limit — you are expecting a lot from motorists who surely have no intention of a collision.
Be smart, be safe and educate your children. Maybe just this once think about the truck driver who would have to live with the fact that they just ran over a 10-year-old who blew through a stop sign and into a 90,000-pound vehicle that couldn't go from 25 to 0 instantly. Who is to blame there? Police, parents, the child? Let's avert tragedies rather than cope with them after they happen.
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