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Column: Bikes on the road in North Fulton
by Steve Howard
Community Voices Columnist
June 05, 2012 08:23 PM | 3093 views | 3 3 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bikes on the road test my patience. Can’t they ride on the sidewalk, don’t they have to obey the law, why do they ride in the lane when there is room on the shoulder? The roads are for cars, not bikes. Don’t those women and men riding their bikes on the roads know how dangerous it is for everybody?

Oh, I forgot to mention, I’m also a cyclist and those cars sure test my patience. Don’t they know I can’t ride on the sidewalk because it is against the law; don’t they know I can’t ride too close to the shoulder because of debris and it encourages motorists to drive dangerously close to me; don’t motorists know that the law requires them to maintain 3-feet between their car and me, even if it means crossing the center line (double solid yellow included); don’t they know if they pass me approaching a stop sign, traffic signal or their next right-hand turn that I may be in front of them again very soon or worse yet they might cut-me off?

Before I started riding, it never crossed my mind that cars and bikes are equally entitled to the road and both answer to the same laws of the road. Nor did I ever think about the fact that 90 percent of riders and motorists really are not the problem — it’s the other 10 percent of both motorists and cyclists that are causing the stress. Cyclists must use turn signals and obey stop signs. I wish motorists would treat me like another car when approaching an intersection — if it is my turn, let me go but if it is not, exercise your right to go first. If you try and “be nice” but other cars at the intersection are not aware of your generosity, then the cyclist becomes most vulnerable in the confusion. Predictability by motorist and cyclist is critical for everybody.

I am amazed at how unhealthy our society has become and the demands placed on resources because of obesity, sedentary lifestyles and Americans’ dependence on cars. No matter how frustrated we become with bikes on the road, the reality is that encouraging cycling will promote a healthy lifestyle and will have an incredibly powerful impact on our children and communities.

Let’s be a part of the solution together. Visit www.bikeroswell .com/education to learn how.
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