There's an argument going on on the Mlive.com website. The subject is bike lanes. Please try to log in and post your own reply at Mlive dot com, if you have some free time:
I jumped into the fray by writing this reply:
Are bike lanes really necessary? There are three types of motorists; those who pass bicycles safely by moving left, those who are oblivious to the bicycles, and then there are a small percentage of motorists who are actually trying to run the bicycle over.
I've bicycled 140,000 miles since 1972, and I've never been hit by a car. I owe it to the fact that I always assume that the motorist is trying to run me over, and I am ready to make an evasive manuever.
I drive a car too, but for some reason I never encounter problems passing other people on bicycles. I remember the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." I don't want to get run over by a car when I'm riding my bike, so I don't try to run anyone else over when they are riding their bike.
I have never been yelled at by any bicyclist while driving my car. I always give them the ammount of room I would expect if I was riding my bicycle.
In America, ninety nine percent of bicyclists have cars. So therefore, the rules of sharing the road are understood both ways. Except for the motorists who don't know how to ride a bike.
So we spend millions of dollars painting extra fog lines, and stencilling arrows, and posting signs for the few motorists who don't know how to pass a bicycle safely. The money spent on bike-lanes is for them, not the bicyclists.
Why not have a few more questions on the driver's license test at the DMV? Questions about passing bicycles could weed out the drivers who are in a perpetual fog, thus eliminating the need for the extra fog lines.
And in closing, I want to mention that I have my bicycles insured on the same policy that covers my automobile. I would encourage others to do the same.
Then someone called "1blockradius" said we don't need bike lanes or better driver education. I had said that I favor driver education over bike lanes, which I intended to mean as one or the other. So I sent a second reply:
1blockradius: No, we don't agree. What I said was better driver education OR bike lanes. One or the other, not neither.
I'm getting too old to race a bicycle, but I still ride. Back in the 1970's, there was a clear distinction between bicycle racing and bicycle touring. Today, the bike shops are full of 27-speed racing bicycles, but it's very hard to find a touring bike.
But I can tell you that back in the days when I raced, I often went faster than the 30MPH speed limit. One time I was going 47MPH in a 30MPH zone and there was a car right behind me. I pulled over, and there was a Police car coming the other way, so we, me and the driver, flagged down the Police car (the driver wanted to accuse me of holding up traffic). Well, the Police officer settled the dispute, by handing that driver a ticket for going 47 in a 30MPH zone (seventeen miles over the limit) , which is enough to have your license revoked.
I believe all bicycles should have a rear-view mirror. The cyclist should acknowledge that you are behind him if you acknowledge that he is in front of you.
The law is that a bicycle must move over to let traffic go by. However , your car alone does not constitute traffic. Elsewhere in the law book, it defines traffic as "five cars or more".
But again, there is an exception, as I mentioned earlier- the bicycle *could* be doing the speed limit. These racers in their Spandex suits are engaging in a protest ride. If they have encountered the same problem I mentioned, that is, a total disregard for the speed limit, then they are committing an act of Civil Disobedience. If the speed limit is thirty, and the bike is going thirty five, the bike is NOT blocking traffic.
I have a feeling that the cyclists are protesting, and they are going really slow on purpose, because going the speed limit doesn't help with the passing speeders and the tailgaters and the sideswipers. This is where bicycle safety blends in with motorcycle safety-at the posted speed limit.
Myself, I always have a rear-view mirror on my bicycle, and I always pull over to let Large Trucks go by. I ride to the right of the existing fog line, if there is a fog line.
I think two feet of space between the fog line and the curb is enough, but due to people making a fuss, the NHSTA had to do car crash tests with dummies behind the wheel, and now Federal Regulations require that bike lanes be at least five feet wide , with a two foot buffer zone (if your county wants Federal funds).