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Old 04-03-09, 12:42 AM   #1
mechanicalron
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What Every Cyclist Must Know!

I keep reading so many post about the conflict between motorists and bicyclist. according to the traffic laws, this should NOT be the way that it is. This is what I know,,,

Bicyclist have all the rights and responsibilities applicable to the driver of any other vehicle and can be ticketed for violating traffic laws. As cyclists, we are intitled to (1), one lane of traffic. This is to say,,,
Same roads,
Same rules,
Same rights!
Very few cyclists know this so what do motorists think? How can we chainge this?
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Old 04-03-09, 06:19 AM   #2
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You should go on TV and tell everyone.
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Old 04-03-09, 07:06 AM   #3
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I just picked up a copy of that booklet at the bike shop. Maybe the booklet that they give automobile drivers for their written tests should contain What Every Cyclist Must Know. I haven't checked, but I'm pretty sure that the driving booklet isn't as thorough on the cycling stuff. Maybe that would help if it did.

Another idea might be that a written test must be given every three years when a drivers license is renewed, including cycling rights and obligations content.

So, anyway, that's my two cents from the gloomy seat of Michigan government. Maybe it would be a good idea to stop in to your House rep's office and ask for some support on this issue. That's what I'm going to do today.
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Old 04-03-09, 07:12 AM   #4
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The road to HELL is paved with good intentions. (still a believer).
Out in Boston Harbor people with big buck boats are asking me for
directions. They can't read a chart! Too busy to take a class?
To me car is king cause they can kill or maim me.
I can see yelling about my rights as they back over me.
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Old 04-03-09, 07:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechanicalron View Post
I keep reading so many post about the conflict between motorists and bicyclist. according to the traffic laws, this should NOT be the way that it is.
It is all based on speed differential. If every road in the world had a perfect surface and at least 18" of clean shoulder to give cyclists a place to move to when cars can't get past in the lane, there would be very few conflicts between cars and bikes. I think most cyclists are courteous enough to move onto a nice shoulder when necessary. Some would prefer to stay on the shoulder. Most, if not all of the conflicts I have with cars and trucks comes when I am stuck in the lane with fast traffic wanting to get around me.
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Old 04-03-09, 08:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mechanicalron View Post
I keep reading so many post about the conflict between motorists and bicyclist. according to the traffic laws, this should NOT be the way that it is. This is what I know,,,

Bicyclist have all the rights and responsibilities applicable to the driver of any other vehicle and can be ticketed for violating traffic laws. As cyclists, we are intitled to (1), one lane of traffic. This is to say,,,
Same roads,
Same rules,
Same rights!
Very few cyclists know this so what do motorists think? How can we chainge this?
We can start by dealing with the reality of the situation, which is that the laws are many and varied from place to place, and they do not universally proclaim identical rights and responsibilities for bicycles and other vehicles. Very few road users can honestly claim to really know all the rules of the road, although (like you) most of us like to think we do. We might be surprised at what we're wrong about if we really got into it.

There's also the gap between what is legal and what is prudent. Riding in Boston, I see a lot of situations where strictly legal behavior would not be prudent, and prudent behavior would not be legal.
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Old 04-03-09, 08:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
It is all based on speed differential. If every road in the world had a perfect surface and at least 18" of clean shoulder to give cyclists a place to move to when cars can't get past in the lane, there would be very few conflicts between cars and bikes. I think most cyclists are courteous enough to move onto a nice shoulder when necessary. Some would prefer to stay on the shoulder. Most, if not all of the conflicts I have with cars and trucks comes when I am stuck in the lane with fast traffic wanting to get around me.
Yes, I move to the R to let cars pass but on most roads you are stuck in the lane. but you should not feel you are stuck or pannick and that is my point. To be safe, you should be in a lane and not poping in and out of parked cars and traffic. People yell things like "stay on the sidewalk" and drive at you in a unsafe way as if they think that is right.
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Old 04-03-09, 08:45 AM   #8
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We can start by dealing with the reality of the situation, which is that the laws are many and varied from place to place, and they do not universally proclaim identical rights and responsibilities for bicycles and other vehicles. Very few road users can honestly claim to really know all the rules of the road, although (like you) most of us like to think we do. We might be surprised at what we're wrong about if we really got into it.

There's also the gap between what is legal and what is prudent. Riding in Boston, I see a lot of situations where strictly legal behavior would not be prudent, and prudent behavior would not be legal.
True, I did have in mind an average commute (in town) on 35 MPH or less roads. I don't claim to know all the laws but I do know cyclists have rights and don't have to stay to a sidewalk. And we should yield to faster vehicles but not have to get off the road. More and more people are commuting now and I can see a sort of stress that is unsafe to the cyclist.
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Old 04-03-09, 08:59 AM   #9
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If you think about all of the illegal crap that drivers do on a daily basis that endangers their own safety, to think that any driver would go through the extra training on how to deal with cyclists and still carry out that training on the road is just a pipe dream. I see drivers engaging in illegal and dangerous activity every single day, and I am talking about the things that ARE in the written exams and driving tests in my state. I am not naive enough to think that any policy or additional education will increase my safety, when most drivers aren't even concerned about their own safety enough to follow existing laws.
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Old 04-03-09, 09:28 AM   #10
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If you think about all of the illegal crap that drivers do on a daily basis that endangers their own safety, to think that any driver would go through the extra training on how to deal with cyclists and still carry out that training on the road is just a pipe dream. I see drivers engaging in illegal and dangerous activity every single day, and I am talking about the things that ARE in the written exams and driving tests in my state. I am not naive enough to think that any policy or additional education will increase my safety, when most drivers aren't even concerned about their own safety enough to follow existing laws.
I agree with you on this but can you imagine if no driving laws existed? A large % of people don't know laws exist for cyclists. If I, myself could change things 1% it would be worth my time to make what I enjoy 1% safer.
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Old 04-03-09, 10:43 AM   #11
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If you think about all of the illegal crap that drivers do on a daily basis that endangers their own safety, to think that any driver would go through the extra training on how to deal with cyclists and still carry out that training on the road is just a pipe dream. I see drivers engaging in illegal and dangerous activity every single day, and I am talking about the things that ARE in the written exams and driving tests in my state. I am not naive enough to think that any policy or additional education will increase my safety, when most drivers aren't even concerned about their own safety enough to follow existing laws.
I gather that this reply is in response to my post to the OP. I have to agree that extra training doesn't necessarily lead to implementation of that training. I don't consider myself naive enough to think that policy or additional education will increase my safety on my commute. Still, change has to come from somewhere. With more stringent application of testing comes greater awareness by automobile drivers. More stringent application of the laws by law enforcement will hit drivers in the wallet. This increases revenue to the state, county, and local governments.

Michigan is a true no-fault state as it relates to auto insurance. I think this promotes the idea that drivers aren't responsible for their misconduct on the road.
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Old 04-03-09, 10:51 AM   #12
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One of the busy thoroughfares in my area has nice, wide flat paved shoulders. Unfortunately, it's the exception, rather than the rule. I use it for my longer rides (30mi+). Mostly, I ride atop the white line, or just to the left of it, trying to miss as many potholes as possible.


"The road to a long biking life is paved with a wide, flat, gently sloping shoulder", me
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Old 04-03-09, 11:06 AM   #13
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So, anyway, that's my two cents from the gloomy seat of Michigan government. Maybe it would be a good idea to stop in to your House rep's office and ask for some support on this issue. That's what I'm going to do today.
You mean ask the people that can't pass a budget to do something useful that might help a small portion of the population? They're way too busy killing funding for worker re-training in the state with the highest unemployment rate in the country. But good luck with that. Let me know if you need help, 'cause I'll take some of what you're smoking.
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