In response to a recent flurry of letters complaining about cyclists, I sent the following letter to the editor of our local newspaper, the Idaho Statesman:
Recent letters to the Statesman have questioned why cyclists do not always remain in the bike lane. Here are some reasons. Bike lanes:
Violate intersection destination positioning rules by channeling straight-through cyclists to the right of right-turning vehicles.
Position cyclists where cross-traffic collisions are more likely, due to diminished sightlines and reduced cyclist conspicuity. Motorists dont always look that far to the left.
Place cyclists in the door zone of parked vehicles.
Are frequently quite narrow, resulting in closer passes by overtaking motorists.
Accumulate debris that can degrade braking performance, puncture tires, and cause a potentially catastrophic loss of control.
Create an illusion of safety, resulting in inattention blindness for both motorists and cyclists.
Although bike lanes have reinforced your prejudices that cyclists do not belong on the road, please be advised that we have the same rights and the same responsibilities as motorists. Im sorry if passing me carefully will cost you 5 seconds in your race to the next red light.
Regarding bicycle registration to help fund road maintenance: damage to roads is directly proportional to vehicle weight. I will gladly pay $1 per pound every year for my bicycle. Will you do the same for your vehicle of choice?