Right to the road

Bicyclists are entitled to ride where they choose

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As a bicyclist myself, I try to remind others that while we require automobiles to share the road, it's up to us to remember that we need to watch for the cars too. "Hey, don't you see me? I'm on my bike!" isn't good enough. "Don't you see me? I'm in my car -- the thing that could rupture your spleen if I move just a little bit to the right." Be diligent. Be aware. Be safe.

Bicycle Bob 195 days ago

Rules of the Road

"Bicyclists are entitled to ride where they choose"--not on the damn sidewalks downtown! As a pedestrian, I am sick and tired of bicyclists tearing down the sidewalk at full-tilt, weaving in and out of people on the street. All it takes is one pedestrian ahead of them stopping in their tracks, or someone exiting a business opening a door onto the sidewalk, to create serious injury. Unless you're a 5-year old on a Big Wheel tricycle, stay off the sidewalks!

Denise DeSerio 213 days ago

Rules of the Road

Everyone should obey the rules of the road, but only the drivers of motorized vehicles are likely to maim or kill someone else if they fail to obey stop light or stop signs. Note: A stop is required BEFORE the crosswalk. There is even a thing called a "stop bar" quite a ways back from the crosswalk. Virtually every driver in my very pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly neighborhood gets into the crosswalk before stopping (if they stop at all) when making a right turn. And the number of drivers blowing the red is reflected in the frightening crash history of the intersection where I catch the bus. But I'm not going to say that motorists should be banned from the roads because some people break the law. And I'm not going to call for not spending any more money on roads until all motorists stop breaking the law. (and everyone does. When was the last time you DIDN"T go over the speed limit?) But that's what I hear when we bicyclists (and I'm a driver and pedestrian too) ask to stop being killed and injured on the road. Phoey!

Robbie 216 days ago

Bikes & Cars

What I think most people who gripe about Madison bikers mean by the "entitled" attitude is not that they are entitled to the roadway at all but that many feel they are entitled to do whatever they damn well please.
Sure motorists are by and large terrible. I drive for my work and I can tell you that seeing a driver stop at a stop sign is a rarity. There are a multitude of careless and irresponsible motorists out there. But this does not cancel out other part of the equation which is careless and irresponsible cyclists who -- encouraged by articles like this -- feel they can behave like complete morons and it's still the motorists fault. I'm sorry but it is NOT the car drivers fault if, for example, you are riding against traffic. I have never lived in a town where I've seen more cyclists behaving in ways that endanger their lives and then taking it out on drivers who nearly hit them.
Here's a perfect example that I unfortunately was faced with recently...I was driving home during a torrential rainstorm. I was turning from a sidestreet onto Willy. I am someone who is extremely paranoid about hitting a cyclist/pedestrian and, as always, looked very, very carefully before I pulled out. As I pulled out onto Willy, I saw a gray flash to my driver's side. A cyclist then pulled up to my window and started screaming at me. I told him (because I was concerned for his safety) that he was nearly invisible riding in the dark, through the rain, with no light and in black/gray clothes. He wanted me to get out of my car to "finish it". Then he proceeded to follow my car and threaten me and insist I "take responsibility" for nearly hitting him.
My point is that drivers are not superhuman. I am an extremely careful and professional driver. But that makes no difference when faced with the all-too-common Madison cyclist who refuses to drive carefully and take responsibility for their own safety. If more cyclist demonstrated even basic common sense instead of laying all the blame on car drivers, we might have less of a problem.

Frank 211 days ago

Rules of the Road

That said, cyclists need to obey the rules of the road. This means no zooming through the red light from the Square down King street (and scaring the hell out of pedestrians legally crossing at the crosswalk). You're a vehicle on the road. Obey the laws. Red lights and Stop signs mean - Stop.

Scott Jones 216 days ago

Rules of the Road

Everytime I go off the Square onto King Street with the green arrow I have to avoid pedestrians who are illegally crossing King on "Do Not Walk".

Mike Rewey 216 days ago

Rules of the Road - agree

Agree, I cannot tell you how many bicyclist I see fly through stops signs, thinking that every body should stop on a dime for them. It is about damn time they started utilizing their heads for something other than a place to put a damn helmet if they wear one at all. Plus I think anyone whom rides a bicycle during winter is a darn fool asking to be taken out.

Jake 215 days ago

Winter Commuting

Your statement about cyclist in the winter could be applied to drivers as well. Traveling at 15 MPH on a bicycle in winter weather is far safer than 45 mph in a car. Just because you may not feel safe on a bike in winter does not make cycling in winter unsafe. The same rules of the road that apply in the three other seasons apply in winter, just with more caution. Bike or car.

JP 215 days ago

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