Cyclists Need to Pick One

Cyclists need to decide whether they are vehicles or pedestrians.

This switching between the two status puts everyone else in danger because there’s no way to know when the cyclist will convert from one to the other.

If cyclists are going to be vehicles and the cities are spending money on bike specific lanes, then cyclists need to have to carry vehicle insurance and bear a license plate. Partly to raise some funds to offset the costs of bike lanes, but also to ensure that cyclists who break the rules of the road can be identified.

And have insurance to cover the costs of damage they may cause to pedestrians or cars.

bike takes out car?

The idea of driving along and a cyclist, blowing through a stop sign because they’ve decided that they are now a pedestrian that the sign doesn’t relate to, smashes into my car – damaging the door or side and possibly killing the cyclist.

The idea of now having to sue their estate to repair my car is a bit icky. It’d be better to deal with the insurance company.

I have several times been in a cross walk with the light had a cyclist approach on the road with the red light – and they suddenly swing into the cross walk and become a pedestrian. Now, I haven’t enjoyed having chain grease on my overcoat, nor jumping out of the way of what appears to be an eminent impact. But a cyclist/pedestrian accident is less likely to have the injury level or death that is likely with a cyclist/car collision.

car takes out several cyclists

In both of these examples, the cyclist is responsible for the collision as a result of switching between the car rules and the pedestrian rules.

It really becomes no small wonder that cyclists raise the ire of many people, to the point that there really are some drier out there who make a point to menace any cyclist – even the ones who are riding appropriately.

I cannot stress enough that vehicles should never menace a cyclist, no one is entitled to play with anyone’s life and well being like that. Drivers of cars and heavier vehicles have to look out for others because of the possibility of death or serious injury, it’s more a responsibility issue than a legal one.

Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and people forget that.

I also agree that people should be allowed – encouraged even – to ride bikes and I don’t mind separate bike paths were possible.

I just think that some of the funds to pay for it should come from the users of it.

Also, I think it makes no sense to have sidewalks with pedestrians and other people on wheels (skates, rollerblades, skateboards, Razor scooters, or whatever) and then act as if cycles are somehow different.

Wide sidewalks could have a line painted with pedestrians on the inside and anyone with wheels on the outside.

separate lanes for all

And, if a cyclist does change from a driver to a pedestrian – they need to actually be a pedestrian. Dismount and walk your bike – then people know what you are doing and it makes for safer streets and sidewalks for everyone.

We all have places to get to – and getting there alive is more important than trying to be on time.

But more than that, we need to have a common understanding of the rules of the road to avoid accidents and allow everyone to get where they are going.

Too often, the person who gets the blame for the accident really is not the person who was responsible for it.