Thursday, July 10, 2014

bikes in the crosswalk

look, boys and girls: you can't ride bikes in the crosswalk.

crosswalks are for pedestrians.

if you are riding a bike on a road, you are TRAFFIC. you may in most towns ride on the sidewalk, but if you're going to take advantage of pedestrian status to hold up traffic to use a crosswalk, you SHOULD BE ON FOOT.

conveniently, there is a solution to this.

the thing about biking is that you can go from being a rider to being a pedestrian in two easy steps:

1) dismount
2) begin walking

that's it. as a cyclist you have the right to travel like a regular vehicle. you also have the right to use most sidewalks and pedestrian bridges. and you can walk your bike where regulations or courtesy demand it.

if you are using a pedestrian crosswalk, BE A PEDESTRIAN. that is not a magic "let all bicycles turn left" button.

and for goodness' sake, if you are riding a bike, never never, NEVER ride on the left facing traffic as if you are a pedestrian. if you are in the roadway, you ARE the traffic. if you are stupid and do this, you are a safety hazard for everyone around you.

oh, and by-the-way: when i'm driving on the road and i see a cyclist on the shoulder and it may be an unpredictable surface, i gradually move out as far to the center as i can, which alerts oncoming drivers that i will be giving those riders space.

in this state we have a lot of laws governing how cyclists should be protected as "vulnerable road users" and it makes me happy to see that often a driver oncoming will anticipate that the driver passing the cyclist will be using more space and already have moved to make room.

it's just good practice to watch out for other road users, and those users include motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians.

plus it's good manners to share nicely.

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