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Bikes versus Automobiles Ad Naseum

We received comments from a cyclist over this article about formal training for bicyclists – most of it critical.

“Fixing the bike versus auto problem starts with drivers…” our reader writes “…I know many cyclists that ride on the sidewalk because they are afraid to use the road.” Fair enough – many auto drivers are discourteous to other drivers, never mind cyclists and pedestrians, and many auto drivers simply get scared and nervous when trying to pass a bike, which can make people do stupid things. But we stand by our assertion that formal training for cyclists on how to obey the laws of the road – and there are laws for bicycles – will help improve the situation. Training could help many cyclists feel more comfortable on the road, and co-mingling with cars.

Then we come to this letter-to-the-editor which appeared in The Berkeley Daily Planet:


Editors, Daily Planet:

I am fed up with bicyclists who act as if traffic laws don’t apply to them and ride as if they’re only ones who have the right to be on the road.

There have been countless times when I have nearly been hit by bike riders while walking across the street in a crosswalk. Around 7 yesterday evening, for example, I was crossing Telegraph at Oregon. All four lanes of car traffic came to a gentle stop, respecting the crosswalk. However, as usual, a bike rider refused to slow or even alter their path and came within a few inches of hitting me.

I had always thought that being environmentally responsible was about looking out for the greater good. Apparently these riders are so wrapped up in their own egos and arrogance that they forget traffic rules also apply to them; especially the laws protecting pedestrians from harm. I have to say, there’s something perverse about pedestrians feeling safer around cars than bicycles.

Steve Berley


Along with training and enforcement for auto-drivers, there needs to be training and enforcement for cyclists.

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