The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

Letters to the Editor for May 8

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Reconfigure bridge pedestrian lanes so bikes can share I support the Gazette’s May 2 editorial, “Make room for bikes on Western Gateway Bridge,” enthusiastically. I cycle across the Western Gateway Bridge and never use the designated bike path out in the roadway because it is too dangerous. Instead, I very carefully use the pedestrian’s sidewalk. It is too narrow for bikes and pedestrians when they meet or pass. However, it is the safe option. As ...

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May 13, 2012
11:29 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

"Reconfigure bridge pedestrian lanes so bikes can share" by David Gerhan cannot be fully addressed in one letter.

Bicycles and pedestrians do NOT mix.

Aside from that law prohibits the operation of bicycles on sidewalks, let us just look at the logic.

Bicyclists, easily traveling 15 to 25 miles per hour are being overpassed by cars going 1.5 to 3.0 the speed of bicycles. The pedestrians, moving 2-3 mph is being overtaken at 7 to 12 times his walking speed.

Next, statistics show that very few bicycle-automobile interactions are caused by a car running over a cyclist in front of him - and I dare guess that it has never happened on the bridge. Most common interactions between cyclists and motor vehicles are due to on-coming car turning left into the cyclist's path or overtaking the cyclist then turning right into the cyclists path. Wrong side-riding and failure to obey traffic law accounts (both seem to be something David Gerhan is guilty of) account for a larger share too than the "run down from behind" phobia Gerhan exhibits.

I'm sorry that Gerhan is afraid of traffic around him. Were he driving a Mini-Cooper would he also choose sidewalks or shoulders over the road with big mean tractor-trailers sharing the roadway with him? Uniform Vehicle Law (notice that it is "vehicle" and NOT "motor vehicle" law) determines that cyclists travel under most circumstances just as any other vehicle.

I will recommend that Gerhan and others consider some of the bicyclist driver training courses offered by the NYS Bicycling Coalition, the League of American Bicyclists, or Mohawk Hudson Cycling Club or read John Forester's book, "Effective Cycling" to learn how wrong his proposals are. And David Gerhan, if you and I cross paths while I am walking across that bridge's sidewalk, I will NOT yield my legal (and your illegal) route come hell or high-water. Pedestrians have precious little public right of way given us that I refuse to share regardless the number of smiles I receive.

Bicyclists belong on the road, and (generally) to the right.

May 16, 2012
6:41 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Here's an excellent bicycle driver's course: