Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Policing the Bikeways: Is There an Answer?

Here's how bad it can be.
Bicycles often bring out the very worst in people. My friend Dan Casey devotes his local daily column today to a sociopath in a big silver pickup who tried to run down one of his cycling pals.

Recently I wrote of a 60-something biker (here; the photo has been inadvertantly removed) who sped into a deep curve on the wrong side of the Greenway and knocked over a 60-year-old woman. An hour later, he went through the same curve in the same manner. After the accident, he stopped briefly, offered no apology and no help, blaming the woman. Then he sped off.

I don't know why it is so very difficult for a biker--even one on the $3,000 bike, wearing $800 worth of gear--to say "on your left" as he passes and I can't figure out why walkers require the entire road, never looking behind them, when they know others are using it.

Drivers of motorized vehicles must know that bikers are extremely vulnerable to their every move, but they still pass too close, lay on the horn as they come up on a biker in order to frighten him and simply play the bully. These are often people who are anything but bullies in every other segment of their lives.

The laws, it seems to me, are adaquate to take care of the bullies and those who are so into their conversations that they simply don't realize others are present. Enforcement, however, is spotty at best, non-existent at worst.

I'm not sure how you can police bikeways, but with the prevalence of bicycles and of walkers, we're sitting on a point where people could die from the confusion. A biker running over a 60-year-old walker, recovering from knee surgery, is just as bad as a psycho in a silver pickup bumping a biker over a steep bank. We can't afford to tolerate either.

(Photo: NBC News)

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