Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh, Bicyclists, Oh, Bicyclists

Listen, I am ALL for bicyclists to get from point A to point B. It’s amazing how long, far and how steep people bike. I commend them! It’s a good work out, it helps decrease pollution, decrease the increasing rates of obesity, etc. I personally know avid riders, competitors and people that have made it their profession. When I move out to Brentwood, I’ll be more than happy to ride my bike more.

What I cannot stand is that bicyclists want to be treated equally as cars or have the right-of-way like pedestrians at all times, but in my experience in just driving the short 5 blocks West of San Pablo Blvd. to work in Emeryville, they do NOT follow the rules and guidelines in the CA DMV Handbook. At stop signs like at the intersection of 45th and Horton (see The Emeryville Tattler), I have had to slowly follow a bicyclist riding in the center of my lane on the 2-lane street of 45th. And no, he did not stop at the stop sign, nor signal he was making a left turn. I always use my turn signals, why can't they?

And after making a stop at this 3-way intersection, looking both directions, a bicyclist comes flying into the intersection from my left and did not stop at the stop sign. Notice the first bullet below that was pulled from the DMV handbook. He did not have the right-of-way.

I don’t want anyone to get hurt but it’s presumptuous and bold of some bicyclist thinking they can get away with this and possibly win in court. For bicyclists protesting certain city laws or street changes, please be sure you are doing your part to be a defensive bicyclist. Drivers are asked to be defensive drivers.

Must obey all traffic signals and stop signs.
• Are lawfully permitted to ride on certain sections of roadway in rural areas where there is no alternate route.
• Must ride in the same direction as other traffic, not against it.
• Shall ride as near to the right curb or edge of the roadway as practical– not on the sidewalk.
• Are legally allowed to ride in the center of the lane when moving at the same speed as other traffic.
• May move left to pass a parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, animal, avoid debris, or other hazards.
• May choose to ride near the left curb or edge of a one-way street.
• Should ride single file on a busy or narrow street.
• Must make left and right turns in the same way that drivers do, using the same turn lanes. If the bicyclist is traveling straight ahead, he or she should use a through traffic lane rather than ride next to the curb and block traffic making right turns.
• Must signal all their intentions to motorists and bicyclists near them.
• Must wear a helmet if under the age of 18.
• Should carry identification.
• Shall not operate a bicycle on a roadway during darkness unless the bicycle is equipped with:
o A brake which will enable the operator to make one braked wheel stop on dry, level, clean pavement.

Have you had an issue with a bicyclist?

-------- UPDATED 1/31/11 ----------
On my way home from work on Friday afternoon, about 4:40 PM, I was approaching the intersection of San Pablo Blvd. and 36th, headed under the overpass because I had a green light. A Caucasian male with glasses but NO helmet came slowly into the busy street of oncoming traffic, into my lane and slowly continued to cross the additional two lanes to get across. I had to brake and hope no one rear-ends me. BASTARD!! Really? Some people have a death wish and it's times like these I'd be more than happy to grant it. This is what infuriates about some bicyclists. They're just asking to get hit.

Can someone please explain to me why people do this?

-------- UPDATED 2/8/11 ----------
I am happy to say that I have experienced my first pleasant encounter with a bicyclists yesterday afternoon at Hollis & 45th. I was in the car with a coworker discussing the pains I had with getting our new house keys approaching a stop sign, almost slammed on my breaks in excitement because I saw that an older gentleman on a 10-speed bike, with a helmet and spandex biker shorts was actually stopped at the intersection in the oncoming lane. BEAUTIFUL! That made me happy and I had to explain myself to my coworker as to why I was ecstatic. KUDOS to you, My Friend!

If you abide by the laws in place, Bicyclists, please let me here from you!

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