Bicyclists as a class of vehicle operators are, to my observation, second only to motorcyclists as bad drivers. While there are undoubtedly good bicyclists that observe the traffic code out there, the vast majority operate their bicycles in a dangerous manner guaranteed to raise the ire of motorists. For example, my house is at a three-way intersection with stop signs in all directions. In the 45 years I have lived at that address, I have witnessed only three bicyclists (of hundreds) that have stopped at the intersection. On other surface roads bicyclists infrequently stop for traffic signals, do not stay in bicycle lanes — seeming to want to provoke motorists by riding (often in gaggles) into motor vehicle lanes — and do not signal for turns, among other things. No matter how “eco-friendly” bicycling may be, there is an attitude problem on the part of the operators that undermines the advantages.

Tom Davis lives in Chula Vista.


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    Written by Dagny Salas

    Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

    42 comments
    Michell Thitathan
    Michell Thitathan subscriber

    And, for the record, there are other legit things that will keep cyclists from riding on the road shoulder or extreme right of the lane than just parked cars that might door them. Somehow the city like to fix potholes and road cracks only where cars drive but not on the shoulder or bike lane where cyclists have to deal with. A lot of time there are also puncture-causing debris and glasses... and every week the bike lanes are turned into obstacle course on trash collection day when home owner park the dumpsters in the bike lane before dawn and don't come back to put them back in their yard until the evening (or later).

    Smorg
    Smorg

    And, for the record, there are other legit things that will keep cyclists from riding on the road shoulder or extreme right of the lane than just parked cars that might door them. Somehow the city like to fix potholes and road cracks only where cars drive but not on the shoulder or bike lane where cyclists have to deal with. A lot of time there are also puncture-causing debris and glasses... and every week the bike lanes are turned into obstacle course on trash collection day when home owner park the dumpsters in the bike lane before dawn and don't come back to put them back in their yard until the evening (or later).

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones subscriber

    Bikers should be willing to pay their fair share for their hobby and stop freeloading.

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones

    Bikers should be willing to pay their fair share for their hobby and stop freeloading.

    Craig Nelson
    Craig Nelson subscribermember

    Mr. Jones, I'd be willing to wager cyclists on average pay more in taxes than motorists do - so it appears we are subsidizing your hobby.

    Craig Nelson
    Craig Nelson

    Mr. Jones, I'd be willing to wager cyclists on average pay more in taxes than motorists do - so it appears we are subsidizing your hobby.

    Richard Ross
    Richard Ross subscribermember

    What part of town do you live in? My experience is the youngster bike riders are good and the adult ones by and large ignore all rules of the road. They cross over in front of moving cars and run through stop signs at interesections. On numerous occasions I have seen them ride outside (to the left) of the white bike lane dividing line. Adult bike riders should be licensed so they can be revoked.

    Activist
    Activist

    What part of town do you live in? My experience is the youngster bike riders are good and the adult ones by and large ignore all rules of the road. They cross over in front of moving cars and run through stop signs at interesections. On numerous occasions I have seen them ride outside (to the left) of the white bike lane dividing line. Adult bike riders should be licensed so they can be revoked.

    janet morris
    janet morris subscriber

    After commuting to work via bicycle for several months, I put my bike in my closet and have not ridden it since. Cars honked at me even when I was hugging the curb, causing me to jump and swerve. I had one passenger reach out and slap me on the butt. I've had other motorists yell at me to get off the road. I obeyed all the traffic laws - stopped at every intersection, signaled my turns, and did my best to stay as close to the curb as possible. It did no good. It is positively scary to ride a bike in this city. Walking isn't much better. Cars are the mode of locomotion in San Diego and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

    monk
    monk

    After commuting to work via bicycle for several months, I put my bike in my closet and have not ridden it since. Cars honked at me even when I was hugging the curb, causing me to jump and swerve. I had one passenger reach out and slap me on the butt. I've had other motorists yell at me to get off the road. I obeyed all the traffic laws - stopped at every intersection, signaled my turns, and did my best to stay as close to the curb as possible. It did no good. It is positively scary to ride a bike in this city. Walking isn't much better. Cars are the mode of locomotion in San Diego and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

    Clifford Beck
    Clifford Beck subscriber

    This bicycle/vehicle problem is really not a matter of "legal rights" but one of common courtesy being absent on both sides. A simple short "beep" of a horn to alert the cyclist you are wanting to pass in your auto, or, a movement to the right, when it is safe to do so, by the cyclist are simple and courteous solutions. That is the way it used to be!

    SunsetCliff
    SunsetCliff

    This bicycle/vehicle problem is really not a matter of "legal rights" but one of common courtesy being absent on both sides. A simple short "beep" of a horn to alert the cyclist you are wanting to pass in your auto, or, a movement to the right, when it is safe to do so, by the cyclist are simple and courteous solutions. That is the way it used to be!

    Ryan Ziska
    Ryan Ziska subscriber

    Jim, did you even look at any of those websites? They all cite information to actual studies by legitimate research institutions.

    razraz
    razraz

    Jim, did you even look at any of those websites? They all cite information to actual studies by legitimate research institutions.

    Bill Davidson
    Bill Davidson subscriber

    Bicycling is a form of transportation. The most subsidized form of transportation in the U.S. is the personal automobile. Bicyclists get very little. These paths benefit motorists more than bicyclists anyway. They get us out of the way. I'm perfectly happy to keep riding in the middle of traffic lanes.

    billdsd
    billdsd

    Bicycling is a form of transportation. The most subsidized form of transportation in the U.S. is the personal automobile. Bicyclists get very little. These paths benefit motorists more than bicyclists anyway. They get us out of the way. I'm perfectly happy to keep riding in the middle of traffic lanes.

    Bill Otto
    Bill Otto subscriber

    That said, it would be wonderful if San Diego worked to encourage bike traffic. Part of the solution is better bike routes that reduce car/cycle conflict.

    blotto
    blotto

    That said, it would be wonderful if San Diego worked to encourage bike traffic. Part of the solution is better bike routes that reduce car/cycle conflict.

    Don Wood
    Don Wood subscriber

    One solution is to seperate bike riders from distracted drivers of cars, trucks and busses. SANDAG has set aside millions of dollars to create a new regionwide network of bike paths. That new network should create separate paths that do not require bike riders to share city streets with motor vehicles. A bike rider should be able to get anywhere in the region on this separate bike path network, thereby reducing annual deaths and injuries due to collisions between bike riders and motor vehicles. This vision is possible if enough bike advocates and their allies join forces to make it happen.

    Don Wood
    Don Wood

    One solution is to seperate bike riders from distracted drivers of cars, trucks and busses. SANDAG has set aside millions of dollars to create a new regionwide network of bike paths. That new network should create separate paths that do not require bike riders to share city streets with motor vehicles. A bike rider should be able to get anywhere in the region on this separate bike path network, thereby reducing annual deaths and injuries due to collisions between bike riders and motor vehicles. This vision is possible if enough bike advocates and their allies join forces to make it happen.

    Bill Davidson
    Bill Davidson subscriber

    I do obey the laws. Unlike you, I actually know them.

    billdsd
    billdsd

    I do obey the laws. Unlike you, I actually know them.

    Janet Shelton
    Janet Shelton subscriber

    I am not a bicyclist. I have seen bikes rolling through stop signs at a higher rate than cars. Other than that, I see many more infractions and rudeness by drivers of cars. I also see them behaving in dangerous ways toward bicyclists such as tailgating them and passing too close or at speeds exceeding the speed limit. In general,drivers are increasingly agressive and rude.

    myearth
    myearth

    I am not a bicyclist. I have seen bikes rolling through stop signs at a higher rate than cars. Other than that, I see many more infractions and rudeness by drivers of cars. I also see them behaving in dangerous ways toward bicyclists such as tailgating them and passing too close or at speeds exceeding the speed limit. In general,drivers are increasingly agressive and rude.

    Ryan Ziska
    Ryan Ziska subscriber

    I can add more if this is not enough to satisfy you. These are called facts and they are backed up by actual research, not some anecdotal unscientific research.

    razraz
    razraz

    I can add more if this is not enough to satisfy you. These are called facts and they are backed up by actual research, not some anecdotal unscientific research.

    Craig Nelson
    Craig Nelson subscribermember

    Over the next week count how many bad drivers change lanes without signalling, endangering everyone around them. Over the same period count how many cyclists you see not signaling where they are going. Most every cyclist signals when are where they are turning , stopping , if there is a pothole or if they have to avoid the broken glass thown from cars.

    Craig Nelson
    Craig Nelson

    Over the next week count how many bad drivers change lanes without signalling, endangering everyone around them. Over the same period count how many cyclists you see not signaling where they are going. Most every cyclist signals when are where they are turning , stopping , if there is a pothole or if they have to avoid the broken glass thown from cars.

    Bill Davidson
    Bill Davidson subscriber

    @Jim Jones: Bicyclists have a right to use the road. It's California state law, CVC 21200(a). The roads are for bicyclists too. Get over it.

    billdsd
    billdsd

    @Jim Jones: Bicyclists have a right to use the road. It's California state law, CVC 21200(a). The roads are for bicyclists too. Get over it.

    Bill Davidson
    Bill Davidson subscriber

    How is it possible that you do not know these things? Did you not take a driver's education course? The reason that you are angry is that you have unreasonable expectations about your convenience in the road because don't know the rules of the road and you have made up your own imaginary rules that put bicyclists in danger for your inconvenience.

    billdsd
    billdsd

    How is it possible that you do not know these things? Did you not take a driver's education course? The reason that you are angry is that you have unreasonable expectations about your convenience in the road because don't know the rules of the road and you have made up your own imaginary rules that put bicyclists in danger for your inconvenience.

    Roy Benstead
    Roy Benstead subscribermember

    Another item about cyclist that irks me is on SR52. The north side pavement of that freeway was narrowed considerably for several miles a while ago to add bike lanes. Has anyone seen a cyclist using them?

    Bahtat
    Bahtat

    Another item about cyclist that irks me is on SR52. The north side pavement of that freeway was narrowed considerably for several miles a while ago to add bike lanes. Has anyone seen a cyclist using them?

    joev
    joev

    JJ is a troll.

    Ryan Ziska
    Ryan Ziska subscriber

    As already pointed out, where are the real facts? Why does VOSD hate cyclist?

    razraz
    razraz

    As already pointed out, where are the real facts? Why does VOSD hate cyclist?

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones subscriber

    Bike riders as a whole have no consideration for other people.

    Jim Jones
    Jim Jones

    Bike riders as a whole have no consideration for other people.

    Nathan Doyle
    Nathan Doyle subscriber

    How about some facts to back up the rant? Your observations are not really enough for anyone to go on here.

    NathanD
    NathanD

    How about some facts to back up the rant? Your observations are not really enough for anyone to go on here.


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