I would encourage anyone who bicycles to add Cousins Island to your list of journeys. Numerous places to stop and enjoy the beautiful seacoast scenery are just some of treats in store for you. As any cyclist understands and respects, there are inherent risks to sharing the road with motor vehicles. Crossing the Cousins Island Bridge on your bike should not have the increased risk that I’ve witnessed this season.

I live on Cousins Island and have kids in the Yarmouth school system, so I’m sure other parents can relate to how many times we drive back and forth. Just this week, I’ve been involved in two incidents of cyclists almost being hit or losing control due to aggressive drivers. In both incidents, an oncoming driver swerved into my lane to pass a cyclist, which caused me to have to slam on my breaks to avoid a head-on collision. Who do you imagine loses the battle when the oncoming car swerves to avoid the head-on collision? Maine law requires cyclists to ride as far right as practicable, except when it is unsafe to do so as determined by the bicyclist. Motorists are required to allow at least three feet of clearance when passing bicyclists and only when it is safe to do so. My hope is this letter will reach the small percentage of aggressive drivers and save some lives.

Joe Barton