Ray Routhier’s Oct. 24 article (“Tension on the roads shifts into a higher gear”) on bicycle-motor vehicle encounters approaches the heart of the matter. Some “sharing the road” comments:

Applying motor vehicle laws to bicycles is a convenience for law enforcement, but does not provide necessary safety or “equality” for the cyclist.

The recent clarifications in the law, the points of discussion by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, the topics of staff writers address demonstrate certain needs to conform and to compromise, which I cannot agree to: Bicycles are relegated to the worst part of any road by motor vehicles that outnumber cyclists a million to one by bone-crushing, death-dealing weight.

Motor vehicle drivers’ complaint of errant cyclists running stoplights and stop signs and not getting pinched by the cops is off the mark. Survival dictates that a cyclist drive defensively like no other vehicle out there.

Cyclists are less able to make quick evasive maneuvers when Satan’s bread truck cometh. A cyclist may be safer to go through a stop sign if the intersection is clear. The positioning of a cycle in front of the queue at a stoplight can prevent the accelerating vehicle from compromising the cyclist’s travel lane.

 Consider if semi-tractor trailers were the emperors of the roadways and cars were the minority. (Have you been on the New Jersey Turnpike?) Complaining drivers might see things in a different light.

To my way of thinking, when the defenders of public law desire to subject cyclists to the same laws as motor vehicles, it is a punishment of the virtues of cycling: versatility, small footprint, utility.

 Safety and security could start by enforcement of littering laws, the 3-foot rule, the law against public works procrastinating on filling potholes. (Oh, there isn’t one? Here’s a topic to unify driver and cyclist!)

Stuart Rose

North Yarmouth


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