Share the road! That’s the battle cry of cyclists. I don’t get it. Please help me to understand.
The “road”, as it turns out, was cleared, paved, and prepared for use by heavy vehicles. In most parts of the US, it is illegal for persons to walk on the road. The reason?
Well, as it turns out, it is rather dangerous for people to walk down the same road as two-ton vehicles barreling down at 70 MPH. Funny thing, that. And here’s the kicker: it’s pretty much the same situation for cars and bicycles.
I realize this claim has generated huge amounts of saliva in cycling fanatics, with said saliva preparing to spray unpleasantly out of the cyclist’s mouth in a dangerous fume of bizarre, cult-like anger. I realize I’m about to be schooled on the environmental consequences of vehicle exhaust, and how cyclists, bless them, are basically angels, saving the planet from the evils of carbon. But well, none of that changes the fact that mixing heavy, fast vehicles with human beings balanced on light, thin-framed little contraptions is a very, very, dangerous mix.
Before I am eviscerated, I’d like to point out that I strongly support bike lanes, and yes even favor local tax increases to expand the roads to create them. I think it’s environmentally sound and a very healthy practice. But bikes and cars do not mix in the same space.
Oh, and I realize that driving cars is dangerous to begin with. But a little fender bender between cars could easily result in a severe injury or even death for the cyclist. And on a practical matter, “sharing the road” can be near impossible. There are a lot of two-lane roads where I live, with double yellow “shall not cross” lines down the middle. So my choices are to drive 15 miles per hour behind the cyclist, or illegally cross the lines to get around - a risky situation with cars heading in my direction.
Is it really sound policy to allow vehicles and bicycles on the same road, without bike lanes?