Rehoboth needs to crack down on bicyclists

June 19, 2014

I will start this letter by saying that I am an avid bike rider and have been one for my entire life. I still ride my bike every day in town Rehoboth as well as the outskirts of town, so I feel I have a right to voice an opinion on this matter.

For years I have seen the acceleration of bicycle riders’ contempt of all others on the road and sidewalks, but this season has started out as the worst on record. In every city and town across this country as well as all foreign countries the bicycle laws are the same: you must ride with traffic, you must stop at all lights and stop signs, and most importantly, you may never ride on the sidewalk. For some reason everyone who visits Rehoboth, as well as those who live here, seems to think these rules do not apply here.

I partly blame the city of Rehoboth commissioners and the Rehoboth Police Department for not fully enforcing these rules. I have lived in-town Rehoboth for 10 years and see bicycles on the sidewalk and going against traffic in abundance, and not ever do I see a police officer stop them to give a ticket.

I actually see bikers ride right beside and past a summer officer on the sidewalk and they do nothing. An enforcement of fines would generate enough funds to more than pay for one additional officer just to ticket bikers on the sidewalk.

Since nothing is ever going to be done about this, I am writing this letter to put all bicycle riders on notice:

No longer will I jump out of your way as you speed down the sidewalk and yell at me to move. No longer will I move out of your way as you ride against traffic in the bike lane and expect me to jump into traffic to avoid you. No longer will I risk the life of my dog as you whiz by me on the sidewalk from behind. Since the police will not stop you and you have no regard for the law nor the safety of anyone in your way, be prepared for the same disregard to be shown to you.

I also call on all local bike clubs and riders who obey the laws to engage all others who disobey the laws. If enough of us fight back against the ones who are risking their lives as well as anyone who happens to come across their path, we might be able to make the streets and sidewalks safer for us all, not to mention gain a little respect back from the pedestrians and motorists who now consider bicycle riders a scourge.

Sooner rather than later, a major accident or death will occur due to the total lack of enforcement of bicycle laws as has happened already in New York and Washington, D.C. These cities are finally starting to crack down on these offenders, and I suggest Rehoboth Beach do the same.

Wayne Hodge
Rehoboth Beach

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