New bicycling regulations are appalling

October 24, 2017

I think the new updates to the state cycling law unfairly place all responsibility on the car driver. It gives the cyclists carte blanche to drive wherever and however they please regardless of traffic rules or the car driver's safety.

Motorists are now required to change lanes, "even when there is a double line," when travel lanes are too narrow for side-by-side sharing. It's okay for the motorists to risk their life, their passengers' lives and the lives of those in the other vehicle because the travel lane is too narrow for the cyclist?

Here's an idea.

How about keeping the cyclist on the miles of safe trails and roads in Delaware that are not "too narrow" for sharing and make it a violation if a cyclist is riding on too narrow a road that could put the car driver's life in jeopardy as they cross that double line? The driver, the one who has paid a fee for a license and registration to use the road.

Please note that it is now legal for cyclists to ride two abreast on roads too narrow for sharing.

According to James Wilson, president of Bike Delaware, "It's totally fine because cars will have to change lanes behind them anyway." If it's three across, let's hope, on the other side of the double line we are crossing, there is sufficient shoulder to keep the vehicle on the road.

As foolish as the above sounds, here comes the piece de resistance. The new law treats stop signs as yield signs for cyclists. The cyclist is no longer required to stop at stop signs.

Mr. Wilson says that "...cyclists still need to use common sense and stop at stop signs on major roads such as Route 1, and cyclists should never blow through intersections." Here's hoping, when the corn is high and blocking my visibility as I travel Cedar Grove Road, that the cyclist on Mulberry Knoll Road has the "common sense" to stop at the stop sign and not merely yield, even if it's not a "major road."

Please remember, as you pass that double line, the cyclists riding two abreast, never, never honk your horn. Except when there is imminent danger. I suspect the law means "imminent danger" for the cyclist not the driver hoping the shoulder is wide enough for that oncoming vehicle approaching them.

Joan Nisler


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