Rules of the road? What rules?

July 27, 2020

I am going to do my very best to write this letter without the use of expletives. With the continuing, unchecked, disappointing overdevelopment of Sussex County, comes the droves and droves of people. Both “transplants” and visitors, and even true lifelong locals are guilty; I have no bias when it comes to this. “This” being the relentless poor decision-making at the now seemingly dozens of “bike trail” crosswalks. For some unbelievable, unexplainable reason, cyclists refuse to acknowledge the stop signs when approaching a roadway. The crosswalks on Freeman Highway, Gills Neck Road, Nassau Road, and particularly Minos Conaway Road have become a place for cyclists to play Russian Roulette with oncoming motorized vehicle traffic.

These cyclists, and you know who you are, see an oncoming car as a challenge. They feel some bizarre desire to tempt fate, ignore the stop sign, hope that the driver of the oncoming vehicle isn’t texting and driving, speeding, drunk (or any combination of the three), and shoot across the road. Having slammed on my brakes more times than I’d like to count (while sober and very much paying attention) and witnessing much of the same, I finally feel the need to speak up. The “bike trail” has stop signs at every road crossing for users of the trail. Cars on the roadways being crossed merely have signs advising them to yield if there are pedestrians or bicycles already in the crosswalk. The most disturbing part of this trend is that cyclists even need to be reminded that they are the ones who will likely not walk away from a bicycle/car collision. They seem to think that if they can just make it in front of the vehicle, it’s automatically going to stop for them and they have the right of way.

If you really need more convincing other than saving your own life, please consult state code 21, chapter 41, subsection 4196A, paragraph C.

It also may do some good to review the definitions of the words stop and yield, as they pertain to the rules of the road.

One hour before sitting down to type this, I got yelled at by a cyclist attempting to run the stop sign at the Minos Conaway Road crosswalk. He was upset that he actually had to stop at his stop sign. You’ll have to excuse me for being worked up while typing this.

Please, everyone, just be safe. Drivers of motorized vehicles are not blameless in this. The cars that come to a complete stop at these crosswalks and wait for cyclists who are 100 feet or farther from the road are equally to blame. You are reinforcing this obnoxious sense of entitlement and utter lack of self-preservation.

Super excited for the crossing on the Lewes-Georgetown Highway (Route 9).

Dustin Schell
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