Contact Street Smarts
The pros and cons of wrong way cycling, according to Street Smarts readers
Dear Street Smarts, Q: Regarding which way a bike should travel: Have you ever been to England where they drive on the opposite side of the road than the U.S.? They paint arrows on the street for pedestrians pointing to the right because that is the direction the traffic is approaching. This is for the safety of the visiting tourist who does not expect approaches from the right. If bikes rode on the traffic approaching side of the road, traffic entering an intersection would not generally be looking to the right. They are not expecting anything coming from the right. Good luck to the biker. Bikes should stay on the side of the road going with the traffic as that is what is expected. Good rule of the road – do what is expected. John McGuire, via email A: Not everyone shares your opinion. Read on: Q: I always ride against traffic. I have a very good reason for that. I look into the windshield to see if the driver in the car or truck is paying attention or if they are distracted – texting and cell phone use being rampant! I have had many close calls that could have cost me my life. Another example of this is the dead bicyclist on Empire Grade that was recently hit and left to die on the side of the road. I have a friend who was hit by the mirrors of a truck and knocked off his bike. I personally, just missed getting hit by a truck that was passing a car on the right that was turning left into Henry Cowell park in Felton. Had I not jumped out of the way the truck would have cut me in half as it was grinding along the guard rail after narrowly missing a rear-ender with the car turning left. NO, I will not stop! I will continue to keep my eyes on the cars and their drivers, and I will continue to ride my bike on the 'wrong' side of the street no matter how many tickets I get for it. My life is too precious to let some idiot side-swipe me. As far as the complaint about encountering another bicyclist on the bike lane or road way, I always pull over and give the right of way to them. Sincerely, Robert Barnett, Felton A: Participate in this exercise from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/bicycles/pdf/bikingdangers.pdf. Can you spot all the road hazards for cyclists?