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Bicyclists may use full traffic lane
Street Smarts has been hearing from cyclists who have been slighted by motorists. Specifically, these cyclists have complained that drivers do not want to share the road on narrow road in which cyclists may – or must – take the lane to get to their destination. Janis Stanger of La Selva Beach wrote about an occurrence that happened May 23 near Aptos Academy on Bonita Drive. “I was cycling home to LaSelva Beach from work in Santa Cruz when I had an uncomfortable encounter with someone in a very big hurry to campus at 5:45 pm. “A metallic light green SUV came behind me on Benito Drive as I came down the hill toward San Andreas Road. The short haired blond driver honked her horn from behind me, then roared past me by inches without crossing into the other lane. Her aggressive driving and callous disregard for me was unnecessary and thoughtless. There is NO bicycle lane on Benito, so I AM permitted to use the full lane. The speed along Benito is 30 mph. On a bike going downhill, I was probably going over 20 mph. For that difference in speed was her driving behavior really necessary?” Meanwhile Steve Heaton emailed about an incident with a driver on northbound Soquel Drive in Soquel. “The road goes downhill the speed limit is 25 mph and there is a sign that says, 'Share the Road.' I’m traveling at 28 mph I look back no car so I take the lane. A car then comes up on me and lays on the horn, then yells to get in the bike lane. The driver was willing to ride up close to my back wheel to threaten me off the road. What’s eating at me is the how people in cars don’t seem to be aware of how easy it is for them to injure or kill me on my bike. Then to justify breaking the law to threaten a cyclist for what they wrongly perceive as OK.” Drivers, really? If you think the other person is in the wrong, why is behaving that way toward them right? Motor vehicles are deadly weapons. Waiting a few moments to pass safely is way better for your blood pressure, pocketbook, karma – and car-ma – than injuring or killing someone. Stop the aggressive driving, stop the madness, get off the phone, leave early and chill out. In the meantime, brush up on your road rules and the things cyclists are allowed to do on the road at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/coi/bicycle/bicycle.htm.