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Bikes, Cars at Intersections: Proceed With Caution

A reader comments on cyclists ignoring traffic lights, and this Patch editor agrees with him.

 

This came in to Sunset Hills-Crestwood Patch from reader, Jim Huber, recently:

I really need to comment on this. My wife and I cross the Grant's Trail Bike Path on a regular basis on Sappington Road in our cars. It would be nice if bikes and joggers could obey the crossing lights. I've basically started to coming full stop there because of the bikes that run the cross-walk at full speed. I'm an old cyclist and I don't understand this habit. With the police station being there you would think this could be monitored and a few warnings passed out. It's a very unsafe situation.
Thank You

This story reminded me of a scary moment I had in a neighborhood this previous Sunday.

I drove up to a 4-way stop about the same time a cyclist approached it.

He may have thought he was first at the intersection, I thought the opposite. After stopping, I proceeded cautiously, and it's good I was cautious because he didn't touch his breaks. He sailed right through, and we both had to brake to avoid a collision.

I'd guess he was in his neighborhood, since he wasn't wearing a shirt or a helmet–maybe that's why he didn't need to obey a stop sign?

When I come to an intersection on a bike, I slow down and make sure there's an understanding between any drivers and me before I cross in front of them. It's common sense, if nothing else.

So that's it. Whether you're driving or biking, obey the law and proceed with caution.

Jim Huber will thank you.

Pat Maloney (Wilken) May 23, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I'm with our editor here, too. Bike riders seem to think they don't have to obey the laws. I also have had a couple of scarey situations with bikes not stopping at stop signs. When someone gets hit, there will be a big outcry, but until someone actually gets hit, nothing is done about them running the stop signs. Too bad.
L Jacoby May 23, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Here in San Francisco, many bicyclists routinely ignore stop signs and even red lights. Several have died in collisions and, most recently, a bicyclist killed a pedestrian when he plowed full speed into the crosswalk. Videos gathered from along his route show that he repeatedly blew through stop signs and red lights until this entirely predictable "accident." Despite these tragedies, bicyclists defend their actions ("it's too much effort to stop when you're peddling") and have even proposed that, for bicyclists, stop signs should be considered as yields, and stopping at red lights should be up to the bicyclist's judgment. Recently, the police have begun—to much indignant outcry from cyclists—to enforce the laws of the road, and that, rather than crashes or deaths, seems to be having an effect. What a pity that a dollar fine apparently has more impact on some bicyclists' behavior than the loss of human lives.
Sabra May 23, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I completely agree. Just yesterday I ran into a similar issue on Manchester at Big Bend. All I could think was that if we have to respect the cycles on the road while we're in cars, then shouldn't the cyclists have to respect the rules of the road? The laws shouldn't be different for them because they are on bikes. If they're on the road, they need to ride by the rules of it.
Jim Huber May 24, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I as a cyclist do feel that cars seem to feel I don't exist or don't have any business being on the road. Being in traffic is very dangerous. Obeying traffic laws exibits respect for the other vehicle and the other person.

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