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For the love of God! How can one guy get so many things wrong in such a short article?

Looks like we all need to write him and aks him to stop finding preemptive excuses for drivers who run into bicyclist saying "I did not see him", a/k/a the Bob Novak defense.

This guy reminds of the the guy who spoke at the CCCT public meeting last year with the Mont. Co. Parks Dept. to discuss efforts to address safety on the CCT (i.e. the 15 mph speed limit). The guy advocated that the trail rules should require walkers should keep left, so they can see the cyclists that are coming at them.
And if you believe that, then you would believe we can make the beltway safer by having automobiles keep left, as in England, so they can see the trucks that are coming at them.

I am not trying to start a thread favoring one system over the other. Just giving an example of how it works elsewhere. Rhode Island uses the technique whereby pedestrians walk opposing cycling traffic on their multi-use trails. At first I was non-plused by this, but I got used to it quickly as pedestrian trail users facing cyclists usually moved over for on-coming cyclists.

This guy could not have been serious, could he?! I alomost fell out of my chair laughing.

Once in a while I encounter a walker/ runner on the wrong side of the Mt. Vernon Trail and i am always glad I don't hit them.

Crazy, but maybe not as crazy as the bicyclists that come up the wrong way on city streets and make me swerve to avoid them (and putting me in danger of getting tangled up with cars driving behind me). Incidentally, those are the same people who also drive without lights and don't wear helmets. I guess they want to make it count...

This is absolutely crazy - so why did Dr. Gridlock print it? It's an endless cycle - the media publishes/broadcasts misinformation about cyclists, who then have to respond to set the record straight. Do you ever get tired of this?

I do.

Am I the only person who sees something I think odd (for Bob it would be "people riding on busy 40 mph streets") and then actually tries to find out why they do it, before deciding that they're just stupid (and then writing a letter to the paper about it)?

"Once in a while I encounter a walker/ runner on the wrong side of the Mt. Vernon Trail and i am always glad I don't hit them."- Eric

I find this comment interesting because it speaks to the underlying assumptions of cyclists on multi use paths. It seems like Eric is saying that he is going to stick to his "right of way" and hopefully the pedestrian will get out of his way. The general rules of the road are cars yeild to bikes, bikes yeild to pedestrians. The fact is that the bike is responsible for safely passing pedestrians regardless of how irresposible they appear from the bikers perspective.

Eric like Bob Cunningham misses one basic point. That is, when you operate your vehicle, be it an SUV, sub-compact or a bicycle, you are responsible for not hitting anyone. The focus of all the safety training should be "pay attention and don't do any harm", even if it means adding a few minutes to your trip. Then the poor cyclist going 10 mph on the shoulder of a road or the pedestrian ambling at 2 mph on the trail do not have to fear for their safety.

Eric, if that is not what you meant to say, I apologize.


I have no idea how you read this into my post. I have never said that I stick to my "right of way" (and what would be the point? Hitting the walker/ runner or the bicyclcist that comes at me from the wrong direction?)

I am always glad I don't hit anyone whether I am on my bike or in my car.

The simple fact is that people who walk/ run/ bike in the wrong direction are somehow harder and later to spot and leave you less time to react.

I am not necessarily talking about a sunny mid-summer afternoon here. I am referring more to the common situations in the fall just after daylight savings time has ended.

People seem to think they don't need any lights or reflective material. If there is a walker/ runner/ bicyclist on the wrong side of the road coming towards me like a black phantom, then I have a lot less time to react because we decrease the distance between us from two points.

I will not get into a discussion whether the bicyclist is always responsbile for any accident that involves a pedestrian. I think that is pointless.

Washcycle - I don't think they write Dr. Gridlock because they think cyclists are odd or stupid. Moreover, I don't they do it for the reasons they claim -- that they're concerned for cyclists' safety (or as this letter writer puts it, his worry about our imminent "death and dismemberment"). I they write to Dr. Gridlock because they want us off the road, period.

Wrong way cycling is particular dangerous for pedestrians. In college I stepped off a curb to cross the one-way street in front of my dorm. I looked in the direction of on coming traffic and was clobbered by a bike coming the wrong way.

freewheel - I think you might be on to something here!

Traffic would run so much smoother if the cars would not have to deal with all those crazy bicyclists on the roads. Look at the backlog they create all the way down to Dale City and all the way up to Rockville! Those are clearly the ripple effects of cars having to deal with me on 14th Street (and other bicyclists all over the city). Although the argument does not seem to work so well in the evening since I am not holding them up on the interstate...

(Note for Tom: I don't seriously believe this, I am using sarcasm here)

I they write to Dr. Gridlock because they want us off the road, period.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

And then they try to come up for reasons to justify it. What's telling is how stupid the reasons are.

Excuse me while I go post some comments on the post website. Come join me.


I apologize again. I don't see why you didn't see it in my first post.

All is good again Tom.

Sorry if I appeared a little harsh!

WC: For once, I agree with everything you wrote.

Hooray for Common Ground!

The previous incarnation of Dr. Gridlock once printed a letter by a woman who said cyclists by Maryland law have to the on the bike path if there is one. Of course she was completely wrong. But Dr. G. didn't say that in his response and left the impression that she was correct. At least one bike group insisted on a full clarification and he didn't do it.

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