I was shocked on opening Saturday’s Seattle Times to find yet another person unaware of the rules of the road, angry at behaviors people are legally allowed to do for their safety while riding a bicycle [“Not for the view,” Northwest Voices, Opinion, June 4].
There is no condoning illegal behavior by bicyclists. However, the letter echoed three myths drivers hold about bicyclists:
— Bicyclists “impede” traffic when slower than cars;
— Bicyclists must use bike lanes;
— Bicyclists cannot ride on sidewalks.
All are untrue.
Bicyclists are legally allowed to take the lane moving slower than car traffic, are allowed to avoid bike lanes, can ride on a sidewalk and cross in a crosswalk for their safety. Bicyclists are usually in the traffic lane or avoiding a bike lane only when their safety demands it. When bicyclists ride in the lane, motorists have a civic duty to drive carefully around them.
Bicyclists of all ages demand safe treatment by drivers. Bicyclists riding in the lane or avoiding bike lanes do so for their safety and deserve considerate treatment by Washington motorists. Bicyclist safety isn’t a debate about dog parks.
Children and their parents are at risk when drivers operate with mistaken impressions about bicycling."