After reading much about bikers being cited and warned for infractions around Bend, I would like to offer my experiences and thoughts. Many times I have had to avoid careless cyclists who ignored traffic signs, lights and the rules of the road in general. I was under the impression that cyclists should obey laws like any motorist. An example is cyclists who ride on sidewalks in the downtown area. While having lunch this weekend and sitting outside at a popular restaurant I observed six bikers riding the sidewalks in a span of about 40 minutes. People walking with children, dogs, or window shopping are at risk of injury because of this behavior. But nothing appears to be done to discourage or inform these bikers of their inconsiderate riding. If a car were driving on downtown sidewalks I am sure action would be taken. I realize this is an extreme analogy, but do the rules of the road apply?
It is very busy along our downtown streets, which may cause bikers to ride on the sidewalks, but traffic is usually slow and cautious drivers yield for pedestrians and people leaving parking spots. I have ridden my bike on Bond and Wall streets staying as visible as possible, obeying traffic laws, without much trouble. If a cyclist chooses to leave the streets, for whatever reason, the proper thing to do is walk your bike.
Our city is a great place to cycle, drive or walk. Consideration on everyone's part would go along way to avoid accidents, citations or warnings from police. Plus a little common sense added to the mix.
- Robert Abbett