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Rules of the Road Go Both Ways

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I ride a bike to work. Sometimes, I drive. The friendly BPD (Bend Police Department) have been out in force lately ticketing cyclists, but this new push to make bicycling safer here in Bend needs to address both the cyclists AND the cars.

First, if you're on a bike, you're a vehicle. Period. Follow the rules of the road because, quite frankly, you make the rest of us look bad. Ride on the correct side of the road, in the bike lane if there is one. Don't fly down the downtown sidewalks; it's rude and unsafe and will get you an expensive ticket. Try to signal your turns. I can't read your mind, and it annoys me when I sit and wait for you, and then you turn.

Drivers, your turn. Slow down. I repeat, SLOW DOWN and pay attention to what you're doing. Don't yack on your phone, it's illegal anyway. Also, you don't have to swerve into the oncoming lane if there is a cyclist next to you in the bike lane. Really. Most cyclists don't have a death wish to suddenly leap out of the safety of their lane. The head-on collision you're about to cause is much more of a possibility.

Here's the biggie, my personal pet peeve. If you see a bike stopped at the stop sign waiting to cross the street, DON'T STOP and wave me across. YOU have the right-of-way. That means you, you folks driving on Portland and Newport Avenues.

Bicycles are vehicles, just like a car. If you stop, I'm just going to make you mad because I still can't go. The reason? The guy coming the other way isn't going to stop BECAUSE HE DOESN'T HAVE TO! He has the right-of-way, just like you. Please treat me like any other car at a stop sign and I will cross when it is safe for me to do so.

Please, if I want you to stop, I'll get off my bike, and stand in the crosswalk. At that point, you will be obligated by law to stop for me because I am now a pedestrian pushing my bike.

As a driver AND a bike commuter, I thank you. I know there's got to be a way for us all to share the road - let's learn the rules, slow down, pay attention and we can all share the road safely.

- Aimee Bancroft

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