Motorist, Bicyclists Need To Be Good Neighbors



After reading “Bike riders cross the line” in the Sept. 15 paper, I’m compelled to respond.

I can’t believe the author David Carson would, in his own words, “not give right of way to bicyclists” and be willing to, even accidentally, kill someone’s mother, father, son or daughter, out of a misperceived right as a licensed motorist over cyclists who actually have the right of way in accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes A.R.S. 28-735 Overtaking bicycles; A.R.S. 28-815 Riding on Roadway, and bicycle path, bicycle path usage; and the Governors Office of Highway Safety where they state “You may occupy any part of a lane when your safety warrants it. Never compromise your safety for the convenience of a motorist behind you.”

Our town has few bike lanes considering the many miles of roads we share. Even where there is a bike lane, there can be many reasons a cyclist can’t safely use it.

Our roads are covered with random tree limbs, trash, rocks, glass, parked cars, loose dogs, suicidal squirrels, drainage grates and potholes. Any one of these can knock a cyclist to the ground faster than a car can swerve or stop. The law allows cyclists the right to ride as we see fit to safeguard ourselves from these dangers.

As a motorist, I know cyclists can and do cause occasional slow downs. I also know cyclists aren’t perfect and can create problems. I apologize on behalf of all cyclists and thank all of you who have safely passed us all these years.

I’ll leave you with this: Cynthia Pool, one of Payson’s finest teachers, was killed this summer while cycling. Even though she had the right of way, it doesn’t really matter when someone is dead. We all live here together, please be a good neighbor.

John Roethlein

Son, husband, father and cyclist with over 35,000 miles on the road


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