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Cyclists have rights


April 15, 2015 Letters to the Editor

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Regarding Kathryn Rozic’s recent letter (“Bicyclist a hazard,” March 22) concerning a bike rider using the middle of the right hand lane.

Pennsylvania traffic rules allow bicycles on most roadways. One of our cherished rights is the ability to travel upon public roads with unfettered access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Obviously, this right has reasonable restrictions (limited access highways, for instance), but these restrictions are reasonable because there is nothing on these highways but traffic.

The writer objects to a bicyclist riding on a major road during the busiest time of the day. If a person needs to get to a job on Route 19 and they are riding a bicycle, what are they supposed to do? There likely isn’t an alternative route. This is an important consideration: unless the state can provide reasonable alternative access, banning bicyclists from Route 19 would place an unreasonable burden on a cherished right.

The writer states the cyclist should ride as far to the right as possible. This is exactly what the research says should not happen. Bicycle riders who move too far to the right are more apt to be injured because they are less visible, they are prone to being clipped by drivers trying to squeeze by in the lane, they have to deal with debris that gets pushed over to the right side of the road, they must be ever vigilant for the driver who will make a right turn without ever considering the bicyclist, and be on the lookout for opening car doors, plus, it makes any eventual left hand turn a nightmare — necessitating crossing at least one additional lane.

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