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Helping Motorists and Cyclists Use The Road Safer Together

Hi CarTalk discussion board folk.

I work for the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, and we are trying to launch a new safety campaign aimed at cyclists and motorists. We know that there is a lot of misinformation, and bad behavior out there (from everyone, cyclists included), and we are trying to address it so that people can get where they are going safely and quickly. It would help us out an awful lot if you would take our safety survey. The data gathered from this survey will let us more effectively craft our outreach campaign.

It only take a second and you will get a free prize at the end (ok that part was a lie, but you still might have fun!).

Here is the link to the survey


And if you are interested you can learn more about MassBike here (


Here is a link concerning auto and bicycle courtesy, I hope the link works.

Good luck with that…When ever I’m in Boston I try to take the T when ever possible. There’s a reason that Boston has the second highest insurance rates in the country.

As for cyclists…One time on a business trip…the Limo driver taking me to the airport…almost killed a cyclist. It was during the Big-Dig…and we were taking some back roads off or rt 1. In the right lane at a red light…Light turns green…We proceed slowely because of traffic…the cyclist passes up on the right…then proceeds to take a LEFT at the intersection right in front of the Limo as he was starting to accelerate. Cyclist and bike went flying…Cyclist rushed to hospital. No charges brought because it was the cyclists fault.

Personally I think Boston is one of the most dangerous cities to ride a Bike in. That’s probably why MOST cyclists ride on the sidewalk knocking down pedestrians.

All I have to say about cyclists is this. for the love of God stay the hell off busy two lane roads during rush hour. There simply is not enough room in most cases for cars and trucks to swerve around bicyclists without caused a head on collision with another car in the oncoming lane

Unfortunately, in many cases there is no room for a bike. Those riding them simply have no choice but to do the best they can, and motorists need to respect this.

As a former serious cyclist I’ll also be the first to admit that not all cyclists share with motorists. One group ride I went on had theree riders that rode two and three abrest half way into the travel lane on swervy, hilly, tree lined roads with no shoulders and poor distance visability. They showed conplete contempt for the motorists, p****** them off. I was extremely upset, and never rode with them again.

Simply telling cyclists to stay off the road is not the answer. When a cyclist is on a 35 or 50 mile ride and he/she comes to a two lane road, he/she has no choice but to keep going. We all, cyclists and motorists, have to share and respect the other.

That’s the problem with Boston. The roads are very narrow…Traffic is extremely heavy…drivers are among some of the worse in the country…all that makes for a bad combination.

bravo - I will second the general sentiment that by all means the whole issue needs to be a two way street - with wide shoulders!

I very often get around by bicycle, and most of the time enjoy a mutual level of respect with motorists. In local editorials, however, I have unfortunately seen that tenuous respect seriously and unnecessarily challenged by the ridiculous expressions of angry cyclists. Given the stakes involved for a person on two wheels, it is understandable that a cyclist might get a little passionate about the matter. it is also understandable, however, that the patience of the modern motorist gets worn dangerously thin when a cyclist unnecessarily and arrogantly plays their ‘greener than thou’ card. No one is winning anyone over to the plethora of personal and global benefits that cycling (and slowing down in general!) offers by being disrespectful.

Beyond that, I would just iterate what a beautiful thing it is when so many different critters are sharing the roads cordially: cars, bikes, scooters, motorcycles, horses, buggies, pedestrians, the Amish, raccoons, turtles, toads… and on and on and on. and to the majority of americans who inadvertantly and unfortunately get sequestered away within closed environments I would say… “truly, it is quite nice ‘out here’ !!”

that’s all. peace out!

As you may have guessed by my moniker, I was a serious cyclist for years. My son worked his way through his first few years of college as a bicycle currier…in Boston! He now lives and works in southern California and races with a team out there.

Boston is a terrible city to ride in. It just plain is not designed to accomodate bikes. Heck, it isn’t even designed to accomodate cars!

I initially turned to mountain biking because I got tired of riding in trafffic, I still did a road ride perhaps once every week or so, but often took the bike to the coast to do it.

We all need to chill out and give one another some room.

If there are two lanes in the same direction, the cyclist gets the one of their choice. It is the safest way and legal.

Did not know it was for MA residents only, laws vary and I lied and said I am from nantuckett.

“I lied and said I am from nantuckett.” But do you like limericks? :slight_smile:

I think cities should re-think those laws that make riding a bicycle on a sidewalk illegal. If Segways can use the sidewalk, why not bicycles and even electric scooters? People on foot would still have priority of course but in the suburbs, there are miles of empty sidewalk without a single person using it for walking.

Because cyclists can’t go fast enough on the sidewalks.

Those riding them simply have no choice but to do the best they can, and motorists need to respect this.

Ummm… NO. Paved roads were NEVER designed to accommodate bicycles. They were and always will be meant for motorized vehicles.

That’s like saying ultralights should be able to take off and land on airport runways with no communication to the flight tower… just because they have no choice and the 747’s will just have to respect this, and everything air related should have to change it’s rules to allow a gas powered kite to share the same ‘space’ with actual aircraft.

I’m sorry, I know that viewpoint will tick people off but bicycles don’t belong on streets anymore than skateboards.

A bicycle can cause an accident just like a car, albeit the rider will almost always fare worse than the driver, but drivers have to carry insurance (costs money) and have a license (costs money)… and bicycle riders expect to have the same ‘rights’ on the same road?

And why is in the REPAIR/MAINTENANCE section?

I’m not a fan of cyclists on public roadways unless there’s a shoulder to ride on. The minimum speed limit posting on an Interstate highway is there for a reason (to promote traffic flow and safety) and the same should apply to any roadway.

On the way home this evening I almost took out 2 cyclists who chose to blow through a stop sign at a blind corner and turned out in my lane of traffic.
Neither one of them even even glanced around before pulling this stunt and my veering sharply into the other lane (and cutting off another car) is the only thing that saved these guys.

There is a bike ride here every year (about 50 miles) and on the four lane out of town (with wide shoulders) the police cone the outside lane off for the cyclists. As I’m heading out of town one Sat. morning about 8 or 9 of these guys decide to break loose from the pack, cut through the cones, and take the lane that was open for vehicle traffic.

Apparently the shoulder and one lane of traffic was not enough nor did they seem affected by the fact the entire lot almost got flattened by the 3/4 ton Ford truck I was driving.

Some years ago, and 2 weeks after my father’s funeral, I had to attend a funeral for a 12 year old classmate of my son. This kid also ran a stop sign on a bike and it was bad enough to require a closed-casket service, so things like this do influence my opinion on the matter.

Your comparison of bicycles to aircraft is faulty.

If I want to take a Piper Cub (approach speed 50kts) into Class-B airspace (say LAX) for landing, the 747s out there (approach speed 170?kts) will have to be sequenced to accomodate me.

Similarly, if I bicycle on a road where other vehicles have my speed tripled, they will have to make a momentary (less than a minute) sacrifice to accomodate me.

The city I live in has roads that are paved-over versions of the cobblestone roads meant to accomodate horses and trolleys–neither cars nor bicycles.

P.S. I have fond memories of flying out to Vegas (LAS-McCarran Int’l) in a Cessna 172!

“why is this in the maintenance section?”, someone asked? - I just reminded myself too: it’s because the original poster was simply looking to drum up some participation in an online survey and not necessarily trying to start a long discussion.

(but now that this is underway, well, it seems like a fine thing to examine).

I meant they may use the sidewalks, not must. You have to be in good pysical condition to average over 15 mph on a bicycle.

Cyclists do not belong on the shoulders. There is too much junk there to puncture the tires for one thing. Cyclists are not required to ride on the shoulders.

Averaging 15 mph is easy. 20 mph is hard. Try going 15 mph on a sidewalk.