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Town Square

Rules of the Road and Bicyclist

Original post made by Resident on Aug 22, 2007

As I was crossing Everett St. this morning at University, I see this spandex covered bicyclist yelling at a woman in a car at the top of his lungs as he himself crossed Everett against a red light. I won't repeat the words he used, but I do not understand why most bicyclist believe that they do not have to obey stop signs or traffic lights.

Comments

Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 22, 2007 at 9:30 pm


Everett is parallel to University, they do not cross.
Everett has no lights that I am aware of.

Emerson perhaps?

Maybe he is just a jerk?
Maybe she did something really egregious?
Maybe he bought his spandex a couple sizes too small?

I have seen a biker in Palo Alto that cuts off cars at lights and flips off and yells when he is in the wrong, I formed an opinion that he was a bit of an impatient hot head. Most bikers I see stop for lights, few stop at stop signs though, but most stop at lights.

But ponder this, why dont cars obey the speed limit?

I think it has just become an unwritten Palo Alto rule of thumb.
Cars dont drive 25 on Embarcadaro or Middlefield, or 35 on Alma.
Bikes dont pay attention to stop signs
Pedestrians ignore traffic lights downtown.

Not defending any of these, just noticing that all forms of traffic in this town have a section of the law they flaunt.


Posted by Fred, a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 22, 2007 at 10:32 pm

RS - you make a very good point.


Posted by Andy, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 27, 2007 at 4:00 pm

I'll grant that most cyclists don't come to a full stop at Stop signs - but to be fair, cyclists are beneficial for most cities in keeping cars off the road, and, in a more direct economic benefit, patronizing restaurants (primarily coffee-shop and the like) without using up a parking space, which is often the limiting factor in their traffic.

Yes, there are exceptions, but the last thing most of us cyclists want is to be in a physical confrontation with a car or bus. "Right-of-way" is a great lawyer, but a terrible doctor. Also, the law hasn't fully caught up with cycling - there is no real reason to prohibit a cyclist from making a right turn or crossing a T- intersection across the top without stopping as long as the cyclist gives peds and other cyclists their rights-of-way. Requiring cyclists to stop fully (as is the current law) makes cycling less useful and therefore less appealing.

And yes, there always will be jerks on bikes, just like in cars.