Taking Your Life In Your Hands
For bike riders is a joke!
When I picked up my Sunday, August 31, 2008, Times-Standard and read on the the front page, “The big guy isn’t very shy” “50th annual Bigfoot Days is a bit hairy.” And right next this, picture with the caption: “Call for change” “Local man’s death further spurs effort to keep bicyclists safe” I had to ask myself if someone wasn’t try to make a joke – a real bad joke.
If you haven’t noticed, it’s just a bit HAIRY on these streets and highways. For one thing, most drivers are absolutely clueless, not to mention blind and deaf! These are the drivers that don’t know what their doing, but they sure are doing it. The majority are just plain lawless anarchists.
I can’t tell you how many letters to the Editors of the local newspapers I’ve read where people were complaining about how discourteous drivers are that do not use their turn signals. California law stipulates the use of turn signals. When was the last time you heard of anyone ever getting a ticket for NOT using their turn signal? How about stopping at stop signs? Where I live there are stop signs at the intersection. At least 40% blow right through them. One part of the intersection is totally blind and during mornings and afternoons there are school children walking to school. It doesn’t slow anyone down. Keeps the kids on their toes if they don’t want to get run over. Some benefit, I suppose . . .
. . . and for another thing, headlights will hardy help that bike rider. Have you had the occasion to drive that section of highway and observe how many cars DO NOT TURN ON THEIR HEADLIGHTS? Do you think the reason is because the do not know how to read, or that their car does not have head lights or just maybe, their hand is impaired and they cannot reach the lights switch? Or how about how it feels to be a bike rider when you’ve had the opportunity to try to get out of the way when 30 to 40 percent of the people are doing from 50 to 60 mph whizzing past you like you’re some kind of a jerk holding them up. Had anyone pass you on the right-hand shoulder yet?
I’ve enclosed other commentary printed in the newspapers about this tragedy. If you take the time to read or if you already read what these people say, you have to conclude their solutions are a fantasy. The simple truth is, you cannot reason with an idiot!
Safety on the road applies to motorists and bicyclists alike
Share the road
Let’s save some lives
Maybe I missed something, but I never did see what happened to the person that killed that poor bike rider. Murder is probably a better word than killed.
Joe concludes, if bike riders truly want to be safe on these streets and highways, Joe suggests the sell their bikes and buy a tank.
ADDENDUM: September 9, 2008 – Times-Standard
California is still one state as far as I know. Why then has the state Legislature divided the state into two areas? Only in Northern California do motorists have to keep from hitting bikes being operated on state highways. Pedestrians are not permitted on freeways at all. In many areas there are no shoulders. There are no shoulders on the Mad River bridges on Highway 101. A motorist really looks forward to having a bicyclist on the bridge when crossing it. Then you have bicyclists towing small children or their belongings behind the bike on a trailer. The speed limit on most state highways is 65 mph. The average vehicle weighs approximately 3,500 to 4,000 pounds; then you have large trucks that weigh up to 80,000 pounds loaded. You have vehicles that come together in traffic and go out of control. Vehicles blow tires and loose control. Large trucks have recap tires that come apart and fly through the air. Drunk drivers on the state routes. The motoring public pays a lot of taxes for using the highways.
There is no way a bicyclist is going to be safe on a state highway. Tax them and build bike routes that are off the highway. Then they will be safe. Thank you state Legislatures for creating this situation. What you will not do to get votes. I was a CHP officer and I will never forget the first automobile bike accident I was sent to. The bicyclist died a horrible death. A bicyclist has no protection.
Robert Markin – McKinleyville
ADDENDUM September 12, 2008 – Times Standard
Mr. Larkins letter, as a former CHP officer, he should know that the state law is clear: Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road. The law also states that cyclists are allowed on limited access highways when there is no alternative, which means almost all of 101 in this county. The DMV Driver’s Handbook, available online, explains this, and also offers specific advice on how to safely pass cyclists. A separate bike path along 101 might be nice, but it is not there. Taxing cyclists? An interesting topic, but irrelevant to questions of right of way. A large truck pays more road taxes than a subcompact car, but does not have the right of way at a red light when the car has a green light. There are many good reasons for cycling, please remember the laws (yes, that also means you cyclists) and safely share the public roads.
Howard Selman – Eureka
What’s missing here? Common sense? Maybe.
There is such a thing as the “Law of Physics.” ByCyclists may think they have the same rights, but reality teaches us differently. That what Mr. Markin clearly points out. At least he did to Joe.
Anyone that drives these streets and byways should know by now that those people that think they are protected by rights and laws are simply fools deluding themselves. Joe traverses the so-called “safety corridor” daily. While the majority of the traffic runs 50-53 mph there are those that run 58 to 60. At least that’s what the radar says! Those people assault all law abiding drivers with deadly weapons. Then there is the guy Joe observed at the intersection of 5 th and V streets. There are three lanes Northbound with V street merging. At the time this guy passed Joe on the right side doing at least 50 to 60 mph, at the last moment merged left two lanes and went over the overpass without braking once. Anyone trying to merge from V street was a sitting duck. Sitting at the Jacobs Street exit was a clueless Eureka City Police officer. That thug got ahead of a few cars, managed to keep from killing anyone, and no doubt thinks nothing of it as Joe observes that kind of maneuver daily. You can’t tell me that the Highway Patrol and the Eureka City Police are not aware of the failure to engineer safety into that portion of the highway. I can’t imagine what kind of a nightmare it must be for bike riders trying to get through that intersection.