Bike path madness
August 1, 2009
Since the completion of the Rio Grande bike trail directly in front of my residence at Hooks Lane in Basalt, it has become increasingly obvious that the majority of cyclists have neither consideration of, nor respect for the adjoining property owners and the traffic laws which are equally applicable to bicycle riders as well as automobile drivers.
The intersection here is quite dangerous in that the path crosses the road at an oblique angle. This angle allows riders headed up valley to clearly see Hooks Lane only to their left, and for downvalley riders the view of traffic is virtually non existent – without stopping – especially during the summer when the grass and shrubs on the shoulder are high.
The stop warning is clearly marked on the path with paint, in addition to the obvious regular stop sign. I would venture to say that the majority of cyclists completely ignore the signs. This is even more prevalent when the riders are in “herd mentality”
Case in point: This morning (July 29) at 11:05 a.m., a group of helmeted spandex clad cycling enthusiasts were proceeding to break the law by speeding through the stop sign heading downvalley, when one of their number saw a truck approaching, panicked and crashed in the middle of the road. He was injured enough to warrant assistance from several of his fellows.
For three years now throughout the warmer months, there’s been a constant parade of bicyclists past my house. I’ve been expecting an accident. I’m surprised that something much worse hasn’t occurred.
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When grown men and women can’t be trusted to obey the law, even when it’s in the interest of their own safety, and appear to believe that they’re invincible, perhaps the trail authorities can help. Might I suggest installing some more of those flexible uprights in a staggered manner so as to force a reduction in their speed?
Please, people, be careful. Those cute little helmets are not going to help when you get hit by a cement truck. It’s going to be hard to be “green” with your “red” splattered all over the pavement.
Look both ways before you cross the street.
I think I remember my parents telling me something like that.
Dwight F. Ferren