How bicyclists really fit in

Posted: November 11, 2003

RE THE letter "Center City driver frustrated by bicyclists" (Oct. 28):

Mr. Bockman wrote, "It is becoming ever more frustrating to have to share the road with bicyclists." But if all bicyclists were driving cars instead, they'd be taking up three times as much road space sideways, and at least twice as much lengthwise! It's the other drivers who are in the way, not the bicyclists.

A bicyclist has a legal right to take as much road space as necessary while riding as far to the right as is practicable. If a bicyclist is riding on the right beside parked cars, the cyclist has a right to ride far enough out to avoid getting hit by an opening car door, even if that means taking the lane in front of a car.

Mr. Bockman asserts, "The road was meant for cars." Legally, he's wrong. Bicyclists have a right to be on the road. Historically, he's also wrong: Before cars in the late 19th century, bicyclists led the way in pushing for paved roads (called the "Better Roads Movement").

Bicyclists paved the way- drivers of motor vehicles simply followed.

Parker Snowe, President

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

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