Letter to the editor: Bike riders need to follow rules of road, pedestrian says

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Dear Bike Riders,

While I fully appreciate and support people using bicycles as a mode of transportation, I have a simple request: please use the Rules of the Road. I recall there are rules for bike-riders which include signaling turns into traffic.

I thought there were also rules for riding on sidewalks, or walking paths, and signaling you are coming up behind a pedestrian. In years past, I remember bike-riders yelling behind me, “On your left!”, so I would move over. Have bicyclists stopped doing this? The ones I have almost “run into” certainly have stopped paying attention to, or are ignorant of, the rule.

In the past few months of being a new dog owner, both my dog and I have had very close calls by FAST moving bikers riding on sidewalks and coming up behind us. I can almost hear the rider’s jagged panting breath in my ear as he/she whizzes by and scares the holy you-know-what out of us!

I understand there are not enough bike lanes (Hello City of Edmonds?), but really, this is just common courtesy for which I am asking. And, riding fast on sidewalks goes against any idea of Edmonds being a “pedestrian friendly town.”

Please, please people, yell out, “On your right/left!!” when you are coming toward pedestrians (with their back toward you). I would truly be sad to see you in a crumbled, tangled, and bloody dog-leash-senior-citizen-mess on the concrete. Not to mention what could happen to anyone walking in Edmonds, including their dogs and children.

Thank you,
Vivian Murray

7 COMMENTS

  1. yup,

    AWARENESS! is just one of those things, to my knowledge public education avoids like the plague!

    I’m assuming the purpose of public education is still to train robots to serve “the master”/boss… obey! don’t question authority, sit, don’t move, shut up/only speak when spoken to…

    and now, how to become completely ignorant of life – how to communicate/listen, read/hear “between the lines”, how to survive without your “smart” device…

    and of course – spend your money to advertise for “the seahawks”…

    in aboriginal/”primative” societies, by the time people were teenagers, they knew how to survive, they knew how everything related to each other

    like walking, it’s assumed if you can move, you know how to “ride a bike”, or walk in traffic.

    if there’s a confrontation with a car – it’s the car driver’s fault, driving too fast… slow down…

  2. I think this one comes down to the way we all have trouble seeing another’s perspective. I agree that there are many dangerous cyclists who shouldn’t be allowed on a bike. But… when I’m riding a bike myself I see many more dangerous behaviors from drivers and yes, pedestrians.

    I have cycled down Sunset Avenue many times (going the right way) in the lane that clearly used to be marked “bikes only” only to have it taken up with pedestrians who didn’t want to use the sidewalk for some reason. I have also ridden down Sunset with dog owners letting their dogs into the bike lane/road either on a long retractable leash or no leash at all.

    On public bike/walking trails many people don’t seem to observe the common rule to “stay to the right” and walk in the middle or left side of the trail or even zig zag from side to side. I use a bell or voice to warn people, but like many cyclists we are used to being ignored or given nasty looks or even cursed at when we attempt to warn people for their own safety.

    I have been on trails where local agencies have posted the rules to “stay to the right” and it definitely helps. I know the recent trend is for pedestrians to walk on their left so they can see oncoming traffic, but that then requires others who are following the rules to veer into oncoming cycle/pedestrian traffic.

    I ride with great caution, follow every rule to signal my turn, stay to the right, have lights on the front and back of my bike, wear reflective clothing, etc. and I still have a near-death experience with cars at least every 10 miles or so when I ride on streets. BTW, “sharrows” are a joke. I have yet to see a paint line big enough to keep a cyclist from being run over by a car.

  3. I live off Olympic View Drive, we have “near misses” all the time. I would say it is usually bicyclists either biking too slow on road or too fast on the side walk. My own dog was hit by a bicyclist while he was on a leash and rider came out of no where going very fast. Luckily both were okay but bruised up. He apologized for being in the wrong.

  4. “the recent trend is for pedestrians to walk on their left so they can see oncoming traffic”
    this is not a recent trend. It is the old rule for walking where there are no sidewalks: Always walk facing the traffic if you are not on a sidewalk. Pretty sure it was/is a law.

  5. I’m curious why Sunset Ave. is always brought up all the time about anything that happens with pedestrians, bicycles, dog walkers, etc. This street is only (3) three blocks long. Everyone acts like they are on the Burke/Gilman Trail or Greenlake. The street goes north for about three blocks. The City is proposing to spend millions of dollars on a sidewalk that didn’t need fixing and was fine before with no accidents. There will be one now with the new striping. It is chaos. I have to think there are problems all over the city with walkers, dog walkers, bicyclists, joggers, and so on.

  6. All of Edmonds needs to heed the news today of the death of the 58 year old wife of a CBS Senior Vice President hit by a cyclist while she was stepping off a curb. She died from head injuries. ………….Yes, there are problems all over our city with safety on our streets, sidewalks, etc. Pedestrians very easily can end up severely injured or some times dead.

    Sunset Project for one Edmonds resident, and look at the mess we now have.

    In the private sector, someone would have been fired for creating this dangerous, temporary mess we now have on Sunset. I think people that LIVE here know what the logistics of the street are ……..and so much money wasted because those that made this mess chose not to actually listen to the people that actually live here and know the street well. And I believe the original person that did the drawings was from somewhere else also……..There is something wrong with the fact that this was going to happen no matter what!

    What’s wrong with you people…….We live here and can probably tell you what is going on 24 hours a day! The city has left its mark, and what a mess…..

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