Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sun, Dec. 15

Letter: Bicyclists have a legal right to share the road


During our two years here as bicyclists and pedestrians (we don't own a car), my husband and I have had many encounters with motorists.

We were bicycling east on Gurley Street on our way to pick up our 6-year-old daughter from summer day camp. Suddenly honking erupted behind me. A woman was waving her arm wildly as if she wanted me to get out of her way. I was on the right-hand side of the right lane about three feet left of the parked cars. Under state law I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

I was angry with this woman implying I was in the wrong. I shouted "no" to her. She drove up right next to me and yelled, "I oughtta have you arrested!" as she sped off. I later learned she also had honked at my husband and passed him within mere inches. This woman endangered us.

Motorists in large part don't know the law. It says motorists should treat bicycles as slow-moving vehicles. It allows bikes on nearly every road. If the road lanes aren't wide enough to carry a car and a bicycle side by side with three feet between them, the bicycle may take up more of the lane to remain safe.

Bicycles are on the roads in greater numbers all the time, and they're not going away. This city is way behind in ensuring that our streets safely accommodate them. And motorists need to know that we are here legally.

Lisa Barnes

Associate Director of Prescott Alternative Transportation

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