Originally Published: May 15, 2014 6 a.m.
As president of Bike Prescott, and in support of Bike Safety Month, I am responding to the letter on May 9 regarding cyclists. Mr. Jahner states, "I am so tired of bicyclists thinking they have the right of way on streets and highways." According to Arizona law, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Arizona law states cyclists should stay as close to the right as is practicable. It goes on to say cyclists may ride far enough from the road edge to stay clear of debris, potholes, etc.
Furthermore, ARS 28-815 "take the lane" is a law that allows cyclists to ride 1/3 to 1/2 of the way into the lane if the lane is not wide enough for a bike and a car.
Mr. Jahner described the cyclist he encountered on Iron Springs as "riding the white line." Since Iron Springs does not have a bicycle lane, nor a shoulder wide enough to stay to the right of the white line, the cyclist was indeed staying as close to the right as is practicable and clearly within the law.
When passing, motorists must provide cyclists with at least 3 feet of space. If the motorist is unable to provide this space and pass safely, the motorist must slow down and wait until it is safe to pass.
Mr. Jahner encountered a discourteous cyclist, but in all likelihood the cyclist felt endangered when passed so closely. In addition, ADOT advises motorist not to use the horn as it may startle a cyclist.
Most cyclists also own cars, drive the roads and pay taxes. Both cyclists and motorists can work together to create a community that supports the different interests of our residents and visitors.