Sunday, May 07, 2006

In today's Tulsa World

Give back the roads


The narrow, shoulderless roads around much of Tulsa are becoming increasingly more crowded with assorted cyclists, walkers and joggers, and thus endangering motorists who usually have to cross to the left lane to avoid colliding with them. Cyclists who hog the center of the lane are more
of a nuisance. Not only do they force motorists onto the left or to be stuck behind them, but they're also guilty of the offense of disrupting the flow of traffic.

Here in Tulsa we have a beautiful long stretch of wide, paved track snaking along beside the river. I suggest joggers, walkers and cyclists get off the roads and onto the track that was built for them and give the roads back to the motorists.

Catherine Le Breton, Tulsa

Ms. Le Breton makes the common mistake of presuming our public roads are for the sole use of motorists. They’re called public roads because they’re for the use of all of us regardless of our mode of transportation. And like so many other members of the motoring public, she has little knowledge of safe bicycle operation or any of the laws regarding their use. The idea that two hundred pounds of bicycle and rider can ‘endanger’ a motorist encased in a ton or more of steel and glass is laughably absurd!

When a lane is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle, a cyclist is legally entitled to the full width of the lane. Whether he rides in the right hand tire track or the center of the lane is irrelevant. It’s the overtaking driver’s responsibility to pass safely. Many cyclists have witnessed the ‘Darwin maneuver’ when a motorist overtakes and passes, crossing the centerline to do so while there’s still oncoming traffic. Again, it’s not the cyclist who’s at fault. It’s the impatient motorist.

Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as any other road user. Notice I said the SAME rights. No one has a superior right to our roads.

I strongly recommend that Ms. Le Breton read the Oklahoma Driver’s Manual section on proper bicycle operation and the proper behavior of motorists encountering cyclists on our roads. The latest manual is available at:

Tulsa’s drivers are overwhelmingly accommodating toward local cyclists, yet there are some few like Ms. Le Breton who would limit our right to use the public road by forcing us onto trails. While the trail system is expanding and improving every year and it’s very popular with recreational cyclists, it doesn’t serve every possible destination. Some of us ride bicycles as basic transportation, accessing work, schools, and businesses on two wheels. That requires sharing the road with motor vehicles.


Blogger Paul Tay said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Paul Tay said...

I hope she gets stuck behind me. Bitch. I don't have time to argue with bitches like her. If she wants, she can call the police. They can tell me to bike on the sidewalk. I'll just go to internal affairs and complain.

5:57 PM  

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