Yesterday we spoke of considerations from our old friends across the pond in the UK. Today we have local considerations.
In a local Massachusetts publication, suitably entitled Wicked Local, there is a handy advice article written jointly by Newton, MA Police Captain, Howard Mintz and Newton Bicycle Coordinator, Lois Levin: “How to drive (with bicyclists)”…
Fun Facts to Know and Share
Wherever you happen to identify: Not yet a cyclist? Secreting dreaming to fly over the roads without needing to fill a tank to get to your destination? Seasoned pedaling veteran? A dedicated motorist who curses under your breath every time another bicycle seemingly manifests out of nowhere and exactly in your way? None of the above? This article has primarily helpful hints to navigate the roads, not just safely, but tactfully and gracefully. Whether you pedal or have an internal combustion engine.
– “Motor vehicle drivers should be predictable: abrupt turns can cause crashes…They should not try to hurry through their turn before the cyclist. A person on a 25+ pound bike has the right of way over a person behind the wheel of a 3000+ pound vehicle.” (We wish that cab drivers would read this one.)
– “Bike lanes are for bikes. Motor vehicles must stay out of them … Cyclists are not required to ride in bike lanes.”
– For bikes: “Ride in the same direction as vehicular traffic, and ride as straight as you can – don’t weave between parked cars and into crosswalks.” Or onto sidewalks.
– “Light up. If you are riding at night, state law requires you to have a headlight and a taillight. They are smart accessories – they help you see the road, but more importantly, they let everyone else see you.”
It’s Easier than Dining Table Etiquette
Having good manners as cyclists and drivers leaves us all better off. We all want to get where we’re going quickly and safely, and in that moment when you’re running late and don’t particularly want to give that person the right of way they are granted by law – take a deep breath, smile, and continue on – and have a wonderful day.