One of our members rides a sleek purple recumbent that he has gone to great lengths to make visible to cars. He commutes from McKinney into Plano everyday and takes the train on into work, so he has lots of opportunity to see the poor behavior of motorists. He mounted a camera to the back of his bike so should he get run over he would have a video record of the license plate that hit him. He added a wing to the bike with lights so there’s no chance anyone could say “oh, I didn’t see him there”.
He rides on the service road in some areas, which you would expect to be a hazard. He has to go through some high speed limit streets (40 – 45 mph) everyday. He takes some chances for his commute. BTW – this is a guy trying to get to work everyday, not someone trying to make a protest or a big political point, he should have the same concerns everyone has in the morning when getting to work, except the sweat of course.
He also happens to ride by my house pretty often (I don’t think he knows that). Monday afternoon, he was riding up Virginia Parkway (speed limit 30mph) and was being followed by a pick up truck with a gap of less than two feet between the bumper and his head (his HEAD), then the truck honked into his ear, peeled around him and sped away up Virginia Parkway yelling insults out the window.
Aside from the traffic problem with Virginia Parkway from 75 to the Square, the high population of children in the area, the number of accidents and cars landing on people’s front yards – this guy is riding his bike in a legal manner very close to the posted speed limit only to have someone in a pickup truck think they have so much ownership of the road that they can wave the bumper of a 2 ton steel vehicle next to the head of one of their neighbors.
In my humble opinion the first and biggest thing the city needs to do is develop an education campaign for motorists and cyclists. Cyclists need to know how to safely behave and operate on the city streets, and motorists need to be aware that cyclists are here and deserve to be able to ride in safety. The idiot in the pick up truck isn’t representing the average motorist, but he sure is a posterboy for the biggest road hazard a cyclist faces – ignorance and arrogance behind the wheel.
Next Month (August) we will have a meeting with the new head for the On-Street Bike Plan, Gary Graham. I will be posting the time and day here and on FaceBook shortly – please try to come and show Gary how much we care about what he is doing for our city. We can talk about this issue and anything else you like.