Cyclists have right to be on Fayette roads

Tue, 07/03/2007 - 4:11pm
By: Letters to the ...

This is in response to the writer of the Free Speech letter regarding bicyclists riding on roads. She was upset at having to burn $3 gas while sharing the road with bicyclists and stated, “I have a right to the road and you do not.” She also stated, “I will only share the road with another tax-paying vehicle.”

According to the Georgia Code 10-14-96, bicyclists have a legal right to operate a bicycle on Georgia roads. That legal right is spelled out in many sections including 40-6-290, 40-6-291,and 40-6-294.

Whether you like it or not, you do not have the authority to exclude bicycles from our state or local roads. That is a right guaranteed by the law. With that right also comes recourse when that right is violated.

According to NHTSA 2004 data, “41,000 cyclists were injured in traffic.” That number was probably under-reported, since over 500,000 cyclists visit emergency rooms annually.

In the vast majority of those 41,000 traffic accidents, someone was ticketed with a violation of the law. That is not the only recourse available to those injured. The civil courts are also available for relief.

The surviving loved ones of a cyclist who has been killed in vehicle-related accidents may be able to file a personal injury/wrongful lawsuit for their loss. That lawsuit will cost considerably more than the $3 gas you are using while sharing the road.

I have personally found if I ride my bicycle to the extreme right of a four-lane road, cars will pass me without moving any to the left and come close to hitting me with their side mirror.

On the same four-lane road, if I stay six feet from the edge of the road, most cars will use the left lane to pass me. I personally stay off of narrow roads and stay away from roads during busy periods to avoid conflicts.

Not that it matters, but I don’t wear those “tight little immodest pants” you seem to enjoy looking at. Riding is only one way I choose to stay healthy and enjoy the outdoors.

I stay off the cart paths because a bicycle will average around 20 mph. The path is full of children and adults walking, and the closure rate makes this dangerous for all concerned.

The bottom line is please share the road and be courteous. Having to slow down for a bicyclist will only delay your trip by seconds and could save you and the bicyclist a lot of heartache and money.

Wesley Walker

Fayetteville, Ga.

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Submitted by too bad on Sun, 07/08/2007 - 2:41am.

I have rode bikes all my life but I have more sense and manners than to ride on the same roads with cars during rush hours. I do ride around my neigborhood on the back roads but get off the road when I know there is a car behind me. Reason? The car is bigger than me and I'm gonna get the worst of it if we wreck. Along with thinking they own the rode, most bicyclist seem to take ..NO.. responsibilty for their own well being. I would never ride on a road when there is a perfectly good path for me. Look at what you don't want to ride on the bike paths " because a bicycle will average around 20 mph. The path is full of children and adults walking, and the closure rate makes this dangerous for all concerned." You and the rest don't want the responsibility of looking out for others, so you get on a main road where you couldn't peddle as fast as the traffic if your life dependended on it, and make everyone else responsible for your saftey. I have come around too many corners on country roads to find 3 or 4 on bikes strung across the road and not hit them only because of my good driving, not any intelligence shown on their parts. The laws should be changed to protect good driver from the idiots that put themselves at risk!

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sun, 07/08/2007 - 6:54am.

OK. Enlighten us on what laws should be changed. Please realize that they have to be able to work outside of PTC and consider that people do use their bicycles for commuting and running errands (which is encouraged by the state and national entities).

Submitted by too bad on Sun, 07/08/2007 - 7:49am.

well, we could start with a MINIMUM SPEED so that when you don't have the good manners to get off the road and is everyone lined up behind you on an unpassable two lane road, you could be ticketed. Now using my bike to run errands is something I never thought about. I could put my kid on the handle bars to ride to and from school, and when I go to Home Depot, I could drag my new chain saw along behind me comming back. Wow, the possibilities are endless! When I'm sick, I could hopp on my bike to go the the drug store for my prescription!
For those bikesters that want to run the stop signs etc, make I suggest a bull's eye on each cheek! Let me state the obvious, legally you are right, but by trying to prove a point and hogging the roads, you may be DEAD RIGHT in the end, and ther VERDICT...FINAL!

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 11:34am.

I need to respond here as the tread is getting way too narrow. I rode the strand as well and I still have very fond memories of it.

Submitted by too bad on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 12:22pm.

yep, that is where I learned about "hitting the brick wall" or whatever you call it. I had been told that right before your body switches over to using nothing but your body fat, it would feel like you couldn't go another inch, then once you went through it, you could go forever. I use to ride down there every day, then I decided I was going to go down to Hermosa or as far as I could get. On the way back, and it was miles. I hit it, then it was just like they say, you felt like you could go on and never get tired. I use to work out a lot, it's funny I never experienced that before. What is the real deal behind that anyway?

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Submitted by Cyclist on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 3:40pm.

I completely understand your feelings. I had chosen my moniker to be sort of a lighting rod in order to get some lively discussions about bicycling. And yes, discussions have been lively at times. I figure someone that rides should at least “support the cause” and possibly enlighten the public. What I do not support is contempt of our laws by both cyclists and drivers. Hope everything is well - Happy Blogging

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Submitted by Cyclist on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 12:28pm.

I lived in Hawthorne and you. Are you out here in Georgia as a result of certain merger in 1987?

Submitted by too bad on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 12:50pm.

I lived in the Marina. You are taking about the Western/Delta I was already with Delta, I moved here cause I got tired of, after paying my rent, having just enough left over for the month to buy a bag of chips and a beer! As you know, DL pays the same in LAX, ATL and NYC.

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Submitted by Cyclist on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 1:01pm.

Yes much more bang for the dollar at least for housing. My electric bill however, went from 30$ a month to 150$. (Didn't need AC since only lived a few miles form the ocean.) Those were the days. Yes I hit the bonk several times. The one I remember most was a round trip to Camarillo about 136 miles. At the end I was no longer pedaling in circles but squares. Good talking with you!!!!

Submitted by too bad on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 3:02pm.

sorry to have been so mean about everything. I hit someone once and I never forgot it. Years ago, I was driving along in the spring looking at how pretty everything was and plowed right past a stop sign and hit a guy right in the drivers side. When I came to, I saw the man slumped over his wheel. I will never fault a hit and run driver, because to be honest, all I wanted todo was leave and tell myself it never happened. Lucky for me my car wasn't driveable. Someone pulled me out the window and they took me to the hospital. I knew I had killed the man and it was my fault. You can never know what that feels like till you've been there. It turned out the man wasn't dead, but was an MD there at the same hospital. He was hurt pretty bad and had amnesia. It took about a month for his mind to come back. Do you know what it's like to think you made a cab driver out of a brain surgeon? He was very nice about it and didn't sue me. In all my years of driving, I have had only one wreck since. I will never forget what it feels like to think you have killed someone and it is your fault. I would never wish that on anyone. All the sorrys in the world can never undo one accident. That is a big reason I try so hard not to hit a biker, or be hit myself, I never want to feel that kind of guilt again, or have anyone else feel it on my account.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sun, 07/08/2007 - 11:26am.

Well, we can see you don't have a clue!

Submitted by too bad on Sun, 07/08/2007 - 10:20pm.

I do have a clue....the laws should be changed. I am both a bike rider and a car both I make myself accountable...what don't you like about being accountable for what happens to you and others. Everyone would like to be not held responsible, but then we grow up.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 5:31am.

OK again the question, which laws should be changed?

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 6:52am.

I think the laws we have on the books are already pretty good. They just are not enforced.
The roads stink. Many other states I have lived in have paved bike lanes/emergency lanes. If you are on a bike you have to be on the right side of the white line or get a ticket.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 8:41am.

Actually the vehicle code 40-6-294 does not acknowledge a white line. It states that a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable. Also, it notes different scenarios which allows a cyclist to take a lane or move to other lanes of traffic.

Georgia's cycling laws fall under the uniform vehicle code which is shared by other states.

I suspect that "Too Bad" is confusing laws and their enforcement. Laws are rules and the "accountable" portion is the enforcement for which I have no argument there.

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 10:03am.

I know GA law does not acknowledge the white line, but I think it should. It works in other states. The shoulder is paved and the white line separates bikes and pedestrians from cars. It's safer for everyone.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 11:05am.

Most states that I'm familiar with and have rode in acknowledges "right side of the roadway as practicable" with no mention of a white line. I'm curious, which states acknowledge riding to the right of a white line?

Submitted by too bad on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 11:25am.

now that it is mentioned, I have seen that in other states, maybe Mississippi in places? That would be wonderful. It seems that in Georgia the shoulder of the road is getting smaller. That is bad for cars as well as bikes, cause you have no where to go to avoid hitting someone. I think a paved shoulder with a white line would solve a lot of problems. I don't think they should let you ride a bike on a highway without a place for you. The thought of hitting a biker gives me the willies, cause you know you'd kill them. You are right, I'm not familar with the laws here cause I make a point not to ride in traffic. Marina Del Rey used to have bike paths along the side of the road, I took those only a very short distance to get to the bike paths along the beach. Now that is ..THE.. place to ride! From the Marina down to Manhatten Beach, then Hermosa! That is beautiful! You are safe, no cars for miles, just you and the path and the beach.

Submitted by SilenceDogood on Sun, 07/08/2007 - 1:04am.

I appreciate the cyclists of Fayette county's desire for aerobic activity and want for recreation. However, I have on many occasions become very annoyed with the cyclists and there lack of common sense. 5 O'Clock is not a good time to bike on the parkway! Especially not in a peloton sized group taking up an entire lane.

I love to see the Same Road and so on bumper stickers that cyclists love to sport. I love it even more when I see them run stop signs, fail to signal at turns, and most of all I ALWAYS see them ride to the front of a traffic line, something that would get you a ticket in any other type of vehicle.

Basically, use common sense on when and where to ride! If you want the same rights on the same roads then follow the same rules and wait your bike short clad behind in the back of the traffic line!

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sun, 07/08/2007 - 6:54am.

You just don't get it! The creed of the cyclist is that if you stop for traffic in front of you, or at intersections, your heart rate will slow and ruin the whole thing.
If you signal a turn or a stop, you look like a dummy and your spandex would stand out.
You must ride in a group, not only for the social event, but for protection from those other pests on the highways--trucks and buses.
It gives one the mental attitude of healthy being to cycle 20 or 30 hours per YEAR. Also, makes a great conversation piece hanging in your den in the winter and hot months.
If you get lonely, you can fire up the cycles for You, Mom, and Junior, and head out around the block (towing Missy) and stop everytime someone speaks to you and make a date for a party!
There ain't many Lance Armstrong's in PTC.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sun, 07/08/2007 - 11:35am.


I'm beginning to see why noboby likes you or your blogs.

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Submitted by secret squirrel on Fri, 07/06/2007 - 9:12am.

I too am a cyclist and have been for years. The major problem I (as a motorist) have with many cyclists is the rampant disregard so many have for traffic rules and traffic control devices. The norm, it seems, for cyclists is to ignore traffic lights and stop signs. I have always prided myself on following the laws of the road as a cyclist and find it sadly disturbing when cyclists who on one hand bellow about being legally entitled to operate in traffic so often ignore the rules governing traffic. Frankly, I accord very little respect to my fellow cyclists when I'm in a car if I see them coast through a red-light or blow through a stop-sign.

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Submitted by Cyclist on Fri, 07/06/2007 - 1:09pm.


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