To the editor:
Do you understand why we need to change bicycle laws now? In May, a bicyclist was struck from behind in Intervale, in Gilmanton on Route 106 and in Tamworth on Route 41, name a few. I chose these local examples because many would be familiar with the terrain: smooth, wide, straight. Plenty of visibility.
They were all struck from behind — why? Occam’s Razor: “When in doubt and all things being equal, the most obvious answer tends to be the right one.” Thus, they could have easily avoided being struck if they were had been facing oncoming traffic. Like pedestrians do.
They would be alive and well today if they had seen the threat and just gotten out of the way.
A comment by a bicycle columnist here mentioned the “Maine bicyclist coalition” wanting drivers to slow down below the posted speed limit. It won’t work. Speed limits are mostly posted at the 85th percentile of the safest speed everyone drives. Lowering speeds do not make them safer.
Mind you, Maine legalized marijuana use and has likely contributed to impaired drivers being on our roads. Many people are fentanyl addicts and driving. Did you see recent the driver who had a “medical event” and hit the Conway railroad bridge with the right side of his car?
For the record. I ride a Cannondale F500 and always ride facing oncoming traffic, no problem. I am not about taking anyone’s” bicycle rights” away. It’s about unnecessary deaths.
This is not the first time I have suggested this here or in other forums. We as bicyclists need to be able ride defensively and there is no down side to that. Arguments that riding “against traffic” causes crashes is false. The statistics that I have researched shows most bicycle injuries or deaths are “hit from behind.” Or crossing a road.
Let’s start the conversation, please.
Gregory S. Wallace