Rick Hammel: In support of S.B. 148

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To the editor:

This letter is in response to your article by Brandon Gee on March 31: Proposal worries cyclists.

What worries me, as a cyclist for 69 years, (yes I still ride 10 hours per week) is that this bill will not pass.

Senate Bill 148 passed the House on March 30. It now goes back to the Senate for a final touch up, then on to the governor for signature.

I have been tracking this bill since before the Senate passage. I have written Rep. Baumgardner twice about this bill with no response.

The main reason I support this bill is that it requires motorists to give at least a three-foot clearance to a cyclist.

And it allows the motorist to cross a solid line to do it. I have been passed by tractor-trailer rigs with less than three feet, and that is scary.

With so many of the roads in the county having less than two-foot shoulders, we cyclists are forced to ride in traffic lanes.

Please share the road.

Rick Hammel

Comments

als362 5 years, 8 months ago

I too ride a bike, and I believe that bicycles should only be allowed on roads that have at least a 3 foot shoulder for the bike to be riden on. Then you would be able to make your own safety zone and not have to trust anyone else to do it for you. This would make it safer not only for the cyclist, but for the motorist as well. I also believe that most bike riders are the biggest road hogs on the planet, refusing to get over when they know traffic is coming from behind them. When I ride, and see, hear traffic coming I get over as far as I can, stopping is necessary to let it go past so I don't wind up under the wheels of a semi truck. This is only smart, and makes good sense to me. Those that expect a vehicle to put itself in harms way when all the cyclist has to do is move over a little are crazy in my opinion, and if there is no room to get out of the way, you have no business riding on that roadway.
Safety starts with the rider, NOT with the driver. If you are not willing to make yourself safe don't expect others to do it for you.

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David Moore 5 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Rick and count me in as a supporter. I am a driver of the roads as well as a cyclist and a long standing IMBA member, I see(and live)both sides of the story. The one side that I do see, that the others are missing, is that sitting behind the wheel of a 4,000# + killing machine makes all the difference, and it is what makes these laws necessary. Even when trying to obey the laws and keep out of the way, some think that we just do not belong there and try to kill us anyway, or give us minimal room(I have been passed by vehicles on MY side of the white line). THAT is what these laws are for, not your average everyday driver who follows the laws, has some patience and can get to the other side of this HUGE metropolis we call Craig on time, they are for those with attitude. In Craig, most of those riding bicycles are children and sometimes they don't get the teaching and the law laid out to them like it should be(you can bet my kid is getting it). Instead of being all furious and pouting, stop them and teach them the right way...I've done it and it helps, most of the time the kids have no idea they are doing it wrong. You don't have to be an A-hole about it and most of the time the kids appreciate it, I have been thanked quite often by them and even received a phone call from a parent(a friend, but all the same)thanking me for my help. It's not called "Share the road" for nothing. Sorry, all I wanted to do was give Rick my support and the soapbox came out.(puts it away)

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lonelyone 5 years, 8 months ago

I don't mind bikes on the road. Altho like als, I think they shouldn't be on some of our roads that don't have shoulders on them. But even then, how am I, a car driver suppose to give them room, when I have a car or semi coming at me and the bike is riding on the white shoulder line?? The only one who can get over is the person on the bike and they don't do it. And while we're on the subject, why should I be courteous to a bike rider when they are breaking the rules of the road all the time.......and I'm not talking just kids here. There have been many times when I've had to hit my brakes to keep from hitting a bike rider because I have the right away and THEY sail right through a stop sign. Many do not use hand signals to let anyone know what they are doing. I was taught if your going to be on the road, then you have to do as the cars have to do and that is to obey ALL rules of the road.

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als362 5 years, 8 months ago

If all bikes were required to be registered, with a registration fee the same as an ATV or snowmobile, $25.25 per year, collected by the city/county where they are registered. That money could be used to build bike paths and trails. Then perhaps the bikes wouldn't need to be on the roads as much.

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als362 5 years, 8 months ago

To DavidMoore: I don't believe that anyone here is being an A hole as you called it. We are merely stating our opinions. That is what these pages are for. It might be OK for you to stop and try to teach every kid on the road how to ride a bike. But if I do that, and the kid gets hurt, and it comes out that I told the kid to do something, even if the kid misunderstands. I can be held liable for that accident. We all know how sue crazy this country is. I really do not care to put myself in that position. It is again and always will be, the responsibility of the parents to teach their kids. Perhaps what is needed is a bike training class put on by the police, for kids, and the parents should be required to go with them so they understand the rules as well. I was required to attend one when I was a kid, perhaps I am still here because of it. We will never know.

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David Moore 5 years, 8 months ago

Then it is the drivers right and responsibility to turn the bike rider in if they are breaking the law. Just as it is a bikers right and responsibility to turn an aggressive driver in if they are breaking the law. It's a two way street, there are no excuses for not doing so.

I was taught the same thing you were lonelyone, about riding, and I follow it as if my life were on the line...after reading some posts on the forum I now know that it is. Even if bikers(stupid...idiot ones at that)are breaking the law, it gives a driver no right to act aggressively and possibly injure or kill someone with your mass of high speed metal and plastic.

For just one moment...............think of the dynamics of it all. It's a win-lose situation.

It all comes down to that saying about some rotten apples spoiling the bunch...don't risk all of us for the sake of a few rotten apples.

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David Moore 5 years, 8 months ago

als362, No, not calling anyone here an A-hole, never any disrespect intended. As a child riding the streets of Craig, I have been yelled at by passing motorists to "get the ^# out of the way", or "get off the road you dumb#$%&". That is what I meant about not being an A-hole. I respect your opinion on not sharing your knowledge of bike riding with a child as not to get sued. However, in my opinion, that is what is wrong with our society today, nobody wants to get involved or say anything so we just let chaos and mayhem ensue. I have faith and confidence in my knowledge about riding a bike so I am not afraid to share it with our youth, I am teaching my child the rules of the road as well. I also am letting her read these posts so she is aware of the situation she is in...you can't be too careful. I hope that clears it up als362.

In reference to your other post als362, which I just read, it's my opinion that those fees are to maintain and repair what ATV owners tear up with their machines. I realize mountain bikers do damage as well but the costs to repair them are a far cry from those damaged by motorized equipment. Show me the wear and tear I have done on the streets and roads of Craig and MC, with my bicycle, and I'll gladly pay a fee to maintain the damage...I'm not against paying fees for things as long as they are worthy. What I would like to see is an identification number or plate of some sort placed on a bicycle so that a driver has an easy way of identifying one who breaks the law and as an assurance that person would be found. That I would do..."just because" I won't.

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rhammel 5 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for the constructive comments. I, too, will not ride on roads without a 3 foot shoulder. The best roads are those with rumble strips. the strips will give you some warning of drivers who are crowding the white line.

I agree that we need some designated bike paths here in Craig. Perhaps a registration fee be charged by the County and the City to help fund these improvements. It would be a fee that my wife and I will gladly pay. Besides, a good bike path system will give children a safe place to get around town on their bikes.

A lot of cyclist disregard stop signs and signals. I think we all have been guilty of blowing through a stop sign, particularly when there is no traffic. I know that I have. We need to be more cautous when we ride and obey traffic laws.

Rick

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als362 5 years, 8 months ago

Hello Rick; I appreciate your understanding what I wrote, perhaps you could try and explain it to DavidMoore, he just doesn't seem to get it.
The fees I propose would not be to repair any damage done by ATV's which are not supposed to be driven in town anyway. They would be to construct new paths and trails for bikes and pedestrians.
Don't try to tell me that you should be immune from paying a share of the cost to keep up the mountain trails, if you use them you should pay for them, that is only fair.
I am glad you have all that faith in your knowledge, that way when you wind up in court you will have some sort of defense.

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David Moore 5 years, 8 months ago

Nobody needs to explain anything to me, it is crystal clear. As with the other thread, I've said enough...I'm out.

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George Robertson 5 years, 8 months ago

David, When "turning an aggressive driver in" all one needs to do is report their license plate number. When the bicycler is at fault.....Um he was riding a red bicycle, and was wearing this rediculous looking spandex outfit, oh and he had on these really weird shoes. To fund the expansion of road shoulders, and bike paths, I see no problem with requiring a license plate/registration fee. The bicyclers scream that they have the same rights to the road as drivers (although they don't seem to think that the same rules apply to them) so I believe that they should pony up and help pay for them.

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