It’s risky business to mix bicycles, vehicles

I’m not sure who all is involved in this stunt (Bikes on Rice Tuesday) but perhaps it would be wise to apply a bit a common sense, a lot of wisdom, and some experience to this insanity about bicycles.

Perhaps our police department should consider taking the responsibility of putting a stop to it before someone gets seriously hurt.

The roads and highways are designed and built for motor vehicles with funds and fees paid for by motor vehicle owners.

They are not designed for nor funded by pedestrians.

Bicyclists are considered “pedestrians.” That’s why a bicyclist is required to get off and walk his/her bicycle across the street at crosswalks. They are not covered by the same laws and vehicle codes as motorcycles.

It is highly irresponsible and risky to mingle bicycles and motor vehicles.

That 6- or 8-inch white line is not, and never will be, a safety barrier between the two. Every conflict will have the same result. The bicyclist will not come out ahead and will possibly not be around to argue his case.

Any governing agency that provides facilities that places bicyclists in such jeopardy should be held liable for all injuries and loss of life.

In addition, it is a misconception to assume that a paved area adjacent to the striped roadway is not considered a bicycle lane unless it is marked and designated as such.

Speaking from my own experience, where I testified in defense of a government agency’s policies, I can offer this: “If it is perceived as a bicycle lane, it IS a bicycle lane. And whether that bicycle lane is designated as such or perceived as such, it is the responsibility of the governing agency that owns it, to keep it maintained to “reasonable standards”.

“Reasonable” being the key word. That determination is left to the attorneys.

Bicycles do not belong on the street for the same reason that pedestrians do not belong on the street. That’s why all highway standards include sidewalks for pedestrians. And those sidewalks are raised and separated from the vehicular lanes.

Widening the sidewalks to provide adequate width for both pedestrians and bicycles would be safer for all and likely less costly.


Larry Arruda is a resident of Wailua Homesteads.

  1. Al Wiederer February 15, 2018 2:27 am Reply

    In my state of Illinois bicycles are subject to the same laws as all motor vehicles and it has worked well for decades.

  2. larry February 15, 2018 5:27 am Reply

    Bicyclists have the same rights on the road as a motor vehicle as the must obey all the same rules as well

  3. larry February 15, 2018 5:29 am Reply

    I do agree thought that certain areas are very unsafe for cycle travel like near Kiluea and Princeville

  4. Lawaibob February 15, 2018 7:28 am Reply

    Larry, bikes are vehicles, they don’t belong on the sidewalk. The “ped” in pedestrian stands means “on foot”

  5. numilalocal February 15, 2018 9:22 am Reply

    Larry, any registered bicycle is considered a vehicle and has all the responsibilities, rights and privileges of any other vehicle on the roadway. ALL roadways on Kauai are open to bicycles and, pursuant to the law, a bicycle shall ride as far to the right as is practicable. While this might mean a shoulder, many factors influence the position of a bicycle in the road: lane width, condition of the shoulder or lack thereof, speed of traffic, presence of parallel-parked vehicles and opening doors, weather, and et cetera.

    I’ve ridden on Kauai my whole life and I HAVE A PERFECT RIGHT TO RIDE ON THE ROAD. Your attitude is the problem here, not our presence on the road. All we ask is for a few moments of time and a couple feet of space.

    I have to say I’m constantly amazed how my mere presence on the road can absolutely ruin some driver’s day. Maybe if you and other aggravated drivers tried bicycling yourselves you’d see how great it can be.

    I drive a car, ride a motorcycle and am a bicyclist and I won’t be abandoning any of those because a few people feel their rights are being violated by my presence on the road. Try bicycling – it might change your life for the better!

  6. CommonSenseIsnt February 15, 2018 11:49 am Reply

    The traffic laws put forth in Hawaii Revised Statutes 291C-144 states that “Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle” and 291C-142 states a “(v)ehicle means every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a roadway or highway, including mopeds and bicycles”. So no, while it may be common to consider them “pedestrians”, bicyclists are required to be on the road, and should be treated by motorists as another vehicle. When an official lane is not provided for them, they are required to ride with traffic on the right-hand side of the road (291C-145). Your issue seems to be with the drivers who do not treat them with the amount of care they are legally obligated to provide, or just choose to only follow the laws that are convenient to them.

  7. jeff February 15, 2018 12:10 pm Reply

    Mr. Arruda, To preface this response, I’m not a resident, but a cyclist and a not often enough tourist to Kauai. If you refer to the State of Hawaii section 291c-1, a bicycle is, in fact, considered a vehicle and has to abide by all traffic laws (291c-142). And according to 291c-145, bicycles can be on the road unless there is a developed bike lane or path. Of course they should be considerate of drivers as drivers should be considerate of them.

    As to all the “pedestrians” and “bicyclists” you suggest shouldn’t be allowed to be on the road, I bet they all pay their taxes in one form or another. Most probably even have a car and pay the road tax but enjoy riding their bike once in a while.


  8. Steven McMacken February 15, 2018 1:15 pm Reply

    Larry, it would probably be a good idea for you to bone up on the Hawaiian law regarding bicycle riding on sidewalks. It is prohibited in business districts, like Lihue, and you can be ticketed. Bicycles, like cars, are considered vehicles.

  9. A cyclist February 15, 2018 3:47 pm Reply

    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” Mr. Arruda I put you in the former category.

  10. sylvia February 15, 2018 6:36 pm Reply

    it is so important that folks who ride bikes- choose to ride where it is safe and wear reflective clothing and lites when is it dark out… especially on the tree tunnel road!!!

  11. 2Stroke February 15, 2018 8:33 pm Reply

    What a troll, Larry. You act like you’ve never seen a person on a bike before. Get used to it! It’s just people using human power to get around. Pretty sustainable form of transportation. Not to mention it’s a great workout and perfectly legal.

  12. Eastsidecyclist February 15, 2018 9:27 pm Reply

    It’s seriously a very “inside of the box” mind that writes this kind of article… I am born and raised on Kauai and I understand both sides of the story. I agree with the concerns that bicycles and car don’t mix but I do think that they can coexist… I am a Cyclist I have been for the last couple years…of cars respect cyclist and cyclist respect cars there should be no issue here…

  13. Just Saying February 16, 2018 1:02 pm Reply

    I just learned Larry’s next project: “Air is for breathing, we need to get all these airplanes out of the air we breathe?”

  14. steve ball February 19, 2018 1:26 pm Reply

    Larry, by your “logic” we should ban electric vehicles from Kauai roads since they do not pay fuel tax either.

  15. Bryan rut June 4, 2018 1:58 pm Reply

    Please look into the facts and laws before you write in things you believe to be true. Educating yourself is powerful.
    I am a long time Cyclist on Kauai.
    I also drive a truck.
    I pay my registration taxes on both.
    Bicycles are considered vehicles just as cars. Taxes and rules apply to both.
    What you state is completely incorrect.
    Remember driving is a privilege, not a right.
    Driving is one of the most dangerous activity’s most engage in.
    Cycling is made more dangerous because of righteous drivers.
    If we take a moment to show mutual respect for each other, as people trying to live our lives, even if differently from each other, then surely it will be mutually beneficial for both as well.
    I hope you can see another perspective that helps everyone.

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