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.