Banner
Bicycle safety is a two-way street PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michelle Draper   
Thursday, 08 July 2010 13:38

With a 4-0 vote last month by the Bartonville Town Council, the town became one of the first communities in the area to regulate bicyclists like they regulate parades or public events.

 

Any group of 10 bicyclists or more must now apply 45 days in advance of the ride and pay a $50 permit fee. Tensions are running high between some members of the Bartonville community who say cyclists have been abusing their property and some bicyclists who think the new regulation is unfair.

Bartonville Mayor Ron Robertson said they simply want cyclists to obey Texas laws instead of exhibiting behavior including running stop signs and littering.

“They will throw banana and orange peels in our bar ditches, and they use our town hall as a urination center,” Robertson said, though adding that he did not support the new rule because he feels it will be too difficult to enforce. “But if the cyclists would not abuse our town and if they would abide by state laws that are already in place, then we wouldn't have had to enact the new regulation.”

Both sides agree that Bartonville is a very popular spot for cyclists to ride through, enjoying the tree lined roads and beautiful scenery.  Flower Mound resident Bob Pinard, president of the Infinity Cycling club, said there could be up to 400 bicyclists on the roads in the Bartonville area on any given weekend. Mayor Robertson agreed. “The bicycle traffic is constant, especially on weekend mornings, and they pull up to town hall and unload their bikes, and then after the ride, they come back and urinate outdoors behind our town hall,” he said.

Pinard and fellow cyclist David Hassan, also of Flower Mound, are joining together with others to take a pro-active approach to the situation. They have been making a safety push for local riders, and as part of that push, officers of the club have been contacting area council members and law enforcement officials to discuss ways to reduce encounters between motorists and cyclists.  They've developed safety handouts for fellow and new riders which are going in shopping bags at area bicycle shops, and they are speaking at their own cycling functions, volunteering to conduct bicycle rodeos and role modeling positive behaviors on the road.

“We are going to take the first step to correct the problem,” Pinard said, noting that some cyclists just don't know any better, and that is the reason for making education the first step they are taking in their attempt to peacefully share the local roads with motorists. Hassan noted that some riders aren't perfect. “We understand that we are part of the problem, and we want to arrive at a solution that benefits everyone,” he said.

Safety is a big concern to those on both sides of the issue, and Hassan relates that his 71-year-old mother was killed in 2004 while riding her bicycle in Granbury, Texas. He said a motorist going 70 miles an hour struck her as she rode on a six foot shoulder. “Nothing happened to him at all,” Hassan said. “If a car rear ends another car, you get a ticket; but when a car hits a cyclist, nothing happens to the driver.”

Pinard said what they want is to be able to have access to safe roads on which to ride their bikes.

“Our roads are very nice roads to ride on, but so many people are out there that some motorists get frustrated because they might have to wait to pass. Some cyclists do have a selfish mentality, and five or six riders might be taking up a lane and not even aware of an approaching motorist.”

Some drivers, Pinard said, react to a situation like that by “buzzing riders,” coming dangerously close to them. “Motorists might not understand that's a human being in front of them and we are really very vulnerable.”

And, all in all, Hassan and Pinard agree that the new regulation in Bartonville gives them more impetus to educate bike riders on laws and safety. “It's showing us that they are serious. It gives us a card to play with the people that think the rules don't apply to them. We get to show them that there are results and consequences,” said Pinard, who enjoys bike riding with his 20-year-old son.

For more information on bicycle safety and Texas law, visit the Texas Bicycle Coalition at www.biketexas.org.

 

Comments  

 
+1 #14 2011-05-20 10:50
Give a cyclist a break.
They are getting "off the sofa" and using their limbs to get fit!
It's not too much effort to pick 1 foot off the gas peddle and slow down and drive around another human. Thanks.
Quote
 
 
-1 #13 2010-08-12 16:50
Quoting Patrick:
Quoting Avi:
I would have to agree. I have seen many cyclists run stop signs.



I think every rider, driver or whatever that runs a stop sign (or breaks any law)should get a ticket...remember the otherside of running a stop sign is there maybe a car / cyclist legally going through that intersection who may be hit or killed.

I advocate enforcing existing laws that apply to everyone legally entitiled to use the public roads and not pass rules or laws that bias one group over another to serve their own myopic needs.


jWhat about cars that roll stop, stop signs & liter. Motorist throwing things at cyclist is still littering, they don't get in trouble. No one cares about a large vehicle threatening a cyclist & what damage they could do. We are all human. We all should be courteous to each other.
Quote
 
 
0 #12 2010-07-26 11:17
Quoting Patrick:
Mr Weed...if there were a tanker truck on the road ahead of you (and there are many in and through the Bartonville community) don't they pose an even greater risk to YOU? You can't see around them and if you choose to pass you have a greater risk of getting hurt or killed vs hitting or running over a cyclists? Why not outlaw them?


Because vehicles belong on the road. And why would I pass a tanker truck that I cannot see around? I can see around a bicyclist easily. Not sure what point your apples to oranges comparison is trying to make.
Quote
 
 
+2 #11 2010-07-20 15:57
A nightmare? Probably more accurately described as an inconvenience, sometimes a major one. There are certain roads that don't make sense for cyclists and several I won't ride because there are safer alternatives. However, it absolutely amazes me how little tolerance some people have toward being inconvenienced. Are we really in that big of a rush we can't slow and safely pass cyclists? It may seem like an eternity but we are usually talking about less time than it takes to order a coffee at Starbucks.

I also see how many cyclists exhibit unsafe and disrespectful behavior. There are people trying diligently to educate cyclists in our area and repair some of the PR damage. Believe me, those cyclists who aren't sharing the road properly are hearing about it from those of us who are.

Please take a deep breath; it isn't a "nightmare". As a cyclist, I thank you all greatly for sharing the road and taking the time to make it safe for all.
Quote
 
 
+3 #10 2010-07-13 23:52
The Mayor wants cyclist to obey the current laws for stop signs, littering, etc. How is the new ordinace on limiting the number of cyclist addressing these issues?

I agree that some cyclist do run stop signs, litter, and probably some that urinate behind your town hall. I would support Bartonville 100% for agressive enforcement of existing laws that address these issues.

As far as the litter I will guarantee you that if you walk or ride up and down your roads most of the litter you see won't be bannana and orange peals from cyclists. I have never seen a cyclist throw out a glass bottle, beer cans, newspapers, bags of leaves/grass clippings, broken tree limbs, or the countless other items you will find along your roads.

Instead of developing a new ordinace to target a select group wouldn't the most logical approach be to strictly enforce the existing laws for both cyclist and motorists?
Quote
 
 
+2 #9 2010-07-09 16:33
Quoting Richard Weed:
Bicyclists should not be allowed on 2 lane roads. It is too dangerous for all parties involved. The worst part is that they are unable to maintain the posted speed limit and impede the right of drivers. McMakin Rd is a nightmare when bicyclists are on it.

Sir, could you explain what "right of drivers" is being impeded. The posted speed limit is a maximum, not a must. Yes cyclist cannot maintain most posted speeds, and yes some cyclist break the law. But as a considerate cyclist I try to ride on roads that have low traffic and try to let motorists know when it is safe to pass me. Yet I have been hit, yelled at, had things thrown at me by my fellow human beings that I may or may not have slowed down for a couple of seconds.
Quote
 
 
+2 #8 2010-07-09 08:56
Quoting Avi:
I would have to agree. I have seen many cyclists run stop signs.



I think every rider, driver or whatever that runs a stop sign (or breaks any law)should get a ticket...remember the otherside of running a stop sign is there maybe a car / cyclist legally going through that intersection who may be hit or killed.

I advocate enforcing existing laws that apply to everyone legally entitiled to use the public roads and not pass rules or laws that bias one group over another to serve their own myopic needs.
Quote
 
 
+1 #7 2010-07-09 08:52
Quoting Richard Weed:
Bicyclists should not be allowed on 2 lane roads. It is too dangerous for all parties involved. The worst part is that they are unable to maintain the posted speed limit and impede the right of drivers. McMakin Rd is a nightmare when bicyclists are on it.


Mr Weed...if there were a tanker truck on the roiad ahead of you (and there are many in and through the Bartonville community) don't they pose an even greater risk to YOU? You can't see around them and if you choose to pass you have a greater risk of getting hurt or killed vs hitting or running over a cyclists? Why not outlaw them?
Quote
 
 
+5 #6 2010-07-09 08:47
I beleive if someone is breaking the law (as indicated by running stop signs and urniating...etc) regardless of what they are driving / riding.

But for the life of me passing a 9 rider ordinance does absolutely nothing to address these above referenced infractions existing laws already address.

When a community votes 4-0 on such a ordinance they are sending a very clear message - "cyclists we HATE you! Go away". We've witnessed it in their reckless, dangerous and intent to do harm and or try to run over cyclists in the way they drive and buzz cyclists behavior.

Is being inconvenineced a few minutes worth killing someones son, father, daughter, sister, brother, mother?

If the town was really interested in safety...they would enforce the speed limit and traffic laws (drivers and cyclists equally) and ticket those who litter, urinate and other infractions.
Quote
 
 
+3 #5 2010-07-09 07:10
for Bob M to turn this into a gas drilling thing.

Here's an idea for both cyclists and gas drillers. How about we punish the people that break the law and leave the rest of us alone? Why should those of us that follow the rules be punished as well?
Quote
 

Add comment


Thanks for your interest in commenting on our website. We encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions. To encourage stimulating and civil discussions, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines: You agree, through your use of this website that you will not post any material which is false, defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise in violation of ANY law. Legal actions can be taken against you. CrossTimbersGazette.com is not responsible for the content posted on this forum. We do not warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information presented. The messages express the views of the author, not necessarily the views of CrossTimbersGazette.com. Anyone who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to notify an administrator immediately. We have the rights to remove objectionable content, within a reasonable time frame, if we determine that removal is necessary. You remain solely responsible for the content of your messages, and you agree to indemnify and hold harmless CrossTimbersGazette.com, its owner, parent company, subsidies and any related websites to this forum. We at CrossTimbersGazette.com also reserve the right to reveal your identity (or any information we have about you) in the event of a complaint or legal action arising from any information posted by you. Once your comment is published, it can be found in search results on websites like Google and Yahoo. If you feel a comment violates the above guidelines, please notify us at http://www.crosstimbersgazette.com/index.php/contact.


Security code
Refresh

Facebook Share

Share on facebook
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner