Bicyclists have every right to city's roads

Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It is bicycling season in Juneau and the bike lane on Mendenhall Back Loop Road has not been painted.

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When bike lanes are marked, motorists don't use them, making it safer for bicyclist and car driver.

In addition, when bike lanes are marked on some roads and not others, motorists tend to think that bicycles are prohibited on the unmarked roads. If bike lanes are marked, it would increase the safety for bicyclists and convenience for motorists.

Also, just because something is called a bike path, doesn't mean it is safe. The newly constructed Montana Creek bike path, separate from the road, is an example. It is fine for walkers, dogs, roller bladers and children, but it is unsafe for bicyclists. Accidents happen because of ill-behaved cyclists, dogs, people, and because the intersection between a bike path and the road is dangerous.

Additionally, when a bicyclist uses Montana Creek Road, some drivers take exception and use their vehicles to attempt to intimidate them to use the path. Alaska law states that bicyclists have all the rights (and responsibilities) that go with being a road user.

Steve Kocsis


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