T. Kelly Corrigan's letter, "Get the bikes out of the bridge roadway," is further evidence of the need to 1) educate motorists and bicyclists about use of the roadway, and 2) the need for roadway users to be more courteous.
Bikes on the bridge
As a member of the Transportation Steering Committee developing the Area Wide Transportation Plan for Juneau and as a sub-consultant on the development of the Sitka Non-Motorized transportation Plan, I, along with other team members, recognized the need for more education of motorists and bicyclists with respect to shared use of roadways.
In Juneau bicyclists were shouted at for using the shoulder of Mendenhall Loop Road because there is a separate side path for bikes and pedestrians. The Rules of the Road provide that a bicyclist may use the roadway, even when a bike path is present, as long as they use the shoulder. The reason for the use of the shoulder is that commuting-type bicyclists ride faster than the mixed traffic on the side path. In Sitka, it was pointed out that not only commuter-type bicyclists ride faster; so do those riding for exercise.
On the other hand, bicyclists are notorious for running STOP signs and traffic signals. How do we expect younger bicyclists to learn to obey the law when adults flagrantly violate it? In the Sitka project we examined the accident data with respect to bicycle-auto accidents. In approximately seven such accidents, only one was the motorist found at fault. The rest of the collisions were the fault of the bicyclist.
More education and enforcement would help but the best solution is for all road users to be more courteous to each other.