Bikers need to learn the true meaning of “Share the Road” and what it implies. Fort Collins is very biker-friendly, however, some bikers do not seem to return the favor, especially on campus. If bikers want to be treated like cars they need to act like cars.
There are rules and regulations that are enforced by law, and the constant disregard of these laws by bikers is a blatant sign of disrespect. Bikers are held to the same rules as cars, yet campus is full of bikers riding through stop signs, not yielding to fellow bikers or cars and not signaling when turning.
Imagine if cars acted the same way.
If the whole “Share the Road’ mantra was actually upheld by some bikers, there would be a lot less congestion and confusion on campus and in town.
Colorado law states that “Every person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle.” Meaning that, by law, bikers have to assume the same responsibilities as drivers of cars, vans and the like. Why do they appear to ignore this concept altogether?
I asked a few of my biker friends and all of them had different answers, however, most commonly, the excuse of “It is harder stopping on a bike than in a car,” was the go to answer. There was also answers like “Cars ignore us,” and “I do it so quickly it doesn’t effect anyone.”
If these are true, then I think that the whole “Too hard to stop on a bike” excuse would catch the eye of traffic officials and bikes would not be allowed on roads, since they are too hard to manage.
The thing about the cars may be true. Not all drivers are gold star drivers, however its a two-way street. We all need to pay attention to each other. And the last one, that is just plain ignorance and unless you are The Flash, every action you take with people around you will make an impact.
The law also states that “Every person riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle shall signal the intention to turn or stop.” This one is probably the most ignored law by bikers by far. I see ‘almost accidents’ happen daily in the comunter parking lot off Pitkin. Bikers are constantly going in and out of the parking entrance, without and sort of sign to tell people one the road what they are doing. If you do not have time to put up a hand, how do you have time to text and smoke a cigarette on your bike at the same time? That also is a violation of the law considering that you need at least one hand on the handle bars at all times.
Of all these violations, the one that effects CSU students the most is bikers ignoring dismount zones. The flow of traffic is already in disarray with all the construction on campus, and the kids who do not have the energy to walk those 60 feet to the building their class is in, make it worse. Why is is necessary to ride your bike in the middle of campus with thousands of students around you anyway? A road designated for vehicles is dangerous enough, but I do not think pedestrians walking alongside Eddy expect to be run over by a biker. With all the bike racks around campus, there is no excuse not to park and walk.
Everyone needs to work together to provide safely for themselves and others while traveling by vehicle or bike. Everyone needs to do their part equally. Just because an accident hasn’t happened does not mean it won’t, so do your part in order to help make sure that does not occur. But if the laws of the road keep getting dismissed than we may not be so lucky.
Holly Mayer is a junior English major and ethnic studies minor. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org