Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Motorists Tell Nick The Bicycle-Commuter To Bike On Sidewalks

If Tampa police do not know Florida bicycle laws and believe bicyclists should bike on sidewalks, no wonder motorists follow that lead and harass bicyclists on the road by yelling at them to get off the road and bike on the sidewalks.

My friend Nick who bike-commutes from Cross Creek to his Moffitt Cancer Center job offers this bicycle story from this morning's bike ride:

I was riding on Cross Creek this morning and an approaching car on a side street slowed as I proceeded across but it kept rolling and did not stop for the stop sign. I was forced to go around the front of the car until the driver saw me. The driver told me she didn't see me because her windows were fogged!!!

Then on Hunter's Green I was yelled at to ride on the side walk. I caught the driver at the Bruce B. Down traffic lights and explained I had the right to ride in the road and it was safer. Of course he did not believe me.

And then the lady behind rolled down her window and told me to ride on the side walk as well. Nothing like being ganged up on.

9 comments:

Grayson Peddie said...

Welcome to 1970s--err--80s... ROFL!!!

Donny said...

70s... 80s... 90s... has it ever gotten better? I've only been alive in the last 2 decades, but as far as I can remember, my parents, my friends, and the motorists were telling me to ride on the sidewalk, and I've been riding on the road, because it seemed the most logical place to ride. Then I found the law which confirmed my thoughts.

In what universe does it make any sense for a wheeled vehicle traveling at at least 3x the speed of a pedestrian to try to share a very narrow, driveway-interrupted path?

Probably the same one in which a majority of the people are lazy, obese, ignoramouses who can't travel any reasonable distance unless they have a mechanical, gas-powered device to transport them.

Chip said...

It's frustrating this stuff happens w such frequency around here. It's a type of bullying easy to get away with. Anyone in a car can impose their way, no matter how wrong, on anyone on a bike, w little risk of consequences.

But this mindset does seem to be changing for the better, and in my experience co-operation from motorists has been on the rise the past couple years. Hang in there Donny, and everyone else on 2 wheelers, as the 2 ton vehicle's days are numbered. Americans will not be able to afford such cars for much longer-hopefully within 10 years there will be more scooters, mopeds, bicycles and electric bicycles on the road than the cars we see today.

Anonymous said...

I'm back to commuting on the bike full time for a while, and have heard "Get on the sidewalk!" about 4 times in the past week. I've just started to say "NO THANKS! I'M GOOD!" back to them.
Ignorance is all it is. People think they're right, and don't know the laws.
-- Brian Eckman - CBE

Ellen said...

We could all start riding on the sidewalks and let the pedestrians yell at us..........

GhostRider said...

Strange...I've been bike commuting since 1989, with the last 4 years here in Tampa, and in ALL that time, I've only heard "get on the sidewalk" maybe 3 or 5 times total.

I've had a fellow "cyclist" (actually a guy on a bike) tell me that I should join him up on the sidewalk because it was safer. I had to laugh and shake my head and ride away.

SWFBUD said...

Jack,

Let's face it. Motorists don't mess with the Legend of the Ghost Rider. Seriously, if you bike-commute to downtown and back on Tampa/Florida, drivers are probably used to seeing bicyclists there and also those are wide, three-lane, one-way corridors. When you're biking in a single lane on a two-lane road around here, drivers feel like they own the road (because of the city of Tampa's non-support of bicycling) and motorists don't think they need to slow down to around a bicyclist. Hence, the verbal cheap shots.

peep said...

It is a sideWALK, not a sideRIDE...

Anonymous said...

The problem as I see it is that bicyclist rights are generally only discussed on sites like this one and not in a more public forum like local television or local newspapers and if they are it's just a side note. If we want the general motoring public to understand bicyclists rights then we have to figure out a way to tell them, tell them often and communicate where they will see it. The problem with ignorance is that it offers no second chance to these recent victims.