Letters to the Editor

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TRAFFIC: Cyclists think they rule the road

Letter by Robert McDowell, Puyallup on Sep. 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm with 11 Comments »
September 20, 2010 5:40 pm

Bicyclists still refuse to share the road with cars. I was walking my dog along Fifth Street Northeast in Puyallup when I noticed a stream of bicyclists turning onto my street. My street is a main thoroughfare, and cars are always on it. I was shocked to see many of the bicyclists ignoring cars which had to slow down to 5 mph behind them. Five bicyclists would own the entire lane. Some angry car drivers drove past on the oncoming lane.

I yelled, asking who they were. One shouted “DaVita!”

I yelled, “Go double file,” and one yelled back, “Hey!”

This is an example of why more and more people are against bicyclists. They refuse to share the road.

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. WarmNfuzziOne says:

    Just give it time. Darwin was right.

  2. drxtreme says:

    I am with you and understand the feeling. I ride a motorcycle and have to tell you, bicycle are under the same laws as any two wheeled vehicle. We all are subject to the same laws of traveling the roads. We have to signal stops, turns, cannot pass another in the same lane of travel, Mostly only outlaw groups or Police patrols ride side by side. Rarely does a pair of motorcycle riders with respect for the law ride side by side unless they are extremely experienced and the road is extremely good or very well known to both.

    But I do know the angst of being behind a group of cyclists who think they own the road and don’t at least try to let you by. In defense of many (*not all) I have in both car and bike been waved by when safe for them and me by their lead rider and I always made sure to thank them for being considerate.

  3. Rowdy_Rob says:

    Oh yes…those idiots that were on their little bike run on Sunday. Quite a few of them deserved to be ran off the road with the way they were riding (and that’s not counting the ones who felt they could use BOTH lanes of a two-lane road for their path)…

  4. Could it all just be in the perspective? I negotiate traffic all day in a gasoline tanker licensed at over 100,000 lbs with THOUSANDS of gallons of fuel on board.

    While you folk in your cars whine and cry about bicycle riders — and much of the complaints are justified — I wonder on a daily basis, if you CAR drivers don’t have some silly notion that YOU “rule the road”

    If EVERYONE learned to behave themselves, instead of running around like a bunch of pushy, “me first” little five year old tantrum throwers, half our traffic problems would vanish.

  5. Unfortunately, we live in an area of the country where “Forget you! Its all about ME!!!” is epidemic. Doesn’t matter if its bicycle, motorcycle, car, or truck traffic,
    the entire Puget Sound region is awash in spoiled babies in grown up bodies.

    Explaining it to locals is like explaining the color blue to a blind person, but I remember the days when I traveled cross country, and how I reached the point that I could predict behavior and traffic trends in various regions.

    My observations of THIS region have never failed me.

  6. Mr McDowell of course illustrates my opinions quite well.

    What possessed you Mr. McDowell to “yell” from your car? What gave you the notion that the street you were “sharing” with these bicycle was YOUR’S?

    Of course while you were busy “yelling” Mr. McDowell, you were also DISTRACTED from safely operating your vehicle, lessening the safety factor for yourself and everyone around you. My guess is that you of course are an “expert”, or at least a “good driver” ( show me someone who admits different) and could safely juggle both tasks.

    What happened to simple patience and common decency?

  7. Gotta wonder if Mr McDowell curbs his dog, keeps it muzzled and on a tight leash (“don’t worry…..he never bites”) AND cleans up all those wonderful doggie droppings…..

  8. Just to point out the obvious: McDowell was a pedestrian on the sidewalk when he started yelling at the cyclists on the road.

  9. smcelhiney says:


    Those evil cyclists… all 400 of them riding to raise money for research into kidney disease… buncha commies, let the people with kidney disease do their own research..


    Big group ride for a cause, no harm intended, likely a bunch of them aren’t very educated in vehicular cycling. Number of deaths caused by their actions… zero. Amount of time the average driver was inconvenienced that day by their presence? Less than 20 seconds…

    Danger to everyone by them being there.. none. Unless you count angry stupid drivers passing in an unsafe manner. cause the danger. If they were 5 abreast in a lane… technically illegal but apply some logic to it. Is it easier to pass 5 cyclists that are side by side, thus taking up about 5 linear feet of the roadway, or 5 riding single file spaced out about 5-10 feet apart? The road the letter writer was on is one lane each way with on street parking. Safe and legal place for the riders is out in the lane. Overtaking traffic should pass when safe by using the oncoming lane, just like they would for slower cars. If someone wants to use the impeding traffic argument to declare the bikes shouldn’t be there, I can counter that 400 bikes IS traffic. If a single or couple of bikes is slowing down a mass of cars (5+) they should pull off when safe to do so and allow traffic to pass. When you have 400 cyclists… they are the traffic, much like following a funeral procession… deal with it or reroute. No reason to get angry.

  10. What is it that smcelhiney doesn’t understand? Attitudes like that are what create bad feelings with automobile drivers. The “because you are in a group riding for a cause the rules for safe operation of a bicycle according to the traffic laws of Washington State do not apply” mentality is justified? I think not. I saw some of this group passing a school bus with it’s RED LIGHTS and Paddle going.They passed on both sides of the Bethel school bus. Bicycles are subject to the same laws as motor vehicles including passing a school bus with Red lights flashing. But oh yea I forgot they were the traffic and in a group riding for a cause. Sorry I almost forgot that smcelhiney.

  11. dangit Beerboy…I hate it when you catch me in an error! HAA! By gum your right! He WAS on the sidewalk….dangit i should wait till my second morning cup kicks in before i post…All the other comments i made still stand however ;)

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