Courtesy of the City of Minneapolis’ website, I’ve learned some things about the cyclists I’m always complaining about on a pretty much daily basis. I can’t think of one commute to work (either before or after work) where I haven’t been very confused about what rules are actually supposed to be followed. I have a 2 mile commute.
Here’s my biggest complaint: When in the street, cyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of a car. Last time I drove a car, which was, you know, yesterday, I knew that I couldn’t run red lights. That apparently does not apply when you’re a cyclist according to every single bike commuter I seen going from Northeast Minneapolis to downtown.
As a driver, I’m expected to give a cyclist the entire width of a lane of traffic if there’s no other option for him/her, give them a three-foot or more clearance when passing, check for rear-approaching cyclists (giving them the right of way), and yield to them as pedestrians when they’re on the sidewalk. I do all of that and I do that consistently.
I understand that I’m in a motorized vehicle, which is much safer than a bicycle. But when a cyclist stops at a stoplight, looks both ways to realize there’s no traffic coming either way, and then blatantly goes through the stoplight, it seriously infuriates me.
I have a bike and one of the best bike locks now. And I’m honestly kind of scared to ride it, because I don’t really know what rules are actually rules and what rules are just guidelines. C’mon, hardcore cycling folk, give me an example so I can ride my bike to work and not become decorations on the grill of a cement truck.