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As a cyclist used to cycling in traffic in Montreal and the GTA as well as Waterloo Region, I feel fairly confident in taking the middle of the lane and moving from a turning lane to the straight through lane, however, I often have to grit my teeth when doing so. I do not think that cyclists should be blamed for what is essentially poor road design that treats cyclists as an afterthought if they are considered at all. It is very disconcerting as a cyclist to be riding relatively safely along a right hand lane, only to find it suddenly turning into a right turn lane or entrance ramp to a highway forcing one to cross in front of high speed traffic to get into the proper lane. I have lost count of the many times when performing this maneuver, I have had motorists behind me, rather than slowing down for the few seconds it takes me to pass the ramp, speed up and make a sharp high speed right hand turn across my path. While I am not a curb hugger, I cannot criticize those who are. Roads should be designed in such a way as to minimize the conflict between high speed vehicles and low speed human powered vehicles. We cyclists are vulnerable and are forced to share the road with lead footed terrorist maniacs in lethal death machines who don't seem to understand the purpose of the brake pedal and don't give a crap about the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. Too often cyclists are treated as interlopers on what motorists seem to consider to be their exclusive racetrack. Of course, cyclists should have proper lighting at night and make their best efforts to protect themselves, but the brightest lights might not protect us from those who think that a yellow light means "floor it" or that "maximum speed" means "minimum speed".
Toggle Commented Dec 5, 2009 on Moron of the Week, #31 at Take the Lane is now following The Typepad Team
Nov 17, 2009