Bicycle ‘Pack’ Riding

You’ve seen them riding along State Road A1A — long lines of bicycle riders who take over the road with little regard for motorists. Some “renegade” bicyclists or pack riders run red lights, yell profanities at motorists, and refuse to move over into a single file in the bike lane when motorists try to pass. Unfortunately, the vast majority of law-abiding bicyclists have been tainted by this bad behavior of a few. As I’ve said in the past, “Taking the road when there’s a designated 5-foot bicycle lane is like declaring war.” It’s a practice that must stop for the safety of all. Specifically, SAFE is disappointed that not all bicyclists are using the newly built bicycle lanes on A1A in Delray Beach. SAFE fought long and hard for building those bike lanes and will not now stand idly by and let a few inconsiderate bicycle riders ruin it for the vast majority of law-abiding bicyclists. Frustrated drivers rightly reason: “Why spend taxpayers’ money on building bicycle lanes, if bicyclists refuse to use them?” A big source of the problem is that few bicyclists, motorists and even traffic law enforcement officials, understand the current state bicycle law. An even bigger problem is that state bicycle laws were written before — and have not been revised since — bicycle lanes became the standard for safe bicycle travel. SAFE has long advocated the need for bicycle lanes so that bicyclists would have their own travel lane, separated from motorists. It’s safer for both. SAFE believes that a change in the state bicycle law should be made requiring bicyclists to stay in a bike lane except when there are obstacles in the bicycle lane, while passing another bicyclist, or when making a left turn. What do you think? Jim Smith SAFE Chairman Safety As Floridians Expect is a group initially formed to have bike lanes installed on A1A in Delray Beach. It has since broadened its mission to support traffic safety legislation. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the various letters to the editor belong solely to the author of each letter and should not be presumed to state the opinion or point of view of The Coastal Star or its publisher.

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