Bicyclists must follow the rules of the road

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We were dismayed to see the July 23 article "New Bike Lane Will Ride into South Side," about adding a new bike lane on Carson Street, bringing more cyclists into the South Side. We think bicycles are wonderful. We both rode bikes all the time as children and often as adults. Our grandchildren ride bikes. The creation of a bike-friendly Pittsburgh is a great idea.

However, there seems to be no attention given to the fact that many bicycle riders either don't know the rules of the road or knowingly ignore them. We could give dozens of examples. Here are a few: groups of cyclists cutting diagonally across busy intersections against the red light; groups of cyclists spread across and zooming down 18th Street; a young mother on a tandem bike, with her little girl behind her, going the wrong way on Sarah Street; on a regular basis, cyclists riding the wrong way on our busy, one-way street; many bike riders going through red lights and stop signs; and cyclists riding between two lanes of cars during rush hour.

We were taught as kids to follow the same rules as cars must. Whether they are ignorant of the rules or simply defy them, bike riders shouldn't be on the streets at all unless they learn to avoid the risks they pose to themselves and others. Car drivers are constantly being admonished to share the road. We are happy to do that. But we aren't the only ones responsible for the safety of bikers.

It's time to admonish the bicyclists. If they break the rules, they should be ticketed, just as car drivers are. And, if common sense and personal safety aren't incentive enough to follow the rules, perhaps cyclists should have to take a test and apply for a license in order to ride on streets and highways. We shouldn't need to go that far.

FRAN and JOE TARKETT
South Side


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