KCStar columnist: Motorists should give cyclists more respect on the road

Kansas City Star columnist Bill Graham wrote a column that came out two days after the Tour of Missouri wrapped up:

The bicyclist guided his two-wheeler near the pavement’s outer edge, avoiding a narrow gravel shoulder and ditch to his right.

He leaned forward to pedal up a slight grade. Suddenly the sound of one car approaching from the front and another from the rear made him pause and nervously look back.

This was no chance encounter for the Tour of Missouri, which kicked off last week with a leg that included tour de Northland in Platte County.

No, this was a guy with a backpack and nice work clothes who pedaled up North Roanridge Road toward his job in the maze of businesses near the busy intersection of Interstate 29 and Northwest Barry Road.

I decided I could pass him on the left without colliding with the oncoming car. I was correct. But it was a little closer than I liked.

My fault.

Had I to do this encounter over again, I’d slow down, let the oncoming car pass and give more respect to the cyclist’s right to the road.

You see, bicyclists have the same legal right to use the pavement for transportation as a person piloting a motorized vehicle.

. . .

I’d suggest we need to keep working on making bicycling a bigger pastime in our communities.

A starting point is for motorists to give cyclists more respect on the road.

Secondly, we need to support the bicycling community when they seek extra money for a highway project to ensure that extra space for bicyclists is added to the pavement width.

. . .

It’s a pollution-free form of travel that helps the users save money and improve their physical health. Every time someone chooses to ride a bike instead of driving, we all benefit a bit.

So slow down and respect bicyclers on the road. Let’s look for ways to improve riding conditions on the pavement.

A bicycle on the street is a sign of good health, for the rider and the community.
Read Graham's entire column on the KCStar web site.