Opinion Your Views — 12 November 2012
When did cyclists become above the law?

By David W. Almasi, Alexandria

To the editor:

By weaving a class-warfare narrative to justify cyclists’ ignorance or ambivalence toward traffic laws, Cindy Dahlke promotes behavior that only imperils cyclist safety (“Motorists: respect the rights of cyclists,” October 4).

Dahlke’s two-wheeled call for revolution would seem to exempt cyclists from the alleged 1-percenter expectations that they abide by stop signs. Yet she adamantly demands motorists obey those very same stop signs, and she rails against enforcement of traffic laws against cyclists.

As a motorist and member of the 99 percent, I’d like to point out that her occupation of the intersection creates unnecessary stress for careful and courteous drivers as well as increases the likelihood of bike-car accidents.

Dahlke argued that “it just isn’t a reasonable expectation” for cyclists to obey traffic laws because of the actions of “reckless motorists.” There are reckless drivers who do imperil cyclists, pedestrians, pets and other drivers, but why is their lawlessness an excuse for others to act in a similar manner?

There have been more than a few occasions in which I’m preparing to make a right turn at a stop sign, and I must nervously wonder if the cyclist approaching from behind will acknowledge my turn signal or simply pass by to the right without regard for their safety. The same can be said when cyclists approach a four-way-stop intersection at high speed, and I have the right of way.

I allow such infractions to occur, but what if I didn’t see them? What if my view was obstructed? Does Dahlke’s animosity toward motorists make her so obtuse that she advocates selective anarchy?

Judicious and equal enforcement of traffic laws is the respectful and effective way to create a safe Alexandria for all of its residents.

 

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(1) Reader Comment

  1. Most cyclists are also drivers. It’ senseless to divide people into tribes. You think the ‘One Percent’ cyclists are not the ’99 percent’ drivers sometimes?

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