Green Outdoors: Bikers and motorists try to share the roads

5:53 PM, Jun 17, 2013   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- In the wake of two serious incidents involving bicycles and cars, there is a call for education, patience, education and understanding from the representative organizations.

The Bicycle Coalition of Mand and AAA of Northern New England is asking riders and drivers to understand each other's thought process in order to better share the roads.

"It will get better," said Jim Tasse of Bicycle Coalition of Maine, who is also a driver. He spends much of his time educating riders and drivers, many of whom, he notes, are the same people. 

A tragic fatal bicycle-truck accident marred the Trek Across Maine over the weekend.  Two thousand riders pedaled from Bethel to Belfast while raising $1.3 million for the American Lung Association.

Ten days ago, an ugly incident between a pick-up driver hauling a trailer and a biker went viral.  Both incidents have put bicycle-auto safety at the forefront of public discussion.

"We need to understand that they are more vulnerable and we want to treat bicycliists as a member of our family," said Pat Moody, Manager of Public Affairs for Triple-A of Northern New England.

Both stressed the need to understand what the other is doing.

For example, there are three times that a biker need not ride to the far right.  They include when the road is too rough, when they are passing another vehicle and at intersections in the city.

If the biker is taking a right hand turn, he or she is encouraged to take up a spot in the middle of the lane.  In this way, they establish themselves to the motorist behind and also remember to signal.  Quickly move through the intersection and then move to the right.

A biker taking a left, should go to the middle of the left hand lane. Again, signalling is important.  Move at an appropriate speed through the intersection and then move to the right side of the appropriate lane.   

Both leaders say we should think of who the people are that biking and driving.  "Often, they are us," said Moody. In this way, the leaders say, we can better share the roads that are going to become increasingly more crowded.


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